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Make/model Recommendations...

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Troy Pugh, May 12, 2021.

  1. Troy Pugh

    Troy Pugh New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Hey folks, first off thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    So I'm planning to buy my first "big boat" sometime between now and the end of the year (more likely after Labor Day when prices hopefully trend downward). My budget is ~$150-170k, so obviously looking at older boats, and I'm focusing on the 39-55' range. I've been doing a lot of research and looking and reading and watching videos, etc, and I've narrowed down the features I'm looking for into "Must have" and "Want to have" lists. The boat so far that I think scratches the most items off the list is a Cruisers 4450, but I'd love to have other options to consider as well.

    Must haves:
    Diesel engines
    Ability to cruise at ~18-20kts while getting ~1 MPG (0.7+)
    Two cabins with queen beds
    Flybridge
    Swim platform with no vertical ladder to enter rest of the boat (stairs are fine)
    Galley
    Generator
    Good Air Conditioning (I'm in New Orleans after all)

    Really want:
    2 heads (in case one has issues)
    Cockpit/aft deck, or large enough flybridge to entertain
    Good size tanks (fuel/water/holding)

    Usage plans:
    I live in a neighborhood of canals that connect to Lake Ponchartrain and from there out to the Gulf, I've got 85' of waterfront, and would like to be able to do everything from sunset cruises to overnights out to the barrier islands, to running ~140 miles to Perdido Key/Floribama on long weekends. Once or twice a year a longer trip of a couple weeks, potentially more often when Starlink is fully up and running and I'm able to work from the boat. :)

    I've looked at numerous makes/models that I've liked, but either they don't meet the speed/fuel numbers I'm after or they lack one of the other must-have items (express boats generally lack a flybridge for instance). And honestly I'm just flat out scared of Sea Rays with the soggy hull issues among other things. Silverton has some boats I've considered, Carver as well, but if I'm missing anything I'd love to know!

    Thanks again!
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,218
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Welcome to YF.
    When someone has two size vessels in mind I always recommend they go with the larger, because they'll be at the bigger one within 3 years anyway and this will save them a broker's commission. I call it 3 year-itis. Also almost everything you wrote says go for the bigger boat. There's only two caveats I want to give you: 1) You mention cruising the canals. Do they have the depth (5'+)? Also how much of a fairway do the canals offer? I recently saw a story about people putting roofs on their docks and Hydra-hoists that made it impossible for several neighbors to get out of their canals. 2) Depending on your previous experience your insurance company may require you to hire a captain for the first year once you get around 50'.
    As for what boat to get, a lot will fit your list. Best advice I can give at this point is to make sure the manufacturer has good representation near you for service and parts.
    Btw I commend you for determining your planned usage and looking for the boat that fills the need. Too many just fall for boat and later find it doesn't fit their usage.
  3. Troy Pugh

    Troy Pugh New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Oh the canals here are plenty large enough, the previous owner had a ~50' behind my house and I thus inherited a very nice Eaton shore power/water station. :) There are multiple large/multi-mast sailboats as well, the canals are generally dug 15-25'.

    As far as previous experience, I should have enough to get by, between 20+ years in smaller (20-25') boats, 4 years in the Navy, and one brother who's retired Coast Guard and one retired Navy Special Boat Team. I'll probably work on my 6pak as well, but really I've been around/on boats most of my life.

    On the service and parts front, that was one concern I had about Silverton, with them being out of business now, but on the other hand how many of the really important things were actually made by Silverton vs the engine/genset/pumps/etc manufacturers?

    I agree on the more boat is generally better, though in my searching I'm trying to find a "sweet spot" between year and size. I mean, I could find some early 80's 62 Hatt's vs a 2007 41' Silverton, for instance, and I'd probably go with the '07 just because it'd be less to upgrade/replace right away.
  4. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    899
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    39’-55’ is a pretty big range. Boats on the larger end may be difficult to find that have the fuel mileage at cruise you are looking for. Also, to get in the larger range you will be pushed toward an older boat to fit your budget. Most of your must haves you can find in a boat in the low 40 foot range and you will likely get a newer, better condition boat. The one thing that may be a problem is the two heads. With proper maintenance and ensuring your guests don’t flush things they shouldn’t the heads are pretty reliable so might need to ask yourself if you really need two? Or are you willing to burn a bit more fuel in a bigger boat or slow down to get the efficiency you want?
  5. Troy Pugh

    Troy Pugh New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Agreed that it's a pretty wide range, and I anticipate ending up in the low to mid 40s unless I give up on having a flybridge and look at an express, where the extra length may be necessary to get the interior I want and won't hurt as badly on fuel economy. Really, that Cruisers 4450 is about as close to perfect as I've found, but wondering what other suggestions I should look at (or stay away from). Right now it's insane trying to find anything at all, even just to go take a look at. Listing are under contract the day they appear, and between this being the worst time of year in a normal year, and people coming out of COVID, supply chain disruptions, etc etc. I'm just hoping that by the fall/winter the market calms down a bit, I guess we'll see.
  6. LuvBigBoats

    LuvBigBoats Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You didn't mention fishing, but if you're interested in fishing the post-2004 Mikelson 43 SF checks most of your boxes. Best flybridge of any SF that size and post 2004 (even some 2004s) have stairs from the cockpit to the flybridge, which was one of my requirements back when I bought mine (just sold it recently).
  7. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    223
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    I'd expand the length to 58' and look at the Hatteras Yachtfish, they have the cockpit and multiple heads you'd like.
    RER likes this.
  8. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
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    899
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    There are plenty of larger boats that will check all your boxes. The biggest issue will be your budget. You may be able to buy a much older, larger boat but what will the true cost be for everything it needs? Bigger boats and you quickly get into the BOAHT realm. That’s Bust Out Another Hundred Thousand (BOAHT). And then there’s all the monthly costs of moorage, power, insurance, etc. I’ve had several friends up sell themselves into boats bigger than they were really intending to buy and had budget pressures way beyond what they planned for. Again, I’m not saying don’t do it, but do make sure you go in with eyes wide open.
  9. Troy Pugh

    Troy Pugh New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Dockmaster, your point is spot on, I'm actually starting to look on the smaller end of the range, so that A) I can look at newer boats, and B) to reduce insurance costs. As it is, because I don't have much "big boat" experience I'm finding that for insurance purposes I'll likely need to both get a Captain's license (think I'm going to go straight for 25T) and get 40 hrs of time with a Training Captain. Moorage will be behind my house and power will be covered by the same, but living in a hurricane zone I'll need to do whatever I can to keep insurance costs down.
  10. SplashFl

    SplashFl Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2021
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    S. Florida
    Although my 38 Bertram (sold) had 2 heads I always had on board both a replacement spare electric and manual pump just in case. Never needed either of them but found that was typically how it went with spare items; only at times in need of what don't have. :eek:
  11. Rkbk

    Rkbk New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2021
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    7
    Location:
    United States
    I went from a 356 2000 Carver to a 53 Carver and love the change.
    Some people talk down about carvers, but I fail to see what they are talking about.
    We love the Carver