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Old 10-08-2019, 01:02 AM   #1
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Trawler types

After reading many ads & discussions of trawlers, I see terms like "sedan," Europa," and "express." I think the sedan is distinguished from pilothouse boats, in that the inside helm, saloon, galley, etc., are on the same deck, whereas the PH style is separate.

But, I also see terms like "Europa" and "express." Can anyone clarify for me what distinguishes these types/styles from the others? Maybe I don't have "sedan" right.

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Old 10-08-2019, 02:23 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but here's 2 cents worth:

"Trawler" generally refers to hull shape. Started as fishing boats, morphed into what we have now. Made to handle seas and operate at hull speed efficiently. The main thing that remains is the forward cabin, often a V berth.

'Pilothouse' usually means there is a separate cabin for driving the boat. Great visibility, but the Skipper isn't part of the party in the saloon.

'Sedan' usually means that the driving station and saloon are on the same level; one main deck through to the transom.

'Europa' is basically the same as a Sedan, but the upper deck (flybridge) is made wide so as to form a roof for the side decks.

'Tri Cabin' has a stateroom aft of the saloon, often with an aft deck at the transom.

'Sundeck' has the aft stateroom, but it usually extends to the transom and is full width so there are no side decks, but a lounge deck above the stateroom.

Not sure about 'Express', except that it sounds more like a planing hull that goes fast and burns a lot of fuel.

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Old 10-08-2019, 02:34 PM   #3
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I haven't much seen "express" and "trawler" in the same sentence either. Often, "express" is applied to "faster" boats, including some fishboats, that don't have a flying bridge, e.g, SeaRay Sundancer, Wellcraft Coastal, etc.

Contrast that with a "down east" style boat, though, which would have many similarities but would generally have a more traditional look about it. Variations: picnic boat, "lobstah" yacht, etc.

And in the grand scheme of things, "trawler" is more of a marketing term with a tip o' the hat to the ascetics (looks) of a real trawler. Which makes it maybe more a state of mind than an actual design.

See avatar. Do we have a trawler? No, even if we often putter around at trawler-like speeds.

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Old 10-08-2019, 03:38 PM   #4
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Express Cruisers aren't as desirable as other boats, not as sexy I guess. But there is a lot of lying in the boat marketing world, many trawlers aren't ones even using loose standards. For example a Swift Trawler brand is really a big Express Cruiser.

Now have you ever heard of a commercial planing tug, no - nor have I. But tug brands such as Ranger Tugs plane quite well thank you, but are really express cruisers in drag.

If you want to see pics of express cruisers, go into the Chris Craft section in the forum here. Chris Crafts were traditional express cruisers. A modern express cruiser could be Cutwaters or Back Cove's.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:48 PM   #5
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When I think of an Express Cruiser, I think something like a Sea Ray Sundancer or a Formula. In other words, fairly flat layout, not a ton of cabin space for their size, reasonably quick. And mostly meant for weekend hanging out, not any kind of traveling. I certainly wouldn't think of my boat as an express cruiser (although it's very much not a trawler either).
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kirwan View Post
I'm no expert, but here's 2 cents worth:
'Europa' is basically the same as a Sedan, but the upper deck (flybridge) is made wide so as to form a roof for the side decks.
To me, a 'Europa' means they have shifted the outer wall of salon, to make it wider, while leaving to other side so as to allow for a small side deck.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:56 PM   #7
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Trawler, fast trawler, tug, sedan, convertible, commuter, lobster yacht, express, pilot house, motoryacht ..........

Boats are whatever the marketing department says they are.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:10 PM   #8
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Well in addition to Kirwan's lexicon of trawler like boat terms above, I would add the following:

Sedan generally means an open cockpit aft and yes everything is on one level until you go down to the galley (if down) and sleeping area.

Europa also implies a covered aft cockpit. This is my favorite "trawler" design. It can be asymmetrical with the cabin extending to one side, also called wide body or symmetrical.

Aft Cabin is a sedan with the main cabin aft so it doesn't have an open cockpit aft.

Motor Yacht can mean a lot of things, but for Grand Banks it means an aft cabin that extends all of the way to the transom, giving more room there but making boarding from the transom and catching lines aft difficult.


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