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DeFever Yachts For Sale

DeFever Boats are well-known for being designed and built to withstand long-distance cruising while still keeping everyone on the vessel comfortable. While no longer in production today, there are still many options to buy a Defever on the brokerage market. Whether buying or selling a yacht, our team of expert yacht brokers can assist you in your boating plans.

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Arthur DeFever built his first boat—a wooden rowboat, and at age 17 rowed solo to Catalina Island from San Pedro, California! After college and naval architecture studies at UC Berkeley, he worked for designers of large yachts. His first solo experience designing boats was with San Pedro Boat Works during WWII designing and constructing military watercraft. In the 1950s he shifted to designing commercial tuna boats, initially converting small naval vessels into tuna fishing bait boats, then moving his naval architecture business to San Diego to design and build for the depleted San Diego tuna clipper fleet ranging from 90 to 181 ft in length. DeFever became well-known for his innovative, deep draft, full-displacement, diesel-powered, long-range vessels and provided design services to all the major tuna trawler builders in southern California. These DeFever designed trawlers were strong, safe, seaworthy vessels capable of following tuna long distances along the Pacific Coast, as far as Ecuador and the Galapagos for months in all weather and sea conditions and return to San Diego docks with their catch!

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In the early 1960s, Arthur DeFever started getting requests from friends in the Offshore Cruising Society, where he was a member, for a recreational, pleasure yacht based on the sturdy tuna trawlers, for cruising coastal California, PNW, Mexico, and beyond. The yachts he designed were in the 38ft to 54ft range and were built of wood or steel; some are still cruising, notably the vintage 1960 PAU HANA II. As with most boatbuilders, material shifted to fiberglass in the 1970s and hull designs were developed for increased speed and efficiency using larger engines, to satisfy clients’ demands. Other relevant modifications were made, but the defining characteristics of swept sheer, high prow, and displacement hull form were retained. Over the course of his decades-long career, Arthur DeFever designed more than 3,800 yachts that were built in many different shipyards in the US (California and Florida), Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, China, and Europe, mostly in the 40ft to 70ft range and included a luxurious 154ft megayacht for a German beer baron. Art DeFever, who passed away at age 94 in 2013, is considered to be the godfather of trawler yachts because he first incorporated the tuna trawler features that made long-range offshore power cruising (passagemaking) safe, comfortable, and efficient.

Certain models such as the DeFever 49 and the 46 ft Alaskan designed for American Marine (Grand Banks) have attained cult status due to their superb utility—blending seaworthiness, functionality, and comfort. The popular DeFever 49 was built from 1977 to early 2000s, first in Taiwan (Sen Koh yard until 1989, CTF/Wilson Lin yard since 1986) and in the late 90s in China (POCTA/Wilson Lin). This is the cult yacht of passagemaking cruisers for its ideal features of fuel economy (1000+ mile range), seaworthiness—even in rough seas, besides being an attractive boat with its shearline sweeping past the Portuguese bridge, along a protective bulwark to the cockpit. Two layout plans were offered, but with either variation, it is an ideal couples extended cruising boat, with easy access from bow to stern for docking, side decks protected by high bulwarks and the Portuguese bridge. The saloon is easily updated as all the furniture is loose, and the full galley has ample counter and cabinet space, and full-size appliances. Large staterooms with ensuite baths, indoor-outdoor dining and living areas, guest berths and plenty of storage are just some of the features that make DeFever offshore cruisers the dream boat of so many. But the main strength of DeFever yachts is their seakeeping ability; “built like a tank!”

DeFever owners are a very passionate group with great pride in their DeFevers, as they are fond of saying, “Anytime three DeFevers are together it’s a rendezvous!” An owners’ group, has done an excellent job of cataloguing the most popular Arthur DeFever designs, honoring his life and legacy, and promoting the trawler lifestyle, in a DeFever, of course. Some of the most popular models include the DeFever 41, 43, 45 Aft Cabin, DeFever 45/46 Pilothouse, and 48 Euro, DeFever 50 Cockpit, DeFever 49 Cockpit Motor Yacht, DeFever Passagemaker 34, 40, and 43, the DeFever 44 Offshore Cruiser, DeFever 49 Raised Pilothouse (RHP), DeFever 52 Offshore Cruiser and 60 Offshore Cruiser, Grand Alaskan 53, 60, 64 and 65 ft models—all known for excellent seakeeping ability, spacious practical layouts, and comfort.

During the mid-1980s, customers were wanting faster boats and in response to the market, Art DeFever designed the 51 POC (Performance Offshore Cruiser), which was followed by the DeFever 47 POC, 53 POC Motor Yacht, and 57 Cockpit POC. All feature a semi-displacement hull with larger engines for increased speed. The POCTA (Pacific Ocean Countries Trading Assoc.) shipyard located near Shanghai in China, headed by Wilson Lin, was exclusively dedicated to building the beautiful DeFever trawler and motor yachts. The shipyard is one of mainland China’s largest boat building facilities and includes a test tank. Over 100 experienced craftsmen and engineers applied their skillsets and expertise to produce the Performance Offshore Cruisers and other popular recent models. Since the 2019 global covid-19 pandemic and political fallout, it is unknown if any DeFever yachts are currently in production at POCTA.

However, there are between 20-25 fine DeFever models currently listed in the yacht brokerage market, ranging in price from about $60,000 for a 1980 DeFever 41 Aft Cabin Motor Yacht to about $1,200,000 for a 2014 DeFever 52 Euro Pilothouse. Years range from 1973 to 2018. Models are varied—Pilothouse, Raised Pilothouse, Euro Pilothouse, Aft Cabin Motor Yacht, Aft Cabin 41, Aft Cabin 49, Long Range Trawler, Offshore Cruiser, Cockpit Motor Yacht, Passagemaker, Performance Offshore Cruiser, 78 Sharp, 60 International, and a 90 Ocean Trawler. Lengths range from 40 ft to 90 ft.

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