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Old 07-27-2018, 07:14 PM   #1
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Californian 55 CPMY opinions

Hi all, long time boater and lurker.
The wife and I are looking at boats to do an Alaskan cruise. We did a week long charter out of Auke Bay last year and we are hooked.
We have owned boats to 37' and the charter boat was a 47'. We have done multiple charters in the San Juans and Caribbean.
We both like the layout of the 55 especially since we both fish. The large space of the upper aft deck and large staterooms are attractive.

So I guess my questions are;
Is this boat capable of an Alaskan cruise of 5 months or so?

Is it efficient enough at slow speeds (6-8 knots) to make the necessary fuel stops?

Are there any major problems with these boats that I need to know about?

The engine choices seem to be the DD 6V92TA and the Cat 3208T. There is a big HP difference between the two. Does this boat run at planning speeds with the Cats?

I have never owned a boat with a water maker. Is this a high maintenance item? Do they have high reliability?

Thank you in advance for your comments!

Charlie and Lori
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:57 PM   #2
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A member on TF just bought a 55í Californian. Donít remember the name though. Hopefully he will chime in with some answers for you. Welcome aboard.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:27 AM   #3
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Powerboat Guide says it will plane with 375hp Cats. I recently looked at a 52 with 425 Cats that planed fine. Speed in knots noted as follows 8@1,300, 14.5@2,300 and 18@2,800 (wot).

Check the tanks carefully. Most have at least one that sits on the bottom of the hull in the aft stateroom. If it is aluminum take some extra time to look at areas of it you are able to see to satisfy yourself it is OK.

Waste tanks were also aluminum under the galley sole. Some of those have already been changed. Especially if heads used raw-water rinse.

Check cores in foredeck and aft deck shade around spoiler and tender chocks if installed.

Hulls usually survey pretty well. Systems are a box of chocolates depending on their owners. 30 year old diesels need a complete detailed inspection.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:18 PM   #4
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bglad, thanks for your reply. Knowing what to look for is huge when checking out boats you know nothing about.��
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
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Baja:

I own a 1989 55 Californian Manuals say Carver but I believe this one was made in Costa Mesa CA. The Layout is the best layout under 60ft. of any boat I have seen IMO. For a boat that age I say get the best surveyor money will buy and research SAMS vs. NAMS there is a difference. Bglad is correct on the speeds I can confirm the other nice thing is the fuel to speed ratio is linear through WOT, meaning it does not drop off if it will hit those curves it the more power you give it the more fuel you will burn. The 6-8 Kts will give you 4-6gph. The most important metric here is that it will do 2800rpm otherwise you are either over or under propped.

I have the 375hp 3208TA's and they are workhorse. I do recommend that the first thing you do is service heat ex-changers and replace the head gaskets if they haven't been done already. Why you ask? well CAT had a bad batch of head gaskets and or improper torquing at the factory in the 80's if the fire ring blows it will instantly torch the block and they are not sleeved so replacement will be inevitable. I am having mine done now and it is peace of mind.

You will want a bowthruster. It is a long and narrow vessel with more wind-age than most yachts but it will handle very rough seas because free-board is more than 6.5ft. stem to stern. that makes for really nice fore deck because of no dead rise. I sound like a sales man LOL. I love this Yacht. Where do you get three full state rooms and three full heads in less than 60ft. If you find it let me know, Bayliner 4788 does not count only two heads and midships is a bunk. Don't know any thing about the Detroit's other than they are two stroke and are smokers.

Make sure someone has replaced the battery bank recently. The Yacht takes 6 8D batteries, one each for engine start and four house. I also have two 4D for my bowthruster. The old white battery charger will need to be upgraded to the newer units from Xantrax or the like because the old charger will cook the heck out of the batteries and you don't want to replace them. I also have wing stabilizers and that makes a huge difference in rough seas, due to the length to width ratio.

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #6
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The Californians are very similar to our 48 ft Camargue with a cockpit. The 55 is a very capable boat to do the Inside Passage. We have done it twice and are leaving this summer to do it again. We have the 375hp 3208 T/As and are very happy with them. We normally cruise at 8 kts unless we are outside going from Astoria to Neah Bay, then we punch it up to 2100rpms. 12 hours later an burning 300 gallons of fuel, we are inside.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:09 PM   #7
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Thank you both for your replies!
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:49 PM   #8
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Hatteras 50, 53, 56 and both generations of the 58’s have three heads and staterooms. I believe that a number of Bertrams and Vikings do as well too.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:42 PM   #9
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I have nothing to add about one engine vs another or Californian vs some other brand but will add something to consider.


With any of the aft cabin CPMY boats there is a lot of stair climbing to be done. If you're getting up in years like many of us that may be something to think about when you're shopping for a boat.


It was a major factor in our decision on what boat to buy. If you're set on a CPMY, there's about a 55' Hatt in the slip next to me that hasn't been moved in about 4 years. As I understand it, the owner's wife is ill and he can't operate the boat solo. It's not currently for sale but might be to reduce his cash outgo. If you're interested PM me and I'll steer you in the right direction to make some inquiries.
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:32 PM   #10
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Hi, I've got the 52CPMY, not the 55. So we only have two heads and staterooms, not three. We love the boat, and the Cat 3208TA motors are rated for 425hp. We cruise at 1600 RPM at 9+knots normally. Including generator use we burn about 6.5 GPH. The quality of the boat is very high, and all the systems are well thought out. My only rub with this model is that it does not have true walk around decks. In order to gain access to the side decks you must first exit to the aft sundeck. This means that if I am driving from the flybridge I can not help with docklines, etc. It also means that singlehanding is pretty difficult when coming to the dock. I do have stern and bow thrusters, which are awesome.

Good luck in your search, Bill
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:40 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your replies. We really liked the Californian CPMY but it just was too old for us to use in a charter situation. Most charter companies wanted a boat less than 10 years old.

We do now have a 1995 Navigator 5300 Sundance under contract that we are buying from AYC. It has only been in their fleet for two years and is a one owner boat with stabilizers, water maker and diesel heat. The price was right and it can stay if the charter fleet for about another 5 years since it is a 3 stateroom boat.

We did our survey/sea trial today, and all looks pretty good so far. Won't have oil samples back until next week but if all shows up clean we will move forward with negotiations and purchase.
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