Mike Komar is one of those people who has been in, on and around the water for as long as he can remember. The 33-year-old resident of Newport, Rhode Island, grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He started out sailing, became a collegiate dinghy racer and, later, a competitive offshore racer, doing the Newport-Bermuda Race and others. Then he became a sailing coach at a university in Newport and something changed: He turned into a powerboat guy.
“Coaching at Salve Regina, I’ve spent so many hours behind the wheel of a motorboat—more than I’ve spent behind the wheel of a car,” Komar says.
He owned a pair of center consoles, including a 1987 18-foot Boston Whaler and a 1996 Silverhawk 24, which was a fishing machine with all the extras. But he wanted a boat to extend his horizons. Recently, Komar stepped up to a 1999 Eastern 27
Lobsterfisherman, a sterndrive-powered Downeast design with overnight accommodations. The freshwater-cooled MerCruiser had just 300 hours, and the $34,000 boat was in great shape mechanically and structurally, Komar says.
Cosmetics were a different matter. “The boat had been sitting for a year,” he says. “It needed a good scrub brush, a waxing and new bottom paint.”
Komar found the boat in 2018, after fancying the Eastern brand for years. “They’re seaworthy and provide a comfortable ride in open-water cruising,” he says. “I was looking to extend the New England summer, so the full pilothouse was a stipulation. The cabin space is utilized well, too. There’s a fridge, a sink, a full head and plenty of room for storing gear if you’re going away for the weekend.”
The Eastern 27 Lobsterfisherman is also trailerable, with an 8-foot, 4-inch beam. “It doesn’t have a full keel, and it’s light for its size,” he says.
Last year, Komar used the boat every weekend through November. That included a couple of overnights with his fiancée and his English springer spaniel puppy.
“It was very comfortable,” he says. “And the size is just right. You can handle it yourself; with the bow thruster, it’s very manageable. But it’s still a big enough boat that you can do a lot with it. ”
The 370-hp MerCruiser 454 sterndrive with dual-prop Bravo III outdrive achieves a cruise speed of 18 to 22 knots at 2500 to 3000 rpm, he says, “so it gets up and goes plenty with wide-open speed of 38 knots. With its keel and flat chines, it’s stable, comfortable to sit on and comfortable to fish on.”
Electronics include a VHF radio and a chartplotter, but Komar relies on his iPad with electronic charts. “I sit at home on my couch and plan out my next trip,” he says. “We go down to the boat, fill the cooler and head out. I hit ‘start’ and it routes us to where we want to go.”
He can also use Bluetooth to connect his engine wire harness data to the iPad. Knowing that performance data, he says, will add a feeling of security during some of the trips he has planned—including one special voyage. “We’re getting married in September and taking the boat for a week on a mini-honeymoon,” he says. “Cuttyhunk, the Elizabeth Islands, Falmouth, Edgartown, Block Island and back to Newport.”
The Eastern 27 is just the boat to do it in, Komar says. “I think it is incredible. It’s exactly what I expected. It’s a spectacular boat in terms of performance and manageability.” And of course, Komar adds, there’s that Downeast look. “My dad said it: It’s timeless,” he says. “The lobster boat was beautiful 40 years ago, it’ll be beautiful 40 years from now.”
LOA: 26’4” / Beam: 8’4” / Draft: 2’0” / Weight: 4,900 lbs. / Fuel: 110 gals. / Water: 20 gals. / Power: (2) outboards or (1) sterndrive
The Eastern 27 Lobsterfisherman is the largest trailerable boat in the builder’s line, with an 8-foot, 4-inch beam. The modified-V hull has a tall bow with a hint of a clipper curve. The moderate sheer slopes gently to the stern. The wheelhouse has a triple-pane windshield and sliding side windows for visibility. Recommended power is a single gas or diesel engine of 225 to 250 hp, or twins of 130 to 150 hp. Fuel capacity is 110 gallons. The enclosed helm is to starboard. There’s a stateroom forward with a V-berth and an enclosed head, aft and to starboard. A pressure-water system serves the galley. The self-draining cockpit has a centerline, hinged engine cover and a pair of jump seats. The gunwales have rod holders. Handrails on the cabin and hardtop aid in moving about the decks safely.
This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue.