Boating Articles: Silverton, Our Boat US

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BoatU.S. member Nyla Deputy can tell you more about America’s waters than the best boating guide on the market. That’s because she has traveled many of the nation’s lakes, rivers and inlets behind the helm of her 34-foot Silverton, Buy the Hour.

In January, Deputy and her husband of 21 years, Paul, escaped the snow of their hometown, New Castle, DE. They migrated south with their 1989 convertible and dropped anchor along with 52 other Silverton owners in Fort Myers, FL, for the annual Silverton Owners Club’s Snowbird Party. The four-day gathering, their first event of 2003, kicked off with a get-acquainted party, followed by dockside gatherings, more parties and story swapping.

Many of the 14,109 Silverton boat owners log a lot of hours on their boats like the Deputys. Many northern snowbirds make the annual migration to warm waters in the winter.

Our season is limited from April to November, said BoatU.S. member Jim Nevin, of Ontario, Canada, a Great Lakes boater for over 30 years and owner of a 2000 Silverton convertible 42 until this year. We just bought a 2003 Silverton 43, Ice Breaker. We anchor out every weekend and spend three to five weeks cruising in the summer.

Many owners are passionate about their Silverton motoryachts and would not dream of purchasing any other kind of boat. Silvertons have become a family tradition for many.

I have a 1987 Silverton convertible, originally purchased by my father, said BoatU.S. member Tom Serio, a resident of Seaford, Long Island. We love our Silverton and use her to cruise the bays of the south shore of Long Island.

I enjoy my boating time, said BoatU.S. member John McCluer. McCluer is a retired Pittsburgh laundry business owner and owner of a 1994 Silverton convertible 34. My wife, Gail, and I are free to cruise when and where we want.

I have owned Silvertons all my life, said BoatU.S. member Rich William, 39, a California United Airlines aircraft inspector. At the moment, I have a 1983 Silverton 34. We love her.

It is not unusual to see a 20-year-old Silverton on the waterways today. The enduring brand stems back to one of America’s shipbuilding pioneers, Henry Luhrs, a German immigrant to the U.S. in the mid-1800s. Today, Silverton Marine Corp. based in New Jersey, is owned by its employees, is part of the Luhrs Marine Group and its family of Hunter Marine, Mainship and Luhrs.

Typically, Silverton boaters like to do their own maintenance, leaving the technical repairs to a mechanic. We always rip out and start over, said Deputy. Everything on the boat is top flight, right down to the teak cabin sole. We’ve had the woodwork professionally refinished twice.

Some owners say parts for older models, 20 years or more, are no longer available through the manufacturer and have to be rebuilt, although parts for newer boats are easy to get.

Another concern voiced by some is that the length of the boat does not include the bow pulpit and owners have found their Silvertons don’t fit into their slips. We’ve had to change slip assignments more than once after we arrive and the marina sees our boat, said Deputy.

Statistics provided by Silverton show that the majority of Silverton owners are between the ages of 40 and 60 and make mid-range incomes. Nearly 13% of all Silverton owners are members of the Silverton Owners Club, a private nonprofit group started in 1996 and headed up today by Deputy.

Since 1999, the club has developed into more of an Internet chat group rather than a cruising club. Members log onto the Web site, which is free of advertising, for a news and information exchange. They’ll find a list of activities, news and articles as well as a market place, chat room, library and bulletin board. Guest users are invited to surf and ask questions.

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There is a camaraderie, even though members may live hundreds of miles away, said Serio. The club has been very helpful in answering my boating questions.

Most of the owners interviewed agreed that there were several features that made the Silverton the boat of their dreams including looks, layout, finish, sea capabilities and quality. The boat has a decent layout, said BoatU.S. member Mike Machulski, 38, a Delaware marine business owner. The boat is built well.

Another plus, which crept into conversations at the rendezvous time after time, was the affordable price tag.

We looked at everything on display at the Miami Boat Show in 2002, said BoatU.S. member Steve Kalimnios of Montauk, NY. We kept coming back to the Silverton. Kalimnios bought a Silverton convertible 42. We find that you get a lot for the money.

For information about upcoming events, sign on to or call 302-322-5244.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Boat Owners Association

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

Article Source: Boat/US Magazine — March 2003 —

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