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Best Handling boat in the 40'-50' Range

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Davidw2k, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Davidw2k

    Davidw2k New Member

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    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
  2. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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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
  3. Davidw2k

    Davidw2k New Member

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    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?
  4. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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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...
  5. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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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.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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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.
  7. Davidw2k

    Davidw2k New Member

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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.
  8. Davidw2k

    Davidw2k New Member

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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.

    [​IMG]
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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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.
  10. sgawiser

    sgawiser New Member

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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.
  11. MaxPower

    MaxPower Senior Member

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    At Sea ... Aahhh ...
    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
  12. Jason Blake

    Jason Blake New Member

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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
  13. dei6360

    dei6360 New Member

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    Have you looked at Regal. There 44 and 52 Sport Coupe are nice.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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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.
  15. Davidw2k

    Davidw2k New Member

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    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.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not sure I'd go the Fountain route even though I like their boats:
    http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/499982-reggie-fountain-buoyant-in-bankruptcy.
    I assume that you are downstate (4' on the Lakes are backbreakers & 8' is death). Whatever you look at investigate the dealership to see how they cover the area and their customers. For some you're history as soon as you walk out the door; others with only a couple of locations travel to you wherever you are. Some have service departments everywhere and some you have to invest a day to bring your boat in, another to get it back and they have one mechanic to cover the fleet. Who you deal with is very important.
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    if you're really looking at Express then Tiara should be at the top of your list, Formula as well although a little more performance oriented. very different boats so that really comes down to what you need and prefer.

    the deal killer with Sea Rays is serviceability. Sea Ray engineers are really good at putting stuff where you can only reach it with one hand... while obviously things vary from year to year and model to model, the first think i'd check on a SR before drooling over the flat screens and drink holders is the location of the basic stuff like Genset, filters, water pumps, bilge pumps, etc... if you cant' reach a bilge pump or water pump with BOTH hands, servicie will cost you twice the bruises if you diy and twice the money if you pay someone... that's a deal killer in my book.

    and while i mention SR, other builders are not much better.

    also, if you're looking for handling and seaworthyness, i dont think anyboat with a reverse sheer can be taken seriously in that department. that dipping bow SR stylists seem to love, doens't belong on a boat designed to run offshore...

    and dont' overlook Coupes and Downeasts...
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Pascal makes a very good point about servicability. I once got stuck on the outboard side of an engine on a 46 SR. Had to convince myself that I was a snake (not a big stretch:) ). If you go with IPS/Zeus space abounds. The 40PC I just ran had great access all around the 370hp Volvos and entrance from either the day hatch or raising the transom. If it didn't have IPS the motors would have consumed the aft cabin area as well.
  19. Davidw2k

    Davidw2k New Member

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    Thank you for your comments Pascal and NYCAP123,
    I didn't know fountain was in bankruptcy! That will definitely make me think twice before buying their boat. I think that from what I've been hearing anyway that the formula 45/40 and the tiara 43 would be the best boats, so I'm leaning more towards them than a fountain. Plus, the marina where I keep my current boat is both a tiara and formula dealership/service center, so that's a big help (even though the fountain dealership/service is just down the street).
    Please let me know if there's anything I shouldn't overlook (in terms of better engines, options, key features) that I should consider before purchasing either a formula 45 yacht or a 43/39 tiara sovran (depending upon the deal I get).
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I think you just told me where you dock. If I'm right you're dealing with good people. If you tend to run to the ocean for fishing I rec. the Tiara. If you're doing more family/sport/entertainment cruising go with the Formula. If it would be a help, I'll be happy to put you in touch with owners of both so you can get their unbiased opinions. It really comes down to your cruising style though (fishing vs, cruising). Both are good boats. Both come with Volve/IPS. Good luck and have a safe summer.

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