The morning was dotted with patches of fog, with a steady 10 knot wind blowing into the San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate, which was off my port beam. I had decided to make the short-cut passage into Richmond’s Inner Harbor, foregoing the well-marked Brickyard entrance to the North. Following the chart carefully, I picked my way through a circuitous route in the ‘skinny water’ south of Brooks Island where the depths came up to 4.5 feet at times (near high tide!). I was glad (and felt a bit triumphant) to reach the dredged Inner Harbor at the Protrero Turn (38’ depth) after traversing several miles of unmarked portions of the Bay off the Richmond, CA shoreline.
Later that morning, while pushing along at a leisurely 5mph while departing the marina at Port Richmond, I spotted an interesting power boat (actually just the roof top from my vantage point on the causeway) near the end of a row, a few docks down. Ever the curious mariner, I turned into the mass of sail and power vessels and motored for about 8 minutes until I’d reached her. Alongside stood a boat that I’d set to sea in (nearly as readily as I would in my Rosborough) and a vessel I’d wanted to see for some time. It was the Parker 2830 Extended Cabin, and was the only one I’d seen in the dozens of marinas I’ve inspected in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She had a pair of Yamaha 250’s in the rear, and looked like she could handle all 500hp, although she’s rated for 600hp maximum (173 gal. fuel tank). In seeing the vessel and doing the associated research, I came to realize that this is one yacht that is overbuilt throughout. The manufacturer puts quality into all facets of finishing and equipping this fine vessel and a large line of center console, walkaround and sport cabin boats.
Parker Marine Enterprises, of Beaufort, NC, has been in the boat building business since 1960. Now, some 50 years after the first boat was produced, the Parker name is synonymous with American-built quality and is known as “the boat you want under you when the seas get rough”. There doesn’t seem to be any detail left unattended in this (or any of the other Parker models), and one gets a feeling that the boat that is at the top of its evolutionary form, having recognized and built on everything its builders have learned in 50 years of boat building.
The sleek 28-footer has an all-business look to it, with no exterior teak or wood to maintain. You board through the starboard, aft transom door (although the foredeck is reasonable if you have an elevated shoreside perch) and are immediately surrounded by thoughtfully-placed, quality hatches, steps and deck fixtures that are admittedly designed for fishing, but can be used for storage and other purposes. I noticed the four sunken (located in their own indents in the deck) cockpit self-bailers with plugs, the conveniently-located water wash-down outlet, the aft-facing countertop with dual, flush-mounted compartment doors (one of which is large and gas-strut supported), the deck hatches with flush stainless hinges, multiple rod holders mounted in the side deck, etc. The cockpit is wide-open and does not feature an upholstered (or otherwise) seating area. This is to make the most space possible for the fisherman, and a couple of comfy deck chairs fit very nicely with or without fishing poles.
Going forward to the bow, you’ll appreciate the lighted steps to the side, and the stainless steel railings on the roof for support. You’ll also value the forethought of the builders and designers when you inadvertently step on an unengaged cleat and find that, when they’re not being used, they collapse, providing a very smooth contact surface.
On the bow, the ground tackle includes a top-grade Lewmar windlass, a heavy-duty plow-type anchor, a quality stainless anchor guide & roller, a hatch that gives you access to the anchor locker, a stout, all-fiberglass pulpit, proper cleats and stainless steel railings on all sides and stainless, water resistant navigation lights (mounted here to reduce glare from the lights when navigating at night) and a see-through hatch that gives ventilation, egress and a ‘moonroof’ to passengers in the sleeping compartment below.
The 2830’s roof features the aforementioned stainless steel rails, a folding anchor light, a pair of trumpet style horns (very nice and unusual for a vessel this size) and ample space for mounting a couple rows of fisherman’s “rocket launchers” (rod holders) aft and a radar mast forward.
The locking cockpit door (the only way to enter the cabin) slides conveniently to port and you enter to starboard. Curiously, Parker doesn’t offer any preferred outfitting for the salon of the 2830, but instead gives the owner/buyer the equivalent of a blank page to start with. Depending on whether or not you’re going to use the boat for a hard-core fishing boat, a part -time fishing/part-time cruising vessel, or a cruising vessel without a rod aboard her, the salon can be set-up to match. A galley, dinette and various appliances are available from Parker and aftermarket rigging firms.
The standard features denote forethought and Parker-like quality. The ladder-back chairs with cushions are at the top of the choices for a boat this size, and there are secure grab rails throughout. The windshield and windows are tastefully tinted (just enough to give you comfort-of-vision in strong sunlight) and they feature anodized aluminum frames. The forward windows (the two windshields) open to forward to a nearly verticle position for direct ventilation, and seal tightly when closed (nice feature!). Overhead lighting, companion seats, a headliner and interior storage complete the salon. The helm is very ship-like and mariners will appreciate the quality of the helm itself and the placement of instruments and throttle controls.
Below is the electric head (with holding tank and macerator pump) and the sleeping quarters with twin beds and cushions. Overhead lighting, a hatch (for ventilation, emergency egress and sun/moon roof qualities) and a pair of screened port lights finish out the sleeping accommodations. You can add items here too, including a hanging locker, more electronics, etc.
A quick note about the engine mounts. Parker mounted the twin engines on an engine platform that also serves as the boarding and swim deck. This keeps the transom free and increases the overall length of the boat. Unlike vessels that utilize a hull-extension (an actual, in-water, near-full or full beam extension of the hull) for this however, the platform stays above the waterline.
Parker has seen to the basics and then some (the raw-water wash down system, for instance), while leaving some “custom” outfitting to the client. Take a look at the used market and you’ll find a wider variety of interior arrangements than on other hulls. You’ll also discover that Parker vessels hold their value longer than most, which makes them a good investment when new.
Whether you’re looking for a fishing boat, a fishing boat that you can stay on comfortably, or a fully-outfitted yacht for exploring, the Parker 2830 Extended Cabin may be the boat for you. The company also builds several models you’ll want to research, including the Parker 2320 Sport Cabin, the 2520 Sport Cabin, the 2530 XLD Sport Cabin, the 2520 XL Sport Cabin, the 2530 Extended Cabin and the 2830 XLD Sport Cabin.