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Old 03-04-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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2008 Bering 55 steel Trawler- a good trawler for liveaboards?

We have taken forum advice and have expanded our search for a liveaboard trawler beyond just looking at Nordhavns.
We are intrigued by a 2008 Bering 55 steel trawler for sale in Maine (where we live).
I can find very few reviews or input about this kind of boat. Any thoughts out there? Thanks!
Here is the link:
2008 Bering Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:37 PM   #2
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My first look is that for that size vessel there is not very good "hang out space". Where are you going to spend an the evening with say 4 people? The day to day living area, to me would be important specifically since you are looking for a liveaboard.


I'm a little bias but take a look at a few Krogens, ie; the main cabins.


2005 Kadey Krogen North Sea Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:19 PM   #3
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Certainly a different layout. You are going to want something more than that seating in the salon if your going to live on it. Also, your family won't like cruising in that pilot house. Only the helmsman will be able to see out the front windows.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:19 PM   #4
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Love it ... what a boat! Look at the shape of the hull and bow ... love it again! The looks and construction description suggests great level of seaworthiness.

Looks like a lot of "hangout" space outside: fore deck, aft deck, flybridge. With a few added chairs/armchairs, it could accommodate 6+ people inside the salon easily.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:30 PM   #5
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2008 Bering 55 steel Trawler- a good trawler for liveaboards?

IMO eww, there was another steel boat suggested in another thread that looked nice and was made in a country know for their steel boats, also there is a Vripack for sale in for Lauderdale that is quite nice, both which have good pedigrees.

If you even think about buying a steel boat, get copy's of the X-rays on the welds. If they're gone and can't be found I'd be a little suspicious of the quality.

There was a thread awhile back in Seahorse marine ducks that's depicted not so great welds. So I'd be Leary of chinese steel boat builders, but I have not seen Berings yard myself so I can't tell you what their standard for good quality is.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mainetrawler View Post
We have taken forum advice and have expanded our search for a liveaboard trawler beyond just looking at Nordhavns.
We are intrigued by a 2008 Bering 55 steel trawler for sale in Maine (where we live).
I can find very few reviews or input about this kind of boat. Any thoughts out there? Thanks!
Here is the link:
2008 Bering Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

My advice is go look at it and judge for yourself as most advice you get here will be worth what you pay for it. It's in your backyard as opposed to Florida or Mexico.

Look the truth is until you kick the hull and sit in the saloon for yourself you're never going to know for sure. Even if you look at it and pass you'll be better off than you are now having boarded it. I learn something new every time I see a boat, good or bad is both equally important IMO.

As to the comments so far a cruising couple bought it in 2008 and have used it happily it would seem until now. FTR I've heard nothing but good things from the Bering owners but have not been aboard one.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:54 PM   #7
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Random thoughts:

- I'd be cautious of a steel boat built in china. Metal prep and proper pain application come to mind as areas of concern, plus welds and general steel quality.

- Do you really want to enter the boat into the galley? I prefer entering into the Salon.

- The seating space in the pilot house area doesn't seem conducive to viewing where the boat is going, which is generally what people want to do when in the PH.

- That's not a usable PH, in my opinion. If you can't make a PH dark without also having lights-out through the rest of the boat, then it's not a pilot house, or at least not one conducive to overnight runs. I like a PH that can be kept dark, yet allow full lighted use of the rest of the boat.

- What has a 2008 boat just been refit?

- I toured one at the Ft Lauderdale boat show a few years ago. My impression of the boat I saw was that it was cheaply made.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:55 PM   #8
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I would take double steel hull over soap dish FRP hull anytime when considering serious passagemaking and/or blue water cruising ...

FWIW, more info about the boat and the builder: Bering 55 | Bering Yachts
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:21 PM   #9
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Plenty of FRP hulls have made it around the world.

Too many steel vessels have welded pipe as thru hulls that if broken off from bad welds and or corrosion can ruin your day fast.

A good boat is a good boat from wood to space age materials..

Proper design, maintenance, systems layout and skipper in is what ultimately keeps you safe..
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:14 PM   #10
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I would take double steel hull over soap dish FRP hull anytime when considering serious passagemaking and/or blue water cruising ...

FWIW, more info about the boat and the builder: Bering 55 | Bering Yachts

Why so?
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
My first look is that for that size vessel there is not very good "hang out space". Where are you going to spend an the evening with say 4 people? The day to day living area, to me would be important specifically since you are looking for a liveaboard.


I'm a little bias but take a look at a few Krogens, ie; the main cabins.


2005 Kadey Krogen North Sea Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
I agree. I'm not biased, and would pick the KK over the Bering. The KK has nicer looking lines and better living area arrangement IMO. But, like movies and books, it's a matter of personal preference.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:56 PM   #12
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Why so?
For one ...

Bering trawlers adhere to a number of internationally recognized standards established by American Boat & Yacht Council, the American Bureau of Shipping and Lloyd’s Register, ensuring the highest construction standards and vessel reliability.

All Bering yachts are built to CE Ocean A sea state endurance standards, even if the vessel is not destined for sale in the European Union, and they can be built to comply with most classification standards, where applicable, upon request. Stability calculations are carried out for each Bering and provided with each vessel.

How many other boats manufacturers can make this statement? Nordhavn (a very good looking and solid line of boats) ... maybe, selectively, on some new boats build specifically for import to EU. Most North American boat builders have no inclination nor idea how to comply. Older boats ... forget about it.

Sure ... Proper design, maintenance, systems layout and skipper in is what ultimately keeps you safe ... and if you start the boat design and build it with certain level of expectations as defined by demanding standards (not talking here about ABYC guidelines, nor NMMA certification which is a joke) the outcome will be more predictable and robust.

Just a personal preference ...
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:42 PM   #13
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I am going to echo what Craig said...

Go see the boat. It's probably what an hours drive away, maybe 2.
Envision yourself living in that space.

Then go look at another design, then another. Learn what you like and don't like.
Do not get caught up on the specifics of mechanical things...Yet. Learn about boat interiors.

From the interior photos, and this would have to be verified in person...

The salon doesn't look all that comfortable. Perhaps it is, but the photos don't show that. To me the settee looks uncomfortable, and thats the only place to sit.

My smaller boat for example has a large u shaped settee that is comfortable, and on the other side I have one of those stressless type recliners.

As far as the galley at the aft of the boat, I'm mixed on this. I see advantages and disadvantages. For me it would be how the areas flow together that makes the design.

I jave a real issue with the pilothouse. I love the surrounded helm station, thats the good part. What I do not like is the seating for others. They are going to want to look forward for the most part. Thats a natural place to look, especially in a rough sea.

Anyway, this is a big life step you and your mate are considering. My advice remains, go look at lots of boats.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:44 PM   #14
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Mainetrawler, I am a big fan of aft galleys, but not of that particular Bering trawler. Here's another in your neck of the woods (last i checked), and it's a Canadian built steel hull:
A.F. Theriault 2005 AF Theriault & Sons Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:13 PM   #15
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Huge displacement , nearly double for the size of a better designed hull. The vessel is pushing a huge bow wave, and not just because of the huge bulbous bow. The vessel appears to be totally lacking in elegance and style, seems very chunky and misproportioned. Not my choice, I would ask a N.A to review the design and performance calcs before purchase. Strikes me it's not a easily driven hull. the fact that the displacment is over double that of other 50ft trawlers concerns me..
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:31 PM   #16
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Huge displacement , nearly double for the size of a better designed hull. The vessel is pushing a huge bow wave, and not just because of the huge bulbous bow. The vessel appears to be totally lacking in elegance and style, seems very chunky and misproportioned. Not my choice, I would ask a N.A to review the design and performance calcs before purchase. Strikes me it's not a easily driven hull. the fact that the displacment is over double that of other 50ft trawlers concerns me..

HA, it's what you call a full displacement trawler. We're not talking Taiwan tubs or swift trawlers, we're talking passage makers. My 47' LOA weights in at 90,000lbs. I can agree she's not the most pretty boat I've laid eyes on.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:14 AM   #17
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...I'd be Leary of chinese steel boat builders ....
But the Chinese Fibreglass boat builders are OK
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:23 AM   #18
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I am going to echo what Craig said...

Go see the boat. It's probably what an hours drive away, maybe 2.
Envision yourself living in that space.

Then go look at another design, then another. Learn what you like and don't like.
Do not get caught up on the specifics of mechanical things...Yet. Learn about boat interiors.

From the interior photos, and this would have to be verified in person...

The salon doesn't look all that comfortable. Perhaps it is, but the photos don't show that. To me the settee looks uncomfortable, and thats the only place to sit.

My smaller boat for example has a large u shaped settee that is comfortable, and on the other side I have one of those stressless type recliners.

As far as the galley at the aft of the boat, I'm mixed on this. I see advantages and disadvantages. For me it would be how the areas flow together that makes the design.

I jave a real issue with the pilothouse. I love the surrounded helm station, thats the good part. What I do not like is the seating for others. They are going to want to look forward for the most part. Thats a natural place to look, especially in a rough sea.

Anyway, this is a big life step you and your mate are considering. My advice remains, go look at lots of boats.
Kevin and Larry are spot on.

Initially I loved the look of these types of boats. I liked the steel build, I like the looks of a real Alaska trawler.

But all boats are about compromises and the more I looked, the less I liked.

In our Krogen, the pilot house was one of the main selling points for my First Mate. The second was the salon.

Since then, I've even learned to see the strengths of Fiberglass instead of Steel. I've talked with a few captains of steel boats and they basically prefer glass.

Lastly, the fact that the PO paid all this money to buy boat, ship it over, then cruised it up and down the east coast.

And then want to sell it. That to me is big red flag. It means to me that the PO hated it for their intended use.

Your intended use sounds similar. Why would the outcome be any different?
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:30 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone. We will go look at it with all these concerns in mind. Your comments are super helpful.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:16 AM   #20
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2008 Bering 55 steel Trawler- a good trawler for liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
But the Chinese Fibreglass boat builders are OK

Steel is waaaaay easier to F-up than Fiberglass. Simple as that, if building a steel boat in China, I'd have to have Steve D there every week making sure no corners were cut. Unless the yard had an estaished name in the Marine industry Ex- Ta Shing, or South Coast.
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