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Old 07-29-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
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Recommend Fuel Efficient Trawler

I'm shopping for a trawler to do the Great Loop. I know I want a single screw diesel in the 32 to 36' range. Fuel economy is very important to me. I know there are a boat-load of variables involved, but can anyone recommend a boat make & model and engine combination is is likely to cruise at trawler speed for less than 2 miles per gallon of diesel fuel?
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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Many (displacement) single screw trawlers will achieve better than 2nmpg, especially when you are traveling slow in canals etc on the Gt. Loop route. For example we have a 65,000 lb 50ft trawler with a 280HP engine that does about 3nmpg at 7.5kt.
I would focus on all the other factors that are important to you. Also, my experience is that fuel does not actually end up being such a major component of ownership/cruising costs
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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Any trawler will do better than 2 nmpg. My lobster boat, which loves to go faster, will get a little over 2 nmpg at eight knots. Or I can go nuts and run 18 knots at 1/2 nmpg. I prefer fifteen knots at 1 nmpg, but am traveling at 8 knots a lot these days.

Now, if you are looking for 2 gallons per hour or less, then that's a whole different ball game.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Get a small full disp boat w a small engine in it. Two MPG is easy to do. My 30' Willard gets 6 mpg.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:01 AM   #5
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Almost any single engine with an engine "rated" at about 100hp,

The style is more important to your comfort, and the outfitting is the big key to no headache cruising.

If your wallet is thick tieing up every night can be done.

On a budget anchoring out is the key , and how to find a refrigeration system you can live with is the hard part.

There are loads of choices , most suck , but a few work, tho they are seldom the low cost version.

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Old 07-30-2012, 06:19 AM   #6
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Camano, Mainship, Grand Banks, Great Harbor, Krogen... to name a few. Budget number helps a lot to make informed suggestion.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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On our 2003 Monk 36,with a 22hp Cummins we are getting about 2.4 NM per gallon cruising @ 7k
Older models with smaller engines will get higher
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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My 34' marine trader with a 120 hp had a fuel burn of 1.75 gph at 8mph
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:44 AM   #9
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Doesn't Steve's fuel burn seem kind of high??
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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Doesn't Steve's fuel burn seem kind of high??
For 22 HP it does.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:00 PM   #11
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Hi everyone,
Thanks for your comments. People say finding a trawler with < 2 nmpg is easy, then go on to specify that theirs gets a higher mileage. As FF says "most options suck." Steve's boat must be 220 HP, not 22 HP.

It seems the key is to find an engine with 100 HP or less. Many of the Kadey Krogen Manatees fit this criteria, but I haven't found other trawlers that do. The 34' Mainships (2004 & newer) appear to have a 370 HP engines standard. Island Gypsy 32 's have 220 HP, Mainship 350's have 300 HP.

We want the trawler to do the great Loop & prefer to stay under $120K. So, that limits us also. Any specific recommendations out there??
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #12
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Typo, as slow as I like to cruise I could probably get by with 22HP, but then probably not up the Mississippi at New Orleans.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #13
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Hi everyone,
Thanks for your comments. People say finding a trawler with < 2 nmpg is easy, then go on to specify that theirs gets a higher mileage. As FF says "most options suck." Steve's boat must be 220 HP, not 22 HP.

It seems the key is to find an engine with 100 HP or less. Many of the Kadey Krogen Manatees fit this criteria, but I haven't found other trawlers that do. The 34' Mainships (2004 & newer) appear to have a 370 HP engines standard. Island Gypsy 32 's have 220 HP, Mainship 350's have 300 HP.

We want the trawler to do the great Loop & prefer to stay under $120K. So, that limits us also. Any specific recommendations out there??
You don't have to have 100 hp or less....EVERY trawler with a 50-500 hp engine in your range will get better than 2.0 NMPG if youkeep your speed down in the 6-7 knot range (unless the trawler is some weird hybrid/remodel).

Heck my 37 silverton sportfish with twin 320HP Cats would get 2NMPG if I shut one down and ran the other at a little less than 1000rpm and she would do around 6 knots.

So you see that a 36 or so boat with any engine that will throttle back enough will give you what yu are asking...but I think what you would prefer is a trawler that gets 4 NMPG or so..I sure would if I was doing the loop. Again, just about any 36 foot or so trawler with up to a 300hp engine (but anything above a 75-100 hp is a waste unless it's also a fast trawler) will get you near 4NMPG if you are willing to stay in that 6 knot speed range.

Before everyone thows out examples better or worse...I know...too many variables but 4 NMPG is certainly achievable in a typical 36 ft trawler willing to travel at 6 or so knots...
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:05 PM   #14
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Hi psneeld,
Thank you - I had it backward. Thanks for clarifying that for me. Your explanation helped.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:28 PM   #15
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Sue,
If you can deal w a smaller boat the Albin 25 is one of the best boats I've ever known. It is a bit small but many make the trip to Alaska including my old Albin. Typically they burn .6 gph at 6 knots and will cruise 8.5 knots nicely at about .8 gph. VERY user friendly boat and numerous ladies own them. The trailerable feature may be of benefit to you too.
I know a west coast couple that trailered their Albin to the headwaters of the Miss .... Did the loop counterclockwise and returned through the big lakes. They were 84 at the time. I think they had a blog on the Albin web site.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #16
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Ohh, an Albin 25 would be really small. Besides me & my husband, we're taking 2 cats with us. Even a 32' Island Gypsy will be a squeeze. Nice gas mileage though in the Albin 25. I'd like to find that in a 32-36' trawler.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:44 PM   #17
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I guess by now you understand that you have a large range of options regarding the fuel question. You should really focus on what other considerations are important. As I mentioned earlier, fuel is not going to be a major component of your overall costs. For example, one consideration if you plan to do the Great Loop is the boat's air draft. Will it fit under the low (fixed) bridges that you will encounter. Our boat will not unless I lower the mast which then means that apart from the difficulty of lowering and raising (3 men!!), and the amount of space taken up on the fly-bridge, I am unable to use my boom winch to launch my dinghy!! We do not plan to do the GL any time soon!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #18
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Hi Chrisjs,
Yes, thanks. I'm aware of the other Loop criteria. And I'm aware that the longer the boat the higher the costs such as dockage & insurance. As I make a decision on which trawler to buy I want to try to keep my overall expenses as low as possible. Any other specific cost reduction ideas you have as I consider which trawler to buy? I'm in the process of reading Skipper Bob's book Cruising Comfortably on a Budget.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sue Freeman View Post
I'm shopping for a trawler to do the Great Loop. I know I want a single screw diesel in the 32 to 36' range. Fuel economy is very important to me. I know there are a boat-load of variables involved, but can anyone recommend a boat make & model and engine combination is is likely to cruise at trawler speed for less than 2 miles per gallon of diesel fuel?
You want more, not less than 2 MPG, right?

Probably every single screw diesel trawler in the 32 to 36' range will get over 2 MPG at hull speed.

Given that, there are many more things to consider, especially for what may turn out to be a cruise lasting a year or more. Comfort, ease of handling, overall cost, etc.


There are several books and a web forum on the subject of cruising the great loop. I suggest further reading on the sublect.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #20
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Sue,
A sailboat would do it.
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