About EmmaJo


Built by the Sen Koh shipyard in Taiwan, “Emma Jo” is a 1988 DeFever 49 Raised Pilothouse offshore cruising trawler. She is laid out in the traditional “Plan A” deck plan. The upper deck is comprised of the pilot house (which we use as an office) and the sun deck, which houses the inflatable dinghy. The settee and hi-lo table converts to a double berth, so the pilot house can also be used as guest quarters. In the starboard forward corner is a curved staircase leading to the accommodation deck.

Accommodations include a master stateroom located midships, with a queen walk around berth and an ensuite head with a (tiny) bathtub and shower. Ample hanging lockers are located on the port side. The guest stateroom is forward, and the typical v-berth arrangement has been stacked into bunk beds, allowing for drawer space and a hanging locker. The guest stateroom is served by its own head, which can also be outfitted as a shower.

The lower deck accommodates the galley, saloon, and covered aft deck (we call it the back porch). The galley is U-shaped, with plenty of counter space. We replaced the standard Jenn-Aire (electric!) household stove and oven and 22 cubic foot household Amana side-by-side refrigerator/freezer in 2012 with a gas cooktop, an energy-efficient 9 cubic foot household fridge, and a Panasonic combination microwave/convection oven.. There’s a large pantry locker, and another large locker holds a Splendide combination washer-dryer. The galley and saloon are separated by a breakfast bar with a bookcase and stemware rack.

The saloon can also be used as sleeping quarters, as it contains a queen-sized hide-a-bed sofa on the port side. Across from the sofa are two matching wicker chairs and a corner entertainment cabin holds a 42″ flat-screen tv and an entertainment system.

Main deck, galley, and accomnmodations.

Upper deck and pilothouse layout.

The aft deck is set up for enjoying informal al fresco dining, or just admiring the view. A hatch in the deck allows access to the lazarette (we call it the basement), where we store equipment, gear, and supplies. Forward of the lazarette is the engine room. While not exactly a “stand up” engine room, there is a small workbench and ample space to access any necessary machinery.

She’s built on a very heavy fiberglass semi-displacement hull, and while she is unstabilized, she’s got a very sea-kindly way of handling the ocean. The decks and back deck are protected by the sun deck overhangs, and there’s a classic Portuguese bridge that wraps around the front of the pilothouse.

Here’s a great article from Passagemaker Magazine detailing why so many of us DeFever owners are absolutely in love with our boats.


Hull Type Semi-displacement Fuel Capacity 800 Gallons
Year 1986 Water Capacity 400 Gallons
Length Overall 49 ft (14.9 Meters) Engines (2) Ford Lehman 135
Beam 15 ft (4.6 Meters) Generator Westerbeke 12.5Kw
Displacement 49,000 lbs (22,226.3 kg) Range Approximately 1000 Nautical Miles
Hull Material Fiberglass Staterooms 2 – Amidships master with queen berth + forward guest room with stacked berths
Draft 4.5 ft Heads 2