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Old 02-24-2017, 04:02 PM   #41
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I have little experience with the whole group of boats you noted here and with owning two powerboats older than your criteria. I will tell you that Bayliners are build very well as are Symbols. I could more easily rate sailboats. But, that wasn't the question here...

I can't say enough about the build quality of our 1986 Symbol. It was put together with quality parts that are, to this day, easy to find and replace if needed.

The 1993 Bayliner had a few build issues, but was easy to maintain and repair as any boat I have had. It was easy to fix the build issues so they hopefully won't be an issue down the road, but the minor issues shouldn't have been there in the first place.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:40 PM   #42
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Interesting. You grade on a higher curve than I do. I can't grade MJMor Bruckman, but I'd give Hinckley and 8, Saber a 7, Back Cove a 6.

I'll tell you something that I think pushes Hinckely up a grade for East Coast buyers is all their service centers.
It's really hard for me to be objective as I grew up with a Hinckley Pilot 35 and later a Bermuda 40 MkIII in our family. We watched the B-40 being built in Southwest Harbor, so I still have fond memories that surely cloud my vision somewhat.

MJM's on the other hand are spectacular in design, advanced materials and particularly performance and economy. They are built to ISO category B Offshore for the smaller models, or A Ocean for the 40 and 50. While they have a decidedly 'down-east' flavor, they are absolutely state of the art.

IMHO, the Hinckley's are more pleasing to the eye though
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:33 AM   #43
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OK, if current Nordhavn, Hatteras, Vikings, and Flemings are 10s or 11s... my "pretty good" based on the actual boats I've been familiar with for Mainship and Silverton would be 7 (or a high 6 or so), and Wellcraft could be a 6. Actually, the latter was simply less "fancy" (no interior wood, either) so the rating addresses more than just the idea of build quality.

Individual boats from each marque may rate slightly lower...

And I don't really know so much first-hand about Nordhavn, Hatteras, Viking, or Fleming models... so the hypothetical 10 (or 11) is purely theoretical, for me.

Thinking about this some more...

I'd forgotten about Hinckley; guess I'd put them in that hypothetical 10 (or 11) bracket, too.

But this is just from reading about these brands. And sometimes being able to compare what I read about to what I've got.

Unfortunately, most of the reading is from the "free subscription" boating magazines -- aimed at selling me a thousand foot boat -- so not perfectly objective sources. And most of the comparison ends up simply being about design issues (and size matters), not build issues.

For example, we don't have a full-beam master. We'd like a full-beam master. Boats with full-beam masters may (therefore) be "better" than ours.

Well... maybe, maybe not. Certainly might be for overall space. But that doesn't necessarily mean build quality of that boat with a full-beam master is better than our current boat. Also, the most likely reason we don't already have a full-beam master is 'cause our current boat (the one we can afford) isn't large enough; we'd need probably 52' or more LOA to make it happen. Again, not a build quality issue, just a wallet issue.

So to speak...

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Old 02-25-2017, 10:23 AM   #44
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Sea Ray...Silverton....Bayliner....meridian?....and no Carver??? I am not saying Carver belongs on any list but if you include those 4 then it should be in the mix...
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:12 AM   #45
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Sea Ray...Silverton....Bayliner....meridian?....and no Carver??? I am not saying Carver belongs on any list but if you include those 4 then it should be in the mix...
Carver is a hard one for me to rate. Carver now or then? Carver has been through so many twists and turns from the bankruptcy of Genmar to the line being drastically reduced as was their sister, Marquis, to now the line back to 6 models. Some people caught in the period of the bankruptcy were screwed badly with suddenly no warranty. I've heard still of so many problems getting support on ironing out issues on new boats. So, I couldn't recommend new Carvers and question those of the last ten years but before that I'm very much a Carver fan and think they can be an excellent choice. On balance I think of the brand as a 5 but it's really more like a 3 and a 7 averaged.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:42 AM   #46
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Carver is a hard one for me to rate. Carver now or then? Carver has been through so many twists and turns from the bankruptcy of Genmar to the line being drastically reduced as was their sister, Marquis, to now the line back to 6 models. Some people caught in the period of the bankruptcy were screwed badly with suddenly no warranty. I've heard still of so many problems getting support on ironing out issues on new boats. So, I couldn't recommend new Carvers and question those of the last ten years but before that I'm very much a Carver fan and think they can be an excellent choice. On balance I think of the brand as a 5 but it's really more like a 3 and a 7 averaged.
And none of that has to do with build quality....but I do appreciate your opinion/knowledge on the issue. I Also agree with you. My current boat is not a bad boat. I went from a 2004 Mainship to this 2001 Carver. And I will say the Carver is significantly better built. And better engineered. ANd better supported....even now. When Mainship went Tango Uniform, I am sure it left owners stranded in the same manner. I know somewhat because I owned my boat through all of that. And it went from having support to not having support....nobody to call. I do think the vintage of my boat is about the peak of their hayday(2001). I will also say that every time I call Carver with a question or searching for parts, they always produce...mostly pointing me in the right direction but still, I have never come up empty.

With all that said, I "lust"(if that is possible over a Carver) over the 445 model. It is an update of the 440...which was an update of the venerable 4207. The 445 only lasted 2 years because it was quickly followed by the 455/456...which is when they started to get weird(er) looking. Anyway, Carver is a very comfortable cruiseable boat that will not break the bank. And again, I am right there with you. I know barely anything about the 2005 and up vintage....other than I don't like the way they look. And they are all powered by Volvos. The one thing I have tremendous respect for Sea Ray is they have always been Cummins or Cat powered(in the post Detroit era).

I have always thought I needed a Krogen or a Nordhavn or Selene to cruise comfortably. If I work hard and save hard, I could likely afford one of those. But I will not get one unless my desire is to cross oceans. Otherwise, I will go something a little more in the budget/value range. The 445 nails it for me. And Carver completely erases the issue of aft line handling(on ACMYs) with their molded swim platforms and molded in steps to get you to that platform. My swim platform is actually part of the hull....drives my yard guy crazy. I just point to the side of the boat where it says "356" and tell him he can charge me for 35.6 feet if he wants...hahaha!!!!

If you really want to know the answer to this "survey", ask someone who works on boats for a living. I am talking about people that are climbing thru the bilges.
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:51 PM   #47
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And none of that has to do with build quality....but I do appreciate your opinion/knowledge on the issue. I Also agree with you. My current boat is not a bad boat. .
I include all systems working properly as part of build quality. To me, build quality is more than hull or structure. I will also say as companies go through serious financial problems, the vast majority of the time quality slips and Carver was, in my opinion, no exception in that regard. Changing direction, switching models also presents new learning curves. That said, I would rate Carver's in the period yours was built, very high and note my 7's are equal to 10's by some as I grade against perfection. Now, the years of the biggest issues, they sold very few boats so not a lot of those out there.

Not to put KK's or Nordhavn's or any others down, but there are far more happy owners out there enjoying Mainship, Bayliner, Carver, and Sea Ray. You ask their owners and you'll get overwhelmingly positive reactions and to me that's the key. Are owners satisfied? If they are, I say it's a good boat. Our Sunseeker is perfect for the way we use it, so we're happy with it, but it is not any better built than those four boats. It's capable of handling rougher water than a smaller boat. But construction isn't superior in my mind. I'd rate Hatteras build higher any day. Yet, there wasn't a Hatteras that met our needs as well.

On the whole, there are very few poorly built boats from simply hull and structure point of view.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:15 PM   #48
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I include all systems working properly as part of build quality. To me, build quality is more than hull or structure. I will also say as companies go through serious financial problems, the vast majority of the time quality slips and Carver was, in my opinion, no exception in that regard. Changing direction, switching models also presents new learning curves. That said, I would rate Carver's in the period yours was built, very high and note my 7's are equal to 10's by some as I grade against perfection. Now, the years of the biggest issues, they sold very few boats so not a lot of those out there.

Not to put KK's or Nordhavn's or any others down, but there are far more happy owners out there enjoying Mainship, Bayliner, Carver, and Sea Ray. You ask their owners and you'll get overwhelmingly positive reactions and to me that's the key. Are owners satisfied? If they are, I say it's a good boat. Our Sunseeker is perfect for the way we use it, so we're happy with it, but it is not any better built than those four boats. It's capable of handling rougher water than a smaller boat. But construction isn't superior in my mind. I'd rate Hatteras build higher any day. Yet, there wasn't a Hatteras that met our needs as well.

On the whole, there are very few poorly built boats from simply hull and structure point of view.
I cannot disagree with anything there. I do like the way Hatteras builds boats too. I guess the downfall is nothing they build is terribly fast. They always build heavily and therefore performance suffers. And I know y'all like speed.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:56 AM   #49
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As I recall it was a Honda Superhawk of about 305cc.

Believe me - nobody ever mentions BSA and "quality" in the same sentence.

I have two BSAs and two spare motors. And I'm not afraid to use them.
Well that makes sense. I recall the manufacturer was never mentioned in the book, but John's BMW was. I was going from memory based on the cover of my old ratty paperback version. Looked like a BSA to me.

As an ex-owner of a Triumph Bonneville, I get it. The only thing reliable about that bike was its inability to start. I'd go out and kick it over until exhausted or frustrated. Stupid Amal carburetor. Couldn't get it to work in Hawaii. This was long before the internet and readily available information. That bike probably saved my life since I barely rode it.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:59 PM   #50
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The difficulty with the OP's question is that most companies went through many changes over the last decades. Essentially everything changed not always for the better. The luxury tax destroyed some companies and put design changes on hold for years. After the tax was repealed it took years for new designs and production methods to be implemented.
IMO even Hatteras went through so many changes in ownership that the only thing sure to be in common over the years is the spelling of the brand name.

I just dont think the question can be intelligently answered because people are mostly aware of reputation. Over many decades of boating most people that I have met have been happy with their boats.
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:50 PM   #51
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IMO even Hatteras went through so many changes in ownership that the only thing sure to be in common over the years is the spelling of the brand name.
Most of the time I see the ownership changes accompanied by other changes. In the case of the quality of Hatteras builds I think they did an amazingly consistent job from Genmar to Brunswick to Versa.
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:30 PM   #52
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I like the old wood Carvers.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:30 AM   #53
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In many cases an older broker will have a list of which companies made OK boats between bankrupcys.

They earn their commission by steering you from the garbage .
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:09 AM   #54
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It seems that while the effort is admirable, the data is not worth much, other than to raise discussion. I have been on maybe four of the boats listed, and even then, not long enough to ascertain qualitatively which is best. And because quality can vary from model to model, year to year, it would be hard to discuss intelligently without specifying.

As said in other threads, when buying a boat, how it was maintained is probably more important than brand and model.

I can tell you that I think the quality of the my OA 456 is good, other than the gelcoat. I am rectifying that now with a new awlgrip paint job. The glass is in great condition, but the company seemed to have put kindergarteners in charge of mixing the gelcoat and first graders in charge of spraying. Of course, I knew this when I boat the boat and calculated the price of a paint job into the price.

I know others who have OAs and have zero issues with gelcoat. I just got lucky. Lucky, you might ask? I was able to buy a lot more boat for a lot less money and turn it into a fantastic looking and running boat that exactly meets my needs.

I think we could have more fun and generate more excitement by rank-ordering our favorite anchors - or bottom paint.

I suspect that if you want to generate a 1-n list, you could merely start at the top with the most expensive and work your way down. Correlate that with rates of depreciation and you might get at the issue.

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Old 02-28-2017, 10:34 AM   #55
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the data is not worth much, other than to raise discussion.

I think we could have more fun and generate more excitement by rank-ordering our favorite anchors - or bottom paint.
The OP's intent was raising discussion. This is a discussion forum. There was no "data."

I think it was an interesting discussion. You may find anchors more fun but I find them having been discussed ad nauseum and thought this was an interesting attempt by the OP at a little different discussion.
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