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Old 04-05-2014, 10:27 PM   #1
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Fathom Yachts, your thoughts on this made in USA boat.

Quite a package in 40ft, discuss...


Expedition : Specifications
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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http://www.harborviewyachtsales.com/...c/pmfathom.pdf
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
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The Fathom is the boat we would buy if we could afford it. Awesome fuel economy due to the angle of the prop shaft. A wonderful engine room. Top brand accessories and parts. Nice lazerette and very good use of space. Some drawbacks though... High silhouette means windage issues, no side decks from cockpit to bow (must go through the salon). Also differing levels can make movement forward and aft difficult. Overall it looks great to us as a serious live aboard or extended cruising boat. Dear Fathom, any chance for a discounted price?!
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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Nice looking boat but the lack of side decks/walkway would be a deal breaker for us.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
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Nice looking boat but the lack of side decks/walkway would be a deal breaker for us.
And add to that the issue of only having a pilothouse door on the starboard side.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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With all do respect, who would want a boat with only 1 access point to the bow? Especially if it is through the pilot house door. Can you imagine having to open that door when the wind is blowing rain 20 knots sideways.

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Old 04-06-2014, 06:24 PM   #7
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The couple in the slip next to me left last week to start their “loop” trip on their Fathom 40. Very nice boat, especially if you like that “beefy” look. It had bow and stern thrusters but still had some trouble getting in and out of the slip in any kind of breeze.

The owner said he got a notice from the Fathom Company saying they were going out of business and selling their molds to another company. Don’t know if that’s true or not. KJ
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:16 AM   #8
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Boy, I would imagine line handling and locking through the canals is going to take some real ballet dances with that layout. Yikes.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:31 AM   #9
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We looked at the Fathom 40, it was one of the boats we considered vs. the American Tug 39 we bought. I thought the Fathom was a very nice boat, well built, a great interior layout - they pack a lot into 40 ft. They have a good turn of speed for a 40 ft boat with a single 425 hp engine, nearly 20 kts. In the end, we decided to go with the American Tug for several reasons.

1) As others have mentioned, no side decks on the Fathom. That's kind of a deal breaker for me, I really like having access all around the boat for docking (there won't be any dancing on the relatively narrow side decks of our AT, but they're serviceable). The interior of the Fathom is so spacious at the expense of forgoing side decks. 2) The hull is more of a full planning design with a small keel (for directional stability?). While we didn't sea trial a Fathom, I envisioned it as potentially not being as comfortable in rougher conditions as the AT, which has a solid, deep full keel and is semi-displacement (not to open that can of worms...). 3) I also had questions about being blown around by wind when docking, with the high silhouette and shallow keel. Another way they get so much interior space is by double-decking, stacking one full headroom compartment (the pilothouse) directly above another (the staterooms) - it gives a huge interior, but with the trade-off of height. 4) The hull is cored. It seems very well built, but my own personal religious preferences are for a solid glass hull. 5) Past experience with American Tug. We previously had a 34 and loved it, so it was admittedly a higher bar for any other brand.

I think the Fathom is a good looking, spacious, well-built, economical boat with a good turn of speed. If most of one's boating will be in relatively protected waters where a planning hull would work, it would seem to be an alternative to boats like the Beneteau Swift Trawler. It seems like it would be a perfect boat for looping, and particularly if you prefer the "beefy" style KJ observed.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:10 PM   #10
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We purchased hull no. 16 a year ago and couldn't be happier. Yes it's true there are no side decks outboard of the salon, but the lip is as least as wide as the AT365. Plus the forward decks are recessed so that our dog is comfortable leaving the pilothouse while underway. Insofar as the windage issue is concerned, I don't think it is an issue at all on the pilothouse model (i.e., no flybridge) plus the keel has 1,500 pounds of ballast. It is incredibly dry and we seldom use the wipers. Contrast that with any AT. BTW, did you know that Senour's original hull design on which all AT are based was intended for commercial fishing? The recreational nature of the AT models means that the hulls won't be loaded within the context of the original design intent. I'd rather not say more in terms of what that means for AT owners, but felt necessary to defend the Fathom/Greg Marshall design as long as someone decided to criticize it without ever having a sea trial!
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:25 AM   #11
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The Fathom is a great boat and was on my short list. I spent time aboard one and my wife really liked the layout.

As far as people not being able to move it out of their slip to blame the boat is a little ridiculous. When we have trouble in slips with high winds tides and currents the last thing I do is blame my boat.

Sorry to read that they are going out of business if true.

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Old 04-21-2014, 06:54 AM   #12
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>Awesome fuel economy due to the angle of the prop shaft.<

The difference between a 0 deg shaft angle and a silly very steep shaft angle will change the fuel burn/NM very very little.

If a boat is efficient it comes from dozens of compromises that were made at the drawing table , and by the boat assembler to make it so.

No one item changes much by more than a percent or two, but dozens add up.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:55 PM   #13
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The fathom like many other newer production boats has moved toward the knock out interior space meant to get the little lady to tip the deal at a boat show or viewing. Some of the common trade offs for that space are seen on this boat. High free-board lots of wind-age and boxy shape with little or no side decks. The new boat market was hurting and desperate this was one of the attempted solutions. The reason why they are going out of business, if that is true probably has something to do with the fact that they did not offer pod drives the apparent savior of the new boat market. Yes boats being labeled by the advertising and promotion people as trawlers now have pod drives. And did you know that they are more fuel efficient as long as you travel above 20 knots. No where have I seen the people selling these rigs point out that between 9 and 15 knots the fuel burn is really bad much worse than a straight drive. The point I am circling the bush with here is that newer boats like the fathom are often designed to sell boats at boat shows directed at what marketing research calls for.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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The fathom like many other newer production boats has moved toward the knock out interior space meant to get the little lady to tip the deal at a boat show or viewing. Some of the common trade offs for that space are seen on this boat. High free-board lots of wind-age and boxy shape with little or no side decks. The new boat market was hurting and desperate this was one of the attempted solutions. The reason why they are going out of business, if that is true probably has something to do with the fact that they did not offer pod drives the apparent savior of the new boat market. Yes boats being labeled by the advertising and promotion people as trawlers now have pod drives. And did you know that they are more fuel efficient as long as you travel above 20 knots. No where have I seen the people selling these rigs point out that between 9 and 15 knots the fuel burn is really bad much worse than a straight drive. The point I am circling the bush with here is that newer boats like the fathom are often designed to sell boats at boat shows directed at what marketing research calls for.
And your analysis is based on ..................
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:26 PM   #15
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And your analysis is based on ..................
Yes, seems their research must have been less than perfect if that's the case. Obviously, any company to be successful is going to try to follow the demands of the market. However, one mistake many do commit is following the wrong market. They might look at a general group instead of their narrow niche.

The most famous case is the one that took years but led to the demise of Oldsmobile. They looked at Pontiac, Chevy, and others. Decided they had to get younger, flashier, appeal to youth. Not be their father's Oldsmobile. Well, they weren't. And the targeted audience didn't come but father was turned off. Because the father was exactly their market and eventually the younger people would reach that stage in life too. The person who wanted Cadillac but didn't want that price. Boat manufacturers do it too. At the size of Fathom, the overall market means nothing. It's hitting their narrow audience. And it's doing that at a profit.

I'm afraid I don't see pods taking over to the extent you do. Maybe it's area of the country. I see certain brands, but pods have been around quite a few years and still have a very limited market. What Trawler brands have converted to pods on more than one or two models? What I've seen is a lot of hesitancy on the part of those who cruise and worry about service at different places. Where I've seen their penetration better is in boats that tend to be used primarily in the area where purchased.

Now, I have no stats to back up my observations so I'll be the first to admit that. But whatever Fathom's issues, I suspect they were largely just size, difficulty marketing and perhaps managing their business profitably simply because those are the things that hurt most small builders who struggle. The state of Washington too was just covered with small builders, more than the primary market could support in a greatly reduced total boat market. Quite a few small builders have closed. A few larger builders have really struggled. Then some are doing almost as well as they ever have.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:27 PM   #16
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I find it interesting that so many folks have expressed consternation about the lack of side decks on the Fathom 40. Really, what do you gain from having side decks -- or more accurately, what do you lose by not having side decks? Remember, this is only a 40 foot boat. I have a 40' trawler, single screw, and have never had difficulty docking her. I've made numerous trips through the Seattle (Ballard) locks single handed, tied up at yacht club marinas, remote Alaska docks with funky bull rails, and the occasional mooring buoy. Just not an issue. Two fat fenders get lowered from the fly bridge and we're ready to dock (any extra fenders get added afterward.) What we gain is a spacious saloon and helm station -- for us, we'll worth the trade off.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:42 PM   #17
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I find it interesting that so many folks have expressed consternation about the lack of side decks on the Fathom 40. Really, what do you gain from having side decks -- or more accurately, what do you lose by not having side decks? Remember, this is only a 40 foot boat. I have a 40' trawler, single screw, and have never had difficulty docking her. I've made numerous trips through the Seattle (Ballard) locks single handed, tied up at yacht club marinas, remote Alaska docks with funky bull rails, and the occasional mooring buoy. Just not an issue. Two fat fenders get lowered from the fly bridge and we're ready to dock (any extra fenders get added afterward.) What we gain is a spacious saloon and helm station -- for us, we'll worth the trade off.
First, marketing is to perception which may be very different than reality. Just the comments here show you how reluctant many of us who have never been on a Fathom would be to considering it. I showed the photos just now to several people in my home including one couple that doesn't boat at all. Perhaps that lady's answer was most interesting. She said, "So to get from back to front to back everyone has to trample through the house?" Most people are use to seeing decks and using them and reluctant to make changes, even to consider them. In a smaller boat it might make sense often to have access on just one side but it doesn't look right to us. Some boats, such as sportier ones, don't have any decent access to the bow but they serve a different market. I find the idea of having to put the fenders in place from the bridge annoying. Now do I think honestly most of us, if we gave it a chance, would quickly adjust to the Fathom? Probably. But I also think most of us wouldn't ever give it that chance. Too many boats that fit what we see in our mind as desirable.

It's like all preferences. Nothing wrong with the boat. But some things I don't like. So, I'd never personally consider one. Yet, there are those who have them and absolutely love them. We have boats that most people on here would absolutely dislike. The anti-Trawlers.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:20 PM   #18
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Side decks.

I've got'um and don't need'um.

I was aboard the F40 and really liked it. Probably less windage than a FB boat.

I disagree w FF completely about shaft angles. With a steep shaft angle and light pitch one side of the prop has no pitch at all. A very bad element of the straight shaft inboard boat.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:26 AM   #19
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Its no surprise that owners of new boats like what they bought and that's what the marketing predicted for those owners. With soft sales and heavy competition production builders have to scramble. I can still remember a time ( I am an almost ancient marina) when most boats were built to a standard and concept of the builder-a marine architect or a prospective owner. Today with many boatts it seams like the architect designs the hull and a combination of marketing and an interior designer do the rest. On some boats I get the impression the architect is handed a series of drawn cube dimensions and told to build a boat around the space. This is not all bad and results in some very nice living accommodations. Obviously everybody is not going to like all the variations never has or will happen that way. Some want side decks some don't. My personal preference is for extra wide side decks and that preference along with many others made it hard for me to find a production boat that fit my fancy.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:33 AM   #20
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Fathom was at the top of my list, and still is under consideration. Love the beefy look, especially w/o flybridge, great interior split level layout, and above average cruising speed for a "trawler". I am concerned with the access to the pilothouse, and limited ability to move around quickly.

Too bad Fathom is out of business after making only something like 22 hulls ... not many used Fathoms on the market. They started folding in late 2012, and by mid 2013 the operation stopped.
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