Search Icon

1987 DeFever 44' Manatee

$ 198,500

Manatee is a 1987 DeFever 44' 44 Offshore listed for sale with United Yacht Broker John Peterson. John can be reached at 1-910-546-5760 to answer any questions you may have on this boat. United Yacht Sales is a professional yacht brokerage firm that has experience listing and selling all types of DeFever Yachts and similar boats.With over 200 yacht brokers worldwide, we have the largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry.

If your looking for an exceptional updated trawler look no further than MANATEE. The fastidious owner has a binder full of invoices showing an astounding $500,000 in upgrades and repairs. There is absolutely nothing to do except bring your personal belongings and go cruising. There will be no disappointments and MANATEE is as close to new as you will ever find.

The interior is beautiful with louvered cabinet doors, parquet flooring, teak wood panels and trim, matching fabrics and valances.

The 44 Offshore Cruiser remains one of Arthur DeFever’s most popular designs. DeFever began his career designing tuna trawlers for the San Diego fleet. In the early 1960s he was encouraged to come up with a cruising trawler with seakeeping capabilities and range that were similar to his fishing designs. The 38 to 54 footers he produced were hardy boats designed to handle the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska. Early wooden boats were built in Santa Barbara, California. Fiberglass models were built in Mexico, Taiwan and China. The 44’s production run was from 1981 to 2004. Arthur DeFever, recognized as a pioneer in recreational trawler design, died in 2013.

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. There is a pass-thru window from the galley to the aft deck. The full-beam master stateroom is huge with tons of storage. A great feature is the walk-in engine room with workbench and near standing headroom. Twin 135 hp Lehman diesels cruise at 7–8 knots with a range of 1,500 nautical miles.

The DeFever 44 is a no-nonsense twin-cabin, twin-engine trawler capable of long-distance cruising. The heavily built displacement hull has a tall, flared bow and plenty of freeboard all around. The superstructure features a large foredeck, an amidships pilothouse/salon and an open lounge deck aft. The flybridge has a complete helm station on centerline and passenger seating. Full-length handrails and wide side decks make for safe passage between the fore and aft decks while underway. The 44,000 pound boat is powered by twin 135 hp diesels, placed amidships with tankage and generators in a dedicated engine room that includes a workbench. The spacious aft “lounge deck” is covered with a hardtop for sun protection. Inside, the main cabin features a galley-up layout. The U-Shaped galley has a stove top, microwave convection oven, refrigerator and freezer. There’s an L-Shaped dinette with a table for dining. The lower helm is to starboard and has a full array of electronics. The master stateroom is aft and has an island berth and a fully equipped en-suite head compartment. There’s another cabin forward with a V-berth and adjacent head.


  • Price USD:$ 198,500
  • Builder:


  • Model:

    44 Offshore

  • Year:


  • Location:

    Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States

  • Type:

    Power Yacht

  • LOA: 44 ft in
  • Display Length: 44 ft
  • Beam: 14' 9"
  • Yacht Category


  • Water Capacity: --
  • Fuel Capacity: --
  • Engine Details: Lehman
  • Engine 1: 800.00 HRS 135.00 HP
  • Engine 2: 800.00 HRS 135.00 HP
  • Engine Fuel: Diesel

Introduced in the 1980s, when trawlers were extremely popular, the DeFever 44 didn’t follow the styling trends of the time. Instead of having a conventional double-cabin trawler design with side decks around the aft cabin, the DeFever 44 features a flush deck design. The DeFever 44 may possess the largest aft deck in its class. Many 44 owners find that their DeFever’s aft deck soon becomes THE gathering place for all their fellow boaters at the end of the day. With a hardtop to protect boaters from excess sun or rain, the aft deck is an integral part of this boat’s charm as an entertainer. The full-width aft deck design also allows for a larger aft cabin with more headroom. The design’s pleasing shearline provides a proportional-looking profile, and the boat’s higher freeboard can keep green water off the windshield in heavier seas. Above the hardtop-protected aft deck is a flybridge that offers good visibility all around the boat, a centerline helm and plenty of seating for guests. Lockers to either side of the helm provide room for electronics to be mounted out of the weather. Limited teak accents on the flybridge, as on the rest of the boat, limit the amount of time 44 owners must spend maintaining the vessel’s appearance. The hardtop is reinforced for dinghy storage — and thanks to the boat’s 14-foot, 9-inch beam, a sizeable tender is kept aboard. The salon is accessible from the aft deck, through a full height door on the starboard side. Four steps down, the spacious salon is finished with warm teak paneling and brightened by natural lighting through large windows all around. The salon is made even larger by moving the galley out. While most trawlers have the galley tucked into one corner of the salon, the 44 Offshore Cruiser is instead designed with an efficient U-Shaped galley to port, astern of the salon. While it is open to the salon, the galley is still visually a separate area — and it doesn’t detract from the salon’s full-width dimensions. Seating arrangements in the salon has an L-Shaped settee to port (forward of the galley), and a single chair and entertainment cabinet to port. With the large salon area and the flat deck, furnishings can be tailored to the owner’s preference. The galley was refit in 2018 and features abundant counter and cabinet space, a large deep stainless-steel sink, microwave convection oven, separate refrigerator/freezers and a large window on the aft bulkhead for natural light. Double-door refrigerator and freezer are located to starboard in a beautiful cabinet with large top shelf. A real inside helm and in the forward starboard corner of the salon features a fully instrumented lower helm and excellent visibility. A door to the side deck is located here, as well, for boarding or line handling. A similar door is to port. Overhead, cabinets make room for radios and electronics. The portside dash area has room for charts. The cabin also features an overhead rail running down the middle, providing a good handhold in heavy seas. Forward and down is the guest stateroom and head. This stateroom features a large V-berth and large side shelving, and overhead hatch and storage. The forward head is large and has a vanity with molded sink and a grate floor for the handheld shower, a not-uncommon compromise on boats this size. Abaft the salon is the master stateroom — and it is spacious in comparison to other boats this size. Curtained portlights around the cabin allow natural light to enter. A centerline queen-size berth is surrounded by more teak paneling. There’s cabinetry on both sides, including a vanity to port. The spacious master head does have a stall shower — and it is quite large, with more storage. A huge hanging locker is located to starboard. Entry to the engine room is to the port side of the stairs leading to the V-berth. The engine room features stand-up (5-foot, 6 inch) headroom, with plenty of space around the machinery. Toolboxes and other storage cabinetry are mounted here, and the mechanic will have no problem reaching the access points of the engines or genset. Twin Lehman 135 hp diesel engines power the 44 gracefully through the water. They are economical yet provide enough power to get this heavy boat up to a 7 to 8 knot cruise speed, allowing about 1,200 miles of cruising on 900 gallons of fuel. The hull features a deep draft design and a full keel that carries aft for directional stability and protection of the running gear. A deep forefoot combines with the 44’s bow flare to provide a comfortable ride, as well as helping keep the boat dry. DeFever 44s can handle heavy seas, and these boats can take more punishment than most owners are willing to subject themselves to. The hull is constructed of hand-laid fiberglass, and the boat’s 44,000-pound dry weight gives some indication as to its heavy-duty construction. For a cruising couple looking for something a little different — a trawler with an uncommon nature, designed with a workboat heritage but not a workboat look — the DeFever 44 Offshore Cruiser offers a unique combination of roominess, style and construction that’s hard to beat.

Complete galley make over in 2018 with new appliances, counter tops, back splash, sink and cabinets. There are opening side and aft windows allowing for exceptional natural light and ventilation.

  • Large single stainless-steel sink with faucet and sprayer
  • Fresh water filtration system with separate water faucet
  • Black granite counter tops
  • U-Line stainless steel refrigerator in cabinet along starboard side of galley
  • U-Line stainless steel freezer in cabinet along starboard side of galley
  • U-Line ice maker on aft deck
  • Adler-Barbour refrigeration and freezer compartment in cabinet on bridge
  • 12-bottle wine cooler in same cabinet as galley refrigerator
  • Toshiba microwave/convection oven
  • True Induction (2) burner electric stove top
  • Galley exhaust fan
  • Magma propane BBQ grill mounted on aft deck railing
  • 12-volt DC and 120-volt AC powder
  • Power distribution panel with circuit breakers
  • 50-amp shore power cord
  • Northern Lights 12 kW generator in sound shield, 1,000 hours
  • Whirlpool 19 gallon hot water heater
  • Pro-Safe FS-60 galvanic isolator
  • Pro-Nautic 12-40 battery charger
  • Pro-Mariner Digital Battery Monitor
  • Fiberglass battery boxes in engine room
  • Vizio 42-inch flat screen TV in salon cabinet on lift for easy storage and use
  • DirectTV receiver
  • Satellite television dome on radar arch above bimini
  • Marine Air reverse cycle air conditioning with digital controls
  • Nutone central vacuum
  • Dual stainless-steel horns

Lower Helm:

  • C-Plath compass
  • Garmin GPS Map 3210 color chartplotter
  • Standard VHF radio
  • Simrad AP-24 autopilot
  • Datamarine Link 6000 log indicator
  • Styker SEA 222 radio telephone

Bridge Helm:

  • Ritchie compass
  • Garmin VHF 200 with DSC and AIS
  • Garmin GPS Map 7212 color chartplotter
  • Garmin GPS Map 3010 color chartplotter
  • Datamarine Link Speed indicator
  • Datamarine Link Depth indicator
  • Simrad AP-24 autopilot
  • Remote control for spotlight
  • Stainless steel dual anchor rollers at bow
  • Primary Bruce 20 kg anchor with rode
  • Secondary Plow anchor with chain rode
  • Maxwell 2200 electric winch with foot switches
  • Stainless steel stations
  • Teak rails and toe rails, varnished to high gloss
  • Port and starboard boarding gates into the aft deck
  • Stainless steel deck hardware
  • Stainless steel dingy davit
  • Dingy chocks mounted on hard top of aft deck
  • Aft deck hard top with side extensions for reduced sun and rain splatter
  • Port and starboard pilot house sliding doors
  • Bow seats with Sunbrella blue cushions and storage under cushions
  • Sunbrella blue bimini and bridge three side enclosure
  • Sunbrella blue teak railings and toerail covers
  • Sunbrella blue windshield cover with Textaline white side window covers
  • Sunbrella blue hatch covers
  • Teak steps from aft deck to flybridge with Sunbrella blue protective cover
  • Teak aft deck sole
  • Aft deck PVC love seat, two chairs and coffee table
  • Aft deck cabinet with wet bar and ice maker
  • Aft deck to salon teak door
  • Swim platform with ladder to aft deck and folding swim ladder
  • Bridge deck seating with white cushions and centered helm chair
  • Bridge deck cabinet with refrigerator/freezer and storage
  • Magma BBQ grill mounted on stern with cover
  • 6” high stainless-steel railing around edge of hard top
  • Stainless steel life raft canister holder on hard top
  • Carolina Skiff 12-foot 6-inches with Yamaha 15 HP outboard

The engine room is a stand-up engine room with entry through a door in the guest stateroom area. Plenty of space from routine maintenance and repairs around the engines, transmissions and generator.

  • Twin Lehman 135 hp diesel engines, fresh water cooled
  • Borg Warner Velvet Drive marine transmissions with coolers, rebuilt in 2012
  • Engine room was refit in 2012 with new engine mounting rails, motor mounts, and oil pumps
  • Morse engine and transmission controls at both helms
  • Engine instrumentation at both helms, RPM, oil pressure, water temp, and volts plus alarms
  • Engine room sea chest with sea strainers
  • Capilano hydraulic steering with stainless steel and wood steering wheels
  • Vetus bow and stern thruster with joystick controls
  • NAIAD stabilizers with stabilizer controls at both helms
  • RACOR primary fuel filters with ALGEA-X system and flow gauge
  • Stainless steel shafts with dripless packing glands
  • Glendinning engine synchronizer

When searching for a boat you want to look for one that has been exceptionally maintained with an open checkbook. Make no mistake MANATEE has been maintained, updated and cared for by a fastidious owner. You will not be disappointed in her appearance or accommodations.

Easy to see in Cocoa Beach, FL.

*Engine hours are as of the date of the original listing and are a representation of what the listing broker is told by the owner and/or actual reading of the engine hour meters. The broker cannot guarantee the true hours. It is the responsibility of the purchaser and/or his agent to verify engine hours, warranties implied or otherwise and major overhauls as well as all other representations noted on the listing brochure.

The company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change or withdrawal without notice.


Photo of 53' DeFever 53 Motor Yacht 1988

Dixie Darlene

53' DeFever 53 Motor Yacht 1988

Gulf Breeze, Florida, United States

Photo of 53' DeFever


53' DeFever "53" 1988

Hingham, Massachusetts, United States

Photo of 53' DeFever 53 POC 1988

His and Hers

53' DeFever 53 POC 1988

Stuart, Florida, United States