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Old 05-09-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
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Evaluating the competition

As we continue our search for N4 we are doing the right thing and exploring all our options. The unfortunate thing for us is that the competition is realistically limited to the other two big recreational builders of full displacement hull boats.

A couple of weeks ago I scheduled a meeting with one of the other big three builders and had an interesting experience. Having spoke with this builder / dealer in the past it was obvious they were waiting for me and had their own agenda planned prior to me even walking into the door.

When I arrived the sales rep which whom I was communicating with the past few weeks was no where to be found. The owner of the brokage/dealership was there alone to discuss my situation which was fine with me. What I didn't expect was to listen to 30 minutes of this individuals 30 plus year history in the business followed by a reading of my past emails / interest in this line of boats.

After about 45 minutes I realized this meeting was going no where and there was a total lost of the purpose of the meeting - to price out a new build. I had to gracefully excuse myself and walk away counting my blessings I did not make a deal with this builder.

Wow, I'm not sure what I may have done wrong expect to have owned three Nordhavn's and possibly placed this builder in a situation whereby he felt he needed to impress me but that was not my intention. I'm the poorest Nordhavn owner likely on the water and I feel bad this broker may have over judged who I was.

So we are back looking at our options which are now down to the other two builders with a wildcard semi-displacement builder who has a lot to offer.

Stay tuned for more, in the mean time we are enjoying the heck out of our N35 which is a perfect coastal cruiser and has a fit and finish that few boats can compare. With the recent job assignment we may just end up keeping the N35 until I retire and save a ton of money but time will tell.

The research continues!
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:36 AM   #2
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When you say N4, I assume you are talking about the next boat after the three Nordhavn's you have owned.

Why not look for a good second hand Nordhavn, rather than going down the new boat route.

I would have thought you would get a very good second hand boat for the price of a new boat .
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
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When you say N4, I assume you are talking about the next boat after the three Nordhavn's you have owned.

Why not look for a good second hand Nordhavn, rather than going down the new boat route.

I would have thought you would get a very good second hand boat for the price of a new boat .
I agree. If Nordys are as good as their reputation says, and their build quality speaks of itself, then surely a reasonably recent, well kitted out, pre-owned one would have to be the best possible buy. I say this not only because of the lower price, but also all those little issues/additions/modifications even brand new vessels always require will have been done, and well tested.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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New versus Used

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I agree. If Nordys are as good as their reputation says, and their build quality speaks of itself, then surely a reasonably recent, well kitted out, pre-owned one would have to be the best possible buy. I say this not only because of the lower price, but also all those little issues/additions/modifications even brand new vessels always require will have been done, and well tested.

Both posts have merit on the above and we are actually enjoying a "used" Nordhavn that is a true diamond in rough when you look at her condition and very low hours. This being said we enjoy the process of building new and the extra level of confidence related to safety comes with a newer boat when we take extra long trips. We plan to make a 1,000 mile down to Cabo with our next boat and while a perfectly sound used boat can do this we are alone on the boat and I'm looking for the little extra level of security. If we found near new boat we would take a serious look.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:09 PM   #5
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New typically will have more problems than "slightly less new" that has had those problems addressed, at someone elses expense. In boats new does not mean totally reliable.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:05 AM   #6
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As to who you are classifying as the two other comparable, we are left to guessing I guess. Probably the boats that come closest to Nordhavn really are some steel hull boats. There is one US builder who builds comparable but only bigger plus they aren't nearly as trustworthy in my opinion. Then there are the Tugs which are excellent boats although not the ocean going vessels of Nordhavn. I'd say the same about Krogen which I think is a great boat, and even Selene. If you're looking to go a bit larger, I love Fleming. As to semi-displacement, depending on your use some such as Grand Banks could fit your needs but again not the ocean going ability nor the economy of Nordhavn.

All I could suggest is looking back at your requirements and planned cruising. See if the areas Nordhavn excels are truly needed for your use. If not, then several options may be suitable. Why is it you want to change boats? I'm guessing perhaps size? All the above mentioned boats are capable of going to Cabo safely. In steel, I'd give Bering a strong look. It has the freeboard and the weight you're use to in Nordhavn.

At some point after three Nordhavn's you have to analyze whether you'll truly be happy with another brand or constantly think of only those areas it comes up short (while never thinking of those areas it's actually more suitable to your needs). I'm personally not a huge Nordhavn fan, but those who have had Nordhavn's become very sold on them. Nordhavn, like all builders, isn't perfect. But to Nordhavn fans (short for fanatics), nothing else is equal.

As to a salesman/broker who was only interested in pumping themselves up and not your needs, there are plenty of other ones out there.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:42 AM   #7
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... All the above mentioned boats are capable of going to Cabo safely. ...
Passed through Cabo last month. Lots more small boat activity and hotels/condos since last visited a handful of years ago.







Sure isn't a sleepy fishing village anymore.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:57 AM   #8
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>We plan to make a 1,000 mile down to Cabo with our next boat and while a perfectly sound used boat can do this we are alone on the boat and I'm looking for the little extra level of security. If we found near new boat we would take a serious look.<

I am not sure this is reality.

An engine with 1000 hours , depending on the brand and maint to 5000 hours would be my choice for offshore.

The newer the engine the far more complex , usually from electronic stuff, which can be unreliable until burned in.

1000? hours , who knows how long some electronics take for the white smoke to pop out.

And a lightning side strike? A steel boat has a better chance of surviving with an operable engine , than any plastic boat.

If I were going offshore a USED boat , to be able to enjoy repairable mechanical (yes less efficient) injection as well as dozens of the usual improvements that keep a new boat dockside for 1/2 or more of a year while -outfitting- would be my choice.

Simple top quality long term repairable , Hyd system for big power users , and as much simplicity that can be designed in would be first choice.

NEW would be last choice , as cruising is the hobby , not boat completion.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Both posts have merit on the above and we are actually enjoying a "used" Nordhavn that is a true diamond in rough when you look at her condition and very low hours. This being said we enjoy the process of building new and the extra level of confidence related to safety comes with a newer boat when we take extra long trips. We plan to make a 1,000 mile down to Cabo with our next boat and while a perfectly sound used boat can do this we are alone on the boat and I'm looking for the little extra level of security. If we found near new boat we would take a serious look.
I don't think there is any safety and security difference between a 10 year old Nordhavn and a new one.. more than likely the older one will have considerably less bugs to sort.
Most " voyaging " boats are built up over time by their owners anyway.. brand new or used.. the boat will need to be tweaked to fit the owners need.
It really comes down to the point if you are willing to take the initial depreciation hit of a new boat... and there is not a new boat out there that doesn't take a significant hit on its value from new.
As I have stated before... even if I won the lottery and had a gazillion bucks I would still buy used and get a boat that somebody else worked out the bugs.. and have money left over to add to the experience or lengthen the years cruising.

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Old 05-11-2014, 11:11 AM   #10
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How Old Is The Question

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I don't think there is any safety and security difference between a 10 year old Nordhavn and a new one.. more than likely the older one will have considerably less bugs to sort.
Most " voyaging " boats are built up over time by their owners anyway.. brand new or used.. the boat will need to be tweaked to fit the owners need.
It really comes down to the point if you are willing to take the initial depreciation hit of a new boat... and there is not a new boat out there that doesn't take a significant hit on its value from new.
As I have stated before... even if I won the lottery and had a gazillion bucks I would still buy used and get a boat that somebody else worked out the bugs.. and have money left over to add to the experience or lengthen the years cruising.

HOLLYWOOD
All, great posts on this and I will say that I agree with most opinions. Having sold two new Nordhavn's that were only 18 months and 30 months old I can agree the few bugs we did have were worked out and both boats performed flawlessly for their new owners for years. IF we could find a 2 year old boat with low hours we would jump on her and there is the problem. Those deals are few and far behind. Most used Nordhavn's in our price range are older and have serious hours on them. We are not in a rush so we have time to work out bugs in a new (smaller) boat if things work out. We plan to leave the boat in Ensenada, Mexico (80 miles away) for the first year (done this before) so we are close to PAE for any warranty issues. The search continues as we try not to get stress out over what boats cost today - new or used.

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Old 05-11-2014, 11:51 AM   #11
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We plan to leave the boat in Ensenada, Mexico (80 miles away) for the first year (done this before) so we are close to PAE for any warranty issues.
John
Did you use Cruiseport in Ensenada? I'm curious because we are looking at where to take our boat to and Ensenada has great weather, and much more reasonable marina rates than San Diego.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #12
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Ensenada

We spent 6 months at both. The Coral is a very nice hotel / marina resort and you get to use all the amenities and nice restaurant. Has the only fuel dock in Ensenada. Bad things are that you are not within walking distance to town (5 minute taxi ride) and the surge can be bad. We were there in the winter the boat was getting knocked around 24/7 most days thus we moved to Cruise port.

Cruiseport is in town which is very nice for dinners and stocking up the boat. Docks are equal to Coral. Only bad thing is that the occasional cruise ship will dock near by resulting in soot on your boat. You will need to hire the locals to was it 2xper month.

We will return to Cruiseport when we return.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:46 PM   #13
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We spent 6 months at both. The Coral is a very nice hotel / marina resort and you get to use all the amenities and nice restaurant. Has the only fuel dock in Ensenada. Bad things are that you are not within walking distance to town (5 minute taxi ride) and the surge can be bad. We were there in the winter the boat was getting knocked around 24/7 most days thus we moved to Cruise port.

Cruiseport is in town which is very nice for dinners and stocking up the boat. Docks are equal to Coral. Only bad thing is that the occasional cruise ship will dock near by resulting in soot on your boat. You will need to hire the locals to was it 2xper month.

We will return to Cruiseport when we return.
Thanks very much. Its great to get a first hand account.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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Thanks very much. Its great to get a first hand account.
Yes, it is, as we will be passing through later in the year or early next year on our journey home.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #15
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I would venture to say it'll take a year to shakedown a brand new boat before venturing 1,000 miles from home. So it'll be a used boat when you take it out, just that you'll be more familiar with its quirks and idiosyncrasies having dealt with them from the beginning.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:31 PM   #16
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John,

Good luck with your search! What is your size range?

Bob & Jill
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:40 PM   #17
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I read the shakedown times you all refer to on new boats and have heard many others say the same. Just hasn't been our experience. Boats have been purchased and delivered with all the equipment we wanted. Shakedown cruises varying depending on the boat. Very few things to be addressed, all quickly corrected. I really find a boat being delivered having problems that take months to straighten out an entirely unacceptable practice and one that should not be tolerated as being normal or necessary. We just took a 14 day shakedown cruise, 48 engine hours, 780 nm. The list left of issues is nearly a blank piece of paper. This was our first build as our other boats were purchased from dealer's stock.

Now, that said, I know the issues discussed are common. I think it's important to know the builder and know how long to expect to get everything right.

That said, we know financially a used boat is far more logical than new. New is just our personal preference. We do put a lot of hours on in a year and I guess use that some to justify new. But really it's just wanting it our way. Still not arguing with the advice others have given at all.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:03 PM   #18
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New Boat Decisions

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That said, we know financially a used boat is far more logical than new. New is just our personal preference. We do put a lot of hours on in a year and I guess use that some to justify new. But really it's just wanting it our way. Still not arguing with the advice others have given at all.
Guru, it appears we may be in a similar boat (ha ha) as we also tend to lean towards new versus used. While this may not make financial sense it does provide us with something we enjoyed building our way (as much as possible) and knowing how well the boat is maintained from day one. This also means we end up with something smaller (another sacrifice) but when I consider that I have to single handle the boat most of the time I cannot handle anything much larger then 40'. I guess in the end we all do what makes us happy and provides time on the water. Thanks for the posts!

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Old 05-14-2014, 05:09 PM   #19
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I love that folks like to buy new boats and honestly wish more would. Can one of you make your next boat a 2014 DeFever 46 RPH please? I'd like to buy it off you in 2024
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:25 PM   #20
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I love that folks like to buy new boats and honestly wish more would. Can one of you make your next boat a 2014 DeFever 46 RPH please? I'd like to buy it off you in 2024
Aha.....you do have a grasp of things and we promise to take good care of them. But not a DeFever 46 I'm afraid. So probably nothing you'll want since we like going a bit faster.
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