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Old 10-11-2018, 10:23 AM   #21
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very cool!
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:37 AM   #22
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We owned a DeFever 44 from 2000 to 2002. Ours had twin Lehman 120hp engines and no thrusters. Some specific comments about the DeFever 44:

1. It is a large, comfortable boat. Great live aboard. Big salon, big full width master stateroom and the "ballroom" sundeck, above the master is ideal for lounging and entertaining.

2. There is no cockpit on the 44. The only way to get to the swimstep is to climb down a vertical ladder from the sundeck, almost 4 feet down. Some boats have had stairs added to the stern to facilitate getting down to the swimstep.

3. There is no comfortable way to get from the lower helm station to the dock from the side decks. They too are about 4 feet from the deck to where the dock is and you either jump or climb down the side using the splash rails or install some type of step to aid in getting down.

4. The 44 is very capable and easily handled. Twin engines and the addition of thrusters make it easy to maneuver into a slip. The problem, and one of the reasons we sold ours, was getting off the boat once you are next to a dock. Getting from the upper helm to the swimstep meant three sets of ladders or steps. Getting from the lower helm to the dock meant either going up to the sundeck then down to the swimstep or jumping off amidship. I can't imagine doing it single handled except on a day with no current, no wind and maybe someone on the shore receiving lines.

4. The 44 has a lot of windage. Many of them, ours included, had canvas oxygen tents around the flybridge and the sundeck which just made it more difficult to exit the boat and added even more windage. Photo below isn't the boat we owned. Ours wasn't anywhere as nice as this one.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:10 AM   #23
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I don’t like that boat for single handing. Just my opinion, but here is why. I would not be able to easily get a line on without leaving the boat. My failsafe is easy access to the swim step where I can be at dock level without having to dangerously lean over or out, it’s just right there. I won’t leave the boat until I have a solid line already attached to the boat and often choose to go back to the helm after that first line and use engine power to bring the bow back in. I just find it’s safer, than trying to outrun the wind and all the while trusting that single line or cleat to hold as a single point of risk.

It’s not the only way, but principle here is to not have to jump off the boat to secure a line. With a decent walk around I can usually finesse a mid spring line onto a cleat, but with bullrails that are common here in the PNW, that’s almost always a stern line from the swimstep as the only safe option with any wind. Just my $.02, but I’m single handing my 48 with twins, no thrusters, pretty much constantly.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
Anyone have a Defever 44' and single handle the boat? I'd considered adding bow and stern thrusters to handle that boat by myself but it's a long way from the steering station to the swim platform.
I have a 41 ft sedan trawler with bow and stern thrusters - do 6000 miles yearly solo - no problems
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:20 AM   #25
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Hmmm, I understand that this wasn’t the boat for you, but I can’t can’t agree with some of your points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steppe View Post
We owned a DeFever 44 from 2000 to 2002. Ours had twin Lehman 120hp engines and no thrusters. Some specific comments about the DeFever 44:

1. It is a large, comfortable boat. Great live aboard. Big salon, big full width master stateroom and the "ballroom" sundeck, above the master is ideal for lounging and entertaining.

2. There is no cockpit on the 44. The only way to get to the swimstep is to climb down a vertical ladder from the sundeck, almost 4 feet down. Some boats have had stairs added to the stern to facilitate getting down to the swimstep. (Some also use removable swim ladders at the boarding stations on the sides that make getting on and off easy. After seeing them used on other 44s, I plan to install them on ours.)

3. There is no comfortable way to get from the lower helm station to the dock from the side decks. They too are about 4 feet from the deck to where the dock is and you either jump or climb down the side using the splash rails or install some type of step to aid in getting down. (Well, this depends on the height of the dock and the side ladders (above) make it pretty easy to disembark.)

4. The 44 is very capable and easily handled. Twin engines and the addition of thrusters make it easy to maneuver into a slip. The problem, and one of the reasons we sold ours, was getting off the boat once you are next to a dock. Getting from the upper helm to the swimstep meant three sets of ladders or steps. (Not sure where you get three sets. Ours has one set of comfortable stairs from the fly bridge—MUCH easier to use than the ladder many boats have descending from the fly bridge—and a tall ladder from the sundeck to the swim platform. We almost never use that ladder, opting for a light step ladder or set of Marquipt stairs on the side.) Getting from the lower helm to the dock meant either going up to the sundeck then down to the swimstep or jumping off amidship. (We never “jump” off our boat. I can set a light step ladder on the dock in 15 seconds and descend safely, but after seeing the swim ladder modification on other Defevers, I will install them.) I can't imagine doing it single handled except on a day with no current, no wind and maybe someone on the shore receiving lines.

4. The 44 has a lot of windage. Many of them, ours included, had canvas oxygen tents around the flybridge and the sundeck which just made it more difficult to exit the boat and added even more windage. (Actually, without the oxygen tent, it has less windage than many boats in its size range. Much of the boat is below the waterline and the saloon sits well below deck level so that you’re only a couple feet above the waterline when you’re inside. In addition, the sundeck and flybridge—sans oxygen tent—offer little wind resistance. Finally, the boat is so heavy that it takes significant wind to alter its handling characteristics). Photo below isn't the boat we owned. Ours wasn't anywhere as nice as this one.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:29 AM   #26
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Hmmm, I understand that this wasn’t the boat for you, but I can’t can’t agree with some of your points.
As another DF44 owner, Ian's observations are spot-on. We have had no problems egressing our boat at docks or walls in 2000 miles (so far) doing the Great Loop. Certainly, single-handing a DF44 has some challenges but no more so than any other larger boat and perhaps even less so. I dock the boat while my wife handles the lines but I could see myself bringing the boat close - bow thruster - and very quickly being off the side rail from the flying bridge to begin tying off. It does require a nimble and fit captain and mate. A captain with back problems, bad knees, etc would be very much challenged.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:32 PM   #27
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If she's a twin screw vessel, you really shouldn't need any bow or stern thruster, but given you apparently want one, go for a more expensive bow thruster and don't waste your money on a stern thruster. Controlling the stern is what twin screws are all about!
However, the whole secret to operating any vessel short-handed is knowing how to use spring lines. It isn't at all far from your wheelhouse to a midship cleat on the dock, once you are alongside, close enough to drop a line over the cleat. Then it's a simple matter of putting the inboard engine in gear and powering ahead with enough force that the spring holds the boat alongside until you have all the other lines out. This arrangement should hold the boat fast to the dock in almost any wind or current, from any direction.
We do this all the time under the most adverse conditions, with a single screw vessel and no thrusters at all.
A word of warning, though. Thrusters will fail you and they normally do so when you think you need them the most. Learn how to operate your vessel without the thruster and once you are 100% competent, use the thruster when you wish, not because you need it.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:14 PM   #28
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It can be done, I dock mine and pick up moorings singlehanded (no thrusters). However if the wind is blowing over 10 or the current running very fast, It's nice to have help.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:21 PM   #29
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I've not had to singlehand our D44 so far....have always had wife or a buddy aboard even for short maintenance/exercise runs. However, with twin screws and bow/stern thrusters, I'm confident it wouldn't be a problem. I used to singlehand our Beneteau 411 with no thruster, and always had to springline out of the slip due to narrow fairway in that marina.
The key to minimizing death/boat damage is taking the time to assess wind, current, lay of the dock BEFORE committing to your approach.

Specific to the D44's deck height to lower floating docks, we have one of those extendable "grabber sticks"
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:28 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by greysailor View Post
I've not had to singlehand our D44 so far....have always had wife or a buddy aboard even for short maintenance/exercise runs. However, with twin screws and bow/stern thrusters, I'm confident it wouldn't be a problem. I used to singlehand our Beneteau 411 with no thruster, and always had to springline out of the slip due to narrow fairway in that marina.
The key to minimizing death/boat damage is taking the time to assess wind, current, lay of the dock BEFORE committing to your approach.

Specific to the D44's deck height to lower floating docks, we have one of those extendable "grabber sticks"
(Sorry.....big thumb hit send button by mistake!) "Grabber sticks" for my very petite wife to pick up the spring line when we arrive at our home dock. We never jump off the boat until the boat is secured.

You won't be disappointed in your choice of a D44....but, I'm a little prejudice!
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:30 PM   #31
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single handing

ALWAYS!!! TIE UP THE 'SPRING/MIDDLE LINE FIRST [and, always have it ready, on both sides!]...clyde
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:06 PM   #32
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Seven years with our Krogen 42, single screw, no thrusters. I like the challenge and am not afraid to say: "No - not going to go in there."
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:44 PM   #33
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We have a DeFever 49’ cpmy, 44+5, single hand frequently, as well as deliever many other configurations power and sail. As has been said planning is key, setting up your lines ahead of time, with the eyes or loops hanging over the lifelines or gunnels, so any one on the pier can drop over a cleat or piling. Make sure your path from the wheel to your dock or spring line is not cluttered. Have docked many times by putting the stern against a piling, leave the engine(s) in gear and tend your lines, using a spring line.
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