The 26-foot LOA seems to be a cutoff for single-engine power because “customers always want more speed and more reliability,” says Jordan DeLong, Contender’s director of sales and marketing. “It used to be cruising at 30 knots was fast. Now it’s 50-plus. The 28, although available with a single 350, is most popular with twin 300s — which is a huge disparity in performance.”
One of the most important concerns when designing a larger single-out-board boat involves prop torque making the boat lean while underway, DeLong says. “Although you can remedy that with trim tabs, we at Contender have placed the livewell on the port side to combat this issue and help naturally balance the boat.”
Contender’s 28S, as well as its 25T, can be equipped with single or twin power. “For twins, I think the biggest draw is reliability, although modern outboards are extremely reliable. For single power, it would be cost. You can save quite a bit.”
With the growing size of outboards, though, would larger single-outboard boats be marketable? “I think the larger boats will always want the safety and redundancy of multiple engines when venturing far offshore,” DeLong says. “Look at big yachts and commercial boats and it’s pretty rare to have a large single-engine-powered boat.”
Contender’s 28S can be powered by one engine, but most buyers choose twins. The company positions the livewell for balance.
SPECS: LOA: 28 ft. • Beam: 8 ft. 10 in. • Transom Deadrise: 24½ deg. • Draft: 1 ft. 8 in. Dry Weight: 4,700 lb. (w/ engines) • Max Power: 600 hp • MSRP: $125,531 (w/ Yamaha F300)