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April 9, 2010

Amel Super Maramu 53 Review: Cult Boat, Deservedly So?

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — Richard Jordan @ 10:08 am
Amel Super Maramu 53

Amel Super Maramu 53

Amels have all these unique differences that make you think, “That’s interesting – I haven’t seen that before.” Even in their marketing, they have a unique flair with words. They use “gently” and the interrogative instead of declarative. This cultured voice blends perfectly with what Amel yachts represent. But is Amel just trying to be different for different sake or are these touches really superior? At first they clearly have a French flair that lures you in. Do the features hold under scrutiny?

In 1965, Henri Amel opened Amel Shipyards in La Rochelle, France. He was known as le Cap’tain and had a unique style which is the continuing foundation of Amel’s excellence. His real name was not Amel, but after fighting in WWII in Africa, he declared that the person he once was did not exist anymore and so took the name Amel. He was a forerunner of fiberglass, bluewater sailboats producing 36 Kirk, 41 Euros, 52 Meltem designs. This moved onto the 41 Sharki and 46 Maramu in the late 1970’s and 53 Mango in the 80’s. In the late 1980’s, Amel moved to a 46 Santorin and the subject of this review the 53 Super Maramu, an evolution of the 53 Mango design. In April of 2005, le Cap’tain passed away four days shy of his 92nd birthday. These days the Amel 54 is their only production model. They are building hull 1 of a 64 Amel in 2010. The company is 100% employee owned and has produced more 50-foot ocean cruising boats than any other manufacturer. Continue reading “Amel Super Maramu 53 Review: Cult Boat, Deservedly So?” »

April 6, 2010

Farr 1220 Review: New Zealand Icon

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 9:17 am

Farr 1220 PDF Brochure (Click to Download)

The 40-foot Farr 1220 is a seedling of a Bruce Farr series that goes back to the early 1970s. He and an Auckland, New Zealand yard McDell Marine, were building trailerable boats. Farr was becoming more well-known by his successful Whitbread designs. In 1989, the majority of the maxis were Farr designs. In the 1980s, they introduced a 34-foot Farr 1020 and this Farr 1220. Bruce Farr’s studio continues to design performance cruisers while the McDell yard builds Oyster Yachts. The subject of this review should not be confused with Farr’s earlier 40 IOR or more recent 40-foot racers. McDell produced these Farr 1220’s until the early 1990’s. They are immensely popular in New Zealand where they know the boat. The design is relatively unknown in the United States except for pockets in California and Seattle. This 1220 is one fast, well built, and roomy yacht flexible enough to function as a world cruiser, lake racer, or liveaboard. On the rare chance that one finds her way out of New Zealand, she does not last long on the brokerage market. Farr yacht design has a treasure trove of information including multiple magazine reviews about her online under their Design #165 Farr 1220/Farr 40 tab. Continue reading “Farr 1220 Review: New Zealand Icon” »

March 23, 2010

Hallberg-Rassy 49 Review: Rugged Flush Decked Cruiser

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , — Richard Jordan @ 1:08 pm
Hallberg-Rassy 49 Under Sail

Hallberg-Rassy 49 Under Sail

In 1943, Harry Hallberg opened a boat building yard at Kungsviken on the island of Orust in Sweden. He built wood folkboats. Harry’s real success came with the switch to fiberglass. In 1963, he designed and introduced the P-28, their first series production GRP boat. The P-28 became a success in Sweden, and by 1965, he needed to expand to larger yard. Hallberg moved to Ellös, a city ten kilometers to the southwest on the same island of Orust. Harry sold the original yard to a young German named, Christopher Rassy. Christoph began building one-offs, the first being the Rasmus 35 designed by Olle Enderlein. This 35-footer was larger than most designs, had a dodger, and center cockpit. In 1972, Harry Hallberg retired. At this time, he was building the P-28 and 24, 32, and 33-foot Enderlein designs. Christopher Rassy purchased Hallberg’s company forming “Hallberg-Rassy.” The first Hallberg-Rassy was the 31-foot Monsun in 1973 which became a prolific production boat with 900 hulls built up until 1983.

In 1982, they introduced an Olle Enderlein designed 49-footer, the subject of this review. The Hallberg-Rassy 49 was the flagship of the Swedish boating industry. The 49 became another successful model designed and built for world cruising with rugged good looks. They produced 89 hulls according to the Hallberg-Rassy website until 1997. While most of the early 49’s were ketches, the later ones were almost exclusively sloops. During this period Magnus Rassy, Christoph’s son, became involved in the company. In 1983, he built an experimental 26-foot boat named “Rassker” which had a external lead keel and swim platform. In 1988, German Frers became the main designer. Frers, famous from Hylas and Nautor Swan among other builders, brought in a new era of Hallberg Rassy that continues to today. Continue reading “Hallberg-Rassy 49 Review: Rugged Flush Decked Cruiser” »

March 13, 2010

Ta Chiao CT 54/56 Review: Perry Pirate Ship

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — Richard Jordan @ 3:39 pm

CT 54 PDF Line Drawings (Click to Download)

The CT 54/56 design started when Robert H. Perry was working for Jay Benford, a Ferro-cement builder, in Seattle, WA. National Fisherman published a 47-foot ketch designed by Perry that attracted the attention of John Edwards. Edwards was looking to start a boat builder with construction in Taiwan and sent a letter to Perry. In 1972, Perry began drawing for Edwards even as he started a new job in Dick Carter’s design office. Edwards soon found that building in Taiwan would be even less inexpensive than he originally thought. They increased the design to a 54-foot ketch. The yard would be Ta Chiao which means “Big Bridge” in Mandarin. Perry describes the design as his version of “the type of boat Bill Garden did…when I was young his influence was so heavy I’d have to fight it.” While attributed to Perry and inspired by Garden, Ted Brewer played a significant role. According to Don Gibson who was the exclusive US distributor of CT’s, the 54 is more a Brewer design while the 65 CT is classic Perry. Bob Perry writes about Brewer’s involvement, “The CT 54 was my very first GRP design and I asked Ted Brewer to help me with the structure and to generally look over my shoulder while I was working on the design.” Continue reading “Ta Chiao CT 54/56 Review: Perry Pirate Ship” »

March 11, 2010

Beneteau 50 Review: Charter Fleet Queen

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 10:41 am

Beneteau 50 PDF Brochure (Click to Download)

I had a client once who had a serious offshore sailboat we were selling. He called me up one day and asked if I would look for trade possibilities for a 50 Beneteau. I was surprised at his choice and told him trading would be doubtful especially because of the uniqueness of his yacht. He explained, “Well, I have a family of 4 kids now, and we really do not need a serious offshore cruiser. I can see us daysailing and going to the Bahamas. We do not need more. And the accommodations and amenities of the Beneteau 50 are very attractive to us.” I could see his point. He had carefully thought out what realistically his family’s cruising years would be like and chosen a boat to match.

In 1884, Benjamin Beneteau, a French shipwright, founded a boatyard at Croix de vie, France. Here, they built wood trawlers and sailboats. In 1964, Benjamin’s grandchildren Annette Beneteau Roux and Andre Beneteau started building fiberglass sailboats. In 1976, Andre Mauric designed 30-footer that kicks off their successful First series. These First series were great, quality offshore-able boats. In 1986, Beneteau opened a factory in Marion, South Carolina to build boats for the USA. Here, Beneteau started to focus more on quantity and the charter trade. In four years, they built 1,000 boats at the SC factory. In 14 years, they produced 3,500 yachts at the factory. One of the most success production-charter yachts they developed was the 50 Beneteau. This prolific Bruce Farr design has been the queen of Mooring’s charter fleet for over decade. Today, Madame Annette Beneteau Roux continues run Beneteau Yachts and focus on charter production. Continue reading “Beneteau 50 Review: Charter Fleet Queen” »

March 10, 2010

Gulfstar 60 Review: Attractive Value

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 11:52 am
Gulfstar 60 Sloop

Gulfstar 60 Sloop

Of the fifteen reportedly built according to, interestingly four are for sale with three in southeast Florida and another in the Bahamas. A survey of these shows three are meticulously maintained jewels while another is a charter-boat disaster that needs a $30,000 blister job. These meticulously maintained Gulfstar 60’s are interesting combinations. While similar in style, equipment, and accommodations to vintage Hinckleys and Little Harbors, Gulfstar does not have the same cache. That leaves these as attractive values. Founded in 1970 by legendary Vince Lazzara, Gulfstar began as a budget builder producing inexpensive power and sail boats. Located on the Tampa Bay, they switched tacks when market tastes changed and starting producing performance cruisers like this 60 Gulfstar. Starting in 1981 until 1986, Gulfstar produced 15 hulls of the 60-footer. In 1990, the Lazzara sons sold the company to Viking Yachts. Later, the sons formed Lazzara Yachts, a Tampa Bay builder of mega-yachts. Continue reading “Gulfstar 60 Review: Attractive Value” »

March 8, 2010

Hunter 42 Passage Review: Caribbean Cruiser

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 4:28 pm

Hunter 42 Passage PDF Brochure (Click to Download)

I met with clients who wanted to view a classic yacht that we had for sale. They told me, “We really like the Hunter 45, but our friends tell us these are not quality boats. They told us to look at older better built designs.” I could not help feeling that their friends might be leading them astray. I asked what kind of sailing they had planned. “We would like to cruise the Bahamas and Caribbean.” They were not interested in a serious offshore sailing. While the quality of Beneteau, Hunter, and Catalinas is lower than the designs their friends told them about, their goals seemed to fit with a Hunter if that was what they liked. As a Bahamas and Caribbean cruiser, you will not find many yachts that offer a more compelling value than a Hunter 42 Passage.

Hunter 42 Passage

Hunter Marine has roots in the 1800’s when Henry Luhrs, a German immigrant to New Jersey, USA began outfitting trading ships and owned his own ship, the Sophia R. Luhrs. His grandson also named Henry built and repaired boats. In 1965, Henry sold this company called Henry Luhrs Sea Skiffs. In 1969, Henry’s sons, Warren and John, purchased a New Jersey builder called Silverton Sea Skiffs and started building yachts. In 1973, they introduced the first Hunter sailboat, a 25-footer designed by Cherubini. Today, Hunter builds boats from 24 to 50 feet in an Alachua, Florida factory just north of Gainesville, Florida. The location is far inland about the center of the state of Florida with a small pond. The 42 Passage is not longer in production. They produced her from 1990-1999. Continue reading “Hunter 42 Passage Review: Caribbean Cruiser” »

March 5, 2010

Tayana 48 Review: Hylas Comparable

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — Richard Jordan @ 2:24 pm

Tayana 48 Standard

The Robert H. Perry designed Tayana 48 is one of Taiwanese yard Ta Yang’s most successful models. In the 1970’s, Ta Yang was one of the earliest yards in the world’s boat building city, Kaohsiung. They built Yankee Clippers and the Tanton cat ketch among other design. Ta Yang which means in Chinese “Big Ocean” branded their own yachts “Tayana” meaning “belongs to big ocean.” And, oh did they belong. In 1979, Ta Yang started building the prolific Robert H. Perry designed Tayana 37. The famous Robert Harris designed Tayana 42 followed. They became one of the first Taiwanese yards to scale up and soon started building larger yachts including a Perry 52, Harris 65, and this Perry 48. Continue reading “Tayana 48 Review: Hylas Comparable” »

March 3, 2010

Lord Nelson 41 Review: Medieval Cruiser

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 11:44 am
Lord Nelson 41 Cutter Sailboat

Lord Nelson 41 Cutter Sailboat

Alton Brown has a TV show on Food Network. On this kooky show, Alton uses colorful and zany props to get across cooking concepts in a memorable way. When needs a powerful tool or sharp knife, he goes to the dungeon keeper in the basement of his house. “Yes, master” grovels the Dungeon keeper to Alton and seeks out the torturous tool he needs. I find the show and in particular this character hilarious. If the Dungeon keeper was a boat, he would be none other than a 41 Lord Nelson.

In 1980, Loren Hart went to the Seattle Boat Show and was inspired by the Nordic Tug 26. Two years later in 1982, he and his wife Lani Hart founded Lord Nelson Yachts headquartered in Seattle, Washington. While Loren’s inspiration was tugs, Loren began by designing a line of sailboats. These yachts included 35 and 41 footers. They contracted Tommy Chen who ran Hai O Yachts and Ocean Eagle Yacht Building in Taiwan. Soon, they moved onto tugs designed by Jim Backus along with guidance from Loren Hart. These tugs included 37, 41, and 49 footers. The Harts ran the company until 1988 when Lan Finley bought them out. Soon later, Tommy Chen, the yard owner bought out Finley. While most of the production was done in the 1980’s, Chen built tugs on a limited basis until at least 1999. Continue reading “Lord Nelson 41 Review: Medieval Cruiser” »

February 25, 2010

Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster Review: Practical Liveaboard

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , — Richard Jordan @ 10:01 am

Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster PDF Flyer (Click to Download)

Love her or not, the 47 Gulfstar Sailmaster is still a popular cruising motorsailer. Ask most people and they will grimace. The most usual adjective is simply “unattractive.” Despite the disparaging remarks, you will find hard core fans of her. Tom Neal the cruising world editor spend 19 years living aboard a 47 Sailmaster. He writes about Sailmaster 47’s, “We see many out here, and that’s a good sign that others agree with us.” They agree that she is a worthwhile liveaboard option. At Jordan Yachts, we have sold many Gulfstar 47’s over the years. In south Florida, there always seems to be a few of these beamy motorsailers around.

Personally, she would not be my choice. I cannot get beyond her looks, but in many ways that is my limitation. As an admirer of wooden CCA designs of the past, she crushes my safe traditionalist view of sailing. But, I can certainly understand the choice, and that why I am attempting to write a review here. Her interior space is outstanding and her shoal draft, low clearance makes accessing the Bahamas easy. The Sailmaster series fits a niche in the cruising lifestyle, and from her popularity 30 years later it is clear this niche is not going away. Continue reading “Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster Review: Practical Liveaboard” »

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"We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Jordan Yachts for taking such good care of us during the sale of our boat! We found the entire staff to be very knowledgeable and professional. Richard and Ti did a great job with the photos for Yachtworld, Kathy kept us well informed at all times and even took care of the "ships kitties" on survey and sea trial day and special thanks go to Tom Harney and Kevin Bray for guiding us through the whole process and for doing a great job negotiating the sale price for us and handling the survey and sea trial. We would recommend you guys to anyone looking for a yacht broker!" - GS & PS, SV Flying Cloud