Trawler owner wannabe
Glad to join you good folks. My wife and I just sold our 28' flybridge cruiser and are now on the hunt for a trawler. We're thinking Grand Banks, Monk, Prairie or Saberliner fast trawler. I've been reading alot of "boat porn" (my brother's expression) but would love to have some input on choosing the right trawler. Our price range is about $125,000 max.
Your question has been posed many times on this forum. While I know it's human nature to want a fresh answer to a question, if you spend a bit of time in the archives of this forum via the Search function you will find a whole lot of answers to that exact question.
The basic problem is that your question is almost impossible to answer in a meaningful way because none of us are you. We don't know what you are hoping to get out of the cruising experience, we don't know how you want to cruise, we don't know what's important to you and your family in terms of accomodations, amenities, boat configuration, and so on. Only you can define those things, and those definitions are what are going to guide you to the make and model of boat that will best suit your requirements.
What you'll get from other boaters in answer to your question is what they think would suit them the best. Might give you some things to think about but in the end you're going to have to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
I personally think the smartest approach is to carefully and thoroughly define what you want to do with a cruising boat and what you would like in terms of the configuration and features you and your family would like your boat to have. These will help you draw up a short list of specific makes and models, and then when you've picked your favorite on the list, charter one for a week and see if you really like it.
That's what we did and it worked a treat. We didn't waste a lot of time listening to what other people thought we should do, we did the research and figured it out ourselves.
I will give you one specific piece of input on one specific make of boat. Unless you like doing a lot of maintenance on a boat, particularly exterior wood finish repair and preservation, do not buy a Grand Banks. If you can afford to keep it in a boathouse or under cover, fine. If you can afford to hire out the brightwork and teak deck maintenance, fine. But if your time or budget or both have limitations, Grand Banks boats are not "use and forget" vessels. And the older they are, the more attention they demand.
Our GB is from the first batch of fiberglass GBs ever made. Its hull is built like a tank (moreso than the later ones) and we've been enjoying the boat tremendously for the last 16 years. But it's a never-ending project in terms of its cosmetics and aesthetics. Fortunately we we enjoy working on it. It's one reason we bought it: it's a giant hobby for us. But it's also a never-ending hobby.
Welcome aboard. Here is a good starting point on this site:
Like Marin said, there are a lot of threads on this subject. Use the advanced search for specific brands. Enjoy the reading.
Walk the docks. Look at boats. Some will grab your eye, some will not.
Imagine yorself doing whatever it is you plan on doing with the boat.
If you do that, the boat will choose itself.
Think about your priorities. For a start, here were mine:
Wide decks for access (others prefer to sacrifice decks for interior volume.)
High, strong handrails (others have better balance or sense of invulnerability.)
Keel-protected propeller and rudder with efficient single engine (others prefer the redundancy of two engines while risking propeller/rudder damages.)
No flying bridge (others prefer the extra expense/duplication and added windage of a flying bridge.)
And so on.
As stated, walk the docks and research. Set the criteria of what you want and start shopping.
My criteria was:
No teak decks
at least 2 AC units
Electronics are easy to add or replace, don't get worked up about radar and etc.
I respect your knowledge and experience in matters of boating, so please help me with this:
We owned and loved our GB 36 Classic for 15 years. When we decided to move aboard and upsize we decided, promised, to never again own a boat with other than a minimal amount of exterior teak (think name board) and no teak decks. As a result we hunted and hunted and then bought a GB 46 Europa with teak decks and loads of exterior teak.
My question to you is---what's wrong with me??
Thanks for your concern, Howard
Have you pinned down your REAL cruising plans?
Many people want trawlers because they "think" that's what they want when other type boats would do a lot better.
Even in the Trawler world.....can you live with displacement speeds or would 10 knots really change your cruising style?
To even remotely make use able suggestions....a little background such as cruising style and destinations, timeline expectations, extra bodies aboard and for what part of your cruising, possibility of living aboard at some point are just a few critical points if you don't want to switch boats at some point.
Often without pinning down some pretty broad but important points.....these threads get real confusing....in less than one page already one could start debating singe versus twin engine, flying bridge or not, etc...etc...
The more you help us...the more useful info you will get in return.....
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