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Old 28-11-2009, 13:59   #1
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Looking for Insight on a 55-65' Trawler

New user, so go easy on me. Not new to forums, or sailing / yachting, but am looking to expand the 'fleet' and get into something for the Great Lakes.

I've been a fairly long time lurker of the forum, and often refer to it and follow many of the threads with great interest. So, with that, blah blah blah, let's get started in where I'm trying to get, and some input from the experts.

We are looking for a Lake Boat, something that will spend most of its time in / on Lake Michigan somewhere between Pentwater and Harbor Springs. We've done a lot of looking, sea trials, general knocking around, and long side by side comparisons. Which, in theory is great, but at the end of the day, there is nothing better than hands on input from other owners.

The basic use of the boat will be family / friends time, weekends, long weekends, perhaps a week or so on the boat, running around the lake, but then to have the availability to (should we choose) make a run for the season down south to Florida, or even further to the BVI. But the primary use will be in the lake, and then of course on the hard / dry for the winter season (October), then back in the water come April.

Boats we've looked at, narrowed out of the playing field (for various reasons) and what we've ended up with as kind of a short list, which I'd love to gather input from the users of the forum.

The short list of basic requirements is pretty simple. 3 staterooms, (Owner / VIP / Double) Something that will cruise economically at 10kts but will also cruise in the upper band of 17 to 20kts. Ideally, something that would be able to cruise at 17 to 20kts. This makes a trip to Chicago (for example) a 5 hour run, versus an 8 or 9 hour run. Safety is first priority to all other factors. The boat will be a family boat with kids, so a Portuguese deck is a must. Interior stairs from the wheel house to the fly bridge, and proper stairs from the cockpit to the upper deck would be nice, rather than the typical ladder. I'm looking for something that's anywhere from 1 to 5 years old and am expecting to spend 2.5M for the right boat. Something that myself and another experienced hand can sail if needed. Crews quarters would be nice (for kids) or a Captain / Hand if we have one for the trip / weekend / etc. but not an absolute requirement.

With all of that being said, here's what we've looked at and kind of what we've been left with:

Fleming (55' & 65')

Outstanding boat. Seem to be well built, functional, beautiful lines, etc. etc. Meets all of our needs, other than the fact that it tops out at 10kts, unless you want to drain your range down to 500 miles and burn stupid amounts of fuel, sure you can push a displacement hull at 18 kts. Not smart, but could be done. If it could cruise economically at 18ish kts, we'd have a deal, and you wouldn't be reading this thread.

Marlow 57' & 65'

Love everything about the boats, don't know much about their hull design other than what I've read. (which I have heard very mixed reviews on them) They use the proprietor "Velocistrut keel" thing, which I hear from one camp is great, but from others is not so great and they have stability issues. Great lines in the boat, and what we are looking for. Interior, relatively workable other than the traffic jam area in the pilot house where the galley opens to the dinning seating / captains chair / passageway. Stunning finish work, features, etc. Goes fast. Cruises well per the numbers on paper.

Grand Banks 59' and 65'

Hands down at this point, the GB59 is leading the pack. Quick, functional, well laid out, safe, (heavy v. light boat argument comes into play here, yes, I know) The only draw back to the 59' is that it doesn't have a stairwell from the wheel house to the fly bridge. You have to go to the 65' to get that. Don't know that I want to make the move to a 65' simply for the stairs. Otherwise, we walk in that boat, and think "this is great!" Open, free flowing, etc.

Hampton 650 Endurance
Slightly different lines than the above boats, but very pleasing. From what I've read (have not seen the 650 in person, but have been on other Hampton boats) and find it to be a well put together boat. Don't know much about it other than the few reviews and reading I've done on them. A few pros, a few cons, etc. and otherwise, seem to be a viable option for us.

The boats that we've looked at that we've crossed off the list for various reasons (cosmetics, functional, availability, GA, Wife doesn't like, etc.) are:
Nordhavn.
Saline
Tolly
Offshore
Ocean Alexander
Beneteau
others, I'm probably forgetting at the moment.

So, I think at this point we are down to Grand Banks, Marlow, and possibly the Hampton. I'd like to visit the Hampton next to get a hands on feel for them in comparison to what I've read for the past few months.

So, how's that for a mouthful? Any input on the GB's versus the Marlow's and possibly the Hampton would be awesome. If there are other recommendations, I'll take those too, and or offer comments based on our search for the last 6 months of boat shows, reading, etc.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our dilemma and provide input!

~Quads
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Old 28-11-2009, 15:27   #2
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krogen 52 express is worth a look.
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Old 28-11-2009, 16:10   #3
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krogen 52 express is worth a look.
No Portuguese walk around deck.
Great boat from what I understand, but not the lines / looks of a boat that we are looking for.
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Old 28-11-2009, 17:18   #4
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Westcoast 57?
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Old 28-11-2009, 17:26   #5
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Westcoast 57?
No Portuguese walk around deck.
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Old 28-11-2009, 17:47   #6
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I like the Symbol classic. It has a Portuguese bridge, is a fast trawler, and 2 are available on the market - one used and one left-over.
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Old 28-11-2009, 20:07   #7
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I like the Symbols, and the price point on them is certainly in the sweet spot, but they have never really thrilled my or the Wife. Good boat, just not really taken by them.
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Old 29-11-2009, 12:03   #8
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Anybody else with input on a Grand Banks Aleutian 59' and 65' versus a Marlow 57' and 65' would be appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:16   #9
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There is someone in Southern California who blasts around on their Fleming 55 at 20 knots, so it can be done. Any boat in this size range is going to DRINK fuel at over 10 knots.

Most people seem to find that the over 10 knot speeds are something you do a few times when you first get the boat, and then very, very rarely if ever thereafter. Its just so loud and uncomfortable at speed. Things slide off counters, stuff falls over, things break due to heat and vibration, ... And of course the $10000 fuel bill stops seeming fun after a few times.

That said, I can only say I've crawled through all three, but only cruised a Fleming 55 for a couple weeks through the Bahamas. The friend who owns the Fleming likes it so much he has three: one 55 for the Med, one 55 for the US East Coast and Caribbean, and now a 65 for all over the place.

I also have many friends with GBs, and they tend to keep buying them.

I know nobody who owns a Marlow yet, but they really look like an up and coming brand. A lot for the money.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:03   #10
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The Carbon Wife Unit and I were on a Grand Banks 72' not too long ago. It was an amazingly well laid out bout. Craftsmanship was top notch. The captain had nothing but praise for it and how well it traveled. The 100 gps number was hard to swallow tough.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:47   #11
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For 18 knots with 65 feet of waterline you will want a boat with a full planing hull. The square root of 65 is 8.06. Multiplied by 1.4, the hull speed for a 65 foot boat is 11.3 knots. A full planing hull is what you will need for traveling 18 knots. The downside is that a full planing hull is not as efficient at non-planing speeds as a full displacement hull.

Expect to burn a few gallons per mile for a boat of that displacement on a plane at 18 knots.

If money is a concern then get a full displacement hull and cruise it at 10 knots. This will save an enormous amount of money both in fuel consumption and required engine size. Isn't the fun of being on the water actually being on the water and not getting from point A to point B quickly? That's what airplanes are for.

As far as aesthetics go, I am more fond of the traditional looks of a full displacement hull. Its the difference between how a SeaRay looks compared to a Fleming.
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Old 10-12-2009, 17:34   #12
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Have you looked at Alaskan or Ocean Alexanders. I believe both make something in the 55 to 65 range with covered decks. Try the OA dealer in Seattle www.oceanalexanderseattle.com (Not affiliated just looking at their add in Pacific Yachting magazine)
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Old 10-12-2009, 23:49   #13
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Have you looked at Alaskan or Ocean Alexanders. I believe both make something in the 55 to 65 range with covered decks. Try the OA dealer in Seattle www.oceanalexanderseattle.com (Not affiliated just looking at their add in Pacific Yachting magazine)
I looked at the 65 Trawler OA while in Florida at the boat show. Was not really thrilled with how cramped the interior was. Otherwise seemed like a nice boat, but not workable for us.

Have not looked at the Alaskan, however will take a peek now.

~Q
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:39   #14
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Fast boats are nice.. until you find yourself in a squall. The Great Lakes are scary and frequently have wind speeds, on a good day, over force four.
I'd recommend having a wander around any marina near you on a nice sunny day with a bit of a blow on, with waves about three to five foot. I'm sure you'll see virtually ALL the faster boats on their moorings. Planing hulls don't do well when it's choppy, even when they are making displacement speeds. This will seriously limit your use of the boat. That said, they make a great place to entertain friends when you are tied up in an up-scale marina.

IMHO you could do worse that getting to know owners of all the types of boat you like and beg, borrow or steal (joking) a day out on each of them, preferably not when its flat calm. If they won't go to sea outside those conditions, there is a message there as well.

With no idea of your budget, it's difficult to recommend anything but you may want to consider a displacement Krogen or a Nordhavn if you intend using the boat frequently.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

P.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:51   #15
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As noted in the OP:
Quote:
I'm looking for something that's anywhere from 1 to 5 years old and am expecting to spend 2.5M for the right boat.
I've spent much time on the great lakes, in sail boats and other larger yachts, so my experience and familiarity are further than skin deep.

Grand Banks seems to fit the bill in most cases for something that will cruise at 20 kts, adn well when pulled back to 10, and adapt to most conditions on the lakes which we'd be in. Still looking at the Hampton 650 as an option as well, which seems to have some good sea keeping attributes, as well, will cruise at a decent clip.

Thanks for the input.
The search continues.
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