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Express vs Convertible Help - Next Boat Search

Old 08-30-2020, 09:35 AM
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Default Express vs Convertible Help - Next Boat Search

Hey guys, I am in the preliminary stages of searching for my next boat. After almost a year with my 35 Everglades I could not be happier, and will keep her in addition to the new ride.

The primary use for the boat will be NE Canyon fishing from May-October. I will likely also use it for Striped Bass fishing both Spring & Fall. One or two trips with the family a year to block island / Newport and south to Chesapeake. I have (3) kids, ages 6, 4, & 16 months which is why my first thoughts lead me to an express boat. However, having owned a convertible in the past I do absolutely love the interior accommodations of a convertible. Very nice for overnights in the Canyon, and a place to lay down on the way in, out or just during a long day of fishing .I do prefer being in the action both cruising and fishing that an express would provide. If I go the convertible route, I will hire a captain, and if I go the express route will likely just hire a mate/deckhand.

I would like to keep the budget @ $500k or less. I am in zero rush, and will wait for the right boat and deal to come along

I am currently researching the following boats, and will continue to narrow it down. I am up for suggestions. Basic list of wants are
CAT Power
Good engine room access
Rod & tackle storage
Helm Seating for at least (2), (3) is preferred
Mezzanine - Not as important in an express as it is in a convertible
Master Stateroom w/ door - some express boats have the open master, it is nice to have privacy
Single lever controls

Boat will be kept behind the house


Not so short list as of right now

I have always had a love for custom Carolina boats, and this is my first choice. Nothing beats the ride and fuel efficiency. I prefer the look of a convertible, and donít really love the EZ2CY windshield that most Carolina express boats have. I realize there will be a tradeoff in interior space vs similar sized production boats.

2005ish vintage 45 Viking Convertible - harder to find with a mezzanine, I believe only MAN power, I am unsure of engine room access or ride

Same vintage 48 Viking Convertible - I like the added 3rd stateroom, very few made with CAT power, I am unsure of engine room access

Same vintage Cabo 40 or 45 Express - best wiring in the industry, fit and finish rock solid, how is engine room access? Harder to find with CAT power, but they are available

Same vintage Cabo 40 or 43 Convertible - same as above

Wildcard - Way under budget
41 Albemarle Express - CAT Powder, helm seating, unsure of the ride as Iíve read conflicting reports, CAT power


Thanks in advance, and I am looking forward to great discussion

Last edited by Lucky777; 08-30-2020 at 09:41 AM.
Old 08-30-2020, 02:31 PM
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You already have the Everglades, so Iíd go convertible. As you have stated, that salon is awesome to have, especially for a growing family.
If you go viking, be sure the boat has been painted. That gel coat looks awful if it has the cracking issue. Vikings with cats are a unicorn.

Due to your specifics, a great broker can save you time and hassle.
Old 08-30-2020, 03:43 PM
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Engine room access would be my #1 concern, and expresses suck for that. I had a Tiara, loved the boat but will never have another express due to having to go in the hole under a hatch, it absolutely made me miserable. I would love to go convertiable but also want easy access to engine room if I do
Old 08-30-2020, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Water50 View Post
You already have the Everglades, so Iíd go convertible. As you have stated, that salon is awesome to have, especially for a growing family.
If you go viking, be sure the boat has been painted. That gel coat looks awful if it has the cracking issue. Vikings with cats are a unicorn.

Due to your specifics, a great broker can save you time and hassle.
Yes, painted boat If going Viking or discount to have the boat painted

roger that on the broker ... the search is half the fun
Old 08-30-2020, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Smoke n Mirrors View Post
Engine room access would be my #1 concern, and expresses suck for that. I had a Tiara, loved the boat but will never have another express due to having to go in the hole under a hatch, it absolutely made me miserable. I would love to go convertiable but also want easy access to engine room if I do
engine room access is certainly a concern. I believe the convertibles will have tighter access in the under 50 class. Henriques has great access and sea keeping I just canít get over the looks
Old 08-30-2020, 06:16 PM
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Growing family I'd definitely be leaning towards a convertible. Mid range budget you could probably add in a well maintained 50ish Ocean.

Last edited by DotRotten; 08-30-2020 at 06:36 PM.
Old 08-30-2020, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
Growing family I'd definitely be leaning towards a comfortable. Mid range budget you could probably add in a well maintained 50ish Ocean.
I always liked the 48 Ocean, I thought it was laid out nicely and had a good ride. My concern with ocean is chasing salon leaks and the wiring/fit-finish was always just eh in my opinion. Maybe the newer ones were significantly better ?
Old 08-30-2020, 06:30 PM
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I am usually all in for a convertible instead of an express but with having small kids I would lean express.
With keeping the boat behind your house itís pretty much just going to be used while your fishing vs spending the weekend at the dock.

The 45-52 Vikings are good boats but not very efficient, the newer mans are pretty good but expensive. I think they feel small inside on the convertibles.

Cabos are high quality but donít think they are worth the price and feel you get much more boat in the viking

I would give a hard look at newer oceans if you go convertible, they are very good boats. A 54 would be perfect and I believe they made them with c18s in addition to the 1360 mans
Old 08-30-2020, 06:31 PM
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look for a riviera , hatteras , both conv and both use cats , great rides
Old 08-30-2020, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucky777 View Post
I always liked the 48 Ocean, I thought it was laid out nicely and had a good ride. My concern with ocean is chasing salon leaks and the wiring/fit-finish was always just eh in my opinion. Maybe the newer ones were significantly better ?

Newer ones are much better the 46 is one of my favorites in its class. 54 and 58 were comparable to anything else in the market.

I personally wouldnít buy a Viking convertible under 60ft
Old 08-30-2020, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jlipsky14 View Post
I am usually all in for a convertible instead of an express but with having small kids I would lean express.
With keeping the boat behind your house itís pretty much just going to be used while your fishing vs spending the weekend at the dock.

The 45-52 Vikings are good boats but not very efficient, the newer mans are pretty good but expensive. I think they feel small inside on the convertibles.

Cabos are high quality but donít think they are worth the price and feel you get much more boat in the viking

I would give a hard look at newer oceans if you go convertible, they are very good boats. A 54 would be perfect and I believe they made them with c18s in addition to the 1360 mans
Agree on the fuel efficiency of the Viking and being a better value than the Cabo, the man service price is just unnecessarily more expensive Iíd rather allocate that $ to travel

Iíve own two oceans and open to checking them out especially with C18 power


Old 08-30-2020, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
Growing family I'd definitely be leaning towards a convertible. Mid range budget you could probably add in a well maintained 50ish Ocean.
tried shooting you a PM box was full
Old 08-30-2020, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucky777 View Post
tried shooting you a PM box was full
I'll clear up some space now.
Likes:
Old 08-30-2020, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucky777 View Post
I always liked the 48 Ocean, I thought it was laid out nicely and had a good ride. My concern with ocean is chasing salon leaks and the wiring/fit-finish was always just eh in my opinion. Maybe the newer ones were significantly better ?
I sold a 40 Ocean SS to buy a 40 Cabo FB. No comparison quality wise. With that said the 50 SS is a lot of boat for the money. Just a matter of how important quality is vs volume. I couldn't be happier with my Cabo and the build quality is incredible. I would look at a 40 Cabo FB and I wouldn't be afraid of the MAN engine package. The inline 6 common rail MAN is a fantastic engine and in the 40 Cabo it provides a lot of performance. A 45 Viking would also be a good option if you found the right one with common rail power. I would go Flybridge in your scenario especially since you are keeping the Everglades. Enjoy the hunt.
Old 08-31-2020, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PSW View Post
I sold a 40 Ocean SS to buy a 40 Cabo FB. No comparison quality wise. With that said the 50 SS is a lot of boat for the money. Just a matter of how important quality is vs volume. I couldn't be happier with my Cabo and the build quality is incredible. I would look at a 40 Cabo FB and I wouldn't be afraid of the MAN engine package. The inline 6 common rail MAN is a fantastic engine and in the 40 Cabo it provides a lot of performance. A 45 Viking would also be a good option if you found the right one with common rail power. I would go Flybridge in your scenario especially since you are keeping the Everglades. Enjoy the hunt.

Thank you. At this stage after owning (2) oceans that served me well comparing them to other boats I would rather spend more money and have better build quality. It seems that everyone who has the CR MANs says the same thing. They love the motors. Itís not the reliability of them itís the $20k every other year that is just tough for me to accept.
Old 08-31-2020, 05:36 AM
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This has C9 CATs with 700 hours....
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...tible-3708201/
Old 08-31-2020, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel Pursuit View Post
This has C9 CATs with 700 hours....
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...tible-3708201/
I always liked them, I will add it to the list my only concern is its smaller than I originally thinking
Old 08-31-2020, 06:29 AM
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Lucky, we are in, pardon the pun, the same "boat". Sold our Phoenix, moving up to bigger. We are going exclusive >100nm offshore fishing in the GoM out of Clearwater/Sarasota area.

As such we require speed and range. Probably 2 things congruent with Jersey Canyon fishing. Vikings so far have the speed, efficiency and fuel capacity (sans carrying bladders) to do the job. 99% are MAN powered. I'm like you WRT to those engines. Plus my long time diesel guy doesn't work on them. He only does CAT, DD, MTU and Yanmar. So I've limited myself to those manufacturers. I like the Viking 52 a lot. Great layout, speed and range. But they only seem to come with the MAN power. Damn.

The group we are narrowed down to are Oceans in the 50+ ft range, Rivieras, and Hatteras 50+ ft. I really like the Rivieras. Nice rides, excellent layout and the finish is great. Their interiors are awesome as well, big points with the spousal unit. Bit pricey for us though. Hatteras are solid as always as long they have updated power. Oceans are fine. They have some odd wiring and plumbing going on, but a lot of boat for the money. We are trying to avoid broker boats if at all possible. No offense to you brokers out there, but when I ask you if the fish box drains into the bilge or macerates and goes overboard and you don't know the answer to YOUR listing - I'm totally turned away. That's just me. I just put an offer on a 50 Ocean SS with MTU power. See how it goes.

Good "luck" Lucky.
Old 08-31-2020, 06:46 AM
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41 Albemarle
Old 08-31-2020, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sittin' Low View Post
41 Albemarle
any particular reason ?

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