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Buying 54' Donzi

Discussion in 'Donzi/Roscioli Yacht' started by DOCKMASTER, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Hi all, new here and this is my first topic. Forgive me if I don't post it correctly.

    I'm in currently in the process of buying a 1994 54' Donzi and wondering what info is out there. I see lots of posts about 65's but nothing on the 54's. The boat is on the west coast, in fabulous condition and I'll be taking to Alaska where it will be home ported in Ketchikan and used for salmon and halibut fishing and cruising the inside passage. My last boat there wasa Sea Ray 390 which I really liked but this is obviously a huge step up.
    The Donzi has low hour12v92 DDEC engines, a 20kw gen and an 8 kw gen. The interior was completely redone in 2005 and I love it. New electronics (Furuno NavNet) in 2005 and tons of custom upgrades.
    I sea trial the boat in a few days so wondering if anyone can give me any particular issue I should be on the look out for with this make/model.
    Any input is appreciated.
  2. CaptTom

    CaptTom Senior Member

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    You need to get a survey done, on the hull and on the engines. That will tell a lot. Also, spend the bucks and get an oil analysis as it will tell you what's in the crankcase (i.e. metals, water/antifreeze, fuel, etc).
  3. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Thanks. Yes, full surveys and oil analysis will be done. Was looking more for something specific with the Donzi if I needed to be on the look out for something.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    E-mail Manny that's on this forum. He knows a ton about the Donzi's and their history.
  5. Manny

    Manny Senior Member

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    the 54' Donzi is a great boat. there are no real issues concerning the construction if that's what you're asking.
  6. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Thanks all. Appreciate the input. Hope to be back on here in a few weeks as a Donzi owner.
  7. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    I am a big fan of Donzi SFs

    I have been running and owning 35-50 production SFs for over 20 years...

    the 80 EB is on my bucket list......

    awesome boat....

    second on the list is the 77 Hat E/B
  8. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Yeah an 80' or even 70' is way too big for me, not to mention beyond my budget. To be honest, the 54' Donzi is bigger than I was looking. I do a lot of slow speed, very near shore salmon trolling so was looking more in the 40' - 45' range when the opportunity on the Donzi fell in my lap. It's pretty heavy, has a draft of 4'4" and pretty large rudders so I'm hoping it will handle reasonably well when slow trolling in some wind and current. It does not have a tower so that's a plus for me.
    I love everything about this boat although given my choice I'd prefer it to have 4-stroke diesels vs. the 12v92's but everything I have been able to find says these are good engines if well cared for. I don't tournament fish or have any need to push the boat hard so hopefully with gentle use I'll get some hours out of them.
  9. Donzi 54

    Donzi 54 New Member

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    I own hull number 4 and can tell you she is built solid and will handle rough waters well. It is a large for 54 and great for traveling. Something you might not have considered is that the hvac is a chiller system and well keep the boat toasty warm in the coldest of waters if working properly. That should be a plus for you. Only draw back is explaining to uninformed what kind of boat it is :)
  10. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    I had planned to install a diesel fired hydronic heat system as I assumed the HVAC is a typical reverse cycle system. I know from past the reverse cycle units do not do very well in cold water as a heat source. Are you saying this system is not a reverse cycle system? I don't know what you mean by a "chiller" system. Please elaborate.
  11. Donzi 54

    Donzi 54 New Member

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    In simple terms a chiller system has a closed fresh water or(antifreeze filled) loop that cools (or heats) fresh water, then pumps it through the insulated piping loop to air handlers. Mainly used on larger yachts but Roscioli installed on their sport fisherman's to our benefit. Just a note of caution if you store boat for winter make sure there is antifreeze in the chiller loop or you will break piping and it will not be easily replaced.
  12. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Wow, that's awesome. You likely just saved me a pile of money on an unneccsary additional heataing sysytem. Do you know how the system heats the closed loop fluids? I assume it is via electrical heating elements? I wonder if there is any way to tie the loop into the main engines to use waste heat?

    I hope you don't mind me asking questions as I get familiar with the boat and systems? What engines do you have?
  13. Donzi 54

    Donzi 54 New Member

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    It still is a reverse cycle system but instead of it pumping the cooled or heated water back over board it stays in the loop and is pumped by a separate chiller pump though out the boat. You still have a raw water side that takes in sea water. I've had our boat in high thirty degree water and had no problems heating the boat. But make sure both hvac compressor are working properly. If you run on only one you will not get enough heat or ac in the worst of temperatures. Have somebody check them that knows how a chiller system works. I would assume you have the same Marine Air system that I have.

    No problem answering your questions. See if the past owner has the build blue prints for the boats systems. Mine came in PVC tube and have been very helpful at times. I'm guessing your boat is hull 5 is that right?

    Our 12/92s were replaced with a pair of MTU 12v2000 series.
  14. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    I also like the Donzi's but have little to add to the 54 discussion, sorry.
    77EB Hatt? I'd make that alot lower on the list, and you will also after a sea trial I'd think.
  15. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Donzi 54 - I don't know the hull # on the one I'm buying or even how to tell? It's a 1994 model year if that makes a difference.

    Curious why you changed to MTU's. Did you have problems with the 12v92's?
  16. Donzi 54

    Donzi 54 New Member

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    The build number is part of the hull id number on transom. It will be the number after 54. Probably 005 or 006, they only built a handful and I don't think they ever built more then two in a single year.

    "Need for speed" was why the 92's were taken out. With the MTU 2000 the boat will cruise at 32kt if I want to watch the 100's fly out of my pockets:(
  17. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I assume it's TIGER SHARK II which is 54 hull 005.
  18. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    I do have one thing to add- inspect the fuel tanks for leaks. My 65 has had one replaced and I know of a 73 that had three replaced due to leaks. While I have not heard of 54's with issues it can't hurt to check carefully.
  19. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    Thanks for the tip on fuel tanks, I'll definitely look close.

    On a separate note, my haul out surveyor noted the distance from the aft edge of the struts to the props is nearly 5". He said this should be no greater than the diameter of the shaft which is 2.5" . Anyone know if this is how Donzi built them or have similar issue? Shafts appear original so just wondering how much to press on this issue.
  20. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER New Member

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    RER- do you know much about this boat? Yes, it is Tiger Shark II, hull #5. Initial survey did not come back as good as I had hoped. Current owner is the second since new and had the boat since 08'. Doesn't look like they took very good care of it. Nothing that can't be fixed, I just thought the boat was in better condition. The seller seems willing to work with me on some of the bigger issues. Just hope survey didn't miss anything major.

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