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Fleming or Marlow Yachts?

Discussion in 'General Trawler Discussion' started by lurch, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with the first of these statements, but not so much with the latter.
    In my experience, you can go wrong with ANY brand.
    But among those two, for the best chances to go wrong with a boat, a Marlow would definitely be my choice...! :rolleyes:
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    To even include Marlow and Fleming in the same breath is a serious mistake and to suggest Marlow has no problems or risks is worse. Of course this question was asked and answered in 2011 in this thread.
    bayoubud likes this.
  3. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Things "not going wrong" in a Marlow seems to be more the exception than the rule. I've never heard of this being the case from multiple Fleming owners I know...
  4. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

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    Truer words were never spoken!!! A Fleming is a quality yacht while a Marlow is a crap shot!
  5. Adopo

    Adopo Member

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    Just wow on the Marlowe search function on this forum.

    We are considering a 53-70 ft boat, and as a new part time resident of downtown St Pete visited the Marlowe yard yesterday when I discovered it was just a 30 min drive. We were very impressed with the salesperson who explained how the boats where built, as well as the overall neat appearance of the yard, with the beautiful boats on the hard and in the water. The salespersons, a long time Marlowe employee said he has never sold more boats, with 5 or so new boats contracted within the last 45 days. The yard was full, beautiful, just looked like a neat boutique kind of place that you would like to come and work in everyday.

    So...I did what most folks do in their initial search when considering a brand and became a google researcher. It is just unbelievable what is just below the surface you may never know about if you don't look. For instance I remember this auction not too long ago and thought that would be a gorgeous boat to own. Now I wonder if this is the 97 boat in the lawsuit:



    In short, within the span of a few internet searches I am not sure at this point if I would even consider buying a Marlowe. It even appears just from a cursory look that Marlowe even tried to deny warranty contracts not being completed properly. Did I misread that?

    We are serious, and almost pulled the trigger on the 2019 Outer Reef, the beautiful 67 Vicem MY that was sold at the Palm Beach Show, and I really like the 68 Choey Lee Serenity but wife says she does not want to go that slow. The other boat we really like for a number of reasons that we cannot seem to find much fault with other that the "pod issue" and interior volume is the Sabre. And of course we love the Fleming and if you have not done so, get the smart TV out on YouTube and watch everyone of Tony Fleming's Venture series.



    But from what I have read on Marlowe, and having no personal experience but relying on what I can read and research, it is not good. And it appears that lawsuits have been filed against a number of companies that are in the boat building business. Below refers to Marlowe, a link to the final conclusion would be an interesting study.

    https://casetext.com/case/kakawi-yachting-inc-v-marlow-marine-sales-inc-2

    We have scheduled for July the NW Explorations flotilla to Alaska, this may answer some of our questions regarding what we want to purchase as we are somewhat all over the place on this issue. Wife even wants to look at a Azimut today, but everything I have read says don't buy an Azimut. I have read or heard nothing negative about Outer Reef nor Fleming regarding quality.

    And finally, things are just nuts, I don't understand why we are were we are with housing, boats, cars, airplanes, you name it-except that people are sick of it, and are escaping tyrannical state governments with a shift from the north and west. Of course it is all related to what our elected officials have done regarding Covid. I might was well by buying crypto like my friends. I don't understand that either, but he sure is making on paper a small fortune. Everything just seems sort of weird, like a shoe is about to drop. I think this is the only reason I am hesitant.

    http://www.nwexplorations.com.

    Anyway, it is thanks to the members on this forum who share their vast knowledge and experience, that with just a click of the mouse and a few typed words one can find various opinions and facts to help with what I consider to be a major decision.
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    A shoe will drop. Just don't know when.

    All three of the initial Marlow 97's were quickly back on the market. Kakawi was the one of the suit, but the other two weren't kept by the initial buyers.

    Buyers have had similar issues with other Marlow's that they never got repaired and went back on the market, some to be resold by Marlow. On the other hand, Marlow occasionally has gotten it right and owners have had nice times, made loops and done more.

    Not a lot of boats in the 65-70' range you're looking that have speed. You might want to look at Grand Banks and their sister Palm Beach. They offer great performance. Grand Banks 60' and Palm Beach 70'.

    You don't really talk about how you intend to use the boat, but a Sunseeker Manhattan might fit your needs.

    Also, a Ferretti 670 would fit right in with what you're looking at. Choose the larger engine, the MAN 1200's, not the 1000's, with both Sunseeker and Ferretti.

    Fleming 65 is an excellent boat. I like Outer Reef and Cheoy Lee. Cheoy Lee offers models to go faster and their stepson, CL Series.
  7. Adopo

    Adopo Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I have been a long time fan of Fleming, the RR of this class in my opinion. I guess that it's all in the service history. By the time you purchase a well loved boat, it has all or most of these issues taken care of. I read one lawsuit against Marlow in which there were 28 defects listed.
    Donald Jones likes this.
  8. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    ONLY 28? That must have been only a shortened list of those who were worth bringing to the court! :D

    Regardless, I wholeheartedly agree with OB that if you (and/or your wife) can't live with slow cruising, you'd better look at a planing boat.
    In fact, while Fleming, ORY etc. can cruise above hull speed, they still are boats that only make sense when most of your cruising is at single digit speed, or low tens if you really are in a hurry.
  9. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller New Member

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    Have you had any vibration problems
  10. leeky

    leeky Senior Member

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    Hey, Jim Miller, SRQcaptain hasn't logged on to YachtForums since August 17, 2015. So, don't take it personally if he doesn't respond to you.
    Jack P likes this.
  11. Charlesocean

    Charlesocean New Member

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    Old thread I know but I like the lay out and build from what I have seen of the Marlow Yacht. Got on board a 58 at Miami boat show and was very impressed. I have read all the lawsuit information online and frankly would like to hear both sides and also see how things are approached today. I have purchased boats through “dealerships “ and have never received quality warranty work. This appears the norm in this industry as well as luxury motor coaches which I have also had dealings with. It feels to me this boat has a niche in being light weight but still sea worthy. All boats are a compromise in some way or another but if I’m spending this kinda change I’m talking about it first…………
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    If you buy used, just get good surveys and do a lengthy sea trial. If you buy new, just know it will end up coasting much more than the original quote, that you can't believe everything you're told, and that no two boats are the same so, not that it will save you, definitely get a survey before acceptance. Get a good lawyer to structure a deal to try to protect yourself financially. Try to identify the legal entities you're contracting with and decide if you want to risk that amount of money to an entity with no assets.

    There are two issues. First is boat quality and it's inconsistent. Second is are you comfortable dealing with these people. Understand they did lose the Kakawi suit.

    For part one, they've built some nice boats and some poor boats, same models. For part two, it's a personal decision. I choose not to deal with people I don't trust, but I recognize sometimes that may just deprive me of something I'd like.

    As to design, I think David Marlow is a mad scientist and sometimes a design genius, but doesn't grasp when it's time to go with the design and work on the build rather than modifying things for every boat seeking just a little better.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The "sea worthy" comment is what the lawsuits are really based on. I ran a 56' from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale with 2-4' off the stern 1/4, was running at cruise 16 knots, it rolled so fast and so violently a few times it literally almost ejected us from the flybridge. I would've been scared shirtless if it was any rougher.
  14. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Good advice from OB and Capt J. On our sea trial we never got out of sight of their marina and aborted the sea trial due to several problems and vibration. Get a firm cost for sea trial and haul out! Personally, I would not plunk down 10% until after a "free/thorough sea trial" to check for vibrations and ride. Keep in mind, if you have a vibration problem it is likely few boatyards will be familiar with Marlow's design with underwater exhaust, prop tunnels, strut keel design. Also, I would "only" use gyro stabilizers on their design, no fins that directs the exhaust to the tunnels.
  15. Adopo

    Adopo Member

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    Wow, that is interesting. If you don't mind me asking, what year and length was that particular boat? I rejected a boat a few weeks ago due to the flybridge helm chairs vibrating starting at 1600 that got worse as power was increased. I agree about the sea trial. I asked to do this first but the surveyor who I happen to like, said we should pull first so he could see if there was anything wrong with the running gear etc that could cause a vibration. Still might would have pulled but might not have done the full survey. Lots of good advice on this forum BTW.

  16. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    It was a 2002 65c sea trialed in March 2017. Not a good experience. The boat was at their dock for a few years under their care and listing. The boat was not ready for sea trial, it needed extensive maintenance and some repairs, plus the tender unusable. They had to put 100 gallons of fuel on board just before the sea trial. Their excuse was why do all that maintenance it starts the clock again! The boat never got on plane either. Caterpillar had about $44K maintenance and repairs on the 3406e's, plus other issues.
    Require them do a pre-sea trial run to for general operation and ride. It would be good to haul out for a quick look at the running gear and bottom. I would not accept a Marlow with vibration, let the broker or owner fix and prove it at their expense. Personally I would not accept any boat with a vibration. There can be multiple reasons for vibration and expensive process to start chasing down the issue. Oh, don't accept them telling you that all of them have some vibration at certain speeds. Others may be able to answer if later models may be better with vibration issues?
  17. Charlesocean

    Charlesocean New Member

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    What make and model if I may ask.
  18. Adopo

    Adopo Member

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    The 64 Grand Alaskan in Stuart. I really, really liked the boat, the layout and condition, plus I am a traditionalist. Engine room could have been nicer, some delayed maintenance, but the vibration and noise was the reason more than anything. No underwater exhaust which I would think would help. But not sure about the vibration. It really was about as bad as that chair.
  19. Charlesocean

    Charlesocean New Member

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    Has anyone had the mystery vibration fixed and if so is this a shaft alignment issue?
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The boats I knew it on, it was a boat design issue. Builder had multiple shots at fixing.