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52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? #166048
07/18/2018 07:29 AM
07/18/2018 07:29 AM
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classick Offline OP
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classick  Offline OP
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Hi folks,

New poster here. I am planning to acquire a 52' motor-yacht (flybridge variation) for spending a great amount of time living off and exploring the Caribbean. I was planning to base the boat in the BVIs but would really like to take the boat for longer trips like to St Barths and Turks and Caicos.

Are there any motor-boat owners (ideally with Caribbean experience, but all welcome) who could chime in with their opinions whether a boat like this would be suitable for the longer journeys like moving between Caribbean countries? I will usually be cruising solo... which means I am reluctant to go much for a boat with more length becuase it will make single handed management and maintenance (and cost) more difficult... and I would very rarely, if at all, hire a skipper because I like this time to myself or with a friend.

Over the years, my boating experience has been limited to smaller express boats on calmer Italian lakes, and a good 10 years ago, the med.




Many thanks,
K

Last edited by classick; 07/18/2018 07:36 AM.
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Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166075
07/18/2018 11:12 AM
07/18/2018 11:12 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,125
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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It would help if we knew what boat you are looking at. I would however consider a power cat over a yacht style boat. Lots of advanrages. There are numerous power cats in the 42 to 50 foot range that would work well for what you want.
G

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166077
07/18/2018 11:20 AM
07/18/2018 11:20 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,578
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Online content
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A big concern for you would be the cruising range of a given yacht and how far you want your trips to be. Be sure to take a look at fuel capacity and fuel burn. I previously had a 59' Carver with a fly bridge that would have been great for the BVI but only carried 800 gallons of fuel so the cruising range was limited to 275 miles. My current boat only holds 600 gallons and has an even smaller range.

I would avoid the Carver's because of the flatter bottomed hulls but take a look at the Azimut, Sunseeker, and potentially some SeaRays.

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166096
07/18/2018 07:03 PM
07/18/2018 07:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 285
Hilton Head, SC
Steve27 Offline
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If your not into speed, but rather able to go longer distances, then take a look at a trawler. They cruise along at around 10 knots but can have ranges well over 1000 NM.


Cruising the local waters here in SC and GA. Love the BVIs and miss the Tradewinds!
Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166109
07/19/2018 05:08 AM
07/19/2018 05:08 AM
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classick Offline OP
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Thank you guys for your responses.

At this time I have narrowed my choice to the Sunseeker Manhattan 52', 2017+ model. It has a fuel cap of 580 US gallons (2200L) and max range of 470nm at 10 knots, and 250nm @ ~27 knots.

I don’t yet know if this can be improved with pods drives instead of shaft.

I have looked at some long range trawlers, like Bering, because it is a dream to make at least 1 oceanic voyage. But I think that idea is better saved for later... for one thing I don'e have the experience at sea so make that sort of voyage yet :0

Also, I am hoping to get this first yacht in early 30s, so the Manhattan's dazzle factor is still rather appealing smile

I have also given the Manhattan 66' consideration, but the added range is only up to 70nm (despite an almost double cap fuel tank), and everything else seems like it will be added hassle, from cost to maintenance, specially as an often solo captain.


Last edited by classick; 07/19/2018 08:02 AM.
Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166137
07/19/2018 11:08 AM
07/19/2018 11:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,578
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Online content
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I would recommend against pod drives. I have them in the U.S. and can't imagine how difficult it is to get them serviced in the BVI. Keep it as simple as possible.

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #166140
07/19/2018 12:24 PM
07/19/2018 12:24 PM
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classick Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JasonHelmbrecht
I would recommend against pod drives. I have them in the U.S. and can't imagine how difficult it is to get them serviced in the BVI. Keep it as simple as possible.


I heard similar before - which really seems like a shame if pod drives really can offer ~30% better fuel efficiency.

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166153
07/19/2018 02:04 PM
07/19/2018 02:04 PM
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BaardJ Offline
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Have you considered a Fleming 55? It's on my short list if I ever had to quit sailing. Much more capable for longer ocean passages such as to the Turks & Caicos, yet still offers capability to do shorter passages at 18 kts. Looks like a new Sunseeker 52 will cost about $1.3M. You can get a nice used Fleming for that price.

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: BaardJ] #166165
07/19/2018 03:54 PM
07/19/2018 03:54 PM
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UK
Christo Offline
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My family had Sunseekers for many years, 8 different boats over the years. Then moved to yachts...and sailed to the Caribbean and never looked back. I have also experienced the Fleming 55.

...over a decade of experience with Sunseekers...and they were always breaking! Always something wrong with them! Which as we were UK based was easier...just nip down to the factory and get it fixed. Possibly not so much in the BVI. Most of my childhood Summer holidays seemed to be spent in Poole at the Sunseeker yard...which was great fun! You bump into some interesting people (Milosovic's son, King of Spain etc)!

If sailing is definitely not your gear...then something like the Fleming would be my pick. Less 'bling' sure, but more seaworthy, better range and I reckon you'd get lot more fun out of it in that part of the world (especially not fixing it every 5 minutes!).

I'll never forget being shown round the new Sunseeker 131 Yacht and being told it was a 'glorified day boat' by the MD of Sunseeker! But in fairness...since the 90's almost all of them are in reality.

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: Christo] #166207
07/20/2018 06:56 AM
07/20/2018 06:56 AM
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classick Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Christo

...over a decade of experience with Sunseekers...and they were always breaking! Always something wrong with them! Which as we were UK based was easier...just nip down to the factory and get it fixed. Possibly not so much in the BVI.
That's certainly discouraging and disappointing to hear. Has there been no evidence of improved quality control since then?

Originally Posted by Christo
If sailing is definitely not your gear...
definitely not for now.

Originally Posted by Christo
then something like the Fleming would be my pick. Less 'bling' sure, but more seaworthy, better range and I reckon you'd get lot more fun out of it in that part of the world (especially not fixing it every 5 minutes!).
The Fleming 55 is not something I had considered (or really heard of) before. I am looking into it. What it certainly lacks in pure sexy-factor relative to the Manhattan, it clearly makes up for in range. 1000-2000 nautical miles would pretty much get everywhere around the Caribbean without refuelling, if that's the important thing.... to be honest, that will take more thought. On the other hand, the Manhattan 52' can easily go around the BVIs all day long, and a trip to St Barts well within its range smirk

Last edited by classick; 07/20/2018 08:00 AM.
Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166248
07/20/2018 04:18 PM
07/20/2018 04:18 PM
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Well they have since been bought by the Chinese...

No idea if that has improved things or not!

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166255
07/20/2018 05:07 PM
07/20/2018 05:07 PM
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classick Offline OP
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Any idea how Princess are in comparison? I also like the Princess F series 55'. I noticed this particular flybridge model carries an extra 600L of fuel over the Manhattan 52', but the Princess website doesn't say anything about the boats range, which is odd.

Last edited by classick; 07/20/2018 05:08 PM.
Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166258
07/20/2018 05:19 PM
07/20/2018 05:19 PM
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Christo Offline
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No idea. For all their faults I've always liked the look, feel, ethos and especially the design of Sunseeker. Especially the Don Shead classics. Princess, Fairline, Sealine and all the others have always been 2nd tier in my eyes. Personal opinion though! Some of the larger boats...I'd make exceptions for perhaps. Again personal preference but not keen on the current design direction of Sunseeker. I much prefer the old Man 66 to the new.

For all my negative comments about Sunseeker, nobody in my family would change a thing if we could go back in time. Many happy memories. I'm sure you will have a ball with a new Sunseeker Man 66. Just perhaps have contingencies in place and know where in the Caribbean you can get things fixed when they go wrong...and dont let it hamper your enjoyment.

As a former owner of 3 different TVRs over the years...i'm no stranger to buying beautiful, fun, ridiculous things that I know will break very, very often...never stopped me enjoying them hugely!

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166263
07/20/2018 07:44 PM
07/20/2018 07:44 PM
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BaardJ Offline
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From a motor yacht perspective, for me it doesn't get sexier than a Nordhavn 52 or 60!!!

I really wonder what kind of ride you'll get on the Manhattan trying to run at 18+ kts outside the SFD with typical tradewind seas of 4-6'. In other words, is the high speed capability of that hull shape (and associated engine cost) of practical use when running through the BVIs and to other nearby islands such as St Croix, SXM, and SVIs.

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: BaardJ] #166264
07/20/2018 08:08 PM
07/20/2018 08:08 PM
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I really wonder what kind of ride you'll get on the Manhattan trying to run at 18+ kts outside the SFD with typical tradewind seas of 4-6'. In other words, is the high speed capability of that hull shape (and associated engine cost) of practical use when running through the BVIs and to other nearby islands such as St Croix, SXM, and SVIs.[/quote]

That is a great question BaardJ. In fact that is the question. The answer to that question is the exact aim of the thread... I hope there is someone who has the direct experience to answer it smile

Re: 52' Motor Yacht for exploring BVIs & Other Islands? [Re: classick] #166265
07/20/2018 08:09 PM
07/20/2018 08:09 PM
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classick Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BaardJ
I really wonder what kind of ride you'll get on the Manhattan trying to run at 18+ kts outside the SFD with typical tradewind seas of 4-6'. In other words, is the high speed capability of that hull shape (and associated engine cost) of practical use when running through the BVIs and to other nearby islands such as St Croix, SXM, and SVIs.


That is a great question BaardJ. In fact that is the question. The answer to that question is the exact aim of the thread... I hope there is someone who has the direct experience to answer it smile


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