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What 50 to 60 Fly would be suitable for the Caribbean

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Cannook, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    If you're considering a catamaran, I'd recommend chartering one in the Caribbean for a week or more to find out how you feel about it.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The weight is a problem, how??? It cruises at 24 knots at 85 GPH with 2 seakeepers that keep it totally stable.
  3. alvareza

    alvareza Member

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    The new model Grand Banks 54 and 60 seem to be fast with good range. The 54 review says 461 nm range at 20kts with top speed of 31kts. I saw one in Nantucket last week, it looked better in person than in the ads. I don’t know how well it handles rough seas.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    They are very nice boats but I don't know if they meet his "fun" boat requirement.
  5. KoffeeCruising

    KoffeeCruising New Member

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    You sound like me 4 years ago. My 2cents:
    - my 54’ flu bridge is awesome for Bahama runs
    - 2 couples are great: 3 cramped
    - Ladies love “being there” more than “getting there”

    -My lesson learned is long open water voyages sre more delivery trips than party trips. It’s better to get the boat there then have guests fly in.

    - and is Caribbean reachable In a 55-60? Sorta and sure/ maybe. The 180NM jumps ain’t easy.... I’ve done the math and shipping from SFl May be easier than driving it own bottom.
    - IMHO there are more places to learn and explore in the Bahamas before you head to Carribean.

    Suggestion
    -Start with West End/ or Abacos- when fixed/ or Chub or The Berries or Staniel or Highbourne—- then decide if Carribezn is even necessary.
  6. tusindtak

    tusindtak New Member

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    Good comments above. Comparing the weight has validity for ride considerations and seaworthiness. Prestige 520 is more like a 50’ compared to a 60’ Hatteras based on the swim platform size, and the Hatteras is 3-1/2’ wider. According to the online literature, Prestige 690 is even 1/2’ narrower than a 60’ Hatteras and weighs less. It may be looking for a bigger boat than the 520 is a big part of the equation and change may change the perspective of many of the comments. Good luck on your decision.
  7. Cannook

    Cannook New Member

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    To all the seasoned boaters that have added their experience and the time to help out a 'new BLUE WATER' rookie thx. If I need to go up to the 60+ motor yacht to make this doable then I will have to 'work on the family'. At 50+/- I had no issues with just the two of us and I have run Georgian Bay, Huron and Michigan solo ( all with solid good weather forecasts) I am a pilot so I know weather can change from one hour to the next. But I have been in 6 to 7' water with 5 or 6 sec frequency. Not fun but manageable if you don't lose your head. If I had to wait a day or two not a problem. The 52 Sport Coupe that I ran was not an issue for me to dock solo and just 'hop out' to tie up. Hence the idea of a 52 Fly. My wife has been reading your replies and I will imagine that over this weekend we will be amending the 'adventure plan' Getting advice from people who 'been there--done that' is great. THX
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Another issue which I don’t think has been brought up so far is storage. Provisioning can be difficult in the islands and you will need a lot of cold storage. That means space for an extra fridge freezer. We spend a lot of time in the Exumas and always leave with all fridges and freezers packed! Also a lot of storage is needed for dry good, wine etc

    another must have is a watermaker. Which takes room in the ER.

    for long trips, a second backup generator is equally important. Down there, no gen means game over stuck at a dock hoping to be able to fix it.

    and finally if you are going to be running the boat yourself, engine room access to systems is absolutely critical. A good ER is far more important than something that looks “fun”

    All of the above will require something bigger than 50’

    oh one more thing... I hope you re joking when you talk about “hop and tie”a 50 something
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Docking a 60 vs a 50 is just not much of a difference. For instance, the Hatteras 60 with it's weight and with thrusters is likely easier than the 52 or so Prestige.

    If you had to go smaller, there are some boats that might be better suited than the Prestige, such as a similarly sized Grand Banks or Sunseeker, but none that I would say is ideal.

    One thing we commonly see is 5' itis. That's where people just start too small for their purposes and keep getting 5' longer. Cutting that process out and starting with the right boat is preferred, in my view.

    I hope you'll think some of this as a second home and select accordingly. This isn't something you're going to use just for a weekend here and there. Comfort is important. If you find yourself longing for home, it's a problem. I think if you are on your boat and find yourself longing for a hotel room, there's a problem. Other than the room you can enjoy the other resort amenities from the marina. You go out sight seeing for the day on land, tired after a long day, returning home to your boat should feel great. You should be able to sleep as well as at home and to prepare any meals you would at home. If you like television or movies or music at night then you should have it. If the internet is important to your happiness, then have it. You want to both love your boat and love using it.

    As to your mention of single handed. That would be sad if that's what your wife wanted. I'm not saying she has to get a captain's license like mine, but surely take the helm and watch long enough for you to go to the restroom or engine room and as you dock, just take a line and wrap it around a dock cleat to hold until you can get there. 90% of docking is single handed in that the work is done at the helm. The need for help is limited but the little things you get from another person are very helpful. If your wife is going to boat with you, encourage her to be as big a part of it as she desires. You'll be amazed how her skills improve in being a mate to you. Some couples even find docking goes better with the wife at the helm and husband the deck hand.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    This is exactly why the Hatteras 60' is so suited for this role. Plenty of freezer/refrigerator space compared to Prestige mentioned or most other Euro boats in it's size, a second generator is an option and most have it, plenty of room in the engine room for a water maker and accessing things, and storage as well as a full beam master with king sized bed. Another thing not mentioned is a quiet boat, the Hatteras is very quiet at the dock whereas a lot of lighter boats can be noisy and hear wakes and things of that nature.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    That’s the difference between a boat and a yacht...the prestige is boat... the Hatt is a yacht. I always laugh when I a 50ish carver, Silverton or sea ray being called a yacht :)

    Most people jumping into boating don’t understand the difference between the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Every year many cruisers leave georgetown with dreams of getting to the Caribbean. when they clear the cape at the north end of Long Island they get a taste of what the next 500 will be about and turn around. They try it a couple more time and then give spending the winter in Gtown.
  12. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Have you looked at Sunseeker Manhattan flybridge models? I don't know if the range is there but I believe that is a significant step up in seakeeping and systems.

    I am not a flybridge guy but that seems to be in you and your wife's design brief.
  13. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I think he did that, which is why he is trying to avoid it, he mentioned his wife loved that but he wants a boat.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    He was on one in the Bahamas.
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm a fan of the Manhattans. Problem is, they build a 52' which honestly isn't enough boat (range) and the 66' which is a great running boat but way outside of his size range.
  16. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I wondered about the range of the Sunseeker Manhattan 52 for his plans. Looks like 580 gallon fuel capacity in that model. Not going to do it.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    175 NM at most with a 20% reserve and that was on calm water. I ran one over 1000 NM's.
  18. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    +1
  19. Cannook

    Cannook New Member

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    After several bottles of wine my wife and I came to the concussion that we are going to charter a few different boats before we spend on a purchase. We did Europe in a nice convertible retracing many of the mountain routes that the Tour de France took and stayed one to three nights at various inns/B&B's/Hotels. Fabulous scenery. Incredible experience. This morphed into the idea 'why not do the Caribbean in the same manner. Tracking down the dozens of settled islands that dot the length of the Carib would be 'replacing the Tour's routes'. The varied & charming accommodations in these islands would allow us to really learn/feel the islands/people. Hence why I mentioned at the beginning of my post why we wanted to pop from island to island. At times breathtaking beauty during the daytime transit and real exposure to these 'treasured islands' at night. Sure some nights would be on the hook but most would be spent on land. (we have had enough nights on boats, cooking, cleaning & taking two min showers). There is allot to be said for ten min hot showers for two/room & laundry service not to mention having the boat washed down and cleaned by someone else. On top of that provisions are always fresh because you are only taking on two or three day supplies. I cannot settle on a cat so we will be looking more to the idea of "what 45 to 55 foot boat max would a charter captain be willing take 60 to 70 miles offshore for a day of serious fishing ( obviously just using the fishing for reference) but one that still had some serious comfort and luxury inside". Seaworthy- still the 45 to 55 size range-obviously has the cruising speeds that I would like etc. Anyways as always I would just like to say thanks to everybody that added their two cents. Stay safe Stay healthy
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You may certainly do what you wish, but if you think for one moment my wife and I settle for two minute showers or think we do our own cleaning, or cruise at under 20 knots then you're imagining compromises that just don't have to be made on boats in the 60' range.

    Now, unfortunately, I don't think there's anything under 55' that will meet all your needs. Most lack the range or speed. I think chartering a few makes sense but don't honestly know of any boats in charter that fit your desire.

    I would consider Palm Beach and Grand Banks.

    I hope someone can come up with something we haven't mentioned.

    Now, a little story of experience. We wanted a boat for the great loop. No more than 19' air draft, 5' water draft, cruise in upper 20's at least, at least three good staterooms, decent range and we said it must have a fly bridge and both upper and lower helm.

    A lot of boats too slow and a lot lacking accommodations. Hatteras 60, we rejected because no lower helm. We rejected Sunseeker Manhattan 63 because we didn't want galley down. Rejected Grand Banks as they were in a bit of turmoil plus the 59 was too slow. We were considering a custom build.

    Then, Sunseeker offered the Manhattan 65, an identical boat to the 63 except galley down (has now been replaced by 66). It didn't fit our 60' boundary as it was actually 69' 4" LOA. But we bought it and did the loop. We sold it and face the same decision again for 2022 or 2023 and haven't seen any good new candidates. We like Palm Beach but don't like the lack of bow seating. We're considering a CAT although most too slow for us. Or could be a Sunseeker Manhattan 66 or maybe something new will come along. Might consider a Fleming 65.

    The point is that every boat is a compromise and in the size range you're looking it's especially true. The boat I'd like to see isn't being built today. Don't be afraid to move up a little in length for the right boat or to consider one that initially doesn't appeal as much to you but can perhaps be customized for you. Don't say no to boats that you really haven't explored in detail. People would think appearance would be huge for my wife and me but it's not, utility is. That Sunseeker we ended up putting over 10,000 nm on it with an average of five people aboard and spent all nights on board. A lot of long showers. Only real shortfall was holding tank so pump outs every time we bought fuel and often in between. It wasn't our perfect boat but we sure had a lot of fun on it.

    Good luck, but don't let the lack of a perfect boat stop you from getting a boat that works very well for you.