By Jack Hornor
Revised by BoatUS editors in October 2012
If you're among the traditional trawler enthusiasts who believe the term "fast trawler" is an oxymoron, take a look at a Monk 36. You can watch the shoreline pass at a leisurely pace of 7 to 10 knots in a boat that accommodates four adults in comfort and has a 25-year reputation for sound construction and elegant style.
With classic trawler lines, this Monk is not the namesake of any famous jazz musician or neurotic TV character, but of the late naval architect Edwin Monk Sr. Originally built in Taiwan, Monk 36s have been built since 1992 in nearby Nova Scotia and imported by North Sea Yachts of Point Pleasant, NJ. Her length overall is 39' 10", length on deck is 36 feet, beam is 13 feet and draft is 4 feet to the bottom of the keel. Bridge clearance is approximately 18 feet without lowering the steadying sail mast.
Photo by Irish Boat Shop
In profile, the Monk 36 bears a strong resemblance to the earlier and highly successful Grand Banks 36 (not a Monk design). However, a closer examination reveals a few subtle differences intended to improve on these earlier designs.
This type of boat is highly dependent on hull shape above the waterline for dryness on deck. In the 36, Monk designed a higher bow with more flare and more angle to the stem than her competitors. In addition he incorporated a molded-in forward chine to prevent the bow wave from climbing up the hull sides. These design changes result in less sea spray onto the foredeck and flybridge and a dryer ride. Of course dryness is a relative thing and under most conditions any semi-displacement hull will be more prone to spray than a well designed planing hull of the same size.
Throughout their history Monk 36s have been solidly constructed of hand laid fiberglass and resin with solid laminate hulls with cored decks and superstructure. Pre-1992 models were typical of Taiwanese-built boats and relied on extensive use of teak trim around windows and teak overlaid decks. The high maintenance, teak laden exteriors of the past have given way to aluminum framed windows and doors and molded fiberglass nonskid decks. The result may be a less classic looking exterior but one that is far easier to maintain and considerably less prone to leaks. There is still plenty of interior teak joinery to give the newest models a classic yacht-like interior look.
Photo by Irish Boat Shop
On deck the Monk 36 features a small foredeck, aft deck and wide side decks. Moving about and handling lines for docking and mooring is unobstructed although there isn't much room for lounging about. The forward cabin trunk makes for a convenient place for sitting atop. The flybridge covers the entire main saloon cabin top, has seating for four adults and plenty of storage beneath seats. The cabin top of the aft cabin allows enough space for storage of a small dinghy, and a steadying sail mast and boom can be rigged for launch and retrieval of the dinghy.
The interior arrangement centers on the main saloon with a port settee and high-low table that can be converted to a double berth if required. The table is designed so that it can stay in position when the engine hatches are opened.
Aft and to starboard is an L-shaped galley with a full, standup refrigerator freezer, a three-burner stove with oven and double stainless steel sink. Storage is good with locker and drawer in the galley and storage beneath seating.
Photo: Old Style – Don Martin
Forward is the guest stateroom with a large V-berth and private head that can be closed off for complete guest's privacy. There are drawers and lockers for storage beneath the V-berth and on the starboard side is a large hanging locker.
Aft is the master stateroom which features a queen-sized bed just slightly offset to starboard of centerline. There is an impressive nine-foot-long hanging locker on the port side and eight feet of drawers and storage lockers on the starboard side.
The aft head included a rather impractical small tub on older models which has since been replaced by a separate shower.
Currently the standard propulsion unit for the Monk 36 is a single 220-hp Cummins diesel engine which will deliver a comfortable 10-knot cruise consuming about five gallons of fuel an hour. Top speed is around 12 knots but at a considerably less efficient fuel consumption rate. Older models are typically powered by 120/135-hp Lehman diesels providing a seven-knot cruise and fuel consumption of about three gallons per hour. Fuel capacity is 320 gallons for a cruising range of better than 600 miles.
The Monk 36 does an excellent job of maintaining the original concept of the trawler yacht as a safe, albeit slow, and comfortable cruiser and her 25-year production run provides a wide age and price range for potential buyers to choose from.
Naval architect Jack Hornor was the principal surveyor and designer for Marine Survey & Design, Co., based in Annapolis, MD. He was on the boards of the American Boat and Yacht Council, the National Association of Marine Surveyors, and the Society of Boat and Yacht Designers. He and his wife sailed their Catalina 42, Legacy, based on Maryland's Eastern Shore.