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
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:
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!