Ready to Slow Down--Time For a DE Boat

T-Bird

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Jul 9, 2019
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63
Location
Amelia Island FL
Boat Make
SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Hi to all--glad I found this Forum--already see they're some really knowledgeable and helpful people here. This is my first post--THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!
My wife and I want a used D.E. Express type boat--something that'll be capable near shore; could take to the Bahamas and do part/all of the loop. Most of our time will be in the ICW. Our trips will have 2 people--myself and my spouse. Currently, I take my 2660 Sailfish 75 miles off shore to the Gulf Stream and troll for Whahoo and bottom fish for Grouper, etc. Those days are now done and time to go at a more leisurely pace (-:
Doing my research on boats within our budget (<$150K) and have a lot of questions. More importantly, I'm looking for mentors who will keep me on track during and after the purchase!
Right now, we have the following criteria (but we don't know what we don't know):
- 30-34' range--nearer to 30' the better (heard they charge by the foot at Marinas (-:)
- Hard-Top Express (E.g., Mainship 30 pilot II Sedan; Albin 31 T.E.; BackCove 29)
- Good sea keeping ability
- Single screw, diesel engine
- low hour engine--well documented maint. record
- Quiet, if possible or suggestions on how to make the helm area quiet
- Solid bonded electrical system
- Queen or near queen size birth
- AC in birthing area; helm area would be nice too
- Separate shower in head area
- Diesel Gen Set or Inverter that would work as well as a Gen Set (I know nothing about Inverters)
- Auto pilot
- Bow Thruster
- Windlass
- Fishing capability (rocket launchers/rod holders nice, but not a deal breaker)
- Protected screw (I don't pilot a boat so well and have run-a-ground)
- Transom door
- Helm door so I can handle docking by myself
- East coast location preferred as I'll have to arrange transportation or pilot the boat to FL

I will put good Nav/Electronics on the boat if it does not have it. I will also have a survey done and conduct a sea trial.

Thanks!
 

T-Bird

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Amelia Island FL
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SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Thanks Regman99--that is one solid looking off shore boat!!
 

T-Bird

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SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Really appreciate everyone's response. I found an old thread that ask basically the same thing I did. I'm reviewing that now....they recommended a Halverson 32. Wow! that has to be one of the prettiest boats I've seen. Having said that, it was slower than I wanted to go (8 knts cruise; 13 knots WOT). I was looking for maybe 12-15 knts cruise; 20 knts WOT.
 

T-Bird

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Joined
Jul 9, 2019
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Age
63
Location
Amelia Island FL
Boat Make
SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
OK, as I'm not getting much feed back, I only can believe I need to be more specific in my question. Or, could be that I served 30 years in the active duty Air Force and you folks think I don't like sailors. :) I got that covered--my wife was in the Navy and I love her.
I'm looking for a D.E. boat (just read a wonderful thread on what a D.E. boat is). The more I hear about Down East boats the more I like them.
Looking for a single screw boat that will cruise 15-18 knt; wot in low 20s. Power is my 1st consideration and has to be diesel. Sea-Keeping is #2 consideration. At the start of this thread I give more details.
Looking for the Forum's thoughts on these boats.
Here's what I'm looking at (price <$150K):
- 30-34 Mainship Pilot Series w/hard-top
- Albin 27 or 31 T.E
- BackCove 29
- Mainship 34 Mark II--no fly-bridge but would like to discuss pros/cons of fly bridge
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2013
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480
Location
St Augustine, Florida
Boat Make
2 Home made skiffs
Boats like the Mitchell Cove and some others are going to be considered more DE here than some of the other production boats that you mentioned. Right or wrong, thats the reality. Your on the right track. Your budget will find you something suitable
 

T-Bird

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Posts
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2
Age
63
Location
Amelia Island FL
Boat Make
SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Sailor of Fortune, tks for the feedback--I see you live right down the coast from in St A. Hope all is well--take care.
 

Diesel Jerry

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South Freeport, ME
Hello T-Bird thank you for your service. On my signature below my post you will see my email and cell. Feel free to get in touch for any mechanical or systems questions.
 

Henry

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
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213
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100
Location
Northern Chesapeake Bay
Boat Make
Duffy 31
Don’t feel bad. I spent 31 years in the Army flying helicopters and these guys talk to me! I have a Duffy 31 and it is the perfect boat. It meets all your criteria and then some.
Since I believe a true DE has to have round bilges rather than hard chines some of your suggestions while are nice boats are not true DE. Keep looking and you will know when you have found the right boat. Given your budget you should have no problem finding a good boat. If you get down to the Chesapeake Bay look me up
 

Henry

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Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Posts
213
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100
Location
Northern Chesapeake Bay
Boat Make
Duffy 31
Don’t feel bad. I spent 31 years in the Army flying helicopters and these guys talk to me! I have a Duffy 31 and it is the perfect boat. It meets all your criteria and then some.
Since I believe a true DE has to have round bilges rather than hard chines some of your suggestions while are nice boats are not true DE. Keep looking and you will know when you have found the right boat. Given your budget you should have no problem finding a good boat. If you get down to the Chesapeake Bay look me up
 

T-Bird

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Posts
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Age
63
Location
Amelia Island FL
Boat Make
SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Don’t feel bad. I spent 31 years in the Army flying helicopters and these guys talk to me! I have a Duffy 31 and it is the perfect boat. It meets all your criteria and then some.
Since I believe a true DE has to have round bilges rather than hard chines some of your suggestions while are nice boats are not true DE. Keep looking and you will know when you have found the right boat. Given your budget you should have no problem finding a good boat. If you get down to the Chesapeake Bay look me up
Thanks for your service! Also thanks for the advice—the Duffy boat is really attractive and appears to hold its value. I’ve been checking them out and 31’ is the right size.
 

T-Bird

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Jul 9, 2019
Posts
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Age
63
Location
Amelia Island FL
Boat Make
SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Thanks Hardcore1! I’m on my phone looking at the forum so I might be missing something but you mentioned the 31 Duffy...does a DE member have this boat for sale?
 

ArchHibb

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Aug 31, 2013
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Marblehead
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Five Islands 35 w/Cat 3116
Welcome T-bird. Picking up on sailor of fortune’s post, are you generally familiar with how the most downeast-of-DE boats are built? Every one is custom, more so than any production boat.

The production boats you mentioned are all good quality, well-respected makes & models in my opinion, and each of them can be found on the used market with various options and features. Good value, but being production models, many aspects are standardized, and often not easily changed. Which is fine if they suit your needs as-is.

On the other hand, boats by Beal, BHM, Bruno, Duffy, Flower, Jarvis Newman, JC, Lowell, Northern Bay, RP, Stanley, Terry Jason, Wesmac, Wilbur - the list goes on - are almost always unique and can be radically different from one example to another. Different houses, different deck levels, different engine locations, etc. This custom construction tends to make them easier to modify since they aren’t typically molded fiberglass parts, but glossy gel coated bilges and standardized layouts & systems (helm stations for example) are not the norm.

My point is, you can see one or two examples of a production boat and get a fair sense of what that make & model is all about. True DEs however, need to be judged on a case by case basis. Good luck with your search!
 

T-Bird

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Joined
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Posts
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Age
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Location
Amelia Island FL
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SailFish 2660 but converting to a DownEast boat
Welcome T-bird. Picking up on sailor of fortune’s post, are you generally familiar with how the most downeast-of-DE boats are built? Every one is custom, more so than any production boat.

The production boats you mentioned are all good quality, well-respected makes & models in my opinion, and each of them can be found on the used market with various options and features. Good value, but being production models, many aspects are standardized, and often not easily changed. Which is fine if they suit your needs as-is.

On the other hand, boats by Beal, BHM, Bruno, Duffy, Flower, Jarvis Newman, JC, Lowell, Northern Bay, RP, Stanley, Terry Jason, Wesmac, Wilbur - the list goes on - are almost always unique and can be radically different from one example to another. Different houses, different deck levels, different engine locations, etc. This custom construction tends to make them easier to modify since they aren’t typically molded fiberglass parts, but glossy gel coated bilges and standardized layouts & systems (helm stations for example) are not the norm.

My point is, you can see one or two examples of a production boat and get a fair sense of what that make & model is all about. True DEs however, need to be judged on a case by case basis. Good luck with your search!
ArchHibb, thanks—you were a lot of help and your clarification certainly shines light on what DE boats are about!
 

Fishonnelsons

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Joined
Sep 14, 2015
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Truro, Cape Cod
Website
Www.bethanncharters.com
Boat Make
38 Wesmac
Review as many boat for sale websites, magazines etc etc as you can to pick out the 3-5 brands that grab you and your wife’s eye. Then post them on here and ask for opinions, that will narrow the search down for all of us.

And I agree with ArchHibb, and my gut tells me your needs are more in line with one of the production type downeast boats - Albin, backcove etc etc. A true Maine Downeaster in good condition and low hours and with all of your desires will run a lot more than $150k, but production boats you will see quite a few. Also look nationwide, don’t fret getting it to where you want it.
 
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