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Old 12-09-2020, 07:37 AM   #1
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Grand Alaskan 56 Seaworthiness & Construction

We are working on finding our next boat, which will become our new home, after selling our 60-foot sailing catamaran. We are looking at a couple of Grand Alaskan 56's -- any thoughts on construction and seaworthiness?

We are hoping to cruise The Bahamas, down the Caribbean, and maybe cross over to Panama and/or Mexico. The overall plan would be to do 6-months cruising and 6-months at a marina in Florida.

I like the Alaskan 56 because it feels like things are accessible, which would make servicing and maintenance easier. Also, they seem quite spacious. As opposed to Fleming and Offshore, there is no Alaskan "builder support" that I can find -- as few of these were built, and the builder is no longer.

Offshore's "support" has been incredible, making it all much tougher.
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:11 AM   #2
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I don't know Grand Alaska, but hopefully have a couple useful observations.

I wouldn't worry about "builder support." A few brands do an okay job at it - PAE/Nordhavn being one. But for the most part, after a year or so, the typical answer from the builder ranges from crickets to "we don't know what you may have been done after it left our control."

There are two vessels listed on Yachtworld - one shows 500 gallons diesel tankage, the other 1000. I assume 500 is a typo (or one of two tanks). If it is indeed 500 gallons, would really cramp your proposed itinerary. This boat will get about 1nmpg at 8 kts or so - 500 nm range is workable, but would distract from many side trips.

Nice boat

Peter
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:20 AM   #3
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...

I wouldn't worry about "builder support." ... crickets to "we don't know what you may have been done after it left our control."

...
Good morning Peter. Thank you for making time to reply with your thoughts!

Offshore has been really good, answering detailed questions about their "pre-owned" boats. Then again, you are right, that support could easily just disappear and on that thought, "builder support", shouldn't be such a big criteria for me.

K
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:29 AM   #4
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I have a friend with a 2014 Horizon Powercat 52, a $1.5m boat. Horizon has been pretty unresponsive. For example, there is a fiberglass cover-shield for where the prop shaft enter the hull. It's not really structural and I'm not really sure why it's there, but one of them was gone when he hauled the boat. He reached out to Horizon to see about a replacement which should have been straightforward since the boat is still in production. No response from Horizon, so he had a new one fabricated at considerable expense. Unfortunately, I think that's more the norm than exception. Fortunately, stuff like that rarely comes up given boats are mostly semi to fully custom.

Peter
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:48 AM   #5
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Several GA 56s were not built by a stand alone factory in Taiwan. Researching each GA as to build site may prove worthwhile. Also check out the DeFever 56s built by POCTA.

No doubt Offshore can be more forthright as they are still in business. Outer Reef is a kissing cousin from when the "real" Grand Alaskans were being built in Taiwan. Outer Reef is a very well put together vessel and company you may care to look at if for nothing else but comparison.
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:59 AM   #6
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Good luck with your search. For reference we have a 2000 GA and recently ventured out in 42kt winds with 4-6' short stacked waves and was pleasantly surprised at how well she handled those conditions. No creaking or groaning and ride was pretty smooth for not so nice conditions, stabilizers got a workout and the boat got a serious salt water bath.

We loped along at 9.5 knots and never felt uncomfortable. However our local cruising area is notorious for debris and that was challenging spotting logs with such steep waves. Glad we tried it out though and now we know what the ride is like in those conditions.
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:59 AM   #7
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Then again, a 53 getting caught is a northerly blow in the stream ....

Stabilizers on too!

https://youtu.be/n_B1rMvFYe8
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Old 12-09-2020, 11:35 AM   #8
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Sheesh Menzies, think I would have turned south and headed to Key West instead!
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:56 PM   #9
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Then again, a 53 getting caught is a northerly blow in the stream ....

Stabilizers on too!

https://youtu.be/n_B1rMvFYe8
Just a little excitement. The boat will be fine. Not so sure about the people.
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