Looking at the Open 28 from Italian builder Sessa Marine and thinking it's another center console is like strolling past the Vatican and muttering, "Nice church."
The helm is centrally located, but up front there's a huge sunpad that's 8" below the deck height, and underneath that is a fully decked out cabin.
The belowdecks area on the Open 28 sleeps three. Aft is a one-person berth running athwartships with a private head nearby. It has a vacuum-flush commode, pull-up shower, and European freestanding sink.
The galley has a refrigerator and much stowage, including a 1'6"-by-1'6"-by 1'3" locker in the sink base. At the aft end of the galley, there's a sportcoat-compatible hanging locker. In the bow, you can hang out on the lounge or lower the table to convert it to a V-berth.
Sessa is a 50-year-old company and puts its experience to good use in the Open 28's strong construction. The boat has a solid fiberglass bottom with cored hullsides and deck. The stringers are molded in separate grids with a large one aft and a smaller one forward under the cabin. A shoebox-lid-style hull-to-deck joint is fully bonded with fiberglass.
At the helm, two people can lean against the padded post. Yamaha digital instruments are well placed as is the Raymarine C70 plotter. The large windscreen and silver finish on the instrument panel ensure minimal glare.
Aft, the wetbar facilitates entertaining while the aft wraparound lounge provides more comfortable passenger space. A gate closes off transom passage.
Running in windy conditions provided little challenge for the boat. It doesn't get moved off course despite its high profile, and it tracks well through maneuvers. It planed in less than 5 seconds and held the attitude at about 20 mph, so you could even use it for towing boarders or toys. The Open 28 is a true do-anything boat.