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Old 02-10-2014, 10:43 AM   #1
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Trawler ideas for coastal cruising

I'm considering selling my 42' sailboat and buying a similar sized trawler.

Budget: 175k max, much prefer 150k range

Cruising: Mostly river and lake, but will want to take a few trips in the Gulf of Mexico down to Key West and maybe Bahamas from Florida panhandle. I've made this trip a few times on my Hunter 420 crossing from Apalachicola to Key West, Tarpon Springs or Tampa. The Hunter certainly isn't a blue water boat, but can make that kind of crossing easily. 6' seas are no problem for my current boat, but wonder how uncomfortable they would be in a trawler. I wouldn't try to straight shot on a trawler, but would go from Apalachicola to Tarpon.

Size: looking at 40' or so, prefer 2 cabins.

Engines: definitely want twin for safety reasons

Manufacturers: I'd like to stay 2000 or newer, but this seems to limit me to Mainship and I wonder how they would perform in the Gulf relative to a displacement trawler like a Grand Banks.

Anyone take similar trips in Mainships? How was it?

What do you think about the tradeoff between a newer Mainship and an older higher end trawler? Looks like 2000 vintage Mainships go for about same as 80s Grand Banks models.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:32 AM   #2
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Been there, done that, going back to a sailboat. We lived aboard a 41' CC ketch for six years and spent about half of that cruising. Taking our 38' MY out in some of the weather we saw on the sailboat would absolutely scare me to death, miss that deep keel. Also sitting on deck in chairs is not the same as lounging in the cockpit of a sailboat. The real killer though, and it's something we should have thought about before, is the cost of diesel.

With the sailboat we thought nothing of heading out from Clearwater, FL, to Galveston, TX. With a power boat you may not have the range and if there is a fuel problem along the way, then what?

Just my two cents,

Bob
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:32 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:46 AM   #4
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Well, here are some observations:

All Grand Banks models ever built are all semi-displacement trawlers, just like the Mainship. A semi-displacement hull will often be more comfortable in a seaway than a full displacement boat like a Krogen 42 because the hard chine will dampen roll. Full displacement hulls are more efficient than semi-displacement ones at or below hull speed, but that shouldn't be much of an issue with your mission.

6' seas can be uncomfortable in any trawler that doesn't have some stabilization system like towed fish or dynamic vanes. Those aren't usually found in 40' boats anyway and you sure don't have the budget to add them to any boat that you buy.

A downeast style hull as exemplified by the Mainship Pilot 34, the Legacy 40 and others will be more seakindly due to its deepish keel and lack of weight up high. But there aren't many in your price and year range at 40'.

I crossed to Catalina Island many times in 6' seas on a Mainship 34T. It was somewhat uncomfortable, but not a killer. A 40' trawler would be even better. And our current boat, a Pilot 34 would be even better with its keel and no flybridge.

So at 40+', twin engines and newer than 2000 you probably are limited to a Mainship 40 Trawler or maybe an Albin and even then you will be bumping up against your price/year ceiling/floor.

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Old 02-10-2014, 12:34 PM   #5
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Nothing like a GB. Mine came from Boston to CA through the canal. I've had mine in 20' seas and 65 Kt winds. I trust my boat to get me home.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:58 PM   #6
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nothing like a gb. Mine came from boston to ca through the canal. I've had mine in 20' seas and 65 kt winds. I trust my boat to get me home.
20' ?
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:43 PM   #7
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Yes, the coast guard was out there rescuing boats, sailboats were dismasted, two sinkings and it was 16' seas with 5' breakers on top. It was a mess. All quartering seas. The VHF was so busy, people screaming like mad, rescues that had to wait or not at all. I turned the radio off. Way too much drama.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:50 PM   #8
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It taught me that the boat is fine in those seas. The crew wasn't.
I won't do that again. EVER!!!
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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We have made the crossing in our single engine 2003 Monk 36 five times. 3 to or from Tampa Bay and 2 to or from Anclote/Tarpon Springs. We usually leave about 3 pm and arrive mid morning we want to be near the coast in daylight to be able to spot the crab pot floats. We have never had a problem, we usually wait for a weather forecast of 2-4' seas I don't recall having to wait more than a couple of days. we enjoy the ports at either end of the trip so a delay would be no problem.
A friend has a 43' Mainship aft cabin design a very nice boat he also has done the trip several times he is in the Exumas in his boat now on a side trip while doing the the "Loop".
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:24 PM   #10
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Once I had to wait 5 days for a crossing.

Anyone on the Loop not getting over to the Bahamas is missing a great opportunity, and some of the best cruising ever. It is much different than the Keys. The water is unbelievable. You can be over the Fowl Cay reef looking at the bottom in over 40' of depth.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Once I had to wait 5 days for a crossing.

Anyone on the Loop not getting over to the Bahamas is missing a great opportunity, and some of the best cruising ever. It is much different than the Keys. The water is unbelievable. You can be over the Fowl Cay reef looking at the bottom in over 40' of depth.
If this was Facebook, I would give this a like. It drives me crazy to have people come to
South Florida, and never even go to the Bahamas which is only 48 miles due east. I don't understand it, How can one not like crystal clear water, and no buildings cluttering up the shore? We run across and back in single engined runabouts (I've passed pontoon boats carrying refrigerators!) With no electronics, yet guys with serious passagemakers with enough electronics to fly a plane tell me "we don't like getting out of sight of land".
A couple of years ago I had this giant lumberjack type guy come here from Indiana who bought a Maxum 46' because it had a dive compressor, and he was "into diving". Wow' great, you'll love keeping her down here because clear water is so close. Did he even go to the Keys? NO, he ran it across the Gulf back to Indiana! The plane tickets from Allegiant Air were only $19.00 dollars (not a misprint) yet the trip back to muddy water in Indiana cost how much in fuel alone? Likes to dive, but never saw the Bahamas only 2 hours away. Happens 99% of the time even for people who came here all the way from Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand I had guy from Holland buy a 43' Wellcraft Portifino sight unseen (no survey-nada!) off of Ebay -then ran it direct on it's bottom to Curacao (look that up in your charts!)-in Hurricane season, with no problem. THAT was NOT a passagemaker, nor fall anywhere into the realm of a good idea, but by god, make passage it did!
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:54 AM   #12
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>A semi-displacement hull will often be more comfortable in a seaway than a full displacement boat like a Krogen 42 because the hard chine will dampen roll.<


Perhaps in 1 ft seas , or up almost on the plane, but when the waves get bigger the round hull of the displacement boat is lifted and only rolls a bit.

The hard large hi volume chines of the semi-displacement hull are the grab handle the wave uses to RAPIDLY roll the boat , and the hard chines on the other side resist and the boat rapidly rolls bacck towards flat.

The motion change and the rapidity of the change , snap roll, is far harder on passengers than the far slower roll of the offshore boat.

The speed of roll reversal is what will decide how comfortable folks feel.

IF the semi S boat goes full bore and climbs halfway or more up the waves the ride will change to simply bouncing and smashing along.

Better than snap rolling , but it takes huge fuel burn to get a SD boat moving fast.

If any distance is involved , fuel stops will be frequent .
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:21 AM   #13
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Thanks for all of the replies (and the welcome aboard!).

* sail to steam: yes, I'd miss the costs, range and relative comfort of sail, but think other conveniences of power would compensate. The problem is I've never been offshore on a trawler, so I"m only guessing on how they handle seas.

* Bahamas: I was amazed at how lost in time the Abacos were when we visited on our sailboat. I frankly hope people maintain their reluctance to make the trip or the Abacos will end up like the keys or Caribbean . But yes, the trip was much easier than many coastal trips I've made. We sailed from Marathon to West End and were doing 13 knots over ground at times thank to the gulf stream with favorable winds.

* Boat choice: I'd like to know how people feel about the trade off from an older higher end trawler vs a newer Mainship. There seems to be about a 15 year trade-off at the 150-175 price range. What are the 'real' advantages of the Grand Banks level boats versus the Mainships? Would buying 15 years older negate some of the quality benefits due to increased probability of aging systems failures?

* twin vs single: I'm wanting twin engines for safety and maneuverability reasons. I guess thrusters would solve docking, but I'd feel much better with 2 engines when 100 miles offshore or in a narrow channel with tow boats nearby. This being said, it seems that more than a few of the 'offshore' boats are single engine. I assume I'm missing something here.

thanks again
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #14
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........... With the sailboat we thought nothing of heading out from Clearwater, FL, to Galveston, TX. With a power boat you may not have the range and if there is a fuel problem along the way, then what?
You can control the chance of running out of fuel but you can't control the chance of running out of wind!

In my area (AICW), sailboats seldom sail, they run under power so they are essentially long thin trawlers with tall masts to prevent them from going under bridges without waiting for an opening. It's also a lot more effort to operate a sailboat. I can just turn a key and go.

But, Whatever floats your boat.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:01 AM   #15
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You may want to consider an older twin Ford-Lehman powered Marine Trader. You should be able to pick one up in reasonable condition for less than half your budget. Ideally look for one with sound engines, the old teak decks removed and glassed over, and a good complement of basic systems (electronics, genset, air conditioning, ground tackle and dinghy). Then if necessary either take the balance of your budget and upgrade those systems needing it, or put the balance in a fuel kitty. And you're off! Just a suggestion...it's worked out for us.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:25 AM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr./Ms. KK. Can't comment on sail vs. power comfort levels 'cause the only two times I've been on a sailboat we thankfully never left the dock.
Concerning boat choice...While it is possible to discuss generalities betwixt newer/older/size/different models, the bottom line is what appeals to you. I'm pretty sure Grand Banks and Mainship are both semi-displacement vessels (there's a thread about this already) BUT hull shape, obviously is different and they perform differently (not going to go there either!).
EVERY vessel is a trade off in a few/a lot of respects so again, it's what appeals to you. Aging system failures? All depends on level of maintenance for the most part. I'm in the twins camp with you for the reasons you mention BUT, again, singles vs. twins is an ongoing "controversy".
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:06 AM   #17
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I agree with RT. I also love the near plumb bow of the GB which isn't on Marine Traders or Californians. Their bow gives the more forward aft bounce than a Banks. I also know most GB owners are concerned boat owners, and probably the Marine Traders as well, but from the groups I'm involved with the GB owners have pride of ownership and an older one shouldn't be off the table for you. Just remember one of the golden rules of boat buying. Buy a boat that the company is still in business.

You don't go shopping for Yugo's because they are cheaper.

This is one of the reasons why GB's retain a much higher value. This is not in any way saying Marine Traders aren't a good value for the money, it's simply saying the support is much better with a Hatteras, Bertrum or Grand Banks which are still in business.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:10 AM   #18
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* sail to steam
First, a 40' trawler is, in general, a much larger boat than a 42' sailboat. Trawlers usually have more beam and are double-decked. But you're probably looking at trawlers because you're interested in more space.

Sailboats have natural stability offshore because of the keel and sails providing a constant force. Trawlers can have active stabilizers (fins that compensate for motion) or "flopper stoppers" (passive deep fins to lessen rocking). If you intend to do a fair amount of offshore passages, you're going to want stabilizers and probably active ones. You can get some extra stabilization by planing too and some Mainships have larger engines for that. The tradeoff there will be significantly higher fuel costs.

We travel offshore a good amount. Our Atlantic limits used to be 5-8' at 9 seconds. As time marched on (we're in our 12th year with our current trawler) we've become total wimps and now look for 3' at 9 seconds. We have active stabilization and a 6' draft that loves the open ocean. On overnight passages, anything 5' or less at 9 seconds makes it easy for the off-watch person to sleep. When things get above 6', sleeping is harder in anything other than following seas for us.


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Bahamas
It's a trivial jump in almost any boat willing to wait for good weather. I'd much rather see "loopers" go to the Bahamas before they do the loop. The Bahamas is a wonderful place to get great experience of being off the grid.

It might very well be that the loop won't even be possible in future years given a bill in Congress right now that would block the possibility of doing the loop.

Quote:
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Boat choice
There's no good answer about that - you have to get kiss a lot of frogs before you find your princess. You're at the beginning of seeing trawlers. Go see a bunch of them - 1980's classics to new Mainships. They all have their positives and negatives - it's all tradeoffs. The key is finding the tradeoffs that fit into your particular needs (and especially your wife's needs/desires).

Go to shows. Consider an MTOA rendezvous. Even a TrawlerFest will give you some exposure although they tilt toward new and higher end trawlers these days (sadly).

Quote:
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twin vs single
I'd be open to everything at the point you're at. I started out requiring a single in my searches. In the end, I ended up with twins. There is more control and I do like that. I'm not sure safety is a significant consideration - there are ways to mitigate that too with a "get home" engine. Most of the things that shut down a trawler engine are fuel-related. In a real problem, that will shut down both engines.

You really should put Grand Banks and Krogen on your list to look at and get onboard too. There's a DeFever rendezvous at South Seas Resort in 2 weeks - that would be a pretty good place to see about 25 real DeFevers of all sizes and shapes. There's a Krogen rendezvous on the Chesapeake in early October - great place to see about 50 Krogens.

Searching for the right boat is the best part of the whole adventure (IMO). Take your time and have fun with it.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:27 AM   #19
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In regards to the endless single versus twin debate. I once saw vessel assist statistics and I was surprised to see that for diesel boats 80% to 85% of tows were fuel related and twins were almost as likely to need a tow as singles. The truth is, well maintained diesel engines are very reliable if you feed them good fuel.

Regarding boat age, the most important thing is condition. I'd take a well built and maintained 40 year old boat over a poorly built or maintained 14 year old boat.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:14 AM   #20
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The difference between a Grand Banks and a Mainship in sailing terms is the difference between a Hinckley and a Hunter. They all have there place in the market place but in appraisal terms they are not good comparables.
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