The PowerBoat Guide Blog

Tracking Today’s Fast-Paced Yacht Boating Market


March 31, 2016  (Updated February, 2018)

The popularity of traditional Downeast yachts has soared in recent years, that’s a fact. Once the domain of a few New England custom builders, today’s Downeast market is led by products from Hinckley, Sabre/Back Cove, and Grand Banks/Eastbay. For those with an interest in this diverse market, the models profiled below have been selected to represent a cross-section of the current Downeast brokerage market. Some are luxury-class cruising yachts, a few are pure dayboats, and all embody signature styling touches that add to their brand personality.

At a Glance: One of the most acclaimed yachts of her generation, an impressive mix of traditional Downeast styling and impeccable craftsmanship. Built on a modified deep-V hull with a short keel and prop pockets. The SX model has a fully enclosed salon while the HX version has semi-enclosed helm, i.e., no aft salon bulkhead. The Eastbay 49 offers an excellent turn of speed, exceptional blue water performance, and spacious and comfortable accommodations. If the Eastbay’s elegant two stateroom interior comes up a little short in salon space, her spacious semi-enclosed helm deck (where guests will certainly prefer to congregate) provides comfortable seating for a small crowd. Note the power-assist center windshield panel and teak swim platform. Cat 715hp C-12 diesels cruise at 24–26 knots (30+ top).

Price Range: From the mid $300s to low/mid $700s.


Sabre 48 Salon Express

Grand Banks 49 Eastbay SX/HX

At a Glance: Currently the best selling yacht in her class, a classic Downeast yacht of uncommon beauty and sophistication. An enclosed pilothouse with cherry joinery provides a weather-protected environment for cruising or entertaining, and large salon windows provide panoramic views of the water. The fully equipped galley and two double staterooms, each with a walkaround queen bed, are below. Two heads with showers separate the staterooms. The helm deserves special notice for it’s standard Stidd chair, joystick controls, and nearly unobstructed 360-degree sightlines. In the salon, an electrically operated window in the aft bulkhead drops down to open the area to the cockpit. Wide side decks make getting around easy. Cummins 550hp diesels with Zeus pod drives cruise at 26–27 knots (30+ top).

Price Range: From the high $800s to low $1 Million.


At a Glance: An enlarged version of Hinckley's iconic 36 Picnic Boat — old-world yachting elegance with sophisticated boat-building technology. The heart of the Talaria is her spacious semi-enclosed deckhouse with its posh furnishings and handcrafted teak joinery. Forward is the helm area (to starboard) and navigator chair to port. Aft of the port chair is a L-shaped settee with varnished teak table on an electric pedestal that can drop down and form an additional bunk with cushion. To starboard is a second L-shaped settee with a small bolster cushion forward. (The settees can be raised on hydraulic rams for access to the engines.) The Talaria was offered with one or two staterooms. Yanmar 420hp diesels matched to Hamilton waterjets cruise at 25 knots (28–30 knots top).

Price Range: From the mid $400s to about $600K.

Grand Banks 43 Eastbay SX/HX

Hinckley Talaria 44 EX

At a Glance: An enduring classic — easily one of the most popular Downeast yachts in this class.  More than just a beautiful yacht, the stunning appearance of the 43 Eastbay makes her stand out in any harbor. She rides on a Hunt-designed modified deep-V hull which provides fast cruising and exceptional open-water comfort. Her spectacular teak interior joinery is second to none. The Eastbay’s near-perfect distribution of space offers a generous cockpit, spacious helm deck, large salon (in the SX version), and galley below with two staterooms and a roomy head with stall shower. Her versatility make her an ideal choice for day boating, weekending, or extended cruising by a couple or family. Beginning in 2006, the salon/helm area is open to the lower deck—no hatch. Yanmar 440hp diesels cruise at 24–25 knots (high 20s top).

Price Range: From the mid $200s to $400K-plus.


At a Glance: A beautifully styled cruising yacht with a semi-enclosed helm and luxury-class amenities — Sabre always builds a great yacht. Traditional two stateroom interior is an elegant blend of satin-finished cherry cabinetry, posh leather upholstery, and a beautiful teak-and-holly sole. The forward owner’s stateroom was offered with an island queen berth or V-berths, and the starboard guest stateroom contains a double berth. Both cabins share a common head with a circular shower stall. On the downside, the galley is small for a boat this size. A transom door, teak decks, and foldaway transom seat are standard. Yanmar (or Cummins) 500hp inboard diesels cruise 22–23 knots (high 20s top). Newer models with 425hp Cummins diesels with Zeus pod drives cruise at 24–26 knots. (C alled the Sabreline 42 until 2007.)

Price Range: From the mid $300s to the mid $400s.


Sabre 40 Sedan; 42 Salon

Sabre 42 Hardtop Express

At a Glance: One of Sabre’s best selling yachts (called the 40 Sedan in 2009–11) — a solid mix of classic Downeast styling and state-of-the-art construction. Sabre was one of the first Downeast builders to take advantage of efficient pod drive technology—a feature that has much to do with the enduring popularity of this yacht. With her large cockpit, enclosed pilothouse/salon, and spacious two-stateroom layout, the 42 Salon is the consummate cruising and entertaining yacht. The salon includes an L-shaped settee with inlaid table, side-by-side Stidd chairs, dinette, and a step-down galley open to the salon. The opening door at the helm is a nice touch. Forward of the galley is a full head/shower to port and a guest cabin/office to starboard. Cummins 380hp diesels with Zeus pod drives cruise at 24–25 knots.  The Sabre 42 FB Sedan is the same boat with a flybridge.

Price Range: From high $400s to the low $800s.


At a Glance: Successor to Hinckley's super popular 36 Picnic Boat. Both are essentially day boats with large cockpits and relatively small interiors, and both come with Hinckley’s JetStick steering and control system incorporating waterjet propulsion and a bow thruster. Narrow of beam, the fully cored hull of the Talaria 40 is notable for its high-tech composite construction and generous tumblehome at the transom. She sleeps two comfortably and includes an enclosed head with shower and full-service galley. There are port and starboard settees in the pilothouse as well as two forward-facing Stidd seats. Both the cockpit and pilothouse are on a single level. With her shallow draft, the Talaria is a great boat for exploring bays and inlets. Yanmar 480hp diesels matched to Hamilton waterjets cruise at 26–28 knots (low 30s top).

Price Range: From $500K to $800K-plus.

Grand Banks 38 Eastbay EX

Hinckley Talaria 40

At a Glance: The first Eastbay model — this is the boat that launched Grand Banks in an all-new direction. The quality and care with which the Eastbay 38 EX was constructed is clearly evident from her varnished teak toerails to her finely finished interior. Stepping up from the large cockpit, the 38’s expansive helm deck includes a bench seat and teak table to port and a custom Stidd chair at the helm. Forward, the main cabin features a full-service galley to port and convertible U-shaped seating opposite. The head/shower is located to port on the way to the master stateroom which was available with standard V-berths or a center island berth. A transom door and teak swim platform were standard. The 38 HX has a hardtop and semi-enclosed helm deck.) Top speeds of 30+ knots were achievable. Over 130 were built.

Price Range: From the mid $100s to the high $200s.


At a Glance: An innovative Downeast yacht  — over 100 were reportedly sold. The styling is unique. Twin doors built into the reverse transom can open wide enough to haul a dinghy into the cockpit for storage. A life raft, bikes, or kayak can lie atop the hardtop, and extra-wide side decks provide seating space along both sides of the cockpit. Built on high-tech hull with a deep forefoot and skeg-mounted rudder, the deck plan includes a sliding seat arrangement at the dinette that expands seating from four to six people while also converting to a double berth at night. A “sleeping loft” for young children is located above the V-berths, and the galley is positioned aft in the semi-enclosed pilothouse where it’s convenient to the cockpit. A bow thruster is standard. A single 480hp Yanmar diesel will cruise the True North 38 at 20 knots (24–26 knots top)

Price Range: From mid/high $100s to mid $200s.

Sabre 38 Express

Pearson True North 38

At a Glance: A sophisticated blend of classic Downeast styling and meticulous craftsmanship in a cruising yacht of exceptional beauty. The focal point of the 38 Express is her semi-enclosed helm deck with its Stidd helm and companion chairs, sliding glass side windows, and wet bar with refrigerator and ice maker. Stepping below, the satin-finished cherry interior adds to the Sabre’s sense of luxury. The owner’s stateroom forward has a centerline queen berth and sliding privacy door, making it both comfortable and easy to access. The head (with separate stall shower) can be reached from both the salon and stateroom. The salon is configured with an L-shaped settee with a maple-inlaid table that forms a guest berth. Note the screened hatches in the hardtop.Wide side decks make bow access very secure. Yanmar 440hp diesels cruise at 25–26 knots (30+ top).

Price Range: From the low $200s to high $300s.


At a Glance: Another Back Cove success story — more than just beautiful, this single-engine cruiser is fuel efficient, easy to handle, and beautifully finished. The galley-up layout is ideal for two couples. An island queen bed in found in the forward stateroom, and a double berth in the (smallish) guest stateroom. The large head includes a separate stall shower. Opposite the galley are two Stidd chairs for the helmsman and guest, and aft of the helm is an L-shaped settee with adjustable table and a shorter settee opposite to port. The 37’s enclosed salon is surrounded by large windows, and an overhead hatch provides ventilation. Folding  doors completely open up the salon to the cockpit with its built-in seating and centerline transom door. A single 480hp Cummins QSB engine delivers a top speed of 24–26 knots.

Price Range: From the high $200s to high $500s.


Hinckley 36 Picnic Boat

Back Cove 37

At a Glance: A breakthrough design that led to many imitators — Hinckley built over 450 (!) of these elegant waterjet-powered yachts. With a mere 19 inches of draft the Picnic Boat can be safely operated in very shallow water. The long, open cockpit is an excellent entertainment platform (the centerline engine box can be used as a seat or table), and the semi-enclosed helm allows her to be enjoyed even in poor weather conditions. Belowdecks, the varnished mahogany interior contains a V-berth, compact galley, and a big head compartment—upscale, if basic, accommodations for a cruising couple. On the downside, the cabin headroom is a bit less than 6 feet. An extended pilothouse (EP) version became available in 2001. Cruise at 20 knots with a 350hp Yanmar diesel; 22–24 knots with a 440hp Yanmar.

Price Range: From $100K to $400K-plus.

Hinckley 36 Picnic Boat


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12 Top Selling Downeast Yachts with Worldwide Appeal

What Is a Downeast Boat and Is It Right for You?

Downeast boats have a long, rugged history in the boating world. Originally, they were designed to protect Northeastern fishermen from the unpredictable Atlantic waters. But after adapting to the recreational market, these luxury yachts have become a popular option for boating enthusiasts.  So, what is a Downeast boat? And better yet – is it a good cruising option for you? Stay tuned, as today’s blog post will reveal everything you need to know.

History of Downeast Boats

Downeast boats originated in Maine, which is how they got their name. Most travelers had to sail downwind to get to Maine’s coastline, thus inspiring the local phrase of sailing “down east.” Downeast boats were the hallmark of Maine’s lobster industry. As a result, they’re known for their durability, efficiency, and functionality.

What Are Downeast Style Boats?

Downeast boats are the perfect combination of stylish and seaworthy. Thanks to their fishing origins, they are impressively sturdy with high bows, raked stems, and enclosed helms. Additionally, Downeasters’ solid fiberglass hulls and wood interiors will keep occupants dry in choppy waters.   However, durability isn’t all these vessels have going for them. Their narrow entry allows for comfort and stability on the water. And their spacious layout is ideal for long-haul cruising.

Advantages of Downeast Boats

Is a Downeast boat suitable for you? If you aren’t quite sure, here are some advantages to choosing this style over your average sports cruiser:  1. Practicality Because they were designed with fishing in mind, these boats are incredibly easy to navigate. They are spacious, accessible, and super accommodating to boaters quickly maneuvering from the cockpit to the foredeck (in a strong breeze and choppy waters, might we add) to tie off a fender. Of course, there is also ample storage space and service access. 2. Fuel Efficiency Downeast boats maintain an excellent fuel economy. Most sports cruisers must refuel twice before a Downeast boat runs out of power.  3. Safety Because Downeast boats are designed for choppy Atlantic waters, they’re about as safe as you can get. These vessels have terrific visibility and ample handholds and grab rails.  4. Style Downeast-style boats are classics for a reason. They have a timeless design with sleek lines and premier materials that resells in a breeze. Their cockpit is complete with an unobstructed (and incredibly comfortable) socializing, dining, and relaxation area (making them ideal for entertaining and cruising). 

Downeast Boat

Frequently Asked Questions

Still deciding if a Downeast boat is right for you? Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about these popular vessels:  What Are the Best Downeast Boat Brands? Saber Yachts is one of the most popular makers of Downeast-style boats, as it has sold 500+ vessels since the start of 2020. However, other popular Downeast boat brands include Back Cove Yachts, Hinckley, Hunt Yachts, and MJM.  Note that the best Downeast boat for you will depend on many factors – your cruising plans, number of guests, desirable speed, budget, etc. How Much Do Downeast Boats Cost? There are plenty of Downeast boats on the market, all sporting various price tags. The average Downeast boat will cost about $279,000. However, you can find them for as little as $20,051 in the used boat market and as much as $2,529,000 when you buy new (with all the bells and whistles included).  How Are Downeast Boats Typically Used?  There are plenty of uses for the modern Downeaster. Going back to its roots, this vessel is ideal for fishing excursions. It has an expansive cockpit that has plenty of room for anglers. And the deck boasts ample fish box capacity and ice.  Additionally, Downeasters are great for anyone looking to do some long-range cruising. The deck space provides comfort and stability while driving, and there is plenty of room to bring all your closest friends on board. 

Finding the Right Boat for You 

Is a Downeast boat the right vessel for you? We hope this blog post was a helpful resource. If you’re new to the boating world, deciding on the right boat for your water adventures can be challenging. However, our Discover Boating team is here to help you through the process.  Our Boat Finder assesses your preferences and helps you discover the perfect boat for you. And if multiple options are catching your eye? We can compare your top options side by side.  Once you’ve decided on a model, our Boat Loan Calculator will reveal what it takes to secure a loan and acquire financing. And if you need help along the way? We have plenty of articles and resources to go around. 

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10 Day Cruisers Loaded With Downeast Personality

Find your next downeast runabout, perfect for boating in new england. .

This post was updated on January 14, 2021.

Written by, Ed McKnew, PowerBoat Guide Founder

The growing popularity across the country of Downeast-style cruisers has been enjoyable for many boating traditionalists to watch. Much of that popularity can be traced back to 1994 when Hinckley introduced the classic 36 Picnic Boat, a beautiful Downeast day cruiser with unique waterjet propulsion and open-air seating for a small crowd.

The Picnic Boat was a huge success for Hinckley , and it wasn’t long before other, mostly New-England builders followed with a variety of new Downeast runabouts under 30 feet that caught the attention of buyers across the country. The Downeast-style runabouts profiled below consist of eight-under 30-foot cruisers with a large cockpit and seating for six to eight people — often called “ Day Boats ” by boating enthusiasts. Half are from well-known builders with an entire line of Downeast models to choose from. The rest come from smaller builders, mostly in New England where the Downeast boats originated many generations ago. (Mainship, unfortunately, is out of business — the original Mainship, that is — but they once had the distinction of being the only high-volume manufacturer of Downeast boats in the business.)

All of the models featured here have single-diesel power, and all are built on seaworthy hulls with a deep keel offering at least partial protection to the rudder and prop. When it comes to construction, some brands are more high-tech than others. Downeast Runabouts are a niche segment of today’s express-boat market. In general, these are semi-custom boats meaning that customers have wide latitude in setting the boat up to meet their own needs. Locating a well-maintained used Downeast Runabout isn’t as easy as finding a used Sea Ray Sundowner — for those with patience, however, the wait is usually worth the effort.

1.  MJM 29z | Production Years 2007-Current

MJM 29 for sale

An extremely popular New England cruiser — roomy, fuel-efficient, and tons of character. Offered in three configurations; Down East with roll-up side windows, the Express with extended side windows (pictured above), and an outboard version of the Express able to hit 50 knots with 250 Yamahas. Kevlar/E-glass/epoxy construction with Corecell laminate is vacuum-bagged for exceptional strength and rigidity.

The perfect boat for cruising and weekending wraparound lounge seating in the cockpit for eight. Upscale cabin with cherry cabinets, convertible settee, galley, and the enclosed head is striking for its elegance and simplicity. Stidd helm chair, opening front windshield panels, bow thruster, teak-and-holly cabin sole are standard. Lightweight, easily driven hull burns just over 3 gallons per hour at 22–24 knots with single Volvo diesel — very impressive.

2. Hinckley Talaria 29R | Production Years 2003-Current

Hinckley-T29  for sale

Distinctive jet-driven runabout with varnished mahogany topsides is the perfect balance of beauty, craftsmanship, and performance. The cockpit — with its teak helm console, Nardi steering wheel — is reminiscent of an old-time sports car. Seating for ten includes a full-width transom seat, L-shaped lounge (with teak table) forward, aft-facing settee molded into the engine box. The varnished cherry cabin includes a V-berth forward and VacuFlush toilet.

A teak swim platform and bow thruster are standard. The engine box lifts at the touch of a button for access to the engine. A fully cored composite hull is Kevlar-reinforced for strength. The shallow draft is a plus in skinny water. Note transom tumblehome. Cruise at 25 knots (30+ top) with Yanmar 440hp engine with the Hamilton Jet drive and JetStick controls.

3. Back Cove 26 | Production Years 2005-2009


Best-selling pocket cruiser combines traditional Downeast styling with versatile deck layout and single-diesel economy. A large aft cockpit with a storage lazaretto below offers plenty of space for socializing with friends and family. Below, the cherry interior boasts a forward dinette that converts to sleep two comfortably.

Aft of the dinette to starboard is an enclosed head with shower, and on the port side is a small galley with refrigerator, stove, and sink. Wide side decks and cockpit jump seats are a plus, and a bow thruster was standard. The entire helm deck lifts for engine access. The Back Cove 26 was available in an open bass boat style or with a pipe-supported hardtop for protection from the weather. Exceptional fit and finish throughout. Cruise at 22 knots (mid 20s top) with a single 260hp Yanmar diesel.

4. Fortier 26 | Production Years 1977-Current

Fortier-26 for sale

Classic Eldredge-McInnis design combines Downeast and bass boat styling elements in what the builder calls “an honest sea boat for fishing and cruising.” Full keel and skeg offer protection to the shaft and rudder; hull spray rails keep the deck dry. A wide 10-foot beam provides a spacious cockpit and space below for a small cabin with a V-berth, marine head, icebox, and butane stove. Note the distinctive teak windshield.

A hardtop and fish box have been popular options. Cockpit engine box can be used as seating. The Fortier’s hull is fully cored. Two 50-gallon fuel tanks below the cockpit deck provide a cruising range of 200–250 nautical miles. At 6,500 pounds, the Fortier 26 is no lightweight. Among several engines offered over the years, a single 200hp Volvo inboard diesel offers cruising speeds of 16–18 knots.

5. Albin 28 TE | Production Years 1993-2008

Albin 28 for sale

Mega-popular Downeast-style cruiser/ sportfishing boat with hardtop and flared bow was one of the most successful boats in her class. A cockpit engine box was standard until 2003 when a Flush Deck option moved the engine forward, opening up the cockpit in a big way. Wide side decks make getting around easy and safe.

Belowdecks, the 28’s roomy interior features a full-service galley with fridge and microwave, standup head with shower, mid-cabin berth aft, and a convertible U-shaped dinette forward. A teak-and-holly sole was standard, and six opening ports provide good cabin ventilation. Note wide side decks. Bow thruster was standard. Rugged, reasonably priced, fuel-efficient, and easily maintained — the Albin 28 is a terrific all-around boat with a strong following. Nearly 1,000 were built.

6. Hunt 29 Surfhunter | Production Years 2004-Current

Hunt-29 for sale

A beautifully finished 29-footer with classic Downeast lines — the Surfhunter draws a crowd everywhere she goes. Superb deck layout for entertaining features L-shaped settee with varnished wood cocktail table adjacent to the helm seat, aft-facing cockpit seat, removable stern seat. In spite of the engine box, the cockpit is big for a boat this size.

Belowdecks, the varnished teak interior comes complete with a convertible dinette, galley with stove and refrigerator, and enclosed head with sink and shower. Built in limited numbers, the Surfhunter 29 is available in express, convertible, or hardtop (pictured above) configurations. Most have been sold with a single sterndrive engine, gas or diesel, with a jackshaft connecting the lower unit. An outboard version became available in 2015.

7. Legacy 28 Express | Production Years 1998-2008

Legacy 28 for sale

One of the most graceful and popular pocket cruisers of recent years — over 100 were built. With a generous 9’6″ beam, the Legacy’s cockpit and helm deck combined offer seating for 8–10 passengers. Visibility from the elevated helm is excellent (note the high windshield). The side decks are on the narrow side, and a full-width bench seat aft precludes a transom door. Belowdecks, the interior is clean simple but extremely well finished.

A convertible dinette is forward, enclosed head with shower to starboard, and fully equipped galley to port — basic accommodations for a weekend getaway for two. The cabin has six feet of headroom and is finished in cherry joinery with a teak-and-holly sole. A teak swim platform was standard, and a bow thruster and teak transom was a popular option. Cruise at 22–23 knots with a single Yanmar 315hp diesel.

8. Mainship Pilot 30 Sedan | Production Years 1999-2008

Main-30-Pilot-Sedan for sale

The Hardtop version of the original Mainship 30 Pilot is known for distinctive retro styling, large cockpit, and fuel-efficient operation. Don’t look for much glitz in the Pilot—this is a basic boat with modest amenities and good-enough workmanship. The interior was originally set up with a V-berth/dinette forward, full-service galley, good-sized head, and a teak-and-holly cabin sole.

In 2003, the updated Series II Pilot featured an updated cherry interior and a revised cabin layout with a V-berth that folds in half when not in use. The Series II also incorporates a shortened keel, propeller tunnel, and larger five-blade prop. Cruise at 14–15 knots with 170hp Yanmar diesel. Series II models with a 315hp Yanmar cruise at a steady 17–18 knots (low 20s top). Mainship sold a ton of these boats. 

9. Dyer 29 | Production Years 1957- 2 008

Dyer-29 for sale

Classic New England utility boat introduced in the 1950s. Offered in several variations over the years including hardtop, bass boat (above), and cuddy configurations. Durable semi-displacement hull with soft chines and prop-protecting keel offers legendary open-water handling.

Owners of these boats tolerate the tight cabin quarters and intrusive engine box while delighting in the fingertip control of the 29’s easily driven hull. (Newer models have the engine under the bridge deck which, by eliminating the engine box, results in a more open cockpit). Hull construction has remained largely unchanged over the years although the fiberglass covered plywood and solid fiberglass decks and deckhouses of early models have been replaced with modern fiberglass composites and balsa coring materials. A single 200hp diesel will cruise at 14–16 knots.

10. Eastern 27 Islander | Production Years 2013-Current


From her classic Downeast lines to efficient use of deck space, the 27 Islander combines traditional styling with the popularity of outboard power. Ideal for coastal cruising, fishing, and family outings on the bay. Semi-enclosed pilothouse with sliding side windows features a two-person settee to port and open-air galley with sink and refrigerator abaft the helm.

A cushioned bench seat at the transom seats three comfortably (an aft-facing cooler seat is optional.) Cabin accommodations include a settee/V-berth with removable pedestal table forward, storage cabinet, enclosed head with shower and electric head. A mid-berth under the helm deck offers additional sleeping capacity or storage. Hull is cored above the waterline. Cruise at 20-22 knots with Yamaha 250hp bracket-mounted outboards.

If you’re interested in enjoying a day cruiser with Downeast personality, contact a Denison yacht broker today. They’ll help you find your dream boat. 

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Ellis Bowrider Express

The Ellis Bowrider Express – A fantastic downeast family boat. Want to see more? Check out our video…

Charters with Ellis

Charters with Ellis

Do next season’s vacation plans include chartering an Ellis 36 on the coast of Maine? – Maybe they should…

The Ellis Yankee

The Downeast “Yankee” is an Ellis built to high standards, yet in a more basic package – for those seeking a simple boating solution.

Ellis Warranty

Ellis Warranty

Buyers of New and Used Ellis Boats receive a NEW boat Warranty through Ellis Boat Company. Read on for further details…

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”The answer for Maine lobstermen is NOT a lightweight v-bottom boat with jets, pods, or stern-drives.”

The Six Ellis 36 Models

The Six Ellis 36 Models

The Ellis 36 – Choose from one of six Models with the Ellis 36, then customize it to fit your needs.

"Ellis Boat Company"

We specialize in building, servicing, storing, brokering, and chartering quality downeast boats.

About Ellis Boats

Ellis Boat Company builds Downeast powerboats, ranging from 20 to 40 feet, from start to finish in Southwest Harbor, ME – the same location as Ralph Ellis and Raymond Bunker started with their historically famous yachts in the 1940s. Ellis Boat Company continues to prove that the Downeast semi-displacement hull design is among the best for fuel efficiency & sea-worthy characteristics.


Brokerage and Charters

Ellis Boat Company maintains a diverse listing of Downeast powerboats that are for sale or available for charter. In sales, we offer expert handling of the sale process with critical knowledge of the product, as well as advise on surveying, banking, transport, documentation, and insurance. Ellis Downeast Powerboat Charters, available bareboat and by the week, include some beautiful Downeast Cruisers.


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Ellis Boat Company is a full service and storage yard located in Southwest Harbor, Maine. We are open year-round and our staff of expert technicians include marine mechanics and electricians (ABYC, CMET and FCC certifications), and woodworking, fiberglass, & paint specialists. We offer competitive indoor storage rates with a comprehensive maintenance program. We have moorings for rent in SW Harbor. 


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MJM Yachts

MJM 29z: A Fast, Fuel Efficient Cruiser With Downeast Flair

By Gary Reich,

MJM Yachts, the brainchild of J Boats founder Bob Johnstone, has made a name for itself by conceiving and building high-performance, smart looking, fuel efficient Downeast cruisers such as the MJM 40z, but the boat builder’s 29z often gets left out of the discussion. That’s a shame, because even though it comes in a smaller package, it offers a high-end option for buyers who might be looking at Downeast-type boats in the 25- to 30-foot category.

Downeast or “lobster yacht” styles have not traditionally been known for being either fuel-efficient or performance-oriented, much less both. And while a lot of Downeast boats do have the reputation for being rugged and sturdy, those attributes usually come at the expense of building a boat that’s heavy. But it’s in all of these areas where the 29z’s DNA breaks completely with tradition.

So, how to you make a boat like the 29z fuel-efficient and still have a sturdy ISO Offshore Class B rating? The first thing you do is build the hull and decks using high-tech composite materials such as E-glass, Kevlar, Corecell, Airex, and epoxy resin (notice I didn’t say vinylester resin). Then you use a vacuum bag process to ensure proper resin distribution, and cure it in an oven. The result is a rugged and capable 29-foot cruiser that tips the scales at only 8,600 pounds and sips fuel at cruise speeds. Most other cruisers in this range weigh in past the 10,000-pound mark.

That fuel efficiency also comes thanks to the 29z’s standard power setup, a 240-horsepower, four-cylinder Volvo D4 turbo diesel with Duoprop sterndrive, which can push the 29z to speeds up to about 36 mph. The 29z’s most efficient cruise speeds, however, are between 22 and 27 mph, where you’ll enjoy astounding fuel consumption rates of only 5.7 to 7.3 gallons per hour. That works out to a cruising range of around 350 to 375 miles. If you feel the need for more speed, a 300-horsepower Volvo D4 turbo diesel is optional, and, you can even opt for an outboard version of this boat with twin 250 horsepower units that are capable of launching the 29z up to 58 mph—that’s serious speed for this type of boat.

Even though the 29z is set up primarily for day cruising, there’s nothing stopping a couple from doing short weekend cruises. The forward V-berth converts to a double berth with the placement of an optional filler board, and the enclosed head can be used as a shower with a pull-out nozzle at the sink. In the galley you’ll find a single-burner ceramic cook-top, refrigerator/freezer, microwave oven, and plenty of stowage for weekend provisions. Ventilation and lighting are good with two opening ports and an overhead opening hatch.

The cockpit in the 29z is meant for enjoying and being near the water. If happy hour cruising is your thing, you can easily fit 10 people in the cockpit (two at the twin, reversible Stidd captain’s chairs, three each on the port and starboard upholstered settees, and two on the aft engine box), though six to eight is a more comfortable number. There’s an optional stern wraparound seating configuration that does away with the standard the transom door, but it adds bench seating to the cockpit. MJM often refers to the cockpits on its boats as “living rooms,” and that’s an apt description. A “water taxi” enclosure is available as an option that allows you to extend this cruising into the cooler months, too. Rounding out the outside of the 29z are decks conspicuously absent of teak, plenty of custom welded stainless railing, and an expansive deck area for lounging and sun worshiping, if you so choose.

The 29z comes in three styles. The “Downeast” model has a hard top over the helm and most of the cockpit with Strataglass panels that can be rolled up in good weather. The “Express” version’s windshield wraps around and slopes back toward the stern, which means more permanent protection and less removable Strataglass. The “Outboard” model has a custom Armstrong outboard mount/integral swim platform with the Express windshield configuration.

Unfortunately, though, all of this performance and build quality comes at a price. With all the bells and whistles (and the options list is very short), a new MJM 29z will run you in the neighborhood of $375,000. That’s an awful lot of dough, but you do get one of the most capable, rugged, fuel-efficient boats available in this class today. If I had the money, it’d be near the top of my list.

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Top 10 Downeast Boats - That You Can Buy for Under $1 Million

Many many years ago, as a young, enthusiastic, and energetic sailor, I had a conversation one evening with an old friend of my father's.

We sat on the engine box top of his motor yacht, quenching our thirst, in the setting sun. His hair, I remember was all white, skin like boot leather and a way of speaking which involved long pauses before even the shortest of his sentences were uttered. I was no doubt naive and honestly, probably rather blinded, by my then unbridled excitement for ocean racing.

I was intrigued and puzzled.

Here was a man I knew who had traveled in sailing yachts, extensively across oceans, before and after the last great war, regaling me with tales of his great passion for and his long experience of, voyaging under sail.

He was, however, rather astonishingly, I thought, ... telling me all this from the stern of a motor yacht which he now owned.

Completely incongruous ... I said to myself at the time!

Why, I asked him, do you own this vessel, when your eyes light up when reminiscing about sailing yachts?

He smiled and then .... after the mandatory long pause, replied: "You will young man someday, if you are fortunate, come to understand."

Fifty years later I possibly do!

Over the years, my reflexes have slowed, my desire to work the foredeck on a cold and windy night has abated some, and the word "easier" has increasingly edged into my conversations. I have learned to channel my energies more selectively. A good night's sleep in a level bunk is now far nearer the top of my mind and yes, I must admit, a large stable platform and the ability to really live...... below decks, while underway have all worked their way into my priorities.

The result is that I pay attention these days, more than ever, to a well built, commodious, power yacht. Having sold our larger sailing yacht, I have been investigating what should be next in the family. I have come to some conclusions!

I must also confess right up front that my eye is particularly drawn to those that have the lines of what most of us call a "down east" style. A low profile, lobster boat lines and slightly less yachty, more working boat look appeal to my nature.

Let me share some of these findings with you and even one or two (if you will permit) of my opinions!

There are many well-built power vessels available on the brokerage market these days.

For the purposes of this article, and reflecting some of my own priorities, I have been guided, (in addition to my prejudice toward my preferred style,) by considerations of quality construction and performance, good or at least reasonable resale value, a strong eye to roominess/comfort and a purchase price of less than 7 figures in US dollars.

I have limited my choice to 10 vessels and must, therefore, of necessity, omit some very good alternatives. I list my choices and comment on them in no particular order.

Are you looking for a downeast style yacht?

Contact David Walters Yachts for expert advice on locating the boat right for you.

Top 10 Downeast Boats  - That You Can Buy for Under $1 Million

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The Sabre line has a very solid reputation. Several of these vessels including the 48’ must be a serious candidate when the criteria outlined are all considered. In addition, the brand holds resale value, has well thought out accommodations and several recent design ideas integrated into the traditional look and interior finish. She is large enough to accommodate 2 couples in comfort, each with head and shower. The addition of a captain’s quarters below salon sole allow extra accommodations for crew/family members.

Her expansive foredeck is a great lounging area and her stern cockpit dining table and retractable rear cabin window creates a large outdoor living/entertainment space.

Market offering prices are affected by vessel conditions and options and can vary noticeably depending on the brand and style of the vessel's power. Pros/cons between the Volvo/pod combination, the Cummins/Zeus duo or more traditional straight shaft drives are important considerations here.

  • 48’ models on the brokerage market range from 2012 in the mid $600,000’s to very recent models at or just above $1 Million
  • Sabre 48 models on the brokerage market range from 2012 models in the mid $ 600,000s to very recent models that can reach as high as $ 1,400,000. There are generally a fair amount of options available, so buyers will have a nice selection to choose from.
  • Sabre models in the 40 to 46 size range vary in age and configuration but can be purchased as low as $300,000 for a good quality but older model.
  • Search Sabre Yachts for Sale

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The Hinckley Company has built a remarkable brand over the years. Their power line includes several vessels in the range of 44’to 55’.

Many Hinckley’s offered on the brokerage market are available at prices which are now more economical, relatively speaking, than at new.

The name brand, the associated appeal to some buyers, the quality of construction and the classic appearance overall, over the decades, maintained their attraction to a segment of the market. For this reason, they are rarely advertised at bargain prices although occasionally examples of this brand come on brokerage, usually due to seller circumstances, at prices which make them within reach of the value buyer.

Again condition, options and maintenance history are always factors. Power plant options are an interesting aspect of these vessels as more and more alternatives become available on the brokerage market, including electronic diesel-jet drive combos.

  • 55’ Talaria 2005-6s offered at slightly over and slightly under $1 Million.
  • 44' Talaria models, 2003-8, offered at $500-800,000.
  • Search Hinckley Yachts for Sale


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The Grand Banks name has been among the honor gallery for pleasure motor yachts for many years resulting in part from its original line of wood, classic trawler style vessels. Brand construction was converted to fiberglass as this material took its place among boat builders. Eventually the "Classic" design was transformed into the more modern East Bay line, keeping of course a "Down East "look. The vessels have a reputation for quality build, sea kindliness, fine finish and have an enthusiastic and substantial following.

One extremely interesting aspect of this brand is the large number of 40-55 ft vessels of both the classic and East Bay version that are available literally around the world. One can buy a GB and start an adventure from most major international yacht centers, a demonstration of their popularity as a brand and proof of how widely known and accepted they are. The variety of models in this size range also allows a purchaser almost any interior configuration that suits and, in a vintage/price point acceptable. 

Grand Banks hold their value well and many of the more popular models are, it seems, always available in brokerage. Newer vintages are now appearing on the resale market with pod drives and seakeepers. The classic line trawlers are numerous on the market and ones in very good condition can be acquired at very reasonable prices.

  • 44’ East Bay from $300,000 to about $1M based on model years ranging from 2003-2017
  • The larger models, with sizes in the range of 50 ft, are also available for well under $900,000
  • Search Grand Banks Yachts for Sale


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The Wesmac brand has a reputation as a very well built, seagoing, commercial grade vessel and as a general statement their pricing reflects that. They are considered my many howeveras not as "yachty" as other brands and tend toward a more serviceable finish and appearance.

The design involves more rear deck working space, with a lobster boat set of lines and not surprisingly less interior cabin space and fewer accommodations than other brands. That said many have been built/converted to yachts, providing owners who wish to spend more time offshore, with sturdy reliable service and less fancy maintenance.

Most on the brokerage market are economical single diesel engine models, although a few twin power do exist. All are straight shaft. Vessels in some lengths are available in fly bridge models in addition to the traditional lobster boat and express design.

Pricing covers a broad range with:

  • 1998 36’ traditional lobster boat design at $260,000
  • 2008 flybridge model at $800,000
  • 2018 46’ for just over $1 Million
  • Search Wesmac Yachts for Sale


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Bruckmann is perhaps less well known than others referred to here but among those who do know them these vessels garner great respect. Builders of both power and sail vessels, the power line tends to the down east styling and is frankly reminiscent of the Talaria from a distance. The largest power production model is the 40' classic, a few of which do come on the brokerage market occasionally.

They are smaller than the other yachts mentioned in this article (being designed around a single double berth cabin) but with a large, airy salon and rear cockpit deck. Single diesel, straight shaft drives and a very nice interior finish cap off a strong and pleasing looking vessel.

  • 2012 Bruckmann 40 version, located in freshwater, low hours, in very good condition, priced at $650000
  • Search Bruckmann Yachts for Sale

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The MJM line burst upon the power yacht scene some years ago, conceived by a very experienced builder, with several new ideas about what would interest older sailors, moving to power. The result was a line of yachts that could perhaps be best described as a "modern version of the old "Down East". Low in profile, slightly reminiscent of a working fishing boat, bright, airy, open space, soft lines and just a hint of being ahead of its design day. Big on the "deck to interior salon space" concept, with a more compact approach to state rooms, a no wood exterior and a less woody interior, means the MJM has trimmed back vessel maintenance, with an eye to not interfering with cocktail hour. Modern strong materials are used throughout.

She will get you there quickly with the planning hull and lots of power. Speaking of power, and depending upon size, these boats are available with diesel straight shaft or stern drives with some of the newer ones featuring pods (Cummins or Volvo IPS). All come with a joystick for easy maneuvering and a design intended to accommodate shorthandedness.

All this comes, however, with a price!

These vessels are available in a broad range of sizes starting from 30’ (they call it 29z) and growing to 56’ in length (the 53z). The larger versions' pricing, both new and used, will well exceed 6 figures. In order to stay under $1M on the brokerage market, some combination of experience and size must be considered. In my opinion the 36z model (which is 39’ LOA) is probably the minimum size that would allow a couple to cruise extendedly, in some comfort.

  • 36z 2012-13 versions offered at about $560,000
  • 40z models (LOA 44’) an '09 and an '11, offered between $650,000 - $850,000
  • Search MJM Yachts for Sale


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Little Harbor yachts must be mentioned here, although availability is an issue. They rate extremely high on the price / quality ratio even though new vessel production ended years ago. The Little Harbor is simply a great boat. Most come with the Whisper Jet Drive, but some are available with a diesel straight shaft.

Built for several years by Ted Hood's Company, then constructed overseas, these boats were well designed, well-built and very nicely finished. Although there was the odd one built to 52’ LOA, most of the production line vessels were in the 32’ to 44’ size.

The interior is really designed for one couple cruising, with its single double cabin forward and convertible dinette.

The 42’, 40’and 38’ versions are similar in layout, slightly smaller but of equal quality of course. The Yanmar diesels with shaft or Jet drives, interior yacht finish, a good ride, and a reputation for reliability all produce a beautiful "down east" looking little ship.

Brokerage LH boats, in the range of 15-20 years old, should have their condition and level of maintenance thoroughly verified. Any owner must also know that future care would be very important here. Pricing with these vessels is a very pleasant surprise for this quality.

  • 44’ versions are advertised for under $300,000 and go down from there
  • Prices as low as $125,000 for the smaller models are available
  • Search Little Harbor Yachts for Sale

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This venerable American yacht designer and his products are well known to those of us with some miles under our keel. A standout with sail he eventually was in involved in the production of some very fine power vessels.

These again are a line of yachts that, sadly, are no longer produced, but are part of the well designed, well-built genre of yesteryear still available through resale. All construction was, for its day, first class with traditional interior wood finish and a relatively (by todays standard) simple layout.

These vessels are part of American nautical history and as such, most have been exceptionally well maintained, a reflection of the sophistication of their ownership. All are diesel powered with, of course, straight shaft, as was their time. 

  • 1999 40’ Express is a one cabin optional layout with Yanmar power, 2600 hours and a very fine finish with impressive maintenance, listed at $375,000
  • 2005 49’ Express is also a one stateroom vessel, designed to be very roomy and commodious, both below and in the main salon. The 2 Cummins engines have only 1650 hours on them and the interior is impeccable. She is listed at $540,000
  • 56’ Flybridge is a 2 stateroom layout with a roomy fine interior, also apparently well maintained, she is powered by twin Caterpillar diesels, with only approx. 1900 hours on them.
  • Search Alden Yachts for Sale

Quality from a few years ago, standing the test of times, at very attractive prices!


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Vicem Yachts are built in Turkey by an established company, family owned. They are not as well-known as many other brands in North America but do have traditional "downeast" good looks and a quality build.

Their traditional construction is composite, cross layered epoxy soaked mahogany strips encased with fiberglass mat and resin. They now can build in cored fiberglass, but this is relatively recent and therefore most vessels on the brokerage market are the composite. The joinery is of a high standard and finished in traditional woods. The vessels are all outfitted with world class mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communications and navigation equipment, with buyer choice as to diesel engines, straight shaft or pod drives. They also boast the ability to modify any layout of their production models to accommodate much of what a new buyer may wish to change.

The builder also provides North American warranties and support. One of the great attractions of this line is pricing, both as to new and on resale. The builder can take advantage of local Turkish labor rates to produce, out of the door, vessels at extremely competitive prices, when compared to the other yachts listed in this article.

This has a trickledown effect on prices in the brokerage market. Provided, as with all used vessels, that she has been well maintained, and that in particular, any additions to hull or decks have been done properly to ensure no water intrusion, these boats can be an attractive alternative.

Another advantage is that there are several choices on the brokerage sheets, sometimes at prices which vary greatly, even as between similar sizes. This builder builds production models from about 33’ up to about 70’ with larger vessels currently being custom.

  • 2005 54’ at $575,000
  • 2007 55’Classic at $580,000
  • 2003 51’at $540,000
  • A virtually new 2019 46’ Classic is available and could possibly be purchased for about $995,000
  • Search Vicem Yachts for Sale


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For those of you who appreciate a little Italian flair with your traditional "down east" vessel there is this very stylish option, Rivolta. This line of vessels is designed and built in Sarasota, FL by a family with old country origins. With a deep history in sailing, racing power boats and entrepreneurship, the company principals have developed their range of power yachts with a distinctly European flair.

The hull and superstructure retain the typical lines of their down east sisters but the finish and interior styling trend closer to what we see in many modern vessels from "on the continent." These boats as new are available in a range of sizes, all built with local quality construction, world class equipment and are powered with diesels engines of your choice. Interiors are, in keeping with the overall design approach, less "woody", more bright light/white color and more open feeling than some others of their hull style. These are yachts which are a step out in a slightly different direction, but not so far as to be beyond appeal to a typical "downeast" owner.

Two of their most popular vessels are the 44’ Coupe, a 2 cabin 2 head vessel with room and openness. Some were built with diesel- jet drives, an expansive open rear deck with opening transom and large swim platform. The 40’ Coupe, a 2 cabin 1 head vessel, twin diesel power, comes with all the basic accommodations you would expect from a yacht this size.

  • 2009 44’ Coupe with diesels - jet drives at $339,000
  • 2012 44’, straight shaft diesels, at $360,000
  • Several 2005 41’ Coupes at about $225,000
  • Search Rivolta Yachts for Sale

 Larry Pringle


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Down East Yachting is passionate about the boating lifestyle and we want to share that passion with you. Our team’s knowledge and experience will make buying, operating, and selling your boat hassle-free…but our passion makes boating a true joy.

As a premier dealer for Sabre Yachts and Back Cove Yachts for Florida and the Great Lakes, Down East Yachting is proud to represent these high quality, high performance yachts crafted in Maine. Our team at Down East Yachting enjoys strong relationships with the manufacturing teams at Sabre Yachts and Back Cove Yachts and we work hard to keep it that way. Down East Yachting has the resources and backing from our manufacturers to thoroughly support our local customers.

Florida and the Great Lakes are some of the most vibrant boating markets in the United States. Our geographic footprint makes us well-equipped to address your needs with new and used inventory year-round . Our brokerage house focuses specifically on the high-end, down east motor yacht marketplace and our brokers all offer a wealth of experience representing buyers and sellers alike in this unique market.

We want to be your community for all things boating at Down East Yachting so we have created a vast network of trusted industry partners to serve any of your boating needs. From dock builders to electronics, we know the experts that can take care of you and your boat. At Down East Yachting, we work hard to sell you your first boat. But our real goal is to sell you your next boat, and especially your last boat. Trust Down East Yachting and our industry partners  to perform above and beyond for your business.

Boating provides a freedom and joy that is simply unparalleled. Our team at Down East Yachting wants to prove it to you.

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More From Forbes

Luxury yacht finds purpose and passion in scientific research.

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Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, provided the reason for a recent expedition to the Silver ... [+] Bank area of the Dominican Republic Marine Sanctuary. Made possible by a Yachts For Science match with Bering Yachts, with assistance from the government of the Dominican Republic, Blue Marine Foundation, Mission Blue, BOAT International, and additional nonprofits, the five day trip collected information valuable to the protection of humpback whale populations on board a private Bering yacht.

Imagine: One boat. Five days. Thirteen people. Thousands of humpback whales.

Nothing compares. Just ask Alexei Mikhailov, Founder and CEO of luxury superyacht builder Bering Yachts , who recently teamed up with Mission Blue through Yachts For Science , two nonprofits, for five days of research on humpback whales in the Silver Bank calving zone.

The Bering 92 Papillon as it prepared to carry the team to the research area of the Dominican ... [+] Republic's Silver Bank Marine Sanctuary to photo ID individual whales and collect eDNA as it was shed by passing cetaceans.

Anchoring eighty miles off the northeast shore of the Dominican Republic, the team quickly got to work as they were surrounded by humpback whales coming to Silver Bank to mate and birth calves. Learning, discovering, sharing academic as well as cultural knowledge, there was great communication among the scientists and crew.

Mikhailov described the profuse conversation and exchange of information while on board for the expedition, noting that the thirteen people represented nine different nationalities with a wealth of knowledge from previous work.

A Newfound Passion For A Sturdy Yacht

"I got first hand experience of how to be on board a yacht in collaboration with the expedition," Mikhailov said, emphasizing that "The amount of information, the density of information, the value of this information, was incredible." He added that not a moment was wasted. People eagerly shared their expertise with one another about various expeditions and research findings, along with details relating to culture and family. All that while surrounded by thousands of whales in this protected calving area was "Marvelous," Mikhailov exclaimed.

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The team of international researchers and crew aboard the Papillon for the five-day expedition to ... [+] the humpback whale breeding ground 80 miles from the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic.

Not your everyday superyacht experience, there is increasing interest in the use of superyachts as vehicles for research. Organizations like Yachts For Science specialize in matching marine research projects to superyachts, creating expeditions that explore everything from coral reefs and marine flora to whales and microalgae.

It takes a village. The long list of those who worked to make the expedition possible includes the ... [+] Government of the Dominican Republic, Mission Blue, Blue Marine Foundation, Blue Nature Alliance, Wyss Foundation, and Caribbean Cetacean Society. Bering Yachts connected through the Yachts for Science initiative, made possible by the Ocean Family Foundation, BOAT International, Nekton, EYOS, and others.

Trip From Freeport to Silver Bank A Rough One

According to Mikhailov, the first four days were a little rough as the boat left from Freeport in the Bahamas en route to the Dominican Republic, experiencing rough weather with 25 knot winds. Many on board agreed that most research boats might not be very comfortable under those conditions. Papillon , the Bering 92 the group was on, was built for just such conditions. With its steel hull and two stabilizers, Papillon made walking, cooking, sleeping, even reading, comfortable with no issues.

The Silver Bank area of the Dominican Republic Marine Sanctuary is visited by as many as 3,000 ... [+] whales each year. By contrast, the privilege of visiting the whales in the sanctuary is extended to just 500 people annually. Alexei Mikhailov, Founder and CEO of Bering Yachts is bullish on getting Bering yacht owners engaged to experience what it's like to be a part of unique scientific expeditions, offering the use of their superyachts as a research base.© MAXBELLO

DR 30-30 Pledge For Ocean Protection

The government of the Dominican Republic has committed to protect 30 percent of its ocean areas within the Exclusive Economic Zone by 2030. The protected area would include coral reefs, deep-sea corals, seamounts, whale aggregations, and a section of the deepest zone of the Atlantic Ocean, the Puerto Rico Trench. This expedition set out to photo ID individual whales and collect eDNA samples to determine which species have visited the area.

Humpback fluke as the whale completes a visit to the surface.

Mikhailov is ready to continue to partner with such expeditions in the future, hoping that his participation will encourage others, triggering a robust Caribbean effort. Bering has compiled footage for a video recording highlights of the expedition in anticipation of completing many more in additional locations from the Mediterranean to the Antarctic.

About The Boat

The Bering 92 Papillon measures 29.08 meters with a 6.74 meter beam and a 1.85 meter draft. She carries a 3.6 meter tender, ten guests, and four crew across three decks. Equipped with two Cummins QSM engines and 1220 hp, she has a range of 3500 nautical miles at cruise speed with a maximum speed of 13 knots. Five solar panels, a saloon, a formal dining and entertainment area, an aft al fresco cockpit, swim platform, wet bar with grill, jetski, and spacious crew area, Papillon is engineered and outfitted for a combination of safety and comfort.

Designed to weather the storm, Bering yachts are built to be safe and capable for both owners and passengers. Sturdy, modern designs minimize noise and vibration, reduce fuel consumption, and engage alternative energy solutions. Active participants in conservation efforts, not just for videos and marketing, but with genuine commitment, Bering is positioning itself as a steward of the environment it operates in to improve the future for a thriving marine ecosystem.

Kathleen Turner

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photo of How Much Is A Downeast Boat?

How Much Is A Downeast Boat?

By Robert Bowman | Posted On Aug 16, 2022 Updated On Jul 28, 2023

Owners of downeast-style boats have a unique passion for the traditional look of these vessels that goes back more than 100 years in a rich heritage of fishing offshore. Downeast yachts , also known as lobster boats due to their affinity by Atlantic-coast lobster fishermen, have excellent reputations for their seakeeping characteristics. While the hull shape varies by builder, the high bow raise and deep-v is consistent and results in a stable, comfortable ride for those on board. Traditional downeast builders, like Sabre Yachts or Grand Banks , have made remarkable improvements over the years in the comfort of their boats while making a concerted effort to maintain the classic look.

Owning a downeast boat, while they are known for having better fuel efficiency than a larger motor yacht or sportfish, can still be a costly endeavor as boat prices have increased substantially over the last few years. A recent market report by the industry's MLS stated that boat prices at risen over 70% in some categories.

The average price of a downeast boat in today's market in the United States is $521,035. We did use specific criteria to arrive at that cost including limiting the data to pre-owned boats over 30-feet, and that were built in 2002 or newer. On average, these vessels were on the market for 106 days, a testament to the increased demand over the last year.

( Below: This 2008 Grand Banks 55 is listed for $1.2 million .)

Grand Banks downeast yacht

Many factors contribute to the cost of a downeast boat and how they are priced for market. Certainly size, who the builder is, the engine power, and equipment on board all matter. When the boat was built certainly comes into consideration, but does not necessarily make for an overly large gap in price. Many downeast builders will keep generally the same power and features in a model for several years before making a major change as this helps with the construction process, producing boats more quickly, but also the resale value for the owners. Take these Sabre 42 prices below that are currently on the market:

  • 2017 Sabre 42 - $749,000
  • 2016 Sabre 42 - $739,000
  • 2014 Sabre 42 - $674,000
  • 2012 Sabre 42 - $649,000

All of the above vessels, except for the 2012 model, were powered with the Volvo D-6 380HP engines. Volvo is a popular choice among downeast boat builders as they are reliable, tend to have better fuel efficiency, less vibration, and offer joystick control. The older model was outfitted with twin Cummins QSB 380HP engines.

Of course, if your budget dictates an older vessel, there are increasingly more boats becoming available.

( Below: This 2005 Sabre 42 Express is listed for sale under $400,000. )

Older downeast boat

Looking at pre-pandemic levels, there were 35% more pre-owned downeast boats that fit our criteria above that were sold in the first part of 2019 versus 2022. Inventory levels for pre-owned yacht have decreased dramatically over the last few years, fueled by consumer demand and a boom in first time boat owners.

Comparing sold numbers for 2019 versus 2022, there has been a 25% increase in the price of the boat as available inventory declined. While a 25% increase over a 2 year period isn't a small jump in price, it is far less than some other categories. 

The most interesting statistic when comparing the brokerage market in 2019 versus 2022 is the amount of time spent on the market. On average, pre-owned downeast boats were sold 68% faster in 2022 than in 2019.

( Below: Hinckley Yachts is a well-known, reputable downeast boat builder. )

At United Yacht Sales, we have over 250 yacht brokers worldwide that, along with our massive database of owners, creates the world's largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry. We are a true, professional yacht brokerage firm that puts our focus and 100% of our marketing efforts towards our listings - NOT new boats or trade-ins that we own. 

If you are interested in selling your downeast boat or other type of vessel, please either fill out the form on our ' What's My Boat Worth? ' page or simply call our main headquarters at 1-772-463-3131. We look forward to working with you on the sale or purchase of your next yacht!

Enjoy these other articles on downeast boats:

  • Why A Downeast Boat Might Be Perfect For You
  • Who Makes Downeast Style Boats?
  • What Makes A Boat A Downeast?

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