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Old 03-12-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
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Known issues with 41’ Defever 1980?

I am looking at purchasing a 1980 DeFever 41 foot trawler. It has twin Ford Lehman engines with 500 hours since rebuild. Are there any known quality issues with this vintage? The deck is frp with no skid. It does have full teak rails and some covers. Also has a new Gen Set.


Of course I will get a survey, but are there special known issues with this vintage..? they are asking 55k for the boat.

New to purchasing trawlers....
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:23 PM   #2
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Others here will know more about these boats, but we looked at several while we were searching for our boat. We found that Defever apparently made several different boats in the same size range, with different hull sizes shapes, and different interior layouts. We found 41' "trawler" which seemed to differ from the 41' "Passagemaker", and found a boat being sold as a Defever which was titled as made in the trade name of one of the yards which built the Defevers.
Here is a site which may help you look at the boat before you have the survey done.
www.pcmarinesurveys.com/Marine Survey 101.htm
Good luck, JohnS
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:44 PM   #3
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There is a Defever Owner Group website. You can join even if you do not own one and ask questions there. I suspect you will get much more informed opinions there since most do own one.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:21 PM   #4
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Thank you
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:02 PM   #5
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Lots of good info here.

https://www.defevercruisers.com/

Edit: If you join you can search forums and archives, old news letters with articles, etc.
You can also post your questions in the forum.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:51 AM   #6
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Michael3, how good are your FRP, electrical, joinery and mechanical skills? Not to mention free time.

On a 40 year old boat of any brand there are generic issues that at least will cause concern and possibly could or should kill the deal. The list is very long. A few starting focus areas:

-- leaking fuel and water tanks
-- exhaust system integrity
-- engine and transmission condition
-- through hull integrity
-- motor mounts
-- rudder and shaft crevice corrosion
-- shaft log and strut integrity
-- hull blistering and delamination
-- topside core integrity

The list of potential serious defective areas can be longer. Any 40 year old vessel should at first glance be considered a project boat with attendant gotcha areas and cost. Might I suggest that when you haul out for survey, do it at a really good yard and have their crew spend a few hours looking things over.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:57 AM   #7
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Really good reply Sunchaser! This should be the auto reply when we get this same question, which is every week. After 4 years I’m down to the last item on your list and can attest to the accuracy of the issues to look for.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:02 AM   #8
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sadly, lending institutions take a rebuild negatively.
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Old 03-29-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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We have a 1988 DeFever 41T . . . Art DeFever (a Naval Architect/Designer) created his DeFever designs for Trawlers that were brought to life over the years by various builders, most with “permission” some without. Sunchaser nailed it . . . Any 30-40 year old vessel will be a project in some regards, depending on previous owner(s) ability and/or desire to keep it updated and in cruising form . . . Understand what you expect from your boat, get a Through Survey, list and cost out “fixes” (few are one and done) with a reputable boat yard (unless you can handle yourself) then determine if you have a DeFever for $55,000 or a $100,000 . . . The older we get the more time we need at the yard . . . Most all DeFever’s have good bones, some need more work than others! Standing by -
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:38 AM   #10
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Working on an old trawler

I have a 1981 Marine Trader 41, which is identical to a Defever 42. I've had core issues, crazy electrical issues and endless upgrades and projects. After 11 years, some years in which I never took the boat out of the marina, I've developed a less romatic relationship with my boat. But on the other hand you can never hate a pretty boat.

What I have noticed after 11 years of owning an old boat is that the older you get the more difficult the work becomes. How many times have you seen "Selling my boat due to health reasons". Boat restoration and maintenance work never stops. Nature is against you, seagulls shit on your deck and mussels camp on your bottom. But on the other hand gliding into an anchorage, setting your hook and cracking open a beer never gets old. Or going down to the marina and not working on your boat and taking about boats with your fellow boaters is never time wasted.

There are many aspects of owning an old boat. There is a thread on here from Boydster about giving up his GB42 and moving on. Its worth reading.

Purchasing an old trawler is deceptively easy, maintaining an old trawler is increadibly hard.

Good luck on your decision
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Michael3, how good are your FRP, electrical, joinery and mechanical skills? Not to mention free time.

On a 40 year old boat of any brand there are generic issues that at least will cause concern and possibly could or should kill the deal. The list is very long. A few starting focus areas:

-- leaking fuel and water tanks
-- exhaust system integrity
-- engine and transmission condition
-- through hull integrity
-- motor mounts
-- rudder and shaft crevice corrosion
-- shaft log and strut integrity
-- hull blistering and delamination
-- topside core integrity

The list of potential serious defective areas can be longer. Any 40 year old vessel should at first glance be considered a project boat with attendant gotcha areas and cost. Might I suggest that when you haul out for survey, do it at a really good yard and have their crew spend a few hours looking things over.
We bought a 1983 DeFever 44 five years ago. Was it a project boat? Depends on how one defines project. We installed new electronics, new refridgeration, and updated the electrical system with a new Magnum 2812 inverter and associated wiring. We found no "deal-killers" when the boat was surveyed by a well-known and well-respected surveyor. We have lived aboard her for 2.5 years, are just finishing a great loop and are quite happy with this vessel.
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