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Old 27-11-2011, 15:46   #16
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

As I recall, those DeFevers built in Japan in the 70's were better built than those constructed later in Taiwan. I don't believe that there were any built of fiberglass that came out of Japan at the time but I could be corrected. Certainly the 54 footers were of mahogany with oak ribs... I believe that one of the main reasons for the move to Taiwan was cost according to Art DeFever. Capt Phil
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Old 27-11-2011, 17:52   #17
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

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Originally Posted by Jim Sprague View Post
I am thinking about buying a 1990 Defever Pilothouse. Any advice on problems to look for on this model ? Is Defever a good brand of boat? Any problems with them over the years?

Jim
Look for rotten plywood cores, rotten "shingle" core, large voids in the laminate due to poor quality chopper work, low quality lumber rotting in structural members, poor fairing, etc. I like these designs but the ones from Taiwan or China (which is most of them) have some very low quality construction work. Here's a few pics of a rotten boat deck I did. Look at the size of the voids and delams....
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Old 27-11-2011, 18:16   #18
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

Really shocking photos, minaret... as one who is in the repair business and has seen these defects up close and personal, your observations are worth their weight in gold. Have you shared these with Art DeFever? He would be appaled, I'm sure. My old DeFever was built in 1974 Hull#4 out of the Oriental Boatyard in Japan, wooden hull with CAT D330's and was the best boat I ever owned. Sorry to see the deterioration of workmanship in the Taiwan yards of this finely designed vessel. Capt Phil
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Old 27-11-2011, 18:29   #19
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

I'm sure the Japanese boats are a whole different animal. After all they are very serious about woodwork there and have a great tradition of woodworking. And I'm pretty sure no self-respecting Japanese woodworker would have anything to do with some of the construction techniques I've seen come from some of the Taiwanese yards.
I'm sure Art knows the deal and wouldn't be surprised, after all designers dont generally have much control over what happens with a design once they've sold the rights to Taiwan. I believe this one resulted in a massive lawsuit, so I'd be surprised if he didn't hear about it. This is a Taiwanese boat, but I've worked on Chinese ones as well and they aren't much better. There's a reason they are the cheapest trawler on the market. If you look carefully, you can see that the superstructure was built in ply and lumber beams and then glassed over, hence all the vast quantities of bondo. Terrible shame really, they could be very nice boats if done right. But I wouldn't buy a Taiwanese or Chinese one as it is, lifespan will be too limited by the construction technique. This also explains the severe unfairness, as each boat is essentially built one off as regards the superstructure. Saves on tooling expense, as labor is much cheaper than tooling there...
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Old 28-11-2011, 22:42   #20
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

Such a shame
I was only looking this morning at what I could buy OS and be happy with and DeFever was on the list.
It was a 1972 model I was lusting for
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SpecsBuilder: Oriental Boat Co Yokuska Japan
Designer: Art Defever
Flag of Registry: United States
Hull Shape: Semi-Displacement
Also says timber hull

1972 Defever Offshore Cruiser Power New and Used Boats for Sale -
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Old 29-11-2011, 05:25   #21
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

Go to DeFever Cruisers and post your query of their Forum. Join might be necessary for a few bucks. LOADED with info; previous issues of all magazines, etc. You will get a lot of info, insights & can follow up with it all.
DeFever Cruisers - A Club for Yachting Enthusiasts with a Passion for DeFever Vessels and the Cruising Life!
Sharon aboard Finally Fun
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Old 28-02-2013, 06:28   #22
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

Jim, your post and the replys of others was some time ago. Did you get a DeFever? I have been looking for almost a year at trawlers in general and have now started to focus on DeFever. Love to have a GB, but my budget will not allow that. Any advise from you or the others? I am trying to find a trawler with two queen cabins and two heads. I have been on a GB 49 set up like that and seen a similar set up on the Flemming...
Any and all input would be most welcome...

John
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Old 28-02-2013, 08:17   #23
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

There is a fabulous trawler for sale at 75k down here in Bocas, Twin Lehmans and cherried out. I think it's a DeFever.
Contact Bocas Marina, Bocas Del Tora, Panama.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:26   #24
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

My old DeFever 54 is for sale in San Diego... mahogany hull, CAT D330's, well equipped and the new owner has had her for around 6-7 years and kept her in good shape, I believe. Price has dropped as well... I think she is listed on Yachtworld but only has one walkaround queen. Worth a look if wood doesn't bother you. Good Hunting... Phil
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:08   #25
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

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Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
There is a fabulous trawler for sale at 75k down here in Bocas, Twin Lehmans and cherried out. I think it's a DeFever.
Contact Bocas Marina, Bocas Del Tora, Panama.
Is it this 49 footer they list here for 160k asking?
Brokerage |
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Old 15-08-2015, 20:19   #26
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Re: Advice on buying Defever Trawler

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Hi Mike... owned and lived aboard a Defever 54 for about 6 years that I found in Bainbridge Island, WA. I was the third owner and was fortunate that the previous owners were knowledgeable and willing to keep her in top shape. She was built in the Oriental Boatyard, Japan and the workmanship was outstanding. We replaced decks, hatches and deck boxes forward of the portuguese bridge, older electronics, autopilot and updated the interior. Cruised her from WA state to the top of Desolation Sound, BC then down to San Diego. Without a doubt one of the best LRC I have ever been aboard. I understand that the subsequent owner found some rot on the port side above the waterline and replaced 2-3 planks but other than that she remains sound. Powered by twin CAT D330's that ran about 4gal/hr at 7.5 knots. Art DeFever has been aboard and was heartened that she remained in such good shape. He recalled being at the yard in Japan when she was splashed and said she looked every bit as good as when she was launched. The advice from Vyndance II above is sound and I support his point of view. If you are considering a wooden hulled vessel, be sure to engage a surveyor with considerable experience in wooden boats. Oil analysis should be performed by the engine manufacturer (CAT dealer in Seattle did ours). Good luck with your purchase. Capt Phil
Hello Phil
We are going to San Diego next week to see a DeFever 54' 1972 with a D330
Called Sea Rogue and another 54' 1971 with 8V53 Detroit both build in Japan. Do you know those 2, I would really appreciate your knowledge. We are from Victoria, BC.
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Old 15-08-2015, 20:27   #27
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

Our friends cruise on a 49 Defever, it was originally a 44 but they added a cockpit. I wouldn't want one without a cockpit, but we hope if they ever sell it we are able to buy it, as the boat is setup incredibly well. The owners have never lived on land and you couldn't buy a brand new boat in better condition.
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Old 15-08-2015, 22:07   #28
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

In response to you inquiry, Lakshmi, Sea Rogue is my old boat. I believe she is a 1974 DeFever built in Japan, Hull#6 currently lying in the San Diego Yacht Club. The current owner, John, is a great guy who with his two sons have maintained her well from what I understand.
She is extremely well equipped and all electronics are probably a little dated now but mechanically I heard she was really kept in good nick. The Cat D330's are strong engines and lean on fuel. They are direct drive throwing 42" wheels. Also equipped with hydro finer oil filters that kept the oil so clean, you needed a flashlight to read the dip sticks!
Had a solid genset that I recall was around 10kw, also a cruising generator on the stbd engine that put out 110 volts at around 1200 rpm so you stayed charged up and could use the washing machine, TV and galley appliances underway. Twelve volt for electronics and house system was 24 volt throughout the boat from 3 banks of 8 volt deep cycle batteries.
VHF, ssb(icom) and ham setup. Talked with military in Afganistan once from the PNW!
I put several thousand miles on her cruising in the PNW before taking her down the coast from Canada to San Diego. Lived aboard her there for over 6 years and worked hard to bring her back to her former condition. Art DeFever came aboard while we were living on her in Sunroad Marina and said she looked as good if not better than when she was splashed in Japan!
PM me if you want more details or have specific questions. Cheers, Phil
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Old 16-08-2015, 08:49   #29
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
In response to you inquiry, Lakshmi, Sea Rogue is my old boat. I believe she is a 1974 DeFever built in Japan, Hull#6 currently lying in the San Diego Yacht Club. The current owner, John, is a great guy who with his two sons have maintained her well from what I understand.
She is extremely well equipped and all electronics are probably a little dated now but mechanically I heard she was really kept in good nick. The Cat D330's are strong engines and lean on fuel. They are direct drive throwing 42" wheels. Also equipped with hydro finer oil filters that kept the oil so clean, you needed a flashlight to read the dip sticks!
Had a solid genset that I recall was around 10kw, also a cruising generator on the stbd engine that put out 110 volts at around 1200 rpm so you stayed charged up and could use the washing machine, TV and galley appliances underway. Twelve volt for electronics and house system was 24 volt throughout the boat from 3 banks of 8 volt deep cycle batteries.
VHF, ssb(icom) and ham setup. Talked with military in Afganistan once from the PNW!
I put several thousand miles on her cruising in the PNW before taking her down the coast from Canada to San Diego. Lived aboard her there for over 6 years and worked hard to bring her back to her former condition. Art DeFever came aboard while we were living on her in Sunroad Marina and said she looked as good if not better than when she was splashed in Japan!
PM me if you want more details or have specific questions. Cheers, Phil
Good Morning Capt. Phil
Thank you very much for your response. It does make us smile with a warm heart reading your post. We used to sail-live-aboard on a Freedom 40' center cockpit with our young new born kids. We now want to live on a Motor Boat and hopefully it will be a DeFever. I cannot go down to San Diego myself right now but my wife who knows boats as well as me will go there Aug. 25-26 and see 2 DeFever. We will have more question for you if you dont mind as the days progress.
Jan & Michel (Laksmi)
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Old 16-08-2015, 09:30   #30
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Re: Advice on Buying DeFever Trawler

Hi, Jan and Michel... I miss spoke in my last post. The Oil filtration system that is an add on to the CAT D330's are called luberfiners, not hydro fines. You should get 15-20k hours out of CAT's before they need rebuilding so lots of time to go before that. I recall she held about 1600gal of fuel and would be Hawaii capable with a 500gal bladder on the aft deck or swim grid.
Other than that you are looking at a fine vessel. I know her inside out and can answer pretty much any questions you might have after you look at her. I don't think the current owners cruised her a lot but lived aboard while visited their kids and grandkids who live there in SD.
When you get to the sea trial stage, be sure to arrange to take her outside and see how she rides with the Niad stabilizers... They really make a difference!
Access to the stabilizer head arrangement on them is great for maintenance as well.
The vacuflush heads are a great feature using fresh water that keeps odors to a minimum and the shower in the main head has an opening port that really helps keep the head dry from condensation.
A dentist was the first owner then a gifted cabinet maker who put in the entertainment center in the salon. The diesel heater in the salon is so efficient, it heats the salon, galley and you can feel it all the way to the wheelhouse! Run it for an hour and the boat gets very cosy. Longer, it gets too hot, even in the PNW. Additionally, she has a Wabasco forced air heater that keeps the below decks space very comfortable.
I could go on but best you check her out and see if she suits what you are looking for. She is a superb platform to live aboard, cruise and heaps of room for a family... Cheers, Phil
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