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Help design the ultimate retirement boating plan!

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by SSonny, May 29, 2017.

  1. SSonny

    SSonny New Member

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    Location:
    Houston Texas
    Hello to all and thanks for reading and participating in this thread.....

    My goal is to help many others thinking of jumping into the cruising lifestyle with several ideas/questions.....

    My wife and I are about 2 years away from retirement and love the idea of a mid size cruiser homeported in either Florida or Caribbean.

    About us...

    Still young (55) and young at heart, Ex-Navy Surface Warfare officer, Engineer, previous boat was 35' Carver Mariner.
    Both Divers, want to explore Caribbean
    Thinking 50-62' with room for 3 couples, would like to handle ourselves, Azimut 55S is current leading candidate!

    Best boat?
    Best home Port?

    Thanks
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    To possibly help you with boat choices, what is it you like about the Azimut 55S? What led you to select it? Are you talking new or used? If used, what age?

    As to home port, are you going to continue living in Houston and keep your boat in FL or the Caribbean? Asking that as I think the convenience of flying to and from would be important if you are.
  3. SSonny

    SSonny New Member

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    We are thinking of relocating to Florida if you have ideas of great marina/condo setting. Prefer west coast but easy 2 day transit into Bahamas and beyond.

    I like the look and performance of the 55s but may opt for 55 fly (or certainly consider other manufacturers). Thinking used but 2010 or later.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, you can search this site and you'll see that you're not going to get recommendations here for Azimut nor their warranty service which is handled by one dealership chain 100%.

    East coast is only one day. However, looking on the West Coast, a lot of moderate prices in the Cape Coral area, even a bit below Ft. Myers. Now, when it comes to beautiful towns I'd recommend Naples and Venice but they're pricier.

    As to other boats, I'd suggest looking at Sunseeker. We own a 65 Manhattan, but they recently introduced a 52 Manhattan (Flybridge) which comes with shafts or pods, top speed around 31 and cruise 26 or so, three cabins plus a small crew cabin if you so choose. We love our 65 and now they have a new 66.

    If you're willing to stretch size a bit, an altogether different style boat would be a Hatteras 60.

    If you're happy with an Express, you have the Sunseeker Predator, a good boat. They now come in 57 and 68 models. You not only lose the flybridge but by going to that style you loose some cabin space as the galley is moved to the lower deck.

    I'd also look at the Riva 63's if flybridge not a must, come in both an open and coupe model. We have a coupe. Nice WOT of 40 knots and cruise of 35 knots.

    Sorry if it seems leading you toward what we own, but it's natural as it's what we preferred after extensive looking.

    For Caribbean cruising, I would push the size up a bit from your starting point. One significant challenge you face getting to and then in the Caribbean is range. The Riva is very short of it with only around 260 nm. The Sunseeker 65 has the same range at cruise but gains up into the 400 nm range at slower speeds. Even the Hatteras 60 isn't much better than the Sunseeker.

    The Azimut 55S only has fuel capacity of 423 gallons. It's range is just barely over 200 nm.

    If greater range is important to you, then means one of two things. Either going to have to go with a boat more designed for long range cruising and slower or go to a larger boat. As an example the Hatteras 70 has range over 500 nm.

    You're going to need to reevaluate what is most important from the boat, what speeds and range you can live with, then it will be easier to focus on boats that fit your needs.
  5. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Heck of a fuel burner on a retirement budget. Muts don't have many fans around here.

    Can you fill us in on what your needs really will be vs looking at a flashy tub?
  6. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    If you're going to dive with tanks, get something with a LOT of cockpit deck space. You'll need it for the dive compressor, tanks, and the suited-up divers. There should be a lot of storage under that deck, too. You'll want multiple generators, a huge fresh water tank, and a high output water-maker. If the single gen goes down; the party is over, and nobody uses more water than divers. And, remember that for guys, rinsing off in the cockpit IS a shower. For others, it's a reason to take a shower :)
  7. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Just (buyers survey) sea trialed a wonderful a cockpit 49 De Fever. That is where you need to start looking.
  8. SSonny

    SSonny New Member

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    Thanks all.

    Diving is a secondary use.

    Primary use is comfortable cruiser for 3 couples. But the range topic is an issue.

    Any other suggested flybridge options?
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A sportfish (flybridge) with a nice cockpit shade and possibly a table back there might be a better choice. I run a 62' express my, it's a great boat for running around fast, BUT get's very small for 3 couples VERY fast. No covered outdoor area at all, if it sprinkles everyone is inside, everyone inside is grouped into the main salon.....everyone trips over everyone. A nice FB with hardtop makes a great seperate area and the aft deck is covered......entire boat is bigger inside......really makes a lot more room..... Hatteras 60' MY would make a great choice, Sunseeker would make a great choice..... several SF come to mind.
  10. jsschieff

    jsschieff Member

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    Most of the Euro-style yachts like the Azimut are short range boats designed to harbor hop. If you intend to cruise down to the Caribbean and wander around the islands, perhaps you should consider a boat more designed for long-range, offshore use -- Fleming, Offshore, and Outer Reef come to mind. Not sure about Marlows and/or Hampton Endurance but they might work as well.
  11. pamibach

    pamibach New Member

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    but the Azimut is so pretty
  12. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Retirement vessel,...room for 3 couples??
    Guess on boats can get real old in a short period.
  13. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Like fish, they stink after 3 days.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You must have the wrong guests then. We have many others who travel with us and we love to share the enjoyment of cruising with them. They enhance our experience.
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    3 couples on a 55s is ok for a week end but that boat will be very crowded for anything longer especially without a flybrige which gives you a lot of extra space.

    Besides range, you re going to run into other issues like storage, refrigeration, etc... with 6 people on a boat that size.

    Don't forget to take generator usage into account. Typically you spend a lot of time on the hook when in the Bahamas and Carib so Figure 30 USG a day. That's a quarter of your tank every three 3 days... fuel docks can be some distance away in the islands and they sometimes run out. Also, having just one generator is ok for a short trip but you need two if you're going to spend a lot of time down there. These euro style boats have lousy ventilation, loose the gen you, no AC it's game over

    A boat like this is ok for an occasional short Bahamas trip but not for extensive cruising and any trip beyond the central Bahamas will be stretching the boat ability.

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