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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. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I believe I am in a position to provide a bit of balance to the glowing recommendation provided by BuzzardsBay. Having spent nearly 3 years intimately involved in the technical aspects of a new 97 before (not long enough before unfortunately) during and after delivery, and having dealt with the issues created by what, in my opinion, is the polar opposite of the level of support described by BB. I still cringe when I have to walk down the same dock where a Marlow is parked.

    They have great “curb appeal” and I like the look of them from a distance but like the old saying about many other attractions, "beauty is only skin deep."

    The issues made public in the Kakawi lawsuit don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the owner’s frustration of attempting to resolve even the simplest of the many problems discovered after the boat was delivered.

    I strongly suggest that anyone interested in factual information acquire a copy of the Kakawi lawsuit documents and read them very carefully, with particular attention to the matters regarding class. After reading all the documents, perhaps BB might take a walk through his boat and look for stress cracking, remove a few of the overhead lighting fixtures and look at the structure above them. Have a close look at the bilge pumping and drain systems. It might be worthwhile to pull the exhaust spray ring and see if all the holes are clear. Having a thorough machinery and hull survey performed by someone familiar with boats from that builder might be an excellent investment to make before the warranty expires.

    “They cruise at 10 knots, we cruise at 20+.” Part of the reason for that is a lightly built boat can achieve fairly high speeds, but lightly built boats operated beyond unprotected waters often don’t last very long.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  2. BuzzardsBay

    BuzzardsBay New Member

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    Olderboater,
    I believe the first and most important question a prospective boat buyer needs to ask themselves, is, how are they intending to use the boat. For us, we have no intentions of crossing the ocean in a boat, I will fly, thank you very much. Next would be the style of the boat. I grew up sailing (I still sail and own a H-12) and much prefer a traditional look to the sneaker boat design, I'm old fashioned and believe a boat should look "shippy". Our usage is, as I mentioned above, cruising the East Coast of the US and the West Coast of Florida. We do the bulk of our boating outside, (we have no ICW in New England, nor is there one between Sanibel and Key West). The only time we go inside, on our trip north, is between Beaufort and Norfolk, unless rough weather forces us to go inside. At our stage of life, it is not the capabilities of the boat that sends us inside, it is the comfort level preferred by the admiral. My wife has a bad knee and the rule is, if its too rough for her to go down to use the head, then we go inside. That would typically be seas over 5' on the nose or forward quarter. We keep our boat in the summer in Marion, MA which is near the top of Buzzards Bay. I have met many boaters in our travels over the years that tell us that it is the roughest patch of water they have ever traveled. You see, its not so much the height of the seas, its that every afternoon the wind kicks up 15-20 knots out of the SW and if the tide is running out, the wind and waves oppose each other, creating a steep chop. It may only be 3-4 feet, but to many, its as rough as anything they have experienced. To us, its what we do every weekend, and we don't think anything of it, as the Marlow handles it beautifully. We have experienced the same condition in Delaware Bay, which I find can be even rougher that Buzzards Bay, having gone down the bay in 25-30 knot SW wind with an opposing tide. We have also left Key West after a three day blow that postponed our departure, and when we did leave, it was in 20-25 kts of a NW wind and a still rough Florida Bay. The boat handled it great. I am always suspect of quoting wave heights. I have had many friends arrive in ports at the same time that we have, to tell me of the six to eight footers they were in, when I felt the same seas were really four to five footers. So please understand, if I cannot comment on wave heights of 6-8 or more, its not that the Marlow cannot handle it, its due to our choice, at this age, to not intentionally find ourselves in those conditions. Also, there is a big difference between a sea and chop. We have been out in many large seas, if you are talking sea swells and I would take a six foot swell over a four foot chop caused by opposing wind and tides any day. As far as David Marlow, I have gotten to know him quite well over the years and have nothing but tremendous respect for him and his boats. In our manufacturing business, we practice continuous improvement. I admire the fact that David wants each boat to be better than the previous boat, and that he is always trying new things. Short story- our 57 went into the Marlow yard after the first year to have a bottom job and other work done. When we picked up the boat, we found that David had removed our rudders and replaced them with a improved design and construction. There was no charge to us. A year later during its haulout, he added a new spray rail to keep the boat dryer, again without us asking and at no charge to us. How many boat builders would do that? So, now that you know my profession and boat, what is your profession and what boat do you own?
    Marmot,
    As I mentioned above, I only joined this forum to try to help Capt, Irish with our own, personal, experience in dealing with Marlow, as we have now built two boats with them. I am not here to defend them or do boat comparisons. Of course its a lighter boat than a Fleming or an Aleutian, that is by design. Boat building technology has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and a lighter boat does not mean that a boat will not last as long. Again, I only want to deal with our personal experience, I can only tell you this, last year we sold our 57 within six weeks of it going on the market, the prospective owner had a full mechanical and hull survey performed and we sold her for 84% of what we paid for her, after six years and 2,000 hours.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, you can give your glowing recommendations, but I'd strongly suggest before anyone builds a Marlow, they read all the documents from the Kakawi litigation. Then decide if this is someone you still want to do business with. I would not, ever, under any conditions. I don't believe honesty, integrity and ethics are a part time or some time thing. You can believe all the wonderful things you wish, but I've found that if they'll do it to one person, they'll do it to you if a similar situation arises. I could dismiss the problems with the 97 as the whole build of them being a huge mistake. I can't make any excuses for how they were then handled. When things go well, every business looks good. However, we truly prove ourselves when things go poorly, when problems arise.

    Go read all the court documents and then come back and tell me that your opinion hasn't changed. They won't cost you all that much to obtain.

    And if my new boat needed rudders changed after a year and needed spray rails added, I wouldn't be thrilled. I'm glad you and David Marlow are good friends. I'll pass, thank you.
  4. Alire007

    Alire007 New Member

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    I think there are pros and cons to every boat and every boat builder. I am a fan of many different boats and have no desire to try and research a court case "to sway my purchase decision" as I am not an expert in that arena, nor care to be. I will say that I have found there to always be two sides to every story and that I have had my fair share of clients that will never be happy, regardless of how far I went to satisfy them. I also think that forums like this can unfortunately be a soap box for people that have zero real life experience. These people are able to voice their "expert opinion", usually in a disapproving manner. I have found most people, who have no clue what they are talking about, will take the "telephone tough guy" approach and it's just sad. They are often full of miss information and help nothing other than their own ego.

    With that said- this will be my first and last post as I'm not a "forum type guy" but I will just ask that everyone do their own independent reasearch, preferably face to face with the people selling the product that you may want to buy. Don't rely on "dock talk" as one can never be sure if the source really knows anything at all about the subject matter at hand.

    Good luck to all- just my $.02
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    I have no experience with this particular brand but do have a lot of experience in various internet forums and groups and this is not the first time "forum virgins" have popped up to defend a supposedly unfairly criticised product only to be fairly quickly outed as having more than a passing interest in that exact same product.

    It would come as no surprise to find the two freshmen here are not what they are trying to appear as.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You're not a forum type guy but feel it necessary to jump in on this subject and to insult forums and forum members. Don't know anything about your knowledge but I do know about mine and Marmot has many times the experience I do. As to reading court documents, informing themselves would have saved some Northern and Christensen and even Trinity buyers a lot of trouble. You choose to spend $3-7 million on a boat and don't care about the legal standing of the company you're buying from or their history, then that's your business. Rest assured this is definitely not dock talk. All your post does it makes one more suspicious of those who never have or will participate on the forum but feel it necessary to come post Marlow puffery. We've seen this before and will again. Buzzard's Bay might be legitimate, but you reek of being a shill.
  7. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    This coming from a boat detailer in David Marlow's backyard! My guess is you derive work from the same. It's people like you that cause misinformation on forums, but our senior members are quick to sniff out a shill.
  8. BuzzardsBay

    BuzzardsBay New Member

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    I am sorry I seem to have created a stir on this board. A response such as K1W1's is what keeps most of us as lurkers and only reinforces why I have never posted on any forum or board before and probably never will again. The only reason I posted was to tell Capt Irish of my experience with Marlow. Not to defend them. Not to post puffery. Yes, I am a freshman here, but I have tried to be honest and objective here and have related my experience with Marlow, nothing more. I am not going to respond to comments about a lawsuit of which I have no knowledge. I have no desire to go purchase the court documents. I have built two boats with Marlow and have been satisfied and that is all I wanted Capt.Irish to know. I have tried to post thoughtful comments. As far as that you have "outed" me, I do not know what you outed. I am exactly as I appear and have answered all questions asked. I answered Olderboater's questions about my business and how the boat handles. In turn, I asked him what his business was and what type of boat he has, only to get no response to my questions, which is curious to me. Also, Olderboater, I never said David and I were good friends. I said I got to know him quite well. It was strictly a business relationship, we have never socialized together (unless you count having a drink or two together at Marlow rendezvous'). Additionally I didn't say that our boat needed new rudders, I was simply pointing out that when he made the improvement, he swapped ours out for the newer design. He didn't need to, there was nothing wrong with the ones we had. That to me, says volumes about a company. I was only pointing out that he doesn't just produce a model and knock out the same boat, hull after hull, but looks to make each boat better than the last.
    I am done with all of this, I tried to help a fellow boater, which is what boaters do, and I end up being accused of all sorts of things. Don't spend too much time thinking about why this board is filled with comments from the same people all the time, rather than attracting new members who would like to share their experiences.
  9. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Buzzards Bay - If you feel I have been too quick to jump to conclusions I am sorry but you should understand that I have seen many many posts along the lines of yours and the next one over the years both here and elsewhere that have proved to be exactly as I described above.

    Some of the supposed innocent customers who post here and elsewhere claiming to have received stellar service from such and such a company are so blown away with the glowing report are authoring that they seem to forget when registering that by using their works e mail that has the same domain name as the company in question is an easy way to give away some degree of bias.

    New members are always welcome here and at most other places I frequent.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You've been asked as is reasonable when someone makes their one and only post to defend or promote something. You may be quite legitimate as I said to the second poster who clearly wasn't. Once you opened up discussion, I responded to you and asked you questions allowing you to expand on your thoughts.

    I missed your question about my boats and my business. I also spent my career in manufacturing, in soft goods. I'm semi-retired as in retired but own some retail businesses as a hobby and not involved in day to day operations. We own Westport's and Riva's and a Contender. We're going to buy a boat in the range the OP is talking about and that you own. The first we considered was Marlow. Then we did our research and reached our conclusion. We've narrowed that search to a Hatteras 60 MY or a Sea Ray L 650 Fly.

    If you want to share experiences I'd suggest getting involved in some other threads. Surely, Marlow isn't the only topic on this site that interests you. 9 out of 10 times people make their first and only post to support a specific brand or dealer or item, it's a shill. If you're an innocent victim of that history then that's a shame. That's why I proceeded in discussion with you to allow you to expand on your thoughts and give you the benefit of the doubt. I thought your response in the discussion of it's seaworthiness for your purpose was informative.
  11. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    The Kakawi and the Hunter vs Marlow lawsuits provide a fountain of firsthand and well documented testimony made under oath that speak to the subjects which you and Alire find so offensive. Nothing posted on this thread even approaches the horror stories that surround those boats and their unfortunate owners. Your claims are so divergent from those of us who were intimately involved trying to work with whatever entity claimed to be Marlow yachts at that moment that it brings your credibility, not ours, into question.

    Those lawsuits say volumes about the company. Kakawi is particularly good example because the owner had pockets deep enough, and he was angry enough to pursue it further than most people might be able. It was amazing to see what lay under the rocks that case turned over.

    I question the wisdom of anyone willing to hand over millions of dollars to a builder/dealer with a such well documented history of lawsuits related to product quality, suitability for use, and the myriad of other charges without reading the legal documentation that amounts to a map of the minefield on which they are about to tread.

    If you read the Kakawi documents you will see that Marlow did the same thing on Kakawi ... but incredibly, did not inform BV of the change. Apparently no one at the boatyard knew they were supposed to or what it really means to build and maintain a classed vessel. Shortly afterward, the rudder bearings had to be replaced ... but that is a whole new chapter.

    Steven King might be able to make the adventures of more than one owner into a yachting horror novel but he only writes fiction.
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    There might be some budding authors contributing here.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I have read many court documents, but I've never seen one with as many things pointed out as the Kakawi case. As I said upon reading it, if only 10% of it happened, it's horrific, but at 100% there's not a word. Well, the word was the verdict in favor of Kakawi.
  14. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member

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    Authors regularly ask questions, maybe the next thriller will have a different victim. (Which would be novel.)
    The story does not make a good romance. Looking at the publicly accessible information, some 100+ filings in this case. Not small at all.
  15. Capt. Irish

    Capt. Irish New Member

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    BuzzardsBay - many thanks for your reply. It's extremely helpful. I would love to talk with you further about your experience. I've owned two boats, a DeFever 56 and my Marlow 70, and have learned a ton about what I like, don't like, want and don't want. However, I am always willing and eager to listen and learn from others who have important insight. I'm headed to Marlow this week and will ask them to provide contact info. Hopefully, they will provide it and I can give you a call sometime soon.
  16. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Apparently only if the others are saying what you want to hear rather than what more than a few owners have learned through bitter experience.

    The most important and least expensive "insight" available to you will cost around $50 from Pacer Monitor.
  17. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Not sure talking to a salesperson qualifies as independent research, but thanks for stopping by ...and for working "I'm outta here" into your very first post, no less. Well done.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  18. Liberty

    Liberty Senior Member

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    I can talk from experience here on Fleming.

    I have had a 65 for a year now. Absolutely love her. Had her in the Pacific with 2.5m seas with 1.5m swell. Incredible boat.

    Fleming Australia have been impeccable. Fleming Taiwan have been brilliant. Technical support has been wonderful - and this for a 9 year old boat well out of warranty. I ordered a hard top from the Taiwan factory which was fitted by Norman Wrights in Australia. Absolutely perfect fit. Scary how good it was actually given the meeting faces were built 9 years apart.

    If I ever buy another boat, it will be to another Fleming.
  19. Cannook

    Cannook New Member

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    Hey folks, brand new to the site. Looking at a used 97E in Florida. Thought it looked solid. After googling for information I have come upon some very questionable reviews that have me rethinking first impressions. Can you help out and give me some of the major items to check on. It would be appreciated. Thx
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, check on buying from another manufacturer!!!!!!!!!!