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Old 05-19-2017, 11:01 AM   #1
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Thoughts on widebody boats

Greetings!

I am a student studying yacht design and production. One of my interests is in trawler yacht design so I thought it could be useful to poke my head in here to learn more about trawler yachts and the interesting community of people who own them.

I am interested to hear people's thoughts on widebody boats (boats that have a wide saloon that replaces one or both of the side decks). While I was doing some browsing on the internet, I found many companies such as Kadey-Krogen and Nordhavn offer some boats only in widebody configurations.

Does anyone have experience operating a widebody trawler? I personally think the upsides of having a full walkaround boat outweigh the space you gain by absorbing the side deck into the saloon however I am quite interested to hear opposing viewpoints!

Looking forward to learning something new!
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:09 AM   #2
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I have a tug body and would like a widebody.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:11 AM   #3
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I liked Benneteau's approach of puttin the cabin off center so one side deck is wide and the other isn't.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:21 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. I like you already. You use the proper term for the main cabin ie: saloon. Due to the type of boating we do (lockages etc.) a walk around type trawler is most suitable for us. As a result, when boat shopping in the past, we've immediately discounted the wide bodied style.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:23 AM   #5
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My opinion, as the owner of a Coastal Cruiser style boat is that the extra feet of interior space makes the boat much more comfortable.

The only advantages I see in Having side decks on a Coastal Cruiser style boat are during docking, and fishing.

I might feel differently for a boat designed to cross oceans if there were a need on that boat to perform a function at sea, that side decks would facilitate

this opinion is based on the simple premis that interior volume equates to comfort.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benthic2 View Post
I liked Benneteau's approach of puttin the cabin off center so one side deck is wide and the other isn't.
I suppose making an asymmetrical layout could work in some instances. It all depends on how much the side deck's width is impacted.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:31 AM   #7
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. I like you already. You use the proper term for the main cabin ie: saloon. Due to the type of boating we do (lockages etc.) a walk around type trawler is most suitable for us. As a result, when boat shopping in the past, we've immediately discounted the wide bodied style.
I would use main cabin as that is what I hear most of the time in the States however since I go to school in England, everyone here prefers the term saloon . Going through locks was one of the things I thought about when trying to construct an argument for widebody boats. If you are restricted to being on a certain side of the lock, you could run into problems.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:32 AM   #8
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My opinion, as the owner of a Coastal Cruiser style boat is that the extra feet of interior space makes the boat much more comfortable.

The only advantages I see in Having side decks on a Coastal Cruiser style boat are during docking, and fishing.

I might feel differently for a boat designed to cross oceans if there were a need on that boat to perform a function at sea, that side decks would facilitate

this opinion is based on the simple premis that interior volume equates to comfort.
I do agree that interior comfort does equate to comfort in the long run as it is where most of the time aboard aboard a yacht is spent.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:04 PM   #9
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Wide, walk-around decks were (and still are) within my top three priorities. They provide excellent mobility and access onboard.

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Old 05-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #10
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An American tug 41 nearly has both benefits; a fairly wide saloon but still full walkaround, however the price is a nearly 16-foot beam. This beam means it will not fit in many 40-foot slips in various marinas.
Like everything in boating, it is another tradeoff, but we certainly like full walkaround. One other company has come up with a unique solution with stairs on both sides where you can "walk around" but still have a full width saloon; check out the Helmsman 43.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #11
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I suppose making an asymmetrical layout could work in some instances. It all depends on how much the side deck's width is impacted.
For "real" trawlers like Nordhavn, KK and Selene asymmetrical is common and becoming universal.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:19 PM   #12
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I do agree that interior comfort does equate to comfort in the long run as it is where most of the time aboard aboard a yacht is spent.
Do you have any liveaboard and/or long distance, continuous cruising? Shorthanded at that?

While I don't disagree with Kevin, there are reasons to justify full walk around boats.

Can things like extra hands and thrusters negate those advantages? Sure, but all factors have to be weighed in, and there are many.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:21 PM   #13
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The wife and I prefer the wide-body style, because of the extra room of the saloon. It does not seem to be a problem to walk through the saloon to get from the cockpit to the bow.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:33 PM   #14
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Asymetrical Boats

Add Kadey-Krogen to the list of asymmetrical boats.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:49 PM   #15
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We do a lot of transiting locks and two of the things we have that we consider as "must haves" are the walk around decks on both sides and bow rails that run the full length of the walkway.


We looked at a boat before we found the one we not have where the bow rails stopped about mid way along the side of the cabin. We passed on that one because we felt that was a safety hazard for the way we use our boat. It might work well for others, but wouldn't work for us.


I probably couldn't get my wife on the walkways if there wasn't a solid, tall rail to protect her from falling overboard.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:21 PM   #16
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Do you have any liveaboard and/or long distance, continuous cruising? Shorthanded at that?

While I don't disagree with Kevin, there are reasons to justify full walk around boats.

Can things like extra hands and thrusters negate those advantages? Sure, but all factors have to be weighed in, and there are many.
My experience is sorta an interesting story... When I am home each summer, I am a volunteer deckhand on tall ships out of the Port of Los Angeles. I have been on up to 3 week trips going round the channel islands off the coast of California. Being a watch standing deckhand has given me some unique experiences that I would have not been able to get if I had not been up at 3am . I am only 20 so I have lots of time to get more experience! As much as I hate to say it when we have our sails down and the motor on, a tall ship is quite like a trawler as they have full keels, don't really like to turn in small spaces, and are sometimes restricted by both air draft and hull draft.

As for thrusters, I don't really have experience with them. From what I have seen, they do wonders if properly placed on a boat. If they are improperly placed, they are just a waste of money!
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:22 PM   #17
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For "real" trawlers like Nordhavn, KK and Selene asymmetrical is common and becoming universal.
Clearly they know things I dont!
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:27 PM   #18
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Wide, walk-around decks were (and still are) within my top three priorities. They provide excellent mobility and access onboard.

Mobility is one of the major things I thought about. That looks like a nice wide side deck in the picture!
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:43 PM   #19
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As with most boat issues there are benefits and downsides to either saloon layout. I have been in many locks and many marinas where I needed the port side walkaround although our preference is the starboard side.

We have a 42 foot boat and have had 35 people aboard for parties. Don't think 18" more in the saloon would change my life.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:55 PM   #20
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We have a 42 foot boat and have had 35 people aboard for parties. Don't think an 18" in the saloon would change my life.
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