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Dispatches: Regulator 28 FS slots between the 26 and 29

Regulator Marine has added a seventh center console to its fleet - the 28 FS (Forward Seater), which bridges the gap between the 26 FS and 29 FS. Designed by naval architect Lou Codega, the 28 FS is powered by a pair of Yamaha F300 4-strokes on an engine bracket.

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"The transom bracket takes full advantage of the sharp bow entry and deep-vee hull design," says Codega, who has designed all of the Regulator models, which range from 23 to 34 feet. In addition to the seven open boats, the company builds a 30 Express.

The 28 FS measures 27 feet, 7-1/2 inches overall and has a beam of 9 feet, 5 inches. With its flush deck, fold-up transom seat and built-in toekick space, anglers can fish safely from bow to stern, says Regulator president Joan Maxwell, who founded the company with her husband, Owen, in 1988. A large in-deck lighted fishbox doubles as a lockable rod storage area. And the Regulator is built with more than 270 quarts of fishbox/stowage in the transom and 275 quarts under the forward seating.

Headroom in the console, which houses an electric head and battery switches and panels to access the electronics, is 6 feet, 6 inches. To improve the skipper's forward sightlines, the Edenton, N.C., builder has lowered the integrated forward seating that's built into the console, Maxwell says.

The Regulator 28 FS tops out at 60 mph with the twin F300s. It achieves its best cruise-speed mileage - nearly 2 mpg - at 35 mph, according to Yamaha performance data.

Standard equipment includes a leaning post with footrest and stainless-steel handrail; trim tabs with an indicator switch; and a transom seat. Options include a fiberglass T-top; a three-sided curtain enclosure; and a live well on the aft end of the leaning post. Base retail price is $159,995 with the F300s.

Contact: Regulator Marine, (252) 482-3837.

— Chris Landry

Sailboat designer/builder recovering after crash

Yacht designer and builder Ted Irwin is recovering from injuries sustained during a nighttime run-in with a powerboat off Key West as he dinghied to shore from Distant Drummer, his 68-foot Irwin yacht, which was anchored.

Irwin, 70, who was in the Florida Keys with his family for the two-day spiny lobster mini-season, was dinghying ashore late July 30 to pick up a guest when he saw the center console fishing boat bearing down on him, says yacht broker Gene Gammon, a friend and longtime business associate of Irwin's.

Gammon says Irwin tried to wave the boat away with a flashlight, but the angle of the powerboat's hull obscured the dinghy and it ran over the smaller boat.

Gammon says Irwin, a resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., was thrown about in the dinghy, but did not fall overboard. "Luckily, he did not get hit by the props," Gammon says.

He says the powerboater took the dinghy in tow to the docks, where emergency rescue personnel were waiting. Irwin was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he underwent four hours of surgery. He suffered a fractured pelvis, broken ribs and other internal damage, Gammon says, and was facing several weeks of therapy and rehabilitation.

Irwin, whose Irwin Yacht & Marine Corp. built sailing yachts - 6,000 in all - in Clearwater and St. Petersburg from 1966 to 1991, remains an active cruiser and owns a 44- as well as the 68-foot Irwin. "He cruises on the 68 quite often," Gammon says.

Irwin's yachts - known as fast and stylish, but also stable, comfortable and easy-handling performance cruisers - remain in demand, says Gammon, owner of, which lists Irwins for sale and carries information on all things Irwin.

Irwin was a fierce competitor who also built racing boats and used them to test designs and construction. His first raceboat, the 31-footer Voodoo, won 24 of 28 races from 1964 to 1966. His Black Magic, La Pantera, Razzle Dazzle and R2D2 also were well-regarded for their performance on the racecourse.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was investigating the accident.

— Jim Flannery

In our wake

Although November is a month that typically evokes recollection of the 1975 wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior, with all 29 hands lost, the Nov. 7, 1885 wreck of the ironclad steamer Algoma off Michigan's Isle Royale in the northwest part of the lake claimed 37 lives. Thirteen crewmembers and two passengers were able to paddle a lifeboat to shore.

The New York Times reported on the accident: "A heavy storm prevailed all Sunday afternoon and night, and the steamer lay-to for a time. When the weather cleared slightly, the vessel started again but made slow progress. In the morning, a dense fog prevailed and the steamer felt her way along, blowing fog horns. She struck a reef and went down."

The news report described the exhausted survivors standing on shore and watching the 270-foot wreck "beat against the rock-bound island."

This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue.