Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-04-2016, 03:29 AM   #1
Veteran Member
 
Tacomasailor's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 39
50-foot trawler offshore in moderate seas?

My wife and I are experienced long distance sailboat cruisers who are now quite close to purchasing a trawler in the 50-foot size range. I am 68-years old and have had 7-knee surgeries and now need total knee replacements. My 60-year old wife suffered a serious bicycle accident two years ago resulting in the loss of functionality in her left arm and hand. I seriously doubt our ability to manage our 40-foot cutter rigged sailboat while sailing offshore.

We have been living aboard (for the 3rd time) our sailboat in San Diego for 3-years. We are looking at trawlers in California and Puget Sound with plans to cruise to the US East coast during the next three years. We've done the Western Mexico thing twice including 900 consecutive nights at anchor.

My only trawler miles are 1,000 NM from La Paz back to San Diego in a 53’ bulbous bow 25-ton boat with paravanes.

In the last 20-years we have sailed over 12,000 miles in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans including:

4 trips Seattle to San Diego
2 round trips San Diego to Puerto Vallarta
Non-stop Annapolis to BVI

Almost all of the miles have been downwind, down swell (except the two 1,000 mile trips from Puerto Vallarta to San Diego, which is all heavy uphill sailing) and that is what I wonder about in a mid-size trawler.

We have experienced hundreds of hours sailing with a 15 to 20 knot wind from well aft of abeam and swells/waves greater than 6-feet from the stern quarters. That is great fun in a well-rigged sailboat but what is it like in a trawler?

A sailboat just accelerates down the swell and then the wind in the sails carries the boat up and over the next swell… and on and on for days. How does a trawler handle those endless waves and swell from astern?

We’ve also done thousands of miles in beam seas of 4 to 6 feet and 12 – 25 knots. Those are heavenly conditions with a properly set sail plan and good autopilot. But, what is it like in a trawler?

We’ve experienced many 10 – 15 hour blows at sea, that occur in the middle of a three day passage and are thus unavoidable. The wind builds to a moderate gale and the seas reach 10’ and are breaking at 10-seconds. Our boat, with a double reef in the main and a staysail, just flies downwind like a train on tracks. What does it feel like in a 50-foot, 30-ton trawler with active stabilizers?

I know seaworthy trawlers travel thru those conditions on a regular basis but I am having trouble imagining that with no lead filled keel six feet down and no sails for stability. I don’t think I am worried about safety – more about comfort and livability in moderate conditions for several days at a time.

How do I have to change my mindset and voyage planning when I “mature” from being an aggressive sailor on a very well equipped bluewater sailboat to a trawler operator?

Our near choices are:

Nordhavn 50 (my current favorite)
Selene 53
Seahorse 52

All have active stabilizers.
__________________
Advertisement

Tacomasailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 03:42 AM   #2
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,787
In a Krogen 42 with active stabilizers six foot beams seas are fine. The 10 foot beam seas provide roll but are doable. Assume a 50 foot Nordhavn would have even less roll.
__________________

__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 06:19 AM   #3
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,524
With any motorboat the ability to change course to a comfortable one ,or in many cases simply slow down will solve many of the rough ocean hassles.

It is easier to have hyd stabilization repaired than use flopper stoppers at advanced age with a small crew.

You MUST install enough hand grabs so you can move about freely when underway in a hard go.

Even the claimed "ocean worthy" boats seldom have enough hand grabs .

Time doesn't matter a 5 day trip becoming a 7 day trip while you are warm and secure inside with the AP steering is a delight.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 07:27 AM   #4
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,734
We spent 10 years cruising on a sailboat including crossing the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans before we came over to the "dark" side. An easy, comfortable transition to go to power. And don't worry about the knee. I've had a knee and hip replacement plus surgery on the other knee. I'm not 50 anymore but power is easier than sail IMHO.
Larry M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 08:58 AM   #5
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,363
Tacoma

A few random thoughts from one who also gave up sailing to enjoy a bit more comfort.

Add the N47 to your list. Especially from the standpoint of accessing the ER. The N50 departed the scene when the N47 showed up. The N47 has traveled far and wide around the globe. For good reason. No other brand offers the support as well as Nordhavn, even on an old boat.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 09:21 AM   #6
Guru
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
City: Port Credit
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,011
Kudos on keeping the dream alive
__________________
If you can live with the consequences, go for it - wg
Y'am what I y'am an' thats' all that y'am - Popeye
As God is my witness, I thought turkey's could fly. Mr.C
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
Guru
 
hollywood8118's Avatar
 
City: Port Townsend Washington
Country: USA
Vessel Name: " OTTER "
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander Europa 40
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,482
As a sailor and a trawler guy my thoughts...

1- you will think you have died and gone to heaven on a trawler in those conditions...

2- displacement trawlers ( like the Nordys ) when stabilized do great in most conditions.. and take the danger of deck work for the most part out of the equation.

3- Even though I still sail some I feel more at ease on a proper passagemaker offshore than a sailboat

Good luck on the decision and search
HOLLYWOOD
hollywood8118 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 10:44 AM   #8
Wannabe
 
Britannia's Avatar
 
City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Stillwater
Vessel Model: Kadey-Krogen 54
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 766
After 15 years of sailing I converted to power. So far on my Krogen 54, with active stabilizers, I've been in short period 18' head seas and 12-15' following seas. In both cases I was astounded how well the boat handled. As for 6-8' seas - those are coffee and slippers conditions If the beam seas get big enough I will adjust course to quarter them (as I would on my sailboat.)

My Krogen has a full ballasted keel as well as what would best be described as a sailboat hull. Being biased, I would suggest you add Krogen to your list. There are a couple of 54s for sale last time I checked. Much more common would be the various 48s or a 52.

Good luck

Richard
Britannia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 10:52 AM   #9
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,142
As you well know, all 6' conditions are not created equal. On the west coast our experience was generally longer periods than on the east coast which made it much more comfortable. Swells vs wind waves generally more peaceful. Also, one thing you learned in sailing was not to take a straight line but to tack. Many powerboaters never learn they can do that. Amazing how little course change it takes to greatly improve the ride. Given the three boats you mentioned, I would select the Nordhavn and Seahorse over the Selene. I would also choose if within my affordability just over 50' (50-60) vs just under (40-50). The few extra feet smooths the effect a little.

FF mentioned grabs. High bulwarks or rails is a key to me. Create as safe and comfortable environment as you can. Also, be a little less aggressive in your travels and a little more inclined to wait an extra day or two in port or to find a nice protected anchorage along the way.

I definitely agree on stabilizers vs. paravanes at your age and health, although I prefer them at any age and health.

The cruise from the west coast to the east is a wonderful experience that too few ever make. So much to see and experience along that route. If you still have questions or doubts as to your abilities to physically handle it and to enjoy power, then you might charter once or twice. Then there are so many other great areas to cruise once you get to the east coast. Even before you head that way, I'd ask have you cruised Alaska? Could be a great area to experience your new type cruising first and prepare for the "Big U" trip. In a boat such as the one you're considering you wouldn't have to limit yourself to SE Alaska either.
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 12:44 PM   #10
Guru
 
No Mast's Avatar
 
City: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Country: US
Vessel Name: Moana Huaka'i
Vessel Model: Selene 53
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 816
Like many others here we've done the switch you're contemplating. Very happy having moved into a trawler. There's no climbing over and around things, and you'll have headroom everywhere. Being warm and dry on long passages the difference in fatigue is noticeable. In terms of dock/anchor living conditions, the trawler far surpasses a sailboat.

In calm and moderate conditions, the active stabilized trawler full displacement trawler is a champ. Little to no roll makes living conditions aboard superior to the sailboat. The extra room to live in is very comfortable. Being able to live in a mostly "flat" world is very nice.

Sailing we loved running downwind. Now if conditions kick up a bit we learned we'd rather run into them instead. The stabilizers will not be as effective on a following sea and theres way more stern to get pushed around. So to your question of running in 10ft seas, I'd rather have that quartering off the bow than following me.

To directly answer other questions, in 25kt winds with 4-6 ft beam seas, I'm in sweatpants, slippers and I can put my cup of tea down anywhere with no problem.

Comfort and livability in moderate conditions is to us better in the trawler. There are conditions we'd head into with our sailboat which now leave us at the dock.

To your list of boats, we're of course partial to the Selene 53, since thats what we have. Realize they're actually 60ft LOA. Here's the blog of a 53 that's crossed the pacific btw: Mystic Moon Voyages - ...Life is Good! Also here's a blog for a Nordy: MV Dirona
No Mast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 12:55 PM   #11
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
As you well know, all 6' conditions are not created equal. On the west coast our experience was generally longer periods than on the east coast which made it much more comfortable. Swells vs wind waves generally more peaceful. Also, one thing you learned in sailing was not to take a straight line but to tack. Many powerboaters never learn they can do that. Amazing how little course change it takes to greatly improve the ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Mast View Post
To directly answer other questions, in 25kt winds with 4-6 ft beam seas, I'm in sweatpants, slippers and I can put my cup of tea down anywhere with no problem.

To add to that "not created equal" thing: 4-6' beam seas here on the Chesapeake -- short wave period -- would beat up most unstabilized 50-footers. Tea on the TV screen, tea cup rolling around the master berth, loose furniture all over the place, etc.

Tacking often absolutely necessary.

Don't know how stabilized boats -- with various stabilization systems -- might fare.

We were in 6-8' swells down by the northern Lesser Antilles/Leeward Islands last week, piece of cake. That was on a 110' "tall ship" though.

-Chris
__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 01:53 PM   #12
Curmudgeon
 
BaltimoreLurker's Avatar
 
City: Stoney Creek, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moon Dance
Vessel Model: 1974 34' Marine Trader Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,629
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
To add to that "not created equal" thing: 4-6' beam seas here on the Chesapeake -- short wave period -- would beat up most unstabilized 50-footers. Tea on the TV screen, tea cup rolling around the master berth, loose furniture all over the place, etc.

Tacking often absolutely necessary.
I can second that. I've rolled so bad in my MT34 that the salon door jumped out of the tracks!
BaltimoreLurker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 02:15 PM   #13
Guru
 
Xsbank's Avatar
 
City: Pender Harbour, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Gwaii Haanas
Vessel Model: Vancouver Shipyards Custom Aluminum 52
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,447
I followed the progress of a couple by email that I had met in Desolation Sound last year on their N47. At the end of our season, September, they cruised from Victoria to the Sea of Cortez with weather stops down the coast when necessary. Their worst experience was engine failure when they took on a load of bad fuel from Santa Barbera of all places. They completed the Gulf of California cruise then returned to Los Angeles.
Most boats are better at it than we are.
__________________
Don't believe everything that you think.
Xsbank is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 02:52 PM   #14
Guru
 
No Mast's Avatar
 
City: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Country: US
Vessel Name: Moana Huaka'i
Vessel Model: Selene 53
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacomasailor View Post
I don’t think I am worried about safety – more about comfort and livability in moderate conditions for several days at a time.
[/COLOR]
After posting i was thinking about your question. In moderate conditions I find the trawler more comfortable and safer to get around in. However if conditions deteriorate I would much rather handle rough conditions in a capable sailboat than a capable trawler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacomasailor View Post
How do I have to change my mindset and voyage planning when I “mature” from being an aggressive sailor on a very well equipped bluewater sailboat to a trawler operator?
I think once you find the right boat for you guys very little experience will be needed before you can answer this for yourself better than we can.
No Mast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 06:51 AM   #15
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,524
"loose furniture all over the place, etc."

Loose furniture has no place on a "lakes ,bays and rivers boat" never mind going out past the A buoy.

The usual brain dead ICW marine motorist will toss your table out a port , night or day.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 12:22 PM   #16
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
To add to that "not created equal" thing: 4-6' beam seas here on the Chesapeake -- short wave period -- would beat up most unstabilized 50-footers. Tea on the TV screen, tea cup rolling around the master berth, loose furniture all over the place, etc.

Tacking often absolutely necessary.

Don't know how stabilized boats -- with various stabilization systems -- might fare.

We were in 6-8' swells down by the northern Lesser Antilles/Leeward Islands last week, piece of cake. That was on a 110' "tall ship" though.

-Chris
Most stabilized boats of the type he's talking about, 50 ft Nordhavns, KK's, Selenes, would handle the Chesapeake 4-6' well. However, your point is well made that I've been in 10' swells at 13 second periods that don't cause the disturbance of the 4-6' wind waves at 4 seconds in very mixed seas as often in the Chesapeake.

I also can't imagine a boat in the range the OP is talking about without stabilization. It's so counter intuitive to the comfort factor one is seeking.
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 02:20 PM   #17
Guru
 
No Mast's Avatar
 
City: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Country: US
Vessel Name: Moana Huaka'i
Vessel Model: Selene 53
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 816
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
I also can't imagine a boat in the range the OP is talking about without stabilization. It's so counter intuitive to the comfort factor one is seeking.

Um, it's a bit like a slower motion roller coaster at that point. Had to go down to the engine room in that once. Turned green in no time.

Stabilizers good.
No Mast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 10:11 PM   #18
Guru
 
City: Venice Louisiana
Country: United States
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,097
Its been my experience that in the ruff stuff the engine room is the very best place to be.
__________________

kulas44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012