Click for ZF Click for Lurssen Click for Alexseal Click for Walker Click for Abeking

Another Escalation: The Boat Search Continues

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by Gray-Sea, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    "When did you start boat shopping again?"
    - I never stopped!

    I spend entirely too much time on Yachtworld.

    We are - once again - looking for our next boat. Next month we will be flying to Florida to preview some boats of particular interest. We have a good idea of what we are looking for, despite the fact that "any boat is a compromise." Below is a beginning chronicle of what we've seen so far in our search.

    It's great fun; we actually thoroughly enjoy the process!

    Maybe this thread can - in some small way - give back a little.
    The information and advice I've received here over the years - even before joining - is really remarkable, and a special word of thanks goes to Capt J for his unbiased, articulate honesty and internet professionalism!

    We are somewhat of an interesting couple, as we don't fit the expected sportfish stereotype. My wife wants to see the engine room and fighting chair while I'm looking for cup holders and a comfortable place to sit! More than one broker has gotten a chuckle out of that. But our entire lives and marriage revolve around this shared hobby, and it's what we live for.

    We have decided what we think will be best for us after much research and deliberation.
    So now the issue is finding the right boat for us that is the right mix of value and projects.
    Any boat considered will likely be a 1990s model, though we remain open to something built in the late '80s or early '00s.

    We don't like fishing when it's miserable, I get sea sick, we will spend some time cruising, and lots of time living aboard. Taking that into consideration, we're leaning toward a 50'+ boat with three staterooms, offshore capability, long-term liveaboard-comfort, and accessible maintenance aspects.

    Thusly, form and function are equally important. Here's what we've observed so far:

    Viking 50/53/58 - Without equal, the best overall quality boat we've looked at, and a great fit.
    Attention to detail is awe-some.
    Downsides: the dreaded gelcoat issue on certain boats, high hour MANs, and that stupid step on the bridge (changed around '96, I think). A narrow companionway is made up for by a fantastic master stateroom.
    Bunk rooms and heads are either adequately or satisfyingly spacious.
    There are a ton of 50s on the market, and prices vary so widely between model years without much apparent rhyme or reason that it borders on being annoying.

    Post 50/53 - Mid-ground between Viking and Ocean in quality.
    The salon-of-the-decade award goes to Post Yachts. Beam and cockpit space also make it a winner.
    Following sea criticisms seem to be based in misinformation, or not running the boat properly.
    Downsides: gelcoat horror, high hour MANs, and galley down floorplan which leads to smaller staterooms.

    Ocean 53/55 - People sure do love to talk some smack about these boats on the internet!
    Yet they offer a lot of functional quality, especially for the money.
    They don't seem to be sinking left and right due to shoddy construction, and most of the people who repeat what their friend's cousin's broker's son told them never owned one. So I try to only weigh reputable sources as to the quality of these boats.
    As a part-time liveaboard, cruising yacht, and occasional marlin hunter, I really think they deserve very serious consideration.
    Downsides: resale value, dock snobbery, small-for-class cockpit, CHEAP feeling bridge, and coffin-size engine rooms.
    Major selling point - best floorplan of the lot.

    Donzi 65 - Have you seen this frigate on YF? Probably too much boat, but what the hell, at that listing price, it's worth looking at! Plus, someone needs to give it loving home, and we've made crazy boat decisions before. :)

    Hatteras 50/54 - That shearline is awful. The interiors are quite nice and the hull is solid as they come.
    A cockpit made for running fish blood! The bridge is to die for.
    Downside: Did I mention the shearline? Frequent blonde interiors, and an engine room from hell that makes Oceans look spacious.

    Bertram 50 - Beautiful interiors, ugly/dated exterior that we just can't abide.

    Custom Boats - No thanks. Unless I can get a good deal on a Bobby Sullivan boat, in this age and price range, they're all either ragged out, gutted, or have Volvos.

    Well, there you have it folks. If you read all of this verbatim, God bless ya.

    Photos will commence once I figure out how the heck to size them properly.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  2. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Egg Harbor/Cavileer 52/53 - Haven't seen one in person as there aren't many of them, but they look to be a step above even Viking.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,438
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    The 50' Post is a good boat, so is a viking, so is the Hatteras. The Oceans are built less stout, but will hold up, but not a fun aft sea boat. Donzi is a good boat as well. The 50' post and early 2000's ones are very efficient with the Mans 2 gpnm at 26 knot cruise. The 54' Hatteras SF from the early 2000's is probably the BEST riding SF in that size and class.

    I cannot understand your comment about custom boats, as I'd take a Jim Smith, Monterey, Merritt, Rybovich, or other good custom SF builder from the same era any day of the week and twice on Sunday over the production boats you've mentioned. Most have been well kept, have newer motors, etc.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,438
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Not even close. When you look at one, pay attention to the aft engine room bulkhead and huge cracks each one will have, then take a look at the spaghetti mess of wiring and hoses.
  5. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Should have said "Carolina boat" rather than custom.

    Interesting on the Egg/Cavileer.
    Thanks for the heads up!
  6. PtJudeRI

    PtJudeRI Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Pt. Judith, RI
    I was in your shoes two years ago. I looked at the 50' Viking, 53' Cavileer, a few customs, and the 50'Post.

    The Post is going to win for economy of running, hands down. It drifts well, is Awesome in a following and beam sea, but certainly is not a performer in a head sea. My post has the 3406e Cats, and I cruise at 24/25 doing 58-60 gph. Top end is 30-31. The 820 MANS are a faster boat and a very good engine, but I'm not a MAN fan when it comes to service, which is tough in RI. Stay away from the 1050 MANs, at all cost. I have Gelcoat that will make you weep, so I am in the process of repainting it. Many have been painted already, so I would look at that.

    We liked the 50' Viking as well. A bit thirstier at the same size/speed, and only available with MANs for the most part. So that wasn't revving my engine. I liked the layout a lot, but in the end, I felt like I was paying a premium for very little advantage. The head sea ride is a bit better, but nothing in the 50-55 range really seems to be a good/great head sea boat other than the custom boats and Hatteras.

    Hatteras 50'- A fuel pig. No other way to describe it. you need 3412s in that to do what I do with 3406s. I like the hatteras look, and the build is excellent. Running costs though...

    The Cavileer 53'- I really wanted to like this boat. There are a few deals on them, and it looked like it was going to fit the bill. But oh, the fit and finish! Sad to see. We really liked the layout, the amenities, but couldn't get past the excessive cracking, the sub-par fixtures, and bad wear. Oh well...

    That Donzi that Bamboo captains- Love it. I think she is a classic, with good pedigree and excellent maintenance. But two things- Maintenance (it needs plenty at that age, fact of life) and Running cost. I could afford her, but I couldn't run her the way I do my Post.

    Customs- If I had the money, all of this would be academic, maybe not even posted, as I would be out on my Jim Smith or Tribute. Lots of customs out there, and may require tons of upkeep; but a Smith or Tribute is a cut above. Really amazing! The boats attract huge money owners, and they are tricked out above and below the waterline.
  7. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write that detailed post!

    I really appreciate your input and observations.
  8. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    19,487
    Location:
    South Florida
    This thread has been stripped of unrelated comments.

Share This Page