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Old 10-19-2016, 01:43 PM   #1
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trawler vs powercat

currently i'm very interested in a 33' american tug. i feel it has the rugged, functional quality, that fits my needs; light fishing, short cruising and mostly living aboard. i've seen some wonderful powercats, but all leave me with the impression that they may be more boat than i need. perhaps some pros & cons could help me know better what work for me?

the small wrinkle to my plans is, i'm trying to do my mooring in the philippines. the marinas there are quite limited. would the abundance of coral reef and shallow regions in the region also be a factor in my choice of hull? do i want a powercat for it's shallow displacement, making some areas more accessible? would a trawler vessel be a safer bet for it's sea worthiness, as well as not having a beam that could add to my problem in finding already limited berthing? performance not a comparison factor for me. safety, mooring and ease of use and economic upkeep over time, are what comes to mind as my concerns. does anyone know what vessel best suits my needs?
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:42 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting. Similar questions that I have had. I look forward to reading and the answers.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:03 AM   #3
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I'm in the same boat....sorry couldn't resist....but I haven't gotten past steel vs fiberglass. It seems from the few other discussions on this fourm, that there are some unique motions (hobby horsing, air/water being expelled between hulls, ect) that are "undesirable".
But when I see a hull design that routinely involves a discussion about stabilizers, as a novice, it makes me wonder if one can truly get an unbiased opinion. It may just be a matter of getting comfortable with and experience with the chosen hull design.
The living space offered by a cat certainly keeps me on the fence, but every time I see a Diesel Duck I fall in love with it, so one can pretty much discount my opinion at this point LOL!
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:14 AM   #4
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This Diesel Duck (see link below) spent about a year in the Philippines and based upon many conversations I had with the owner he didn't experience any problems with depth. Note: His draft is 5' 10" (1.8 meters). If you check out his blog you'll see that he also spent some time along side another Diesel Duck while in the Philippines so my guess is there are no serious issues about the draft of these little ships around the Philippine islands. An American Tug should have no problems based upon it's much shallower draft than the DD's.

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Old 10-20-2016, 10:06 AM   #5
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I rather like cruising cats. I cruised full time for the better part of a year on a sailing cat, an Island Packet 35, but I probably ran the engines 80% of the time, so it was more of a power cat than sail boat.


Power cats seem to be of two types: the lightweight, fast but limited cruising amenities boats like the Glacier Bays and World Cats or heavier and slower but with nice cruising amenities like the Fountaine Pajots.


Two more of the second type which seem to be well priced are the Endeavor TrawlerCat 36 and the PDQ 34.


The heavier types really are not significantly more fuel efficient than a monohull, but they do have more room inside than an equivalent monohull. And with twin engines which would be unusual in a 34-36' monohull, they have good access for maintenance and the dock handling of a twin can't be beat.


I would check out these latter two boats. They are available in the low $100s in early 2000s models. If your budget is $200+, the Fountaine Pajot can't be beat.


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Old 10-20-2016, 01:54 PM   #6
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Engine access on many power cats is not too good. I chartered a Fountaine Pajot Summerland 40 and was glad I didn't have to do any maintenance-- very tight in there. I think the PDQ 34 engine access is a bit better, but they are under the beds IIRC.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:15 PM   #7
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Take my advice with a grain of salt because I am a complete novice. A well read novice, but a novice with no practical experience none the less.


The Diesel Ducks speak to me as a lay person. Durable, efficient and safe. Built with a cruising couple in mind with a moderate draft (subject to boat size but the smaller ducks are less than 4 feet.). The get home sail option with the added benefit of dampening motion. You should check out the diesel duck website and just read Mr. Buehler's philosophy on blue water cruisers.


common sense things like full size showers and ample size engine rooms for easy maintenance are big positives in my mind.


Certainly not the most elegant boat on the water and she won't win any beauty contests. However I would rather be surrounded by an ugly sturdy boat that meets my needs then a pretty, less capable craft.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:32 PM   #8
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:33 PM   #9
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The get home sail option with the added benefit of dampening motion.
Do you really think that sail will get you home? some would beg to differ.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:55 PM   #10
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"safety, mooring and ease of use and economic upkeep over time,"

These are not issues that are exclusive to either catamarans or monohulls. How a boat is designed, built, equipped, maintained, and (most of all) crewed, will impact those issues.

Some cats are really wide and that will impact mooring, but you need to be specific because some cats are not that wide. Most modern cats are higher speed vessels and if that is not required then you need to look elsewhere.

Something like one of these Armstrong cats will be stronger/safer, and have lower maintenance on the hull than a fiberglass production "tug". But it has twin outboards vs a single big diesel. The dependability and maintenance between the two systems will depend on how they are operated and cared for, either can be good or bad.

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Old 10-20-2016, 05:51 PM   #11
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i've been looking at small steel trawlers, mostly from germany and netherlands. they build good stuff there too. we've both read drawbacks on each, so i don't think steel vs fiberglass can be answered without considering manufacturer track record? also, an owners intended use? my logic says, if i'm the type of owner that's more a risk taker, sail in bad weather, more likely to explore uncharted paths, scrape bottom, then i want integrity of steel. if i'm parked at the marina 24/7, migrating from port A to port B in my mobile condo, i want a surface that holds up best to the elements, fiberglass. the area i'll be living in is prone to typhoons, so if anyone needs a steel hull, it could be me? think i'm still going fiberglass. i won't exactly be alone in my choice. i am a novice, but i think my logic is right?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervelo View Post
I'm in the same boat....sorry couldn't resist....but I haven't gotten past steel vs fiberglass. It seems from the few other discussions on this fourm, that there are some unique motions (hobby horsing, air/water being expelled between hulls, ect) that are "undesirable".
But when I see a hull design that routinely involves a discussion about stabilizers, as a novice, it makes me wonder if one can truly get an unbiased opinion. It may just be a matter of getting comfortable with and experience with the chosen hull design.
The living space offered by a cat certainly keeps me on the fence, but every time I see a Diesel Duck I fall in love with it, so one can pretty much discount my opinion at this point LOL!
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:58 PM   #12
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..only reason I not jump in a trawler cat (like the bamba) it's there are seriously pricey.
Like other member pointed out, big ones are not necessarily less expensive on gas.
But the horizontal space it's something to considerer.
I still waiting for an affordable, medium price 50', long range catamaran... Kurth Hughes hage a couple interesting design but nothing commercial yet...
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:22 PM   #13
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wow tad,
you really sparked my interest with this one. i've never been a tig welder, so i wasn't really thinking aluminum, but armstrongs certainly look TOUGH (and that's what i like) i'm going to have to deal with typhoons from time to time, so just getting wowwed in a showroom over a much bigger, cheaper, fancy fiberglass boat is my wife's mindset, not mine. i'm a mechanic too, so twins not a factor. this 28' armstrong is a bit more "spartan" than even the 34' tugs i've been looking at, but it looks like armstrong is definitely on my radar.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad Roberts View Post
"safety, mooring and ease of use and economic upkeep over time,"

These are not issues that are exclusive to either catamarans or monohulls. How a boat is designed, built, equipped, maintained, and (most of all) crewed, will impact those issues.

Some cats are really wide and that will impact mooring, but you need to be specific because some cats are not that wide. Most modern cats are higher speed vessels and if that is not required then you need to look elsewhere.

Something like one of these Armstrong cats will be stronger/safer, and have lower maintenance on the hull than a fiberglass production "tug". But it has twin outboards vs a single big diesel. The dependability and maintenance between the two systems will depend on how they are operated and cared for, either can be good or bad.

Attachment 57675

Attachment 57676
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:23 PM   #14
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The current issue of Passagemaker has a picture of Griffin, a custom (mostly owner built) Bering 50 on the cover.

I was in the Hinckley boat yard in Stuart, FL yesterday and there it was on the hard. No need for blocks...it just sat there. Wide keel and two fin keels reaching all the way to the ground (OK, there were a couple of pieces of wood under it)

That to me is the ideal trawler.
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:20 PM   #15
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i think i really need to take a vacation in florida and try to charter, or at least board a FP greenland 34. i'll probably fall in love (a frame of mind never good in prudent decisions) still trying to keep my feet grounded, focussing on the long term maintenance and durability, something not so plush and spacious, but may be the winner in the long run, a tug. or bette yet, a workhorse like the the armstrong cat. after i experience my 1st PH typhoon, it would be nice to say, "this little piggy was smart enough to pick aluminum" plus having all those spare bedrooms in a big trawler cat, means the in-laws will never leave.





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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I rather like cruising cats. I cruised full time for the better part of a year on a sailing cat, an Island Packet 35, but I probably ran the engines 80% of the time, so it was more of a power cat than sail boat.


Power cats seem to be of two types: the lightweight, fast but limited cruising amenities boats like the Glacier Bays and World Cats or heavier and slower but with nice cruising amenities like the Fountaine Pajots.


Two more of the second type which seem to be well priced are the Endeavor TrawlerCat 36 and the PDQ 34.


The heavier types really are not significantly more fuel efficient than a monohull, but they do have more room inside than an equivalent monohull. And with twin engines which would be unusual in a 34-36' monohull, they have good access for maintenance and the dock handling of a twin can't be beat.


I would check out these latter two boats. They are available in the low $100s in early 2000s models. If your budget is $200+, the Fountaine Pajot can't be beat.


David
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:44 AM   #16
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david,
you definitely sparked my interest in the FP power cats. the greenland is about the extreme in size of what i'm considering with a few other more modest choices in mind. i was originally looking more at 34' tug trawlers, but the shallow displacement of the cats has become a big incentive to have in the philippines, even more so than fuel efficiency or space. i've also been looking at robertson & craine cats as comparable to the FB, thoughts on those?

and if money were no object, my choice would be an armstrong 34' cat. as nice as having an aluminum hulled cat in a typhoon region, there's quite a hefty premium on this feature. to swing that choice, i'd not only be sacrificing all the beautiful interior and amenities of a fiberglass model, i'd also be looking at a 15 yr older vessel, just to get within the same $200k budget. since you've been so helpful in getting me on board cats, i'd love your input on these other choices?




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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I rather like cruising cats. I cruised full time for the better part of a year on a sailing cat, an Island Packet 35, but I probably ran the engines 80% of the time, so it was more of a power cat than sail boat.


Power cats seem to be of two types: the lightweight, fast but limited cruising amenities boats like the Glacier Bays and World Cats or heavier and slower but with nice cruising amenities like the Fountaine Pajots.


Two more of the second type which seem to be well priced are the Endeavor TrawlerCat 36 and the PDQ 34.


The heavier types really are not significantly more fuel efficient than a monohull, but they do have more room inside than an equivalent monohull. And with twin engines which would be unusual in a 34-36' monohull, they have good access for maintenance and the dock handling of a twin can't be beat.


I would check out these latter two boats. They are available in the low $100s in early 2000s models. If your budget is $200+, the Fountaine Pajot can't be beat.


David
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by nuccifilms View Post
i've been looking at small steel trawlers, mostly from germany and netherlands. they build good stuff there too. we've both read drawbacks on each, so i don't think steel vs fiberglass can be answered without considering manufacturer track record? also, an owners intended use? my logic says, if i'm the type of owner that's more a risk taker, sail in bad weather, more likely to explore uncharted paths, scrape bottom, then i want integrity of steel. if i'm parked at the marina 24/7, migrating from port A to port B in my mobile condo, i want a surface that holds up best to the elements, fiberglass. the area i'll be living in is prone to typhoons, so if anyone needs a steel hull, it could be me? think i'm still going fiberglass. i won't exactly be alone in my choice. i am a novice, but i think my logic is right?
Exactly my sediment 4 years ago. I would have loved to have the Krogen 42 in steel.

Now, from what I have experienced, my view is vastly different. Two significant issues:

1. Dauntless has virtually no condensation inside the boat, above or below the water line.

2. A few people who looked at the damage from my rock encounter(s) last year said had the boat been steel, it is likely I would have had a 5 foot slice in the side of the boat, much like a can opener, and I may have lost the boat.

Cored GRP provides an insulation and different shear properties that may or may not be advantageous.

Simply put, it's not a no brainer to me anymore and both show advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:13 PM   #18
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sooooo glad for that valuable insight1 maybe with your frame of mind 4 yrs ago, i've been considering the added expense and hassle of getting a steel or aluminum vessel in some of the northern regions of the globe; the baltic states in europe, alaska, USA, where these seem popular. after hearing your story it definitely takes me off the path. the less insulative property of metal in a tropical region, means more issues with temperature control. then there's metal corrosion that's always lurking. i'm sure the armstrong 34' would be the piece of mind i'd want in a typhoon, but the premium of having such a vessel... i could almost afford 2 fiberglass boats of equal stature. last point is that hitting rocks is a bad thing no matter what your vessel. going with a shallow displacement multi-hull (that also saves on fuel) may be the one no-brainer safeguard choice. as far as metal hulls, spending a ton more money for a different set of trade-offs, hardly seems to have me coming out ahead.





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Exactly my sediment 4 years ago. I would have loved to have the Krogen 42 in steel.

Now, from what I have experienced, my view is vastly different. Two significant issues:

1. Dauntless has virtually no condensation inside the boat, above or below the water line.

2. A few people who looked at the damage from my rock encounter(s) last year said had the boat been steel, it is likely I would have had a 5 foot slice in the side of the boat, much like a can opener, and I may have lost the boat.

Cored GRP provides an insulation and different shear properties that may or may not be advantageous.

Simply put, it's not a no brainer to me anymore and both show advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
Exactly my sediment 4 years ago. I would have loved to have the Krogen 42 in steel.

Now, from what I have experienced, my view is vastly different. Two significant issues:

1. Dauntless has virtually no condensation inside the boat, above or below the water line.

2. A few people who looked at the damage from my rock encounter(s) last year said had the boat been steel, it is likely I would have had a 5 foot slice in the side of the boat, much like a can opener, and I may have lost the boat.

Cored GRP provides an insulation and different shear properties that may or may not be advantageous.

Simply put, it's not a no brainer to me anymore and both show advantages and disadvantages.
This a very interesting discussion. I started my research looking at aluminum hulled craft- single and twin hulls and have just recently looked more seriously at fiberglass trawlers. I'm curious as to what you think might have happened if your boat was aluminum, not steel or fiberglass. My thought is that maybe it would have dented with no puncture and could perhaps have carried on to be repaired later.
I started out with the thought that in the PNW aluminum was for me, so boats like the Armstrong caught my eye, but the trawler design fits the space, comfort, speed, reliability requirement.
Aluminum trawlers are rare and custom made and expensive, but they are out there. Check out Rozema in Wa. Wow!

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Old 10-25-2016, 03:34 PM   #20
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given the choice, it would be an aluminum hull all the way. regardless of isolated claims, i don't believe there'd be anything better to hold up in harsh conditions and to also stand the test of time. not to mention, they do a much better job of holding their value over time. (believe me, all i'm doing is looking al 10-15 year models) i could tolerate the hotter surfaces, metal sweating, their spartan furnishing, etc. HOWEVER, i'm 51, looking forward to my early retirement in 2 years. not looking to put it off another 5+ years for a WAY more expensive boat of the same standing, and that's what this amounts to for me. plus, there's such a thing as boaters insurance.




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Originally Posted by leeman View Post
This a very interesting discussion. I started my research looking at aluminum hulled craft- single and twin hulls and have just recently looked more seriously at fiberglass trawlers. I'm curious as to what you think might have happened if your boat was aluminum, not steel or fiberglass. My thought is that maybe it would have dented with no puncture and could perhaps have carried on to be repaired later.
I started out with the thought that in the PNW aluminum was for me, so boats like the Armstrong caught my eye, but the trawler design fits the space, comfort, speed, reliability requirement.
Aluminum trawlers are rare and custom made and expensive, but they are out there. Check out Rozema in Wa. Wow!

leeman
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