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Old 08-21-2018, 09:39 AM   #1
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Considering 53' Defever. Thoughts or opinions?

Morning everyone,

Our search for our next boat has kind of been across the board. But that's part of the process of narrowing down what we really want and need, right?

Most recently, we've started to settle on criteria that led us to the 53' Defever. (We also like the 49' Defever Raised Pilothouse) Some of the things we really like about it are the reputation for sturdiness, the wave-splitting shape of the bow, fairly easy entry from the swim platform (important for the dogs and for the mother-in-law when entering from a dinghy or a floating dock), the roominess of the salon and the galley up design, the air-conditioned pilothouse, internal access to the flybridge, spacious bridge deck with easy access to the dinghy, roomy master stateroom, and walk in access to the engine room. There are currently four 1988s on Yachtworld. Most seem to have on board laundry (another criteria), watermakers, and come with Cat 3208s.

We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has a 53 Defever pilothouse now or has had one in the past. Or who may have surveyed one in the past (boatpoker?).

Are there any issues common to this model, or the Defever's in general, that we need to pay particular attention to when looking at them?

What about the elbow room in the engine room? Can an average sized person get around to the outside of the Cat 3208s to work on them or does it take a robotic arm and a contortionist to service the impellers and starters?

Speaking of 3208s, are the impeller's easy enough to get to? Any common issues to watch out for when looking at them?

Any experiences would be helpful.

Thanks.

John
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:41 AM   #2
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This is not a first hand opinion, but, the founders of ActiveCaptain had a 53 DeFever for many years and cruised Maine to Caribbean on it. I followed their blog and newsletters for several years and never read anything negative about the boat. They cruise with two dogs also. They only sold Acapella to buy a 65' workboat-type named Redhead.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #3
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Not all DeFevers were created equal. It depends on the yard and era. Art was frustrated with some builders taking free license and less than stellar spec adherence with his designs, particularly the POC line.

With a few more vessel details suggest you ask same question of DeFever Cruisers group. Remember you are referencing 30 year old vessels and 3 decades of potential owner abuse. Also the 3208s have different HP ratings and relevant issues.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Not all DeFevers were created equal. It depends on the yard and era. Art was frustrated with some builders taking free license and less than stellar spec adherence with his designs, particularly the POC line.

With a few more vessel details suggest you ask same question of DeFever Cruisers group. Remember you are referencing 30 year old vessels and 3 decades of potential owner abuse. Also the 3208s have different HP ratings and relevant issues.
Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jimfrens View Post
They only sold Acapella to buy a 65' workboat-type named Redhead.
"Red Head", the 65' Florida Bay Coaster? That used to be Billy Joel's boat.

65′ Red Head
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:10 PM   #6
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Yes, that's the one.
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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I just completed a survey on a 2004 DefEver 49 RPH last week. Any questions - PM me
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfrens View Post
This is not a first hand opinion, but, the founders of ActiveCaptain had a 53 DeFever for many years and cruised Maine to Caribbean on it. I followed their blog and newsletters for several years and never read anything negative about the boat. They cruise with two dogs also. They only sold Acapella to buy a 65' workboat-type named Redhead.
Jeff's boat was an early 2000's vintage. I was on it a couple of times, but just while docked. It was a more modern style than the older 53's.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
"Red Head", the 65' Florida Bay Coaster? That used to be Billy Joel's boat.

65′ Red Head
Oh dear.........
This one even has a key in top to wind it up



http://floridabaycoasters.com/35-florida-bay-coaster/
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:22 PM   #10
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I owned a 51’ 1986 DeFever. Exact same boat as the 53’. Art took the 51 and added 2 feet to the transom of the boat. I wished I had the 53’ because it made the aft master the perfect size and also the added 2 feet to the aft deck which made the back deck just right.
I paid really close attention to the steel tanks to be sure they stayed in good shape. Be sure you pressure test all the tanks to be sure there’s no leaks. That’s the only possible trouble spot in the years I owned my DeFever.
Really awesome boat!!
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taras View Post
I owned a 51’ 1986 DeFever. Exact same boat as the 53’. Art took the 51 and added 2 feet to the transom of the boat. I wished I had the 53’ because it made the aft master the perfect size and also the added 2 feet to the aft deck which made the back deck just right.
I paid really close attention to the steel tanks to be sure they stayed in good shape. Be sure you pressure test all the tanks to be sure there’s no leaks. That’s the only possible trouble spot in the years I owned my DeFever.
Really awesome boat!!
Didn’t know that about the lengths. Good tip on the tanks. Appreciate it!
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