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Old 09-27-2008
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Sirius 28 information? Anyone?

I'm in the process of researching and choosing my first sailboat. I'm on Lake Ontario and have time off each summer for extensive cruising (Where to? Could be anywhere). I want the boat to sail well - first and foremost it's a boat - and if it was bluewater capable then all then better (dreaming...), and I might also live aboard (I'm a bit of a minimalist so a large boat isn't essential for that).

I've considered many boats including the Grampian 26, Albin Vega 27, Tartan 30 and others, but the Sirius 28 keeps coming to my attention. The problem is that I can find very very little information on the Sirius 28. From a distnace it appears to be comparable to the Tartan 30, but I don't really know because I can't find much information on the Sirius 28.

Does anyone have information about the Sirius 28? Sirius in general?

Thank you.

Kevin MacTavish
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Old 09-27-2008
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Sirius 28: Vandestadt and McGruer Ltd. of Owen Sound



Specifications:
LOA - 28 ft
Waterline - 24 ft
Beam - 9 ft 8 in.
Draft - fin keel, 4 ft 4 in.; winged keel, 3 ft 6 in.
Displacement - 6,700 lbs
Ballast 2,600 lbs Sail area (main & 110%) - 410 sq ft

Engine(s): Yanmar Engine(s) HP: 9 or16 Engine Model: IGM or 2GM

Fuel: 19 Gallons Water: 24 Gallons

Manufacture:
Vandestadt – McGruer, Ltd. (519) 372-9767
Box 7 (519) 371-3999
Owen Sound
Ontario, Canada NYK5P1

Sirius sailboats (21’ 22’ & 28’) were manufactured in Canada during the early to mid 1980s.

This Article below was featured in Canadian Yachting, June 1986.



Sirius 28
Good breeding and "modern conservative" thinking produce a reliable , appealing cruiser
By Paul Howard

If the Sirius 28 was a racehorse, it would be described as having good breeding. Its designer, Hubert Van de stadt, has in his stable the smaller Sirius 22, a restyling of his Sirius 21, which has proven to be a tough, able, small cruiser. This talent for design runs in the family. Hubert is the nephew of the well-known European designer E. G. Van de Stadt, who has a long and impressive list of outstanding designs, including the lines of the famous 72-foot South African ketch Stormvogel.



The Sirius 28's builders also inspire confidence. Vandestadt and McGruer Ltd. of Owen Sound ahs been building boats since the mid-'60s and in spite of such setbacks as major fire and a long industry recession, it has managed to survive and grow.
With this kind of bloodline, the Sirius 28 is creating more than a passing interest. The first boat was launched in August, 1982, and as of March 1986, the company had orders booked through to hull 90.



A 'modern-conservative' design
The design is "modern conservative." The "modern" comes from the systems that make sail handling more efficient. Inboard shrouds, inboard sheeting, slab reefing with internal lines, sheet stoppers and internal pre-stretched rope halyards led back to the cockpit are examples of the designer's solution to the problem of simple, efficient sailing.
The long waterline, fin keel, spade rudder and sharp entry are becoming standards in yacht design. The four-foot, four-inch fin on the Sirius 28 is a lead keel of 2,600 pounds. This gives her a ballast: displacement ratio of almost 40 per cent. Combine this with a beam of nine feet, eight inches, which is carried well aft into the quarter, and you have a hull that is able to stand up to her sail area of 410 square feet.
Vandestadt and McGruer



In their desire to expand the boat's market into some areas on Long Island Sound where the water is particularly shallow, Vandestadt and McGruer is attempting to decrease the draft without hurting sailing capabilities. To this end they had John Hemingway design a winged keel for it. Hemingway has been involved in keel research and design for the True North America's Cup effort. The winged keel has the same displacement and center of effort as the fin. The idea is not to improve sailing ability, which is fine, but to decrease draft to 3 1/2 feet while maintaining performance.



The masthead single-spreader rig supports a Cinkel deck-stepped mast. Single lowers are helped out by a baby stay or jack stay to prevent mast pumping. The chainplates are inboard, which allows inboard sheeting of the headsail. This will help the 28 get weather efficiently. An outboard chainplates also make movement fore and aft much easier. It's not necessary to duck under the lowers on your way up to the sharp end.
The boom is controlled by a traveler running the width of the cockpit just forward of the wheel. This provides an excellent sheeting angle, making mainsail trim easy and efficient.
The self-bailing cockpit has no bridge deck but a high sill will prevent any water getting below in the event that a sea sneaks aboard. High coamings, two large lockers and excellent visibility forward make the cockpit an enjoyable spot.
It is long enough to let you sleep out in nice weather and the boom comes far enough aft to rig a simple boom tent or sun awning without the topping list splitting it in half.



Test sail
Well, now that we know the deck layout, let's go for a sail. Close-hauled, the wind puffed up to about eight or nine knots apparent. In this light stuff and a smooth sea, the boat slips along with very little fuss and its efficient high-aspect rudder provides good control even when drifting. Under these conditions, the Sirius 28 is very close-winded, tracks well and accelerates nicely in and out of the puffs. Even downwind it ghosts along under a main and number-one Genoa, leaving hardly a ripple in its wake.
While we are not too busy, let's look at the rail stanchions. The base and stanchion are one-piece assemblies. This produces a strong fitting as do the bow and stern pulpits of one-inch welded tube. They are through-bolted to solid glass areas in the foam-cored deck. Standard double lifelines enclose the deck. A stainless steel boarding ladder built into the stern pulpit completes the deck details. Teak treads on the ladder would be kinder on bare feet than the stainless tubes.



The molded toe rail on the deck edge is fairly small in section. When the rail is buried and the spray is flying, I wonder if the toe rail would provide a sufficient toe hold. It seems to me it would be pretty slippery. A bow roller and self-bailing anchor locker make easy work of retrieving and stowing the anchor and rode.
Down under



Well, we've sailed into a hole, so let's go below and snoop around. Opening ports-eight standard opening ports! Once you have cruised on a boat in the tropics, you will never sail without them. The cross-ventilation they produce can make the difference between roasting and rapture.



Wide beam and high freeboard, along with a fairly high trunk cabin, result in a lot of hull volume. This has allowed the designer to locate an enclosed head compartment aft on the port side. A one-piece molding comprises the sink vanity, with stowage under the sink. A foot pump supplies the sink from a 20-gallon water tank complete with an outboard vent and deck fill.



The galley is aft on the starboard side and includes an alcohol stove, an icebox and a single sink with a foot pump. Propane cooking is an option. Put your money down: you won't be sorry. Propane is cleaner, faster more convenient and cheaper. Just stay afraid of it and follow all the safety procedures. If you do go for a gimbaled propane stove with oven, a safety bar across the front of the stove would provide a safer work area for the cook.
A full interior liner makes a neat job of the overhead surfaces and good head-room extends right up into the V-berth area. This is accomplished by extending the trunk forward and not fading it into the deck. It doesn't look as streamlined but it is a compromise the designer felt was justified. The hull is lined with a closed-cell foam called Ethafoam and covered with a rich-looking fabric. It has good insulation qualities, looks attractive and, when it wear, it can be peeled off and replaced.



The standard cabin sole is carpet, but a teak and holly sole is available as an option. A dinette on the starboard side, which converts to a double, and a settee on the port side complete the seating. The table slides up and down the mast compression post and it is a simple matter to move the table down to make up the double berth. A folding chart table above a hanging locker completes the interior. The teak joinery work below and on deck is well executed. Stowage is ample.



The iron genny
I don't hear the bow wave chuckling, so we must be out of wind. We fire up the two-cyclinder 18-hp Yanmar and it raps away at idle. I have noticed that these engines have a fair bit of combustion knock at idle, but once they are sped up a bit they quietened right down and are smooth little power plants. The Sirius powers at 5 1/2 knots at about 2,800 rpm. It is quiet and easy at this rpm and the controls are conveniently mounted on the steering pedestal.



Engine access is via the companionway steps and the port side cockpit locker. It is as good as can be expected on a 28 footer. A Racor fuel-water separator and a water lift muffler are standard. The standard engine is a nine-hp single-cylinder Yanmar. I doubt that it would be as smooth as the two-cylinder model.
The Sirius 28 has an impressive list of standard equipment. It certainly pays for the buyer to consider this when comparison shopping. The list includes double batteries, lower lifelines, two sails, stern ladder, wheel, brake and guard, opening ports, bilge pump, painted spar and more. Price these items separately and you get an idea of the real value of the boat. The boat's base price is $52,500. For this you will enjoy a performance cruiser that is simple to sail and as with most boats, will probably take a great deal more punishment than will the crew.

Other comments about the Sirius 28 ft sailboat.

A quality of design and construction much similar to the Cal, Com-Pac, Sabre, Caliber vessels


Canadian boat, has modern rigging including inboard shrouds, inboard sheeting, internal halyards and reefing etc.., over 120 built through mid -eighties. The company no longer in production. Boat sails well in light wind, and is capable in heavy weather. The Interior layout is comfortable for 4-5 people. Lead keel with 40% Displacement. ratio. It is very fast for a cruiser.
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Well done, Ifly! (btw.. KingAir 200s by any chance??)
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Faster,

Yup, I'm a corporate pilot... Started on a King Air 200 then a B200 now flying a Citation and a Hawker but I love the 200.... a GREAT airplane!
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Thank you, Iflyka200s. The Canadian Yachting article is very helpful. It is but one opinion, however, and based, seemingly, on one experience sailing the Sirius 28. More varied opinions of anyone that has sailed these boats would be great. Comparisons, also.

For example, does anyone know how the Sirius 28 compares with the Tartan 30 in particular? These are two boats I'm looking at. The Sirius tends to be sold at a higher price. I know that the Tartans of that era have a reputation for high quality craftsmanship. What of the Sirius? Why the higher price? Simply because they are of a more recent vintage? I can only guess. Thanks, again.

Kevin MacTavish
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They did not make too many Sirius 28s, so the higher price might a reflection of that.. or perhaps the owner/seller has unrealistic expectations.

If you have two particlular boats in mind, spend some time on each, and survey the one that overall appeals to you most. And remember that asking prices are just that, a place to start.
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Sirius 28 info

I have a Sirius 28 on Lake Superior. I've had it for 8 years and it's an excellent boat. I've raced on dozens of different boats for years before buying my own boat and this one is excellent by comparison. It is very fast for a cruiser. Positive stability when over powered, and as balanced of a boat as i've ever sailed with a 110 headsail. Last weekend we put her nose to the wind, close-hauled and didn't touch the helm for 2 hours. We have auto-pilot mind you, but it wasn't even turned on. The boat just has incredible balance.

Looking toward the future, we'd like to get a bigger boat, but I really don't know of any in the 32-34' range that are as easy sailing as our little Sirius 28.

VanDestadt & McGruer had planned on making a 31' version when they were shut down in 1989. They were not allowed to operate under bankruptcy in Canada and couldn't get the 31 to market fast enough while the buyer's preferences were changing towards larger boats at that time. They had to basically rebuild their entire factory and all of the molds when the factory had a fire in 1984. Our boat is number 52 (or maybe 54, can't remember off hand exactly) and was molded just before the fire and finished after the fire as far as I can determine in 1984.

Any other info you'd like, you can write back and I'll see if I know it.

We've had the boat for years and she's gotten us through everything including 12' waves on Lake Superior. She's a great, stout, fast boat with good head room, which you won't find just anywhere.
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Paul Howard that wrote the article for Canadian Yachting also did an article on the Sirius 21/22 for them also.Paul and his family know a thing or two about boats and sailing having sailed around the world a couple of times.He build the first boat and the half way through the trip had to make the boat longer,as it was not long enough for the growing family.
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