For many brokers, getting a listing on a clean, reasonably priced DeFever yacht is like money in the bank. Few yachting names suggest the cruising lifestyle more than DeFever, and used models are closely followed on the brokerage market by DeFever enthusiasts. Not surprisingly, DeFever listings tend to attract informed buyers who know the product well.
Arthur DeFever designed seaworthy cruising yachts with sufficient range to make the long runs up and down the Pacific coast into Mexico or Alaska. With their deep draft, durable construction, and efficient diesel power, these vessels were capable of prolonged Pacific Northwest passages in comfort and safety.
The DeFever yachts profiled below are among the most popular DeFever models found on the brokerage market. They continue to be admired today for their traditional lines, rugged construction, and versatile layouts.
DeFever 57 POC
At a Glance: Heavily built long range cruising yacht in the DeFever tradition — basically a stretched version of the popular DeFever 53 POC (Performance Offshore Cruiser). Two were built with V-drives and an aft engineroom, an unusual layout seldom encountered in a modern motoryacht design. Six Widebody models were constructed with no side decks. All DeFever 57s were flush deck yachts with the pilothouse, galley, and salon all on the same level. The interior is fully paneled with teak cabinetry and trim, and a stairway in the pilothouse leads up to the 57’s huge flybridge. All three staterooms have private en-suite heads with stall showers. Note the day head/powder room opposite the galley. Additional features included a roomy aft deck, protected side decks, foredeck bench seating, and a spacious engineroom. Cat 375hp diesels cruise the DeFever 57 at 12 knots (15–16 knots top).
Price Range: From about $250K to mid/high $300s.
At a Glance: Traditional raised pilothouse trawler built in China — a classic DeFever design. Construction is solid fiberglass, and a full length keel protects the props and running gear. The solid teak cabinetry found throughout the interior of the DeFever 56 is accented by teak and holly flooring in the salon and pilothouse. Large windows provide plenty of natural lighting in the salon, and a wide 17-foot beam creates expansive living areas in the staterooms on the lower level. The amidships master stateroom features a walkaround king bed and walk-in wardrobe, and the forward VIP stateroom has an island queen bed and private head access. Both head compartments include separate stall showers. A third stateroom can be fitted with twin single berths or configured as an office area. Pilothouse visibility is excellent, and port/starboard deck doors provide easy deck access. Twin 420hp Cat diesels cruise at 8–9 knots.
Price Range: From low/mid $400K to $1 million-plus.
DeFever 56 Pilothouse
DeFever 53 POC
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 deck 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.
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 49 Cockpit Motor Yacht
DeFever 49 Pilothouse
At a Glance: An iconic DeFever design — often copied but never really duplicated. Built on a semi-displacement hull with a prop-protecting keel. With her prominent bow and covered side decks, the DeFever’s two-stateroom interior is ideal for the cruising couple. The salon is comfortable if not spacious, and the galley boasts a large pantry in addition to lots of counter space. Six steps up, the pilothouse includes an L-shaped settee and port/starboard deck access doors. Directly beneath the pilothouse is the spacious full-beam master stateroom and private en-suite head. The guest stateroom with over/under berths is forward. Handcrafted teak cabinetry dominates the interior. In 1985, however, much of the high-maintenance exterior teak was eliminated. Twin 135hp Lehman diesels cruise at 7–8 knots. A similar model — also called the DeFever 49 Pilothouse — rides on a soft-chined hull.
Price Range: From about $100K up to maybe $250K.
DeFever 48 Trawler
At a Glance: Popular Europa-style trawler with roomy three-stateroom interior — over 100 were sold. Entering the salon through the starboard companionway door, the galley is aft in the salon rather than forward as it is in most aft cabin trawlers. There are two guest staterooms forward, each with over/under berths. Both share a single large head with separate stall shower. The full-beam master stateroom aft features a walkaround queen bed with desk/vanity, washer/dryer, and en-suite head with shower. A lower helm and twin sliding deck doors are standard in the salon. The engine room boasts near-standing headroom as well as a sea chest. A storage lazarette is found in the cockpit sole. The 48’s covered walkaround decks are a plus, and the extended hardtop will support a dinghy and davit. Cat 375hp diesels cruise at 12–14 knots. Limited production was resumed in 1998 from facilities in Mainland China.
Price Range: From low $100s to low/mid $200s.
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 is a 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.
DeFever 44 Offshore Cruiser
DeFever 43 Trawler
At a Glance: Full displacement trawler with exceptional range — where the majority of double cabin trawlers are trunk cabin or sundeck designs, the DeFever 43 is a flush deck trawler with the aft deck and side decks on a single level. The result is a more versatile boat with a low-profile appearance — a really good looking small yacht in the DeFever tradition. The two-stateroom floorplan is arranged with the U-shaped galley aft, rather than forward—a signature DeFever layout since he liked to keep the galley accessible to the outdoors. Visibility from the lower helm is very good, and sliding port and starboard teak doors provide quick access to the weather decks. The master stateroom and forward guest stateroom are separated by a large engine room with near-standing headroom. With tons of exterior teak brightwork, the DeFever 43 is not a low-maintenance boat. Twin 120hp Lehman diesels cruise at 7–8 knots.
Price Range: From $75K to perhaps the low $100s.
At a Glance: Heavily built long range trawler with tons of exterior teak — not exactly a low-maintenance boat. At least two floorplans were offered, both with two roomy staterooms and both with the galley aft in the salon. The helm is to starboard in the salon and an L-shaped settee is to port. Sliding salon doors provide easy access from the salon to the decks. In the standard layout, a door in the aft stateroom allows direct access to the cockpit—a desirable feature in the eyes of many cruisers. A tub/shower is featured in the aft head compartment. The varnished teak interior of the DeFever 41 reflects the quality woodworking skills of most Asian boat builders of this era. Wide side decks with raised bulwarks all around make getting around easy. The aft cabintop can support a dinghy. No lightweight, a single 210hp Cummins diesel—or twin 135hp Lehman diesels—cruise at 7–8 knots.
Price Range: From about $50K to $75L-plus.
DeFever 41 Trawler
Nine DeFever Yachts Perfect for Exploring the Pacific Northwest