Downeast boats carry a flavor that lasts long after the salt has been washed off. The Eastern 27 Lobster Fisherman is a prime example of that idea.
The original hull, developed around 1968, was conceived by Downeast boatbuilder Royal Lowell of Maine. The cedar-planked carvel hull with oak frames was made for lobstermen who wanted a sturdy, fuel-efficient, inboard-powered hull. The sea-kindly design appealed to hard-working seamen and pleasure boaters alike.
In 1992, Eastern Boats of Milton, New Hampshire, bought the molds for the 27. In the 27, the company recognized a way to keep its customers in the Eastern stable.
The first Eastern 27 Lobster Fisherman was launched in 1993 with a choice of a single gasoline or diesel sterndrive engine powered from 250 to 300 hp. Cruise speeds were in the low- to mid-20-mph range. Originally, the interiors featured wood construction belowdecks, or stick-built interiors to the owner’s specs with cored decks. In 2007, Eastern offered the boat with an outboard bracket to handle motors up to 150 hp. This outboard model provided quicker speeds and more cockpit space for fishing or entertaining.
Eastern built approximately 250 Lobster Fisherman. The 27 had an LOA of 26’4”, a beam of 8’4” and a displacement of 4,900 pounds. A fuel capacity of 110 gallons gave it range, and a 20-gallon water capacity created overnight cruising flexibility.
The modified V-hull delivered comfortable performance in a seaway. Wide gunwales and sidedecks made it a snap for a couple to handle. The shippy-looking wheelhouse with an open bulkhead aft featured a triple-pane windshield for good visibility and all-weather protection. Pedestal seats were mounted on boxes with built-in stowage to keeps things neat but readily accessible.
As for accommodations below, a common layout included a V-berth forward, a small galley and an enclosed head. But the boat was designed around lots of open space. That was another feature that accounted for the boat’s popularity.
The 27 Lobster Fisherman was discontinued in 2010 and replaced with the 248, although Eastern added the wide-beam 27 Tournament and Islander models to its line. If you are sold on the 27 Lobster Fisherman, however, be ready to set the hook in the used-boat market because this model sells fast. With good bones, the 27 Lobster Fisherman lives on in the hearts of those who appreciated the lines of a true Downeast vessel in a capable trailerable family cruiser.
This article was originally published in the December 2021 issue.