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Fleming or Marlow Yachts?

Discussion in 'General Trawler Discussion' started by lurch, Dec 14, 2011.

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  1. lurch

    lurch New Member

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    I'm brand new to the forum and very impressed with the information and knowledge on YachtForums! I had a Meridian 58 and put it up for sale early this year and it sold. So, my wife and I are looking for a used 55 to 60 ft used boat. We kept our Meridian in Greenport, NY (the North Fork of Long Island) and liked both the North Fork and cruising around New England.

    In looking at Yachtworld, we're attracted to the Marlow and Fleming. I'm told that the Marlow is a very wet boat and we frequently encounter rough weather. Can it be wetter than a Meridian? Otherwise it seems quite roomy and seaworthy.

    The Fleming seems small (saw one at the Annapolis Boat Show) and I need a space to sprawl out (I'm 71 and 6'3", so when I'm tired I'd like a salon that I can relax in with a book, and leave room for my wife). The main stateroom is in the bow and I'm wondering if there is wave-slap noise in that stateroom.

    Any information on these two boats and others is most welcome.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Both are good well built boats, but I feel the Fleming is a touch above the Marlow in quality, I also would not forget to look at Offshore's and Outer Reef's. I haven't run either, so I cannot tell you how they ride, but they both are a major step up in quality above a Meridian.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Another Eastender. Welcome to YF Lurch. I think you'll find both the ride and quality with any of the boats you or Capt. J mentioned a big step up and more than capable of handling whatever you'll find around here. I met a guy down in Norfolk about a year ago who's had his Marlow up as far as Newfoundland and still likes it.
    There is a bit more wave-slap with a forward SR and a bouncier ride if there while cruising, but it's seldom a deal breaker. Good luck.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Ohhhh, and with your size. Find a boat with a king size in the master and preferably a full beam master. I have had several owners sell their boats and trade up because they couldn't get a good nights sleep with the wife and a tapered queen master.
  5. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Lurch-

    Did you look at the 55 or 65 Fleming? There is a night and day difference between the two, simply in what they do with the additional beam, let alone the 10 feet of length.

    I'd agree with Capt J on the Fleming being a touch nicer, however Marlow is no ugly duckling in the field. I have grown fond of them more in the last year or two, versus several years back where we looked at both of them, side by side, very closely.

    To each their own. Fleming, in my opinion really, really thought the boat through for cruisers. Husband / Wife combo type sailing. Dig around the hatches, laz, engine room, other systems, etc. and it will be apparent. Marlow does a nice job as well, but I like the Fleming's.

    There are a couple of fit and finish blunders that Fleming had a couple years back with their door hardware, which I'm pretty sure they've cleaned up in recent models.

    Marlow had issues in random boats with vibrations in the running gear, but I've not heard much of it in recent years.

    I think both are well made boats. Like I said, we looked very closely at both in our search. I'd also second opening your search to include Grand Banks, and Offshore. Offshore's are very under rated boats and highly regarded by their owners.

    There are also a few discussions in the forum on them that have taken place over the years, so it may be worth a search. If you haven't seen the Fleming 65, and it's in your price point, I'd take another look at it.

    Welcome to the forum!
  6. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Offshore Boats

    Fully agree with PropBet in regards to the Offshore boats.
    I spent time on an older 55, then looked over a 62' and finally bought a 58 Offshore for less than the same year 55 Fleming. I and my family found the 58' (which is the same as the 62', just shorter boarding platform) to be the BEST boat we have owned and as PropBet says, they seem to be under rated when compared to Marlow and Fleming.
    A 55 Fleming is far smaller than a 58 Offshore, even though it is supposed to be only a 3' difference. The Fleming tapers more at the cockpit and has a smaller salon etc.

    The Offshore 58/62 has a mid-stateroom with a large queen bed & ensuite. Large pilothouse, large cockpit and plenty of storage.
    They are a low profile for a pilothouse and great layout. We spent time cruising, diving and fishing off the East Coast Australia in various sea conditions and have no complaints. I have been caught in some reasonably bad following seas coming through inlets (we call them bars) and found she was no problem, except I had to turn off the stabilisers sometimes as it felt as though they might tear off the hull.
    Note: I am cautious mentioning wave heights on this forum because inevitably I will be told “you call that big…..well I had seas this big…etc.” ;) and the guys are probably right, bad seas depends on your experience and is relative to the “norm”. Having said that, the seas over here are not gentle as a rule.
    Built in Taiwan by one of the better and respected yards. Can be customised etc.
    Not as "salty" as a Fleming, or refined either, but still quality.
  7. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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    fleming vs marlow

    i had the chance to look at both fleming 65 in cannes and 2 marlows (around 90-100 feet range) at fort lauderdale.

    besides the difference in quality another aspect that differs is the general detailing for a better boat. my opinion there has been more efforts, thoughts spent for designing a better boat in the fleming. marlows has a lot of ideas, but seems they are more sporadic and does not so much look like an intact design but more like quick solutions.
  8. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    I had the opportunity to take a tour through the Flemming 65 some time ago during the Hanseboot in Hamburg and even had the opportunitxy to talk to Mr. Tony flemming personally.
    Even though I made it clear that I am not a customer for one of his boats he took the time to talk with me for about almost an hour. We spent about 30 minutes of that time sitting conviniently in the engine room and discussing technical details.
    I had to confess that I really was impressed by the construction quality of that boat, especially the technical details concerning shaft system, electrics, the whole navitronic stuff, interiour quality and sense for details. You know you feel offended when you look at a millionairs´toy and find toy compasses in the wheelhouse. Not here!
    I inspected the smaller one a few years before at the Düsseldorf Boat show and the 65ft. version feels really like about 40% more ship in terms of interiour space. Concerning the technical stuff, I have to say that I never saw a recreational boat that was so consequently built to commercial quality.
    I cannot speak for or against Marlow, but I can recommend Flemming without hesitation.
  9. u4ea32

    u4ea32 New Member

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    Climbed all over Marlow and Fleming at FLIBS 4 years ago. Very similar as others mentioned.

    I've spent a few weeks on Fleming 55 and Fleming 65 cruising islands between Florida and Antigua (warm with both smooth and rough water).

    Both boats had active stabilizers (Naiad and Trac), but in sufficient seaway as one gets crossing the gulf stream or between the T&C and VI, both stabilizer systems could not always handle the sustained workload to control roll. On both boats, this lead to injuries on board, overheat shutdown of hydraulics, and damage to the fin linkages due to the high loads.

    Both Flemings are very quiet at anchor due to the lack of chines anywhere near the waterline. This is a very big deal to me, and a reason I won't again own a boat with chine flats or swim platforms near the waterline.

    Both Flemings as well as all the Marlows and nearly any other builder I've inspected over the past couple of decades have a serious deficiency that would not be difficult to rectify: they need the air conditioning running for decent ventilation. Dorade vents are necessary, but rarely fitted on modern yachts. The deck hatches on the Flemings do give decent ventilation in the forward stateroom, but only if the cabin door is open. The rest of the boat remains uncomfortably stuffy unless its cool and/or the air conditioning is always running.

    Access to mechanicals on the Fleming 75 is great, but not so good on the smaller boats. IMHO, its at least as important to have standing headroom and lots of elbow room in the mechanical spaces as in the galley, saloon, or bridge. While the floors CAN be lifted, doing so is both difficult and leads to noise and fume leaks. The carbon monoxide danger is very real in boats with insufficient ventilation and unsealed engine rooms beneath accomodation. CO lead to headaches and sea sickness to most aboard.

    The noise, vibration, harshness is very low on Flemings if you cruise them at efficient displacement speeds. With both Flemings, as well as with most boats, the longer you cruise aboard, the slower you want to go. About 8 knots on the 55, 9 on the 65 seemed appropriate. Therefore, most are very overpowered. Smaller engines would improve everything related to engine room maintenance, and reduce NVH.

    While the Fleming is very well and accurately documented (this is amazingly rare, and amazingly valuable), it still seemed far too complicated in the way electrical systems were wired as everything went via the bridge. Gives the nice feeling of centralized control, but the reality is wiring become more and more convoluted quickly over the life of the boat.

    The very good news about both Flemings: almost everything was very easy to access, and nothing seemed difficult to access. Again, this is quite rare and very valuable.
  10. Kapn

    Kapn Member

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    Those are good Points. I've run both, probably more time on the Flemings, and they are incredibly quiet and smooth. No reverse chine and a fine entry at the waterline in the bow makes it a very quiet master stateroom. The ventilation is good with hatches and ports, but not for the guest staterooms.
    The Fleming salon floor is dogged down, removeable hatches, which make getting a generator or engines out possible. One Marlow I ran needed the generators to be torn down to the blocks to be removed, another got a engine rebuild in place since the carpentry would have cost more than the engines. The new ones lost their warranties after being disassembled in order to be installed. Last time I checked, a proper exhaust system doesn't leak CO into any space on a boat.
    Also, take a look into the Marlow Sea Chest. I kept losing prime to the Air Conditioners every time the engines started. I guess it's cheaper than using seacocks in a cored hull. Which brings me to the final point, I sure it's been discussed plenty before, but the Marlow has a cored hull and the Fleming is solid glass.
    The layout on the Marlow is more conducive to entertaining guests, but forget running at night down below. I had the owners son watching TV, making snacks, etc. I finally went to the flybridge and toughed out the cold and rain.
    Never had stabilizer problems on either boats. But that brings up another point, most buyers don't look into the size of the fins and actuators. Undersized or marginally sized systems are almost always the "standard", very few manufacturers use a proper sized unit on the base price sheet.
  11. u4ea32

    u4ea32 New Member

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    Right. I think the fumes were coming in because we did not have the interior over-pressure via airconditioning.
    I think one reason we had problems was we ran the boat at comfortable (quiet, efficient, low vibration) speed. The faster you go, the smaller fin you need, and that varies by the square of the speed. So if the fins are intended for 16 knots and you run at 8 knots, you need 4 times the blade area!

    We had problems with the stabilizers on both boats in what I'd say is not all that unusual gulf stream conditions and open ocean conditions, with some wave tops above eye level in the bridge.
  12. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    How could A/C create much if any "interior over-pressure"? All it does is move air around.
  13. vlafrank

    vlafrank Senior Member

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    "over-pressure"

    He's just talking about maintaining "positive air pressure" in the boat. No biggie. The same necessity exists in large buildings, as well. The A/C does a bit more than just move air around within the boat; positive pressure would indeed inhibit exhaust fumes from coming into the boat, although not stop them completely unless A/C recirculate was selected. Even then, the boat better be darned "tight."
  14. vlafrank

    vlafrank Senior Member

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    And now for the inevitable............

    knee-jerk, rhetorical question, to wit: How come no one's mentioned my personal favorite, Nordhavn? Aren't they even sturdier than Marlows and Flemings? Thicker hulls, stringers, frames, scantlings, extremely robust mechanical systems, and so on? Will no one on this forum even briefly sing their praises as legitimate substitutes for M and F?

    Hate to be so predictable, but..................
  15. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    Oh, especially Nordhavns are so different. The smaller ones tend to have a staircase where other yachts have companionways. :D
    You either love them or decide that they´re not for you.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Really a different class (style) of boat, although I personally like them. Too 'boaty' for many. As for singing their praises, they've done that pretty well themselves here on a few occasions and burned some bridges in the process. SEARCH their name here and you'll see what I'm referring to.
  17. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Let's see, maybe because the topic header asks "Fleming or Marlow?"
  18. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Maybe because the thread title is FLEMING or MARLOW? :rolleyes:
  19. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Oops! Posted at the same time as Marmot.
  20. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    What is it they say about "like minds?" :D