Olga 28

The Olga 28 was designed as a light, relatively fuel efficient cruising boat for the waters around Orcas Island, in the Salish Sea, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia meet. Strong currents are the norm, and while winds in our area are usually light during mid-summer, even a moderate breeze can kick up ugly waves when wind and current run in opposition.

Our location and the prevailing conditions suggested the need for good freeboard and a sharp entry, to deal with waves and chop. The desire for fuel efficiency led to the choice of reduced deadrise aft, and fairly light plywood construction, using plywood bulkheads and frames, and lightweight stringers. Builders have the option of using a traditional chine or using epoxy coving and biaxial tape (“liquid joinery” style); bulkheads and interior joinery can also be secured with cleats or epoxy and tape. The moderate weight also simplifies trailering and launching.

In terms of appearance the Olga evokes classic power cruisers from the Pacific Northwest. Her interior provides a comfortable double berth forward, private head, and ample seating in the pilothouse for a crew of 4. The helm seat can be used as part of the settee in port, and could be made into a double. Across from the settee the galley includes a two-burner stove, sink and refrigerator.

The Olga is intended as a perfect boat for a couple (or a family) to cruise the Puget Sound or Inside Passage to Alaska. She would also be a great boat for cruising in warmer climates, where her spacious pilothouse will provide welcome shelter from the sun.

The Olga was originally designed to use a single outboard of 50–75 hp. An engine of 65 hp should produce a top speed of about 12 knots. She can handle additional power if more speed is desired. At the request of a builder in Germany, drawings for a diesel inboard installation have also been prepared; the inboard version has a flat bottom amidships at the stern, and radiused transom, with bench seating all around the cockpit. Top speed with the 40 hp diesel will be lower, but with higher fuel economy.

Two builders are preparing to start construction (as of April 2014), one in the US (East Coast), and one in Germany.

Design Specs

Mark Smaalders
Year of Design: 
28' - 1-3/4"
8' 5-5/8"
1' 3-3/4"
3600 (light)
Outboard or diesel inboard (saildrive)
Skill Level to Build: 
Available as: 
Complete Plans
$550 (via email)
Contact Information: 

P.O. Box 1364 Eastsound 98245
Phone 360 376 1042 -