Downeast style for the family?

Steakhouse

Ensign
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Posts
4
Likes
0
Location
CT
Boat Make
Sea Hunt
Newbie from CT - I have a young family - 3 kids under 13 and a busy work life. We have been enjoying a Sea Hunt Escape Dual console the past 3 yrs on the Ct River but have been talking about doing the 'weekend thing'. I have read a lot about express cruisers, but find myself more traditional in my boat style interests. In looking for a stable ride, good gas economy, relatively lower upkeep with a single screw, and a classy look, I found myself reading more about the Downeast style cruiser. Boating plans would be for weekend trips to Block Island, Shelter Island, Napa Tree, Newport. Am I thinking about this right with a Downeast boat? Would prob need to b at least 35 feet given family of 5. Welcome thoughts, thanks!!
 

Frank Grimes

Rear Admiral
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Posts
1,835
Likes
893
Location
N41°41'46.91" W070°15'35.13"
First Name
John
I'd say you're barking up the right tree. The DE hullform can provide all the characteristics you've stated. You likely already know this, but just keep in mind that you'll be going slow. If you want the economy and you're loading up with a family of 5 and provisioned for several days of living aboard you're probably looking at 15-16 kts.

Assuming you'll be staying on board for your weekend trips, IMO 35' is as small as I'd want to go for a fam of 5. Even then it'll be "cramped". Absolutely doable, but the kids may or may not be jacked about sleeping bags/air mattresses on deck.

Other potential downside is likely going to be the acquisition price. You can certainly find a deal on a used DE in the 35' range set up for cruising, but it might be tough to get the layout you want. The newer the boats get the prices goes waaay up, especially if finished by a reputable yard. Again, not impossible to find a bargain but will be a challenge. If price is less of an issue, you can get any number of top quality builders up in Maine and elsewhere to build you an incredible boat.
 
Last edited:

djmarchand

Captain
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Posts
664
Likes
293
Location
Litchfield, CT / Punta Gorda, Fl
Boat Make
Atlas Pompano 23 outboard
A downeaster to fit your needs is doable but will be difficult on the used market.

I looked long and hard for a 35' DE with a long cabin, galley down (which leaves more space in the main cabin for people) passenger helm chair and two settees. Probably one out of 100 DEs fits that bill. Ended up buying a Mainship Pilot 34 which covers most of those requirements. Yachtworld has several listed in the low to mid $100Ks.

A custom build would work nicely in the 35-38' size range. Check out the link on this forum to a Northern Bay 38 being finished in Nova Scotia for an asking price of $500,000. It would be a great boat but would sure burn some diesel cruising at 20 kts.

David
 
Last edited:

Steakhouse

Ensign
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Posts
4
Likes
0
Location
CT
Boat Make
Sea Hunt
Thanks for your insight. I too am concerned about finding the right boat on the used market. Also agree 35' is going to be tight. New boats of this type are $$$, but would come with a layout I have input on. Another thought I had was to buy a used 35-38 sedan cruiser and refit somewhat to suit our needs, thinking overall used boat price + refit cost would still be cheaper than new. Any input on a quality boat builder that specializes more with downcast cruising boat layouts?
 

Steakhouse

Ensign
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Posts
4
Likes
0
Location
CT
Boat Make
Sea Hunt
Forgot to ask....cruising speeds for most of the boats is ~ 7-10 kts, correct? For my travel needs, I don't need to make great time. I am hoping it is not just wishful thinking to assume my kids/spouse would enjoy a leisurely ride to our destination.
 

OLD BAY

Rear Admiral
Lite User
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Posts
1,082
Likes
775
Location
Annapolis, Md
First Name
Eric
Boat Make
Shelter Island 38

Dr Dude

Captain
Lite User
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Posts
889
Likes
409
Location
Michigan/ Islamorada, Fl
Boat Make
Fortier 33 , McKeeCraft 28

Blitzen

Admiral
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Posts
5,426
Likes
5,450
Location
Sumday Isle, RI
Boat Make
Flowers Boat Works 46 hull #1, Flowers Boat Works 36 hull #1, Wayne Beal 28 Hull #1, Repco 30 1968,
I will sell you my boat if you are interested.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Posts
449
Likes
178
Location
Mid-coast Maine
Boat Make
Jarvis Newman 36
family cruiser

Steakhouse. Welcome aboard. We are having an older boat redone to meet our needs. Our needs are different from yours but this can be done if you find the right hull/boat. There is a thread with Maine boat builders. Also check out our thread. Our builder, Farrin's boat shop can do this for you. Farrin's has built a lot of family cruisers on several different DE hulls. Check out their website. Lots of good builders and boats needing attention for sale. Plus the project can be fun. Good luck.
 

Steakhouse

Ensign
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Posts
4
Likes
0
Location
CT
Boat Make
Sea Hunt
Many thanks to all on the feedback! I continue to browse the forum threads and search engines for the right fit. Am thinking the ME boatbuilders's show is a good resource for seeing some of the DE cruiser layouts, any other shows worth checking out? I like the idea of buying a bit older model and doing the refit plan, seems more cost-effective if the search is done right for both boat and refit yard. Will definitely check out Farrin's and others, will keep you posted, thx!
 

captainlarry84

Rear Admiral
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Posts
1,295
Likes
239
Location
Freeport NY
Boat Make
KristenFormer Charter Captain
A DE for the family. As captain you will be doing most of the work. Fine one with a nice complete lower helm wheelhouse station. A flybridge for the family is also nice for those blue bird days & when at anchor sitting up top is always a treat. A genny is a must. For docking and easy of handling a bow thruster also very helpful. Size a 35 Duffy style with 300-350 HP should fit the bill. A 38 you would pick up a lot more. Also a drop down wheel house settee is also nice for the overnighters. The Blue sea he mentioned looks like a diamond, however for 5 she could be a little small.

This one fits the bill nicely:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...rrency=USD&access=Public&listing_id=12144&url=
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Posts
449
Likes
178
Location
Mid-coast Maine
Boat Make
Jarvis Newman 36
That Duffy looks nice and could be a great platform to modify. You can add the lower station and re arrange the salon. Also you might want to investigate solar, it may save you some weight and expense vs a generator. That is a great hull and one always in demand. A 38 would provide even more room. Good luck the possibilities are endless.
 
Top Bottom