"Mid Size Power Boats" - Buyers' Guide by David Pascoe

Hyatt 45 CMY


Hyatt 45 CMY
A lot of folks consider this their ideal boat. Big, roomy and loaded with ammenities. This boat probably has as many appliances as you do in your home. All this at a price that is considered quite affordable.

This survey was done, of all places, on one of the TVA lakes where we didn't have much room for maneuvering, but it sure was nice to be working in the less water saturated air 800 miles north of Destin.

Imported from Taiwan under the trade name Hyatt, it makes a good first impression. Big and bulky, its clear right away that this is not a real sea boat, but it will be okay for most oceanic coastwise gunkholing or a quick jaunt to the Bahamas, albeit not in any kind of weather.

On The Inside  Its the standard tri-cabin layout with galley down and dinette opposite. Personally, I love dinettes for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that you don't have your friends dribbling their food all over the salon carpet and upholstery. But its also a great place to do paper work, play cards and other stuff. Makes up into a good bed, too. This one is quite large. The galley has enough floor and counter space for real cooking while being a bit shy on storage space. At least there is a large double basin sink and the mounting of the stove merges nicely with the counterspace. Lots of mica here is very practical and easy to maintain.

The main salon is also nicely laid out with half-high counters separating the galley space, with a smallish entertainment center built into the port corner at a 45 angle. Cabintry is very nicely done.

Low labor costs often translates to nice wood work, and it certainly does here. If you're into quality woodwork and furniture, this rates a very solid "3." It is teak veneer trimmed with solids, and the grain patterns are good quality and properly matched for pattern. And although the veneer is the ultra thin stuff, its not the kind of cheap stuff that starts to fall apart when it gets wet. On the other hand, there were few leaks in this boat, although all of the forward port holes had been removed and rebedded and the front windows were starting to leak. The window frames are good quality, unlike so many other Taiwan boats.

The forward cabin with upper and lower berths is not bad at all, with a nice head and plenty of storage space. The ambiance of this compartment is quite nice.

Overall, I found little to gripe about the layout excepting for an aft berth which is a little too large for the space, mainly because of the built in drawers and vanity running down the sides take up too much floor space. While there isn't a lot of room to move, you do have tons of storage. The aft head with stall shower is ho-hum adequate but nothing special. Lots of mica and plywood here and you tend to trip over the toilet.

Its the bridge area that sells a lot of people on these boats. Its big and roomy and easy to access. Great for partying. The structures up here are pretty decent and the hardtop over the aft deck was fairly solid, unlike a lot of other Taiwan boats where these decks are flimsey and sag. Unfortunately, there was a lot of hardware screwed into the fiberglass, including some railings, so a lot of stuff was loose.

On The Outside is where you start to discover that this is a Taiwan boat. There were lots of blisters in places where they shouldn't have been. A number of biggies appear on the house sides where the black feature strip is painted on. An even bigger problem is that the bow pulpit is plywood cored. Water has leaked around the windlass bolts and we noted that the windlass was cocked at an odd angle. Yep, the

Another big repair job shows up in the cockpit where there were blisters everywhere. It was obvious that the cockpit was an add-on, but by the builder. The gel coat is not molded in, but sprayed and faired out over a lot of fairing material, which was the cause of the blistering. Magical fairing gunk from a can they used weren't the right stuff. Gelcoat finish in this area only like a chalkboard.

The Bottom? Of course it had blisters, the kind that had been repaired once, but were coming back again.

The broker claimed this boat would go 20 knots with Cat 3208, 375 hp. I didn't believe it, but it turned out I was wrong. The GPS clocked something like 19.2, but one look at the bottom gave the reason: it is rather flat. And its a little bow heavy with that cockpit add-on. Looks like they didn't bother with any hydrostatic calculations. Throw a ton of lead on board to trim her out and you're going to loose all that speed. In a 3' sea there's going to be cascades of water coming over the bow. Oopsville again.

Machinery The engine room is nice and spacious, and things are laid out nice and neat. But the deck is on top of the heat exchanger caps so you can't check the coolant. Who needs to worry about that, anyway?

Undersized engine mounts had gone bad and both exhaust risers were leaking and needed replacement.

One of the transmissions was leaking oil from a place it shouldn't have been leaking. This was attributed to sagging engine mounts which threw the drive train out of line, stressing the transmission shafts and seals. Blame Caterpillar for this; they're the ones that supply these crummy mounts with their engines. Cat has admantly denied that these mounts are inadequate, but here is the endless trail of proof that they are not. Good mounts cost 5x these little beauties. I've yet to see an Ace mount go bad in less than 20 years.

If you're going to save money by putting iron tanks in a boat, you'd better be darn sure that they're not going to get wet. In this case they did. Finding rust on top of the tanks, and on the back sides, I pulled out my mirrors. The tanks are paneled in so that you can't see them without tearing things apart. But a trail of fuel found under one of the tanks told the rest of the story. And it explained why there was a sheen of fuel on the water in the bilge up forward. It was found that the decks were leaking water onto the tanks and now they need to be replaced.  That included a separate tank for the generator back aft which was sitting on a plywood deck and getting wet. Needless to say, this brought the sale of this boat to a screetching halt. The boat has to be torn apart to get the tanks out.

Next we have an Onan generator in the cockpit lazarette. As with all such, the hatch leaks water onto the generator. It still ran, but the sound box was rusted full of big holes and the unit was on its last legs. There was absolutely zero ventilation in this compartment so that the evaporation of bilge water and sweating had made a big mess of everything back here. Rotting plywood, corroding metals, sludge and mildew everywhere. The devil is in the details. Or so they say.

Then there is a huge stainless steel water tank under the aft berth. Also sitting right on a plywood deck. Weep holes around the weld joints had to make me suspicious of how long this tank was going to last. I see Taiwan boats in yards with the water tanks being torn out all the time.

Time to Punt  The buyer was looking for a nice, good quality yacht that was in ready-to-go condition, not a make-work project. He wanted to know if this was typical of problems with Taiwan boats, and I said it was. The asking price was $225K. Would he be able to get a good quality boat this size for this price, he asked? I said no.

How much would it cost to fix the problems on this boat? At least $100K, I replied.

How much more would it take to buy a boat that didn't have problems like this? $100K, I said.

So he bought a 1990 46' Post for $300K that didn't have any problems. For a change my aritimetic was right on.

As somebody once said, "If you don't put it in, it ain't a gonna come out."

Too bad. This came close to being a good one.

Posted September 30, 1998

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David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

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Mid Size Power Boats Mid Size Power Boats
A Guide for Discriminating Buyers
Focuses exclusively cruiser class generally 30-55 feet
With discussions on the pros and cons of each type: Expresses, trawlers, motor yachts, multi purpose types, sportfishermen and sedan cruisers.
Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats
Dedicated for offshore outboard boats
A hard and realistic look at the marine market place and delves into issues of boat quality and durability that most other marine writers are unwilling to touch.
Surveying Fiberglass Powewr Boats
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats
2nd Edition
The Art of Pre-Purchase Survey The very first of its kind, this book provides the essentials that every novice needs to know, as well as a wealth of esoteric details.
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