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Old 10-27-2015, 02:48 PM   #1
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Selene Quality

I'm trying to get a handle on Selene's built over the last 10 years. Seems to be less information out there - owner's posting, blogs, websites, whatever - than there are for other manufacturers.

There also seems to be an undercurrent of displeasure about how they were built. Comments like:
  • Avoid Selenes. The build/design quality is not there.
  • When Selene was starting out in the states, they hired a local guy (not saying who) to help work out the bugs. The guys in the yard were saying that the boat had a lot of problems.
  • We owned a Selene 48. if we got another trawler it would be a Nordhavn. There is a difference in price and a corresponding difference in quality (IMHO).
These are interesting comments but don't really present the type of facts/examples I'd like to form my own judgements.

Sure, there are negative comments on every make - it just feels like there are more on Selene. And almost no rebuttals to them.

Anyone want to help me get a better feel for construction/quality/support of the make?
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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I don't know that I can give you specific examples, but I can give you a bit of history of Selene that contributed to some of their reputation, good and bad. I do not own one, have never owned one and have no desire to own one, but, for various reasons, had occasion to look into them some years ago. Selene is an interesting synopsis of the boatbuilding industry in the PRC. The Chen family, from Taiwan, have a long manufacturing history on the mainland of China producing flatware and cutlery, IKEA being their biggest customer. Howard, a son of Jet-Tern's founder, was more interested in boats. They set up manufacturing in southern Guangdong Province, in Dongguan, in 1998. At the time, there was virtually no infrastructure and no experienced workforce, so they were truly starting from scratch. From what I learned, there were two issues early on-first-what kind of boat to build, many of their early models were what they called a "Modified Displacement Hull" known to us all as semi-displacement, and a lot inconsistency in the build. Somewhere around 2003 or so, they did bring in a very experienced and pretty well-known builder from Maine as a consultant to help get the build process straightened out and to train their workforce. He also got them more focused on true, full displacement, long range trawlers (Apologies-Marin!). Up until about 2011 or so, they contracted out their pre-delivery work and their warranty work here in the PNW to Port Townsend Marine. I spent a fair amount of time talking to them about the Selene. The issues, to my knowledge, never revolved around the hull build or the basic seaworthiness of the boat. The issues revolved more around consistency of build and attention to detail. Things like sighting down a hull and being able to see mat print through the gelcoat. The electrical systems tended to be totally inconsistent from boat to boat, where wires ran in one boat, they ran somewhere else in the next boat. Plumbing tended to be the same way. A lot of ancillary and component stuff, mostly metalwork and parts, were substandard (compared to top quality competitors). The guys I know a Port Townsend would pretty much get a chuckle out of whatever they would find on the next Selene. At the time, Selenes ran about 30-35% cheaper than comparable Krogens and close to 50% less than comparable Nordhavns. At the time, a familiar business model for China produced goods. Slightly less quality produced by cheaper labor and sold at a lower price. Over the years, from what I have learned, many of those problems have gone by the wayside. I think Chen and Jet Tern learned that while price is a component for many buyers, it is often not the motivating factor in the large trawler market. In the intervening years, Jet Tern has improved quality and build consistency. The price difference has narrowed considerably and while still less expensive than Krogen or Nordhavn, they are not sold nearly as much on price as they used to be. Unfortunately for Selene owners, and fortunately for those interested in them used, that initial impression has stuck around and there used prices are generally not comparable to either Krogen or Nordhavn. All that said, if I were interested in another boat, would I categorically exclude them? No. like looking at any prospective boat purchase, I would do all the normal things, surveys, sea trials, etc. and if the boat passed those tests and met my needs at a cost acceptable to me, I would buy it.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I don't know that I can give you specific examples, but I can give you a bit of history of Selene that contributed to some of their reputation, good and bad.
Outstanding information! Thanks much.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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Understand this is like talking to people who are passionate about cars, very strong opinions. Given a choice I would take a Selene over a Nordhavn. Let me fine tune that...
I ran a N47 two days and was very disappointed with the boat:
glassy smooth day so i had the stabilizers on center. A passing small boat wake caused a death roll
trying to tie the boat up you need to be a mountain goat, up and down... walk around deck can be blocked by a fender. Don't try to figure out the 4 battery switches, elect panels and sub panels and all the wiring the same color. I think it was a 'o4. Oh the get home motor is a joke. Try coming in St Augustine inlet on that at 2.5 knots.
Selene was much more practical, not 25 feet high, comfortable to work and run.
The selene was 13 years old and had some gel coat issues, cheap fuel manifold but otherwise nice on my 200 mile run.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
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Might I recommend the Selene Owners Forum....seleneowners.org you can view a lot of it without being an owner.

Jet Tern dosent market the Selene like Nordhavn or KK does. If they did, you would probably see more information on them. I spent many years searching for a Blue Water capable boat. During that search I looked at close to a hundred and fifty boats, All in the 40-55 foot range. They all have their plus and minus points. But the item we noticed the most on any boat was how well was it maintained by the owner. I think this is true of any boat. With the price of Blue water capable boats being what they are, you would think the owners would take better care of such a valuable asset. Not so! And we saw many boats from all manufactures to reflect this.
We have no issues with the build quality of our Selene and for the most part, the previous owner took good care of her. Ours is now approaching ten years old and we have been spending the last six months getting her ready for extended cruising. We have found very few things that needed to be replaced or repaired that could be identified as a builder issue. Fit and finish is right up there with the best of them. She had very few items identified during the Survey.
We would love to step up to a 55-60 foot Selene as our next boat, but I wouldn't pass on either a Nordy or KK if the right one came on the Market.

Hope this info answers your question.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:47 PM   #6
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Danderer

Rather than praise or castigate on line, a trip into the ER of a 55 - 60 footer for both Selene and Nordhavn may prove helpful in your decision making.

And yes, a full displacement hull will roll. Are you internet tire kicking or really wanting to buy into this arena?
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:59 PM   #7
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Are you internet tire kicking or really wanting to buy into this arena?
Tom, in the case of this thread, does it matter?

I'm not in the market for another boat but I too have heard some negative things about Selenes. I love the look and the ones I've been aboard at boat shows look like they're well put together.

That being said, where there's smoke there's usually fire. I've enjoyed reading about the Selenes on here and found THD's information very interesting.

So I guess I'm not even at tire kicker status but I still learned a few things on this thread.

As you were. Carry on.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:47 PM   #8
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I have always liked the lines of the Selenes but other than being on a few at boat shows, I know very little abut them. I do, however, know a little about Jet Tern Marine as they are the ones that built my Halvorsen 32 Gourmet Cruiser that I cruised for about 8 years. I found the fit & finish well above average for this size boat & and its sea keeping attributes were admirable.
Some of the members here at TF also had a ride or two on the boat and maybe they will chime in. There were 4 members in total that were on my boat at different times. (Go ahead, guys, and let me have it! You can't piss me off as I don't own her anymore.)
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:22 PM   #9
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Selene Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbltime View Post
Understand this is like talking to people who are passionate about cars, very strong opinions. Given a choice I would take a Selene over a Nordhavn. Let me fine tune that...
I ran a N47 two days and was very disappointed with the boat:
glassy smooth day so i had the stabilizers on center. A passing small boat wake caused a death roll
trying to tie the boat up you need to be a mountain goat, up and down... walk around deck can be blocked by a fender. Don't try to figure out the 4 battery switches, elect panels and sub panels and all the wiring the same color. I think it was a 'o4. Oh the get home motor is a joke. Try coming in St Augustine inlet on that at 2.5 knots.
Selene was much more practical, not 25 feet high, comfortable to work and run.
The selene was 13 years old and had some gel coat issues, cheap fuel manifold but otherwise nice on my 200 mile run.

I haven't had the death roll trouble.
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:40 PM   #10
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As noted previously, the Selene owner's forum is the place to get into this discussion. That is what we did when we were negotiating on a new 58. Some real pros hang out there, with from what I have seen few punches held. But the Q and A there requires a bit more knowledge and relevant Selene experience than most dock or internet talk allows.

For the curious, do a few Selene in depth walk throughs. Ditto KK and Nordhavn. Draw your own conclusions. If you are an experienced serious buyer the differences between the brands will become apparent.
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:49 PM   #11
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I haven't had the death roll trouble.
I assume that you must be a mountain goat though, right?
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:14 AM   #12
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Hey....... No Boats Perfect !!!! Have yet to find one that is.

They all compromise somewhere.

Cheers Chris D Liberty 2015
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:47 AM   #13
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As noted previously, the Selene owner's forum is the place to get into this discussion. That is what we did when we were negotiating on a new 58. Some real pros hang out there, with from what I have seen few punches held. But the Q and A there requires a bit more knowledge and relevant Selene experience than most dock or internet talk allows.

For the curious, do a few Selene in depth walk throughs. Ditto KK and Nordhavn. Draw your own conclusions. If you are an experienced serious buyer the differences between the brands will become apparent.
What are some examples that you have observed? Just curious.

I haven't looked very closely at the Selenes, but did come close to buying a KK. In the end I thought the fit and finish of the Nordhavns were a notch above the KKs. Not that the KKs were bad by any means, but the Ns were even better IMO.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:05 AM   #14
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Danderer

Rather than praise or castigate on line, a trip into the ER of a 55 - 60 footer for both Selene and Nordhavn may prove helpful in your decision making.

And yes, a full displacement hull will roll. Are you internet tire kicking or really wanting to buy into this arena?
Don't believe I praised or castigated - just asked a question.

Haven't yet had a chance to see the ER on a Selene. Until I do, how about giving a preview of what one might find?
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:06 AM   #15
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Might I recommend the Selene Owners Forum....seleneowners.org you can view a lot of it without being an owner.
Didn't know that resource existed. Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:24 AM   #16
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(Go ahead, guys, and let me have it! You can't piss me off as I don't own her anymore.)
Wanna bet?
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:44 AM   #17
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:32 PM   #18
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Engine room

Quote:
Originally Posted by danderer View Post

Haven't yet had a chance to see the ER on a Selene. Until I do, how about giving a preview of what one might find?
A few from mine, the 55 footer is considerable larger.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:34 PM   #19
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:35 PM   #20
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