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Old 02-28-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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Why Do I Need A Trawler?

If I am going to do exclusively coastal cruising and don't plan any trips further than the Keys and the Bahamas why do I need a trawler?

Can't I just buy a boat like the Meridian 341 or Bayliner 3587 and coastal cruise in that. The initial purchase price on these boats is considerably less than a trawler with considerably more amenities.

The Camano trawler I rented last summer could not even come close to the comfort that the aforementioned boats offer.

So why do I need a trawler? Because I think trawlers are cool? If that were the case I'd buy a cool Porsche instead of the efficient Camry that I drive.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
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If I am going to do exclusively coastal cruising and don't plan any trips further than the Keys and the Bahamas why do I need a trawler? Can't I just buy a boat like the Meridian 341 or Bayliner 3587 and coastal cruise in that. The initial purchase price on these boats is considerably less than a trawler with considerably more amenities. The Camano trawler I rented last summer could not even come close to the comfort that the aforementioned boats offer. So why do I need a trawler? Because I think trawlers are cool? If that were the case I'd buy a cool Porsche instead of the efficient Camry that I drive.
You'd be just fine without a trawler in those areas. But range might be a problem depending on where in the Bahamas you want to go.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:57 PM   #3
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First, most of the trawlers represented here have no more seaworthiness than the boats you mentioned, size for size. They are coastal cruisers, just like the boats you mentioned.

Unless you need the extreme fuel range of a passagemaker, I'd buy a boat that is comfortable to you.

Like on any boat, watch the weather and enjoy

Another thought is keel. If you get a boat we a keel it will take much less steering correction at displacement speeds.

Btw, I had a Bayliner 3488, same interior at the 341 meridian. For its size I think the 341 interior is about as comfortable as you'll find. That boat has great livability.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Heck...for the Bahamas and the Keys...there are many houseboats that would be fine.

I almost got one till my divorce then the call of the closer Caribbean Islands changed my mind.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:07 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. Xray. You don't need a trawler. As has been mentioned, watch the weather and your fuel usage and enjoy. Personally I'm biased towards diesel BUT there are thousands of gasoline vessels that travel without incident all the time. One just has to be a bit more careful given the flammability of gas.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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Well, I disagree with your factual premises: cheaper and more roomy. Don't compare a Bayliner 3587 or a Meridian 341 to a Camano. The Camano is 6' smaller. A more valid comparison would be to a Mainship 34T.

But more importantly than price or amenities, I just don't like the swoopy looks of a Bayliner or Meridian.

Look at the Meridian's helm. Where do you put an integrated chartplotter/radar display? It is made for afternoon cocktail cruising, not a 1,000 mile trip down the ICW and to the Bahamas.

Most Meridian's I looked at on Yachtworld were gassers. Nothing wrong with that, and to make a diesel pay you need to use it more than 200 hours each year. Most owners don't.

But if I were using one to cruise down the ICW from say mid Atlantic states to the Bahamas for a month, I would much prefer a real trawler (if there is such a thing, but that is a different debate). Better fuel economy with a diesel, looks more nautical, easier maintenance, places to put your instrumentation, etc.

They are different boats, built for different purposes.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Xraycharlie View Post
If I am going to do exclusively coastal cruising and don't plan any trips further than the Keys and the Bahamas why do I need a trawler?

Can't I just buy a boat like the Meridian 341 or Bayliner 3587 and coastal cruise in that. The initial purchase price on these boats is considerably less than a trawler with considerably more amenities.

The Camano trawler I rented last summer could not even come close to the comfort that the aforementioned boats offer.

So why do I need a trawler? Because I think trawlers are cool? If that were the case I'd buy a cool Porsche instead of the efficient Camry that I drive.
You don't need a trawler necessarily but don't judge all trawlers on the basis of the Camano. There are Krogens, Grand Banks, Berings, Flemings, Northern, and many more that have amenities even superior to the boats you mentioned and more usable space. Still, many people get years of pleasure from the boats you mentioned. The one issue I would look at is the range to go where you want. Personally, I'd try to get diesel as well with your plans.

Just consider all the options and don't group all boats of a given genre together.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:19 PM   #8
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Well, I disagree with your factual premises: cheaper and more roomy. Don't compare a Bayliner 3587 or a Meridian 341 to a Camano. The Camano is 6' smaller. A more valid comparison would be to a Mainship 34T.

But more importantly than price or amenities, I just don't like the swoopy looks of a Bayliner or Meridian.

Look at the Meridian's helm. Where do you put an integrated chartplotter/radar display? It is made for afternoon cocktail cruising, not a 1,000 mile trip down the ICW and to the Bahamas.

Most Meridian's I looked at on Yachtworld were gassers. Nothing wrong with that, and to make a diesel pay you need to use it more than 200 hours each year. Most owners don't.

But if I were using one to cruise down the ICW from say mid Atlantic states to the Bahamas for a month, I would much prefer a real trawler (if there is such a thing, but that is a different debate). Better fuel economy with a diesel, looks more nautical, easier maintenance, places to put your instrumentation, etc.

They are different boats, built for different purposes.
My 3488/341 had a 10 display on the dash, and had a pair of 330 hp cummins diesels.

It could cruise at 7 knots or at 27 knots and get about 1 nmpg at 27 knots.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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OK, this has turned out to be a disconcerting thread...

I'm on a steep learning curve here, which is fine... that's why I came here; but I had kind of settled on the idea of a 50-something foot displacement Trawler (preferably with a steel hull) for several reasons. One of the big ones was sea-worthiness. I don't know that I would ever sail to Europe, but I certainly would want to be ABLE to do so. At the very least I would envision the sort of use that would qualify as genuine "Blue Water" travel. Trips to Bermuda and Hudson Bay if nothing else.

So, what makes a boat "sea worthy"? What defines the difference between a coastal cruiser and "passage-maker"?
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:54 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. MC. My take on this. Seaworthy is a very vague term. A dug-out canoe can be accurately described as "seaworthy".
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:16 PM   #11
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OK, this has turned out to be a disconcerting thread...

I'm on a steep learning curve here, which is fine... that's why I came here; but I had kind of settled on the idea of a 50-something foot displacement Trawler (preferably with a steel hull) for several reasons. One of the big ones was sea-worthiness. I don't know that I would ever sail to Europe, but I certainly would want to be ABLE to do so. At the very least I would envision the sort of use that would qualify as genuine "Blue Water" travel. Trips to Bermuda and Hudson Bay if nothing else.

So, what makes a boat "sea worthy"? What defines the difference between a coastal cruiser and "passage-maker"?
There is no single definition of sea worthy or blue water or passage maker. Just some more capable than others. For the area you're discussing most 50 foot steel trawlers would be quite capable. You would want to select your window to Bermuda carefully simply because the transit time would be so great, requiring you 3 days for many trawlers.

There are 50' steel trawlers capable of crossing oceans. Now, as to sea worthy it's not just the boat. Handling seas is often more dependent on the seamanship of the captain.

Don't extrapolate the answer to one question, which was must the OP have a trawler, to impact your choice.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:22 PM   #12
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OK, this has turned out to be a disconcerting thread...

I'm on a steep learning curve here, which is fine... that's why I came here; but I had kind of settled on the idea of a 50-something foot displacement Trawler (preferably with a steel hull) for several reasons. One of the big ones was sea-worthiness. I don't know that I would ever sail to Europe, but I certainly would want to be ABLE to do so. At the very least I would envision the sort of use that would qualify as genuine "Blue Water" travel. Trips to Bermuda and Hudson Bay if nothing else.

So, what makes a boat "sea worthy"? What defines the difference between a coastal cruiser and "passage-maker"?
A coastal cruiser has the ability to cruise in the ocean between ports.
A passagemaker has the ability to cross oceans.

As a FYI the longest distance that I can find between places to avoid bad weather in North America is 210NM between Yakutat and Hinchinbrook island Alaska. The longest distance that I've been able to find between fuel is a little more than that at 240 NM between Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria Mexico. Turtle Bay to Cabo is 410NM, if you don't call ahead at Bahia Santa Maria. In the USA we have Yakutat to Whittier, Alaska at 260NM.

So, any boat that can make 210NM within a reasonable weather forecasting range of 72 hours, and have a total safe fuel range of over 300NM should be considered to be capable of coastal cruising in North America.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:21 PM   #13
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I have an idea...

Www.whydoineedatrawler-forum.com

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Old 02-28-2014, 11:59 PM   #14
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Sorry Baker, I was denied access.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:12 AM   #15
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If I am going to do exclusively coastal cruising and don't plan any trips further than the Keys and the Bahamas why do I need a trawler?

Can't I just buy a boat like the Meridian 341 or Bayliner 3587 and coastal cruise in that. The initial purchase price on these boats is considerably less than a trawler with considerably more amenities.
I thought about that same question as I looked into buying or building a vessel like this Pilgrim 40:
Redesigning the Pilgrim 40 Trawler / Canal Boat

I love the looks of this vessel, and its liveability in only 40 feet.

BUT, as I got to looking around in the used market for power cruisers, there are certainly some nice appealing deals out there right now. So much so that it cast a lot of doubts about getting into the building of new vessels until this glut of used ones get bought up.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:37 AM   #16
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And to the OP......the simple answer is...you don't. It all depends on what you want to do with the boat and what your expectations are. I think the question alone says that you have somewhat of a "mature" view on boats in general. There is no reason to pigeon hole a particular type of boat unless you want it for a particular reason. My point being...people fantasize about boats. The problem comes when the fantasy falls short of reality. When that happens, the boat sits unused. So you are already questioning the "fantasy" of buying a particular type of boat...in this case, a trawler...and thinking in practical terms without getting caught up on a particular type based on emotion or what people think you should have.

I don't know if that makes sense. Bottom line is that you have to be honest with yourself in how you will use the boat. And then you get a boat to fit the mission. I know that sounds overly simple but it is true. I live in one of the largest sailboat populations in the country. And I see Hans Christian after Tayana after Pacific Seacraft after Island Packet.........just SIT!!! Why???? Because those people had a dream of blue water sailing when in reality they would just be weekenders. Those boats mentioned aren't the greatest boats for weekending. They are heavy...full keeled(except Pac Seacraft)...hard to maneuver in tight places...and overall not good light air boats. SO the dream trumped reality and the boat becomes a burden to take out instead of a joy. SO the boat sits......
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:44 AM   #17
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And if you are considering gas over diesel...... I have not owned diesel boats because of fuel economy. Fuel economy is about 4 down the list when it comes to advantages of diesel over gas. Ahead of that is carbon monoxide poisoning...explosion hazard....engine longevity....engine reliability....then fuel efficiency...okay, number 5.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:34 AM   #18
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A very few trawlers , perhaps 1 in 100 have the construction scantlings , and all the compromises required for a Blue Water Passage.

There are very pricy ( perhaps 300% for the same size) and only needed by a few folks , so few are ever built.

Whatever you choose would be fine for Brown Water cruising.

If you can,, the looks of the boat should delight you ,

a Roomasran or quality house boat may work fine , but a beach ball is hard to love.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:41 AM   #19
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a Roomasran or quality house boat may work fine , but a beach ball is hard to love.
No truer words were ever spoken....
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:27 AM   #20
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Hey FF, I love my beach ball. And the real bonus is chilling in the oxygen tent at anchor with a sundowner in hand!!!

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