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Old 02-02-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
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interior spaces on trawler types

I just finished boarding a mess of boats at the Seattle boat show new and used most less than 15 years old. Most of the boats would fit the vague trawler type some more the express or Down East type. I am always impressed at how similar the interior spaces are on boats within 10 ft LOA size of each other. I found the typical Trawler type to be a split level arrangement with or without a big aft sleeping cabin that might exclude a cockpit and side decks. There are usually at least three or four separate spaces connected by stairs or ladders. The boats with dedicated pilot houses or enclosed fly-bridge had the most obvious separation of spaces which would probably be very desirable for long off shore 24/24 running. Each time I have the opportunity to board so many boats including those I inspect for the CGAUX I weigh the interior and general lay out against what I have and deem to fit our particular way of boating. While I like the general concept of what's called a Trawler these days I would not like to live with the interior of most. My opinion is based on a Mom and pop boat that is used primarily for local and costal boating as I believe 60 to 80% of these boats are used. Our ideal which we tried to crystalize prior to our custom build is for a boat with as little up and down as reasonable particularly for the galley-dinette-and helm areas allowing for Mom and Pop to be in the same spaces during travelling and daylight hours. That same common space would have 360 visibility with big windows from helm-galley and dinette. Easy boarding with easy access to cockpit and cabin and walk around wide decks. Unfortunately the easy way to increase interior living space ,apparently a highly desirable trawler characteristic, is by bulking up with more beam high freeboard and overall height. I am impressed with how similar the various trawlers have become. Considering the automobile designs I should not be surprised with many cars if the emblem or name is removed there is little difference among the same class.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
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We were fairly impressed with the American Tug 29'. It had a nice layout, lots of window area and very usable flybridge.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #3
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We were fairly impressed with the American Tug 29'. It had a nice layout, lots of window area and very usable flybridge.
I kind of liked the smaller tugs over the larger versions. Maybe it is harder to get the separation of spaces on smaller models and thus more common space?
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:55 PM   #4
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I don't believe American Tug offers a 29 foot boat. Their current models are 36', 39', 43' and 48'. I think the Ranger Tug comes in a 29 foot model.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:49 AM   #5
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Mere volume is a complete waste of cash.

And can be dangerous as you could be tossed into a bulkhead if there are no hand grips.

What counts is COMFORT !

Can you sit in a real chair or on a real couch (upholstered ,not a cushion on a slab of plywood) and watch the world go by with fresh air ?

Is the cook the target of every errant pot tossed from the range?

Is there ventilation in the head?

Items like this create the std. of living , not a salon that echos.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:16 AM   #6
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Having just returned from TrawlerFest, cruising the docks looking at and going thru many boats that were there, the pilothouse arrangement just does not suit our needs all that much. This was also mentioned by a large number of people we talked to. The thing is, darn near every boat there had a pilothouse arrangement. Must be a trend?
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:31 AM   #7
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,,,,,, the pilothouse arrangement just does not suit our needs all that much.
Just curious.....what Is it about the pilothouse arrangement that doesn't work for you? Stairs, too chopped up, visability?
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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I think being too chopped up is the main reason, just not much room in the saloon.
When driving the boat from inside the capt is removed from others, for passage making I'm sure its the ticket but for coastal cruising it's not my bag. Just my thoughts and of those we were around.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:01 AM   #9
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EUROPA , flat inside one big room .
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:02 AM   #10
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When driving the boat from inside the capt is removed from others, for passage making I'm sure its the ticket but for coastal cruising it's not my bag. Just my thoughts and of those we were around.
Coming from Sailboats the PH was a must for us. We were tired of driving the boat out in the elements. The difference in comfort can not be overstated in my opinion, the difference in the level of fatigue was easily noticable.. We have a table that can sit 4 behind the helm and crew tends to hang out there so I'm not cut off at all. Of course this is just me with my trawler.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:12 AM   #11
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We drive 90% of the time from the flybridge, just enjoy being outside....as long as it's not in the summer, in Texas
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:35 AM   #12
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Roguewave
I am with you on the PH models. I was also at Trawler Fest an noticed that most of the medium size boats had PH. I think it takes much room from the salon. Flybridge all the way !!!
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:52 PM   #13
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Everyone's preferences are different. From the point of view of operating a boat my wife and I think flying bridges are a total waste of space. We hate the sight picture from up there when it comes to maneuvering, for example.

A pilothouse, on the other hand, is perfect. I provides a degree of elevation for visibility but one is still low enough down to have a great feel for the position of the boat during close-in maneuvering and docking. Deck access is much easier and faster than from a flying bridge. And in our climate, a pilothouse has the visibility advantage while being protected from rain, wind, and cold.

Our PNW boat is not a pilothouse boat simply because the one we really like was more than we wanted to spend on a boat at the time we decided to buy a cruising boat. But in our opinions, and in the opinions of a whole lot of boaters in this part of the world, the pilothouse is the best configuration out there.

The only value the flying bridge on our boat has is it makes a nice place to sit on a decent day once we've reached our destination. And sometimes guests like to ride up there if the weather permits. But otherwise it is totally useless other than one of the seat bases makes for a great propane locker.
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:18 PM   #14
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I prefer a raised pilothouse with exterior doors being at deck level but with the sight-level higher than the saloon. Thus, there is great deck access and all-around visibility. On mine, the saloon is a mere arm's length and three stair-steps from the saloon yet there is enough separation for multiple conversations, with room in both pilothouse and saloon for several people. Also, the pilothouse allows for less distraction for navigation.

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Old 02-03-2016, 02:23 PM   #15
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We drive 90% of the time from the flybridge, just enjoy being outside....
Agree...Boating is about enjoying the elements. I'm only at the inside station for docking or in inclement weather.. I wouldn't own this boat without a bridge..
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:30 PM   #16
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Agree...Boating is about enjoying the elements. I'm only at the inside station for docking or in inclement weather.. I wouldn't own this boat without a bridge..
As a former open-cockpit sailor and backpacker, I much prefer operating from within a pilothouse and don't miss the absence of a flying bridge. I've had my share of direct sunlight and biting/burning temperatures.
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:19 PM   #17
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Mere volume is a complete waste of cash.

And can be dangerous as you could be tossed into a bulkhead if there are no hand grips.

What counts is COMFORT !

Can you sit in a real chair or on a real couch (upholstered ,not a cushion on a slab of plywood) and watch the world go by with fresh air ?

Is the cook the target of every errant pot tossed from the range?

Is there ventilation in the head?

Items like this create the std. of living , not a salon that echos.
Well put! Those attributes are part of the reason[s] we so much enjoy our Tolly.
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:22 PM   #18
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Agree...Boating is about enjoying the elements. I'm only at the inside station for docking or in inclement weather.. I wouldn't own this boat without a bridge..
Fly Bridge for cruising, docking, and fun in general - !!!!
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:23 PM   #19
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Some boat shows are a line up of similar white Clorox bottle shapes varying by a few feet. Its good that we have our preferences otherwise boats would be coming off one assembly line all looking and acting exactly alike. What started me on this post is that I see a evolving trend in what I think is a trawler type. That trend includes the bulked up split level raised pilot house interior arrangement. This trend I believe is most notable in boats 40 feet and over in size. I do not perceive this as a bad or good thing. So long as a boat makes its owner happy and meets the owners requirements its a good boat for that person.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:25 PM   #20
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Everyone's preferences are different. From the point of view of operating a boat my wife and I think flying bridges are a total waste of space. We hate the sight picture from up there when it comes to maneuvering, for example.

Agree, ref different strokes.

I will comment that there are flying bridges... and then there are flying bridges.

Our immediate dock neighbor, for example, has an extended flybridge with the helm forward... and he can't see squat aft when docking stern-to. His swim platform is exhibit #1.

Our sportfish-style bridge works the other way; the helm is aft and I have a very clear view of the bow AND the transom/platform/dinghy (when aboard), etc. Sight lines are about as perfect as they can get.

Break break...

I get the impression some folks are using the words pilothouse and lower helm (interior helm) interchangeably?

We had a lower helm on a previous boat -- Mainship 34, the older version from the late '80s -- and that helm was OK. Not a pilothouse, as in a raised and/or separate space. It wasn't great for avoiding crab pots forward, not great for docking stern-to -- but at least "OK" either of those, assuming we did our part.

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