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50-60' Fly recommendations

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Al Vars, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Al Vars

    Al Vars New Member

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    Hi I am new to this forum. In the market for 50-60' yacht 2016 or newer that has 3 staterooms. We are mostly a cruising family looking for a flybridge. Want to cruise FL, Bahamas, Virgin Islands. Looking at sea ray 520,590, carver, prestige 520 fly? Any comments or suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Pod or shaft? Fuel efficiency? Thanks in advance.
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Without going into the details that have been discussed many times before, you need to realize that there is a huge difference between cruising the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. Very easy to get to the Bahamas... much harder to go beyond. Any boat can go to the Bahamas, not every boat can go beyond.
  3. Al Vars

    Al Vars New Member

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    Is it the range a boat can handle? Thanks for your comments
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Range and seakeeping. Basically, when it comes to the Bahamas, the biggest hurdle a yacht has to face is crossing 50 miles of open ocean between islands (maximum). Most any yacht can pick their weather and there's enough islands and fuel stops to get to wherever you want to go in any of the yachts mentioned.

    Getting to the Virgin Islands is a SERIOUS commitment in comparison and your looking at several 180 NM legs of deep/rough water, no fuel stops, nowhere to pull into, etc. etc. Bottom line, in that size a serious SF (Hatteras/Viking) would be your best choice as far as capabilities (construction/ride) and fuel range. Basically you'd have to go to most 75' MY's to have the same capabilities as most 55-60' SF. That being said there are some in the middle, a Prestige aint it. It can be done in that size, but have to REALLY pick weather, bring 55 gallon fuel drums, overnight passages and other means to get it there (not for the inexperienced or if you're on a schedule). What's your budget? A maritimo is a good cross between Sportfish and motoryacht. The Hatteras 60' Motoryacht is about the only one I can think of with the capability I'd want to do the Virgin Islands in a motoryacht (fuel range, speed, build construction, capabilities).
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    My other question is why do you want to go to the VIs. Sure there are a couple of nice anchorages, although usually pretty crowded but personally I don’t think it s worth it. I know the carib pretty well having lived on St Barth’s and st Thomas in the 80s and 90s.

    Personally I don’t think it even comes close to the Bahamas especially the Exumas

    now, if you re going to have the time to spend a few months crusing not just the VIs but the leewards down to the grenadine then the trip is worth it. But just the VIs, I don’t see the point
  6. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I hope the Al Vars is heading your advice if he is seriously considering his options.
    You are kind to take the time to go over this again and again.
    Cheers!
  7. Al Vars

    Al Vars New Member

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    Guys much appreciated. I am knew to yachting and your comments have been greatly appreciated. I will plan on sticking around anything under 200 nm.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You're not getting it. NONE of the boats you mentioned can even do 200 NM's. AND, 200 NM's along the coast of FL, is far different than 200 NM's from Turks and Caicos to Puerta Plata, DR, or Puerta Plata to Puerto Rico. etc. etc. It's a far different sea and you need a yacht that is capable and not a clorox bottle.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You tell us nothing about your experience and knowledge. "A cruising family." On what and how much. One old cliche is that you don't know what you don't know, but it's also a truth. You're talking the Caribbean in a coastal boat.

    I had over 1000 days of sea time when we moved to the coast. My wife had over 400. We went to Captains School and we hired captains to train us. Then we purchased boats initially without the range to go beyond the coasts and the Bahamas.

    Many people dismiss CE ratings, a European rating as to seaworthiness of design. However, I do think they say a little about seaworthiness. I'd be fine with a Category B on the coast or to the Bahamas, but I would not go to the Caribbean in anything other than an A. There is not a CAT A among all those you mentioned. There are a few in the 50-60' range but not the type boats you're looking at. A Hatteras 60 qualifies. Our Riva's are but not flybridge and don't have the range. Many trawlers would qualify.

    Pods vs Shafts has often been discussed here and you won't change the minds of any. I've always chosen shafts. The only advantage I see for pods is fuel economy. Do not give me the handling propaganda. Yes, they are easier for those without training and experience. Those are the same people who then go out and knock the pods off by not knowing what they're doing. Joysticks are possible without pods. Offsetting the fuel economy is maintenance costs and even the ability to get maintenance outside boating centers.

    For fuel efficiency there are thousands of boat tests available on the internet. Look at specific boats.

    To you and others, we could likely give better advice if you first told us more about you. Buying a boat is more about you than all the boats out there. Define cruising family. How much will you use the boat? Where will your 95% of the most use be?

    Also, budget as the 60' Hatteras is considerably more than the boats you mentioned.
  10. Al Vars

    Al Vars New Member

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    Thank for comments. Wife and I are in our 45-55 year and child 8. Plus need a third cabin for guests. Wanted to cruise coastal shoreline of Florida and the Keys, Bahamas and perhaps Turks. We are very cautious and have hired experienced retired coast guard captains to help us with our first daul engine boat Jeanneau NC 1095. We now have the boat bug and want to get into a larger more spacious boat where we could take it out for longer liveable periods of time 2-3 months at a time. Purchase price of boat range 900k-1.4m.
  11. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Myself included, FWIW.
    Without entering into the technicalities of the requirements behind the CE-RCD classification, it's easy to understand why I'm not alone in seeing CE ratings essentially as marketing BS, just by looking at actual boats.

    For instance, your Riva is a great boat in more ways than one, but saying that it's designed to withstand conditions exceeding F8 wind and 4m waves is quite simply beyond a joke.
    Particularly when you think of what a 4m wave sustained by F8+ wind normally means in the Med: almost vertical walls of water, against which no boat on earth stands the slightest chance to keep going at planing speed.
    When I hear people claiming that their boat can cruise at 20+ kts against 13' waves, I think of two possible alternatives:
    1) they are liars, or
    2) they have in mind looong ocean swells (which wouldn't be a problem also for your Riva of course), and don't have a clue about what 13' short breaking waves really look like.

    But mind, Ferretti Group is far from being alone in having understood that CE-RCD classification has some appeal on boaters.
    Among others, there is a small builder along the E coast of Italy which is very unlikely to have ever been heard by anyone on your side of the Pond.
    Already many years ago, they were to my knowledge the first who decided to build all their range in compliance with CE-A requirements.
    As a result, believe it or not, this boat (scroll down for details) is Cat A classified - go figure.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    While I would never want to be in F8 conditions in my Riva's and agree with much of what you say, I do believe, from actual usage, that they are significantly more seaworthy than the boats the OP mentioned. I compare them to boats like Beneteau Swift Trawlers which are very successful but have B and C ratings depending on number of passengers and while I wouldn't want to take any into the maximum waters for which they are rated, I do know the Riva is more seaworthy than the Swift Trawler.

    It is just one of many indicators and not by any means gospel, but also not to be totally dismissed as a design target.

    I agree with you on 20 knots at 13'. However, far more common is facing 4-6' which turn into 6-8' at 7 seconds. There is where I do know our Riva's excel. There is where I know the boats he mentioned do not. And there is exactly the difference between Bahamas cruising and Caribbean cruising.

    You mention swells and my first experience in swells and west coast was going out from Westport, WA. We heard 10' seas and immediately thought of our home cruising grounds and that was our only perspective. Then we went out in 10' swells and ran 20 knots and it was like running in 3-4' off the Florida coast.

    I'd simply say that the A classification boats I'm familiar with are more seaworthy than the B's and the B's more than the C's. Doesn't mean I want any of them in the conditions they're "rated" for.
  13. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    You are not alone.

    People who hang their hat on Cat A outside a global passage maker have no understanding of how that is achieved. I can make a Cat A boat into a Cat B boat and vice versa with a few simple design changes. The achievement of Cat A is wind speed and boat profile driven but does not account for steep or breaking seas that you would see under the extremes of the Category, Beaufort 8.

    You could not even count the boats that have traveled to the Virgin Islands that were never going to make Cat A or have done it before the Categories even existed.

    And those that imply a 4o something Cat A Riva Express is trans Atlantic capable except for fuel stops may not have completely understood there own training as potential captains. Cat A would imply that you could leave or return from a destination like Bimini in 40+ knots of wind and 18 - 25’ seas, the Beaufort Scale 8 that is referenced for Cat A is Gale conditions. Who is doing that with their family?

    https://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/beaufort.html

    But back to the OP. Great to hear you have the boating bug, it is such a great family activity with built in social distancing and built-in self reliance. You can pick your own highway and journey. Thanks for choosing the boat world as your “getaway” vehicle of choice.

    Keep listening and this forum will guide you in the right direction, you are in a good price range and will be able to match your boat to your requirements.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I want you to think for a moment that all you've learned on your 1095 is helpful and at the same time, none of it gets you even close. We came from a 30' Cobalt, twin I/O's, you're coming from a 34' twin outboard. When our captains started our training on a 44' and a 63' they were amazed how skilled we were at docking. Well, they were far easier than docking a pontoon boat on a windy lake or docking our boats with wakes from every direction. However, reading and use of charts, navigation rules, maintenance, diesels, generators, stabilizers, thrusters, and everything else was new to us. Going from your Jeanneau to the boats you're talking about is like going from Schwinn to Harley Davidson.

    2 to 3 months is a very nice period of time. Great for cruising the coast and the Bahamas. You made one huge change in your requirements just in this thread. You dropped the Virgin Islands and you said "perhaps Turks" but didn't even require them. Now, you've brought a lot more boats into consideration. For now, think of Virgin Islands as somewhere you'll fly and charter from Moorings for a couple of weeks.

    So for your restated requirements, the boats you mentioned would all be marginally acceptable. However, the moment you say 2 to 3 months you're spending longer periods on them than do 99% of their owners. A large boat becomes small with 5 people aboard.

    There is a huge difference between 50 and 60'. I encourage you to go look online carefully at Hatteras 60 MY and then compare all the other boats you look at to it. And a 2010-11 does fit in your price range. It may not be the boat for you, but the Carvers and the Prestige don't compare to it in any way. Note I said the MY and not a SF as while some here love SF's, I would never choose one over a MY for your purposes.

    Creature comforts become very important on long cruises. Does the boat have a washer and dryer, preferably a full size? Is the galley usable much like your kitchen at home? Are there separate living areas? None of these are about boating but they are about living on your second home.

    Don't overlook boats like a 59' Grand Banks Aleutian or a Fleming 55.

    I'd go to the most commonly used boat search site and enter your price range and size range and look through every single boat that comes up to give yourself ideas of those you may not have thought of. Not my boat of choice but Princess has made a lot of 56-60' boats.

    Oh and also, this won't be your last boat. For retirement, you'll be ready to buy the boat built to cruise the Caribbean.
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I wouldn't be out in that kind of weather in ANY 60' yacht, period. I was in it once in a 72' MY and never again, would I ever. With today's weather routing etc., it's ultra rare to all of a sudden find yourself stuck in that.

    That being said, the yachts the OP stated, my cut off for going in the ocean of any of the ones listed would be 3-5' seas at 5 seconds. In fact on a 50' Prestige, I wouldn't take it in more than 2-4' (not 3-5' unless only for 1-2 hours).
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No one ever implied that. But I would state with no hesitancy that our 63' Riva is more seaworthy than the Prestige the OP mentioned and will handle conditions in the Gulf of Mexico or crossings to the Bahamas better. I don't want to be in any boat in Scale 8 but if I am, I want well over 100' of boat.
  17. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    And I agree with that, but because the Riva 63 is a more solid and seaworthy boat than the Prestige 520, for many valid reasons, not because one is Cat A and the other isn't.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure that the P520 could EASILY be CE-A certified, and probably with minor changes, none of which structural.
    Did you check out the 40' sportcruiser I linked at the end of my post #12?
    If that thing can be CE-A rated, I'm not saying that also my tender could, but almost. o_O

    BTW, coming to think of it, are you sure that the P520 isn't actually Cat A certified?
    I never checked any Prestige in detail, but I wouldn't be surprised if she would.
  18. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    You also need to take a look at the cost of ownership. The more modern Hatt 60 MY is ok with C18’s but larger engines will drive up your operating expenses.

    https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2011/hatteras-60-motor-yacht-3589218/

    Your cost of ownership will be less with a Fleming 55 but so will your speeds:

    https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2004/fleming-55-3707497/

    An enclosed Flybridge Convertible with an inside staircase is not a bad way to go either, the sight lines behind the wheel are nice to have:

    https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2012/riviera-58-enclosed-bridge-3668977/

    Have to say the layout on the 58 Riviera works well for a cruiser , nice , bright and airy.
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Absolutely.
    All well and good if we consider the original CE-RCD spirit, which was to establish some minimum requirements for classifying recreational crafts.
    It's after this turned into a selling point at a boat show, that it became laughable.