Buddy Davis was a young charter captain some 25 years ago when he started working in the off season alongside local builders on North Carolina's treacherous Outer Banks. He already knew that any vessel going to sea in these deadly waters must contend with vicious rips and currents, plough through chaotic walls of water that sometimes tumble into the Carolina inlets, and be built to stay high, dry and sturdy if paying guests were to come back as repeat customers.

You could say he had a flair for flare, a talent that more than any other feature typifies the mature Davis style and could be seen with dramatic effect when the Davis 78' Sportfisherman exhibited at last year's Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. Viewed from dead ahead at water line level this was a shape that looked more like a flared vase than a conventional sportfish yacht.

It is a design from a man enlightened by the wisdom that comes only from hard experience in heavy seas. Quality in all worthwhile manmade objects and particularly in boat building always means top dollar, because quality demands the best design, construction, materials, equipment and craftsmen. Any get-rich-quick builder can throw a load of inferior installations and equipment into the mix but in the long term it makes little sense for an owner who cares about performance and, in the longer term, the boat's resale value.

Cheap gear only increases downtime and yard time. A Buddy Davis 78 costs between $4.5 and $5 million because its builder doesn't believe in short cuts. In other works, as in all things, you get what you pay for.

What you get in the Davis 78 is an ocean-going yacht designed and build to provide comfort, reliability and optimal performance for big game fishermen who want luxury and a stable fighting platform in the same hull.

On this yacht the benefits start in the capacious cockpit, which is free of clutter, has abundant refrigerated and gear storage, and features and International fighting chair (with rocket launcher!), flush-mounted Rupp rod holders in coaming boards, live well with macerator, icemaker, salt and freshwater washdowns, four-drawer tackle center, bait preparation counter, phone and power outlets, all contained within a handsome and teak covering boards over teak coaming. Steps from here lead to a mezzanine deck above and forward of the cockpit; it has a head/shower to starboard, swing safety gates to port and starboard, and a freezer under bench seating on the portside. Entry to the enclosed salon is via a starboard door on the mezzanine.

This reveals an interior that's far removed in concept and atmosphere from the gladiatorial arena that partly defines a sportfish cockpit. Here we find elegance and comfort, climate controls, supple leather upholstery, a large bar with wine cooler, entertainment center (it includes a 40" Mitsubishi TV with satellite receiver, DVD and VCR) and, one step up from the salon deck, an L-shaped dinette. The adjacent full-service galley has a four-burner cook top, microwave and convection ovens, a built-in coffee maker, four refrigerated Sub Zero drawers and lockers; galley flooring and countertops are polished granite.

There is a utility room forward of a galley area; this also serves as a pantry and contains a 12-cubic foot industrial grade stainless steel freezer, storage lockers and drawers, washer/dryer and the main electrical breaker panel. A door to starboard leads to the mate's single-berth cabin, which has storage drawers above and under the bunk, a hanging locker, audio/visual center and head.

Owner and guest accommodation is reached by a companionway leading forward and down from the salon deck. The full-beam master suite is midships and two steps below the guest staterooms. The Davis 78 featured at the Lauderdale show had pleated overheads around a mirror; the bulkhead behind the queen-sized bed, which could be raised for access to storage, was also mirrored. The master bathroom had double facilities-two heads, a tub and two showers, with twin granite topped vanities; the gold-plated fixtures are from Grohe.

Both guest staterooms, one to starboard and a VIP suite forward, have queen beds, entertainment centers, private heads with show stalls and granite-topped vanities. The captain's cabin below midships on the port side has a double berth, audio/video system, and access to a head/shower.

A spiral staircase leads from the salon to an enclosed wheelhouse/lounge, which can also be reached by external ladders extending from the cockpit to the tuna tower and its helm station. The same quality of finish throughout the interior is found in the lounge, where there is a wet bar and entertainment center with a satellite TV receiver on a retractable hydraulic lift. A door leads from the lounge to the outside helm station and an observation.

It was from the tuna tower helm position that the captain gave his orders to depart for a sea trial. As we headed for the channel to the open sea we realized that there was a strange silence at this elevated height. Our twin 1800 HP diesels were inaudible; not only that, the absence of vibration made us doubt that we were actually underway.

We met five-foot seas in open water but the Davis-designed bottom neutralized these and we were soon gliding comfortably at a cruising speed of 25 knots across the surface, so comfortably in fact that it seemed to make little difference whether we ran with or against the seas, which is an indication of the design strength of the deep, narrow entry.

All things considered, the Davis 78 is a true luxury yacht in furnishing and fixtures, and one that seems untroubled by hard going. There can be little doubt that she will attract an exclusive following among shrewd buyers who appreciate the value of quality, comfort, performance and durability.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL SPORTFISHING YACHTS CURRENTLY FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA

This review/article originally appeared in Yachts International Magazine, March 2001 and was written by R. Jourdan. For more great sportfisher reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://www.yachtsinternational.com/

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    For the passionate angler, unrivaled speed, range and offshore capability make the 58 the ultimate performance sportfisherman. For the family that travels to far-off places, luxurious accommodations make it a prestigious offshore luxury cruiser. Put Yourself in a commanding position in the 58's spacious 122 sq. ft. one-piece flying bridge, where the Captain is firmly in control. Offering peace and quiet and an incredible view, whoever said...

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  • 54' MEDITERRANEAN 54 ENCLOSED BRIDGE (2005)
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  • 54' MEDITERRANEAN 54 ENCLOSED BRIDGE (2005)
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  • 54' BERTRAM 54 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1998) "CHIQELIN"
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    54' BERTRAM 54 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1998)...

    The Fifty-Four... Bertram's crown jewel. Beneath the water, the trademark Bertram hull's 17-degree deadrise tames even the roughest seas.  Within the spacious cockpit, a tackle center, live baitwell and 2 fishboxes make a first-class fishing station. Through her many incarnations over the years, the Fifty-Four has maintained a reputation as a true sportfishing vessel. You'll find her name printed in magazines, engraved on trophies, and rolling...

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  • 53' HATTERAS 53 CONVERTIBLE (1973) "PHANTOM EX"
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    53' HATTERAS 53 CONVERTIBLE (1979) "CASAURINA"

    Hatteras Yachts has the boat to support your fishing strategy- the 53 Convertible. Like the very first Hatteras, the 53 bolts for the open sea. She gets up on a plane quickly, tracks steadily in beam and following seas, and cuts the head seas cleanly. She's ready to fight when she gets to the fishing grounds. Maneuverable, sure-footed, she'll respond quickly to orders. [displayForm id=9] Photos and description courtesy: Hatteras Yachts

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  • 52' HATTERAS 52 COCKPIT MOTOR YACHT (1991)
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    52' HATTERAS 52 COCKPIT MOTOR YACHT (1991) "LA...

    The Hatteras 52 Cockpit Motor Yacht is convincing proof of how good life can be when you've reached the top. She's extremely comfortable, with more functional living space than you'd expect in a yacht this size. Both are superb examples of the telltale style and quality that reveal to you immediately that it's a member in good standing of the Hatteras fleet [displayForm id=10] Photos and description courtesy: Hatteras Yachts

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  • 51' RIVIERA 51 G2 FLYBRIDGE (2006) "CHRISTINA KATE"
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    51' RIVIERA 51 G2 FLYBRIDGE (2007) "STUDIO E" *LLC*

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  • 50' VIKING 50 CONVERTIBLE (1998) *LLC* "VERTIGO"
    Available

    50' VIKING 50 CONVERTIBLE (1991) "TOO MUCH"

    FISH TANK. If there's any one compliment to lay on the Viking 50- one based on solid experience- it's that she's built like a tank. In these days of high-tech construction materials and cars with "crumple zones" instead of nearly crash-resistant steel, it's refreshing to know that some boats are still built on the notion that a gale-driven sea hasn't gotten any kinder or gentler with the advent of featherweight composites.  [displayForm id=9]...

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    $269,000.00
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  • 50' HATTERAS 50 CONVERTIBLE (1980)
    Available

    50' HATTERAS 50 CONVERTIBLE (1980) "SONRISA"

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    $110,000.00
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    Available

    50' BERTRAM 50 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1995)...

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    $325,000.00
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  • 50' BERTRAM 50 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1994) "GET REEL"
    Available

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  • 48' TOLLYCRAFT 48 COCKPIT MOTORYACHT (1985) "CLOUDBURST"
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    48' TOLLYCRAFT 48 COCKPIT MOTORYACHT (1985)...

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  • 48' TIARA 4800 CONVERTIBLE (2010) *LLC*
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    48' TIARA 4800 CONVERTIBLE (2010) "PERSISTENCE" *LLC*

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  • 48' OCEAN YACHTS 48 SUPER SPORT (1997)
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    48' OCEAN YACHTS 48 SUPER SPORT (1997)

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  • 48' OCEAN YACHTS 48 SUPER SPORT (1997)
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    48' OCEAN YACHTS 48 SUPER SPORT (1989) "BAM-BOO"

    The New Generation's Newest Star... The 48 Super Sport: Breakthrough design & aggressive performance with notable luxury. The most boat for the money Ocean's ever offered! The All American. Every inch an Ocean. Rakish contours to capture the eye. Ingenious stateroom layouts. Luxurious appointments. Uncompromising quality. Topline appliances, fixtures and equipment. Modular construction. Beamy. Roomy. Fast. 30kn with Detroit 6-71 TIB's. Fuel...

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  • 48' OCEAN YACHTS 48 MOTORYACHT (1994) "PRIME TIME"
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    48' OCEAN YACHTS 48 COCKPIT MOTORYACHT (1994)...

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  • 47' RIVIERA 47 FLYBRIDGE (2005)
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    $194,000.00
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  • 47' DAVIS 47 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1991)
    Available

    47' DAVIS 47 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1991)

    If the drone of diesels breaking the predawn silence ninety miles offshore, and the sight of a full complement of billfish lures skipping along in your wake is enough to get your chest a pumping ... do we have a boat for you! The Buddy Davis 47, designed by fishermen for fishermen, is the one yacht that will truly set you apart from the crowd. With its "Oh so Pretty" Carolina Flare, The Davis 47 is the only boat with total head sea capability...

    If the drone of diesels breaking the predawn silence ninety miles offshore, and the...

    If the drone of diesels breaking the predawn silence ninety miles offshore, and the sight of a full complement of billfish lures skipping along in your wake is enough to get...

    $229,000.00
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  • 46' OCEAN YACHTS 46 SUPER SPORT (2006) "NO WORRY'S"
    Available

    46' OCEAN YACHTS 46 SUPER SPORT (2006) "NO...

    She laid claim to a perfection of form and function unsurpassed in a mid-sized yacht. The original 46' model earned an admiring following of passionate sportfishermen and ardent cruisers. Ideally sized and appointed for a family or couple, she was versatile, fast, and exceptionally livable. The preeminent American pleasure craft. That legendary Ocean Yacht has returned with a third luxurious stateroom, a second head, and a salon that will...

    She laid claim to a perfection of form and function unsurpassed in a mid-sized yacht....

    She laid claim to a perfection of form and function unsurpassed in a mid-sized yacht. The original 46' model earned an admiring following of passionate sportfishermen and ardent...

    $469,000.00
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  • 46' HATTERAS 46 CONVERTIBLE (1982) "OFF THE LINKS"
    Available

    46' HATTERAS 46 CONVERTIBLE (1978)

    THE POWERHOUSE SPORTFISHERMAN... The Hatteras 46 Convertible is one tough boat to beat. In more ways than one. Hatteras has designed this sportsflsherman to take on a new high performance power package for more speed at sea, and a new layout for more livability in port. The 46 Convertible is a true Powerhouse combination. With the optional high performance twin G.M. 8V-71TI power package, rated at 870 H.P, you can run through the water at...

    THE POWERHOUSE SPORTFISHERMAN... The Hatteras 46 Convertible is one tough boat to beat....

    THE POWERHOUSE SPORTFISHERMAN... The Hatteras 46 Convertible is one tough boat to beat. In more ways than one. Hatteras has designed this sportsflsherman to take on a new high...

    $99,500.00
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  • 46' BERTRAM 46 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1976)
    Available

    46' BERTRAM 46 CONVERTIBLE SPORTFISHER (1977)...

    Bertram's 46-foot Triple-Stateroom Convertible represents a major engineering of the company's highly acclaimed 46-foot hull. Her introduction gave a choice of three 46-foot models, the others being the 46-foot "galley down" convertible and the 46-foot yacht. The owner's stateroom to port offers a queen-size berth and a private bath with stall shower. The forward stateroom has a V-berth and direct access to a head. The third stateroom offers...

    Bertram's 46-foot Triple-Stateroom Convertible represents a major engineering of the...

    Bertram's 46-foot Triple-Stateroom Convertible represents a major engineering of the company's highly acclaimed 46-foot hull. Her introduction gave a choice of three 46-foot...

    $89,000.00
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