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Old 05-19-2020, 12:15 PM   #1
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ELVICA - DeFever's Trawler Prototype?

There is a 50', 1968 DeFever named ELVICA being touted as the DeFever trawler prototype, and being DeFever's personal Yacht. Any info on this vessel. It is for sale, and I am interested, but don't know about a 1968 wooden vessel, and if the claims are bona fide.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:00 PM   #2
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I can see where it could have been the prototype of the Defever 48, or at least shares some design characteristics. Pretty cool looking boat.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:42 PM   #3
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Yes it is a 52 year old wood boat. A DeFever for sure. If you've good marine wood working skills it could be a great hobby. I've been on a sister ship, well thought out layout and nicely maintained.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:11 PM   #4
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A wooden boat is a wooden boat. Doesn't matter if it was designed by DeFever, Chris Craft, or many fine others. It's still a wooden boat.

I'm not saying it is a bad thing, I'm just saying it is wood.

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Old 05-19-2020, 04:24 PM   #5
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I have always liked DeFever designs. I do not know anything about the boat in questions. I have seen the listing and that's a sexy boat for sure. If the pictures are current it looks well maintained. There is also a early 1970's in the San Juans (Washington State).
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:03 PM   #6
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Defever Data

There is a Defever group site you might be able to check with they also keep track of every Defever in the states!

I looked this up EMILY B is a wooden 50-footer owned by DeFever Cruisers members, currently living aboard, and cruising the Pacific Coast. Latest sighting was in Peurto Vallarta, Mexico. Arthur DeFever owned, and cruised, her sister ship, hull#1.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:03 PM   #7
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We co-sponsored a PNW DeFever Rendezvous a few years ago, and after dinner someone did a very thorough PowerPoint presentation on the history of Arthur DeFever and his boats. I don't recall the details of the first one, but if you want really good information about those boats try the DeFever Owners Association: https://www.defevercruisers.com/
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:25 PM   #8
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An 8'4" draft is interesting in a 50 foot boat. Like Pete, I would be scared of the wood. I've owned one older wooden boat. I'm cured.

I've also put 45,000 nm on a 68' Steel hulled Defever. It was a terrific boat. Still is, but for someone else.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:31 PM   #9
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I am a member of the owners group. After he died the group produced a tribute, part biography part memories from the group from those who met him. I can't remember reading of a boat of that name, but will have another look later.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:45 PM   #10
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Yes it is a 52 year old wood boat. A DeFever for sure. If you've good marine wood working skills it could be a great hobby. I've been on a sister ship, well thought out layout and nicely maintained.
Maintaining a wooden boat is not the hobby I am looking to pursue. Cruising a boot, wooden or otherwise, is what I am looking for. Obviously, maintenance is part of that, but not to the extent of being a hobby. Cruising is. I know for others, maintenance, repair and the like is. The reason I am looking at this boat, is that I read that a lot of the fiber DeFevers had core and delamination issues, but that the Japanese wood boards where much better built.

Any thoughts on that?
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:17 PM   #11
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The reason I am looking at this boat, is that I read that a lot of the fiber DeFevers had core and delamination issues, but that the Japanese wood boards where much better built. Any thoughts on that?
Not sure what FRP DeFevers you're referencing. The solid glass hulls are extra thick but like any FRP boat the above waterline areas require normal care and attention to keep water intrusion at bay. Many a nice FRP boat was screwed up by a drill. A decent survey will alert you to any issues.

As suggested by others query the DF Cruisers group. I'm not part of that group as their focus is largely arranging pot lucks on the East Coast. Be aware though, a top notch FRP DF won't stay on the market too long.

Once you walk the docks for a few months things will come into focus. Nothing beats eyes on.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:19 PM   #12
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No thanks, no matter how nice it is it is still a wooden boat. Not for me.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:56 PM   #13
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I went through the tribute - if you can see previous boat names and find A/R DeFever as the name then she was certainly owned by Art and Ruth.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:10 PM   #14
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As the owner of a Defever 50 LRC built in 1970 in Japan, I can attest to the build quality of these boats. Just know that the differential in investment, FRP vs wood, upon purchase will be spent regardless in order to keep a wooden boat in good shape. A boathouse and good skills (or deep pockets) really help. That said, I wouldn’t discount wood if you’re prepared for the need for vigilant maintenance. If the border ever opens up again...would be happy to show off Killick. Age is unfortunately necessitating sale, although in the age of Covid this will take a while.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:38 PM   #15
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I maintained a 32 foot Wooden Chris Craft which I owned for about 7 years. One year without any maintenance and it turned into a piece of junk. It broke my heart, but it cured me of wooden boat love.

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Old 05-19-2020, 09:55 PM   #16
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As the owner of a Defever 50 LRC built in 1970 in Japan, I can attest to the build quality of these boats. Just know that the differential in investment, FRP vs wood, upon purchase will be spent regardless in order to keep a wooden boat in good shape. A boathouse and good skills (or deep pockets) really help. That said, I wouldn’t discount wood if you’re prepared for the need for vigilant maintenance. If the border ever opens up again...would be happy to show off Killick. Age is unfortunately necessitating sale, although in the age of Covid this will take a while.
We had a DeFever 68 built in Kurihama, Japan at Oriental Boat Works. At the time, they were the ony yard we found in Asia that could do the compound curves in the hull. The boat was steel and stayed in the family for over 35 years. Lot of miles and memories gone by.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:17 PM   #17
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Yes it is a 52 year old wood boat. A DeFever for sure. If you've good marine wood working skills it could be a great hobby. I've been on a sister ship, well thought out layout and nicely maintained.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Not sure what FRP DeFevers you're referencing. The solid glass hulls are extra thick but like any FRP boat the above waterline areas require normal care and attention to keep water intrusion at bay. Many a nice FRP boat was screwed up by a drill. A decent survey will alert you to any issues.

As suggested by others query the DF Cruisers group. I'm not part of that group as their focus is largely arranging pot lucks on the East Coast. Be aware though, a top notch FRP DF won't stay on the market too long.

Once you walk the docks for a few months things will come into focus. Nothing beats eyes on.
It was a post on the Cruisers forum. The author spent a lifetime in building and repairing boats, and the issues weren't with the solid fiberglass hull, but with cored area and the stringers which in one case he mentioned were completely rotted out. This guy, who seemed credible, painted a rather bleak picture of DeFevers, EXCEPT, as he noted, the early Japanese wooden ones. He included pictures of delaminations etc., Perhaps part of the problem where the various shipyards that built them.

I am attempting to absorb as much info as I can from as many sources as I can, and all input is appreciated.

Is there any particular boatyard that stands out from the other as on that produced a superior product?
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:28 PM   #18
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We had a DeFever 68 built in Kurihama, Japan at Oriental Boat Works. At the time, they were the ony yard we found in Asia that could do the compound curves in the hull. The boat was steel and stayed in the family for over 35 years. Lot of miles and memories gone by.
How much time and effort is involved in rust-fighting and prevention measures.

To be honest, I am looking for the most trouble-free, reliable vessel I can. Think of a "project" boat. I am looking for the exact opposite.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Open-d View Post
It was a post on the Cruisers forum. The author spent a lifetime in building and repairing boats, and the issues weren't with the solid fiberglass hull, but with cored area and the stringers which in one case he mentioned were completely rotted out. This guy, who seemed credible, painted a rather bleak picture of DeFevers, EXCEPT, as he noted, the early Japanese wooden ones. He included pictures of delaminations etc., Perhaps part of the problem where the various shipyards that built them.

I am attempting to absorb as much info as I can from as many sources as I can, and all input is appreciated.

Is there any particular boatyard that stands out from the other as on that produced a superior product?
Please don’t take offense, but this is how “I heard it on the internet” got a bad name. DeFevers were built to a price point but that certainly doesn’t translate to shoddy workmanship by any of the major yards and certainly not to chronic problems with delamination.

As Sunchaser mentioned, hulls are solid glass. Decks are cored and teak veneer was widely used as an overlay until the late 80s. If not maintained, water can find it’s way into the coring but the same can be said of any boats built during that period, including Grand Banks. Boats that are well-maintained do just fine.

There are hundreds of FRP DeFevers from the 80s to the present-day in use and a very active owners’ assn. I think it’s been suggested already, but give DeFever Cruisers a try for knowledgeable answer about these boats.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:42 PM   #20
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Please don’t take offense, but this is how “I heard it on the internet” got a bad name. DeFevers were built to a price point but that certainly doesn’t translate to shoddy workmanship by any of the major yards and certainly not to chronic problems with delamination.

As Sunchaser mentioned, hulls are solid glass. Decks are cored and teak veneer was widely used as an overlay until the late 80s. If not maintained, water can find it’s way into the coring but the same can be said of any boats built during that period, including Grand Banks. Boats that are well-maintained do just fine.

There are hundreds of FRP DeFevers from the 80s to the present-day in use and a very active owners’ assn. I think it’s been suggested already, but give DeFever Cruisers a try for knowledgeable answer about these boats.
I am not offended, I always take things in context and accept, just like your post, that it is just one "man's" opinion, but valuable in its own right. By reading as much as I can, by asking semi-probing questions, I hope to glean as much info as I can, from as many, and as diverse of sources as I can. It is a process, and I thank all who contribute.

Do you have any opinion of which boatyard may have been better than the rest, and any to avoid in the DeFever spectrum?
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