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51 Ocean Alexander vs 53 Navigator

Discussion in 'Ocean Alexander Yacht' started by Worthyvess, Apr 16, 2015.

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  1. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    This is my first new thread and I'm nervous! Ive been posting questions in other threads but realize I'm all over the place.
    First let me say thank you all so much for being here and doing what you do! It is absolutely invaluable, I just want you to know you are very appreciated by many many people!
    We are looking for a 50-55' pilothouse with three staterooms, a mid berth master, comfortable salon, and a decent sized galley. Good seakeeping, if I use the correct term, to cross the gulf stream occasionally, Ft Laud to Bahamas. I have developed a bit more fear of the ocean in my old age! We are semi retired and will live on it a week a month in the winter until retirement, then a few months a year.
    Not new to boating, my husband has had outboards since 18, now 64. I used to drive a clam boat in the Great South Bay! Never docked a boat by myself in my life; I know I have to learn.
    We have had a 390 Sea Ray; currently keep a 355 Carver on Long Island which we use to go to Fire Island mostly. Just sold a 42 Regal SC which we kept in Florida, and which wasn't the right boat for us. Bought it new, will never do that again, NYCAP you are so right! Have done Florida to NY and back, just us.
    We looked at an '03 Ocean Alexander 51 Classico, loved it, and had it surveyed. Had a number of issues, but significant were that it vibrates, had the engines realigned TWICE; and that it developed a strong head smell since we first looked at it (a month ago!) (I think the holding tank was empty and then they took it to a boat show and used the head. Thank God, at least we know!) 3 questions about this boat:
    1. If we change the hoses and seals, does that get rid of the smell 99%of the time?
    2. The surveyor said the engine realignment was probably not done correctly, or that it could be the props. From what I've read, I am afraid it could be anything! Does anyone know of any particular issues in this regard with this model?
    3. When did OA stop using Ed Monk? Was 2003 a good or bad year for OA?
    Ok on to the next boat. Now we are going back to considering an '06 53' Navigator. I haven't seen it personally but hubby has and liked it. How good of a boat is a Navigator, how is it, e.g. in somewhat rough seas? Are they solidly built?
    Even though I LOVED the OA, now I am gun shy. My husband is concerned, we have offered less now, but we need to make a decision very soon. We know that all older boats have problems, could survey the Navigator and find other issues!
    Any wisdom here will be very, very appreciated, thank you all so much!
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    1) Is the head per chance sea water? If so the scent may just be caused by where it's docked. If a Vacu-flush system my first thought would be the filter. What's really needed though is to get down with your nose to track the scent. Fixing it could be as simple as putting in some deodorant, changing a filter or clearing a vent, or it could be a bad seal or.......... Bottom line, I wouldn't kill a sale over it.

    2) Chasing a vibration can be vexing also. If the engine has been realigned twice I'd tend to think that the issue is further down the line. (prop issue, cutlass bearing, strut, bent shaft, shaft log?). Does the shaft spin freely? Have you run a laser down it? Can you find out from the seller when and after what the vibration started? How bad is the vibration? Since you're dealing with a slower boat, It wouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker if not severe. It's just something you have a heads up for that you'll be investing some time and money into correcting. Again, a negotiating point more than something to make me walk away (unless severe). I note that you stated that both motors were realigned. Is there vibration from both sides? If so that might lead me towards the rudder assembly or even just growth on the bottom.

    As far as the choice between OA & Navigator, some others here can probably give you better recommendations based on personal experience running or working on them. My only comment would be that I think there are a lot more OAs around. That translates into better parts availability and resale potential.
  3. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    I just delivered a 4600 Navigator to the Pacific North West. This was a 2008 pilothouse with low hours. We found some small craft warnings, took some water over the bow and the vessel handled it very well. We had two moderate bar crossings and I found the vessel to be solid and seaworthy. My only complaint would the be finish on the interior had some exposed screw heads and the davit did not have a tie down.
  4. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Thank you NYCAP.
    Turns out the vibration is not that bad, my husband didn't even notice it, the surveyor did, and thinks its down the line as you say... we are going to ask him if he used a laser, and if we buy the boat, will follow your leads.
    It is a fresh water system. We are prepared to change all the hoses and seals; just wondering if it can persist even after that.
    Thank you so much, as always you are so helpful!
  5. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Thank you Captain Fred! Appreciate the feedback. Wow, I can't imagine being in small craft warnings in the Pacific Ocean?!
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    First check the line from the tank to the outside vent for a filter (in-line cylinder cartridge). That's a likely culprit if so equipped. After that follow your nose. It could be something as simple as a bad clamp or as serious as a cracked tank. If you change out all the hoses, and it turns out to be a cracked fitting......... If it's a seal at the toilet changing out the hoses will just be a waste of money. So first check the filter, then put some holding tank deodorant down the toilet. If the scent persists and it's coming from the toilet then it's a seal. Otherwise follow your nose to the source. P.S. I have trouble believing that it would be a coming through an otherwise good hose on a 2003.
  7. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Thanks NYCAP. Well, tomorrow is decision day on the OA, my husband looked at the Navigator again today and liked it. If it (OA) still smells, we feel it is not a good enough deal to take a chance.
    Our Carver that we keep on LI smells and we haven't been able to fix it completely. Will try what you have suggested, hoping it works! Not in a big rush anymore, was hoping to get the tax savings from selling and buying, but the dealer messed that up.
    Thanks again for all your help.
  8. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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    Navigator makes a good, seaworthy honest boat here in the US. The interior is not for everyone, but if you like it, I'd go for that over an iffy OA any day. And I'm a Hatteras man myself.
  9. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Thank you Caltexflanc. We are far apart on the price on the Navigator, and the OA is another story all together! Not given up yet on either, but any opinions on a 50' Cruisers pilothouse?
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've never heard of a 50' Cruisers pilothouse.
  11. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Doesn't sound right. I'm thinking "pilot house cruiser" not Cruisers pilothouse, but we'll see.
  13. HaveADay

    HaveADay Member

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    As others have indicated the only 50' bridge boat or motor yacht Cruisers made was the 5000 Sedan. It's an okay boat but they stopped making them quite some time ago, I believe either 2000 or 2001. At this point they are older production boats. You're likely to see some pretty good issues with window seals and other rubber wear items. Personal opinion only but I don't think Cruisers made great use of the space. I much prefer the Navigator or OA layouts. The cruisers feels small in several areas. The lower helm is not overly useful, the galley layout is compromised and the salon area is pretty small. I owned a 4450 for seven years. It's a different layout (and an aft cabin motor yacht, not a particularly popular layout these days) and not overly comparable to what you're describing but if you're looking at Cruisers I'd suggest the 4450 is a better use of space.

    Ben
  14. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Ben sorry I never thanked you for your response... You are spot on! I tries to like the boat but it was a no go.
    Again, thank you!
  15. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Just an update (I humor myself to think you are interested, but in case anyone is!) ...
    We are surveying the Navigator now. Not as pretty as the OA but less issues; don't want too much stress!
    Thank you all, this forum has been invaluable in helping us to make a decision. So much combined wisdom and experience! May the internet live forever! And good people!
  16. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    The surveyor we were going to use can't do it. Going to try the one he referred us to - but if he can't do it (need it this Friday) does anyone know a good one on the west coast of Florida?
  17. SFS

    SFS Senior Member

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    Send a PM to Judy (JWY). She has contacts on the west coast, and may be able to help.
  18. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Contact Malcolm Elliott at www.floridayachtsurveyors.com . He's one of the best in the biz and a long time member of YF. He may have an associate on the west coast. Let him know the mention came from YachtForums. He'll take care of you.
  19. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    The motor yachts I purchased in Florida in the last 10 years were surveyed by Malcolm.
    I agree with Carl. Malcolm is a very good and thorough surveyor!
  20. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Ok today is one of the best days in a boaters life! Husband is in Florida picking up the new boat - we decided on the Navigator. Long story short, he sent a deposit on the OA and I was sick over it instead of happy, worried he was buying it to make me happy instead of following his own wisdom. When we prayed and decided on the Navigator, we both had so much peace! Much better condition than the OA, you could eat off the floor of the engine room, etc etc. I can't thank you all enough for all your help in this big decision! You are an amazing group!!! Now that we have bee accumulating some wisdom of our own (more him than me) I hope to remember to pay some back by contributing to this forum.

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