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Old 01-10-2019, 04:20 AM   #1
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Trawlers thought

First time posting and new to the site. I just have a question. How small can a trawler be and still be called a trawler? What do you think about an electric trawler? Thank you and all feedback is welcomed, good bad and other
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! We're very loose here on the definition of a trawler. You will find some members with boats under 25'. The practicality of an electric boat will depend on how far and how fast you want to go. At this point, it's probably not a viable option for long distance cruising. For a local boat at slower speed it's probably doable, but seriously more expensive.

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Old 01-10-2019, 06:31 AM   #3
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I just started a thread on that subject in: My New Tiny Trawler

The thread notes that 22-23' is about the minimum to have enough cruising "stuff" on board for overnights.

Duffy makes an electrical powered open cockpit "cocktail cruiser" of about 20'. It uses lead acid batteries and has a range of about 10 miles. You can rent one for an afternoon in places like Newport Beach, Ca.

It would be fairly easy for a builder of 20-25' inboard cruisers like Sisu, my Pompano, Eastern, etc to add a modern electric motor/battery system which would give you a range of maybe 100 miles using Li batteries. A boat like that would have similar capabilities as my Pompano, but it would only go slow, maybe 6 kts max to stay within efficient "hull speed".

But don't expect that solar panels will keep it running. There just isn't enough roof top space, even on boats with long cabins like the Rosborough 246, to put enough panels on to recharge the batteries.


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Old 01-10-2019, 08:49 AM   #4
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An electric trawler is certainly possible IF you are willing to pay for the required batteries. Your range/speed will be determined by the battery capacity. In other words the more batteries you have the farther you can go between charges. The real issue is charging. An electric powered boat will have to be plugged into shore power or run a generator to recharge the batteries. Generator charging is less efficient than just running a diesel propulsion engine. A typical trawler could be electric and solar charged IF you only run the boat every two-three weeks. I say that because the amount of solar a boat can carry is quite limited relative to the power required to move the boat.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:55 AM   #5
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Hey Seablu, I'm fairly new here myself.

I'm not very pedantic about definitions, but since you asked I'll give my opinion. "Trawling" is a form of fishing that involves dragging nets at displacement speed. That required certain characteristics of the hull, engine and running gear. The private market adopted that name to describe a boat that generally was fairly heavy for her length and operated at displacement speeds (or thereabouts). So a "trawler" as a private cruising boat is an evolution of the original fishing boats called "trawler". Therefore, I think it would be hard to find a written definition that covered the minimum size.

I believe in general, you could go with a fairly small boat and still call it a trawler if it operated at a low speed to length ratio. I've seen a 28' boat that could be described as a trawler except that it had 150 hp engine. As soon as a boat starts operating in the semi-displacement range I'd prefer to call it a cruiser rather than a trawler. But my friends with "fast trawlers" would likely disagree and at the end of the day we'd all still sit down for a beer.

Language is a funny thing.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:42 AM   #6
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Search is your friend: there are many threads about the impracticality of electric propulsion, you just have to look. As to your question about the definition of “trawler”: who cares what you call it? The descriptor will not affect how it functions and what else matters?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:58 AM   #7
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Seablue898

Thank you all for your opinion and knowledge, however, i am in research mod on this because i want to build one in the rang of 20 to 28 feet. Reason being is I've never seen one the way i want it so i have to build it. Having said that my boat will have features of three kinds of boats in one based on a trawler vs a cabin cruiser. Speed is good but sometimes over rated. I don't mine going slow if it means getting the job done. It will be a heavy boat for its size but if it will do the loop with ease im happy. A boat that size i don't think is good for ocean crossing. Thats ok the USA has lots to offer a boater so im not in a rush. Thank you all again for reading a dream of mine and allowing me to see through your eyes and minds.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:29 PM   #8
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If you are interested in building your own electric trawler in the 20-28' range then here are some ideas:


Start with a proven hull like the Sisu 22 or the Eastern Explorer 248 here- https://www.easternboats.com/our-boats. Eastern will sell you a bare hull and top- you finish it yourself and add your own electric power train. Since these are downeaster hulls, they have decent room below decks for a motor and battery bank.


Look at Torqeedo a supplier of small electric drives and Li battery systems. If you only want to go slow then consider their Cruise 4.0 pod drive. See https://www.torqeedo.com/us/en-us/pr...M-1250-00.html. It can be mounted just aft of the keel on the Eastern so the pod is reasonably protected. But it will take a lot of very expensive batteries to push it for very long even at a slow 6-7 kts.


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Old 01-10-2019, 02:04 PM   #9
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Wifey B: 8 inches. Anything less than that is a dinghy.

You can call anything you want to a trawler. Doesn't make it one but then who is to say.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:38 PM   #10
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hi , I am new here as well. long time boater, currently have a 30 ft sea ray cruiser. have been looking at trawlers for a couple of years with a goal of doing the loop.
I like the albin and the grand banks... any opinions ?
secondly, I think I like the idea of a single screw with a bow thruster, less maintenance cost and easier to move around in the engine room.
third, seems like fuel tanks are a big issue with these older boats ( mid 70s to late 80s ) a broker told me a boat I was looking at has morel tanks...do they last ?
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:15 PM   #11
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I thought you had to have a helm door to be a trawler.

Check out the Rosborough line of boats. Even their 22 footer has a helm door.

https://www.rosboroughboatsusa.com/
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:30 PM   #12
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Never heard the helm door definition, but a quick thought is it fits, to a ponit.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn6437 View Post
hi , I am new here as well. long time boater, currently have a 30 ft sea ray cruiser. have been looking at trawlers for a couple of years with a goal of doing the loop.
I like the albin and the grand banks... any opinions ?
secondly, I think I like the idea of a single screw with a bow thruster, less maintenance cost and easier to move around in the engine room.
third, seems like fuel tanks are a big issue with these older boats ( mid 70s to late 80s ) a broker told me a boat I was looking at has morel tanks...do they last ?
Probably meant monel for the tank. It is a nickel rich alloy. Tanks in older trawler certainly can be an issue. I am planning on replacing mine in the next two years proactively rather than waiting for them to start leaking at an inconvenient time.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:06 AM   #14
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Trawler is an advertising term with almost no meaning for non commercial boats.

SALE! Hi Fi ,Heavy Duty are other examples.

Most folks here are cruisers , if they leave the dock.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:38 AM   #15
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Wasnt there a member who had a 30 something all electric catamaran? Had been cruising the Fl Keys for a year or more?

He rarely needed to run an engine or genset because there was quite a bit of solar (possible with the cat).

Also, his household needs sermed to cut into his daily cruising range which was pretty short comparec to conventional power...but it seemed to work for him.

We are on the brink of having more desings...but it is still a struggling concept.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:38 AM   #16
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Size isn't important (don't listen to your wife or gf!). My last boat (C Dory 25) was 25 feet and I considered it a trawler. IMO a minimum requirement would be having a head, some sort of galley and a totally enclosed design.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn6437 View Post
hi , I am new here as well. long time boater, currently have a 30 ft sea ray cruiser. have been looking at trawlers for a couple of years with a goal of doing the loop.
I like the albin and the grand banks... any opinions ?
secondly, I think I like the idea of a single screw with a bow thruster, less maintenance cost and easier to move around in the engine room.
third, seems like fuel tanks are a big issue with these older boats ( mid 70s to late 80s ) a broker told me a boat I was looking at has morel tanks...do they last ?



Of the various metals used for fuel tanks Monel is the best by a big margin. Monel is a nickel-copper alloy and the most corrosion resistant of all the common metals. Unless Monel fuel tanks have been physically damaged they will be fine. Monel is seldom used now because of cost.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn6437 View Post
hi , I am new here as well. long time boater, currently have a 30 ft sea ray cruiser. have been looking at trawlers for a couple of years with a goal of doing the loop.
I like the albin and the grand banks... any opinions ?
secondly, I think I like the idea of a single screw with a bow thruster, less maintenance cost and easier to move around in the engine room.
third, seems like fuel tanks are a big issue with these older boats ( mid 70s to late 80s ) a broker told me a boat I was looking at has morel tanks...do they last ?
I feel like this is a bit off the OPís original topic but I am compelled to answer...
Iím fairly new to my 32 Grand Banks and Iím still VERY surprised at how easy it is to handle. The rudder seems, to me, to be huge compared to many of the boats that is see dry docked next to me at the marina. Makes backing easier. Itís something you might consider when making your decision. I originally planned on a bow thruster but now Its been pushed to the bottom of the list of upgrades.
And, yes, maintenance is fairly easy. Iím sure itíll be much less expensive than your present boat.
Perhaps a new thread? And good luck!
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:52 AM   #19
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A couple of friends, experienced sailors, like to call my Albin-25 (avatar) a "mini trawler". However, as the DuNORD was built in 1976, before the term "trawler" became so common for recreational cruisers, I prefer "Scandinavian-style Motor Cruiser".
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:57 AM   #20
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A couple of friends, experienced sailors, like to call my Albin-25 (avatar) a "mini trawler". However, as the DuNORD was built in 1976, before the term "trawler" became so common for recreational cruisers, I prefer "Scandinavian-style Motor Cruiser".
I think either name is appropriate. I had one for a couple of years,fun boats.
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