In the last few weeks, we have looked at a number of makes and models of power boats trying to find what works for us.
- Carver 530 Voyager - Loved the easy, cockpit entry from a floating dock or a dinghy, loved the galley up design, molded in steps, great pilothouse and dinette design, flybridge access from the pilothouse, and the engine room was not stand up but was in no way cramped and was very well-organized.
- Hatteras 58' - Loved the salon and the "balcony" off the back. Galley down - not a deal killer but we like to cook and prefer the galley near the same level as the salon. LOTS of room in the master. Walk in engine rooms. We didn't like the tall dockside steps needed for entry.
- Hatteras 56' - same notes as above.
- Viking 55' - SO spacious! In the end, we felt like this was more boat than we needed for the two of us with the occasional visiting couple.
- Chris Craft 501 - They only made six or seven of the galley up/four stateroom models and only made them in 1990. The rest of the 501s are all three stateroom/galley down designs. We didn't like the dockside stairs needed for access but loved the feel of the salon, galley, balcony, and separated pilothouse on the same level. The lower deck was roomy and comfortable but only enough room for a combo washer dryer. All of the other boats had room for a separate washer and dryer.
We would still like to get on a Defever in the 50' range and on a Hatteras 53 Extended Deckhouse model. The Hatteras ED has a galley down, granted, but they appear roomy enough. No way to be sure until boarding one. The extended salon is separated from the pilothouse by a wetbar and entertainment center, which would be awesome.
Based on what we know so far, the Carver 53 and the Hatt 53 ED hold the most promise. Very, very different designs. The easy entry issues could be solved
on the Hatt 53 ED by added an extended swim platform and a set of stairs from the balcony down. Still evaluating.
There is no rush. At the moment, we're trying to figure out the make and model that has the most advantages for us and the fewest negatives. Lots of exploring still to do before starting the next phase of our journey but it sure is exciting to look. And we learn a little something new each time.