Morris 28 Linda

1985 — 1991
C. W. (Chuck) Paine
Morris Yachts
# Built
Also Known As
Morris 28, Linda 28, Morris 28 Custom


Length Overall
28 1 / 8.6 m
Waterline Length
23 1 / 7.1 m
9 2 / 2.8 m
4 3 / 1.3 m
8,300 lb / 3,765 kg
3,900 lb / 1,769 kg (Lead)
Drawing of Morris 28 Linda
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Rig and Sails

Reported Sail Area
378′² / 35.1 m²
Total Sail Area
378′² / 35.2 m²
Sail Area
209′² / 19.4 m²
37 6 / 11.4 m
11 1 / 3.4 m
Air Draft
Sail Area
169′² / 15.7 m²
27 11 / 8.5 m
12 0 / 3.7 m
Forestay Length
30 5 / 9.3 m

Auxilary Power

Volvo Penta
Fuel Type
Fuel Capacity
18 gal / 68 l


Water Capacity
60 gal / 227 l
Holding Tank Capacity
34 gal / 128 l


Hull Speed
6.8 kn
Classic: 6.45 kn

Hull Speed

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.


Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

A more accurate formula devised by Dave Gerr in The Propeller Handbook replaces the Speed/Length ratio constant of 1.34 with a calculation based on the Displacement/Length ratio.

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio.311
Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

6.76 knots
Classic formula: 6.45 knots
Sail Area/Displacement
<16: under powered

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.


SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64)2/3

  • SA: Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D: Displacement in pounds.
<16: under powered
16-20: good performance
>20: high performance
>40: stiffer, more powerful

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.


Ballast / Displacement * 100

<40: less stiff, less powerful
>40: stiffer, more powerful
275-350: heavy

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.


D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
<100: ultralight
100-200: light
200-300: moderate
300-400: heavy
>400: very heavy
Comfort Ratio
20-30: coastal cruiser

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.


Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam1.33)

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
<20: lightweight racing boat
20-30: coastal cruiser
30-40: moderate bluewater cruising boat
40-50: heavy bluewater boat
>50: extremely heavy bluewater boat
Capsize Screening
<2.0: better suited for ocean passages

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.


CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
<2: better suited for ocean passages
>2: better suited for coastal cruising



Morris Yachts is well known for building sailboats that border on floating works of art. From this all-American builder comes the Linda 28 which was introduced in 1985 from drawing board of Chuck Paine, one of America’s pre-eminent naval architects. The Linda 28 is a fast and nimble pocket cruiser built on a custom basis for customers with an outstanding fit and finish, the kind you’d expect from Morris Yachts. Perhaps best of all she’s got the same drop dead handsome lines that have won over Morris lovers worldwide.


More than any other builder, Morris Yachts has nurtured a close tie with owners and admirers alike. Tom Morris founded the company on Southwest Harbor, Maine in 1972. His first notable mark into cruising yachts was the Frances 26 in 1974, a Chuck Paine design whose fine lines and craftsmanship took inspiration from luxury sailboat maker, Friendship Yachts. This was followed by the Leigh 30 (circa 1979), the Annie 29 (circa 1980) and the Justine 36 (circa 1983).

In 1980, a successful racing sailor from Westport, Connecticut by the name of Allan Stern approached Tom Morris for a boat between the 26 foot Frances and the 30 foot Annie and Leigh. Morris a known lover for small boats couldn’t say no. Stern’s commission was for a small cruising boat suitable for he and his wife to sail on Long Island Sound and to places beyond. As an avid racer, he wanted his little cruiser to have exceptional sailing performance.

The boat was named after Stern’s wife, Linda, and he purchased not only hull number one but also the tooling for production. The first boat was introduced in 1985, and production spanned five years, totaling 16 hulls, all highly customized, some of which were sold partially complete and owner finished.

Configuration & Layout

Despite her stout construction and overall displacement tipping the scales at a hefty 8,300 lbs, belies a boat with performance capability. A ballast/displacement ratio of 45% means a stiff boat able to hold her canvas over a large wind envelope.

Under the waterline she features a full keel with the leading edge placed very far aft to aid nimbleness and performance. Gone are the wineglass section blends between fin and hull, traditionally used up to the 1980s. This is a modern performance full keel design where the fin is a separate form to the hull. Her section profiles are easy and her beam modest for good seakeeping motion. Maximum draft is only 4′ 4″ which pays useful dividends when exploring coastal bays.

Chuck Paine recalls the stern was a scaled down copy of the one he had developed for the Justine 36. The rig is of masthead sloop variety, and the deck and cockpit has a traditional arrangement. Morris Yachts allows a high degree of owner customization during the build process leading to many variations on the standard details. The cockpit may feature a tiller or wheel for steering. The interior may have a quarter berth or large navigation station portside of the companionway while the head may be aft starboardside or foreward to port. The saloon and V-berth may have an open arrangement or be fully separated via a bulkhead and cabin door.


Overall construction is robust. The hull is solid fiberglass, while decks are balsa cored to keep topside weight down. The ballast is an externally mounted cast of lead, bolted to the keel stub. Many examples have teak non-skid and teak highlights on deck may include the toerail, cockpit seating, and companionway.

Details down below include solid teak bulkheads, highly varnished pine slating, and dark mahogany trim. The mast is keel stepped. Auxiliary power is commonly provided by a 13HP Westerbeke or 18HP Volvo diesel. Standard tankage is 18, 60, and 34 gallons for fuel, water, and holding tanks respectively.

Under Sail

The Linda 28 is seakindly and fast, though specifically designed for day sailing and coastal cruising she has capability for extended cruising into blue waters. The 4′ 4″ draft makes accessing shoal waters easy and opens up the Bahamas and Florida Keys as cruising grounds. While loaded down with cruising gear, beware that it’s easy to have the boat stern heavy due the leading edge of the keel (hence ballast) so far aft, this is a gremlin Chuck Paine has noted on occasion.

Buyers Notes

It’s worth mentioning some of the Morris 28’s were owner finished. The quality of these custom boats will vary, some being even better quality than factory versions, while other are not.

Links, References and Further Reading

» The official Morris Yachts website, Linda 28 details.


Thanks goes to Chuck Paine and also Morris Yachts for providing background history as well as images.

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