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Oct | Nov 2010

Trawler Roundup

By Tom Neale

We’ve invited our long-term liveaboard expert and one of the industry’s top technical writers to select some of the season’s most impressive boats for discussion.

A good cruising trawler can open new horizons. First, define your dream, and then look for the boat that best fits it. While looking, remember that numbers alone may not tell the entire story about the boat. For example, fuel consumption, range, and speed can be greatly affected by factors such as the ability of the boat to carry loads, actual loading, sea state, and hull design. Base prices may include different equipment and features as to different boats. Lengths may or may not include bowsprits and swim platforms. The following are examples of some of the different types of trawlers that might fulfill your dream.

Grand Banks Heritage 41 EU
A new concept has emerged within the Grand Banks tradition. The Heritage 41 EU has Zeus Drive propulsion and a redesigned hull with a modified deep-V and a wide, flat chine aft. These allow it to run efficiently at 10 as well as 24 knots and without throwing the tsunami often seen with full displacement hulls driven by brute power. For those skittish about anything other than traditional propulsion, the following should be helpful. The drive pods, with aft-facing, counter-rotating props, are vertical in prop tunnels and are above the bottom keel line. If an impact were to occur from debris or grounding, the pods have break-away skegs. Also, they’re mounted to the hull with breakaway bolts designed to sheer on severe impact. Even if the entire pod were to shear off, the assembly is designed to maintain a watertight hull. Joystick control (in addition to the traditional wheel) allows her to move laterally without thrusters.

In addition to the exceptional propulsion and hull features, the quality you’d expect with a Grand Banks is there, as well as other helpful cruising features. For example, there’s a large “Utility Room” below the salon, aft of the forward accommodations. This can be used as a work area, for storage, or for equipment such as a washer-dryer. The engine space can be accessed from the aft cockpit, a feature much appreciated when the boat has people living aboard during engine maintenance or repair. Base price $740,000; www.grandbanks.com

Specifications Grand Banks Heritage 41 EU
LOA: 41' 4"
Beam: 15' 8"
Draft: 3' 9"
Displacement: 40,200 lbs
Power: Twin 425 Cummins with Zeus Drives

Krogen 44
The shippy-looking, steady-going Kadey Krogen has become a fixture in the minds of trawler lovers. The Krogen 44 has a displacement hull and a top speed of around nine knots, although most owners cruise her more slowly. She and her sisters have earned a reputation of being serious cruising boats. Range at eight knots is calculated at 1,900 nautical miles with a 10-percent fuel reserve. Standard features include sight gauges on the fuel tanks, 300 gallons of water, four 255-amp house batteries, a Prosine 3000-watt inverter, a Balmar 270-amp alternator and a John Deere with spacious, 360-degree access. The anchor locker is separated from the rest of the boat by a collision bulkhead with a watertight hatch. Encapsulated in her keel are 2,500 pounds of lead ballast. Some say that the Krogen is a “rolly” boat, but those who cruise them seldom agree, pointing out that the hull shape allows benefits such as the ability to accommodate larger tanks and battery banks. They also note that the soft chines result in a much easier roll than some other types of boats.

This vessel also has well-planned, liveaboard comfort features, including the island queen in the master stateroom, nice galley that doesn’t isolate you from the party, and an impressive wheelhouse. A tri-level layout helps with privacy and the need for different living settings, important on a long cruise. Base price $699,000; www.kadeykrogen.com

Specifications Krogen 44
LOA: 49' 0"
Beam: 15' 6"
Draft: 4' 6"
Displacement: 43,140 lbs
Power: Tier II John Deere 158-hp with Twin Disc 3.0:1 ratio gears

Nordhavn 43

A founding concept for the Nordhavn line was to build a cruising yacht capable of safely and comfortably going around the world. The Nordhavn 43 exudes confidence for this mission, although you’ll also enjoy her for many other types of cruising. The heart of this little ship is a Lugger L1066T diesel engine with an optional get-home engine. A serious steadying sail can actually propel the boat with enough wind from the right direction. Reliability is keynoted with features such as keel cooling and dry exhaust. Important for cruising in third-world ports, each of the two 600-gallon molded fiberglass tanks can drain into a 40-gallon supply reservoir with a water alarm. This allows water and heavy contaminants to be collected and drained off before reaching the main filters. Her range is projected to be 3,360 nm at seven knots. A Portuguese bridge protects the deck area outside the wheelhouse, which has the forward-slanting windows found on many commercial fishing trawlers. A wide stern helps her to carry load and avoid squatting at speed, and her large prop is protected in an aperture well above the keel.

The owner’s cabin is amidships to minimize discomfort from pitching. For the same reason, guest accommodations are aft of the forepeak head. You won’t find the ballroom spaces of gin palaces, but you will find quality and comfortable long-range living aboard. Base price $695,000; www.nordhavn.com

Specifications Nordhavn 43
LOA: 43'0"
Beam: 14'10"
Draft: 4'11"
Displacement: 53,540 lbs
Power: Lugger L1066T 165-hp

Nordic Tug 39
Many of us have grown up wanting to drive a tugboat. The Nordic Tug has satisfied that dream for many owners, but it’s designed to be a workhorse for cruising pleasure, not for pushing boats around. The new Nordic Tug 39 capitalizes on its unique but proven hull that reminds one of a lobster boat with hard chines. It’s not truly a displacement hull, and not really a planing hull. But she’ll cruise in the upper teens or at slow traditional displacement hull speeds, using very little fuel. The hull features a full keel with protected prop and rudder, fine entry, flare forward, hard chine aft, round reversed transom and swim platform that serves not only for swimming and boarding but also to enhance performance.

With around 30 years of experience, Nordic Tugs emphasizes that this new model goes the extra mile to incorporate suggestions compiled from many owners. From the wheelhouse with its 360-degree view, you look down into the large salon aft with wide windows giving a panoramic vision of the scenery outside. Here is a modern galley, U-shaped settee with pullout berth and entertainment area. Stepping down forward from the wheelhouse brings you to the accommodations area with master stateroom, guest stateroom, and head. Other configurations are available. Above the wheelhouse, you can have an optional flybridge. Bulwarks around the decks add to the feeling of security. Base price, $492,800; www.nordictugs.com

Specifications Nordic Tug 39 LOA: 40’ (with roller)
Beam: 12’ 11”
Draft: 4’ 4”
Displacement 26,000 lbs wet
Power: Single 380-hp Cummins QSB 5.9 common-rail diesel

Mainship 35
Mainship emphasizes creature comfort and affordability. The latter is achieved in part because they are built for specific markets. Instead of building a boat for extended ocean crossings and for coastal and inland waters, Mainship trawlers emphasize the latter. The company also relies heavily on carefully honed construction techniques. None of this is to say that the boats compromise on seaworthiness or appearance. With relatively light weight and a hull designed for both displacement hull running and also for making 15-plus knots at full throttle, the new Mainship 35 gives the owner the option of getting there fast or much more economically at slow speeds. Its standard single engine configuration results in nice access space around the engine.

Accommodations include a master stateroom in the bow with an island queen, guest stateroom, head with separate shower stall, full galley and dinette, lounge area and inside pilot station. Outside there’s a flying bridge with three seats at the helm and more in a lounge area as well as room for an optional “summer galley” with electric grill, sink, and refrigerator. The cockpit aft provides yet another dimension. You won’t be able to throw a gala ball in the spaces, but there’s plenty of comfort for family and friends.

This Mainship only has 70-gallon water tankage and less range and storage than some long-term voyagers, but she’s set up to give you a lot of fun for what may be just your type of cruising. Base price $314,196; www.mainship.com

Specifications Mainship 35
LOA: (Excluding Swim Platform) 37'3"
Beam: 14'3"
Draft: 39"
Displacement 22,000 lbs
Power: Single Yanmar Diesel 380-hp standard, twin Volvo Diesels 225-hp each available

The Nitty Gritty Of A Good Trawler
Independence is fundamental to trawler cruising. Even if you don’t want to go around the world, your trawler should be able to cruise for at least several days at a time, independent of marinas. Its range should enable you to hang out in remote paradises, whether near or far. Range is a function of hull form, speed, fuel capacity, and engines, and these should be a function of how and where you want to cruise.

For independence you need a windlass and bow features to easily and comfortably anchor out at night, as well as the capacity to carry enough chain rode appropriate to your cruising area (even if you use chain/nylon rode, the more chain the better). It’s also important that the trawler be comfortable for living aboard while you’re cruising and anchoring out. Basics such as sleeping, sitting, cooking, and arrangements for living together should be major design goals, not an afterthought. Energy sources such as large batteries, high-output chargers, and inverters should allow you to enjoy life at anchor without continuously running a generator. The trawler should be able to serve as a vacation or second home, not as a place to camp out.

The trawler’s machinery must be rugged and easily accessible for repair and maintenance, by you, at sea, or in a remote area. And the boat itself should be sea tough. To cruise to remote areas for at least several days, you’ll sometimes encounter rough weather. Your trawler must be built to handle this, within the parameters of where and how you want to cruise, whether it’s ocean crossing or coastal and inland traveling. Above all, the trawler should be well-designed, well-built,
and safe.