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Sailboat to trawler, but which trawler?

Discussion in 'General Trawler Discussion' started by SailorGreg, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. SailorGreg

    SailorGreg New Member

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    Many years offshore sailing and off-and-on living aboard on a 50'+ sailboat, but with our two teen age crew off to college, and me not getting any younger, it is time to join you folks. A trawler looks to fit our plans best, with the wife and me living aboard and the extended family joining us on occasion. Travel will be from NE to Bahamas and Caribbean, with no extended offshore beyond an overnight passage here and there. Meanwhile, multiple stream crossings and the occasional Mona passage to keep things interesting. No need for speed, never had it to miss. But a boat that is somewhat overbuilt, and capable of even more than I intend to encounter, appeals to me. My wife wants a stable platform, both at sea and at anchor. and preferably 3 SR's. 3/4 time on the hook, with extended time off the grid in remote locales.

    Side note: I am 6'5"+.

    With that preamble, a short example list of used ($1M range) boats would be KK 52 or 58, Nordhavn 55, 57 or maybe even the 62, but fear crossing the 60' barrier would bring on some docking and mooring challenges. Have shied away from the semi-displacement boats, Fleming 55 for example, based on intended use and dislike for high fuel bills, but no strong aversion.

    So is that enough info to get the discussion flowing? I appreciate your combined experience, since we have no significant power boat experience ourselves.
  2. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    My Gosh, where to start?

    The thing that will be difficult is spending time out at anchor. Trawlers, by their very nature, can be power hungry. Unlike a cruising sailing yacht, trawlers can look a little silly with loads of solar panels and wind turbines scattered over the decks.

    A friend used to have a 55ft wooden trawler, custom-made and very classic. The aft cabin roof had 4 large (but hidden from side view) solar panels that worked very well. It was very solidly constructed, even the main engine was solidly bolted to the frames, so that in the event of a roll-over, the mounts would hold the motor even while upside down.

    Over-built? Heck yes, but he cruised the Caribbean, mostly solo, for many years and burnt very little fuel.

    This is just a quick post to narrow down just what sort of craft would fit your cruising life.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I agree 100% with your choice of candidates, and can't think of anything to add worth widening the search for. Also agree with not crossing that 60' line. I think the Kady would lend itself better to the addition of solar panels if that's your intention, and I think the Nordhaven might be more stable at anchor. One consideration you might want to check into is height. Not a factor with your current plans, but over 19' can hinder you if you decide to head north for a summer (in the canals). Also, an being able to grab an extra knot ot two can be of real benefit when you enter an inlet.
  4. SailorGreg

    SailorGreg New Member

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    power and air draft

    As to power on the hook, yes, I am used to less. 1 hr per day on our genset was enough. Small 12v fridge, etc. Prior boat had wind gen and was pretty much self sufficient. Am surprised that lots of these boats assume 24/7 genset operation, I assume, as they have small alternators on the main engine(s) and small house banks.
    As to the canals, yes that is a consideration, and something I would have to give up w/ the Nordhavns. The 55 is a TALL boat. Windage comes to mind, both in close quarters maneuvering and sailing on the anchor. If any of these boats are more susceptible to sailing/swinging on the anchor I would really like to find that out. That would be a deal killer for me.
  5. Petr

    Petr New Member

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  6. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    For comfort on the hook you'll want to stay away from the taller boats for the most part. They're just more inclined to roll. Unless of course they have some kind of at anchor stabilization.

    While they have had issues, Marlows are very stable at anchor and good sea boats. Wet boats but they are solid and handle seas well.

    So that is the style of vessel I would be looking at. At least if you are going to be spending more time on the hook than the dock as you indicated.

    If you don't want to add wind generators and/or several solar panels you might want to look at installing a small diesel Genset that runs a high capacity DC alternator. That way you could use the minimum fuel to charge your batteries.
    Something like this that can also power a watermaker perhaps. Genie Diesel Alternators

    But of course the reality may end up being if your cruising down south unless you have a high tolerance to the heat and can find a boat that has great ventilation while still being able to feel secure sleeping at night with what ever has to be open to get that ventilation, you will just end up running an AC genset to keep the boat cool.

    Although they do make small marine DC powered A/C units.
  7. SailorGreg

    SailorGreg New Member

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    responses

    Thanks, Petr. The Privateer in particular is appealing. Only one on YW now is a new one at $1.6m headed to FL. Out of my price range, however.
    Bill, yes, I would expect flopper stoppers. Would be a requirement to keep my 1st mate happy, at a minimum.
    As to Marlow, and other semi-displacements, not sure what I would be giving up in seaworthyness. I do note many Marlows and Flemings in far flung places, however.
    We lived aboard in '05, and again in'09. Caribbean and Bahamas. Mostly on the hook. Never needed air con in these situations, but the sailboat has very good ventilation, and it doesnt look like many trawlers do. Forward master on KK with overheads might be better than center on N. Cant contemplate running the genny all night at anchor, but then dont like sleeping in the heat either...
    Thanks, guys.
  8. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I am traveling and posting by iPhone so please excuse typos and brevity. Seems like this is being made more complicated than necessary. This is not reinventing the wheel. Many if not majority of trawler owners have come from sail. Gyro stab requires generator so not a good choice for being on hook, nor is height, windage, shallow draft. Steel trawlers tend to be heavier, sit lower and thus more stable. Bilge keels provide passive stabilization. Inverters and good electrical management can present plenty of quiet time at anchor, forget solar panels. Lots of trawler choices. Do more research.

    Judy
  9. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    At the last Annapolis powerboat show I had occasion to go aboard a Grand Banks Heritage 43 EU. She would make a very nice liveaboard, and be of a very reasonable size.

    I'm 6'4" and if I remember correctly there was enough head room.
  10. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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  11. SailorGreg

    SailorGreg New Member

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    Thanks, but a final ruling from the admiral is; no more heeling, even a little.
  12. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Catamaran?
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Looking in the under 60' range, certainly KK and Nordhavn are excellent boats to look at. Nordhavn tends however to be chosen more for crossing larger bodies of water than for coastal and looping. Grand Banks Aleutians fit in your range and are excellent loop boats. Fleming. Even some boats you don't think of as Trawlers, but Hatteras makes an excellent loop boat. Really two factors you need to keep in mind for loop and Bahamas, draft and air draft. Air must not exceed 19'1". Draft, less is better, and under 5' is best. I would not want to exceed about 5'6" and wouldn't consider over 6'. Most loop boats are even smaller than you're considering with heavy emphasis under 40', some 40-50' and very few 50-60'. Still when we began looking for a loop boat we wanted to get as close to 60' as possible since we do have a lot of guests. Some will tell you that over 50' causes problems with docking and they really haven't checked the loop carefully. We only found one small area, perhaps one night on the path. Otherwise 60' is well accommodated. Plus a larger boat lets you truly enjoy the Great Lakes and the Gulf rather than feel you have to hug the shore.
  14. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    62 Powercat

    Does sound that way, doesn't it.

    Perhaps this great powercat from a friend of mine down in FL
    economy, shallow draft, easy to handle....

    Have a look at this powercat here:
    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/123583-post41.html

    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/123586-post42.html

    Brian
    RunningTideYachts

    PS: here is a yachtworld listing
    1999 Malcolm Tennant Power Cat Power Boat For Sale - www.**************
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Quite honestly, for what you're looking for I would not overlook a Fleming. In my opinion the 55' is the perfect couples cruising boat. It can be efficiently run at trawler speeds, has a great layout and is really easy to get lines and such. You can always run a Fleming slower, but you can never run a Nordhavn faster.

    While Nordhavn makes a great boat, they're not the easiest to dock in that size range due to just the deck layout and getting around on them as well as maneuvering with a single engine. If I was doing the Great Loop I would want twin engines and a bow thruster. I cannot remember how many locks there are, but the total is over a 100 of them and maneuvering with an owner operator couple should be a large consideration.

    The Grand Banks Eluetion is another good choice as Olderboater pointed out. The only problem with both the Fleming and Grand Banks is they are high exterior maintanence boats with the amount of varnished wood and stainless.

    I wouldn't even consider a Marlow. Both due to their business ethics and swim platform design. I was sitting next to one around 60' in Charleston and the integral swim platform was so low above the water that on an incoming tide the 8" waves would smash into it and shoot spray all over the aft deck and make the entire boat shudder.......piss poor design IMO. The owner of his almost new boat was pretty pissed off about it.
  16. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    That model appears to be discontinued, there is however a 55 ft Aleutian on the website.
  17. rudolph

    rudolph New Member

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    Yes, Fleming 55
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yes it's Aleutian and the 59 is a very nice boat too. They have now added a 65, a 72 and a 76. I think the 55 or 59 would be a great loop boat. Also in the Heritage models they have a 54'. The one thing one must do on a GB is make sure they get a hinged mast and/or arch.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Fleming has added a 58, which is a very nice and updated model.

    I agree with Capt J on Marlow and vote a strong "no" there.
  20. SailorGreg

    SailorGreg New Member

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    next boat

    Thanks for all the comments. Will be focusing more on Caribbean and Bahamas than the Loop, but a boat that could do both would be good. And shallower depth would be beneficial to both. Our sailboat draws 6.5', and while we had plenty of places to go in the Bahamas, there were plenty we couldn't. Sailing all day with a foot under the keel can be unnerving. I often dove under with a yardstick to see if we could survive low tide at our chosen anchorage.
    Been on a few sailing catamarans and don't care for the ride at sea, at least compared to my mono hull. Would rather lean, even if my wife would not. Fleming 55 remains attractive, even if a semi-displacement.