Trawlers 101 - Part II
When you feel you have just the layout that will suit you, whats the right length? You need to know that the overall elbow room in a 36 footer compared to a 40 footer is very different even with just a few feet added. The following is a basic guide.
30-35': This size boat is OK for a couple but having long-term guests aboard can be difficult.* This size is meant for coastal use.* Think of this as a pop-up camper.
36-39': This boat is fine for two people to handle and is suitable for light offshore use and coastal cruising.* Overnight guests will be comfortable.* A floating condo it is.
40-44':* This vessel has the size for insurance of comfort and safety; think of her as a single-family home.* She has more than enough room for guests.* These size vessels make up the majority of the yachts in the cruising community.
45' - Larger:* This size boat is your long-range passagemaker.* Built for enduring long ocean voyages, these vessels come with the most luxurious features of any boat afloat.* These equate to a villa in the Bahamas..
Now we have reviewed the basic trawler designs, what do we need to consider for accommodations?* Trawlers typically have 2,3 or maybe 4 staterooms (bedrooms) with heads (baths).* A galley (kitchen) with dinette (dining room) is there as well.* The salon (den) is where we can watch the TV if we want.* And like most trawlers, you can expect teak to be used throughout the boat.
Sundeck models have steps leading to the aft sundeck. Most also have parquet teak floors, which looks nice with a nice oriental rug. Most trawlers have engine room access panels in the salon as well. Most salons of the 40-foot class will accommodate a couple of lean-back chairs or sofa, two small tables and an entertainment center. Placing a teak magazine rack close by and you have about all you need.* Staterooms are the private areas aboard. The sundeck model has an aft master stateroom that is very large and separate from the forward stateroom by the galley and salon.
Staterooms have a variety of storage lockers so make sure the boat you like has plenty. Like everything, price is not always an indicator. Carpeting in the stateroom is a matter of choice. Many prefer to use rugs as not to hide the beauty of the teak flooring.
You will spend a substantial amount of time in the galley. Galleys will come equipped with a cooktop, sink and refrigeration as a minimum.* Larger boats may have more.* Again, storage will be different in each boat.* Some boats have the galley up while others are down; its a individual choice.
The galley down usually has a dinette that is convertible into a bunk.* Dinettes usually will seat from 4-6 people.* Storage is usually found under the seating for rarely used appliances.
Boats in the 40 foot class have two heads; one in the master suite and one supplied for guests.
Many master stateroom heads have a separate shower, toilet, and vanity. Having a separate shower is a must if guests are expected. Even so, its like two people getting showered and dressed in a phone booth. Older heads had hand-pump toilets but the newer electric flush or Vacuflush models are much better and simpler to use. Some boats have one head to be shared by all on board so consider who may join you on your new boat.
Boats can be obtained with both single and twin engine configurations. There is no shortfall of articles about the advantage of both. The primary advantages to twins are 1) easy maneuvering at close quarters, and 2) get home engine if one fails. The disadvantage is having to maintain two of everything. Diesel consumption is also doubled. Single engines offer low fuel consumption but require more difficulty in operation at close quarters. There is usually no get-home engine so that may be an issue to some. An advantage in most boats is the ease of maintenance due to more room in the engine room.
THE CURRENT TRAWLER MARKET
We have looked at the differences between trawler styles and layouts.* So where can you locate that perfect boat.* Here are some hints.
Find a Broker to act as your agent; if he does not have the right boat in inventory, he can locate one for you in his MLS.
Scour the internet; Yachtworld.com is the best location.
Visit every marina you know of.
Congratulate any boater on their trawler and they will gladly show you around.
Have fun looking at boats.
The author is a live aboard trawler owner, Broker and owner of Paradise Yachts, a full service Florida yacht brokerage.