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Best Handling boat in the 40'-50' Range

 
 
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Handling boat in the 40'-50' Range

I'm about to sell my boat and am in the process of finding an express cruiser in the 40-50 foot range. While I've considered purchasing an azimut or a sunseeker because of their (more than) luxurious and modern interiors, I really want a boat that handles well in a big chop/moderately rough seas and has pod drives (ips/zeus). That said, does anyone have experience with the Formula 45 Yacht? I've been on that boat several times at boat shows and alike (and it's truly is beautiful), but I have never driven it. If there are any other express cruisers that you think I should consider please describe them below. All help is much appreciated.

David
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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David, if you want something with performance, you might want to stay clear of those boats and look towards a Viking 46/52 open for example. You could always leave all the out riggers/tower off.
The sport ‘fishers’ are designed so if you do encounter a bad day on the water, it will still get you home. The sports ‘cruisers’ are designed around how many beds/couches they can fit in the boat, and calm water cruising. Cheers

Far
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 84far
David, if you want something with performance, you might want to stay clear of those boats and look towards a Viking 46/52 open for example. You could always leave all the out riggers/tower off.
The sport ‘fishers’ are designed so if you do encounter a bad day on the water, it will still get you home. The sports ‘cruisers’ are designed around how many beds/couches they can fit in the boat, and calm water cruising. Cheers

Far
Thanks for your help. I definitely know first hand that sport fishers handle better in rough seas compared to any cruiser, but they're not in my price range (unless I were to get an older sportfish). In the sports cruisers category, which boat would you recommend?
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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David,

It would help if you quantified "handling". Are you looking for something that handles rough water well, or something easy to handle around docks? For example, Catmando's Nortech suggestion would be good for handling rough water at high speeds, although the Arneson drives would make it a handful around docks.

I haven't been onboard the 45' Formula, but I've been on a number of Formulas through the years. They are well built boats that perform reasonably well for their weight. The real hefty part is the price tag on Formulas.

We have a 540 Sundancer in the fold. This boat is as easy to dock as any center console boat and the ride in rough water is excellent, mostly due to its size and weight. It's also a fairly fast boat. We cruise all day at 28-30 knots and top-out at 35 knots. When you get into the larger, later model Sea Rays, they are often equipped with bow thrusters, taking all the skill out of maneuvering.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it would be good you say what you are after for like accommodation number cabins, crusing type if only for a day to the beach and back or long passages are on the list, and type of performance desired. A Nor Tech as suggested above can do like 90 mph but accommodation will be very cramped. Once you are at it in this type of high performance cruiser you can put Cigarette, Outerlimits, Fountain and another couple of builders in the mix.
If handling is your priority I would look at Fountain Express Cruiser range. They make a 38 and 48 and both handle beautiful. I drove a 48 and it rides like a queen.
If you want a compromise between luxury and seakeeping I would definitly look at a Tiara 4300 Sovran. I saw one on Yachtworld I think it is an 06 or 07and that is a great looking boat. Have seen Tiara in the past and their quality is top categoty IMO.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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David. The 45 Formula is a beauty, and handles as well in heavy seas as any in it's class. It's not a big seller though because the competition is fierce in the 45/46 range. For that reason don't even think about list price. I do a bit of work for a Formula dealer that I know will cut one hellova deal and I'd be happy to introduce you if you'd like. He recently offered my boss an incredible deal on a 2010 40PC. Unfortunately it was still over budget and my boss found a leftover '08. On that lower end of the scale I've run several 33, 38, 40 and 42PC's for that dealer and his customers in some fairly serious water and they are fun, good running boats. We just put the '08 40PC with IPS through an exhaustive survey and our guy had nothing but good to say. We just got in yesterday from a 10 day, 900 mile "shakedown" cruise from Detroit and loved every minute. She performed flawlessly cruising at 28/29kts and topping out about 34kts. She also garnered more than a few compliments from people on the dock. PM me if I can help in any way. BTW, I don't sell boats and have no stake in any deals. I also have extensive experience with Sea Rays and like them (especially the 46). I've been in 10' nasty seas with those. You don't want to be there, but she handled it. Biggest problem with them is that there are a gazillion of them so resale is hard and they're not special on the dock.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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NYCAP123,
I want to try to stay clear from sea rays since like you said, resale value will be a problem (and the quality of the boat themselves, I'm talking about underneath all the veneers and plush seating i.e. wiring etc, seems to sub par compared to the formula). Thanks for the comments, keep 'em coming.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Outerlimits or nor-tech type boats (high performance) are not quite what I'm looking for since I have no need to sacrifice entertaining space and gas money to go 90+ mph.
Though I have no experience with arneson drives, I've heard from a friend of mine who has a pershing that they handle well and are very responsive. From what I do know, pod drives (or at the very least a bow thruster) are a priority for my next boat.
To address yachtforums admin question about what I mean by "handling", i simply want a boat that drives well (and DRY) in 4 footers but can withstand 8 footers if need be. Thus, exceptional seaworthiness isn't a must. With all of this mind (and after doing a little more research), the other boats that I have questions about are the 46 cobalt, princess/viking v42, and the tiara 4300 sovran (thanks liam for reminding about that). Also, I came across a really nice boat called a rapsody s50. I know nothing about it except that it's made in the netherlands and the hull is available in steel or aluminum. The exterior styling is traditional and the interior is modern.

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Old 06-04-2010, 02:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cobalts are very good boats, but they have a very limited dealer network in this area. I consider the dealer even more important than the brand. My boss just sold his Viking 50SC (made by Princess for the US market). IMHO great boats. They (all Vikings) also have good representation in this area and a ton of inventory just down the road in NJ. I also work with a lot of Tiaras through the same dealer as the Formulas. Very good boats. Most seaworthy of those mentioned so far. Their layout is more condusive to fishing than entertaining though. I'm not a lover of surface piercing drives (Arnesons). They are fast, but I don't like their handling in close quarters and I can't think of a single person qualified to work on them on Long Island. Although I don't like people using thrusters (they are often depended on instead of developing docking skills), I do recommend getting one when you go over 40'. It may save your glass when the winds or current kick up while docking. That is unless you go with IPS or Zeus (which I consider the future of boating in this range). Pod drives (Marmot & K1W1 I'm using the term loosly) make maneuvering a cinch, increase speed, reduce turning radius and fuel consumption.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Think about a Sabre 40 or the new 46

Both are Zeus drives. We were on a 40 three miles off Miami in a gale with 6-8 footers mixed with some higher waves. While I will not say I was most comfortable, the boat had no problem handling the rough seas and we were all comfortable later when the front hit with winds clocked at 60+ knots during the Miami Show.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidw2k
Though I have no experience with arneson drives, I've heard from a friend of mine who has a pershing that they handle well and are very responsive.
you are correct. my friend has a pershing 80 that i've driven. it's like a speedboat on rails ... extremely responsive. incredible machine. i loved it so much that i ordered one & shld take med delivery july end.

0-54 kts - 90 secs ... not bad for a 80 footer ...
cruise at 48 kts as long as u like

cheers
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I just came out of a 45 Formula Yacht. I loved the boat except it didnt have any rod holders and I wanted to get back into fishing. ( I actually put two rod holders on the boat) The Formula 45 handled just fine for a cruising boat. I was in 8 foot seas off Block Island and at 20 knots she road into the head sea with no problems. The Volvo IPS drive was the easiest thing to dock and drive that has ever been invented! I would be happy to discuss more if you want to give me a call. Send me a message and we can talk more. You should be able to pick one up for around 450-500 a year or two old. This is half the price of what they were new

JB
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Have you looked at Regal. There 44 and 52 Sport Coupe are nice.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I would take a serious look at the Fountain 48' SC, they are fast and fuel efficient, and have a nice interior and cockpit layout.

The Formula's are nice also and handle well.

Searay's have grown on me and I've run lots of them. They are built strong enough, are nicely finished, and have everything you want for cruising. Albeit they are not the best in any category, but good in every, and suit just about any pleasure boaters needs, and the price is right on the used side. I just delivered a 58 SB with 1050 mans, for an owner who has been a long time boat and trading up from a 45' who went through all of these and the 52' Tiara was actually top on the list, but the searay won out because of draft and price of the particular one he bought. After delivering the boat with him and his wife from Delaware to Ohio, he was completely happy with his purchase

Tiara also builds a very strong boat and great riding, but is more engineered for fishing then the others mentioned and not the fastest in class by any means.......and the non skid is not the best on bare feet. But all in all a well thought out and built boat.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I would take a serious look at the Fountain 48' SC, they are fast and fuel efficient, and have a nice interior and cockpit layout.

The Formula's are nice also and handle well.

Searay's have grown on me and I've run lots of them. They are built strong enough, are nicely finished, and have everything you want for cruising. Albeit they are not the best in any category, but good in every, and suit just about any pleasure boaters needs, and the price is right on the used side. I just delivered a 58 SB with 1050 mans, for an owner who has been a long time boat and trading up from a 45' who went through all of these and the 52' Tiara was actually top on the list, but the searay won out because of draft and price of the particular one he bought. After delivering the boat with him and his wife from Delaware to Ohio, he was completely happy with his purchase

Tiara also builds a very strong boat and great riding, but is more engineered for fishing then the others mentioned and not the fastest in class by any means.......and the non skid is not the best on bare feet. But all in all a well thought out and built boat.
There's a fountain dealership in the area where I do my boating so I think I'll take your advice and look at the 48 fountain this weekend. After looking online at the boat and the boattest report, its definitely something worth looking at.
I've been on the 39 tiara and it rides quite well. Maybe the cabin and deck isn't as nice lets say that of the formula, but I'm sure it handles better. In any case, I appreciate all of the comments, and if there are any recommendations or different manufacturers/models that I should consider please let me know. As a general rule, I want to try stay clear of the type of boats (i'm not going to mention any manufacturers, but I think you all know what I mean) that are more or less like "glorified winnebagos," which sacrifice style, quality, and structure integrity for the sake of adding an extra cabin.
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