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Which criteria provides the most stability at sea in a 48-55 foot?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Drifter, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Hello. I am shopping for a 48-55 footer for marina and island hopping to the keys from SW FL, with eventual trips over to the Bahamas. Which combination of criteria will provide the most stable cruise: length, beam, weight, hull design, dead rise? Thank you.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    First what speeds and distances are you looking to make? Everything is a trade off. You can have very small vessel that's a lot more stable than a much larger one.
  3. Maxwell

    Maxwell Senior Member

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    Your budget would also be helpful for anyone to provide relevant advice.

    max
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Budget is key. Any boat can be stable with stabilizers ...
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Hull design and how well the builder got the COG and weight to match the hull design..........and location of weight......stabilization....... A great hull doesn't need stabilization, no amount of stabilization will fix a bad hull.
  6. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Looking to hop up and down the SWFL coast and keys at highest possible combo of speed and comfort. Then over to the Bahamas some day. $200-300K range. Looking at circa 2000s Vikings, Neptunes, Fairlines, Carvers. What's my best bet? Was looking at Sea Rays but I've ruled them out due to wet wood in the fiberglass. Should a few of the boats I'm considering be ruled out for trips over to the Bahamas because they have only 500 gallon diesel tanks? Can tanks generally be added? Or stick with those with 700+ gallon tanks? Can stabilizers be added to any boat? Generally how much $ are stabilizers? Thanks so much!
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I d take Sea Ray over Carver...

    500 gal of fuel on a boat that size is fine. From
    the west coast you ll have to refuel in SE Fl anyway. Adding fuel tanks to most boats is pretty impossible as there is just space inside. Plus adding weight ain’t going to help with performance.

    stabilizers? Not cheap... on a 50 footer probably $50-60k depending on type and most important on the space that s available. Unlikely to be worth it

    pretty much any boat can go the Bahamas... the open water runs are never more than 50nm, plenty of fuel available.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    For what you describe I'd stick with the Vikings from that list. They'll give you the speed, range. and decent fuel burn. You won't need to stabilize them, and you can drop a line off the back to catch dinner. If you find you need more interior or entertaining space or something more sedate there's a lot of choices, but I get the feeling a SF is what will appeal to you most right now. Some boats need stabilizers, but mostly the FBMYs or trawler styles. Once you get speed going they mostly just get in the way unless you go for a gyrostabilizer.

    Btw, for that occasional extra long trips you can always throw some barrels of fuel or a bladder tank into your cockpit.
  9. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    I should have specified I am looking at fly bridges and not sport fish. We will be mostly socializing and occasionally fishing for dinner until the freezer is full. Stabilizers are probably not worth the extra $. Is Viking Princess the same builder as Viking? Thank you.
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    In that case look at the Viking SC (Princess). I used to run a 2002 50'. Classy, well built boat and I had her in all sorts of weather. The lower helm is also a wonderful thing when the weather goes bad or the seas kick up.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    No the Viking Princess were built by Princess in the UK and sold here by Viking under the viking name. Pretty good boats anyway and good for your purpose

    One clarification to my earlier post about taking SR over Carver, that doesn’t mean you should overlook Marquis. While the brand is part of Carver they are better built and worth A look. I took a 59 to the Bahamas as few years ago, it was pretty good.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I would absolutely look at the 52' Searay SB over a Carver, Searays are fine 2000 or newer and a pretty well built Boat and I'd put it in front of Viking SC for several reasons. Neptunus is also a well built boat and I'd put that over Vking SC as well. SF will get you what you want in that size easily and I would not overlook them and they're a better sea boat generally. Looking at fuel tankage is completely meaningless, it all depends on your actual range at 80% fuel capacity (tankage and efficiency). Princess are ok, but gelcoat fares below Searay (which had amazing gelcoat in that era), access to the engines completely sucks, and teak decks are going to need replacing if they haven't already.......In that era and size I'd also look at Sunseeker and put them slightly above Princess.
  13. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    There's no right or wrong answer to whether they are worth the cost or not - each to their own on that.

    But since in your OP the focus seemed to be on "the most stable cruise", just be aware that you can forget all of the other elements you mentioned (beam, deadrise, etc.), because none of them can be anywhere near as effective as stabilizers, in this respect.
    For any given size, the worst stabilized hull is bound to be MUCH more stable than the best non-stabilized one.
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    However beam, deadrise, keel, weight, etc. can make stabilizers unnecessary, and not worth the cost.
  15. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    These boats seem to range between 35,000 to 45,000 pounds. Will the 45K lbs be noticeably more comfortable?
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    1/3 more. Yes, especially when docking. Possibly mean slower and/or more fuel burn also.
  17. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Necessary is a strong world.
    Any boat can stay afloat without stabs, but name me a monohull vessel that doesn't benefit from them, if you can - all the way up to cruise ships.
    They are BY FAR the single most effective ticket for a "stable cruise", which is what the OP asked.
    None of all other boat design elements can be remotely as effective as stabilizers - not even all of them together.

    Then again, worth the cost or not, as I already said it can only be a personal decision.
    I did toy with the idea of a gyro for my current boat, and decided it wasn't worth the cost and the installation hassle.
    This doesn't mean that it wouldn't make her more stable, though.
    And I'm saying this after 17 years of boating with a Naiad-equipped trawler, so it's not like I don't know what stabilizers can do...
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I disagree with this. At cruise speed on a very good planing hull, stabilizers add very little to stability because the boat is so stable to begin with. I can name several, even ones that are stabilized that ride worse with the stabilizers on. I don't care what stabilizers you add to a very unstable, top heavy boat, yes it will ride better, but never as good as a good hull to begin with. It's a band aid, so to speak. This is one area where some of the Euro builders excel at over the American builders, and why you see it a rarer event for a Euro motoryacht that cruises over 25 knots have stabilizers. I run a 62' Predator for a long time, it is an excellent sea boat, stabilizers would add very little at cruise. I ran a new Hatteras 59' GT in a 5' sea off of the starboard bow, at 35 knots it rode horrible with the seakeeper on, it pounded. I locked the seakeeper and it allowed the hull to wiggle just that little bit that it rode great over the waves with no pounding whatsoever. On the 25+ knot cruise boats, the zipwake and Humphrees (trim tabs) actually do a much better job than stabilizers at keeping the boat stable. Now slow down to hull speed and below or stopped and the seakeepers really shine. But I've found the curved fin sidepower stabilizers to be amazing at every aspect and even better than a seakeeper at anchor on a 66' Sunseeker Manhattan (FBMY) with a 27 knot cruise.
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    So, in a nutshell, you disagree with yourself?

    In my previous post I was talking of stabilizers in general, and I only mentioned the gyro that I evaluated for my boat because I was mostly interested in zero speed.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, the 66' Manhattan has a lot of weight up high and is not inherently stable like the predators are. It NEEDS stabilizers and is why they come standard on the vessel.