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Old 12-31-2021, 11:07 AM   #21
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A trawler with a warm, dry pilot house is the main difference to me vs a sailboat with an exposed aft helm. Even the bimini won't protect you from rain from the stern.

And maybe another difference is windows at eye level in a trawler, usually not in a sailboat.

Maintenance differences are a matter of access. Trawlers under 35' don't have much better engine access than sail boats.

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Old 12-31-2021, 11:33 AM   #22
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My sailboat was 46'. She had the deck gear that cut down on the physical labor--power main winches, roller reefing for the main, jib and staysail. Sails were set and struck but once a year. Had a hard dodger and bimini with full enclosure sides (mosquito netting and/or isinglass) so crappy weather could be minimized. But she was twenty years old and something always needed attending. 46' is not a small vessel, and I liked to keep her looking good, so cleaning, varnishing, polishing, etc., was a chore--even with an awlgrip hull! I kept her in the Chesapeake Bay area, so in the summer breezes were limited and one did a lot of motoring. The sailboat is the powerboat with the big stick sort of thing.

Two years ago my wife slipped and fell from the boat to the dock when getting off--maybe 4'. Broke a wrist and more importantly, some confidence. We're in our mid-70's, and we want to keep on the water, so a trawler with its greater roominess, lower freeboard, etc., seems the next step. We'll look around, go to the Trawler Fest in Stuart in March, probably the powerboat show in Annapolis in the fall, that sort of thing. No rush. Will likely charter a trawler in the fall in cooler weather.
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Old 12-31-2021, 11:43 AM   #23
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Bacchus---I did look at the Georgian Bay-Trent Severn spots on your website. Nicely done. I ended up in logistics in the military so I can appreciate and commend your attention to comprehensive planning.

We used to go over to Killarney and down to Tobermory when I chartered boats out of Gore Bay. Wonderful area for sailing and boating--in the summer!
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Old 12-31-2021, 11:53 AM   #24
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My sailboat was 46'. She had the deck gear that cut down on the physical labor--power main winches, roller reefing for the main, jib and staysail. Sails were set and struck but once a year. Had a hard dodger and bimini with full enclosure sides (mosquito netting and/or isinglass) so crappy weather could be minimized. But she was twenty years old and something always needed attending. 46' is not a small vessel, and I liked to keep her looking good, so cleaning, varnishing, polishing, etc., was a chore--even with an awlgrip hull! I kept her in the Chesapeake Bay area, so in the summer breezes were limited and one did a lot of motoring. The sailboat is the powerboat with the big stick sort of thing.

Two years ago my wife slipped and fell from the boat to the dock when getting off--maybe 4'. Broke a wrist and more importantly, some confidence. We're in our mid-70's, and we want to keep on the water, so a trawler with its greater roominess, lower freeboard, etc., seems the next step. We'll look around, go to the Trawler Fest in Stuart in March, probably the powerboat show in Annapolis in the fall, that sort of thing. No rush. Will likely charter a trawler in the fall in cooler weather.
Makes perfect sense now, thanks Michael. Good luck with your search. You thinking brand new purchase? That will certainly cut down on maintenance. Just know that lead times are getting long on desireable boats. Maybe you can find something that's just a few years old and lightly used. There are a few members here having new Helmsman Trawlers built. Nice boat for not a lot of money IMO and resale value should hold up well. Good luck with wherever you land.
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Old 12-31-2021, 01:57 PM   #25
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A lot of the physical effort can be taken out of sailing compared to in the past. Modern furling systems, self-tacking headsails, electric winches, etc. So then it comes down to the comfort of passage where I think most would agree a trawler wins. I know that's a generalization and you can always cite examples to the contrary. I actually enjoy sailing more because motoring can be a little boring at times, but I do find it more comfortable especially in bad weather.
Looking for a little more information on "comfort of passage". As a trawler guy who still has never sailed (new boat still in the garage) but thinks about the potential of a larger sailboat possibly with a raised pilothouse / salon (Moody 42 or 45 as an example) or even a Motor Sailor (N56 as an example) what am I missing about comfort?

The original Nordhavn46 was basically a sailboat hull with an engine and paravanes. I can recall its gentle motion (swaying from side to side) without the fins or active stabilizers and would think a sailboat of equal size with deep heavy keel and sail would provide either similar or more comfortable ride? What am I missing?

Granted the view from land of a sailboat tied to a mooring during a storm doesn't look all that appealing but then again, she is just sitting there.

Is this whole "comfort" thing more about piloting the boat from the Air-conditioned or heated Pilot House in comfortable clothing sipping on a boat drink? Been there, done that and even this gets a little boring over time. I would think I could do the same in the raised cabin of a SB.

Looking for all opinions as I continue to work towards launching the Sandpiper someday soon (no cabin or PH so it's all weather permitting). Thanks

John T.
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Old 12-31-2021, 04:27 PM   #26
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John T. you are absolutely correct and I knew I would get a reply like yours which is why I said I was generalizing. The type of sailboat you are describing is not what the majority of people sail in. By comfort I mean being inside out of the weather which is entirely possible in some (small %) of sailboats. And I also said that motoring can get boring as compared to sailing. I also agree that in rough conditions, if you can be inside a pilothouse of a sailboat it may well be more comfortable than a trawler. I have never sailed on a boat like that so I'm not sure if all sail handling (such as reefing and trimming) can be accomplished from inside with no physical effort.
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Old 12-31-2021, 10:19 PM   #27
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John T. you are absolutely correct and I knew I would get a reply like yours which is why I said I was generalizing. The type of sailboat you are describing is not what the majority of people sail in. By comfort I mean being inside out of the weather which is entirely possible in some (small %) of sailboats. And I also said that motoring can get boring as compared to sailing. I also agree that in rough conditions, if you can be inside a pilothouse of a sailboat it may well be more comfortable than a trawler. I have never sailed on a boat like that so I'm not sure if all sail handling (such as reefing and trimming) can be accomplished from inside with no physical effort.
Totally understand the generalization and get it. I have a lot to learn before even thinking what I believe may work as a sailing trawler is even possible. If I learned anything about myself from years boating it's that I enjoy the connection with the water (to a degree and in nice weather) and discovered we lost some of that with the trawlers. Even time spent in the flybridge (less than 10% of total time aboard) felt far away from the water. You have to remember I grew up on the water with small outboard boats then a 22' Mako CC in southern California. I have no idea if after learning to sail and spending time in our open cockpit Sandpiper will convince me that I still have that "near the water" desire or just remind me that I miss the PH trawler.

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Old 01-01-2022, 06:28 AM   #28
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Totally understand the generalization and get it. I have a lot to learn before even thinking what I believe may work as a sailing trawler is even possible. If I learned anything about myself from years boating it's that I enjoy the connection with the water (to a degree and in nice weather) and discovered we lost some of that with the trawlers. Even time spent in the flybridge (less than 10% of total time aboard) felt far away from the water. You have to remember I grew up on the water with small outboard boats then a 22' Mako CC in southern California. I have no idea if after learning to sail and spending time in our open cockpit Sandpiper will convince me that I still have that "near the water" desire or just remind me that I miss the PH trawler.



Life is too short not to try everything.



John T
Interesting. This is the first time I've read someone else articulate something my wife and I have felt for years - there is something about our boat that feels connected. Maybe because it's such an old, classic design. Our Willard 36 has an enormous and nicely protected cockpit. The design is low in the water and thus feels very connected to the water. There is a downside to this too - getting the exhaust system right on our trawler is as difficult as it is on a sailboat.

I have a fair amount of time on a friend's Brewer 46 pilot house sailboat. The design is heavily skewed towards sail performance - more of a center cockpit sailboat with a raised salon. We sailed it out of San Francisco up and down the California coast. Visibility from below wasn't great, but good enough (while better, visibility on my Willard 36 isn't great either). My friend would single hand the boat, which is saying something given brisk winds of San Francisco. Very nice boat - circumstances around his divorce forced him to sell. A few years later he , bought another boat - this time, a powerboat. He crewed for me in several deliveries and fell in love with trawlers.

Although I'm pretty sure Weebles will be our last boat, I sometimes daydream of something else, and a motorsailor creeps in though for me I view sail as stability and power-assist versus a cure for boredom. Something like a Fisher catches my eye. Or a trawler with a decent sail plan such as Mark Pierces Coot 38.

When I first started delivering, I delivered both sail and power. I quickly stopped delivering sail partially because sailboats are slow and therefore relatively expensive to deliver (thus objectionable to the owners who seemed frugal to begin with). But also because sitting in a cockpit exposed to weather for a couple days sort of sucks. Going forward for any reason can be hazardous - I just felt there were a lot more ways to get hurt on a sailboat than a powerboat and since delivering was my livelihood, prudence suggested I shy away from sail. Plus owners of Nordhavn trawlers didn't balk at paying a delivery skipper.

There is a big, big difference between day/weekend sailing a sailboat vs cruising one. Sure you can motor a sailboat and you can't sail a powerboat. But few sailboats are optimized for powering. Engines are often squeezed into a space where maintenance is poor. Poor noise insulation. Props are optimized to reduce drag when sailing.

I do miss sailing, but mostly I miss dinghy sailing. Best of both worlds would be a trawler large enough to carry a pair of Lasers on deck for sailing around anchorages.

Thanks for sharing your decision process. Keep it up!

Peter

Attached picture is Nokken, a sistership, on San Francisco Bay. Attachment 124373
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Old 01-01-2022, 08:28 AM   #29
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I agree with both of these previous posts and concur that the connection to the water is a big thing I miss about sailing. I hope to find the right time and place to at least enjoy day sailing again. It's more than just being close to the water. It's hard to describe the feeling when there is no motor running and you are keenly aware of the forces of wind and water moving your boat and how you react to them.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:27 AM   #30
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For me it is more about being in control of the forces of mother nature while sailing. Motoring is dependent on a complex mechanical device. Sailing is harnessing the forces of wind and sea.

It can be exhilarating, and it can be scary, but hopefully scary in a nice way.

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Old 01-01-2022, 10:39 AM   #31
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I've touted this article several times before here, but it seems appropriate again -- our trip in Fintry from Boston to all five Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence. Even as an experienced map user, I had no real vision for the length of the St Lawrence -- Montreal is 900 miles from the open Atlantic via the St. Lawrence River and Gulf and the Strait of Belle Isle.


see https://issuu.com/cruisingclub/docs/voyages_2020 from page 94(98) (the site and the magazine use different page numbers).


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Old 01-02-2022, 01:10 PM   #32
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As the guy who started this thread, the trend has moved a tad to a sort of debate over which is better or more enjoyable, power boating or sailing. Like many on the thread, done a bit of both and each one fits at a certain time for certain reasons. But the larger part of the equation lies with the sheer enjoyment of being out on the water and making a landfall (where you aimed) after a journey. And part of it is the people one meets on the water and in marinas. Reminds me of the famous line in Halbertstram's book The Best and the Brightest about the Viet Nam war. General Westmoreland is inspecting troops and asks this young paratrooper if he enjoys jumping out of airplanes. The kid says no, but he said he did enjoy hanging around with people who do jump out of planes. I like sailing; I like motoring, and I prefer being around people who like those activities and enjoy being on the water.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:16 PM   #33
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I agree with both of these previous posts and concur that the connection to the water is a big thing I miss about sailing. I hope to find the right time and place to at least enjoy day sailing again. It's more than just being close to the water. It's hard to describe the feeling when there is no motor running and you are keenly aware of the forces of wind and water moving your boat and how you react to them.
I can't disagree.

I am grateful that I was exposed to sailing at an early age and that it 'took'.
Also grateful that I could buy and live aboard my sailboat while I learned the
many lessons that the sea was willing to teach.

I doubt I would have learned as much as fast by having a small powerboat instead.

Of course, there were times I felt a bit too connected to the water like when
crossing the Alenuihaha Channel where it took the strength of both legs to
push the tiller hard enough to keep from rounding up into the 40 ft waves!
(This while taking the green water in the face for 4+ hours!)
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:52 PM   #34
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....Of course, there were times I felt a bit too connected to the water like when
crossing the Alenuihaha Channel where it took the strength of both legs to
push the tiller hard enough to keep from rounding up into the 40 ft waves!
(This while taking the green water in the face for 4+ hours!)
Yeah, too true, and yet don't you just feel so 'alive', when after the situation is controlled, and you can relax, the subsiding adrenaline surge is better than the best cup of coffee, don't you think.

I still vividly remember the first time out in our Tasman 20, having learnt sailing completely from reading, and crewing about twice on a Farr 6000, and, as luck would have it, we got caught in a Southerly buster. I learnt damn quick how to drop the jib, (even the smallest was too much), and put a big reef in the main, and still I was having to luff into the puffs like a madman. But jeez it felt great when we made it to the dock. Strange as it may seem, we never struck anything so bad ever again in the next 40 odd years of sailing/boating. Probably because I also learnt damn quick to look up the weather forecast - and believe it..!
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Old 01-03-2022, 08:46 AM   #35
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I always look at the weather, but have come not to trust it. More often than not conditions are worse than predicted. You would think it should be the other way.
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Old 01-03-2022, 02:17 PM   #36
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Welcome aboard. I was a life long sailor as well and bought a Grand Banks 36 in Nov 2021. The people on this site have been helpful, generous, kind, funny, informative and friendly. I am sure you will find this to be true. Good luck on the boat search.
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Old 01-06-2022, 04:54 PM   #37
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As the guy who started this thread, the trend has moved a tad to a sort of debate over which is better or more enjoyable, power boating or sailing. Like many on the thread, done a bit of both and each one fits at a certain time for certain reasons. But the larger part of the equation lies with the sheer enjoyment of being out on the water and making a landfall (where you aimed) after a journey. And part of it is the people one meets on the water and in marinas. Reminds me of the famous line in Halbertstram's book The Best and the Brightest about the Viet Nam war. General Westmoreland is inspecting troops and asks this young paratrooper if he enjoys jumping out of airplanes. The kid says no, but he said he did enjoy hanging around with people who do jump out of planes. I like sailing; I like motoring, and I prefer being around people who like those activities and enjoy being on the water.
Cap. you sound like a fellow who would blossom with a trailerable trawler. It becomes very easy to change your attitude and your latitude
if you get my drift. HTH
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Old 01-25-2022, 08:21 PM   #38
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For me it is more about being in control of the forces of mother nature while sailing. Motoring is dependent on a complex mechanical device. Sailing is harnessing the forces of wind and sea.

It can be exhilarating, and it can be scary, but hopefully scary in a nice way.

David
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I agree with both of these previous posts and concur that the connection to the water is a big thing I miss about sailing. I hope to find the right time and place to at least enjoy day sailing again. It's more than just being close to the water. It's hard to describe the feeling when there is no motor running and you are keenly aware of the forces of wind and water moving your boat and how you react to them.
I've done a ton of question asking and trawler shopping in the past several months. I too came from the sailing world, even though my boat was a pile basically..2800 bucks, she' hadn't seen water in 5 years, but worked on it for 2 years on weekends and took her home almost 200 miles down the ICW. Adventure of a lifetime.

I've yet to actually set foot on a trawler, the ones I've found that seemed like maybe "the one" slipped away before the house closing date, etc..and I just wrote it off to "if it's the one, it'll work out" but this nagging thing in the back of my head all along that "but what about sailing?" I agree with the above quoted comments, I've played drums in bands and to me, there's nothing on earth like the feeling of playing live music in front of a crowd and they're feeling that music too..it's an indescribable high. Sailing is right up there with it. Riding my motorcycle is a distant third. To use your will, skill, and wind and sea, to make a ship move through the water the way you want it to, standing on the cockpit bench sideways, tiller against hip and heeled over 45 degrees, hauling ass..nothing like it. I've appreciated all the advice and a couple offers on boats that either didn't work out, or were basically more than I'm comfy spending, but I think I'm gonna have to buy another sailboat.
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Old 01-26-2022, 06:05 AM   #39
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I've yet to actually set foot on a trawler.... but this nagging thing in the back of my head all along that "but what about sailing?".... To use your will, skill, and wind and sea, to make a ship move through the water the way you want it to, standing on the cockpit bench sideways, tiller against hip and heeled over 45 degrees, hauling ass..nothing like it. I've appreciated all the advice and a couple offers on boats that either didn't work out, or were basically more than I'm comfy spending, but I think I'm gonna have to buy another sailboat.
You're not alone in your lust for sailing. Just depends on what your goal is. For me, my best and most memorable days on the water have been sailing. Unfortunately, my worst days on the water have also been on a sailboat. Change the unit of measure from 'day' to 'week' or 'month,' answer for me becomes a trawler style boat. Especially if there is any distance involved. There are practical limits to a powerboat - not many trawlers can cross an ocean if that's your fancy.

In 2006, we did the Baja Ha Ha from San Diego to Cabo - 800 nms with two stops so a few overnight runs, though we started in Long Beach and continued to La Paz so over 1000 nms. The Willard 40 we were aboard was one of only four powerboats in a fleet of 160. I would not have traded places with any of the sailboats. Despite going south - the favorable direction, the sailors mostly showed up looking exhausted and beat up.

Drummer - you waxed poetically about a 200 nm ICW run in a sailboat. Outside of the Huck Finn romance of a sailboat, it's hard to imagine a poorer choice for the ICW than a sailboat. Skinny water means narrow sailing opportunities. Tall mast means all sorts of bridge delays. Open cockpit means exposed to weather and bugs. Lousy engine install means long hours of noise and vibration. If romance of sailing trumps all that, no doubt, a sailboat is the right choice for you. If I made those compromises, I'd have to go it alone as my partner would mutiny.

I'll say it again. The hot setup would be a trawler large enough to carry a pair of Lasers for sailing in anchorages. Besides, nothing beats dinghy sailing.

Peter
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:11 AM   #40
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New Convert from Sailing

Maybe you could find a motorsailer to satisfy your urge to sail?

I have a motorsailer type boat, but realistically its more motor than sailer due to the small sail area. However, it does give me the opportunity to fiddle with sails on longer passages which occupies my mind and brings me some joy, along with some added stability for the boat.

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Yes, the mast is a PITA when cruising the ICW where there are lots of low bridges. But that just makes me want to go out in open water more, which I find much more relaxing anyway.
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