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Recommendations for a 55’ - 65’ express cruising boat

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Nep6012, Jun 24, 2018.

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  1. Colin A

    Colin A New Member

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    I like the Neptunus great layout never tried to work on one or been out in rough seas thou. To bad Lazzara only made 1 or 2 of the LSX 64 they had a really nice layout and feel inside.
  2. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Hardly surprising, considering that they entered an insolvency procedure already in 2013.
    A 2014 boat must have been a sort of leftover, with "caveat emptor" written all over her!
    Not to mention, as Liam said in a previous post, that the hull was not designed for surface drives.

    Uniesse designed and built some truly outstanding boats, which also in their home Country were regarded as more solid and performing even when compared to more famous brands like Ferretti or Pershing - and rightly so. But that is only true up to the late naughties.
    At the beginning of this decade, the whole Italian boatbuilding industry went down like a lead baloon, and several yards (arguably the better ones) closed one after the other.

    The 55S was the brainchild of that dark age, and doesn't hold a candle to other "true" Uniesse models (like the outstanding 55MY, for instance), neither in design nor in construction.
    But dismissing the whole brand based on your experience with her is akin to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Based upon HOW the boat was built in regards to plumbing, electrical, machinery and etc. I would absolutely make a decision on the entire brand. We had a major failure with a major mechanical system every single day.
  4. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    That would be your personal decision, and as such you are obviously fully entitled to it.
    It just happens to be a wrong one, and I can think of at least half a dozen of Uniesse long-time owners who would agree with me.
    Out of curiosity, did you dismiss the whole Bertram boatbuilding history, up to their legendary 54 (or, heaven forbid, the 31 of the 60s!), after the notorious 63 delamination?

    In fact, coming to think of it, I must say that the decision of whoever bought that 2014 55S on Arnesons was even worse than yours.
    A decision which I have a funny feeling that must have had something to see with being lured by a bargain.
    I wouldn't be surprised if that thing had not even been fitted at the Chiuduno yard, by the "old" (i.e. "true") Uniesse team...
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Bertram brand, yes as well. Even the early Bertrams. The 54's rode ok but were nothing special. What was special was that Bertram had foredecks. cockpits, and flybridge decks delaminating and getting rotten for 3 decades prior to the 63' and 57' delamination issues that they never corrected or changed their building practices to stop the problem. This was occurring on boats less than 10 years old throughout the brand. Viking and Hatteras never had these issues on a wide spread scale like Bertram did. Their wiring was also very "special" on many of their boats as well.

    That being said I was involved with one of the 57's coming apart, it broke all of the bulkheads free from the stringers in the first few months of the owners, ownership. I personally know of over a dozen boats that came apart. Bertram swept A LOT of them under the rug before everyone really caught on. Again, Bertram kept building them the exact same way for years (2003-2008/9) without getting to the route of the problem or fixing why they were coming apart. You'd think that after you have a couple of boats coming apart, you'd figure out why and change the layup!!!!!!!!!!
  6. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Wow, good thing that Dick Bertram and Ray Hunt can't read your comments anymore.
    Anyway, if that's the reasoning and attitude on which basis you feel entitled to rubbish a builder/brand through its whole history, obviously I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of convincing you that Uniesse built some boats much more remarkable than the only one you came across with their name stuck on it.
    In hindsight, I even wonder why I bothered trying.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've run other Uniesse's. They too were unremarkable.

    I have run over 50 Bertrams in my career, a lot of those built during their "heyday" in the 70's and 80's. The things I've seen in the build, really left me scratching my head in amazement. I managed one of the "coveted" 54' Bertrams and it too was a mess of engineering and soft decks. It was if Bertram had no master plan at all for it's engine rooms......the A/C guy mounted his equipment wherever he saw fit, the wiring was run wherever they felt like running it, sea strainers mounted wherever.....you had to always step on a piece of equipment or wiring bundle to service another piece of equipment...…….There is just nothing impressive in the build. Not to mention all of the toe slicing and foot stubbing S/S clamshell vents, above deck fuel fills and all of the other crap on their side decks. Go look at an Early 1990's Cabo...…..then go look at a 1990's Bertram...…….and then come back and tell me which one has a much better build quality and which one has soggy decks. The owner of Glasstech became a multi millionaire, fixing coring in Bertrams decks. IMO Bertrams build quality, was never high quality, throughout their tenure. They had a few hulls that rode well for their era and that was about it.

    That being said, I know nothing of the New Bertram company.
  8. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Well, at least that answers what I wanted to ask you, i.e. if there is a builder anywhere in the world of which you didn't helm more boats than they ever built. :confused:

    I'll tell you what, you stick with your views on Uniesse, I'll stick with mine.
    And if I may quote Tom Hanks, that's all I have to say about that.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I run somewhere between 100-150 different yachts a year, probably closer to 150 different yachts, from all different manufacturers, every single year, for the past 15+ years. Do the math. In the past 9 days I've run 4 different yachts from 4 different manufacturers a total of over 600 NM's.

    On the particular Uniesse I ran. The boat was extremely overpropped as 1800 rpms was 90% load with MAN's supposed to achieve 2300 RPM's. In our 9ish day trip, the first day we had hydraulic fluid raining all over the guest stateroom from the ceiling above because Uniesse used joinery screws that were approximately 1.5" too long (throughout the boat) and pierced the hydraulic steering line. We had the VIP stateroom flooded with 2" hot water as well, and the push lock 90 degree fitting was behind a nightstand that you could not access it. So we had no hot water on the entire trip as the tank did have a shut off valve. We fixed the high pressure hose. On the second day the port flap was stuck in the down position and wouldn't go back up. Turns out Uniesse had a batch of bad high pressure hose and decided to use it anyways on this boat for the flaps. Then the following day, a hard coolant pipe on the MAN cracked a weld, possibly due to the engines being so far out of alignment. After getting that fixed, we left our next port and the 3/8" steel plate bolted to the Port gear snapped and the gear filter shredded, so had to go back to port 30 NM on one engine. Then we reversed hoses to the port flap and down was up and up was down but it worked again. Then on our next leg, the other 90 degree push lock fitting for the cold water flooded the VIP stateroom with 2" of freshwater, where the owner promptly took a hammer to the nightstand so we could access it to fix it. Then there was a bad breaker and poor wiring connections so we had power issues there. These are just some of the issues from memory, and the sea state was calm the entire trip. The boat pounded like a 13' Boston Whaler at cruise if you even had a 1' chop on the bow. There were other issues and every day we had a major failure of the entire trip.

    You just don't see hardly any Uniesse's over here and for good reason. The warranty support here was non-existent and total crap if you could get them to cover anything, from what the few owners I have talked to that owned them.
  10. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Capt J, I told you in not unclear terms that I didn't agree with most of what you said, and I tried to explain why.
    After understanding that you didn't want to hear any views contrary to yours, in my last post I gave up and suggested to just agree to disagree.
    What part of that you don't understand, exactly?

    It seems to me that you are on a mission to convince the world that Uniesse always built garbage, reiterating your experience on one weird boat, which might not even have been assembled at their factory, since by 2014 it was not operative anymore.
    Feel free to continue along these lines, because I neither have nor ever had any involvement with Uniesse, so I couldn't care less.
    But frankly, even assuming that the boat you experienced has the worse 55' hull ever built, do you think anyone can believe that she...
    "pounded like a 13' Boston Whaler at cruise if you even had a 1' chop on the bow"?
    After running more than two thousands (see? I did the math) different boats, you should at least have learned that a statement like this is beyond a joke for ANY 55 footer, regardless of how badly built.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    SHE DID. She was way off in trim and had to be run with the flaps halfway down or better at cruise. Anything over 1' chop on the bow, something you would see on the Exumas bank and we were slowing down from 34 knots cruise to 25 knots +/-. Off of the beam or stern she rode ok. If the original Uniesse built such great boats, why are they out of business? How do you get trim so far off, and let the boat leave the factory? Without a lot of trim tab, not only did we lose a lot of speed, we couldn't see where we were going the bow was so high.

    Anyways, that being said, from what I've heard of warranty support here in the U.S. being virtually non-existent. The few Uniesse owners I ran into in my travels were very soured on the brand and didn't praise them either.

    AND YES, there are 50' + yachts that do run that badly...… a 70' Bluewater, a 51' Carver/Marquis, the 55' Uniesse, 59' searay L series is another but it rides better than the Uniesse…..are a few that come to mind right away.

    If I was going to choose a 55' Express in the years the OP is looking for the 55' Neptunus cabrio was a nice running/riding boat. I've run 3 different ones with 3 different engines.....larger, I'd go for a 62' Sunseeker Predator or newer 64'. Both are great running boats with nice layouts and build quality.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  12. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    You must know nothing of Italian boatbuilding history in the last decade, if you have to ask that...
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Azimut seems to be selling a ton of boats and doing well and has weathered the storm perfectly, and they too build lower quality boats. Riva hasn't had a hiccup either and build better quality boats. So enlighten me.
  14. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    This is a pattern. And it turns a thread into a one-on-one argument. Why bother? I joined the snowballs. Thanks for your informative and well-defended posts.
  15. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Thanks to you for appreciating. Long time no seen by the way, how's things? I hope all is well.
    In the meantime, eventually we came back to what you might well consider the dark side of boating (i.e., a plastic fantastic 30+ kts boat, after almost 2 decades of timber trawler).
    Several reasons for that, too long to explain and totally o/t, but even if in some ways I call it a downgrade, it's mostly down to a much better accommodation, also for guests.
    So, don't forget that you have a permanent invitation to come to visit us in Sardinia, where we usually spend most of our time between June and October.
    Besides, this coming winter we will stay in San Diego from the second half of Jan up to the end of Feb.
    I guess you are still based in Venice of America, but if by chance you would be around southern CA during that timeframe, give us a shout.
    It would be a pleasure to have lunch together.
    Cheers, P.
  16. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Of course there are 50'+ boats that are better/worse than others, but that's not what you said.
    You said that one 55 footer among them (I don't even care which one) can pound like a 13' Boston Whaler in a 1' chop.
    THAT is what is beyond a joke, because such statement isn't against my personal opinion, but rather against the laws of physics.
    If after helming 2k+ of different boats you don't get that, well, that's your problem, not mine.

    Sorry, but I have a funny feeling that it would be pointless.
    Having had the pleasure to meet JWY in non-virtual world, and knowing how respectable her experience and knowledge REALLY is, I'll rather follow her suggestion.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The 55' Uniesse did pound something aweful in a 1 or 1-2' chop, similar to a 13' Boston Whaler. Note, I said chop and we did have to slow down from cruise to 24-25 knots in that sea state and larger if it was directly on the bow. That is truth. The COG was horribly off which Liam also eluded to. Whether the hull was/wasn't built for Arnesons (the hull has little difference in design if any for shafts or arnesons, just need to get COG and trim correct, PODS are a totally different story) is a moot point as Uniesse chose to advertise and sell it with Arnesons. They also sold a larger one in that era with Arnesons.

    You said it yourself: "Uniesse designed and built some truly outstanding boats, which also in their home Country were regarded as more solid and performing even when compared to more famous brands like Ferretti or Pershing - and rightly so. But that is only true up to the late naughties."

    The late nineties ended 20 YEARS AGO. That's ancient history. The OP is not looking for a late 90's boat, nor is it relevant to this discussion. The OP is looking for a boat built in the last decade and that is precisely what I am discussing. I'm not intending to get into a pissing match, but I'm discussing my experiences on boats built in this decade and mid 2000's and up. I've had 2 other owners I've talked to, both hate the brand and sell the boat shortly after buying it, within a few years. You keep mentioning how Uniesse is well regarded up until the late 1990's, and this and that, but you never mentioned the ride. Have you ever done a long trip on one, as either owner or Captain of a Uniesse in the size range we are talking about?
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