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Best Quality Brands of 5-20 years old used motor yachts 40-75 feet?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Joe Deepwater, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    Which Brands are known for having the highest quality and reliability in the LONG run for used motor yachts 40-75 feet and 5-20 years old? I'm not talking about style. Pontiac's cars were stylish but generally unreliable and too expensive to maintain. I just want reliability and quality construction. Thank you!
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Hatteras...…… Sunseeker...….Riva...….Searay….. in that order...…...
  3. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    5-20 years, 40-75 feet, is there a price range?

    I'll add Nordhaven, Cabo, Tiara, Riviera, Viking, Formula, Ocean Alexander. Most of these have completely different design purpose behind them. Trawlers, Sport Fishers, Sport Cruisers, something for everything. So not knowing what the intended purpose of the vessel is will be more difficult to answer the question.
  4. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    Sunseeker and Riva are stylish, too. How about Marquis, Viking, Fairline, Benneteau, Carver, Meridian, Princess, Regal, Cruisers?

    I have a newer Sea Ray bought new and I'm not so sure about the quality although I love the design and functionality. Most of the kinks have been worked out by now.

    I owned a Doral and it was a lot of boat for the money. They went bankrupt so maybe they were creating too much quality at too low of a price point, if you can imagine that's possible.

    Any specific design flaws, brands or countries to avoid?
  5. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    Trying to set a budget goal for the future. A few hundred K. Wife loves the Sedan Bridge design with lots of windows in the salon. I'm not a huge fisherman but it would be nice to add rod holders to drag a few lines to catch dinner. We enjoy the social aspect and swimming, so need a larger bridge to seat 10 people and a large swim platform. Realistically need 3 BR so I'll edit to 50 foot minimum.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Will never recommend the following to any client

    - Italian boats especially a mutt
    - Man engines
    - any euro boat without a rub rail
    - any euro boat without means of boarding alongside a fixed pier. That means a boarding gate and enough headroom to get in without banging your head on the overhang
    - any boat where you can’t reach service items with BOTH hands and without calling a midget. Sorry... short person.
    - I greatly prefer fiberglass fuel tanks over aluminum but not a deal killer if properly installed (something mass productions builders often screw up)
    - anything without side decks. It s notnjust about line handling but traffic flow thru the boat
    - anything that looks like a chlorox bottle or Nike shoe

    PS
    There is a beneteau power boat a few slip down... dark gel coat is beyond bringing back to life. I once had to get on board another one that was self destructing against a piling and when I leaned over the rail, I thought it was going to rip out
  7. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    I'm going to have to buy you a few drinks for that advice! Many thanks!
  8. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    Now we are getting a better picture, thanks for that.
    I go back to your first qualification: highest quality and reliability in the LONG run. Now we know Sedan Bridge for 10, swimming and sleeping in three state/bunk rooms. Cool. There a tons of boats like what you describe. I think SeaRay 480 Sedan Bridge is still in the running. While not the highest quality but mucho bang for buck in what I have Navigator. I see Navigator above the design and quality of Meridian/bayliner, Beneteau, Carver and Cruisers that you mentioned.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Everyone will have different views based on their experiences. These ratings below are just on the two elements you mentioned, reliability and quality construction and not on ride or handling of seas or any other factors. However, I can't ignore your Pontiac comment. No more unreliable than any other GM product and certainly no more expensive to maintain. I only respond to that as you used that as a lead in and I'm rating without consideration of that information.

    Excellent-Hatteras, Cabo and Viking.

    Very Good-Riva and Nordhavn. We own two Riva's, now 6+ years old. Nordhavn is not a boat that would ever interest me but the construction quality is good. Grand Banks, Palm Beach, Eastbay. In older Grand Banks, some have issues with fuel tanks and all the teak but overall well build boats.

    Good-Sunseeker, Fairline, Sunseeker's very good, just odds and ends of small things and gelcoat issues on older models. Fairline, I'm rating based on very limited knowledge. Outer Reef, Hampton, Kadey Krogen, Ferretti and other Ferretti brands such as Pershing. Sabre. Don't overlook brands like North Pacific or Helmsman

    Fair-Sea Ray, Meridian, Beneteau, Carver, Marquis, Cruisers, Tiara, Riviera (also very limited knowledge), Ocean Alexander. Several of these in the "Fair" rating are volume production boats and they're good boats for the money and have more satisfied customers than the higher rated boats. Note, the Sea Ray L Series I would rate poor.

    Poor-Princess. I'd rate the older ones ahead of the current models which I've seeing many problems over and over. Prestige, the same. Azimut, I have to rate poor, largely due to the very poor service network in the US which impacts their reliability. Marlow, very inconsistent and some have had major issues.

    I didn't rate Formula or Regal as they're not largely in this market.

    As to Pascal's comments, I don't share his disdain for Italian boats not named Azimut as we've had good luck with ours. However, many people do agree with them. As to Man's, we've had them in three boats and been very pleased. Many point to a high cost of maintenance, but we haven't experienced that. However, we do have our own engineers. I agree with his boarding issues, just not addressing other things I like or dislike here. Just the two points of reliability and quality construction.

    Most brands are actually well built and issues worked out by the time they reach your age targets.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Olderboater hits all of the points well.

    However, I have to strongly disagree with Pascals comments on Man's. I've managed a set of 2007 common rails since 2011, managed lots of other yachts with Man's. I have NEVER had any failure with any of them that required anything internal on the engine, not even removing valve covers (aside from scheduled valve adjustments). They run smooth, they run quiet, they're powerful, and fuel efficient. Now, in the earlier days plenty of issues with sensors and minor electrical stuff on the common rails...…...but nothing that made me slow down or not be able to run 1.

    Now MTU's on the other hand (Multiple Trouble Units). I don't remember the last time I ran an MTU boat without engine alarms going off. Even new ones. I've seen a few catastrophic failures...….failures of coolant pumps, injectors, starters, alternators, etc etc all on engines 2005 or newer.
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And we run two boats with MTU's far heavier than most do and never have had any problems.
  12. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    And not one person mentioned a Post 50....
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Didn't know a Post 50 was a motoryacht between 40-75ft!!!!! :D:D:D
  14. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    whoops - got that one wrong!
  15. Silver Lining

    Silver Lining Member

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    The OP has a budget of a few hundred K for a 50 to 75 ft boat and is looking for a boat 5 to 20 years old. In that size range you will more likely be looking at boats 10 to 20 years old. Some of the regular posters here can be quite opinionated without having owned a specific brand boat and run it as an owner operator for a long period of time. It is most important to go out and look at several models in the year range you are looking to really get a feel for the quality and how the boats really wear.

    I have to disagree pretty strongly with Olderboater and Capt J on their evaluation of the Princess/Viking Sport Cruiser. They have been very critical of this manufacturer and to say they are a lesser boat then Carver or Meridian is ridiculous. I have had my 19 year old Viking Sport Cruiser for 10 years now and put more than 25,000 miles on the boat. It has been very reliable and has held up comparably well to the other manufacturers we were considering at the time, Sunseeker, Fairline, and Sea Ray.

    There have been apparently some recent problems discussed in a few threads over the last year or two with new deliveries, but I do not know the full story. The older Sunseeker, Fairline, and Princess/Viking Sport Cruisers have very similar hull designs and are considered pretty good sea boats for their design goals. Up until at least a few years ago Fairline, and Princess/Viking Sport Cruisers used the same naval architect.
  16. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    So what's YOUR advice for the OP? I am really cantankerous tonight
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I was very careful to indicate recent models of Princess. The days when Viking was the importer, I think they were much better. However, I've talked to several buyers of recent ones, read obviously what you have, and know captains who have run more. I think their quality control fell apart along the way. I can't pinpoint exactly when. Before, I would have rated them above Carver or Meridian and perhaps in the 15-20 year range he's looking in, they may be better. I would rate the current models poor and the "Viking models" fair or even good.

    However, the current models, the issues are not limited to the crusaders against them. I probably tried to defend them for too long.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The older princesses were ok, but not great. They liked to melt the shore power breaker to the bus bar with their euro trash electrical strips under the dash with poke and stick wiring connections. On the 61’ of your era and the 64’ from the mid 2000s, you have to completely tear the salon apart (couches, carpet, padding, floor hatches and move it all out of the salon just to do any engine servicing whatsoever. Gelcoat cracking. The new ones are far worse. I maintained a 61’ for several years, delivered a 2004 64’ from Fort Lauderdale to Wisconsin. Etc etc.
  19. Silver Lining

    Silver Lining Member

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    Not knowing what his desired cruising grounds and distances are, I am going to guess based on his flybridge and salon/swimming platform comments that he will cruise the east coast, do the Bahamas and maybe have a dream of venturing further south to the Caribbean.

    Price wise, if he has a few 100 K for the boat, anything much over 60 ft will be quite expensive to maintain properly and so not realistic at that budget. 3 staterooms means at least 50 - 55 ft. Based on his previous boats, and those mentioned he wants a boat that can plane. In the 50 to 60 ft range I would look at boats 10 to 15 years old.

    I would look at Sunseekers, Viking Sport Cruisers, Sea Ray, and Ocean Alexander. Then I would consider Fairline, Neptunus, and Ferretti, but I think the selection will be thinner (I think it’s a real plus to have at least a few boats in the range of years and model when shopping). While the Hatteras of those years are fantastic I don’t think he can get one in his price range – it will be several years older. Cheoy Lee or Grand Banks also but don’t know if they will be planning boats in those years.
  20. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Why those boats?

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