Like the original poster, I owned and raced sailboats for 25+ years before going "bi-nautical". I have owned two Selenes, and still own a small sailboat (a Santana 20) for the sheer pleasure of day sailing
. I previously owned a Selene 50, and we upgraded to a Selene 60 about 3 years ago. I've also owned a J/130, Olson 34, and several other high-performance sailboats over the past 25+ years, and I have crossed the Pacific twice under sail.
The original poster asked about Selene vs. Fleming, and it's already been adequately pointed out that these two boats are significantly different in terms of their design choices. If you value the ability to get up on a plane at 15-25 knots, the Fleming is the right boat for you. From what exposure I've had to them, they are well built and nicely finished boats--but definitely designed for a different purpose.
(By the way, I am also the volunteer developer/operator of the Selene Owner's web site at Selene Owners Site
, which is not associated with or supported by the factory or dealers. Coincidentally, a Fleming owner friend liked what he saw on the Selene Owner's site, and I adapter the software
I developed for the Selene Owner's web site to also run the Fleming Owner's web site at Fleming Owners Site
. As a result, I've gotten to know at least one of the Fleming owners as well and I've admired the boats. You can learn a ton about Selenes on our owner's site, which welcomes guests and the owners are happy to share their experience--good and bad.
As often happens, this conversation seems to have gotten hijacked by a Selene vs. Nordhavn debate, which wasn't the original poster's question.
I hate to feed that debate, but since it's already going.... I will say that Nordhavn does a much better job of marketing
than Jet Tern (the builder
of Selene). They are well built boats and I've been aboard both. I personally far prefer the design of the Selenes and wouldn't trade
mine for a similar size Nordhavn straight across.
In terms of ocean crossing
(if that is the original poster's goal), the debate gets even less based on fact and more on marketing
. People have crossed oceans in all kinds of boats--some certainly far less optimized for ocean crossing that Selenes or Nordhavns. To claim that one is "safe" and the other is not, or that one is "seaworthy" and the other is not, is a gross oversimplification that is based much more on marketing than facts about the boats.
That being said, several Selenes have quite safely and securely crossed oceans. My good friends, John & Kathy Youngblood have been living aboard
their Selene 53 since 2007 and have transited the west coast
, the panama canal
, circumnavigated the Caribbean
, crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia
, and should be in New Zealand
this fall (I may be doing the Tonga
- NZ passage with them). Another Selene 48 owned by Brian Calvert is in Indonesia
having done a similar crossing. Our Selene map shows the boats scattered across every ocean.
I've cruised Selenes up and down the entire west coast
of the US (Vancouver Island to La Paz) and through the Panama
canal. Frankly, I've seen larger seas off the coast of Oregon
than I've ever seen in the middle of the ocean. I've never had the slightest concern for the seaworthiness of the Selenes.
Bottom line (IMHO), either a Fleming or a Selene (or a Nordhavn) are great boats. It all depends on what you plan to do with it and your personal design preferences. Have whatever you're looking at surveyed thoroughly. If it makes you feel better, have a naval architect look at the hydrostatic data for the boats. Recognize that in most all cases, the boats can take more than you can...