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Old 06-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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Sundeck Models

Good day all,

Cathy and I are wrapping up three weeks of boat viewings in FL and it looks like we will be going home empty handed. We've viewed over a dozen boats during this trip and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Although we did not find "our boat" it was very educational as we are coming away much more knowledgable about strengths and weaknesses of several models/designs that we have not viewed prior.

However, we keep coming back to our decision-making matrix and our list of must-haves, and I'm wondering if perhaps we should be seeking out some other models that we simply don't know about. Knowing that we are looking for a loop boat, our starting point is a 38-44' boat that has a draft of 4' or less and the ability to pass under a 19' bridge. From that base we have set four must-haves:
1) Sundeck model: we've looked at trunk trawlers, sedans, etc. and we really feel that we will spend a lot of time on the hook and that the Sundeck will be our focal point for socialization.
2) Single engine, preferably 220HP or less. Both economy and screw protection drive this.
3) Both upper and lower helm stations. Although we are confident that the upper helm will see 99% of the action, having the utility of the lower helm we think is important, especially on a one-year trip.
4) Two staterooms. We expect to have guests along the way and really don't want to have another couple sleeping in a settee berth.

With these parameters in mind, are there any specific models that stand out? We looked at a Heritage East 36 and although it was beautiful we believe it is slightly too small. We looked at a Marine Trader 38 single and although that particular model met all of our parameters, the lack of upkeep and overall poor condition of this particular example made it hard for us to even evaluate the model objectively. Other than a beautiful Defever 41 that we decided against because we really want that Sundeck, everything else we've seen has twin diesels.

We will head back north and start building our list for our next trip in September, and I'd like to ask fellow members what other single diesel, two stateroom, Sundeck models are out there in the 38-44 foot range with upper and lower helms? I've purposely excluded a price parameter only because we want to try to find as many models as possible to consider. Naturally we have a price ceiling in mind, but if we find we can't find what we are looking for under that point we will then know we have to reconsider one or more of our parameters.

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions during this trip!
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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With these parameters in mind, are there any specific models that stand out?

We will head back north and start building our list for our next trip in September, and I'd like to ask fellow members what other single diesel, two stateroom, Sundeck models are out there in the 38-44 foot range with upper and lower helms?
I really like your "want list" but I wonder if the "Sundeck" requirement has narrowed your search considerably. There is a plethora of boats with a cockpit that will meet all your other requirements and since the Great Loop is one of your major goals, you may find a cockpit easier to deal with. I've had both and the cockpit gets my vote.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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Personally I think that only considering a single screw is going to greatly reduce your choices.

Ask Daddyo about his fuel burn.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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I am not sure what "sundeck" really means here. We have a Selene 47 pilothouse trawler. There is plenty of room to socialize on the upper deck behind the pilot house. It has 2 staterooms, single engine etc. It is designed for long distance and live aboard cruising. We cruised for several months and know others who live on their Selenes while cruising worldwide. Also, I think if you considered a pilothouse vessel you might be surprised how pleasant and relaxing it can be to manage the vessel from the pilothouse rather than the outside station. You can get plenty of fresh air without being outside and you do not need sun screen or an umbrella!! Just my opinion, but just in case you might be interested to learn more, check out our blog at Selene47AurigaForSale.blogspot.com
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:52 AM   #5
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There is a plethora of boats with a cockpit that will meet all your other requirements and since the Great Loop is one of your major goals, you may find a cockpit easier to deal with. I've had both and the cockpit gets my vote.
Definitely a good suggestion and we will start considering cockpits. Most Sundeck models we've viewed seem to have canvas, or at least the ability to enclose with canvas/screen. Because we expect to spend more than a few nights at anchor in the buggy south we liked the idea of being able to screen the Sundeck area.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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We have a Selene 47 pilothouse trawler. There is plenty of room to socialize on the upper deck behind the pilot house. It has 2 staterooms, single engine etc. It is designed for long distance and live aboard cruising.
Indeed, we have friends with a Selene 47 in Vancouver and they love it. We love the look and qualify of both the Selene and Nordhavn trawlers, but we've steered away from them at this stage only because in reality we don't know that we will adapt the cruising lifestyle and won't know until we dive in, and we are somewhat concerned about the draft for this trip. Although both experienced boaters neither of us have done long-distance cruising before, so we are using next year's loop trip as our test...we will either love the lifestyle as we suspect and then we will look to move up to a more suitable blue water cruiser as we expand our travels, or we we will determine that the lifestyle is not for us and we will then stick to coastal weekend trips on the loop boat we select. Naturally, the third possibility is chaos and divorce, but we'll ignore that possibility for now!
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Ask Daddyo about his fuel burn.
I will search Daddyo's postings for some figures. I see that he owns a Defever 48 which I believe typically has twin Lehman 120 or 135's, so I would expect excellent economy; the real issue for us though would be draft and prop protection. We have yet to see a Defever design that we don't love, but other than the 41 most Defever designs draw too much water for this trip (our opinion, based on experience of others we've spoke not to). If we could find other models with 4' draft or less and good prop protection with twin 120/135's we would definitely consider it.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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We looked at quite a few sundeck/aft cabin boats with hardtops. We really liked them except that boarding along with ladders all over was not desirable to us and felt it was a hazard.

We ended up a cockpit with steps up to the flybridge.

If it will ever stop raining, the minor servicing and paint work can be completed, maybe we'll find out if we will enjoy this configuration or not...
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
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I will search Daddyo's postings for some figures. I see that he owns a Defever 48 which I believe typically has twin Lehman 120 or 135's, so I would expect excellent economy; the real issue for us though would be draft and prop protection. We have yet to see a Defever design that we don't love, but other than the 41 most Defever designs draw too much water for this trip (our opinion, based on experience of others we've spoke not to). If we could find other models with 4' draft or less and good prop protection with twin 120/135's we would definitely consider it.
He is also a yacht broker so he may be able to help you.

I have never used his services, so this is not a recommendation.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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My boat is a sundeck. Heritage east 40.

I think you may be in for 2 engines
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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If you are lookin' for a boat with the most useable space for it's footprint, ya gotta go for a sundeck model. We just had a Nordic Tug 42 move in on our dock. The owner came aboard our boat and could not get over the room in our 36 foot Nova sundeck.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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If you are lookin' for a boat with the most useable space for it's footprint, ya gotta go for a sundeck model. We just had a Nordic Tug 42 move in on our dock. The owner came aboard our boat and could not get over the room in our 36 foot Nova sundeck.

Too true. Our neighbor has a Navigator 5300, and they are always commenting on how much more roomy our 52' feels with the sundeck and aft cabin configuration.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
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When I get into the position to afford a newer boat with steps from swimplatform and up to the bridge, I want one.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #14
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First off, I want to say congratulations for NOT buying a boat. I think your methodical approach to finding the right is to be applauded!!! With that said, a single engine sundeck in the 40 foot range is gonna be quite a hurdle. I have seen a Marine Trader Single in that range and I have seen another brand(...Sunnford I think....sounds Scandy but it was still Taiwan built). You have your work cut out. The closest alternative which has been mentioned above, is a pilothouse boat. Like the Selene/Solo.
Here are a few that I found with a quick search. I am sure you have likely seen them but......

1987 President Trawler Yacht Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1791&url=

Both appear to have been well cared for by previous owners. I saw another one in JAX but that might have been the one you looked at.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
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When I get into the position to afford a newer boat with steps from swimplatform and up to the bridge, I want one.
Most of the later model Carver Sundecks(ACMY) have very nice swim platforms with very nice molded in stairs and handrails to the sundeck from the swim platform and can be had for well under $100k with diesel power.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #16
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Cobber-I think you may be placing a bit more emphasis on worrying about prop/gear damage on a twin than it really deserves. In my experience, and I have had both, while damage to props/struts can occur, it does not happen that often and I would think not a really great concern on a Loop trip. What you will find it that twins generally have a bit less draft than the same boat with a single. On a full displacement hull, the keel is normally below the level of the props/struts providing a reasonable amount of protection. In terms of fuel usage, there have been several here who have done the comparison and the fuel usage, single v twin, particularly at low speeds is remarkably similar.

Please note that this is not an attempt to revive the single v twin debate, just one man's opinion.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #17
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Most of the later model Carver Sundecks(ACMY) have very nice swim platforms with very nice molded in stairs and handrails to the sundeck from the swim platform and can be had for well under $100k with diesel power.
For some reason, I like the Sea Rays much better...
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:23 PM   #18
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If you are lookin' for a boat with the most useable space for it's footprint, ya gotta go for a sundeck model.
Couldn't agree more

Went aboard PinappleGirl's PT35 recently and could not believe I was on a 35' boat. Those sundecks are stinkin' condos compared to anything else.

Agree with the board that 40' sundecks with single engines are rare. Heck, they're not even THAT common under that size range though they are out there.

Have you checked the classified section of the great circle loop cruisers association website? Most all of those boats have done the loop at least once already.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:43 PM   #19
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Those sundecks are stinkin' condos compared to anything else.
Sundeck trawlers ROCK!
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #20
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Early on we liked the sundeck on the Defever 44 - but we really hated the long and steep ladder to get to the swim platform. It could wreak havoc on inebriated nights. We ended up with the Nordhavn 43, partly because of the transom entry door to the swim platform - which we have extended 2.5 feet. Sadly, we had to compromise quite a bit on the flybridge space. But considering that 98% of the time it will just be the two if us, that's a compromise we are comfortable with. Especially after we install the cockpit regrigerator in the vase space underneath the forward flybridge!
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