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What $250K Buys These Days in a Used Long Range Cruiser

February 1, 2018

In this article we examine the options that might be available to an adventurous couple about to follow the cruising lifestyle with a boat budget of about $250,000. In the specialized world of long range trawlers, that's a modest budget indeed since the asking prices of most late model yachts in this category begin at close to twice that amount and rapidly escalate. Digging a little deeper, however, and it turns out that $250K is enough to buy an excellent bluewater vessel without compromising anything in the way of quality or comfort. As it is with any smart purchase, you just have to know what to look for.

The eight long range yachts profiled below comprise a good example of what that money can buy in today's market. With the exception of the Nordhavn Coastal Pilot, all of the potential buys listed here are vintage (i.e., "older") models from respected builders with a long history of owner satisfaction. All but the Grand Banks 49 and DeFever 48 are built on full displacement hulls, and the group is evenly divided between pilothouse and aft cabin designs. Finally, all of these boats have enjoyed impressive resale values over the years. Properly maintained, they will lkely be an above-average investment for years to come.


At a Glance:  Heavily built trunk cabin trawler with three-stateroom interior is perfect for long distance cruising in comfort and security. Galley-aft layout (similar to DeFever 44) offers something different in this class. Covered side decks are a plus; prominent bow helps to keep things dry. Cavernous stand-up engine room (accessed from the port guest stateroom) provides easy access to the engines, generator and sea chest. Beautiful grain-matched teak interior is as good as it gets. Classic Europa styling will never go out of style. The full-length keel offers directional stability. Fuel-efficient Ford Lehman 135hp diesel engines cruise at 7–8 knots with nearly 1,000-mile range. Optional 375hp Cats cruise at 14–15 knots. About 100 were built by CTF Marine in Taiwan. Custom models are still available from China.

Price Range:  From the low $100s to about $200K.

DeFever 48 Trawler

At a Glance:  Traditional Grand Banks elegance at its best — one of the ultimate luxury cruisers in the eyes of many trawler enthusiasts. A solid, seaworthy yacht well known for it’s quality construction, fittings and finish. Standard three stateroom interior with galley up, or alternate two stateroom galley down layout with serving counter. Highlights include varnished teak interior with parquet flooring, large galley with holding plate refrigeration and tons of storage, lower helm deck door, standup engine, teak decks. Note cockpit access door in master stateroom. Many have been fitted with stabilizers. Power options range from twin 135hp Lehmans to 435hp Cats or 460hp Lugger diesels (12–15 knot cruise). A timeless cruising yacht built to high standards. Excellent range. About 125 of these distinctive yachts were built.

Price Range: From around $150K to the mid $400s.


Grand Banks 49 Classic

At a Glance:  A classic DeFever design — over 150 were sold. Heavily constructed on a full displacement hull, the DeFever 44 is a rare flush deck design with the aft deck and side decks on the same level. The result boat with slightly higher freeboard, but with an enormous aft deck area perfect for entertaining. The DeFever 44’s roomy two-stateroom interior is arranged with the galley aft in the salon where it’s easily reached from the aft deck and flybridge.   Grab rails in the salon overhead are a nice touch, and large windows provide panoramic views of the water. Note the pass-thru window from the galley to the aft deck. The full-beam master stateroom is huge with tons of storage and space for a washer and dryer. A great feature is the walk-in engine room with workbench and near standing headroom. Twin 135hp Lehman diesels cruise at 7–8 knots with a range of 1,500 nautical miles.

Price Range: From $75–80K to the mid/high 200s.


At a Glance: A popular model — sometimes called the DeFever 44+5. Basically a DeFever 44 Trawler with a cockpit extension. The DeFever 49 is a heavy boat for her size and her displacement hull is perfect for extended cruising in comfort and security. The 49’s two-stateroom interior is arranged with the galley aft in the salon where it’s convenient to the aft deck. Helm visibility is excellent, and port and starboard doors forward in the salon provide easy access to the decks. The full-beam aft stateroom is huge with walkaround king bed, tremendous storage, and space for a washer/dryer. A great feature of the DeFever 49 is her walk-in engineroom with its near-standing headroom. The sundeck hardtop will accommodate a davit and dinghy. Built on a solid fiberglass hull with a long prop-protecting keel, twin 135hp Perkins diesels cruise at 7–8 knots.

Price Range: From the mid/high $200s to $400K.

DeFever 44 Offshore Cruiser


DeFever 49 Cockpit Motor Yacht

DeFever 49 Cockpit Motoryacht


At a Glance: Rugged semi-displacement DeFever cruising yacht  was designed to meet the market demand for higher speeds. The galley-up teak interior has the salon, pilothouse, and aft deck all on a single level. A breakfast bar separates the U-shaped galley from the salon, and a staircase opposite the salon settee offers private access to the 53’s full-beam owner’s stateroom with its walkaround queen bed and en-suite head. In the pilothouse, hinged pilothouse doors access both port and starboard side decks, and a 9-foot settee doubles as a watch berth. In this layout, the VIP guest stateroom (with private en-suite head) is amidships rather than forward. The second guest stateroom, with V-berths and private access to the day head, is forward. The engine room has standing headroom and space for a washer/dryer. Cat 375hp diesels cruise at 12 knots (15–16 knots top).

Price Range: From mid/high $100s to $400K-plus.


DeFever 53 POC

Nordhavn 35 Coastal Pilot

At a Glance:  An iconic Krogen design with a ballasted displacement hull and tremendous storage — a proven cruising or liveaboard yacht. The hull is solid fiberglass below the waterline and cored above. Until hull #65 (1985), they were built with glass-over-plywood decks; thereafter, they were built with a cored deck and superstructure. There are two versions, the Standard model with walkaround side decks, and Widebody model (introduced in 1989) with a full-width salon. Double doors open from the aft deck to the salon where an L-shaped sofa and table are to starboard. The galley is forward, on the starboard side of the salon. The focal point of the Krogen 42 is the pilothouse with watch berth and port/starboard deck doors. A single 120hp Lehman diesel will cruise at 7–8 knots. A total of 206 were built.

Price Range: From about $100K to mid/high $200s.

At a Glance: Distinctive pilothouse yacht with solid fiberglass semi-displacement hull and efficient single stateroom interior — only a handful of these boats were built during a five-year run. The galley-down layout allows for an open and comfortable salon. Everything about this boat seems overbuilt, and the engineroom — reached from a door in the galley — is designed for easy access to all important service points. The Nordhavn 35 also excels in storage space throughout the interior and outside in the huge cockpit lazarette. Helm visibility from the elevated wheelhouse is excellent. Early models with a single 350hp Yanmar diesel cruise at 7–8 knots. Beginning with hull #9, hull and drive train modifications boosted the cruising speed to 12 knots when powered by a 370hp Yanmar.

Price Range: Around $250K–300K on average.


At a Glance:  A classic Hatteras yacht — one of only a handful of American-built trawler yachts.  Most 48s were delivered with two-stateroom teak interiors featuring a full-beam salon with L-shaped settee and coffee table to port, U-shaped galley (with breakfast bar) forward, and spiral companionway to starboard. The full-beam master stateroom of the Hatteras 48 is amidship with built-in dresser and private en-suite head with stall shower. Forward, the guest stateroom has V-berths, storage drawers, and private access to a head with shower. The pilothouse, four steps up from the salon, includes a U-shaped dinette, single watch berth, and port/starboard deck doors. Topside, the boat deck is designed to carry a dinghy and hoist. A cockpit transom door assists boarding. No lightweight, twin 112hp GM 4-53N diesels cruise the Hatteras 48 LRC at 8–9 knots. Over 40 were built.

Price Range: From the mid $100s to high $200s.

Krogen 42 Trawler


Hatteras 48 LRC

Krogen 42 Trawler

Hatteras 48 LRC

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