At a distance it can be difficult to distinguish one trawler from another or, if you recognize the brand, it’s often a guess to determine the correct size of the model.
Then you see one that is beautifully different. Captivating. A time suspending design.
The Jay Benford Florida Bay Coasters are part river boat, part waterfront home and completely solid underway. Built in the US and constructed out of steel, this is a stout and sturdy trawler that is surprisingly nimble underway.
RED HEAD is as famous as she is distinctive. There have been a handful of owners over time, most notably the music recording artist, Billy Joel. The current owners are very active captains who have owned multiple boats and been involved in the marine industry for decades.
Several years ago, RED HEAD was donated to the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. Knowing that the institute had to sit on her for some time before they could sell, the current owners kept their eye on her, letting the Academy know they were keenly interested. It was a noble pursuit that kept them excited after selling their last trawler, a DeFever 53. RED HEAD was quickly put under contract and had a positive survey.
It was also obvious that to meet their standards, the new owners were going to have to commit to a lot of restoration, improvements and upgrades. All told, over $1.0 million dollars were lavished over a two-year period before serious cruising could commence and the spending has continued to address everything that pops up. For full time cruising, this is truly a remarkable waterfront home afloat. Amazingly, she is owned, maintained, and operated by a married couple with three dogs.
Being knowledgeable boat owners, they know that they will never be able to recapture the funds they have bestowed upon her, but that’s OK. They have done what was needed and more and this will make it that much easier for the next owners to start off in a great position. Trying to quantify the value for the size and condition it is easy to see this is an extraordinary value.
RED HEAD has cruised from Maine to the Florida Keys, using the ICW and traveling offshore. Visually she may appear “top heavy” but that is an incorrect perception. She is graceful through the water and surprisingly fuel efficient with her twin Caterpillar 3208T’s engines pushing 200,000 pounds. She enjoys cruising at 9.1 knots with an average burn of 4 gallons per hour from each engine.
The current owners have never had more fun with a boat, the experiences have been wonderful. The eastern seaboard is her stomping grounds, and the Bahamas are her favorite getaway. Now, after 5+ years with RED HEAD, and having previously cruised for decades on other boats, they are ready to take a break and are moving ashore. The timing is great for the next owner. RED HEAD is in exceptional condition, and this is the optimum time for them to sell and a buyer to step up.
Would you like to wander about, exploring, drifting, puttering, or to take off on a long passage? RED HEAD makes this all possible with spectacular views through windows and on deck making sure that being aboard never grows old.
There are port and starboard side decks that wend their way aft to the easiest interior access. Most commonly you will dock port side and arrive at the gathering area aft which includes the galley and saloon. This great room has the galley forward, with the saloon aft. There is a counter island with bar stools that divide the space by name, but it is one large, inviting area. The island has a sensational zinc counter on top with a lower quartz counter. There is a single basin stainless sink and multiple drawers. Also in the island is the dishwasher and a slide out trash bin. The aft part of the zinc top is addressed with three bar stools that swivel and provide a wonderful place to view and converse. There is a stainless footrest running along the lower edge of the island.
The primary galley appliances are conveniently located forward with the AGA Companion four burner propane grill, some counter surface for appliances and a huge, full-size Big Chill refrigerator top with freezer bottom. Across the hall in the same area is a microwave oven.
Working aft from the galley is the enormous saloon. The entire sole is covered with reclaimed oak from an old barn in Maine and then carpeted over top. There are two Dutch doors from the side decks forward and also a double opening door aft to the Poop deck. There are windows all around that have tasteful coverings and give you an incredible view of your surroundings. This is the area where you will dine and relax. On the port side is a large L-shaped couch with an equally large dining table. There are two comfortable chairs that can be repositioned as you please. On the starboard side is white painted cabinetry that conceals the 40” flat screen television on a lift. The sense of space and being in your surroundings is very appealing.
A convenient landing area. This space is a covered outside deck area that has hawseholes and cleats for tying up as well as a shore power connection. There is a boarding door on the port side. The center bulwark is also a hinged ramp that is hydraulically operated to lower and serve as a dock platform.
Moving forward from the galley/saloon you have a door that leads down to the machinery space and a short set of steps that leads up to the mid deck landing. The landing has an opening window and built-in cabinetry for storage with a convenient counter ledge. From the landing you can go forward into the guest stateroom, inboard to the guest head, or up the stairs to the pilothouse / owner cabin deck level.
The guest stateroom has a queen-sized bed positioned athwartship for easy entry from three sides. There are windows forward and along the sides. The forward starboard corner is set up with counters extending in both directions to create a desk area with a chair and printer. There are lockers and drawers. The sole is carpeted.
This head is at the landing area making it convenient for guests in the gathering deck area and as the dedicated head for the guest stateroom. The floor is tiled, there is a freshwater toilet, sink and spacious tub/shower.
The foredeck is ship-like, towering over the water with high, protective railing. Forward are two Mantus anchors, each directed to a separate electric windlass via chain rode. The forward anchor well has a dam to contain chain wash and there is a Freeman hatch to give access to the chain locker. The prominent foremast has ratlines and a Crow’s nest. It can be lowered. There is a hydraulic pump that powers the controls for the cargo boom which can lift gear from a dock or wharf and deposit it into the cargo hold. Below the foredeck is the crew quarters.
This area is set up as crew quarters. There is a large door access from the cargo deck to enter. There are two single berths, each outboard along the hull side. Forward is a bank of drawers and overhead storage. By the entrance door there is a large hanging locker. There is immediate access to the machinery deck via a set of stairs and there is a folding floor cover over the steps. There are opening portlights outboard. Aft, to port, is the enclosed head with sink, toilet and tub shower.
UPPER DECK PILOTHOUSE AND OWNER
The view for running RED HEAD is spectacular, this is a raised pilothouse platform that is aft for a more comfortable ride and excellent visibility. You can get to the pilothouse from the inside up the central stairway that connects the lower deck to the mid deck and then up to this level. The pilothouse has two doors to the outside deck which is a very wide Portuguese bridge forward and side decks to head aft. The navigation and communications are situated for easy operations. There is a Stidd helm chair on a side-to-side adjustable track. Outboard on both sides of the dash are wide surfaces for charts and gear. The electrical breaker panel for the navigation equipment is to port and there are and drawers for storage. Behind the helm chair is a large C-shaped settee with a table. The table can be lowered to convert this settee into a berth.
This is truly the best room aboard. Located up high and aft above the saloon, this room has a king-sized bed with wide walking floor space surrounding. There are windows outboard and aft. The bed has built in stands on each side. There are lockers and drawers. The door aft opens to an outside covered patio deck. Moving forward from the stateroom you can go forward to the upper landing – ahead to the pilothouse or outside to the starboard deck. Turning inward you pass through a wonderful closet area with locker and drawers for closing and that connects to the private owner’s head.
Behind the stateroom door, there is a walk-through area with clothing lockers and drawers that leads to the ensuite head and shower. Tiled floors, a custom floating sink, Headhunter freshwater toilet and an opening window outboard. The shower is huge, a two-person sized shower.
OWNER OUTSIDE DECK
The outside deck is directly accessed through the owner stateroom door. This is a covered deck area with high railing. An assortment of comfortable outdoor seats and tables compliment this area as a coveted location for relaxing.
Through a door forward of the galley you descend a short flight of stairs to arrive in the center or main chamber of the machinery spaces. This central location provides immediate access to the two engine rooms, which are isolated outboard behind closed doors. There are four collision bulkheads in this lower area.
The layout of equipment was focused on easy access to make inspections and service convenient. In the furthest chamber aft contains the autopilot and steering assembly. There is also a hydraulic pack and ram to operate the Poop deck lowering ramp. Throughout the machinery area there are water sensors that alert the AnyWater alarm system. Serious effort by the current owners has been lavished to make this deck level clean, fresh and dry.
The second chamber forward (pump room or tank deck) includes freshwater tanks, water maker and chilled water air-conditioning as well as batteries and the water heater tank. Beneath the stairs are two inverter chargers and the Racor filters for fuel filtering. In the main chamber, a fuel manifold is installed inside a work surface that includes a vice. Forward to port in the main chamber are the laundry appliances – full-sized clothes washer and dryer. There are electrical breakers and display panels. Duplex Racor fuel filters are located inboard and outside of each engine room. There is a Northern Lights 25 kW generator sharing the space with each Caterpillar main engine.
An impressive tool chest with drawers completes this chamber. Going forward through the walk through collision bulkhead brings you to the cargo bay. Above, two huge doors open hydraulically to allow for the cargo boom above to move supplies. The cargo deck has previously housed a car and two motorcycles. There is a sink to port and this entire chamber is methodically organized with bins full of spares that are neatly labeled and ready for most projects that may come up. At the front of the cargo bay is a set of steps that leads up to the Forecastle crew quarters.
Port Engine Room:
Starboard Engine Room:
The upper most deck is a spacious area with an incredible amount of outdoor space. There are high railings all around. An electric hoist is installed on the port side for lifting kayaks or the portable dock. There is a steering helm on the port side built into the pilothouse roof. The stack is stylish and it is easy to get atop the roof to check out the antennas and other gear like the Kahlenberg horn trumpets and search light. The stairs are wide and have a comfortable angle. Room for all kinds of lounge chairs, exercise equipment, even a large outdoor awning would work well up here.
The Cargo deck has two large, hinged doors that are hydraulically activated to provide access to the cargo hold below. This is a commercial ship attribute that is extremely uncommon on a recreational cruising boat. The doors also have chocks to support and store the inflatable tender. This entire area is well protected with side deck railing. Forward there is storage up against the forecastle for lines and fenders. The hydraulic cargo boom is attached to the foremast for heavy lifting. The pilothouse and Portuguese bridge align with the aft area. There is a clever pivoting davit with a block and tackle arrangement for handling dinghy launching and retrieval. The outboard decks each have boarding doors and a clear walkway to doors that open into the interior.
You ascend to the raised foredeck via built in ladder steps on both sides. This is a spectacular platform for handling anchoring chores. There are two anchor rollers with large Mantus anchors and two Maxwell electric windlasses. The anchor well has a dam to retain muddy water and direct it overboard. There is a Freeman hatch above the chain locker. The impressive foremast is supported with stays and has a Crow’s nest that is accessed via side ladders. The mast also has a hydraulically controlled lifting boom for large loads from shore to the cargo hold. The foremast can be lowered to clear under low bridges.
LISTING BROKERS COMMENTS:
RED HEAD is massive. She is a huge house on the water as comfortable offshore in the breeze as she is anchored in a shallow cove. Her condition is amazing. You will not believe you are on a boat that was launched many years ago, she is lovingly cared for and kept fresh through active use.
A detailed 22-page inventory list is available by request which goes into greater detail to identify the incredible amount of gear included.
She has been rated for commercial charters and safety is at the forefront. There are four collision bulkheads in the lower deck. An incredible series of bilge pumps and the AnyWater sensor keeps the crew alert to the slightest water intrusion.
The interior layout is practical and the heft of the boat keeps her stable at anchor and underway. The great room with saloon and galley is a wonderful gathering place for preparing meals, dining or relaxing to television and music.
The interior stairs lead up to the mid deck with guest stateroom (office inside) and a separate head and shower. Going up the stairs to the next level you reach the pilothouse forward and owner cabin aft. The owner cabin is amazing and the pilothouse has the necessary equipment for safe navigating.
The decks surrounding the house give you multiple outside walkways and the sundeck up top is a huge area. The profile with the cargo deck gives her a very salty and serious look. The forecastle with foredeck atop and crew quarters below is an ideal use of space. The cargo deck opens up with two large doors to reveal the machinery deck.
Each engine and generator is secure inside its’ own room. The ability to transit the machinery deck chambers from stern to bow also gives you easy access for service and maintenance. The array of tools and spare parts in inventory is beyond comparison.
The fit and finish inside and out is a testament to the care the current owners have given RED HEAD. For a home on the water, that will travel with surprising agility, there really is nothing like this available. She deserves your consideration and we invite you to get in touch with listing broker, Jeff Merrill to schedule your personal viewing.
For additional information please visit RED HEAD’s website: www.FloridaBayCoaster65.com
Exclusions: Potential purchasers should assume that items on the vessel at the time of viewing, but not specifically listed on this sheet, are not included with the sale of the yacht. These specifications are believed to be true and correct but cannot be guaranteed. Items excluded include, but are not limited to paintings, tools, handheld nav gear and binoculars. Owner’s personal effects and clothing will be removed prior to closing.
Disclaimer: Jeff Merrill Yacht Sales, Inc. presents the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor guarantee or warrant the condition of the vessel. Buyers should instruct their agents and their surveyors to investigate all details the buyers desire validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.
Brokerage: JMYS is a US based (licensed and bonded yacht brokerage in California, Florida and Washington) with an international emphasis specializing in ocean capable trawlers and recreational tugs. Our brokers are experienced boaters, most are trawler owner/operators with thousands of hours and miles at sea. We treat our clients with respect, we are responsive and not pushy. Our focus is to become your loyal advocate, always looking out for your best interests. The team at JMYS has extensive trawler and motor yacht product knowledge and our skills are available for coaching after the sale has concluded.
Co-Brokerage: Fellow yacht broker association members: RED HEAD is available for Co-Brokerage.
*Listing broker. Jeff Merrill, CPYB (Certified Professional Yacht Broker) has extensive product knowledge of the trawler market plus direct experience with steel trawlers. Jeff was her listing broker several years ago and has kept in regular contact with her current owners. He has been aboard and underway several times. Jeff is a familiar face to YouTube viewers and a regular presenter at TrawlerFest. He writes about trawlers for Ocean Navigator and PassageMaker magazines and is one of the online instructors for Boaters University.
This listing specification has been approved by the sellers for accuracy. The photos, images and descriptive content are copyrighted by JMYS and may not be copied or used without specific written permission. All inspections are by appointment only. Please contact listing broker, Jeff Merrill, CPYB by phone- call or text his mobile +1 (949) 355-4950 for email for additional information or to schedule your personal showing. You can send a detailed email to: Jeff@JMYS.com
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