The Great Dane 28
 Sailboat

The Great Dane 28 is a classic sailboat that was designed by Aage Utzon and built by Klaus Baess in Denmark between 1965 and 1989. It is a long-keeled cruiser with a transom-hung rudder and a masthead sloop rig. The boat is known for its strength, comfort and performance, and has been sailed around the world by many adventurers.

Great Dane 28 sailboat at anchorMany thanks to Dan Tisoskey for providing this photograph of a Great Dane 28 long-keeled cruising yacht at anchor

Published Specification for the Great Dane 28

Hull Type: Long keel with transom-hung rudder

Hull Material:  GRP (fibreglass)

Length Overall: 28' 0" / 8.5m

Waterline Length: 21' 4" / 6.5m

Beam: 8' 2" / 2.5m

Draft: 4' 6" / 1.4m

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop (but this one is rigged with an inner forestay)

Displacement: 8,500lb / 3,856kg

Designer: Aage Utzon/Klaus Baess

Builder: Klauss Baess, Copenhagen (Denmark)

Year First Built: 1965

Owners Association: Great Dane 28 Owners' Club


Published Design Ratios for the Great Dane 28

Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 13.8

Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 46.7

Displacement/Length Ratio: 391

Comfort Ratio: 34.3

Capsize Screening Formula: 1.6


A Few FAQs...

Based on the published Design Ratios, how is the boat likely to perform under sail?

Based on these ratios, the boat is likely to perform well in heavy weather and offshore conditions, as it has a low SA/D, a high B/D, a high D/L, a high CR, and a low CSF. However, the boat may also be under-powered in light winds and may not be very agile or responsive in tight spaces.

Is the Great Dane 28 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Great Dane 28 is not still in production. Production ended in 1989 after about 300 boats were built. The boats were mostly exported to other countries, such as Germany, Sweden, Norway, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

What, if any, alternative versions of the Great Dane 28 were built and what are the differences between them?

There were two main versions of the Great Dane 28: the original version that was built before 1970, and the newer version that was built after 1970. The main differences between them are:

  • The original version had a dinette to port that converted to a small double berth, a galley and quarter berth to starboard, a heads to port and a hanging locker to starboard in front of the saloon, and a V-berth in the forward cabin. The newer version had a longitudinal table and an L-shaped sofa to port that converted to a double berth, another sofa to starboard, a galley in the rear of the saloon, a heads to starboard and a hanging locker to port in front of the saloon, and a V-berth in the forward cabin.
  • The original version had teak cockpit coamings, wash-boards, hatches and locker-tops. The newer version had fibreglass cockpit coamings and an aluminium and acrylic forehatch.
  • The original version had a masthead sloop rig with no inner forestay. The newer version had an optional inner forestay for setting a staysail or storm jib.

How many people can sleep on board a Great Dane 28?

The Great Dane 28 can sleep up to five people on board: two in the V-berth in the forward cabin, two in the convertible double berth in the saloon (either port or starboard depending on the version), and one in the quarter berth (starboard for the original version or port for the newer version).

How did the sailing press review the Great Dane 28?

The sailing press generally gave positive reviews to the Great Dane 28. For example, Practical Boat Owner magazine described it as "a sturdy little ship with bags of character" that "offers good value for money". Yachting Monthly magazine praised it as "a well-built boat with excellent sailing qualities" that "has stood the test of time".

What is the history of the builders of the Great Dane 28 and is the company still in business?

The builders of the Great Dane 28 were Klaus Baess and Sandersens Plasticboats. Klaus Baess was a Danish sailor and boatbuilder who founded his own company in Copenhagen in 1958. He was also a friend and collaborator of Aage Utzon, the designer of the Great Dane 28. Sandersens Plasticboats was a Danish company that specialized in producing fibreglass hulls and decks for various boat models, including the Great Dane 28. The company was founded by Erik Sandersen in 1962 and operated until 1989. Neither company is still in business today.

What sailplan and rig options, if any, are available for the Great Dane 28?

The sailplan and rig options for the Great Dane 28 are:

  • A masthead sloop rig with a single headsail (genoa or jib) and a mainsail. This is the standard and most common rig for the boat.
  • A masthead sloop rig with an inner forestay for setting a staysail or storm jib. This is an optional rig that was introduced in the newer version of the boat after 1970. It provides more versatility and balance in different wind conditions, but also adds more complexity and weight to the rig.
  • A cutter rig with two headsails (yankee and staysail) and a mainsail. This is a possible modification that some owners have made to their boats, especially for long-distance cruising. It allows for more sail combinations and better performance upwind, but also requires more hardware and handling.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Great Dane 28?

The average cost of a secondhand Great Dane 28 varies depending on the condition, age, equipment, location, and market demand of the boat. However, based on some recent listings on websites such as Yachtworld, Boat Trader, Boats.com, Boatsandoutboards.co.uk, Scanboat.com, Boatshop24.com, Apollo Duck, Rightboat.com, The Yacht Market, Boatshed.com, Ancasta.com, Network Yacht Brokers, Michael Schmidt & Partner, Why Boats, Wooden Ships, Bach Yachting, Sailing Boats For Sale UK, Sailing Boats For Sale EU, Sailing Boats For Sale US, and Sailing Boats For Sale CA, the average cost of a secondhand Great Dane 28 ranges from £5,000 to £25,000 (or from $6,900 to $34,500).

How does the Great Dane 28 compare to other similar sailboats in its class?

The Great Dane 28 compares favorably to other similar sailboats in its class, such as:

  • The Folkboat, a 7.6 m wooden or fibreglass sailboat that was designed by Tord Sundén in Sweden in 1942. The Folkboat inspired both Aage Utzon and Klaus Baess to create the Great Dane 28. The Folkboat is lighter, simpler, cheaper, and faster than the Great Dane 28, but also smaller, less comfortable, less stable, and less seaworthy.
  • The Twister, a 8.5 m wooden or fibreglass sailboat that was designed by Kim Holman in England in 1963. The Twister looks similar to the Great Dane 28, but has a different hull shape and rig. - The Twister is more agile, responsive, and elegant than the Great Dane 28, but also less roomy, less robust, less forgiving, and less affordable.
  • The Contessa 26, a 7.8 m fibreglass sailboat that was designed by David Sadler and Jeremy Rogers in England in 1965. The Contessa 26 is a famous ocean-going sailboat that has been sailed solo around the world by several sailors, including Tania Aebi and Brian Caldwell. The Contessa 26 is faster, sleeker, and more modern than the Great Dane 28, but also smaller, narrower, wetter, and harder to handle.
  • The Albin Vega, a 8.2 m fibreglass sailboat that was designed by Per Brohäll in Sweden in 1965. The Albin Vega is another popular cruising sailboat that has been sailed around the world by many adventurers, including Matt Rutherford and John Neal. The Albin Vega is similar to the Great Dane 28 in size, shape, and performance, but has a shorter keel, a spade rudder, and a lower freeboard.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


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