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New Marlow Yachts 66? Opinions, issues, problems?

Discussion in 'Marlow Yacht' started by Capt. Irish, Aug 26, 2015.

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  1. Capt. Irish

    Capt. Irish New Member

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    Hi all! I'm new to Yacht Forums (first posting). I've owned a couple of boats over the last few years, a 56 Defever and a 70 Marlow; bought both used. Now, after learning quite a bit about what I like and don't like in a boat, I'm considering having a new Marlow 66 built. I'm looking for experienced advice on lessons learned and what to expect during that process, potential pitfalls, cost containment ideas, etc. Many thanks in advance.
  2. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    My uninformed first thought is to have a knowledgeable and very experienced (in dealing with the pertinent issues) attorney at my side.
  3. Capt. Irish

    Capt. Irish New Member

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    Sage advice...thanks!
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Have a Florida attorney plus make sure you and he read the complete Kakawi vs. Marlow case.

    That will at least show you some things to try to avoid. Most specifically the issue of who you're contracting with. It is possible Marlow has made changes since then.

    Be sure the boat has complete and detailed specifications at the beginning so there is no room for change orders to increase the price for you. If you're not ready to detail everything, then don't start yet. Make things ironclad, not just a preliminary amount. Also, I would put in a promised date but also a date at which penalties start to accrue with the dollar amount in the contract. Now, defining delivery can be complicated but I would put it subject to passing a survey completely. Determining who would survey might be a bit complicated but an attorney can help word that. And my advice to you is don't take delivery until you're 100% satisfied. Things promised to be fixed by builders or dealers after delivery often are not. Final payment should change hands only when you have the boat in new condition with no problems.

    You live in Virginia so you need to be careful regarding the terms of warranty service. Will it require you to come to the west coast of Florida for everything or can items be done locally and reimbursed. I don't know if Marlow has service agreements with any yards.

    This is one of the biggest personal contracts you'll ever enter into and it does come with pitfalls. Marlow has satisfied new boat buyers and dissatisfied. There may be certain issues you can live with.

    Make sure your interest is insured through the entire process. I would also with a US builder want my lien on the boat throughout the process. With a Chinese builder that's not really practical. Make a mental note that you are not buying from a boat builder. You're buying from a boat company that has an agreement with a builder. You have no contract with the builder, Norsemen Shipyard.

    Last, visit the shipyard with someone capable of evaluating things prior to signing. During the build have someone working for you to regularly check on things. If you feel qualified, you do it. But better to know what is going on at the end of a couple of months rather than find out a year later about problems.
  5. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    As I said, I have no real knowledge.
    Even further, I would read as much of the legal docs I could re suits brought by dissatisfied dealers and buyers. Go so far as using one of the services that provides those kinds of documents. CAVEAT EMPTOR! and HAVE FUN!
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Legal history and financial situation are important for anyone you do such big dollar business with.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Given Marlow's history of ethics regarding lawsuits and such I'd steer clear and find a different builder, or hire a very good attorney.
  8. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF Capt. Irish.
    I doubt there is another thread on YF that mentions attorneys, the law and raises more red flags regarding possible build disputes within just 5 replies of experienced members!
    Good luck!
  9. menkes

    menkes Member

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    check their post sale customer service.
    they don't even bother to answer your E-mails !!!
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I ran a new 2014 56' and was not impressed by it's handling or ride and that's with stabilizers (wesmar digital), honestly I'd be looking at something similar like a Fleming.
  11. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    The OP is going to have to reach a little deeper if he goes to say, my dreamboat - THE FLEMING 65/68.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'd rather make the sacrifice and go to a used Fleming 65/68 than a new Marlow!!!!!!
  13. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    Yes, THE FLEMING!. In my dream I have a problem. I am simply to old to wait so I would get the best used one I could find and turn it over to Palmer Johnson or ? to be brought to "new". Even then I would have an owner's rep meeting with PJ weekly to review the work done and what's up for the next week .I would hope that 90% of those meetings would be very brief and six months later I would have a wonderful boat. Dream on!
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are Flemings out there is basically drive away condition. You might want to do some cosmetic upgrades, but there are some that you could be on the water in a week. If you wanted to update it, no more than 6 months, but on most, 3 months.

    Now, I love Fleming, but lets talk about what one isn't as well. It's not a Marlow. The same size Fleming will not have the same volume. It will be a far superior boat but there are aspects you could find less attractive if you love a Marlow. They will also be slower.

    Now, if I was going to get a boat in that size range built, I'd probably choose between two very different boats: A Fleming or a Hatteras.
  15. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Fleming 65 hands down!
    Liberty, you have just gone through this exercise. Over to you!
  16. BuzzardsBay

    BuzzardsBay New Member

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    Capt. Irish, I am also new to YF, this is my first post. I hope I can be of some help. We built a Marlow 57' (2009) and just took delivery of a Marlow 62' (2015) that we built, this past spring. ( We had a Sabreline 43 aft cabin trawler, before the 57). We had nothing but an exceptional experience building both boats. We loved our 57 and probably pushed Marlow more than any other owner, as far as the degree of customization we did. The boat that was delivered was everything we hoped for and more. In my business, we try daily to exceed our customer's expectations, and I can tell you that Marlow did just that. We had her 6 years, put 2000 hours on the engines (C-18's), she spends summers in New England and winters on the west coast of Florida. Annually, she travels as far north as Mt Desert Island in Maine, and as far south as Key West. I tell you this so you understand that we really use the boat. We have had the boat out in all types of conditions that one encounters with a coastal cruising boat and the boat has performed flawlessly. We certainly would not have gone back and built another one, had we not had such a great experience building with Marlow. When we built the 57 it was our dream boat and we never anticipated building another boat, but after a few years, we wanted a larger cockpit, a larger salon and more space in the master, as we use the boat as our winter home in Florida. Again, we pushed the envelope with Marlow as far as customization, and again. we had a great experience. I can also tell you that we know of at least three owners who have had Marlows and had Marlow build them another boat. Rather than responding to what other contributors have said, (especially being new to this forum) I thought it best to relate our personal experience. Before our first build, we went to the Miami and Lauderdale shows for three years and looked at every boat that was comparable (raised pilothouse motoryachts and trawlers) and kept arriving at the conclusion that the Marlow was the best boat in its class, especially for the money. I can only say, that after our second build, I continue to look around and still believe we have the best raised pilothouse motoryacht built. If you are serious about building a new Marlow and have talked to them, I am sure if you tell your salesperson that you would like to contact me directly, they will figure out between the two boats I mentioned who I am and they can give you my contact information and we can discuss the boat in much more depth.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    While I know there are happy Marlow customers, I do have to also take a post such as yours with a grain of salt when one joins this site only to post a glowing recommendation of a vendor who has been taking criticism. In your case, you may have no relationship with them and may be just a very happy customer.

    I've known some very happy customers with 57's and 61's, some not so happy. However, their 97 history and the documentation of the litigation is still enough that they could build a boat equal to Fleming, which they don't, and for half the price, and I'd still not personally buy a new boat from them.

    You mention your business, what is it?

    Was the entity shown on your sales contract, one that actually existed?
  18. BuzzardsBay

    BuzzardsBay New Member

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    Olderboater,
    I guess I can understand your hesitation to accept a the glowing recommendations of a new poster, but please understand the context of my post. I have been, I believe the term is, a lurker, on many forums and websites, throughout the years. In fact, I have never posted on any board or any site until today. Every now and then, I peruse the YF forum and are always interested to see if there are comments or opinions about Marlows. Today, I saw Capt. Irish's post. He has owned a Marlow and is considering building a new Marlow, so I thought I would offer him my experience with the company. I did not post to debate the merits of Marlows over Flemings, or to discuss any litigation Marlow may have had been party to. I simply thought I would tell Capt. Irish about our experience and offer him the opportunity to contact me, should he wish a more in depth discussion. Fleming builds a wonderful boat. We have very close friends that own a 55. They cruise at 10 knots, we cruise at 20+. They have a 16' beam, our 57 was 18'2". our 62 is 19'6". They have to be on their hands and knees in the engine room, I am 6'4" and I can stand up in ours. Different boats. Our friends love theirs, and would own nothing else. We love ours, we would not own anything else. We have another close friend with a beautiful Eastbay. He has made the trip north with me four times. He was in awe of the post sales support I got from Marlow. Marlow would actually call me, almost on a daily basis, to see how we were doing and if there were any issues. He told me he could not even get return phone calls from Grand Banks when he had issues. I only wanted to reach out to Capt Irish, should he want more information on the process of building a boat with Marlow. After building two, I thought I was in a pretty good position to offer him a first hand view, as opposed to the hearsay and opinions on this board from people who have never built a Marlow.
    As far as my business, I am in the paper and packaging business. As for your last question, I do not understand what you are asking or getting at, but there were no issues with my contract or my closing.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    As for that question, they have many corporations. You're buying from one, another is handling the building, another is building, etc. However, apparently that has been known to confuse even them as they have previously used a sales contract under a name that wasn't any of the above, didn't legally exist. It did make determining who was responsible a bit difficult.

    I do respect your opinions. Understand, we initially fell in love with their designs. Our very first thought was a 97 and a 57 or 61. Then we researched and what we found in researching the 97 made us run away from dealing with Marlow. Now, I think the 97 was a big mistake on their part in overreaching and I don't know of them building more after the first three. However, I can't look beyond other things that happened, but that's just me. Had I only heard stories such as yours, I would have been a Marlow owner. I thought their 57 and 61 had the best designs for a loop boat on the market.

    Oh, and your reason for not owning a Fleming is also our reason, although you can get Fleming's that cruise faster than the 10 knots. But even 16 knots (with 20 WOT) is too slow for our purposes.

    I think with Grand Banks pretty much deserting their traditional styles and types in favor of Eastbay and Palm Beach, this is an area of the market terribly under-served. That's one of the dilemma's. For those who like the Marlow, there really isn't a competitive boat to it to turn to. The closest to meeting our needs we've found have been a Hatteras 60 and a Sea Ray L650 Fly. I'm glad you're enjoying your 62.

    Understand the history, the finances, the litigation of a company is more important to me than it is to most. I also think Capt Irish should consider your opinions and those of other happy Marlow owners he finds.

    Now, I do have one performance and ride question. On that subject I consider David Marlow a mad scientist, half genius, half dangerous to even himself as he can't leave anything alone as it is. The 62 and 58 are great examples. You mentioned "had the boat out in all types of conditions that one encounters with a coastal cruising boat and the boat has performed flawlessly." Can you elaborate, please? I ask you to because that's defined very differently for different people. For some it's mainly ICW. For others, such as us, it's mainly outside plus Bahamas. For the first group it's not to encounter more than 3' or so. For us it includes 4-6' and even 6-8' seas. (Sometimes worse than that but not by plan). So what type seas and conditions and at what speeds does it handle them best?
  20. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Hi BuzzardsBay, Welcome to YF. Good to hear a positive story on Marlow. I agree with you on size comparisons to the Fleming. I had our 58 Offshore at a fuel dock when the Fleming sales guys came to fuel up for a sea trial or similar. Next to each other, you would think the Offshore was 30% larger, and that is with the bulkheads that Marlow has been ingenious enough to do away with. I think OB expertise in business and his contacts has brought an extra dimension to what information is available to the boating public on YF.
    We appreciate a balance in the opinions posted here, so please keep posting.
    I was very impressed with Marlow when I toured their boats at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show. Would I buy one now that I know what OB and others have posted? Probably. Would I order a new one? Probably not.