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Old 05-15-2017, 08:07 AM   #1
City: Cape Town
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How seaworthy are early 80's trawler yachts

I am thinking of buying an early/mid 80's trawler such as a Marine Trader 38 or 44 for cruising in the Caribbean. Taking her from Florida to the Bahamas seems to be doable (have seen it on Youtube by Tula's endless summer) but can I go further? How do the Taiwanese production trawlers handle a blow and heavier seas? Currently I am sailing a 34 ft Beneteau sailing yacht but the liveable space of a trawler yacht appeals to me.

I am grateful for any comments.

Cheers Lars

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Old 05-15-2017, 08:32 AM   #2
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Mr. LK. Welcome aboard, if I've missed you. As has been mentioned many, many times, any vessel will usually take more than the crew. That being said, "seaworthy" is a very vague term. Watch the weather, pick your time for making passages and enjoy the Caribbean. As a general statement I think I can say that sailing vessels are better suited for snotty weather than power vessels simply by virtue of their design but as you note, "stinkpots" have more livable space. Apples and oranges...

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Old 05-15-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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If the seaworthyness is very important I'd be think'in about sailboats.
So much more easily driven than trawlers they get by w much smaller engines. When I repowered the 36hp Perkins that I took out got sold to a man w a 40' sailboat.
And sailboats having sail have built in stabilizers. Sure the boat heels but dosn't roll. Should be much more comfortable. And there's the built in "get home" ... sails.
I think someone said there are many many more sailboats down there and the above is some of the reasons.

North Western Washington State USA
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:38 AM   #4
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You'll do fine if you pick your weather windows although I'd go with the 44'. The Caribbean can be a pain in the winter because of the prevailing wind and sea direction. That's one of the reasons you don't see many power boats less than 50' in relation to the number of sailboats.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:38 AM   #5
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I agree sail boats are generally more stable than power. Keel, rig, hull form and sails reduce reaction to sea surface . Wind in sails adds greatly to feeling of stability.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:41 AM   #6
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Just like sailboats, there are trawlers that are blue water boats and there are boats that are coastal cruisers. Most of the Taiwanese Tubs of the 80's are coastal cruisers.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:49 AM   #7
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Best to confine a boat to waters it's designed for. Best to confine a crew similarly. That opined, you should not resist the opportunity to stretch your experience and skill set.

Pay attention to the differences in appearance between serious ocean-going craft and recreational boats. Glass area and size are good clues. Freeing ports (larger scuppers, some with doors) are too.

Of course, the most important element is the crew. Some folks get away with anything that floats and go anywhere. But folks are much more likely to succeed w/o undue adventure and enjoy the trip if they choose their passages and their weather, and have their craft in good shape.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
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Storm cover can help with the big TT windows , but the scantlings are far below ocean rated vessels.

Look for a Euro A rated boat and you will have a better start,

although some folks with super care have gone offshore in a TT.

The built for offshore boat is about 300% more expensive than the usual lakes and bays boat and carries many handy caps for coastal work.

Bigger tanks tighter spaces , but the US dollar is still fairly high /.

If you can find a stranded boat , a Euro A in the USA that is still untouched , the hard to use in the US , Euro 240v electric system , you might find a deal.

I would look in the "dreams over" places like Panama or Trinidad.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:56 PM   #9
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I come from a sailing background and I have to say that my TT is not something I would be comfortable taking in the open ocean for a long passage. When I take a wave head on, I have a lot of fun. But with a following or beam sea, the fun stops. They have a high centre of gravity and are just not meant to take a beating like sailboats are. But then again, some people will cross the Atlantic on a row boat...

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