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Old 03-11-2014, 17:47   #1
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Hello! Motor yacht questions!

Hello everyone, I'm new to the forums and new to most everything that has to do with a boat. My family and I recently moved to sunny San Diego and instead of spending half million dollars on a nice home we have decided to purchase a liveaboard boat and put it at fiddlers cove on Coronado. My wife is a Navy JAG attorney so we get a discount by living at fiddlers cove and of course, first priority. We are looking at powerboats in the 45-52 ft range and while we have been using a broker, Id like to get some opinions from people that have actually owned various boats and why they like them. I'm a very good mechanic and Ive built several nice projects but I don't really want to get a big boat project but if its something small to fix, its fine because I'm very good at those things. So here is what we have looked at:

Lien Hwa
Californian
Jefferson
Bayliner
Hershine
Hatteras
Mainship
Sea Ray
Carver

Mostly what we have narrowed it down to is Lien Hwa, californian, carver, and jefferson because of cost and such. Our budget is not that much but its around $130k - $160k for a liveaboard motor yacht and looks like we have to stay in the 1980's to early 1990's. We like them to have back aft cabins/cockpits and enclosed sun decks. We also like them to have 3 cabins but most of those are extremely high. So my question is to everyone is what is your favorite as far as build quality, resale, and open ocean motoring because we plan to make some trips from San Diego to Catalina Island. I want something that will last. Since I'm an avid car guy, I love the caterpillar engines and cummins engines. Thanks alot guys, hope you can help.
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Old 03-11-2014, 18:17   #2
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

I prefer the californians from the brands that you named. Many boats of that configuration have very poor access to the engines and systems. Welcome to cruisers forum and good luck in your search. Offshore makes a 48' cockpit motoryacht that is my favorite of that type yacht. It is designed by William Crealock. A very nice boat.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:58   #3
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jtf.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:09   #4
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Quote:
.So my question is to everyone is what is your favorite as far as build quality, resale, and open ocean motoring
Not sure Carver qualifies for any of the above :-(
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:30   #5
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtf8751 View Post

I'm a very good mechanic and Ive built several nice projects but I don't really want to get a big boat project but if its something small to fix, its fine because I'm very good at those things. So here is what we have looked at:

Boats that have successfully passed a marine survey (hull and so forth) and a mechanical survey (engines and genset) are mostly a series of small things to maintain/repair/replace/upgrade, etc.

Access to all those small systems is a key factor. A 15-minute "fix" on the bench might be a 5-hour fix in the boat, if access sucks.

Look at access to engines and genset (impellers, zinc anodes, fuel and oil filters, etc.), freshwater pumps, water heater, A/C units, etc. as part of your comparison shopping.


Quote:
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Not sure Carver qualifies for any of the above :-(

I'd say Carvers are reasonably solid "Chevys" -- as are Sea Ray, Mainship, and Bayliner from jtf's list. As with most production boats, these are mostly a system of systems... and if Carver (or whomever) uses a Jabsco head instead of a Raritan head... or Buck Algonquin thru-hulls instead of Groco... well, that's a different debate.

Not closely familiar with the others on jtf"s list.

FWIW, I do often joke about "Carver wakes" -- but I suspect they are often seen throwing a big wake for three reasons: operator error, of course, but also design (a fat hull carried forward often allows more room inside), and many seem to be delivered with only standard power (when optional engines would plane the boat better).

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Old 04-11-2014, 07:47   #6
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Anybody considering a Carver should read this article:
(Don't shoot the messenger, I did not write it )

Boat Review by David Pasoe - Carver 370
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:27   #7
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

IF....

You are financing ANY PART of the purchase.... Those parameters are tightening, and will dictate what you can buy... Find out first before falling in love...
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:58   #8
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Before you do anything, make sure the marina allows liveaboards. Some people think they can be a "sneakaboard" but eventually they get caught. I have seen it happen a number of times.

Searay's are very soundly designed and constructed boats and hold their value relatively well. You still have to get a survey to make sure the boat that you pick is sound.

Don't assume that the money you sink in to a boat will get you an equal or greater return on its resale value. Unlike a house on land, the vast majority of the money that you put into a boat you will never see again in its resale value. This makes a difference in whether you choose a boat in near perfect condition or a fixer upper. Generally speaking, pick the boat in near perfect condition if resale value is a concern.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:16   #9
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

I think if you're looking at a thirty year old boat, the condition of a particular boat is more important than the brand. I would be sure to get the boat surveyed by someone in your area with a good reputation.

Most people don't start out with their first boat being 45' long. Going from not being a boater to owning a 45' + boat can be a big challenge. I know of a couple who did just what you're planning to do but they have to hire someone to do all the repairs and even drive the boat.

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:26   #10
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Hatteras 53 will check most of your blocks.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:17   #11
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

you get what you pay for the lein wa and the Californian are built in taiwann and are typically poor with regarding all aspects of its construction.

the hatteras is a quality yacht so are Vikings and bertrams. chris craft commanders in steel are also good though you need the hull ultra sounded. but steel replacement is relatively in expensive..

if you want someone else's problems go with the Taiwanese's boats.

PS hire a good NAMS certified surveyor. and don't go cheap on the surveyor as I said you get what you pay for
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:20   #12
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Ditto on the Hatteras 53, good boats, want one for my next live..


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Old 04-11-2014, 10:58   #13
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Anybody considering a Carver should read this article:
(Don't shoot the messenger, I did not write it )

Boat Review by David Pasoe - Carver 370

Certainly good to read everything available. Pascoe makes a fair point: Carvers are not Hatteras or Viking. OTOH, lots of folks can't afford Hatteras or Viking, and wouldn't be able to go boating without the "production boats built to a price."

Notice also he's a bit uneven. In that one-model review he condemns the brand. In the Mainship reviews, he condemns the brand in one yet says pretty OK stuff in the other.

Not defending Carver (or any other brand), of course... just mentioning that owners in other forums tend to be generally positive, usually recognizing that the boats serve their purpose... and that build quality is in line with intended/expected use. Ditto other brands.

As with most production boats, I'd expect some dumb stuff... and then also some stuff that didn't turn out great, not from a case of dumb, but from a case of "inventing it while you're flying it." Sometimes stuff just doesn't work... and in those cases, production builders often "evolve" their models to eliminate as much dumb -- or stuff that's not working out as expected -- as they can.

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Old 04-11-2014, 12:52   #14
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

A neighbor of mine loves his Carver but even he would agree it is not the best boat to take into harms way. Very nice liveaboard, though. His has 2 quite comfortable and spacious staterooms. It wouldn't be my first xhoice, no.

I'm not a fan of searay, bayliner, etc but what do I know, sailboat guy that I am.

Another neighbor has a 53' hatt and it is quite nice, unless you don't like Detroit 2 strokes. You either love them or hate them. I think they are great engines, but i spent a lot of my younger days messing about with them in the oil patch. The 63 Hatts are nice, too. There are a couple of different configurations... cockpit or no coxkpit, for instance. Good boats for your channel crossing plans. Lots of them around, and prices can be pretty reasonable especially if there is any cosmetic water damage around windows and doors, which seems common.

Vikings are tough, hardy boats but seem to often be way overpriced. I think their reputation might be a little overblown and owners are selling them when they still are too much in love with them. But apart from maybe paying a little too much, (subjective!) You would likely be getting a great hull, with fairly well engineered systems.

If I were looking for a motor yacht I think I would be looking for a Nordhavn or similar long range trawler type, but that's me.

Low hours or a recent rebuild on the engine or engines would be a huge plus. You don't want to sink 40k into your engines right away, especially with so little use that you will be putting to them. That would be heartbreaking. Fuel consumption happily isn't as big an issue as it would be if you intended to do some major cruising, but it is still a factor and you might keep an open mind about an efficient single screw trawler. You pay a lot to go 25kt compared to 7 or 8kt.

Just my dos centavos worth.
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Old 04-11-2014, 13:02   #15
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Re: Hello!!!!!! Motor yacht questions!!!!

Guys, I really appreciate all of your input. This is great to get experienced boaters opinions and what you guys think. I really don't have an issue of buying a 45' or bigger yacht as my first boat, I can manage, and Ive driven bigger boats before so I don't really have an issue with that. But again, its great to hear concern and make me aware of the things I will need to know. Unfortunately the Hatteras, Viking, and Bertram are a bit higher in the price range, but I will keep looking. I was told by most brokers that the lien hwa and other taiwanese boats weren't that bad, but again they want to sell boats. I was also told that the Californian was built here in California back in the 80's, is that correct? But most of the boats that we have looked at have a pretty good access to engine compartment, etc. The floor comes out in the salon and they are easy to get to. Can you guys recommend anything else? And if anybody knows alot of info about the taiwanese boats specifically, please let me know. Its good to be here and thanks again guys. I always listen to experience.
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