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Old 01-11-2019, 09:53 AM   #41
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Hi Jeffndeb,
We too, are converted sailors. We loved sailing, but in reality hardly ever sailed due to (most often) either light winds or having to make slack tide at a rapid.

Cruising on a trawler is a bit different, but the benefits are staying dry, warm, and comfortable (probably not too big an issue for you down south , more room in most areas of the boat, better sight lines when inside, etc.
We have found with our single engine that we burn very close to 2 gph at about 7-7.5 knots.
When we were looking at what brand and model to get (for our use) things we definitely didn't want were:
Teak decks, exterior wood to maintain, twin engines (access for maintenance and cost of maintenance).
We found that we liked Pilothouses, and did not think we would use a flybridge much (if at all). We do often get sunny, hot (for us - 90 degrees) days in the summer.
We also wanted a "proven hull" and boat that minimized windage (for control in tight quarters) and also minimized roll without relying on active stabilizers. Both Tugs (Nordic and American) fit the bill for us.
Good luck in your search,
Tom
Fire,

Good point about Tugs. They were high on my list and great boats. However, a flybridge was an absolute requirement (different strokes) and there just weren't a lot of Tugs with the bridge.

Now question off topic to a point: Which is better, the American or Nortic?
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #42
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Regarding fuel capacity, keep in mind the fuel pickup doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the tank. There is physical capacity and 'usable capacity' which are very different. It's not like a car with the fuel pump at the bottom of the tank. Range has to be calculated on 'usable capacity', which I don't feel comfortable dropping below 25% of for reserves.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:26 AM   #43
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Regarding fuel capacity, keep in mind the fuel pickup doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the tank. There is physical capacity and 'usable capacity' which are very different. It's not like a car with the fuel pump at the bottom of the tank. Range has to be calculated on 'usable capacity', which I don't feel comfortable dropping below 25% of for reserves.
Shrew,

You make a good point, but I could argue that 25% is too conservative. But there is an argument if one is pushing the limit to know what the usable fuel is.

Now, how about suggestions on how to do this? One could run the engine until it quits, but not sure it's good for the engine and hard to restart. I might check with my mfg to see. Another way is to hook the supply line to a spare tank and run it till empty, then refill, perhaps an easier way to proceed.

In the aviation business, we will physically empty the tanks, add about 5 gal, run the engine til it quits (on the ground, needless to say). Then calibrate the gauges as we fill it and end up knowing exactly the usable fuel. Some manufacturers are off a significant amount like Cessna, and some are really close like Beech. Suspect boats aren't much different.

I was going to calibrate mine and empty the tanks, but didn't want to run the engine til it stopped.

For now, I just don't need that kind of range and probably never will. But even with coastal cruising there's are argument to be able to manage fuel so you know what your absolute min would be. Also helps if you need to travel xxx miles more to get cheap fuel.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:17 PM   #44
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The depth of the fuel pickup tubes always decreases the usable capacity by a questionable amount. To alleviate this I have the option of swapping to an outlet on the bottom of the tank. This also keeps the bottom of the tank clean rather than having a dead area that never gets used.

In regards to fuel usage when offshore in rough water, it increases substantially. Speed decreases by a knot or two compared to the same rpm on flat water. That needs to be factored in to any range calculations.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:27 PM   #45
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SeeVee,
Both Tugs are great boats (IMHO) and I think it comes down to "personal preferences" or what is available for sale (in your area) at the time.

JeffnDeb,
First, I have not travelled the area you are contemplating (except on a cruise ship) so I am not talking from personal experience. However, if I were considering buying a boat for the trip(s) you seem to be talking about, I would want to look at Kadey Krogen, Nordhavn, etc. as the boats I would be targeting. Full displacement, get them with active stabilization to reduce roll, much longer range, built to be seagoing. Yes, usually more expensive! You would be crossing fairly large areas of open ocean with no where to hide if the weather were to turn bad (as a surprise).
For example, from a sailing point of view, if I wanted to cross the Atlantic to sail Europe, and I was going to go purchase a boat specifically for that trip, I would not be looking at a Hunter (and many other brands). Could it "make it" and have Hunter's done it. Yes! But certainly not MY first pick for that purpose! As a coastal cruiser where "cover is close by" a Hunter is a good, comfortable boat.
This summer we traveled up the entire coast of BC to the Alaska border, and were only exposed to the "open ocean" for about 100 miles on the trip. The ocean swells, coupled with the wind and tide created chop, if on the beam would cause an uncomfortable roll, so on those occasions, we had to "take a longer path" to obtain a more comfortable ride (thinking about range here as much as discomfort for your situation). Our Tug experiences less roll than a Mainship. At least that is what we found when we were boat hunting a couple of years ago.
Just "food for thought" thinking about your safety and peace of mind.
Good luck,
Tom
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:53 PM   #46
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HI. i like hearing all about the mainships. I have a 1978 with the 6 cyl diesel i am planing to go throw it inside and out to make her new again. I do plan on going from the Great Lakes to Florida sometime. So i love reading the posts on the mainships i don't post but i do look in on you guy. thanks BR
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:12 PM   #47
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Hello Jefndeb. Iíve been on the same track for about 3 years...ex-sailor who realized a trawler makes more sense for family and conditions (Iím in the Pacific Northwest). I have set a personal requirement that Iíd charter before buying a specific brand. Easier said than done, to be sure, but learning a lot in the process. You may be in more of a hurry. So far, American tug, Nordic and Grand Banks have come out on top. Nordhavn is intriguing but havenít found a charter yet! Good luck. Research pays off, have an open mind, andóif you canócharter.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:24 PM   #48
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So we had a 2004 Mainship400 with the single 370 Yanmar. We added a stern thruster as the boat was difficult to maneuver in tight spots due to the amount of windage these boats have. Ultimately sold it as our boat partner no longer had time for boating. We thought hard about keeping it, but there were enough drawbacks that we decided to sell. Suggest you charter b4 buying!! Check out the wave slap at anchor or even in an exposed marina, which is common on certain boats with a hard chine. It sounded like sneakers in a dryer at times when you are sleeping in the stateroom(to us) but we were living on it for 5 to 6 months at a time. On the other hand, the flybridge on the 400 is tough to beat and really improves the liveability of the boat. The single Yanmar was not enough to get on plane so you really are back to 8 knot cruising speeds. That is not the case with the twin engine versions
I am starting to look again. For a solid liveaboard cruiser, I really like the 42 Krogen and the 44 Defever (stabilized). They are going to be more $ so I would have to look for a late 80s vintage to get in a similar price range to a post 2000 Mainship
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:35 PM   #49
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Hello,

I was wondering, if most people who buy a trawler are X sailors, would it not make sense for me just to be smart and skip all that wear and tear on my old body and just go right to a trawler ?

I mean I do love sailing and the peacefulness it offers but to be honest, I motored or motor-sailed most of the time and on a few rare occasions I would have weather that offered a really nice sail...but not all that much ...So...just saying...

I ask this because I just recently sold my sailboat with plans to shop for a larger "center cockpit" version (because it seems to offer more living space below") but that just brings me right back to the question above.....why get another sailboat ???

I understand that a powerboat is more expensive for fuel as compared to a sailboat so I thought if we focused our search on a single engine trawler at or around 40 ft we could afford the fuel and from what I see its about 4 GPH at 8 knots plus/minus...

And the Mainship 400 seems to be the only one I can find....but I do like that model a lot....

Any other used trawlers out there with a single diesel at 40 feet?

Jeff in Savannah Ga.

A wise man once told me that a Power Boater gets in his boat to go somewhere.....

A sailor, gets in his boat and he's there!

If you can deal with that, then make the jump.. Im 70 and just bought another sailboat!
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:02 PM   #50
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A wise man once told me that a Power Boater gets in his boat to go somewhere.....

A sailor, gets in his boat and he's there!

If you can deal with that, then make the jump.. Im 70 and just bought another sailboat!
This seems to be an underlying theme behind a difference in views on trawlers. Some compare trawlers to speedboats and some compare trawlers to sailboats. You nicely tied those viewpoints together.

Then there those who compare trawlers to dirt homes, motorhomes, etc, etc.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #51
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I stop by this forum occasionally just to harass you trawler owners...

I was a sailor for quite a time - lived aboard for 3 years from New England to the Caribbean on a 27' sloop. Old man time caught up with me and although my sailing memories give me more joy than any others, I just don't have the stamina at 74 to deal with the effort that sailing requires, not to mention standing/sleeping on a non-level platform. There's nothing even close to the adventure of an extended offshore sail realizing that you're a tiny tidbit on the earth, completely on your own out there. Maybe the same is true for the trawler guys, but I've read stories about how they have parts brought out to them by helicopter while braving the open ocean.


I'd go out more often if I got better MPG - said no one ever. While we did do a passage from Beaufort to St Thomas completely under sail, we still figured we ran the motor for 80% of the water miles we covered during those 3 years. You trawler guys who talk about economy will find that fuel is way down at the bottom of the expenditure list.

And I do have trawler experience. I owned a 35' Senator for about a year thinking that with all the comforts of home, it would be the last boat I'd ever need. And ownership didn't cost me a penny - I had her in charter service which paid all her bills. I bought this 'coastal cruiser' knowing that I no longer wanted/needed to cross oceans and she filled the bill nicely. But she was tied to a slip, her systems were complex...she was a lot of responsibility (worry) and I had to start every adventure from the same place with a very limited range for even a weeklong cruise.


Small trailerable cuddy cabin boats were next on my list. First a 15' 11" then an 18'. We even used the 18 footer as a camper to Alaska. But these too got small when my wife's MS dictated my help aboard and in facilities. This is when we discovered the ultimate boat for us old feeble farts - a houseboat!
This is when we discovered the trailerable houseboat - all the comforts of home, zero responsibility and a great camper.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:58 PM   #52
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Sold 38í sailboat - bought trawler

After many happy years of sailing I found I was motor sailing 90% of the time. I spend way more time at anchor in deserted ankorages in Maine then traveling. I do not GO BELOW when the mosquitoes come out now. I walk from the rear varenda through sliding glass doors into my living room. Perhaps take a hot shower in the enclosed shower stall while my commander cooks in the full kitchen(galley) . At our dining table we gazing out the surrounding windows at the Maine beauty.
I bought 1983 Mainship 34MarkIII with a single Perkins turbo. 8kts at 1700rpm - 1.75 gph. Full throttle 12 kts and 5+ gph Under $30k
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #53
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Power VS Sail

HI, I went from a 36' sport fishing boat to a 46' sailboat and then to a 43' trawler. I truly loved the sailboat, but in the summer in Florida I could not sail as I could not take the sun anymore, so I bought the trawler - with air conditioning. The sport fishing boat was a 1958 Owens used in the NY boat show, so it had an extended salon - Owens claimed the model was only 35'. I bought her 3rd hand. Nice boat for the era, but a gas guzzler - I had repowered her with twin 270 HP Crusader Palmer engines that a boatyard manager recommended. Then I bought a Starratt & Jenks unfinished 46' sailboat. She sailed like a dream after I changed the placement of the mast step by a few inches. I never completely finished construction, although the galley, forward cabin and most of the aft end were completed. There simply was not enough room in her to be really comfortable. I never put air conditioning in her because of lack of room and the fact that when I wanted to use her, I had to be in the cockpit which, of course exposed me to the sun. I ended up with "near" heatstroke on a trip from Panama City, FL to the Dry Tortugas. I could not be out in the heat of Florida summers for many years, so I sold her. Later, I bought an Albin 43 Sundeck trawler with twin Cummins BT5.9M engines (loved those engines). She had a 7.5KW Northern Lights generator and two air conditioners. She was very roomy. I equipped the upper and lower helms with a full nav-com suite and loved running her. Sadly, Hurricane Michael ripped her and 3 of her 5 50' pilings out from the dock. She was declared a total constructive loss. Me, I'd rather sail, but when that became impossible, I was extremely happy to just be out on the water in the trawler.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:54 PM   #54
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WE had sailed all our life our last sailboat being a Bayfield 36, but as you are seeing on your boat - we used her as a trawler much more than a sailboat. So rather than have a 44 HP Yanmar pushing along 20,000 lbs we decided it was smarter to have 370 Hp Yanmar push 23,000lbs. we bought a 390 and travelled further last year than we have ever gone in the sailboat. no going back for us, we love it, it is important to note however, big beam seas, are not your new friend, but going to weather is a walk in the park. The type of boating you do changes dramatically, we found ourselves doing the same things as we did on the sailboat, and realized it did not work on the Trawler. it is like starting boating all over, very enjoyable.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:04 PM   #55
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Thanks so much again for all of your comments and advice,

I see that there is a Trawler Fest coming up next month just south of me in Ft. Pierce, would that be a good place to learn more about trawlers and such?

Here are some things that I have noticed so far-

I also dont see Solar systems on trawlers-
I do not see Propane oven/stoves on trawlers-
I dont see watermakers on trawlers-

Maybe I am weird but if I go to the Islands I would like to have some solar and a watermaker so I dont have to fuss at the boss about her 20 minute showers she takes...(tight quarters have to be careful what you say and how you say it)

I am sure there is a reason, not sure though.

Jeff in Savannah
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:59 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by jefndeb View Post
I see that there is a Trawler Fest coming up next month just south of me in Ft. Pierce, would that be a good place to learn more about trawlers and such?

Here are some things that I have noticed so far-

I also dont see Solar systems on trawlers-
I do not see Propane oven/stoves on trawlers-
I dont see watermakers on trawlers-

We went to some of the very early TrawlerFests, and found them useful. Can't speak to the current ones... but I'd also suspect any decent boat show might be helpful. Maybe Annapolis (to a certain extent), and then FLL and Miami aren't all that far away from you. Just have to remember that if your budget will only get you a used boat, some of the boat show looking is also useful to examine "fit and finish" from a given builder... assuming that their earlier models might be finished about as well as their current offerings.

(That last might not apply all that well to Mainship, given that current Marlow ownership isn't the same as the original Luhrs ownership... and their current model line-up may not be completely similar to previous.)

Those systems aren't all that uncommon, either as owner add-ons (solar, watermaker) or as specified options (like propane) in new builds. And much can be retro-fitted to suit your style.

Lots of folks here have propane, I think; maybe they'll chime in. (FWIW, except for the outside grill, we're all electric... and I prefer that.)

Solar takes some available real-estate, though. And I suspect you're not seeing watermakers on many boats because they're used as coastal cruisers, maybe only 10 minutes away from the nearest marina.

-Chris
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:20 PM   #57
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Iím an x sailor. Got tired of pulling lines. Just bought a 430 Mainship. Great space below but it does have two engines. Iíve been told you can run it on one engine at a time. Has anyone heard that?
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:12 PM   #58
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Iím an x sailor. Got tired of pulling lines. Just bought a 430 Mainship. Great space below but it does have two engines. Iíve been told you can run it on one engine at a time. Has anyone heard that?
Captains Quest,

Sure you could run only one at a time, however, you'd want to secure the other so the prop does't turn without lubrication. I'll let other comment on if it makes sense.

Assume you're only doing it for efficiency, I could argue to just operate both at a lower power setting, without the drag of a second prop.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:09 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by jefndeb View Post
Thanks so much again for all of your comments and advice,

I see that there is a Trawler Fest coming up next month just south of me in Ft. Pierce, would that be a good place to learn more about trawlers and such?

Here are some things that I have noticed so far-

I also dont see Solar systems on trawlers-
I do not see Propane oven/stoves on trawlers-
I dont see watermakers on trawlers-

Maybe I am weird but if I go to the Islands I would like to have some solar and a watermaker so I dont have to fuss at the boss about her 20 minute showers she takes...(tight quarters have to be careful what you say and how you say it)

I am sure there is a reason, not sure though.

Jeff in Savannah
Hi Jeff,
Definitely go to some boat shows or Trawlerfest and talk to as many people as you can. Prepare questions ahead of time and I am sure more will come up as you talk.
Our trawler (Nordic Tug) has a propane stove (would not want electric as you have to either be plugged in or run the generator to cook), and we installed 2 large solar panels on our pilothouse roof. The solar works great, even here in the "Great White North"
Many trawlers (including Tugs) also either come with or have added watermakers.

My advice is to determine what you are using the boat for (you sound like you want to cross stretches of open ocean), determine what equipment and/or features are must haves, nice to haves, and absolutely do not want, and then narrow down your search (staying within budget). In that way, you will find the best boat for you that is available within your budget.
Trying to "fit a brand/model of boat" you have taken a shine to (without the previous steps) to that purpose, may result in an expensive mistake.
Good luck,
Tom
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:59 AM   #60
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"I also dont see Solar systems on trawlers-
I do not see Propane oven/stoves on trawlers-
I dont see watermakers on trawlers-"

You have been looking at the trawlers dockside , aground in their coffee grounds,

Solar , for the final 15% of charge , propane ranges and heaters abound on the under 50 ft set.

Water makers require lots of power and lots of PM and care , only found on vessels that really really need them.

Go to an anchorage mid week , talk to those folks.
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