History of the Multichine 28 class
The Multichine 28 was designed in the early nineties. At that time our office operated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The economy then was quite recessive and there was a strong demand for an inexpensive ocean sailboat. Roberto Barros, since he started designing and building yachts, had a dream of producing a cheap, high quality cruising sailboat, capable of fulfilling the desire of middle class people to set sail with their own boat. Since he had the intention of building one of these boats for his family's use, soon the news spread among his acquaintances.
Our office was absolutely right about the interest of the public for a boat like that. Before the project was concluded, we already had a couple of clients acquiring the plans. The first client was José Manoel Gonzales Fernandes, ‘Manolo’, a Spaniard whose parents immigrated to Brazil when he was a boy. ‘Manolo’, at the time a newcomer to the sport of sailing, became involved with this commitment with great enthusiasm.
He contributed for the quick acceptance of the Multichine 28 Class in many ways. As soon as he had the plans in hands, he ordered the construction of the first MC28, to be built at a renowned custom boatyard, Marcos Toledo’s Estaleiro Estrutural, from the city of Cabo Frio, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In one year’s time, his MC28 Sabadear, was on the water, and when it was reported that the boat went sailing from Cabo Frio to the capital of the state, dozens of potential builders all over the country acquired the plans.
Manolo, in a very friendly gesture, gave us a copy of the keys of his boat and authorized us to show her to anyone interested in building a MC28. With this bona fide help, the MC28 community gave an impressive jump ahead, bringing plenty of new blood to the class. Meanwhile, knowing that Roberto Barros intended to build one of these boats, a friend of his, Roberto Ceppas, offered to build two MC28 in tandem at his shed, not far from the huge Maracanã Football Stadium, one of the most famous Rio’s landmarks, a very convenient place, considering its proximity to downtown, where our yacht design office was then established, and a stone throw from an underground station. The two boats started to be built in 1993, and perhaps because the work resumed practically to weekends only, it took five years to finish the boats. For Roberto Barros the waiting was longer still. He took two more years to equip his boat. In April, 2000, Fiu was launched at the Rio Boat Show event, a long time after Makay, his friend’s boat.
At that time, other yachts of the class were being completed, two of them built at the city of Recife, Pernambuco, a state in the Northeast coast of Brazil. These were Utopia, owned by the air force pilot Breno Faria Lima and Tatuamunha, owned by Fábio Orsini, a lawyer from the state of São Paulo. Being very good friends, they decided to participate in the 1999 Recife to Fernando de Noronha regatta, a very popular three hundred miles ocean race to that paradisiacal South Atlantic Island. Among more than one hundred participants, in spite of being one of the smallest boats in the race, Tatuamunha was the thirty-seventh boat to cross the line, completing the course in 48 hours, what meant one hundred and fifty miles runs, in average, an excellent performance for a twenty eight footer. At that race there were seven other boats from our office, and except for the sistership Utopya, all others were much larger than Tatuamunha. To crown the expressive participation of boats from our designs, the racing committee established a prize for the first yacht to arrive among our fleet. Besides winning the race in her class, Tatuamunha won that prize as well, and that was toasted effusively at the awarding ceremony.
Revista Offshore, a renowned Brazilian nautical magazine, invited Lars Grael, the Brazilian Tornado class Olympic medalist, to test the class aboard the MC28 number one, the yacht Sabadear. The article he wrote about this trial made such eloquent compliments to the design that his report was another step in increasing the MC28 prestige.
In 2002 the class reached the impressive number of one hundred builders. They were mostly amateurs and came from all parts of Brazil. The fame of the class began to spread internationally, and a new horizon started to open for the MC28.
The first two international builders came from Argentina and Portugal. Others followed and in January 2008 there were MC28 builders in seven different countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Portugal, Spain and United States.
In May 2007 our office was transferred from the city of Rio de Janeiro to Perth, Australia, and since then, it is from there that the plans are being offered. Presently there are Multichines 28 being built in three continents and some of them are already undertaking long distance cruises, confirming the attributes of a very special blue water cruising boat advertised when the plans were introduced.
Multichine 28 Class main achievements:
1992 – The plans were introduced in the market
1993 – ‘Manolo’ orders the construction of his boat to Estaleiro Estrural, from Cabo Frio, Brazil
1993 – Roberto Barros and Roberto Ceppas start the construction of two MC28 together.
1994 – Sabadear, the first MC28, sails from Cabo Frio to Rio de Janeiro.
1994 – Lars Grael, the Tornado Class Olympic medalist, tests the MC28 for Revista Offshore
1995 - The MC28 Noctiluca sails from Cabo Frio to Santos in a 280 miles trip.
1998 – Odara, Makay,Tatuamunha and Utopia are launched.
1999 – Tatuamunha and Utopya take part in the 300 miles Recife/Frenando de Noronha race.
2000 – Roberto Barros’ Fiu, is invited to the Rio Boat Show as special guest.
2001 – Fiu sails from Rio to Santos and back in a 440 miles trip
2002 – The class reaches the impressive number of 100 builders
2004 – Fiu takes 45 hours to complete the 300 miles Recife/Fernando de Noronha Race
2005 – Fiu completes three thousand miles sailing single-handed in three 1000 miles legs.
2007 – Flavio Bezerra sails his home built MC28 Access from Rio de Janeiro to Saint Martin
single-handed. Flavio is the first to accomplish an international trip with a MC28