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Long-Range Trawler / Explorer Yacht Brands

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by ThirdStew, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm currently looking for a long-range vessel to travel the world via water. Unfortunately, I have lived in a sportfish bubble so I know very little about the trawler/explorer world. However, I am experienced with boats as a whole - from the motors to the systems to the electronics.

    I recently met a couple on a Nordhavn (60'+ - I forget) who raved about the boat and the company, which as we all know, is weird in the boating industry as there are ALWAYS problems. As it turns out, Nordhavn has a heck of a reputation. I also spoke to some "friends" who own both sportfishers and explorers and they all recommend going Dutch. Problem is, I don't want a 40 meter, $30 Million dollar boat with a full-time crew.

    I currently have two captains who maintain my other boats, who would love to travel the world via water as well so I think it would be a great setup to have them join along and help maintain and run the vessel. Switching them over to full-time would be a minimal increase in expenses. Issue is, what size boat could I make this happen without needing a full-time staff for one boat. One captain maintains the systems, the other maintains the "appearance" with his wife and two kids; four people in total.

    Next issue is, which shipyard builds a quality boat with long-range capabilities?

    Nordhavn? Sounds like it, but I am looking for steel, and maybe most importantly, something not made in China (They're already a powerhouse of a nation - I'd prefer to give business elsewhere). Though for some reason, I have been coming back to Nordhavn.

    I came across Bering. They also look interesting, though new. Not too much on them, unfortunately.

    Van Der Valk is a dutch builder with an Explorer line. Again, not much on them.

    Hartman Yachts has the Amundsen line, but as the trend goes, not a lot of information.

    I'm a single guy, so in addition to the two captains and their family, we'll need four berths. I'd also like two other berths for guests, so that's six in total. This isn't a traditional owner/crew relationship where the crew needs their own quarters; instead, we enjoy doing everything together (They refer to me as the Third Stew since I am hands on and let them dictate chores/tasks! I love learning from their years of experience.). Because of this, I'd like the option to run the boat from the flybridge, have ample exterior space and an additional space to "get away" from everyone when needed (Ex. A Sky Lounge). As I stated in the beginning, I just want a quality build. If there's one thing I learned from buying new boats, it's forget about the warranty and just do it yourself. So the bones are more important to me than getting a new refrigerator installed (Usually half@$$ed).

    I figured you guys (And Gals) would be more intone with all of this than myself. Hopefully I can narrow down a few companies then spend the time visiting the yards and sales teams.
  2. Riknpat

    Riknpat Member

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    Your dream is the same is mine but I will never ever have the budget to do it:( ... but if I ever won a big lottery:) ... the Burger Northlander would suit me to a tee. Its 103 feet but that includes a large fishing area added at the transom. Luiz de Basto originally designed it as a 90 footer which is probably enough if you aren't intending to fish. YF gave it a good review.
  3. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    How far do you want to roam? How off-shore? One boat I worked on had a range of 10k miles and we visited some really way-off places.

    A bit more than a cruise around the Caribbean.
  4. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    I was a poor kid raised by a single mother. I was always fascinated with boats and so when I was around twelve years old, I would ask her to call and get prices. Dream big - it'll happen one day! That Burger looks stunning!

    It's easy for me to say the most remote places around the world. However, with greater distance comes greater responsibility due to the size of the boat. I think. It looks like most (Under 35 Meters) are in the 3,000 to 6,000 NM range at cruise speed. Not sure about the Van Der Valk or Hartman. I am lucky enough to have a 62' sportfish for closer ventures. What brand / size boat did you work on? Sounds like a neat experience!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  5. Slimshady

    Slimshady New Member

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    Not steel but outer reef makes a great boat. Owned a 73' and it fits a lot of your requirements. The steel trawlers are going to be very slow and that can wear on you. I currently own a 60 sportfish. The outer reef can run 10 knots before you start to get silly with the fuel usage. Headquarters are in Ft. Lauderdale and ownership absolutely stands behind their boats. I'll get another when I have time to slow down a little.
  6. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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  7. unsinker

    unsinker Member

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    Hello, Moonen and Kuipers brands worth exploring as well.
  8. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    Thank you! We typically cruise at 37 Knots and pin the throttles in tournaments to hit 43 Knots so it will most definitely be a change at 10 Knots. However, I think my desire to "get away" and explore the earth is driven by the premise of slowing down and enjoying life. Living and working in NYC is not the most relaxing thing in the world - haha!

    As I mentioned in my original post, I keep going back to Nordhavn (I wasn't familiar with Ocean Reef). If I decide to break from my original thurst for steel, I will most certainly look into them. Thanks again!

    Thanks, Fishtigua! She is a beauty. I think I'd like to stick with a new build, however, to 1) stretch out the payment structure (Due to the current market - BUY!!), 2) have the ability to remove the crew quarters and 3) it seems like less headaches and I am a stickler (Along with my two captains) with doing things correctly. I had warranty work on a Viking and the technician wanted to run all sorts of different color wiring - not acceptable. So I do prefer to start from scratch rather than figuring out past fixes.

    I have been on SCOUT by Hakvoort numerous times and she is stunning. The owner, staff, crew and Captain have said nothing but good things about the boat/company. Unfortunately, those top-tier builders (Hakvoort, Feadship, Oceanco, etc.) are on a different level and I'm just not quite there.

    Ah, I forgot about Moonen. Last I heard they had some financial issues due to a partner who had made some mistakes. I could be wrong, though. Do you have any personal experience with Moonen?
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Moonen's finances would scare me.

    Outer Reef could be a good choice. I'd also consider Selene, Horizon, and Cheoy Lee.

    Burger can and did build a good boat. What you're looking for is small for most of the Dutch and German builders.
  10. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF. You've gotten some good suggestions. I too believe in steel hulls and especially for long-range cruising. I've given numerous seminars on the differences between various hull materials and I think everyone concurs that steel is safer as to fires and collisions. There are a few builders in Canada that I would strongly recommend. If a Canadian build is of interest, send me a PM.
  11. mapism

    mapism Member

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    Zero interest to make publicity to anyone.
    But having had the opportunity to see a boat built by Theriault in Nova Scotia, I can only second JWY viewpoint 100%.
    Proper commercial grade stuff, but with as many refinements as desired.
    I can't vouch first hand for any other Canadian yards, but there might be some worth considering.
  12. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    While Moonen has a new owner, they have had a shaky path. I would stay away unless you wanted to own a shipyard down the road. I think Van Der Valk would be a good option and you could go down custom builds with them as well.
  13. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    I agree 100% on the Mooned finance issue. I read an article where someone was chomping at the bit to step in but that's where due diligence comes into play. But, like I said, what's most important to me is a solid build rather than warranty work. Thanks for the recommendations! Another friend has a Cheoy Lee and has raved about it, but for me, I really think I'd like to avoid China.

    Do you have any experience with Van Der Valk? I've been placing calls around to see if I can find someone with experience but I am not having much luck. Also, I know a custom sportfish can cost almost double that of a production boat. How is pricing, generally, on custom explorers vs production? Or does it vary greatly shipyard to shipyard?
  14. mapism

    mapism Member

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    If that's your focus, you wouldn't regret checking out also the production of Cantiere delle Marche in Italy.
    Depending on size also, because I don't think they build anything under 90 feet or so.
    But their heritage stretches to the construction of gas carrier ships, which are among the most dangerous things afloat.
    "Solid" doesn't even start describing how they are used to build...
    No connection at all, aside of being Italian myself.
  15. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    Italy is one of my favorite places in the world but...not so sure about their boats. I've been on a few and I was underwhelmed. Though, they sure do look pretty. I'm looking around 100' or so. Do you or anyone you know have personal experience with CDM?
  16. mapism

    mapism Member

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    At 100 feet or so, they can indeed build some remarkable small ships.
    But sorry, no first hand experience, if by that you mean ownership and/or cruising.
    I did see one of their earlier Darwin series boats though, and "solid" was written all over her.

    Btw, since you say that Italian boats are pretty, you obviously have something completely different in mind.
    I mean, something like Ferretti, Azimut, etc.
    Forget all that stuff, which is not even remotely aimed at the explorer yacht segment.
    With CdM, the beauty of their vessels is probably the only thing that might actually disappoint you!
  17. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    Nope, I most certainly have an explorer in mind (And have not considered a Ferretti, Azimut, etc.). Function > form. I will say, I do have a more modern style, which is why I find Italian styling so appealing. I have more windows in my life than I care to admit but I am not a ship builder so I leave that to them to decide. Just look at the difference between a Nordhavn 96 and the CDM. One is more classic while the other has a modern flair. The question is: are they both capable? Then you come across, Serenity - a Nordhavn 100 that has modern touches. Obviously the interior can be changed. I'm simply looking for a good set of bones. Italians have been known to slack on electrical, and if I had to pick a weak spot in our capabilities, it's electrical (though we are capable).
  18. mapism

    mapism Member

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    That's a bit of a commonplace in my experience, having seen also several boats built in the US, Canada, UK, NZ, China and Taiwan.
    There are indeed some yards that deserve such bad reputation, but also others that are second to none.

    Just as an example, below is a photo of one row of relais inside the electrical panel of my own boat.
    Already in 2004 when she was built, she had just milliamps running through all the switches, with the same logic of modern KNX domotic systems.
    And in turn, the switches control several arrays of relais in the electrical panel, like the one below.
    All of which are coded and traceable, both in the control and in the power wires, as you can see.
    As of today, after 16 years, none of these components ever failed, and they are all still working as when the boat was new.
    The reason why one is not the same as the others is that its function is slightly different, but that's also original.
    Sadly, the builder is among several small ones that didn't survive the subprime aftermath, and it would be irrelevant to you anyhow, because they used to build only planing GRP boats, after the early years of wooden construction.
    But you see what the example means.

    Now, there isn't much I can tell you about the electrical systems in CdM boats, but I would be surprised if they weren't as good as they can get.
    If nothing else, because as I said their heritage include gas carrier ships, where even the most remote risk of an electrical spark is simply not an option.
    That's not too hard to check, anyway.
    Just a matter of arranging a visit together with your captain or any other engineer that you trust.
    Which would be also a great excuse for enjoying some Italian food and wine, which in the region where CdM is based (among several others, actually) are both excellent.

    Of course, you'd better not plan such trip very shortly, for very obvious reasons.
    But don't worry, we will not let the virus defeat us! :)

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  19. mapism

    mapism Member

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    Coming to think of it, I forgot Brazil in my initial list of boatbuilding Countries.
    Choose whatever you like, but do yourself a favour and don't waste your time on any Inace.
    Talking of electrical system, those are boats that make a shiver run down my spine... :(
  20. ThirdStew

    ThirdStew New Member

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    Wait, I shouldn't visit Italy? But on a serious note, it breaks my heart what is happening over there. Hopefully things get better sooner rather than later, and I hope you're making out ok.

    In the US, there is a boat company called Grady White. They have had a stellar reputation in the industry for years! I can't tell you how many electrical and plumbing issues I had and how incredibly difficult they were to fix. I had to destroy a $5,000 seat to repair a simple wire (Under warranty, luckily). It was a mess, and on a 37' boat nonetheless. I bought a new Viking Sportfish and...they print on every single wire what it is and where it goes to. My mind was blown. "Left Teaser Reel"; "Right Teaser Reel"; "Left Dredge"; so on and so fourth. Hands down the very best electrical and plumbing systems I have ever seen. I guess I am looking for the same attention to detail.

    Thank you for your help with CdM -- I'll take a deeper look into them as the do have attractive offerings. And again, I hope everything turns out ok for you over there :) Stay safe!