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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. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I adore our 2009 Californian Veneti 50 built in Perris CA as part of the Navigator line. Although defunct now the yard was purchased but has yet to come back to life AFAIK.
    Best of luck to you, there are many Navigators in the Pacific NW waters.
  2. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Location:
    South shore long island and fort lauderdale
    Thanks so much gr8trn! And that is encouraging that you love your Californian... Would you say they are the same quality? And the fact that there are a lot of Navigators in your area makes me think, very seaworthy - those are real seas out there, are they not?
  3. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Dana Point, Ca
    Congratulations, if you have Navigator/Californian questions I am sure that I can help you out.
  4. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Location:
    South shore long island and fort lauderdale
    Great to know that, thanks so much! Did you own/run one?
  5. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Identical quality. Same hull, systems, fit&finish-just a different pilot house propulsion. There is an very slightly active Navigator owners group based in Washington that you may be able to chat with too, they do have a rendezvous coming up I think.

    Lots of serious water, most stay in the Peuget Sound and keep an eye on things. Plenty have gone up and down the coast, while I prefer to stay local I have no qualms about seakeeping on this hull in safe moderate conditions.
  6. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Good to know PacBlue, I will take you up on that if the occasion arrises as well, thanks!
  7. Rusty Mayes

    Rusty Mayes New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2019
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    9
    Location:
    Sanfransico Bay area
    I am a current Searay 44DB owner and considering a move up to 50 t0 55 foot pilot house boat to explore the west coast based in the SF Bay area. I am considering a 1999 OA 51 two cabin configuration boat currently on the market in Seattle. I like the lay out although I would rather have the Galley up in the pilot house. The one concern I have is the Caterpillar 3126 engines and the "soft block" issues. This vessel has 950 hours on the engines. My question is what year range did the soft block issue exist. I remember conversations about the issue but don't know what the exact time frame was. Are there any owners of the 99 51 located in the Nor Cal region that I might be able to talk to directly and perhaps visit to get a feel of the boat. Although pictures tell a lot about condition and amenities I've found that it is hard to get a sense of space from the pictures. I visited a 91 Tolley yesterday with no walkaround and the salon is massive. That is one of my struggles too how much would I miss a full cabin walk around?
    Thanks
    Rusty
  8. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Location:
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    The CAT soft block issues were primarily in 3116 through 1995. CAT replaced it with 3126 in 1997. Most failures occurred within a short time after being put into service. The fact that these engines are still in service would probably dismiss a soft block issue.
    That said you can give the serial numbers to Caterpillar and they will tell you if they are French made (soft blocks) or not. Personally I’ve only seen the problem in 3116.
  9. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Didn’t the first batch of 3196’s have soft block issues too? I recall these blocks being cast in France and not being properly heat treated.
  10. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I think the debacle most associated with 3196 is the class action aftercooler related lawsuit.
  11. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Location:
    Pittsburg CA
    A little late to the game here, but congratulations on your purchase. I’ve have been a 2009 Navigator 4800 owner for 11 years. The boat has been rock solid and dependable. Most components in the boat are of decent quality and replacement parts are readily available.

    At the ten year mark, I had the salon sofa reupholstered as well as cushions in the pilot house. Also replaced all carpet.

    For the use you described, I think the 53 will work very well.

    PacBlue is an excellent source for information about your boat.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Those were the 3126's, not sure if they were 3196's also. 3196's had aftercooler issues.
  13. Rusty Mayes

    Rusty Mayes New Member

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    Location:
    Sanfransico Bay area
    Thanks for the clarification on the soft block issues, I figured if it was an affected engine range it would have been addressed by now.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Long addressed, it was the first 10,000 units I believe.
  15. Worthyvess

    Worthyvess Member

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    Location:
    South shore long island and fort lauderdale
    Thank you, definitely a little late to the game as we moved up to a 62 Neptunus lol!
    I have to confirm, though, I loved the Navigator, never smelled, great layout and especially roomy flybridge. Maybe less seaworthy than I would have liked.
    My husband wanted to get something a little bigger.
  16. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Jan 24, 2017
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    Location:
    Pittsburg CA
    Congratulations. Good quality boat. Throw the lines and enjoy your time on the water.