SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28 Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-25-2017 10:17 PM
Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

Do you still have 'Compass Rose' ? I joined this thread late in 2016 and am trying to establish contact with other CL O 28's owners.

02-25-2017 09:58 PM
Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

Hi Scott,

I am not sure whether there was such a thing as an owner's manual. Each boat had 'options' like tiller or wheel steering, engine type, there was probably no 'standard' type. I was told that there were 42 Offshore 28's produced though I recently heard reference to 60 being made. I have not followed up either of these claims.

The electrics panel on my 28 was replaced some years before I bought her and so I never saw the original wiring layout. The main wiring on mine is runs along the top of the insides of the galley cupboards on the starboard side. She has had several equipment additions and changes and it is difficult to know precisely what is original and what isnt. There is an electrical wiring box underneath the mast step which can be accessed by removing the square wooden cover in the ceiling of the heads. The wires are all labelled for the mast lights. Adjacent to this box is a plug for shore power similar to one on the bulkhead in the galley.

The swing keel mechanism would, I think, have come with some instructions. It is easy to access this via the box on the cockpit bulkhead and easy to work out once you operate it with the cover off. You need to be careful that you have the brake under control when lowering the keel otherwise there is a danger of losing the keel completely if the wire comes adrift. The cockpit 'stop' lever should be used whenever the keel is in the position you need but dont release it unless you have the brake engaged or have control over the lowering handle. The 'push-pull' rod inside the boat can be engaged as an additional measure though I think it only engages fully once for each revolution of the lifting gears and you cant see where unless you have the cover off. This rod may be a safety feature to stop a run-away keel, I am not sure and I would not like to test it! I recommend you open the box to inspect before testing out the mechanism. Trying to fish out a heavy keel from the bottom of a marina is not a good start to owning one of these! Interestingly, one owner said he sailed his boat without a swing keel quite successfully after losing his keel. The only problem was the inability to point really high into the wind.

Whatever navigation equipment was installed would have had manuals - nothing that Cheoy Lee would have drawn up. I found the Cheoy Lee Association website useful initially though there is not very much activity on it now. Nevertheless there are some good tips on restoration there and on the associated forum and I have had responses from other members. I contacted Jonathan Cannon at Cheoy Lee ( and had an immediate response from him to my questions and, as I had joined the CL Association, he also sent me a free Cheoy Lee cap! He was able to confirm from their records when my boat was built (July 1974) and that it was shipped to a dealer in Melbourne that month. I have had subsequent correspondence with him and found him to be very helpful.
I have only motored my boat so far as I need to have a competent crew on board for the test sail. The standing rigging needs some tuning and I am not experienced in those matters. Hopefully will be sailing during March.
Thanks for contacting me...let me see some photos of you boat and I will send you some of mine....easier to see the similarities rather that talking about them. All the best, Philip
02-25-2017 08:38 PM
Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

Hello Phillip,
My name is Scott Davis. I am from the the United States, Minnesota to be more specific. I bought a 1976 Cheoy Lee Offshore 28 last August. I have not sailed it yet. It was in the water before I purchased it in Lake Huron, Michigan. I have been looking for a more current stream of information about the Offshore 28's but haven't come across too many besides your post in January of this year. It would be a great help to me if I had some kind of owner's manual or even an electrical diagram of the boat. I can poke around but would like to know where I am poking.
Let me know if can help, at least maybe to answer a few simple questions.
Thank you,
01-05-2017 07:28 AM
Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

I see the Offshore 28 thread has gone dry for a while so just to let everyone know that there are still some 28'ers out there. I am in Australia and bought mine a month ago. She has a Volvo MD2B, wheel steering, still has teak decks and sitka spruce mast/boom.
I am on a tight budget and research every little thing before making a decision. I want her to look good but not brand new so I have avoided varnish in favour of ordinary domestic decking oil on all external wood. I like the matt look and it remains to be seen how long a few coats will last. It is DEFINITELY worth the effort to really scrub the decks clean before starting to oil. I wish I had gone around the deck a few more times with the cleaner adn the wood really regains its teak colour the longer you scrub it. I will do so when the current deck oil wears off again !
Regarding the engine, I am no engineer and found the manual somewhat confusing, particularly as Volvo were trying to cover two different engine types in the one manual. My engine would not start easily (15-20 turns at least) and the advice I found that worked for me was simple. Close the seawater input seacock before starting. 5-8 turns and we're off. Then open the seacock again. All to do with reducing back-pressure in the exhaust or something. Who worked !
I am now focussing on oil and fuel filters and fuel cleanliness. I considered removing the fuel tank and cleaning it (had 25% full of old fuel) but was convinced by others that this was not necessary. Just add clean fuel to the partly filled 'old' tank (or drain off old fuel to a lower level and then fill) and then use an additive to 'remove' any water and kill off microbial growth in the old fuel and dilute it sufficiently to allow it to be burnt off in the engine over time. You may go through a few more filters as the algae die off but it is a lot easier than removing a large fuel tank and removing inspection plates/gaskets/pipes, etc. Older engines are a little more forgiving than modern diesel engines too.
My boat had an old Simrad WP32 Wheelpilot fitted when new. Spares are as rare as hens teeth now and the cheapest wheelpilot new is $2k plus. I managed to repair the mechanical parts using odds and ends from the tool box, plastic shims, superglue and luck. When I connected it to 12v it seemed to react...but remains to be seen whether it will hold a course or not in practice.
If anyone has any useful tips they have picked up or are experimenting with, either on this type of boat or engine, please let me know.

04-20-2014 12:33 PM
Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

to dwblueblue:
purchased my Choey Lee last Sept. but have yet to get it in the water. Received a box of parts that is my main hatch and although I can see a general shape to assemble it into I can't get the specifics. hoping you have a picture of yours that you could send me.
01-14-2013 03:27 PM
Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

I see this thread is pretty dated, and this comment will be of no help to the person who started this topic, asking for comments. However, I thought some comments about the Cheoy Lee Offshore 28 might be helpful to others. AND, I am curious what eventually happened with that "OS28."

We have owned our Offshore 28 since 2001 and have sailed her in light and heavy weather up and down the coast of Maine.

She is beamy (and roomy below) and therefore is not as fast as others, but she will move in light air and likes a breeze. She is a solid sailor. With a nice breeze she will settle into a groove and I can literally take my hand off the wheel and watch her sail herself; heading up a bit with a gust, then falling back into her groove.

We have done quite a bit of maintenance.

The large saloon (cabin) windows have leaked and been a challenge, but I think I have them fixed. They are, by the way, worth the hassle. We can sit at the table, rain or shine, and look directly out these windows, to watch everything happening around us.

I replaced all the closed ports with bronze ports and replaced teak veneer where damaged. When we first bought her, we discovered that the previous owner had run aground enough to expose the join between the keel and centerboard box. Six to eight layers of West System and glass later she was fine. The hull is solid glass.

Several years ago we removed the dull and crazing topside gelcoat, added a layer of glass and faired it with West then Interlux and finished with Perfection. We also did the cabin top. She now looks quite good.

The teak deck is "iffy," and I keep reglueing bungs that come loose. There may be a day when I have to... This year I am going to redrill some holes deeper and try that.

She is powered by a Yanmar 3GM30F and we can motor very comfortably and economically when we must.

Compass Rose turns heads and the varnished sitka mast, teak deck and trim, as they say, "looks good from the dock." She is a comfortable keel/c'board boat.

I would recommend her to anyone willing to varnish and keep up the maintenance.
06-14-2006 08:42 AM
islandman2 Depth is definately an issue just about everywhere along the Gulf coast. Especially with all these hurricanes we've had lately. A shallow-draft boat has a lot more choices for creeks, bayous and other protected anchorages farther from open water when a storm bears down.

I looked at this particular boat, and liked the overall layout, but unfortunately the problems with the decks is not limited to the teak overlay. The foredeck area is already spongy, indicating water intrusion there, and probably in other areas as well. It would take a lot of work to repair all this, but the boat could be brought back if it was worth it. I just wish I could get an opinion of this from someone who knows whether or not this particular model sails well enough to justify all that hard work.
06-11-2006 08:42 PM
Hawkwind I didn't realize you had depth issues down there. The only sailing I've done in that area was when I rented a wind surfer in Pensacola.

Sounds like you were looking for more specific info on that make of boat. Sorry I can't help ya.
06-11-2006 06:35 AM
islandman2 I love the way the teak decks look too, but regretably, the decks on this boat are worn down beyond the point of saving (according to the owner). I'll see it today. I'm a professional marine carpenter, and have installed lots of new teak decks, mainly on larger motoryachts where the owner wanted a teak overlay in the cockpit, sometimes on the foredeck as well. So I could replace the decks, but probably wouldn't, because of the weight up that high and the material cost and labor involved. (We put them down without fasteners these days, so they last much longer and you can sand them many more times because there are no screw heads to hit as they wear down). I do like all the other teak trim on the Cheoy Lee boats though, and would plan to keep that all finished bright.

Thanks for the input on the keel-centerboard configuration. Draft is a concern in the Gulf, as it's shallow everywhere near shore, but so is good sea-keeping ability offshore. I've read good things about some keel-centerboard boats though, like the Tartan 27, which I think Jeff on this forum holds in high regard. This Cheoy Lee may not be in the same catagory, I don't know, but it is of similar size and displacement. Just not sure about the original build quality.

I realize the centerboard would be a disadvantage in regard to the additional maintenance and hassel it requires. The current owner of this boat says that lowering it has little noticeable effect so he usually sails with it up... Maybe he doesn't sail to weather, I don't know. Will see the boat this morning.
06-11-2006 12:34 AM
Hawkwind You're gonna pull the teak decks? I love the way the Cheoy Lee's look with all that beautiful wood. Ah well, your choice (if ya buy) and I probably would get tired of caring for a teak deck too.

Anyhow, IMHO a centerboard boat is not the best choice, unless you have depth issues that require it. In addition to having the weight high on the keel, the mechanism will require maintenance and is a possible point of failure.

On the weight issue, lower positioned weight will offer a better counter to wind forces.

But the larger concern for me would be the centerboard itself. I had a swing keel for many years and they can be a pain sometimes. First off, it's tough to get bottom paint on the whole thing. A lift would make it better than a trailer, like I used, but there will still be places in the centerboard well that you just can't get to. The cable will fail, I replaced mine 3 times. The pivot point needs to be checked and it can be a major job to pull the keel/centerboard to replace this pin. Seaweed gets caught up in the cable, critters (zebra mussells up here) inhabit the well. Sometimes the board get's jammed in one position or another.

No offense to anyone with a centerboard boat. They're great in the proper environment. But I would rather have a fixed keel if I were sailing in the Gulf, which I assume is your home waters since you mentioned losing the last boat to Katrina.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome