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Old 20-07-2017, 12:43   #1
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Our first large yacht - Advice please

Hi everyone!
Im looking for some advice from the group here in the purchase of my first large (large to me anyway) yacht. First, some background which will help you understand my questions.
The wife and I are a year or two from retirement and I wanted to get the yacht now so we can spend some time cruising the local waters, learning as we go, before spending about 6 months a year on it once we retire. We intend to travel from Florida up the ICW for most of the Great Loop although we will be doing it in stages. We also intend to take the boat from Florida to the Bahamas and BVI, perhaps further as we get the opportunity to explore more over the years. We did a fair amount of research and decided on purchasing one of the boats in the Carver line, either a 450, 460 or 504. At 46 49 feet, we like the layouts of each and compared to other models we toured. We both have some experience on the water, all in power boats, but nothing with any staterooms and we intend to spend time with a captain and others to learn more before setting out on our own.
The questions I have are these.
Based on the above usage what kind of experience can we expect from the Carver models we listed?
Are there other models in the 150K 250K price range that would suit our needs better? One thought is that the 450 had its master amidships so that might be the most comfortable but looking to hear from those who own these or similar boats for guidance and comments on that they would have done over again or differently.
Thanks, in advance for your comments!
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Old 20-07-2017, 12:52   #2
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

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Based on the above usage what kind of experience can we expect from the Carver models we listed?

Are there other models in the 150K – 250K price range that would suit our needs better? One thought is that the 450 had its master amidships so that might be the most comfortable but looking to hear from those who own these or similar boats for guidance and comments on that they would have done over again or differently.

Carvers have a decent "Chevy" reputation. I don't know those models specifically, but they look credible for your plans. Given that kind of intended mileage, and those are heavy boats, you'll likely want diesel... which addresses the only common Carver problem I know of.

That is, many are sold with gas engines, and often seem too heavy for that application, which in turn sometimes seems to team up with their broader hulls to cause "Carver wake" -- which mostly wouldn't affect you, but might have affected everyone you pass.



For other options, I'd guess any boat with similar layouts by Cruisers, SeaRay (the bridge boats, not the Sundancers), Formula, Silverton, etc. could be worth a look.

If for some reason you decide you might want to go slower and burn less fuel, you could look at the various "trawler" designs for that same kind of intended use. Lots to choose from.

In either case, you might want to check out trawlerforum.com (sister site) where probably more powerboaters hang out.

-Chris
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Old 20-07-2017, 14:16   #3
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

I vote for a trawler type boat, for economical operation. A nice Kady or Norhavn would be superb, and also give you some real seagoing capability. The Carver will hit you easy in the pocket, initially, but you will take a small hit on fuel economy and it is nowhere near the sea boat of a proper trawler. They are not underbuilt but not exactly thick skinned, either. Hitting a log at night could be disastrous. They arent a bad boat for running the ICW or major rivers, bays, and sounds, or venturing outside during a good weather window, and they are rather spacious and quite decently appointed for the price if my neighbor's Carver is a good example. I also recommend avoiding gasoline engines. Why complicate things with an ignition system? Or having fuel that can in worst case scenarios be highly flammable and explosive? Go diesel. You will be glad you did.

The nice thing about USED Carvers is that most are LIGHTLY used. You might find an older boat with only a few hundred hours on the engines. I dont think they were ever really meant to be, or marketed as, a constant use full time cruising boat. But for what you want to do, perfectly adequate IMHO.

Note that my advice is worth every penny that you have paid for it.
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Old 20-07-2017, 14:36   #4
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

If you want Coastal Cruising ICW and Great Loop, then a Carver or Silverton would be well suited. Fine for Bahamas if you pick your days on the crossing. If you want to get into the Caribbean, you may be much better suited with a trawler.

Look hard at the overall miles travelled and fuel economy. Those large Carvers burn alot more fuel than a trawler.
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Old 20-07-2017, 14:54   #5
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

+1 for trawler. Look for a swift trawler. I like the Nordic tug line or a Grand Banks. Can pick up speed if needed but cruise economical at displacement speeds.
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Old 20-07-2017, 15:30   #6
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

At cruising speed she will burn about 40gph at 20knots... with 500 gallons on board that gives you a cruising range of about 240nm or 12 hours. Slow down and the planing hull shape will become progressively less comfortable.

Frankly I think these are coastal cruisers good for day trips and not much else. If you plan of doing distance voyaging I would highly recommend a trawler or power cat instead.
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Old 20-07-2017, 16:20   #7
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

I like your basic plan. It's very smart to get and use it a couple of years prior to any long distances. I do hope you understand the fuel usage, and the headache of worrying about your next fuel stop if you go on long trips.. Get a diesel boat with plenty of tankage and run it at Trawler speeds, unless you are rich.
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Old 20-07-2017, 16:28   #8
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Our first large yacht - Advice please

I go with Stumble, once you realize that your not going to travel long distances on plane due to engine wear if a gas engine and fuel consumption, a planing hull off plane is not so pleasant, your doing something they simply were not designed for and something designed for displacement speeds is much better, cause they are designed for it.

Used larger gas engine boats can be had very cheaply, cause nobody wants one, anything that you can get a real deal on, is not in demand.
True often demand follows popularity, but big gas boats have always been a steal. Reason is they way the can go through fuel.
Make great never leave or rarely leave the Marina boats though.
Many bigger gas boats you have to run those big blocks at 4000 RPM or higher to stay on plane, and that is running the snot out of them, it's hard on what is truly an automotive engine, they are usually four bolt main truck motors, but still that kind of sustained high RPM is hard on a motor.

My Brother had a 36' Sportfisher that we ran at 4500 RPM I think, never could get used to that but they didn't blow, but in truth it wasn't often used either.
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Old 20-07-2017, 16:54   #9
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

It's true how quickly gas engines in boats wear out. They lug hard. It's surprising actually. You will never lug your car by tromping on the accelerator the way you will a boat. Hard to fgure how a prop "grips" that hard in water really!
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Old 20-07-2017, 18:53   #10
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

Thank you for the comments thus far, honestly I didn't expect to have so many of you vote for the trawler. We looked at them and perhaps passed them over to quickly. I'll be honest, I didn't think of the fuel costs (to excited about getting a boat I think) or the fact that they are more stable and can provide a better ride.

At least I am enjoying the research and learning from many of the previous posts, glad to be here and appreciate the knowledge.
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Old 20-07-2017, 19:48   #11
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

My husband and I are basically doing the same thing, hopefully in about 7 months. We purchased a 2006 Cruisers 455 express and love the boat. The engines are diesel and our cruising will be done in stages due primarily to fuel costs. But, we will be living on our boat and will have nothing but time. We looked at a trawler, which is definitely more cost effective, but we fell in love with this boat and will just have to be frugal.
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Old 20-07-2017, 20:12   #12
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

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At least I am enjoying the research and learning from many of the previous posts, glad to be here and appreciate the knowledge.
You'll learn 10% from reading and 90% from doing. Go charter a couple different boats. It's expensive, but the amount you'll save in the purchase is priceless. I remember the first time I chartered one of the flybridge cruisers, had my week all laid out based on the brochure that said it would cruise at 16 knots, max 19. The boat never got above 9 and was pushing a wall of water at that speed. Had a fun week, but got through < half the places we planned.

When you live on it, even for a week, things like engine access, roll at anchor, hand holds, etc start getting real annoying after 3 days. Imagine you bought one and were on your way out for 6 months. On another charter I remember we could not use the flybridge at all at anchor due to the roll, the glasses were all over the place. Kind of defeats the point of the sky lounge if you can't use it.
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Old 21-07-2017, 04:46   #13
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

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a planing hull off plane is not so pleasant, your doing something they simply were not designed for and something designed for displacement speeds is much better, cause they are designed for it.
Ours works OK at slow speeds probably about 50-60% of the time. Beam seas suck, but then beam seas suck in most un-stabilized trawlers, too. At least we can get up on plane when necessary, a capability many of the trawlers don't have.

(Remembering that "trawler" is more of a marketing term, than anything else these days...)


Quote:
Originally Posted by vciavarelli View Post
Thank you for the comments thus far, honestly I didn't expect to have so many of you vote for the trawler. We looked at them and perhaps passed them over to quickly. I'll be honest, I didn't think of the fuel costs (to excited about getting a boat I think) or the fact that they are more stable and can provide a better ride.

At least I am enjoying the research and learning from many of the previous posts, glad to be here and appreciate the knowledge.
Good to do the research. Many of us will note that fuel isn't the largest cost we face, so it's not necessarily something to obsess over. OTOH, it's not insignificant, to you'll want to see what your budget can stand.

You can get pretty good fuel economy in a planing hull by driving it slow. That's not always optimum, depending on sea states, but usually works often enough. Might not be as good as a single screw trawler with a 12-hp engine but it's another tool in the box...

FWIW, we get about 2 NMPG at about 7.5 kts, which is about 1 knot below our theoretical maximum hull speed. That's with twin 450-hp diesels, running at about 1000 RPMs. Almost any Carver/Cruisers/Formula/Silverton/etc. can do that.


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I remember the first time I chartered one of the flybridge cruisers, had my week all laid out based on the brochure that said it would cruise at 16 knots, max 19. The boat never got above 9 and was pushing a wall of water at that speed.

On another charter I remember we could not use the flybridge at all at anchor due to the roll, the glasses were all over the place. Kind of defeats the point of the sky lounge if you can't use it.
Sounds like the charter company screwed something up; those quote speeds sound reasonable. Unless you just didn't run the throttles up high enough.

Some anchorages just don't cooperate. Around here, if there's any rolling in an anchorage -- almost always very well protected from weather -- it's usually because of a hurricane coming through.

We've been on un-stabilized "trawlers," though, that roll just about as much as any planing hull...

-Chris
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Old 21-07-2017, 05:04   #14
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

Consider the Carver for your immediate needs and ICW/loop. It would also be easier to handle in shallow water, docking, locking etc. then most single engine trawlers. If so then buy a blue water boat. It should be pretty easy to sell, and you will have a much better idea of what you really want.
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Old 21-07-2017, 08:15   #15
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Re: Our first large yacht - Advice please

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Consider the Carver for your immediate needs and ICW/loop. It would also be easier to handle in shallow water, docking, locking etc. then most single engine trawlers. If so then buy a blue water boat. It should be pretty easy to sell, and you will have a much better idea of what you really want.
What brands of blue water boats are you referring to?
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