Those shopping for a lobster yacht, may need some education on what to look for and if a Downeast Boat is definitely the choice for you. This style of boat was born in Maine and its namesake comes from the coastline region. The origin of the Maine lobster boat industry has largely influenced what has become the Downeast Yacht today, a traditional style of boating with many performance advantages. Downeast boats are among the most popular cruising-style of yachts with many brands holding their resale value years after their original purchase. At United Yacht, we sell many downeast-style boats each month and would be happy to speak with you about selling yours or helping you find the right pre-owned vessel for your needs.
PRE-OWNED Downeast Boats
55' Dixon 55 Downeast 2015
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
54' Grand Banks Eastbay 54SX 2003
Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
48' Chesapeake 48 Back River 1990
Hampton, Virginia, United States
47' Sabre 47 2001
Key Biscayne, Florida, United States
40' Vento PB Picnic Boat 2021
New York, United States
40' Legacy 40 Flybridge 1996
Hampton, Virginia, United States
STARS & STRIPES
39' Grand Banks 39 Eastbay SX 2006
Westbrook, Connecticut, United States
38' Custom 38 Draketail Launch 2015
Fort Myers, Florida, United States
38' Evans & Sons Bay Boat 2007
Cape May, New Jersey, United States
38' Northern Bay Down East 2007
Mystic, Connecticut, United States
37' Back Cove 37 2017
Vero Beach, Florida, United States
ROUGH & READY
37' Rough Water 37 1987
Seattle, Washington, United States
In Rhode Island a few models were built that possessed the Downeast style —DyerCraft as well as the Dyer 29. Many downeast-style brands followed suit and have continued to be a popular segment of the boating industry. Some of the most prolific downeast yacht brands include:
- Sabre Yachts
- Back Cove Yachts
- Grand Banks Yachts
- Hinckley Yachts
- Hunt Yachts
- MJM Yachts
- Legacy Yachts
These beauties are the ideal pick for cruising many different ocean ports and is especially popular in the Chesapeake Bay. A prominent feature that has made the Downeast style, semi-displacement hulls a popular choice is its narrow entry, which settles back to a soft chine. They are also on the top of many boater’s purchase lists due to their smooth and comfortable ride in any ocean condition thanks to their being built with large rudders and long keels to assist the boat to track well. Thanks to the soft chines, the ocean is able to move over and under easily. And let’s point out she’s a ‘no-roll’ type of vessel and many of a sportfisherman feel most comfortable in this style boat since it allows them to fish the trough between waves.
These stable boats rarely need trim tabs and are built to run with the bow slightly elevated providing for a soft and stable ride in rough seas. Those looking for a broad speed range, depending on horsepower, size, and the boat layout, can achieve top speeds in the mid-20s with cruising speeds between 15 and 20 knots. If you are looking for great economy then dial it down to 8-12 knots (3-5 gallons/hour). We recommend powering the boat to cruise at least 15 knots. Com-pared to a sailboat, the powerboat’s cruising range is most impressive. It’s known that Downeast boats without flybridges but with large bridge deck hatches are most popular. We recommend a bow thruster for the best in comfort when deciding on a Downeast boat though for sure. In in-clement weather, Downeast hulls have no problem reaching 15 knots in the choppiest seas. You’ll come to find that Downeast style semi-displacement boats have pronounced keels and are more than just fiberglass and wood.
As you step aboard the different manufacturer’s examples of a Downeast, you’ll learn that it’s the pride and love which they are built with that will capture your soul. Picture the ideal combination of integrity, style, reliability and elegance and you’ll see why the owners of these gems are al-ways fielding compliments from all of their friends. Maine’s boatbuilders embraced the rough sea conditions of their rocky coast and decide to design the working boat creations that paved the path for today’s Downeast boats. Their clean and practical lines drew many.
If speed is your need, this boat is not a match, however, for those who prefer fuel economy and comfort over speed these efficient cruisers will fit the bill. It’s also a match for those making the move from a sailboat to power as it won’t take the sailboat lover out of their comfort zone by retaining the classic vintage sailing-like traits with an impressive fuel efficiency of 1 nautical mile per gallon of diesel combined with the amorous-style deck layout.
Most all of the Downeast boats have single-diesel power, are built on stable ocean going hulls with a deep keel— providing partial protection to the prop and rudder. If high-tech is a factor, you’ll find some will offer that while others stick to the more traditional designs. The Downeast boat is a special category in today’s express-boat market. These semi-custom boats allow the owner carte blanche when setting up to suit his/her needs based on their pocketbook.
In 2010, the builder, Sabre created their 40 Sedan and 42 Salon models and to this day, are still in production. One of Sabre’s best-selling yachts, the 40 Sedan was a good mix of state of the art construction and classic Downeast design. One of the first Downeast builders to make good use of efficient pod drive technology —which catapulted the popularity of this yacht, Sabre hit the mark with this one. Featuring a large cockpit, a spacious two-stateroom layout, and an en-closed pilothouse/salon, the 42 Salon is the epitome of the perfect cruising and entertaining yacht. Her salon offers an L-shaped settee with inlaid table, dinette, side-by-side Stidd chairs, dinette, and a step-down galley with views of the salon. The helm’s opening door makes for a perfect touch. Walk forward of the rally to the full head/shower to port and a guest cabin/office starboard. Powered by Cummins 380hp diesels with Zeus pod drives, she cruises at 24–25 knots. Want a flybridge, then go for the Sabre 42 FB Sedan. These are stickered in the high $400’s to the low $800’s.
So, if one is going to be fishing regularly, cruising, just enjoys making regular trips and fuel usage and cost of maintenance and a good ride for the size is a priority - that's where the Downeast will shine!