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Large Sportfish Buying Suggestions...

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by nick.adams, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. nick.adams

    nick.adams New Member

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    I've spent the past two decades sailing with friends and family on a variety of craft and now find my float plan changing drastically. For the first time I find myself in the market for a powerboat. I plan to cruise the eastern United States from Massachusetts to Florida before setting off for the Keys, Bahamas, and northern coast of South America.

    I feel a sportfish would be the right choice as it provides speed, range, and superior handling. I've done a great deal of shopping on my own but have come to perhaps the end of my knowledge. Therefore, a few questions for my fellow forum members/readers:

    1. What, if anything, have you heard about the quality of Garlington yachts? Are they well built? Are their systems well designed and installed? How is their handling in a seaway?

    2. While I was intrigued by the open/express Donzi 58, I feel a flybridge convertible would offer more space for the guests I assume will tag along at points along the journey. Do you feel the added height of the flybridge will offer much advantage in navigation/visibility?

    3. Are there any boats in the 54 - 65 foot range you've had much experience with and would recommend to someone with the plans I've mentioned above? (3 staterooms, large cockpit, decent/long range (400+ miles), 30 knot cruise, 35+ knot top end, shallow draft)

    I appreciate any and all responses
  2. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Welcome to YF Nick. You're thread has been retitled for better indexing and relevancy. I've also moved the thread to the General Discussion forum for a while.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Garlington builds a good boat, but it is not one of the more mainstream custom sportfish. They handle well from what I understand. I think a Sportfish is a good choice for what you plan on doing.

    A flybridge does make it easier when you are doing a lot of traveling. The increased visibility and isolation from the engine noise are very nice when doing long days at 30 knots. A 10 hr day at the helm of an express is a bit more tiring, however has its advantages as well as in getting around the boat, to the fridge, head, etc.

    I think the best boat in the size range you're looking for as well as for your goals right now is a Bayliss or a Jim Smith. I have a lot of experience with a Jim Smith and it was a phenominal boat. I also know friends that have run Baylisses and have been very happy. But when it comes to speed, ride, economy, range etc I don't think you could go wrong with either of the two. I hear very good things about F+S' as well but have no experience with them. I don't consider a 54-65' a large sportfish these days.
  4. nick.adams

    nick.adams New Member

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    Capt J, Thanks very much for your response. I do have a question about Jim Smith and you seem uniquely qualified to answer. I know that they sent Don Blount back to the drafting board a few years ago for a tweak of their hulls with an emphasis towards a better ride at the expense of their trademark speed. Most of the Smiths on the brokerage market seem to be the "old hulls." Have you had experience on both the "old" and "new" and if so, have you noticed a difference? Would you caution someone on the performance of the older hulls?
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I haven't seen the Jim Smith's slow down as they've gotten newer and with newer hull designs. The early Jim Smith's were narrow and not very beamy and that is part of how they were so fast. The newer ones are beamier, yet still fast yet maybe with more hp to make the same speed. I used to work FT on a 75' Jim Smith SF 03, it had a 22' beam. It cruised at 35 knots (1950rpms) and 42 knots top end. It had a very very good ride and was an amazing boat, the bow never lifted. It idled at a touch over 10 knots with both engines in gear, by 1100 rpms you were on plane and doing almost 20 knots. It has MTU 16v2000's 2000hp. The build quality and craftsmanship was amazing on the boat, like an Ed Brown 1911.

    I might be a little biased, I grew up drooling over "Iwo Jima" as a kid, it was docked directly across the canal from my mother's house for many years. It was completely restored but towerless, and kept perfectly, yet never left the dock from what I could tell for over 10 years.......
  6. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF! In the crewed sportfish world under 60 is small, 60-70 is medium, 70-80 is large and 80+ is XL.
    Buying a custom boat you will find they tend to be faster but smaller customer support. That's not a deal breaker as the boats individual condition is more important, as well as your choice of captain. Many SF captains these days "just fish" and do maint but not repairs. If you travel extensively you either need lots of money + time or a captain that can fix things on the fly. As far as the bridge/express question most custom boats with the exception of Donzi have a small flybridge, and most of the Donzi 58/65's will not have the speed you are looking for. Do you want a larger fly bridge to entertain? Take a ride on many boats- you may find you like a fiberglass boat more, or like the composite and/or cold molded wood boats better. You might like the Hatteras width and stability- or the speed of a Jim Smith which has more roll side to side.
    To help you find the boat which may be the best fit one has to ask- are you looking new or used? There are lots of questions you need to ask yourself about what your plans are for the boat in order to find the boat that will accomplish those plans. Asking here ought to be able to bring those questions out and get the answers.
  7. nick.adams

    nick.adams New Member

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    @Capt J: Thanks for the note on the build quality. This comment actually dovetails with Bamboo's point about custom vs. production - I was hesitant to look at custom boats because I know they don't have the dealer "network" that a production boat has but if it's quality construction with straightforward engineering and reliable systems I'm not worried.

    @Bamboo: Thank you for the reply. I do some entertaining (everyone's best friend is someone with a boat!) but in smaller groups, usually 6-8 people, so flybridge size isn't a concern unless it's ridiculously small. I love the look of the donzi 58/65's as well as the handling but as you said, they don't offer the speed I want.

    I began my powerboat search looking at Viking Sport Cruisers, namely the V58 and 65 and, while impressed by their performance, found them lacking in range, storage, and speed.

    I'm not considering a new boat for a few reasons - I'd rather have a boat that's been through a real shake-down period; I feel used boats offer better value for money; and there are so many quality boats on the brokerage market that I don't feel a need to run to a new boat dealership.

    I'm also considering the previous generation (pre 2004) Hatteras 60 as well as the Viking 61 and you may have seen my initial post asking about Garlingtons. Do you have any suggestions? Recommendations?
  8. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    Mcmullen and Wing built 4 of the Garlington Landeweer designs. There smallest and my personal favorite "Wine and Roses" is 72' which I did see it up for sale about 8ish months ago - $6.5m NZD

    If you could get your hands on one of these boats, the build quality from Mcmullen would be right up there. Plus there drop dead gorgeous :D

    Far
  9. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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  10. nick.adams

    nick.adams New Member

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    Congratulations on 500!

    That Garlington is certainly far out of my price range, but a beautiful boat nonetheless.
  11. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    The 61 Viking is a great boat. Later model 65's with the prop pockets are a very nice boat also ... some do say they tend to "submarine" in very large seas as the bow is not huge. The newer model Vikings have substantially larger bows so there may be some merit to that view. The 64 Viking is also a great boat- it's a newer design than the 61 or 65. Note for clarity I spent three years at the Viking south yard in the mechanical dept/ + captain in the early 2000's.
    I very much agree with the buying a newer used boat- of the big three Viking/Bertram/Hatteras all three need a year of use to identify and remedy the issues that will arise immediately after delivery. Viking has the factory + yard up north and a yard in Palm Beach county just for those purposes- and a dealer in Panama (pacific side) that will (or ought attempt) to address issues- new or used. Hatteras stands behind their product and has a good reputation. IDK about Bertram's service but I'm sure others may chime in. I have less experience with custom boats other than Donzi- I've been on hull #4 of the 65's for close to 7 years now. A good marine survey should show you potential issues with boats you make an offer on. As far as recommendations- I think you can't go wrong with a 64 Viking with a set of Cats.
  12. nick.adams

    nick.adams New Member

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    Based on your experience, would you say the hull of the 64 is a significant improvement over the 65's?
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I would say yes, dryer at trolling speeds and at speed, softer ride, and such. They basically took all of the pluses of the 61' and 65' and learned from them, and threw them into the 64' and improved upon both's shortcomings.

    I think that every production builder has one size that really outshines from the rest. For example the Hatteras 54' has a phenominal ride for it's size.....with Viking it used to be the 61' where the 55' was wet......etc etc.....
  14. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    X2 on the 64 thoughts from Capt J.
    In a smaller package the 52 is a very good boat which seems to slide between waves nicely. Many captains I met while there preferred the 52 to larger models. In Venezuela that was a plus with the weather they have.
  15. nikki555

    nikki555 New Member

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    Nick I have a 61 viking 01 I use it from long Island to Fla and Bahamas. I am not a capt so I can only comment on my boat..It is a good running boat and good range.. I'm sure the newer 64 is a better running boat but there is a big price difference..I can answered some of your question on the 61..Joe
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A 61' with CAT C 32's is a good running boat and will cruise 34 knots if you push it 80% load. Although the C32's seemed to run smoother and much quieter and less fuel at 1950 rpms and the boat still cruised at 32-33 knots. The 61 is very stable at trolling speeds, but doesn't ride terrific in a 3-5ft head sea. The one I ran on a long trip had the 200 gallon bow fuel tank addition and it rode much better once you transfered that 200 gallons into the main tank.
  17. FatPauly

    FatPauly New Member

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