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Old 12-08-2010, 08:53 AM
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Default Eastern vs. Seaway

Does anyone know the difference between these two boats. It seems like
the hulls are similiar, but just wondering what your opinions are and any pros/cons
that you are aware of. I was looking at the 18 footers to run in the bay and ocean.
Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:56 AM
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:00 AM
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they are the same boat I had an eastern 18 for years it's a great little down east hull road fine nice and dry not the fastest around... but eastern bought the molds from Seaway... I have a relative that started Seaway in Pemiquid Maine so I know the history pretty well
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:00 AM
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Good question... I currently own an Eastern 24 (old style). The story I heard was that the Eastern 18 and the old style 24 were both made in the molds that Eastern purchased from SeaWay when they went out of business. Eastern modified the SeaWay 24 mold by adding 10" ( I think) of length, and maybe 2" of freeboard. So the hulls are 99% the same. Not sure what changes were made to the 18 mold.
I happened to be in the Manchester, NH airport a couple of months ago, and noticed a SeaWay 24 on display in the baggage claim area with Eastern signs and Eastern literature all over it. I wonder if the two haven't "merged" parts of their businesses or something. Anyone else have a clue?

Jonathan
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:04 AM
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I use to own an early 80's 18' Eastern with a 60HP Yahama up in Maine. It was a great boat for island hopping, cut through the chop great. Even took it off shore a couple of time when the seas werent too rough. A family friend owned a 23' Seaway a couple houses down with a 125HP Mercury. In my comparision between the two, I liked the Eastern better. Its been a long time so i cant give details comparing both, but i can tell you they are both still running strong. You really cant go wrong with either one for what you are looking for.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:53 AM
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Probably best to call the factory and talk to them. I have an Eastern 20 and have been to the factory. There are very friendly folks.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:55 AM
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My understanding is that they are both manufactured by Eastern, but sold as different brands. It would strike me that Easterns are their sort of “value” brand, while Seaway is the more up-market approach to the same basic hull type. All of which is a little blurry as they are a sort of semi-custom builder and are happy to outfit an Eastern in any way you see fit.

So far, we have been very pleased with the Eastern and I can only imagine the Seaway would generate equally positive reviews. If you’re interested, give the factory a call. In my dealings with them, they’ve been very friendly, helpful and frank.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casco_schooner View Post
they are the same boat I had an eastern 18 for years it's a great little down east hull road fine nice and dry not the fastest around... but eastern bought the molds from Seaway... I have a relative that started Seaway in Pemiquid Maine so I know the history pretty well
Did you ever regret not moving up to the 20 ft? I'm torn between a 18 and 20.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:10 PM
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Seaway has a hard chine and is beamier than an Eastern. They are not the same hulls. Both great boats just built for different tastes. Check out the websites and see for yourself.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nancy D View Post
My understanding is that they are both manufactured by Eastern, but sold as different brands. It would strike me that Easterns are their sort of “value” brand, while Seaway is the more up-market approach to the same basic hull type. All of which is a little blurry as they are a sort of semi-custom builder and are happy to outfit an Eastern in any way you see fit.

So far, we have been very pleased with the Eastern and I can only imagine the Seaway would generate equally positive reviews. If you’re interested, give the factory a call. In my dealings with them, they’ve been very friendly, helpful and frank.

EXACTLY
Seaway is going to be their top shelf product using better materials and fixtures, while Eastern will remain what it is, a basic boat, fit and finish wise
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:55 AM
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Does anyone know if the keel that is on the eastern 18 and 20 makes up for any additional "rolling action" that the soft chine creates as compared to to the hard chine.
Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:36 AM
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I am probably not the best judge as I have only been on the Eastern 24 I own with my brother. While it has “soft chine”, I can’t say that I’ve ever noticed anything even approaching a sort of problematic rolling action. I’m sure it does a little more so than a super-beamy, chined boat, but I think we talking a matter of degrees.

Some that has been on both styles (22 & 27 vs. 18, 20, 24) could give you a more fair comparison.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:41 AM
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FWIW, Eastern & Seaway have the exact same business address and the Seaway site does say Seaway made by Eastern. The Eastern 18 is spec'd at 125 lbs heavier , base.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:59 AM
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The Seaway has a sharper entry where the Eastern is more flat.
Seaway has a sharp chine where the Eastern is rounded.

Two different boats by the same manufacturer.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:19 AM
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The current Seaway and Eastern boats are entirely different, although now manufactured by Eastern. Eastern just bought the Seaway name and tooling when they went out of business (again) last year. The Seaway will remain the upscale model, but the differences are more than cosmetic. You have to realize that there are two incarnations Seaway hulls - the original models which became most of the Eastern models when Seaway went out of business the first time (approx 1988). The new hulls are a completely different design, inside and out. When I decided to start selling a line of downeast hulls, I could have sold Easterns, but I had had enough through here to see that the new Seaways would be a better riding boat, plus I wanted a higher quality, better fit and finish boat. Eastern is doing a great job with the Seaway boats, which is why I have remained a dealer.

The 18 Seaway has an 8' beam, and a hard chine, as opposed the Eastern with soft chine and 6'8" beam. The Seaway also has sharper entrance "V" to cut through the waves better.

Good luck in your search.....
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:39 AM
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Lakensea- If both boats are produced at the same facility, using the same resins/ fiberglass/ gel coat/ hardware and laborers, how is it that the Seaway is a better "quality" boat? Because they have a ton of wood to varnish and maintain? Additionally you mention you have "seen enough" Easterns through your yard to know that the Seaway would be a better riding boat; have you ever operated one? Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:41 PM
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These look like elitist, expensive, Billy Joel picnic dayboats...

What do they cost?
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reelwicked207 View Post
Lakensea- If both boats are produced at the same facility, using the same resins/ fiberglass/ gel coat/ hardware and laborers, how is it that the Seaway is a better "quality" boat? Because they have a ton of wood to varnish and maintain? Additionally you mention you have "seen enough" Easterns through your yard to know that the Seaway would be a better riding boat; have you ever operated one? Thanks for your input.
Yes, I have run both Easterns and Seaways in most of the sizes, and, in my opinion the Seaway is a softer, dryer and more stable ride. A Seaway only has "a ton wood to varnish" if it's ordered that way. Both boats are built with the same basic quality materials, however much of the hardware on the Seaway is higher quality, and the way the boat is rigged, such as making sure all harnesses, cables, etc are hidden are some of the differences.

Different boats for different buyers.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:27 PM
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Lakensea: Wouldn't conventional wisdom be that the soft chined boat would be softer and more stable under power? What little I know about naval architecture would seem to suggest such. Now "wet," that is another matter altogether...

I don't mean that as a criticism of the Seaway -- I think they are beautiful boats and would be on the shortest of short lists, if I were in the market.

I think you're point is well taken about them being inherently different designs though. Looking more closely, it certainly seems to be the case. I also agree that they probably come at a sort of higher stock "trim" level. The x-factor is that you would also order an Easter with the same hardware. The gentleman who had the I own built added something on the order of $15-20k of upgrades -- complete with a full teak sole, pull up cleats, birdsall leaning post, etc, etc. I think it is one of the nice things about the company -- they'll work with you to create anything from a work boat to something more akin to a yacht tender.

I'm somewhat disappointed to see that they are moving toward having all the models with hull liners. I'm probably one of the few that prefers the rolled edge. I think it gives you more space and makes rigging/wiring much easier and serviceable. Can't beat a little under-gunwale lighting either...
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:43 PM
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Lakensea: Is performance in a following sea better in the Seaway? I was thinking more about your statement that Seaways were more stable and had not considered that in my thinking. While my experience with my Eastern has been that is fantastic into a head sea and decent in a quartering one, performance in a following sea isn't as strong.
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