Features & Modifications
Air Conditioning and the NextGen Generator:
Cutwater in its “wisdom”, recently decided to move from the single inboard
diesel and go with two outboards. I had a nice chat with Cutwater and
advised them that one of the primary reasons why I wanted the original
C-28 was for Air Conditioning which is mandatory down this way, mid-Gulf
The very solid and dependable Next-Gen 3.5 diesel Generator (only 60 hours) allows you
to run the A/C full time, night and day when you are “on the hook”.
And also when you are at a marina dock where you can plug into shore-power.
But the big deal was having dependable an efficient air conditioning
anytime that you want it. When I am heading out for a cruise, even a
short one out to local sandbar, I turn the Generator ON as well as the
A/C. That Next-Gen Generator just sips diesel fuel while I am heading
out to an afternoon sandbar anchorage. Once out there and anchored,
if there is a nice tropical breeze, I’ll turn the A/C and the Generator
OFF. It’’s not all that loud but listening to the seagulls is a might
better than the putt-putt of the Generator.
But I asked Cutwater how they were going to power the A/C unit and the
reply was with “the optional Lithium Batteries”. Since the Solar Panel
in these boats is somewhat tiny I went on to inquire, well, after the
complete draining of the Lithium batteries during the “estimated” all
night 8 hour A/C use, the response was when I left an anchorage in
the morning to visit another cute town further up the chain, the
Lithium batteries would recharge from the outboards.
To me, the obvious question is that what if I want just stay anchored
in the same nice cove for a couple days, since that was the original
idea of why I was buying this “fully equipped 45’ trawler in a 28’
Nope, completely eliminated that comfy option from my cruising fun list.
No A/C during the day and none at all if you are planning on anchoring
in a gentle cove for a couple days, meeting some new cruisers and
exploring the local scenery. No A/C once the expensive batteries are dead.
That nice dependable NextGen 3.5 kW Generator is always ready to power
the A/C (and any other heavy electrical power demand item), anytime
that you want to run them.
Sound like I am complaining? Nope, not really, it’s just that boats
like this that have ALL the amenities of a much larger boat has a
good size market for older guys like me, who can’t deal with a 40’
boat any longer but want the comfort of a larger boat. Single handed
is very easy with this boat.
Electrical and Mechanical Items:
The Next-Gen 3.5 kW diesel generator (now 60 hours) allows you to
have a two burner Kenyon Electric Two-Burner Stove Top, and a Muave
Convection/Microwave Oven. It also allows you to have the electric Hot
Water Heater, Battery Charger, 110 volt Fans but most importantly: Air
Down here in hot/humid sunny Gulf Coast Florida, Air Conditioning is
mandatory. The Generator uses a Kubota diesel single cylinder engine
and is surprisingly quiet. It is equipped with the sound shield which
is easy to remove for oil/fluid checks. Next-Gen is located in Jacksonville,
Florida. Very helpful tech people (Ken) if you have any operating questions.
Of course, all of these 110 volt appliances also work from shore power
when you are at the dock.
There is also a Kisae True Sinewave 1000 Watt Inverter so that
if you need 110 volt AC power when you are out and don’t want to run
the Generator. You can use the Inverter as a 110 volt AC power source.
Not for the heavy demand Oven, AC, Hot Water Heater, Microwave. etc.
however. Works quite well for pumping up the SUP and small inflatable
boat without having to turn the generator on.
The Kisae 20 Amp Battery Charger charges all four Batteries with most of
its charge going to the two House Batteries.
For the 12 volt DC side, I replaced the original four AGM sealed batteries
with new Interstate G-31 wet-cell batteries, Deep Cycle for the House
side and Starting Batteries for the Thruster and Engine start side.
($909.20-10/20/21) I like to be able to check the battery fluid levels
and you can’t do that with sealed AGM Batteries.
When I replaced the factory sealed AGM Batteries with Wet-Cell Batteries,
this required changing the perimeters of the Charger. Cutwater installed
it way up inside the aft deck next to the Hot Water Heater. Impossible to
even see the Charger LCD screen or the buttons. So I moved it to right next
to the Autopilot Pump and now its easy to change the settings if you ever
need to. (No need to, now). Ricardo of Kisae walked me right through the
setting changes. Very very nice people, they know their product.
A rather odd design from Cutwater was that the mounted the Solar Panel
Rack right over the four ceiling ventilation hatches. Couldn’t open
them more than 2”. So I extended the Panel cables and simply moved
the Panel Rack forward. Easy to do, why didn’t they think of that?
The Solar Panel is a 140 Watt Kyocera. One of the best Solar Panels made.
It generates 4-6 amps to the Batteries every hour of full sunlight.
Another “modification” was to the storage space under the rear cockpit
seat. Great storage but there were only two small 6” round ports at
its base which was supposed to give you access to the Steering and
especially the Hydraulic Pump that powers the Trim Tabs and the
Engine Hatch. There was no way to get your hands way down into
that compartment to service those important parts.
I found this out when I was replacing the Bennett Trim Tab Actuators on 9-27-21.
So, small Saw-Zall to the rescue and I cut the entire bottom of this
compartment out. Now, you have easy access to these parts for
servicing. The compartment floor can be replaced with a removable
section of plywood but If I need to get in there, quickly, I don’t want
boat “stuff” in the way. So, I’ve kept it open.
The Electronics package is a Garmin 7612, Touch-Screen. Full GPS,
Sounder and Radar plus Autopilot which I have used many times. Many
many screen options and Combos. The Fusion music system can be
controlled by the Garmin screen and as noted, whatever is showing
on the Garmin screen can be mirrored on the 18.5” center TV screen.
The Garmin system includes a Fuel Flow screen as does the Volvo
separate screen. I have also done a slight modification to the fuel
tank so that you can manually “dip the tank” with a wooden dowel rod
to verify the electronic readings.
I also installed a Lowrance Elite-5 HDI Combo unit on the “First Mate’s”
side of the boat over the flip-up storage area. This unique unit combines
GPS, Sounder and DownScan screens. It can provide side-by-side screens.
This is a separate transducer than the larger Garmin unit and the
transducer is a “shoot-thru-the-hull” unit and is easy for your partner
to watch the depth/routing while you are focused on other points
By mirroring the large Garmin unit over to the center TV, this is another
method that your partner may monitor the boat’s progress, but having
the smaller color unit right in front of the partner’s view, is a
handy way to watch the screen as well as the scenery. A good backup.
Regarding the Autopilot, a while back I was heading across Sarasota Bay
in rather huge waves coming in from different directions and lots of wind.
The Hydraulic Steering is very easy to operate but I was getting tired
of the constant Wheel adjustments. And then I remembered the Autopilot.
Hit the Red Button on the Garmin screen and she took over for me.
I just sat back and looked at the scenery. Thank you BABE!
A huge advantage of the Autopilot is that if you are going a long distance
at those 6-8 knot “Trawler” speeds (1-1/2 Gallons/Hour!), you just set the
Autopilot and it will steer the boat without you having to constantly adjust
the Wheel. A while back a friend and myself were heading out to our local
Sunday sandbar for the afternoon. I asked her is she was in a hurry to get
out there. She said “Nope, this is Florida, the water is blue-green,
a nice tropical breeze blowing and we’ve got all day”. Hit the Autopilot
button and we cruised out to the sandbar at nice gentle trawler speeds
chatting all the way.
There is a well-known Garmin Autopilot “glitch” where the boat tends to
pull to Port/Left. Garmin replaced the Autopilot Pump under warranty,
no further issues and the Autopilot is one of my favorite features,
especially as noted, when you are cruising at “trawler” speeds.
She is equipped with a Jensen 18.5” TV that swings out over the
Stateroom/Head steps. It has a built-in DVD player but this does not work.
A separate DVD player is what I normally use, included. The “Sat-Dome”
at the top of the Mast does not have the subscription (expensive) Satellite
electronics inside and has been replaced with an “Over The Air” TV antenna
which works great. It still “looks” like you have expensive Satellite coverage.
A unique feature of the TV is the it can mirror the screen of the Garmin system.
Whatever is on the Garmin, shows on the TV screen. This has come in quite
handy when the First Mate needs to monitor depth while you pilot the boat
through narrow channels.
The Fusion Radio is quite good but I use it mainly to play Pandora from my
iPhone mount at the helm. Another unique feature of the Garmin system is
that you can adjust the Fusion system from the Garmin screen.
The original 4” Fusion Speakers were too small and did not have any full
sound at all. I replaced the Cabin Speakers with quite large Rockville
bookshelf speakers (6.5” Woofer) ($139.95) and the cockpit speakers
with 6” Sony Marine Speakers. ($69.95).
The Dometic Air Conditioning system is a “Heat Pump” so it can be turned
to produce heat as well as cold. This came in handy during my chilly
Sarasota Bay cruise down to Marina Jacks. It will freeze you out
of the boat even on a hot/humid day and has multiple Blower speeds.
If you are warm while cruising, just close the back door, turn ON the
Generator and turn ON the Air Conditioning. Comfy.
Additionally there is another area heating system that uses the
Engine Coolant to provide forced air heating, just like a car.
iPad/iPhone Helm Mounts:
I’ve added mounts to the Helm to allow the placement of both an iPad and
iPhone. The iPhone, as noted, is mainly used to provide Pandora to the
Fusion Radio and I use the iPad for the Garmin Nav-App as well as weather,
emails, local maps, etc. I added UPS Charging Jacks for both, right at the helm.
The Nova-Cool Fridge works great. It’s 12 volt DC and I’ve added a
Battery Disconnect switch to turn it ON and OFF. You can also do that
with the switch inside the Fridge or pulling the Fuse out but the switch
is easier. I installed a LED indicator so that you can tell when the
Fridge is running.
The small Freezer will really keep your frozen food
ice cold. However, I keep a couple large “Blue-Ice” blocks in the Freezer
since I usually turn the Fridge OFF when I am at anchor and the Blue Ice
Blocks help to keep the Fridge chilly. The Fridge uses a bit less than
4 amps when it is running, the Solar Panel on the roof has a 4-6 amp
output so during most of the day, the Solar Panel can pretty much
power the Fridge, amp to amp.
Over by the Sink, it originally came with a simple ON/OFF Switch to
turn the Fresh Water Pump ON and OFF. With no indicator, it would have
been easy to leave the Pump ON and if someone had left a faucet slightly
turned ON, all of your tank fresh water could be emptied. I added a bright
red LED indicator to show when the Pump power is ON/OFF.
I also added digital 12 Volt Gauges at the Sink area and at the Helm to
monitor the House Batteries.
I’ve added fans, everywhere. It’s Florida. All Caframo. ($99.99/each)
Two at the helm, one on the back wall over the dining table, one in the
Head and two in the Stateroom. Lots of breeze in the evening. Very low
amp-draw and very low running sound.
Note that I also added a LED spotlight next to the fan for additional illumination
for the table and reading.
Raptor Aft Deck:
The aft deck is equipped with Raptor “Teak” Cockpit Decking. ($1,303.92)
Not only does it look much nicer than the factory white fiberglass decking,
but is very friendly to the feet. It’s soft and resilient. Easy to clean.
Inside the Cabin, custom made carpet in a “Teak” flooring design is throughout.
Like the after decking, this woven carpet is soft to the bare feet.
Included are vacuums, 12 volt and 110 volt.
Two factory options are the full Bimini and the
Sun Shade which is somewhat like Shade Cloth, it lets some sunlight
through but makes sitting on the aft deck very comfortable if you want
still have a bit of sunlight but not a complete shade.
The Bimini has its full Stainless Steel framework and the Sun Shade
has two Stainless Steel poles that slip into the Fishing Rod Holders
at the stern of the boat. Both are easy to rig. The Bimini SS framing
stays in place when you have the Sun Shade deployed. The Bimini has its
own cover when it is up, but not deployed.
The boat is equipped with “SidePower" Bow & Stern Thrusters. Since the
boat is a full keel and wants to head in a straight line, especially when
docking (she pulls to Port/Left when in reverse) the Bow and Stern Thrusters
really keep you out of trouble. I moor the boat in my narrow canal with other
boats, fore and aft. I just pull along side the dock, point the bow toward the
dock and when I get close, I use the Thrusters to bring her up against the dock.
Very very easy. There is also a Remote that you can use when docking so that
you can grab the dock lines but keep the boat close to the dock in case of
winds pushing the boat away.
The Trim Tabs force the bow down to get the boat up on plane faster. Both
Trim Tab Actuators blew out (a former owner issue) so I replaced them both.
($152.00/each). Works great.
The original anchor on the C-28 was a small 15 pound “Bruce” style anchor
and down here close to the Gulf, the hard sandy bottom would cause the
Anchor to just bounce along the bottom rather than grabbing into the sand.
A common replacement is the Rocna 22 Pound/10Kg Anchor ($320.99).
This “plow” type anchor has a very sharp pointed end rather than the
blunted end of the Bruce. It digs in very very fast.
I also added the Mantus “Anchormate” BR1 Bow Roller SS Anchor Stop ($90.00)
which keeps the larger Anchor from banging into the boat bow when retrieving
and also the Mantus SS Anchor Swivel ($99.75) which allows the Anchor to
adjust as it comes up and buries into the sand.
There is 50’ of heavy galvanized chain and 200’ of braided nylon Anchor Rope.
And of course, the very nice and handy Lewmar 1000 Windlass. Just push the
button on the helm and the anchor goes down or up without having to get onto the
Two Stateroom “comfort” items that come with the boat are the “Yacht Bedding”
Fitted Sheets/Pillow Covers and the “Yacht Bedding” 3 Inch Mattress Pad
($2,261.00) The “Matouk Essex” Fitted Sheets make it easy to make the
triangular shaped bed (sleep with the feet toward the bow unless
you are very friendly) and that Mattress Pad makes sleeping in the
Stateroom, just like home. Also the Yacht-Bedding “Matouk Augusta Blanket:
During my one-night cruise to Marina Jack’s in Sarasota, I used my own home
sheets/blankets so the bedding is brand-new.
After my first haul out and new Zincs, I noticed that the Zincs were getting
eaten away rather quickly. This boat has no electrical leaks, especially
since I keep the AC power OFF and the Shore Power Cable unplugged.
I suspect that a neighbor’s dock is electrically leaky. But the
installation of a ProMariner “ProSafe” Galvanic Isolator solved that.
($251.85) A very common addition, especially if you are cruising into
somewhat electrically “leaky” marinas.
As one more way to eliminate the boat Zincs corroding away too quickly,
I have a BoatZincs “HangTuff” Zinc Anode ($59.78). Included. This has a
SS clip that is attached to the Engine Block and you drop the large Zinc
over the side of the boat. Works very well.
Spare Beach Anchor:
A spare Danforth style Anchor hangs from its bracket on the Stern Rail.
Stainless Steel Chain and about 100’ of 1/2” Nylon line. This is used when
you are beaching the bow and you need to keep the stern from swinging around.
These boats come equipped with two Auto-Sensing Bilge Pumps. Which I don’t
like since you can’t tell if it is working, clogged up or otherwise, not
operable. I replaced the rear/lower one with a traditional Rule 1100 GPH
Bilge Pump & Super Switch. With the “Flapper” type Switch, you can lift
the Flapper and hear the Bilge Pump turn ON. A huge safety item.
Cutwater builds an incredible boat, very solid, but they also do some goofy
things (like the Solar Panel blocking the Ceiling Hatches and only very
small openings to service the various gizmos under the rear seat, and the
placement of the Battery Charger where you can’t change the settings, etc.)
and another one was the “Wine Cooler”.
No idea what they were thinking with this completely useless tiny Fridge.
Everyone removes it so that you have a great storage closet but the main
reason for removing it is that it draws 4 amps per hour and because it uses
the very inefficient Peltier type chip cooling, it would never cycle OFF.
That’s close to 100 amps coming out of your House Battery bank, every day.
Just to have semi-chilled wine. I have this little power hungry beast in my
Garage and it does go with the boat.
Underwater Blue LED Lighting:
Another design item that I modified was the location of the Underwater
Blue LED Lights. There is no way down here in mid-Gulf Florida to keep
marine growth from covering the lens. So I move both of them up under
the the Swim Platform for the same lighting effect, but now no Barnacles.
Aft Cockpit Sink w/Hot-Cold Fresh Water with Shower. This is perfect for
when you have been swimming in the salty sea and need to hose off with
Hot/Cold fresh water. Also a shower in the Head.
Salt Water Wash Down:
Located at the Port Aft end of the cockpit, this comes in handy if you
are fishing and need to clean the area without using fresh water.
Solar Panel Controller:
Renogy Solar Panel Charging Meter/Controller is used to control the
charging from the Solar Panel. Another “fix-modification” that I did was
to remove all of the Cables from the Controller. I had to do this when I
lengthened the Solar Panel Cables to slide the Panel Rack, forward.
I found that from the Cutwater factory, the heavy 10 gauge cables did not
properly fit into the smaller Controller Terminals. And some were loose.
I removed some of the Cable wire strands, twisted them and reinserted.
They are now all firm and tight. Note that there is a specific order to
replacing the Cables to the Controller and that is explained in the Manual.
Generator Fuel Filter:
Another modification that I did was to remove the two very small Racor
Diesel Fuel Filters that service the Generator. The first was a
pre-filter using a 10 micron filter and the second used a 2 micron filter
which is the mandatory Filter size for fuel.
Way too many filters so I replaced both of them with single huge Racor 500
filter ($215.99) with its own large internal 2 micron filter. Why didn’t
Next-Gen think of that?
Hot Water Heater:
The Isotemp Spa 6 Gallon Hot Water Heater uses both 110 VAC & Engine Coolant
to heat the Fresh Water system. The Hot Water Heater can be used from either
110 VAC Shore-Power or the Generator. Never the Inverter. Very nice when
you are using the aft shower to hose off after a salt water swim.
Inflatable SUP Paddle Board/Small Inflatable:
The small 4’ Inflatable Boat is just used for play. ($47.99) The SUP ($199.95).
is used for sandbar play but is mainly used for a platform for waxing
the hull. Both have custom covers.
There is an extensive collection of Original Equipment Manuals in
addition to my own “Boat Operating” Instructions that I have printed.
All of my receipts are included.
Snap-On Exterior Side Window (See-Thru) Sun Shade for
Screens for the two Side Window, the four overhead Ceiling Hatches,
all Portholes and the two Stateroom Ceiling Hatches.
Mounted on the center upright of the windshield, there are three large
mirrors that allow you to glance from time to time while cruising, to see
if there are any boats coming up behind you. The large center mirror has
two side mirrors where you can keep track of your guests behind you in the
cabin and on the aft deck. In between is a small easy to read clock.
There is no safe way to get up on the C-28 roof to, for example, change
your flag or add a Club pennant.
I carry an inflatable SUP up there and also a small 4’ inflatable raft.
Both have custom covers. Both can be removed/deployed without having to
climb up on the roof from the Starboard side deck and dropping them into
the water or the aft cockpit. Same for reloading up on the roof.
But there is a ton of space up there for carrying other helpful toys and
I solved the problem of how to get up on the roof by buying a standard
“gunnel” three step ladder. ($62.99) The U-Shaped top fits over the boat’s
roof rails and now it’s easy to climb up onto the roof, safely. Whenever I
attach the ladder to the roof rails I always use a couple plastic wire ties
to secure the ladder to the rails. Easy.
The boat has a considerable amount of spare fuel that goes with the boat.
A yellow (diesel) six gallon portable tank plus another 2 1/2 gallon tank
goes with the boat, both full.
That Storage Compartment on the Swim Platform was originally designed
for the storage of Propane tanks for the stove, etc. However, since this boat
is all-electric, there is no need for any Propane to be stored on the boat.
But it is the perfect storage area for four, 2 gallon portable tanks full
of diesel fuel. ($22.99/ea). The four tanks fit as if this compartment was
made for them. All four are full of fuel.
Xintex Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Raritan “SeaEra” Electric Flush Toilet
4 Black Fenders
Mooring Lines (6)
Standard Horizon 25 Watt VHF Radio
25’ Shore Power Cable, 30 Amp
Swim Platform w/Ladder
LED Ceiling Lighting throughout, Cabin Lighting can be changed from white
to red for night vision.
Blue LED Cockpit and Swim Platform Lighting, plus decorative Blue LED
strip lighting above the exterior Side Windows.
Bow Mounted Ladder (Beach Access)
Bow LED Dock Lights
N.E. Taylor BoatWorks (6/18/21):
Petit Trinidad Bottom Paint/Unipoxy Metal Paint
Sandblast Underwater Metal Items
Replace all Zincs
N.E. Taylor BoatWorks (9/27/21):
Petit Trinidad Bottom Paint
Unipoxy Metal Paint
Sandblast Underwater Metal Items, Epoxy Primer
Replace all Zincs
Replace Bow Thruster Leg
Replace two Trim Tab Actuators
N.E. Taylor BoatWorks (7-10-22):
Blue Petit Trinidad Bottom Paint
Unipoxy Metal Paint
Sandblast Underwater Metal Items, Epoxy Primer
Replace all Zincs
Repaired Prop, Prop Scan, Dynamic Balance
Prime Bow and Stern Thrusters/Paint
Garmin Autopilot Pump Replacement (Warranty)
Suncoast Diesel Maarine-First Full Service, 8/18/21
(Note: Full Service to Engine and Generator): ($1,551.04)
Imtra (Bow & Stern Thrusters):
2-150 Amp ANL Fuses
4-Retaining Ring for Shearpin
Volvo Diesel-Engine Coolant: ($69,97)
Volvo Diesel-Engine Oil: ($33.06)
General Propeller-Spare Zincs: ($161.91)
General Propeller-Spare Zincs: ($38.22)
Volvo Engine: Impeller, Belt
2 Extra Electronic Engine Key-Fobs: ($175.80)
100 Amp House Battery Fuses (2) (26.00/ea)
Biobar Diesel Fuel Treatment ($31.39)
FPPF Diesel Fuel Cetane Enhancer ($23.99)
Oil Absorber Bilge Pads
Racor Fuel filter 500 Series (Generator) (2) ($29.98)
Hydraulic Fluid for Steering ($27.58)
Mequires "Flagship” Marine Wax ($94.13)
Medical Kit-Very Comprehensive
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