The fourth model in Southport Boat Works’ impressive line – a 28-foot Express – comes from the drawing tables of C. Raymond Hunt Associates. They designed it specifically with heavier four-stroke outboards in mind. In an interesting step forward in design innovation, Hunt and Southport created a unibody structure that ties exterior and interior parts together structurally while creating a seamless interior that completely eliminates visible fasteners and trim. Other innovative technology on a production boat this size includes three deep-cycle batteries channeled through a sine-wave inverter system, eliminating the need for a gas or diesel generator system to power air conditioning and other AC-powered devices.
With twin 250-hp outboards, the 28 EX cruises comfortably at around 35 mph while offering fuel economy of 2 mpg. Southport claims a top end in excess of 50 mph. Of course, mount a pair of 350-hp Yamahas on the transom and the boat will surely exceed 60 mph by a healthy margin.
In the cabin, Southport backs the tops of the cultured-marble material with fiberglass to save weight. The galley boasts cook-top, refrigerator and microwave as standard equipment. The head provides a marine toilet and stand-up shower with an in-line hot water heater. Sleeping accommodations consist of a V-berth forward and a double in a midship cabin.
The bridge deck comforts your guests in a two-place lounge seat to port and provides you with a large helm seat to starboard. Cushions top the big, insulated boxes on the forward end of the cockpit for additional aft-facing seating. The box to port hides a 50-gallon livewell while the starboard box provides 146 gallons of insulated fish storage to augment the large, insulated fish box in the cockpit sole. Behind the helm, three lockable cabinets house eight tackle trays and two bulk-storage tackle drawers. At the foot of the helm, four more tackle trays abut fire-extinguisher storage. As on larger boats, you’ll find trash storage and vertical storage for cleaning materials under the port lounge seat.
Southport builds its boats in Leland, North Carolina, seven miles west of Wilmington.
LOA……28 ft. 6 in.
BEAM……10 ft. 6 in.
DRAFT……1 ft. 7 in.
WEIGHT……7,400 lb. (w/o power)
MAX POWER……T300-hp OB
MSRP……$216,055 (w/T250-hp OB)
SOUTHPORT BOATWORKS / Wilmington, North Carolina / 910-383-0365 / www.southportboatworks.com