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Old 10-13-2014, 03:31 PM   #1
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Do I qualify as trawler owner?

I bought a non-trawler almost a year ago based on price, condition, and quality and I know some of you are going to laugh because it's a 1996 Sea Ray 44 Express Bridge. We had looked for a long time and made several offers on displacement or semi-displacement boats but they were all older and in need of either a lot of TLC or reconditioning. This was $82K and for that it is beautifully equipped. But here's the Trawler part. I found that it runs just great on one engine (Cat 3116) at 1300 rpm, 7.8 knots and 2 gph. And helming from the enclosed flybridge means we hear no engine noise. I do switch engines every 30 minutes to keep the stuffing boxes cool and alternate wear. The auto pilot keeps course just fine although the rudders are about half cranked over but the hull itself crabs almost nil.

When current is very adverse here in tidal Georgia, we do plane at 20 but have to drop occasionally to 8 for small boats because the wake is fearsome. So now we have a year's experience with it and are ready for Savannah to Maine next April but after reading a recent post, it seems that may be a tad early. We do intend to mostly do the ICW but when the sea is smoothish, we can offshore on plane especially where the ICW goes more east-west than N-S

For those looking for newish boats at a way below trawler market price, I think this type is an attractive alternative.
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:57 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. g. In case I missed you, welcome aboard. To answer your question: "Do I qualify as a trawler owner?" Nope. Does it matter? Nope.
You raise a valid point. As has been mentioned numerous times, the vast majority of members do not own "trawlers"; the word and description itself being in contention.
You, like many others, have a vessel that suits your current needs, for a price you considered acceptable AND you're on the water. THAT'S the bottom line. PERIOD!
We have a boat described in the sales literature as a long range cruiser (LRC). Trawler? Who knows. We certainly don't care.
Enjoy the ride mon...
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:59 PM   #3
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Nice idea. However running one engine and dragging the wheel on the other makes the 'dragged' gear box susceptible to premature wear. This is from 'lack of lubrication' on the 'back end' of the reduction gear. You must make sure the gear has an oil bath for cooling that does allow slinging of oil. Even though the engine and the front half of the gearbox are not moving, there certainly is rotation on the output half.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:23 PM   #4
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Welcome, Greg! RT said perfectly.

I'm a "troller" owner and they still let me hang around the forums.

We have a very tolerant group who own a range of boats
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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Gearbox lube

I carefully read the ZF manual and they say perfectly OK. It was quite specific and fairly lengthy, soooo... But I will admit that there is still some concern. Ideally, one would like feathering propellers like sailboats, but the cost!

Thanks for the welcome aboard. I joined a year ago but never posted that I recall.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:43 PM   #6
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Ooops

Well I see I forgot that I joined in Feb 2013 and submitted 6 posts. I guess I need some Alzheimer's pills.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:45 PM   #7
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Welcome. I am a tweener myself and dream of 2 gph!
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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I'm not a trawler owner either, (but I do spend a lot of time at 8 kts and 2GPH). There is a lot of useful information and experience on this website regardless of what kind of boat you own.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregarious View Post
I bought a non-trawler almost a year ago based on price, condition, and quality and I know some of you are going to laugh because it's a 1996 Sea Ray 44 Express Bridge. We had looked for a long time and made several offers on displacement or semi-displacement boats but they were all older and in need of either a lot of TLC or reconditioning. This was $82K and for that it is beautifully equipped. But here's the Trawler part. I found that it runs just great on one engine (Cat 3116) at 1300 rpm, 7.8 knots and 2 gph. And helming from the enclosed flybridge means we hear no engine noise. I do switch engines every 30 minutes to keep the stuffing boxes cool and alternate wear. The auto pilot keeps course just fine although the rudders are about half cranked over but the hull itself crabs almost nil.

When current is very adverse here in tidal Georgia, we do plane at 20 but have to drop occasionally to 8 for small boats because the wake is fearsome. So now we have a year's experience with it and are ready for Savannah to Maine next April but after reading a recent post, it seems that may be a tad early. We do intend to mostly do the ICW but when the sea is smoothish, we can offshore on plane especially where the ICW goes more east-west than N-S

For those looking for newish boats at a way below trawler market price, I think this type is an attractive alternative.


Yes, you can be one of us as long as you promise not to go over 8 knots again.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:23 PM   #10
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Yes, you can be one of us as long as you promise not to go over 8 knots again.
I don't know.

Sometimes I feel the need........The need for speed.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:58 PM   #11
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I don't know.

Sometimes I feel the need........The need for speed.
Well, we don't technically own a trawler and we won't agree to go 8 knots and will never get 2 nmpg. But we share the same desire to cruise and explore and enjoy all the waters we can.
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:57 AM   #12
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Any boating is good boating.
Better to be out doing it in a less than perfect for the job boat than ashore dreaming about the perfect boat for the trip.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:58 AM   #13
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Folks with most any style boat will claim to be Trawler folks because it sounds more serious , and less snotty than Motor Yacht owner.

Trawler is a state of mind , after all the oxymoron Fast Trawlers have mostly the same underwater hull as any semi plaining boat.

Enjoy the lifestyle !!!

Get used to anchoring out for the best of the best.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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Good thoughts and thanks. Yes it is the doing more than the means of enjoying the water. I saw so many different boats from the replies. An interesting mix.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:10 AM   #15
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You qualify since it seems a trawler is whatever someone wants it to be.

Speed is not an excluding detail. Just ask the "fast trawler folks"
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:42 AM   #16
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Folks with most any style boat will claim to be Trawler folks because it sounds more serious , and less snotty than Motor Yacht owner.

Trawler is a state of mind , after all the oxymoron Fast Trawlers have mostly the same underwater hull as any semi plaining boat.

Enjoy the lifestyle !!!

Get used to anchoring out for the best of the best.
I agree that just the word "Yacht" sounds a bit pretentious to me. We don't use it. We own "boats." Not trawlers, yachts, speedboats, or anything else, just boats.

I think "Trawler" people use their boat differently than "Yacht" people. More to see and explore and experience. Less about the boat and more about the pleasure derived from being on it and from where it takes you and the pleasure you have. They tend to absorb more of the towns they visit. Meet more people.

A simple example I see. Two boats side by side at marina. "Yacht" group tends to perhaps get off the boat to go to the fanciest, nicest restaurant in town, then back on the boat. "Trawler" group gets off and goes exploring, sees the sites of the town, meets the people. Spends the entire day gone all around.

Now each of us may have bits and pieces of all different type boaters in us. Some travel alone, some with guests. Some anchor, some use marinas. Some eat on board primarily, some at restaurants.

One thing we find at a "trawler" forum is the members are more oriented toward boating itself, toward using the boat, toward cruising in it. Cruising forums have a lot of that, but then are often more sailing than power. Yacht forums have some of that but tend to be more about the boat themselves. All are good. It's like eating food from three different ethnicity's. All may be great, but all have different flavors.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gregarious View Post

I do switch engines every 30 minutes to keep the stuffing boxes cool and alternate wear. The auto pilot keeps course just fine although the rudders are about half cranked over but the hull itself crabs almost nil.

So now we have a year's experience with it and are ready for Savannah to Maine next April but after reading a recent post, it seems that may be a tad early.

We troll a lot on one engine, but found the AP isn't always able to keep up, usually due to some combination of wind and tide/current. I n fact, we had what I'd consider a premature AP reference failure (so we replaced the part), and I wonder in retrospect whether that was from too much stress created by running the AP with only one engine. These days I don't hesitate to fire up the other main.

When we last went to Maine for the Memorial Day weekend... it was closed.



Actually, there were a few places that were open, but it really was a recurrent theme in our discussions with folks around there that they don't usually get visitors until July 4th or after. Aee-yup!


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I carefully read the ZF manual and they say perfectly OK. It was quite specific and fairly lengthy, soooo... But I will admit that there is still some concern.
Our ZF manual is silent on the topic, but I called ZF and got generally the same story: as long as we're running at slow speed, all good. I was specifically talking about 3-3.5 kts, though.

-Chris
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:16 PM   #18
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Do I qualify as trawler owner?

Obviously, two separate interpretations of what's OK. Just as long as you have eyes wide open. Know that different gears use different lubrication methods. Some use the flowing bath of hydraulic fluid that is pressuring up the gear to work. Others use an oil bath that is 'bathed' by the input gears (read only gets bathed when the engine is running. ) And others use a bath from the back end gears, so dragging will indeed lubricate the gears when dragging. This is an issue on sailboats. Some sailboats have to 'put the gear shift in Fwd' to stop the shaft from turning. Some have folding props. Others have shaft brakes. Others have none. It completely depends upon what gear you have.

As far as speed goes. 8 is tops for me. 😃. 💤
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:57 PM   #19
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I suppose a Searay Trawler is possible, but those windows!
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:14 PM   #20
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I suppose a Searay Trawler is possible, but those windows!
And yet more people enjoy cruising on Sea Ray's than any five or ten other brands on here. And often it gets them on the water for less money.
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