granpafish, sent you a PM. I've been looking at them for a LOOOOONNNGG Time! Greg is definitely a wealth of knowledge (if you go to thehulltruth.com he has a great review of the 2550 PH). But dont be surprised if Greg tries to sway you to the Judge :thumbup:
Loved my 25 MayCraft but Love my Judge A LOT MORE!
!. All composite vs. wood core
2. all hand laid glass vs chopped glass
3. full liner vs. no liner/ floor over stringers
4. built to your wants vs. what you get off the lot
5. nice finish vs. commercial boat finish.
6. deal direct with the builder vs. deal with a dealer who could change brands in the future (My Maycraft dealer lost the line soon after my purchase)
Both are great boats with similar layout and can serve your needs well. The 27 Maycraft is a larger boat with a wider beam. It probably should have twins to adequately be powered and may need a 3/4 ton to be trailered. The Judge can be adequately powered by a single 225 Honda (mine does just under 40mph at WOT and gets over 3mpg at cruise). You can get up to a single 300 or twin 175 zukes on the Judge if you want. I can tow mine with either my half ton suburban or silverado and I dont worry about permits. (I even hope to tow to OCMD in the next week or so ;-) ) The Judge is locally made and tends to hold a better resale. The Judge also has a lot more head room under the extended hardtop vs the 25 Maycraft I had. (can be and issue if you are much over 6'). While I have never been on a 27 Maycraft, In a following sea the Judge is also less prone to some bow steer than my 25 Maycraft due to a partial keel under the bottom. The Judge tends to also be MUCH drier running than the 25 Maycraft I owned (crew was always dry on the Maycraft due to the wheel house - kept the wiper busy though). I prefer the layout of both boats to other pilothouse/sport cabin boats due to the level floor to the helm and the encloseable extended top that provides a ton of room out the weather, whether it be the hot sun or cold.
Downside to the Judge is that you generally have to wait for a boat to be built. I think it took about 10 weeks or so for mine to be done. However it was worth the wait IMHO. Bill Judge and Elaine have treated me very well and were great to deal with. We got to watch our boat built and pick out everything from the color of the cushions to where the rod holders went. Being a smaller local builder, I tend to think that they give a lot of care to the boats they build. Feel free to post questions on the Judge owners social group at the link below or contact any of its members. I think most own 27's but a few own other models. It certainly is worth the trip over to the Judge plant to see their operation and talk to them in person. They have an open house coming up to where a lot of owners go as well as others who want to check out the operation and see some of the other vendors who show up. Personally I would call them up and get the individual tour first and try to negotiate a production slot before the spring rush so you dont miss the spring season.
I dont mean my comparisions to make the Maycraft sound like a bad boat. I obviously just prefer the Judge a lot more. I thoroughly enjoyed my Maycraft and it did everything we wanted it to. I would have been happy to keep the boat a long time had it not sold. I just think the Judge is a clear step up in quality. I also felt more comfortable dealing with the builder direct than a dealer (not that my Maycraft dealer treated me bad).
Good luck and let me know if you want to check a 27 Judge out. I dont plan on winterizing as I hear there is a good ocean bite :thumbup:
I purchased B-Faithful's Maycraft and could not have bargained for a better boat. Seaworthy, economical, great layout, pilot house for the rough/cold weather, trailerable, great lines, maneuverable, hose-and-go. I tell you, i searched for over two years and kicked a lot of tires. When BF took me out on his boat all it took was about 20 minutes on the water and it was a done deal. If you hold out for a while, I will be happy to take you trolling in the spring for trophy. Baldzilla is also scheduling a trip to take a look a the boat. Nothing against the Judge, another great boat, but I will keep this Maycraft for a long, long time. PM me if you want to talk more off line.
Thanks for the feedback guys. The one I am looking at has twins. My concern is how the boat handles heavy seas and I don't like to hear it is a wet ride. I've got a parker here in the bay that I love (and will not be selling) but really like the layout of the maycraft. Anyone own or been on a 27 offshore?
Dad- I'm getting a special wheelchair door made for when the time comesp
I have had my 25 offshore a few times. One thing about the Maycrafts is that they too have a tapered deadrise hull in the fact that they have a very sharp entry before flatting out to a shallower deadrise. It is much more aggressive than the Parkers. This leads to a nicer headsea ride over the mod v parkers IMHO. However its negative attributes are that you can bow steer some in a following sea. Trimming the bow/motors up can lessen this. The 27 Maycraft actually has a 17 degree transom deadrise so it may not be as prone to this (I dont know). The heavier weight of twins may lift the bow more as well too. A sea trial should tell you what you need to know. Anyhow what I found offshore was that the boat did very well in a chop. Where I found that that the boat didnt "shine" quite as much was in the big swells. I was able to make like 25mph in big glassy swells one August but when I went faster as a traditional deep v should be able to run I found that she would slap some if I got too much of the hull out of the water on the back side. Dont get me wrong, I was very comfortable and it was nice to run 25 mph on the glass swells. I just couldnt go faster on the particular day and had to keep more of the hull in the water coming down the back side. The previous trip had a big chop on the swells and my crew was commenting on how well she handled as we were able to make decent speed through some very rough seas (I even got sick). I think we made 20-22 mph or so but it was a couple of years ago.
Regarding the wetness of my 25, do a search here and on THT. TF'er gw204 has fished the boat with me in some very snotty seas and he has commented on it as well. While being a wet boat, the crew always stayed dry. It really wasnt an issue. With the extended top and side curtains I have had a crew up to 5 or 6 be dry on the roughest of days running. You just get a lot of spray on the windows and curtains while running. It can keep the windshield wiper busy but that is a non issue for the crew...
Of course it is important to note again that my comments are regarding the 25 Maycraft as I have never been on a 27.
Mark- Thanks again for your feedback.
Tim- If I had more time to sit on this deal i'd take you up on you offer in a minute. Thanks.
Greg- I sent you a p.m.
Powder- You know your always welcome even though Jay tells me your off the list
Judge has a used 27' listed on their website right now (accept I just realized it is an Eastern - not a Chesapeake, and honestly, I'm not sure if that is even a Judge boat?) - a sea trial of that may help you decide about the Maycraft. Judge Yachts Custom Boat Builders (scroll down about half way)
Andy, if you are interested in the Judge, there is a guy selling a used with Twins, he and I have been talking and I can see if I can find his info for you...not many options on it, but it may not compete with the deal you are getting on your Maycraft when you put the options you want on it