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Need feedback on 02/03 Johnson 70

Discussion in 'Johnson Yacht' started by Pascal, Mar 10, 2008.

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  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,618
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I'm helping a friend who's looking at a number of boats, including 02/03 Johnson 70s.

    The one we looked at today seemed to be very nice... the aft deck and platform is huge for such a boat yet it doens't come at a high price. We poked around quite a bit and found a few minor things, some to look at closely during survey.

    couple of questions though... How good are the 1400hp C18? some c18 appear to be rated at 1000hp, we're afraid that 1400 maybe pushing it a little too high? engine survey will help, but those engines have close to 1000hrs on them.

    how about the 1300hp MTUs?

    about construction... the stringers seems to be hollow (from taping and feeling around in some limber holes). how solid is the construction? solid glass or cored below water line?

    We also saw a streak next to a bonding bolt (under the master) indicating less than ideal sealing. hopefully, this is a solid glass bottom!

    ER is a little tight but manageable... altogether the boat has few "what-were-they-thinking" issues on it, although i dont' like batteries (even AGM) in living quarters and locating the shorepower plugs on the bottom step on the swim platform ins't very bright...

    any feedback on these boats is welcome!
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,618
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    thank you to those who replied, via PM. The deal closed last friday and i'll be delivering the boat to NAntucket next month.

    so far, i find it to be an pretty impressive boat, the aft deck layout is incredible for a boat this size, yet they didn't compromise the rest of the boat. The only thing some owners may find to be an issue is the lack of separate crew quarters but this is still mostly an owner/operator boat so the 4th SR acts as a crew. We did see one with a bunk and head crammed in the bow compartment... yikes...

    very minor things turned up during surveys, most are being addressed before we head north, the only "bonehead" design appear to be the SS steel rudders and rudder bearings...

    visibiliity from the skylounge is excellent, on the sides but also aft as you can see one corner of the swimplatform from the helm, thru the door. The boat also has a remote station on the aft deck making backing into a slip a breeze, even singlehanded.

    The only glitch in the process was the incompetent seller's broker who made numerous errors in the listing, incl. non existent equipment... resulting in some headaches along the way. They didnt' even get the engines right, listing c18 instead 3412s.

    luckily, the buyer's broker was excellent and worked really hard in ensuring the deal went thru.

    An interesting thing i learned about Johnson is that they are in fact the final evolution of the earlier High Techs and you can find some of the 70 design in the older boat. it's always a good sign when a builder refines an existing design over 15 or 20 years...

    Altogether, it's a production boat but decent quality. All three J70 we saw were in excellent condition, which i can't say of other boats we saw (same year) but better known name plates...

    again, thank you for the off line feedback.
  3. charity

    charity New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    los angeles
    purchasing johnson 70

    looking for feedback good and bad
    quality
    features
    likes/dislikes
    necessary improvements
    performance
    handling
    maintainance
    thanks
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,618
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    well, that's an old thread being resurected!

    the helping out turned out into a full time thing... been running the boat for a year and half now and put about 7000 miles on her.

    first, eveything mentioned in the earlier post turned out to be accurate except maybe the bit about the rudder. the issue was addressed right away and it looked like it was a caused by a botched repair in the past, not a design issue, although i prefer bronze rudders to SS. minor detail though.

    The boat turned out to be very reliable and easy to maintain. We've upgraded some things like adding a SeaRecovery 900, a 4000W magnum inverter with 16 golf cart batteries, and a few other things. I do most of the maintenance and i've crawled everywhere on the boat... cant' say i came up with any problems or stupid thing.

    performance with the 1400hp Cat 3412 is excellent, the boat accelerates very quickly and cruise effortlessly in the low 20s. 1900RPM gives about 21/22kts on 80/85gph and the engine load is around 60%. I run her at 10kts quite a bit too, especially on the trips between miami and nantucket and we burn 18gph. engines stay warm at that speed, I run them up for half an hour at the end of the day anyway...

    one thing which is very nice is that she tracks very well at low speed. no need to be always correcting with the rudders. it's probably due in part to the absence of prop pockets, the down side being the deeper draft. Fully loaded (full tanks , 15' rib and PWC), she draws almost 6 1/2'. probably not an issue on the west coast though...

    the ride is ok but as expected, well..., it's not a hatteras ride! got to pay a price for that big VIP stateroom at the bow! One little quirk is that when you take a wake or a wave at a certain angle, it hits the wide chine at the bow pretty hard. Also, chine slap when anchored in an exposed area is a little loud in the VIP.

    i really like the fact that the hull is solid glass and not cored. look for a post here on a Mutt 68 where the bottom is literally falling apart near the struts...

    despite the big engines, ER access (a very important issue in my book) is pretty good. All the routine stuff is easy to reach, only the outboard side of the mains is hard to reach, but doable. another 3" of headroom in the ER woudl have been nice especially where the hatches support beam is...

    the boat is very easy to handle, i singlehand her quite a bit and with the aft deck controls and good skylounge visibility, it's easy.

    some J70s have a lower helm which makes the galley smaller. Probably nice on the open model depending on how and where you'd use the boat. On long trips, i really love the skylounge. AC works really well keeping it nice and cool.

    where the boat absolutely shines is in the amount of space you have outside. the aft deck is huge and so is the swimplatform. both the 15' RIB and the waverunners are stored upstairs so the swimplatform is always clear. compare that to other boats (Azimuts for instance) where you often have the tender or jet ski blockign access to the platform. Tehre is an AZ 62 across the dock from me, with no room on the top deck for a dink (and no overhanfg supports anyway) so the PWC is on the platform. Same with the popular Asximut 70 seajet, there are a couple around here, that boat doens' really have a swimplatforn.

    one last thing, the master (aft)is absolutely huge.

    electrical system is well designed, simple, and easy to work on or upgrade (inverter).

    only issues we've had are a few small leaks on a couple of portholes, they dont' seal very well and also on the saloon windhshield, there a couple of spots we need to address.

    bottom line, it's pretty good production boat. Owner is very happy with her and so am I...

    you can see a bunch of pictures on www.yachtcharmer.com

    if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

    PS. they built those boats for quite a while, not familiar with the earlier one (mid 90s).
  5. thebighawk

    thebighawk New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    FORT LAUDERDALE
    70 Johnson

    I installed electronics on a few of them, and besides leaking ruddrer posts, which were fixed right away, all owners/captains really like the boats. Some customers upgraded 2/3 times inside the Johnson line. Good when they buy another.
    good luck and get a good surveyor
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,618
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    one thing i forgot...

    the rub rail is very strong and protects the whole boat. another pet peeve of mine, you often see boats where the rub rail is in the wrong location and doesn' t protect the boat very well and don't get me started with Azimut designers not placing cleats in the right locaiton.... BUT... the SS rail is mounted on an anodized or powder coated alum. strip. Obviously, after a few years in salt water, galvanic corrosion does its thing and the alum. corrodes.

    and funnny little quirk... they installed drains on the swim platform at the bottom of the stairs. They really arent needed but at planning speed water shoots out of them 2' high! easy fix, since the drain below WL they have a sea cock which i keep closed.

    oh... and the cable masters inlets are located on the bottom step... got to scratch your head on this one since depending on conditions you do get some water on the platform, they should have been located one step higher. minor detail but makes you wonder why are designers (not) thinking sometimes.

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