1988 Wellcraft 2800 Coastal
- Stock #090045 -
Strong Offshore Boat - Set up to Fish!
Some information as written in BOATUS: In a market where the cost of a well-outfitted, mid-sized fishing machine can easily top $150,000 there are still a few reasonably priced offerings. The Coastal 2800 model offered by Wellcraft Marine between 1986 and 1994 is one example.
Wellcraft Marine, of Sarasota FL, has been one of the most prolific manufacturers of production-built fiberglass powerboats for more than thirty years. By the mid-1980s, when the company was sold to Irwin Jacobs' Genmar Corporation, Wellcraft had established a market presence that was second only to Chris Craft in name recognition and popularity among boaters. Although Wellcraft had created numerous models over the years, the company's reputation was built upon its solidly constructed, moderately priced Nova and Scarab series of "muscle boats" in the 1970s.
In 1984, under new ownership's, Wellcraft introduced their Coastal series of fishing boats hoping to expand their market to include serious fishermen who were also looking for a boat that would provide some accommodations for family or extended fishing outings. The series featured conservative styling, reasonable accommodations and competitive pricing.
Introduced in 1986, the Coastal 2800 was the second in the series. It measured 27' 7" length on deck and 29' 8' length overall with the standard bow pulpit. Other principal dimensions are beam 9' 11", draft 2' 4" and displacement of approximately 8,200 lbs.
Construction of the Coastal 2800 is fiberglass composite utilizing standard construction materials. The hulls are solid laminates while decks and the superstructure utilize various core materials depending on the strength required. This is a proven method of construction that, when done with care, results in strong, durable boats.
The Coastal 2800, a survey of Wellcraft owners, conducted by Powerboat Reports in 1996 indicated 78% of owners would buy again. One reason for this loyalty is that even the Coastal 2800's most ardent critics are quick to praise the functionality and utility of the cockpit and deck layout. The arrangement is what is commonly called a walkaround design and can best be described as lying somewhere between an express cruiser and a center console model.
The design features an unobstructed, 55-square-foot cockpit, deep and secure side decks that are nearly 9" wide at the narrowest point and a raised bridgedeck with starboard helm and port companion seat. The principal advantage of this design is that it provides quick and safe mobility for 360 degrees around the vessel and places the boat operator out of the way of the action, yet in a position that affords excellent visibility and communication with the anglers. Standard features of the Coastal 2800 that make it so popular among anglers include standard rod racks on each side of the cockpit, removable in-deck fish boxes in the cockpit deck and a transom door for landing larger fish. There is a live-bait well beneath the helm seat and a built-in tackle center beneath the companion seat.
While the Coastal 2800 has wide side decks and a large cockpit, she still manages to provide a reasonably comfortable interior for a 28 footer. There is a V-berth that, with filler cushion, makes an adequately sized berth for two adults. The small port side galley features a two-burner counter top stove, sink and under-counter, front-loading refrigerator. There is an enclosed marine toilet aft of the galley, which is minimally sized but includes a shower and drain.
Prior to the last year of production, there was a starboard settee in the saloon. This was replaced in the 1994 model with dinette that converts to a small berth. There is adequate storage space below berths and seating but no hanging locker, a rather annoying shortcoming.
A variety of twin-engine options were offered on the Coastal 2800 over the nine years of production. From 1986 through 1990, choices included factory installed, 225 horsepower OMC Sea Drives (transom-mounted outboards) and a variety of gasoline inboard options, ranging from 220 to 270 horsepower each. In 1991, the OMC Sea Drives were discontinued although outboard models continued to be offered. Between 1991 and 1994, Mercruiser, Crusader and Volvo inboard gasoline engines were standard installations and Volvo and Yanmar diesel engines were offered as options.
Inboard engines are installed below the bridgedeck and access requires removal of the helm, companion seats and lockers. This can be a bit of a pain particularly in the event of an on the water emergency. The water heater is mounted between the forward portions of the engines and reaching engine seawater intakes is a challenge even for those blessed with long arms and slim builds. There is little that can be done to improve this arrangement without making serious compromises elsewhere.
Economical performance and handling are two other areas in which the Coastal 2800 receives consistently high marks from owners. Equipped with 260 horsepower inboard engines and normally loaded, she will cruise comfortably and economically at 25 mph and reach a top speed of 35 mph. The hull form is a modified-V with 16 degrees of deadrise at the transom, which is a reasonable compromise for economical performance and comfortable ride. As is the tendency of the modified-V hull form, steering tends to wander at slow speed however, at normal operating speeds, control is excellent.
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