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Old 11-09-2017, 09:11 AM   #1
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Trawler vs. other yacht styles

So, I love the look of trawlers. I currently own a 34' Silverton Flybridge. I run twin 454's gas engines. I have lots of power and would love to consider the loop adventure one day, but my current boat would be very costly in fuel. If I kept my engines at 2200 rpm or 15 knots I burn about 12-15 gallons per hour.
What does the trawler style boat offer over other large boats? Safety? Seaworthyness? Just beginning my loop planning.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:21 AM   #2
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The term trawler often means lots of different things to different people. But if you mean the "traditional trawler" of which a Grand Banks is the iconic example I don't think that there is anything much better in terms of safety or seaworthiness over other types, like your Silverton or a sport fisherman.

Now heavy, full displacement boats like the Nordhavn do have safety and seaworthy benefits. But you pay the price and those benefits really only pay off hundreds of miles offshore.

David
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:23 AM   #3
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The ability to move a large boat efficiently and cost effectively.....albeit slowly. Extended range. Larger tankage (fuel, water, holding). I would consider many trawler designs more seaworthy than a typical coastal cruiser.

However, that being said, they just ran a 27 pontoon boat from Florida to Cuba and back again. (The boat will almost always handle more than the crew).
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:26 AM   #4
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Here is a question, is an Outer Reef, Fleming or an OA a trawler? Certainly not in the builders. opinion. Looking for Nordhavn to advertise their vessel as a trawler? They don't. But, an endless thread on TF for sure.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bigal6030 View Post
So, I love the look of trawlers. I currently own a 34' Silverton Flybridge. I run twin 454's gas engines. I have lots of power and would love to consider the loop adventure one day, but my current boat would be very costly in fuel. If I kept my engines at 2200 rpm or 15 knots I burn about 12-15 gallons per hour.
What does the trawler style boat offer over other large boats? Safety? Seaworthyness? Just beginning my loop planning.
Slowing down to 6 knots would cut your fuel use to about 25% without changing the boat. Moving to a diesel boat would typically cut fuel costs again a bit more at 6 knots dependent upon the boat and engines chosen. If that same diesel boat can run at your 15 knots it will typically burn less fuel than your gas boat but still about 400% more than it would burn at 6 knots.
So chosen speed is much more a factor of fuel use than the boat or the engines.
Depending upon which part(s) of the loop you are thinking about the range of the boat based upon fuel and speed might be a bigger issue - especially in the Tenn areas.
I would plan more about how you want to use the boat and what part(s) of the loop that might include and build a list of needs and wants prior to shopping. Things like draft, range, air clearance, water cap, etc will be part of your list.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:39 AM   #6
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Here is a question, is an Outer Reef, Fleming or an OA a trawler? Certainly not in the builders. opinion. Looking for Nordhavn to advertise their vessel as a trawler? They don't. But, an endless thread on TF for sure.
Many wouldn't consider the Mainship Trawler line a true trawler, but Mainship labelled them as such. I wouldn't go by marketing propaganda.

Either you're in the purist camp, where only a true trawler fishing boat is a trawler. Or you're in the camp that any relatively slow, full or semi-displacement (frequently diesel) boat is a trawler.

The latter is more of a frame of mind. I personally cast a wide net in what I consider to be a trawler. All of the ones you listed I would consider a trawler
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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Bigal: if you are otherwise happy with your current boat, keep it. Generally speaking, The costs of selling it and buying a different, diesel boat, then personalizing it would take a long long time to recover. By the way, that's not bad MPG at 15 knots to begin with. Then take Smitty's well written post into account. If your Silverton is one of their "sportfishy" looking "convertibles", most of those are actually pretty good boats.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bigal6030 View Post
So, I love the look of trawlers. I currently own a 34' Silverton Flybridge. I run twin 454's gas engines. I have lots of power and would love to consider the loop adventure one day, but my current boat would be very costly in fuel. If I kept my engines at 2200 rpm or 15 knots I burn about 12-15 gallons per hour.
What does the trawler style boat offer over other large boats? Safety? Seaworthyness? Just beginning my loop planning.
To give a side-by-side comparison, my 34 Californian LRC with twin Perkins 4.236 non-turbo diesels gets 7.5 kts at 3.2 gph (2.3 NM/US Gal). Other boats of the same model with larger engines can perform similarly at 7.5 kts and get closer to 1 NM/US Gal at speeds 15-20 Kts.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:17 AM   #9
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Another way to look at it is whether or not the journey is important to you. My wife and I, former sailors, really do enjoy that element of boating. We like slow, steady, stately. Other folks really only care about getting to the next place as quickly as possible. For them, the cost of fuel is worth the burn.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:06 AM   #10
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I've been dreaming about the great loop myself.

The route taken by most folks averages about 6,000 miles. If gas costs $3 a gallon, then:

6,000 miles / 1 mpg = 6,000 gallons x $3 = $18,000
6,000 miles / 2 mpg = 3,000 gallons x $3 = $9,000
6,000 miles / 2.5 mpg = 2,400 gallons x $3 = $7,200

So, at least in my opinion, its not worth the worry about the added cost for fuel. I would run whatever boat that I would want to normally run before/after doing the loop.

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Old 11-09-2017, 11:31 AM   #11
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Bigal: if you are otherwise happy with your current boat, keep it. Generally speaking, The costs of selling it and buying a different, diesel boat, then personalizing it would take a long long time to recover.
Damn good advice! (IMO) Years ago, Tom Fexas, a well respected naval architect, wrote an article on his search for the perfect boat for a family of 4. Below is a link to his findings:

http://silvertonyachts.us/images08/p...ws/S36cBTR.pdf
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:41 AM   #12
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I see it a different way. A trawler, in regards to pleasure boating, is a state of mind. Enjoy the trip as well as the destination. While Bess and I no longer own a trawler (we have a motoryacht) we still consider ourselves trawler-type boaters and still hang out on this board of umm... errr... nice people *cough* ;-) . The main difference is we have more options for speed and fuel burn. We can putt-putt along at 8 or 9 mph at 5 gph or we can hump it at 18 or 19 at 25 easily enough as conditions and time dictates. And TBH, I donít think we would want to go back.

Really, there is no right answer. Your Silverton would be a fine craft to take on the loop. Itís big and can be fast as needed. Everyone on the planet can work on those motors and parts are plenty easy to get. And as George said, you could find yourself worse off trying to replace it just for fuel savings. You could spend a little time working on its efficiency by looking at the overall fuel system, prop pitch, or even weight. But donít rule it out just because it isnít a Grand Banks or Marine Trader.
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:35 PM   #13
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IMO your gasser does very well. See if it does even better at slower speed with the bow well down.

I think you should do the loop with the boat you own instead of succumbing to a marketing name for limited benefits.
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:56 PM   #14
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IMO your gasser does very well. See if it does even better at slower speed with the bow well down.

I think you should do the loop with the boat you own instead of succumbing to a marketing name for limited benefits.
IMHO This is probably the best advise so far.

Slow your existing boat down to 8 kts. Now that you're running at relative trawler speeds, calculate fuel burn for comparison. Consider also, that much of the great loop will not be at planing speeds.

Now compare the cost to purchase a trawler over the savings in fuel. You may be setting yourself up to spend 10's of thousands in order to save thousands.
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:16 PM   #15
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Don't talk about types of boats labelled by who knows who. This is Trawler Forum and no one knows what a Trawler is. Think of what you want to use a boat for and then what boats fit. Think of your current boat and what you like and don't like about it.

Your current fuel consumption isn't bad and slow down some and it would be better. It would cost you but there would be times on the loop your high powered engines would be nice to have. Just because they will run you fast, doesn't mean you have to.

A 39' flybridge is a nice size and design for the loop and most boating. Your engines aren't the choice most here would make and diesels are more reliable and less costly to operate for most, but yours are a lot cheaper to replace if they needed to be replaced. There are more gas powered boats than diesels where you are and elsewhere on most of the loop path.

Only one loop question and that is what is your airdraft? Can you get under the bridge south of Chicago at 19'1"?

Don't change boats because someone has led you to believe something else might be better for the loop. You only do so if your boat isn't meeting your needs.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:29 PM   #16
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So, I love the look of trawlers. I currently own a 34' Silverton Flybridge. I run twin 454's gas engines. I have lots of power and would love to consider the loop adventure one day, but my current boat would be very costly in fuel. If I kept my engines at 2200 rpm or 15 knots I burn about 12-15 gallons per hour.
What does the trawler style boat offer over other large boats? Safety? Seaworthyness? Just beginning my loop planning.

If you slow to around 7 knots for some legs, your fuel consumption would be reduced to something like maybe 3 GPH, maybe 2.3 NMPG, for those sections. (That's just a guess, but maybe not too far off.)

Better fuel consumption might be a good excuse to get a different boat...

But otherwise, I'd say other features would maybe be better drivers for guiding your choices. IF there are some other features you want, but don't have now. Some "trawlers" (mostly a marketing term) have some of those features, but so do some motor yachts, some picnic yachts, some sportfishers, etc.

Note, we are one of the few here who quickly admit we definitely do NOT own a trawler. (See avatar.) But we more often drive it like a trawler anyway, so we're in the right state of mind.

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Old 11-09-2017, 03:14 PM   #17
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To reach 2nm/g with carb BBC you will be running one eng and doing around 6kts.
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Old 11-09-2017, 03:36 PM   #18
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I think you guys are grossly underestimating the fuel economy of twin 454 gassers going slow pushing a 34' semi-displacement cruiser to 7-8 kts. Gassers unlike diesels get horrible fuel economy (stated as hp per gph of fuel) the slower they run, and big 454s will be even worse.

Not too many years ago I had a Cape Dory 28 with a small Chrysler gasser in it. It had a rudimentary fuel flow meter built in to the helm instruments, can't remember the brand. At 3,200 rpm and 120 or so hp and 12-13 kts it would read 11 gph, but at 2,000 rpm it would read 4 gph and go about 7 kts. I suspect it was making about 35 hp at the lower speed, so it was doing about 9 hp per GPH of fuel.

Now scale those numbers up to a 34' boat at 7.5 kts. It won't take that much more hp than my CD, maybe 45 to go that speed due to the longer hull length. But it won't do any better than 9 hp per gph and probably much worse due to twins and big engines. So let's be charitable and say 8 which means about 6 gph, not the 3 that you guys are bandying about.

BTW, I think the OP is reporting very optimistic figures to go 15 kts and burn 12-15 gph. My 34' diesel boat does only a little better than that, maybe 12 gph at 15 kts.

Anyway, I believe he will do 1.1 to 1.25 NM/gallon at the 7.5 kt speed according to my figures. That will cost him about $15,000 in fuel to do the loop.

But all in all, I agree with the sentiment that he should keep his boat, pay the fuel price and enjoy doing the loop.

Lot's of figures I know, but hey I am a figures guy ;-).

Edit: I just saw Diver Dave's post after I posted and agree. His observation supports my belief that it will take a lot more fuel than you guys are thinking.

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Old 11-09-2017, 03:46 PM   #19
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I would see this from another point of view... a trawler is everything that a cruiser is not.


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Old 11-09-2017, 03:49 PM   #20
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I think you guys are grossly underestimating the fuel economy of twin 454 gassers going slow pushing a 34' semi-displacement cruiser to 7-8 kts.
Lot's of figures I know, but hey I am a figures guy ;-).

Edit: I just saw Diver Dave's post after I posted and agree. His observation supports my belief that it will take a lot more fuel than you guys are thinking.

David
My data is a very small subset of flowscan data points, taken both ways in a channel, etc etc. And, I had the Roc carbs replaced with better ones.
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