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Boat for Tampa Bay Area

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Terry Denney, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    This is a very impressive forum with lots of knowledge and was hoping to pick your brains since I am newbie to boating offshore.

    I have a desire to take my family (6) down to the keys and various ports along the way. Eventually even hop across to the Bahamas when time permits. We will also do some occasional fishing. There will also be times that my wife and I will go it alone.

    I have been looking at the Prestige 550 Fly as a base comparison. I am certain there are better options. I usually purchase everything new but with my price range I will be going used. Here are my wants.

    Price $600K-$900K
    3 state rooms
    Be able to dock with two people
    Fly bridge
    Bow thrust would be nice
    joystick control with minimal to no lag
    2 heads
    comfortable overnight sleeping
    Should there be other things I should be looking for? A seakeeper would be a bonus.

    Since I am looking to purchase a used boat, how old is too old?

    Appreciate your time in reading this and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    I am new to this forum and no one is responding to this post. Should I have posted this in a different forum?
  3. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Have you tried typing Prestige 550 into the YF search function?
  4. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    Yes, I have have. However, the Prestige was only an example of the type of boat I was looking at. Was thinking some people would be able share experiences on other alternatives. Also, wanting to get peoples opinion on purchasing an older boat that my be 10-15 years old.

    I will continue to do more research. Sorry to be a bother.
  5. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I hate to say it, but you'll probably be able to open your options if you eliminate the need for joystick controls. Those are relatively new, and I doubt you'll find that option in a 10-15 year old boat.

    Buying an older boat is feasible, but you'll want to have a GREAT surveyor who will find any hidden gremlins (all boats have them, so you surely won't find one with none). You could then hire a captain to give you some lessons in docking/maneuvering.

    I am, by no means, an expert on boats of that size range. But based on the number of Prestige yachts on the market, I would be thinking twice about buying one. I just did a quick YW search, and see a 2012 58 Tiara in your price range (and it's in St. Petes). I have a lot of respect for Tiara. But it's only 2 staterooms!
  6. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. The need for a great Surveyor makes a lot of sense.

    Also looking at Trawlers. However, I am a little worried about their slow speeds.
  7. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    There are alternatives to Prestige mentioned among threads in the search results. Sunseeker comes to mind.
    As for age that’s usually a factor of budget. If you are buying a “forever” boat age is only one consideration among many.
    If you are the type who tends to keep things for only a few years, I highly recommend buying no more than 3 or 4 years old.
    You will have a boat that’s less than 7 years old when you go to sell it. After that the values drop off considerably.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Sunseeker 52' Manhattan, Princess 52' or 55', Tiara 52' FB are all better quality than Prestige. The 50' Prestige is virtually the same boat as the 55'. Only useful thing you gain in the 55' is a larger master head.
  9. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    This is very helpful. I will start researching these.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The prestige is ok, friend of mine has one it s been a decent boat. As other mentioned I would look at other brands incl Tiara and maybe expand the search to slightly older boats

    two issues to consider: dockage availability and insurance. Not sure how it is in tampa but in south Florida it s tough to find dockage. Insurance on a 50 footer will be difficult if you have no or little experience
  11. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    Largest boat I have operated was a 32' Carver in the Mississippi. I did take the 6 pack course to help expand my knowledge. I have no intent in chartering for money. Did simply for knowledge.

    Insurance company seems ok with me operating without a captain as long as I don't go above 60'.

    Dockage does seem to be limited from what little research I have done.

    The Sunseeker Manhattan and the Princess models are very appealing. Tiara is nice but jump in price quite a bit.

    The next question, finance or pay cash? It appears interest rates are around 4%. Leaving money in the market has been giving me 10% or better return. What are people seeing for interest rates on boats?
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Also think about your cruising areas and how far and long you will be on the boat. Just weekends and you can make some sacrifices. A week or longer and certain things can become very annoying.....such as refrigerator, medicine cabinet, closets too small.....etc. etc......

    Finance or pay cash is best answered by your CPA or financial advisor that's in tune with your individual situation.
  13. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    I would like to go from Tampa to the keys and Bahamas. Eventually, I would like to go to the Virgin Islands. Not sure any of these boats have the fuel capacity to do that kind of trip. Maybe start out with a 52'-55' for 3 years and then something bigger to make it to the VI's? With all that said, I will probably start out with 3-4 day trips and expand that to 7-14 days.

    Capt J, thanks again for the feedback.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Any of those boats would do that, but would have to pick your weather. Given your wants, refrigeration/freezer space is important, most of the Princesses, Sunseekers, etc. We live out of a 120 qt yeti cooler on the aft deck for all of the beverages due to refrigeration space.
  15. KoffeeCruising

    KoffeeCruising Member

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    My 2 cents
    Don’t limit yourself to a joystick; you can easily get a Yacht Controller installed to make docking easier by being able to move around to literally see where you are.

    Look at Motor Yachts that can do 18kts as well as 8kts. Having the speed when you need it is a game changer I spend a lot of time at hull speed on ICW, but cruise @18kts on open water to literally “buy time” crossing the Gulf Stream or heading to or
    from Key West- or crossing the Okochobee waterway.

    I was able convert my office into a bunkroom to get the 3rd sleeping quarters for 2; not really a stateroom but absolutely practical

    having a decent sized freezer is also important so you can rotate into your fridges. A convection microwave is a miracle device, and a flybridge grill and fridge are very important.

    I also wanted a good sized tender and crane.

    I love the washer and dryer; that was a surprise and we use it almost daily.

    ICW, Keys, Bahamas and all very doable on a boat just size. The Caribbean and Virgin Islands are probably too difficult for most small M/Ys; but with so much to see in Bahamas or the Chesapeake you don’t need to get to BVI on your own bottom. Fly and charter a boat there

    I had no brand in mind, just wanted the right bones. I searched by size and speed and bought a 2007 Pama 54 in 2018; for me it’s been fantastic. There have been several “brands” that have made this 54’ Howard Apollonius design , including the Mckinna 58, a Sonship, Pama...the latest being Apollonian Yachts has resurrected this design. There is a Pama for sale in Jacksonville now.

    Good luck in finding the right platform, then tweak from there.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  16. Terry Denney

    Terry Denney New Member

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    Nothing better than getting someone else's viewpoints from experience. This is very helpful. I will take a look at some of these other brands that I have not considered in the past.

    The biggest purpose of the joystick is to make it easier to dock with two people. Nice to know it can be easily added after the fact.
  17. SplashFl

    SplashFl Member

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    Buddy of mine that lives on St. Thomas purchased a 30' gas Sea Ray years ago in Ft. Laud and ran her home with just an additional bladder tank on the front deck. Only fuel related issue he reported were many places where they sought fuel only had diesel. After she met her fate in one of their many hurricanes he bought a 46 but since her cruise was only 14 knot's decided to ship her instead.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It s a long, and often rough, way to the VIs. Doable yes... time consuming because of having to wait for weather windows and not so enjoyable of a trip itself.

    With so much to explore in the Bahamas, especially the Exumas, focus on getting the right boat for the keys/Bahamas not for a trip to the Caribbean you may never take
  19. jonrd463

    jonrd463 New Member

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    The other day I clicked an Apollonian ad on the sidebar here out of curiosity. I was wondering what sort of rep they had. I guess it's all dependant on the builder, but it's nice to know the design works for the style of cruising I'd be doing (Coastal, Keys, Bahamas, ICW). Granted, I'm a bit further away from a purchase than the OP, but since his desires seem to match my own (minus the BVI), I appreciate this sort of info.
  20. Scott Felstad

    Scott Felstad New Member

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