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Downeast Recommendations

Discussion in 'General Downeast Dayboat Discussion' started by JWY, Aug 4, 2015.

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  1. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I have a friend looking for me to advise on the purchase of a Downeast motoryacht. He's looking for a used 28-32 footer and has thrown some names at me for my recommendations. My general thoughts are Back Cove and Legacy might be best, but my experience in this size range is limited so I would appreciate any opinions on the following builders that might help me point my friend in the right direction:

    Albin, Back Cove, Duffy, Fortier, Legacy, and Mainship

    Thanks!

    Judy
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'm not familiar with Fortier, and not sure I'd consider Mainship as a Downeaster, but all good names.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Defining downeast is difficult in itself. Like Nycap I never would have thought of the older Mainship and downeast but the Marlow Mainship has very much a downeast design. However, I think of sea keeping ability as being part of downeast too and don't know how theirs is. I saw a lot of San Juan's when in the PNW. Others I'd toss out to add to your list include Hunt, Hinckley, Eastbay (from Grand Banks), Palm Beach (although doubt any of them in the US). Most of these brands have branched into other designs too. Hunt and Hinckley are both design and location or builder and sales. However, some would dismiss Hinckley because of jet drives. I would not.
  4. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Good list so far, the MJM seems to get good reviews
  5. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks for the responses and additional recommendations. Any opinions or experience on any of the manufacturers including the expanded list? Comparisons, pros, cons, good or bad experiences?

    Thanks!

    Judy
  6. carelm

    carelm Senior Member

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    I would add Sabre yachts to the list.
  7. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    mjm Yachts 29z express is a fantastic Downeaster manufactured in Boston. Solid vessel with a lot of innovation not found on boats in this size category .
  8. revluc

    revluc Member

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    The only thing I would say is a downside to mjm is the narrow(er) beam they design in their hulls to achieve a better ride, and fuel consumption, compared to some of the other brands mentioned. Sabre/Back Cove are sister companies and Sabre doesn't go down as far as 32', where the Back Cove Brand starts to pick up. Sabre did build a 34' for a short period, but I don't think they sold many of them, hence moving it to a Back Cove product line. The differences there are twin (Sabre) vs. single (Back Cove) engines and Back Coves less wood/flash.

    Of the brands mentioned those are the 3 we have shopped in the Downeaster market when looking at a possible replacement boat in SWFL. All are great in build and fit/finish, just a little different in the user they are marketed toward.
  9. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Black Cove makes a nice boat no doubt but I would prefer a boat of that size that has the higher standards of design and construction set forth by ISO CE, The mjm vessels are the only ones built in the U.S.A. in this category that actually have the ISO CE mark and category B offshore certification. Others say they're designed to meet the standards but don't have the certification. You may ask why this would matter and I'll tell you the sad truth is the ISO CE standards are far more stringent than our ABYC and USCG standards. I'm not happy about this fact buts its the way it is at this juncture. A CE mark Cat "B" offshore rating is a vessel that's been designed to withstand waves of up to 4 meters and winds up to beaufort force 8 or less . This also means that with this certification the mjm brand can be sold in the EU as is off the shelf. As far as a narrow beam compared to a Black cove the difference is exactly one foot /mjm beam 10'2"- B.C. 11'2".
    Most of the options on the Black Cove are standard equipment on the mjm. We had one as a tender for a 58 meter yacht and after towing it for two years and guests / crew abuse the boat was darn near bullet proof with minimal issues.
  10. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    IIRC, the story about the original Mainship hull is that Silverton got it from some defunct yard in Maine... Something like that... Would have been circa '77-'78 or so...



    Good points about standards, but if Judy's customer intends mostly only coastal or inland cruising... the ICW or the Loop, for example, the extra costs associated with an ISO CE certified boat may not be attractive.

    -Chris
  11. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks to all for the responses. Good information - please keep em coming. The pickins are slim for the size and budget...

    Judy
  12. jsschieff

    jsschieff Senior Member

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    Take a look at Cape Dory -- they made a nice 28 footer. A small but good brand was Blue Star -- they made a very appealing 29 that is affordably priced on the used market. Another boat to consider is the Albin 31 -- a good looking boat with an interesting -- even clever -- interior design. Eastern Boats are very plainly finished but they are acceptable quality.
  13. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I second the Blue Star but there aren't many of them around. Another limited production boat worth looking at is the 32' Atlas Acadia. I sold one in CA (twice) and was very impressed with it. There are a couple of mid 2000 models on the market in FL.
  14. j.waterr

    j.waterr New Member

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    The list in my opinion is good. I would also do the same and add Sabre.
  15. 993RSR

    993RSR Senior Member

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    MJM is extreme quality, strong resale and capable offshore. We owned one and loved it.
    Legacy is good quality very popular and above average in a chop (the 32 is crazy popular)
    Sabre is a distant 3rd but does not build in the under 34 range
    Mainship is a price boat so you get all the cheap boat issues
    Fortier is well built and handsome. Tough resale unless you take it home NE. No two are the same.
    Back Cove is for your average boater looking for simple and late model. Not a good sea boat for her size and her modified V makes her a "slider" around the dock. Single screw with a tiny rudder. The mostly came with flag blue gel coat that lasted 2 years
    Eastbay 38's are 18 years old now but several rock stars on the market in the low 200's
  16. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    In my mind, most of the boats being mentioned are production boats that use the "downeast" moniker, except for Duffy and Fortier.
    If you are looking for a true downeast design, look to the maine builders, Wesmac, Duffy, Northern Bay, etc.
    A good source for you would be the downeast boat forum, lots of knowledgeable guys on there and they find some nice boats that are listed for sale throughout the internet
    There was a nice 26' Fortier for sale in Ft. Lauderdale for a while now.
  17. 993RSR

    993RSR Senior Member

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    Jarvis Newman...

    Yes agreed but most downeast shoppers are really looking for the more modern interpretation. Similar to trawler buyers who want to cruise at 18 knots