first trawler - Europa?

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KDA

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I am a new member of your group. I have spent some time reading previous discussions and I am hoping you can help me. I am looking for my first trawler , used, to live on and cruise on. I have been leaning toward a 40 to 44' Europa style rather than a sedan style. I like the covered decks and the interior layout. I am also looking at a single engine because of economy and prop protection. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments to help me make up my mind.
 
I am a new member of your group. I have spent some time reading previous discussions and I am hoping you can help me. I am looking for my first trawler , used, to live on and cruise on. I have been leaning toward a 40 to 44' Europa style rather than a sedan style. I like the covered decks and the interior layout. I am also looking at a single engine because of economy and prop protection. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments to help me make up my mind.

A Europa usually has a sedan layout, and is well suited to to the rainy PNW. But an older boat that big will require major maintenance, so you should have experience and be very handy. Beware outside teak and leaky windows.

In Vancouver living aboard is increasingly rare, out of town or somewhere up the Fraser River, which is not much fun for cruising on a single engine.

If you can, try to find something like mine, built on a fishboat hull with an enclosed afterdeck, 32-36' without too much exposed wood. Hard to find, but look for Farrell, Permaglass and others in fiberglass and equipped with BC-supplied gear. A 32 Bayliner might be your best bet to begin.
 
RT Firefly, thanks for the reply. I have already shown my inexperience. What does the term "sedan" mean.
I agree that the Europa would be nice in the rainy PNW which attracted me in the first place. I haven't determined where I will be able to find moorage yet but one thing at a time.
You mentioned "not much fun on a single engine - up the Fraser River". Are you saying that a single engine trawler has a lack of power against the current? Do you suggest duals because of a need for the power to cruise safely? What about the fact that the props are more exposed on a dual setup compared to a single engine setup.
I am pretty handy but I agree I don't want to spend all my time working on brite work. The boats you referred to all have very little wood trim - something to consider.
I guess I just want to make the best decision I can.
 
Greetings,
Mr. KDA. To the best of my knowledge, Europa and Sedan mean the same thing. Europa being a term the Grand Banks company coined to describe their version of a sedan model. Overhanging "roof" on the side decks, large saloon and cabin below the saloon as opposed to behind or aft of the saloon like a double cabin model.
As to single or twins...There are a plethora of threads on TF discussing (arguing) about the merits of both/either. You raise a couple of points yourself just by asking about exposed props and "safety" in twins. I'm NOT going there, thank you.
Do not worry about what you may consider as "inexperience". Almost EVERY member of TF started out at square one. Those that didn't were probably born and raised on boats-literally.
75% of the fun is looking for and choosing your boat or having her choose you and the other 99% is enjoying what you get.
I learn a little something in most every post.
 
To me, a sedan has no aft stateroom but has a cockpit at water level. They tend to be a uniform level from cockpit to lower helm, if equipped. If galley up, it's on the same level as the cockpit and lower helm. If galley down, then a few steps down to a lower galley. Fwd of that is/are the stateroom(s).

A Europa style is a sedan with rigid overhangs on the side decks and cockpit. Some here have added canvas overhangs to provide the Europa protection from sun and rain on a sedan.
 
When you weigh the pros and cons of boat type and of a twin vs single consider the PNW boating conditions. I always favored the single on the East coat and even had a single in a lobster boat in the PNW until the engine blew in the middle of know where with lots of rocks and fast current and few if any repair sites around and a 7 hour tow resulting. I now own twins. I would also put more emphasis on the boat and what it will do for you and what you will have to do to get it to that point than whether it has one or two engines. The key is to match the boat to your actual use patterns. That sounds easy. It is not, many don't really know how they will use the boat and many others are not completely honest in the assessment. The best way to come to an accurate choice is to have the experience of using many types and sizes of boats. Not very practical for most of us. So most of us make lists look at boats ask questions an make an educated guess.
 
Great advice so far KDA, I will offer some thoughts.

First, are you going to be a full time cruiser? In other words will you be spending your time going from place to place exploring?

Are you going to be a live-aboard in one location due to job, family etc... using the boat as an apartment except for the occasional weekend trip or vacation?

The type of boat you will be looking at will differ depending on the answer to those questions.

While a Europa type design with its covered side decks is very nice, it comes at a cost. If you have 18" of side deck on either side it mean your saloon has 3' less beam. For a living on board in BC, I would be looking at a full width saloon to maximize your interior living space, particularly since most of the year is wet and chilly. You will spend more time inside a nice snug saloon on those days than you will walking for or aft on the side deck. Besides, having a bit of cover doesn't do a lot of good keeping you if it happens to be on the windward side.

Single or twin depends on your own preference. I prefer a single but would have been OK with a twin if the boat that met the other requirements came with twins.

For a year round boat in BC, look for a boat with diesel hydronic heat.

I like a pilothouse design, but for a boat that will be a home, I would probably go without.

While I don't think covered side decks are important, I do thing a covered after cockpit is important. Think of it as your covered porch.
 
Greetings,
Mr. KDA. Mr. dh raises an extremely valid point for the PNW-weather. I based MY comments on east coast boating where it does NOT rain 437 days a year. My apologies for not taking your environment into account.
We have also had occasion to do numerous lockages where side deck access is quite important for line handling.
 
The key is to match the boat to your actual use patterns. That sounds easy. It is not, many don't really know how they will use the boat and many others are not completely honest in the assessment. The best way to come to an accurate choice is to have the experience of using many types and sizes of boats.

Astute advice indeed, to assume that you will have a honeymoon period this spring/summer then the prospect of supporting the boat through the coming winters, bottom paints and insurance/surveys/moorage crises, and to provide for a plan B. Wherein you tie up the boat and it can dutifully wait for you.

My boat is on Saltspring and serves as a weekend cottage, great access to sheltered waters (but you can't live aboard and the waiting list is 15 years). Lots of weekends to marine parks, and Pirates Cove. The Broughtons - not so much. Although the vessel is capable, no need for special attendance at the ship's chandlers for spot runs in July.

I would pick a boat with strong local market value (Bayliner 32, Farrell), so that you can sell the boat without Sotheby's if you have to. Boaters can go through boat models faster than bad wimmen. Know thyself, and sandbag it. ;-)
 
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Our boat is a Europa. We are looking at a newer boat, but hope to stay with the design.
Though you lose cabin width to the walkways you gain safety and convenience. You can move from one end of the boat to the other quickly, no clambering and rail clutching, and can use both hands for say a mooring task, because you don`t devote one hand to your own safety. And they are good for children.
The sedan, and its extension, the Europa, differ from the tri cabin GB(and IG) in that you step down both ends to a cabin, whereas the sedan/Europa just has a fwd step down to one or two cabins. The sundeck type boats differ again, they have several changes of level and stairs, but offer versatility and more "rooms".
In the end you can live with any of them if it turns out to be "the right boat", and of course preferences vary,as do boats even within my loose attempts at definitions.
 
wonderful discussion...

This is exactly what I had hoped for when I posted my questions on the forum. For those of you who have replied and offered your thoughts, thank you.
I still think that I would prefer the Europa design even though not everyone agrees. I think I could forsake the salon width for the other advantages that would be gained.
I am surprised that several of you are ambivalent about singles vs duals. I thought that there would be definite opinions when it came to this question. Maybe it's not the deal breaker that I thought it was. I see a fair amount of my time on the boat singlehanded. This brings up the question of whether or not one person can handle (docking) a 40' boat with a single engine or whether duals would improve the handling of the boat. Opinions?
I am retired and would like to cruise the west coast full time. Maybe spend some of the winter months tied up somewhere but cruise and explore the rest of the time. Since this is my first trawler, I want to find the best fit for me and avoid the pitfalls that might come from making the wrong choice.
I am anxious to hear more from all of you.
 
KDA, an advantage of being new is you are unaware of the many TF pages sacrificed to twins vs single debate. I have twins, had a single, prefer twins. Yes you can use thrusters to good effect, but the 40ft trawler with single which just arrived on my marina, in some breeze, lost its bowthruster towards the end of the 600 mile delivery, presenting its new single handing owner with challenges.But, some can do miracles with single no thruster. There is little ambivalence, and plenty of definite opinions, on single/twins.
Someone in Vancouver or Vancouver Isl. might recommend a buyers broker you could work with. From what I read, over there you may need to use a captain initially to satisfy an insurer, but either way you can get docking coaching, and advice.
 
I like the economy of a single. The single Mercedes I have now is the best yet! With a single, bow thrusters are a must!! The magic button!!
 
I am surprised that several of you are ambivalent about singles vs duals. I thought that there would be definite opinions when it came to this question. Maybe it's not the deal breaker that I thought it was. I see a fair amount of my time on the boat singlehanded. This brings up the question of whether or not one person can handle (docking) a 40' boat with a single engine or whether duals would improve the handling of the boat. Opinions?

KDA, an advantage of being new is you are unaware of the many TF pages sacrificed to twins vs single debate. I have twins, had a single, prefer twins. Yes you can use thrusters to good effect, but the 40ft trawler with single which just arrived on my marina, in some breeze, lost its bowthruster towards the end of the 600 mile delivery, presenting its new single handing owner with challenges.But, some can do miracles with single no thruster. There is little ambivalence, and plenty of definite opinions, on single/twins.

Heh... as Bruce mentions, there are bazillions of bytes on here about singles vs. twins... Wading through those will turn up several nuggets you can consider, and it'll also show "ambivalence" probably isn't the right word. :)

To counterpoint Bruce's note, I'd say for a new-to-me trawler, I'd probably prefer a single, with bow thruster. For the boat we have now, twins are more appropriate. IOW, the debate has some nuances that include boat, boating style, cruising area, etc.

OTOH, I'd be a bit picky about which exact single diesel that is... and there are thrusters and then there are thrusters. His example, for instance, could have been an undersized 12V thruster that's been mis-used over time, with a puny battery bank located too far away... yaddy yaddy yadda. I don't worry too much about reports like that, other than to make a mental note about being sure my set-up would be up to snuff if I were to go that way.

It happens we ran a single-screw boat for several years, too, and that helps. There are some things I couldn't have done then, single-handing... but I could do more of those thing single-handed now than I could then... simply from more practice with boats over the years.

There would still be some instances where one crew person would be excellent, mostly to handle spring lines in a situation where the thruster couldn't overcome wind or current. In both of those instances, anchoring out for a while is a semi-easy single-handed option.

Think I'd rank single/thruster and twins about equal in handling around the dock. In various situations, one or the other might be slightly better, but in general, approx the same. Single with both bow and stern thrusters, maybe a slight step up. Twins with bow thruster maybe the same step up. Twins with both bow and stern thrusters, getting even better. All that, very subjective, just off the top of my head...

-Chris
 
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When you weigh the pros and cons of boat type and of a twin vs single consider the PNW boating conditions. I always favored the single on the East coat and even had a single in a lobster boat in the PNW until the engine blew in the middle of know where with lots of rocks and fast current and few if any repair sites around and a 7 hour tow resulting. I now own twins. I would also put more emphasis on the boat and what it will do for you and what you will have to do to get it to that point than whether it has one or two engines. The key is to match the boat to your actual use patterns. That sounds easy. It is not, many don't really know how they will use the boat and many others are not completely honest in the assessment. The best way to come to an accurate choice is to have the experience of using many types and sizes of boats. Not very practical for most of us. So most of us make lists look at boats ask questions an make an educated guess.


EYS is one of the most experienced and possibly longest tenured owner on TF. A few years ago he worked with one the foremost PNW designer/builders to come up with a great vessel for his needs in the waters in which he cruises. When Ed talks, I listen.

That is my point, his vessel meets his needs. To me this simple concept is oft forgotten on our TF replies as we try to convince people to emulate our choices and thinking.

KDA has made a good start listing staying dry and wanting a live aboard as pre-requisites. The Seattle Boat Show is coming up. Look over the fleet and at the myriad of choices in design that are available. While there walk the docks at Shilshole, Elliot Bay etc for more ideas. It may not be a Europa that you settle on. Begging the question what is a Europa? :hide:
 
KDA. I'm a Europa 40 owner after a sportfish with twins. First, listen to our friends. It's first all about you and what your real needs are. It's rule one without a doubt.

Now my Europa thoughts. Couldn't be happier. Imho the best deal around before a true raised pilothouse, at much lower $$. Yes it steals cabin width, but where is written that you need more inside width. To me the best part of a 360 deck is that I always have a place to go to. Sunny,less sunny, breezy. Too, The bridge deck by definition is now bigger because it's full width, and entertaining there is a pleasure. The one down side is piloting from below. Very Doable , but not ideal. That's where a rph does better.

As to single vs twin. I once crisscrossed with a tug guy on the intercostal for a few days. He was pushing 2 barges laden with scrap aided by only one crew who mainly did forward watch. Single screw. He waited for bridge openings alongside me, he handled that monster rig like it was baby stroller. 2 screws are definitely easier. But singles have economy, you can see and get to all sides of the engine, speak in normal volume, and don't even get me started. All you have to do is learn some skills and probably more important; patience. Yes I have thruster, but I use it like a crutch, not an engine.

Am I right? Who knows but as a previous blogger put it; when you only have one engine, you tend to take care of it better. Much better. So also say the thousands of commercial boats and ships out there running a single.

Tip: most 12v thrusters run on their own bank with no alternator help; in mine, I also have the windlass there, which explains awkward power losses. Easily fixable, or simply remember to start the genny when returning from a day of heavy use.
 
EYS is one of the most experienced and possibly longest tenured owner on TF. A few years ago he worked with one the foremost PNW designer/builders to come up with a great vessel for his needs in the waters in which he cruises. When Ed talks, I listen.

That is my point, his vessel meets his needs. To me this simple concept is oft forgotten on our TF replies as we try to convince people to emulate our choices and thinking.

KDA has made a good start listing staying dry and wanting a live aboard as pre-requisites. The Seattle Boat Show is coming up. Look over the fleet and at the myriad of choices in design that are available. While there walk the docks at Shilshole, Elliot Bay etc for more ideas. It may not be a Europa that you settle on. Begging the question what is a Europa? :hide:

KDA. I'm a Europa 40 owner after a sportfish with twins. First, listen to our friends. It's first all about you and what your real needs are. It's rule one without a doubt.

Now my Europa thoughts. Couldn't be happier. Imho the best deal around before a true raised pilothouse, at much lower $$. Yes it steals cabin width, but where is written that you need more inside width. To me the best part of a 360 deck is that I always have a place to go to. Sunny,less sunny, breezy. Too, The bridge deck by definition is now bigger because it's full width, and entertaining there is a pleasure. The one down side is piloting from below. Very Doable , but not ideal. That's where a rph does better.

As to single vs twin. I once crisscrossed with a tug guy on the intercostal for a few days. He was pushing 2 barges laden with scrap aided by only one crew who mainly did forward watch. Single screw. He waited for bridge openings alongside me, he handled that monster rig like it was baby stroller. 2 screws are definitely easier. But singles have economy, you can see and get to all sides of the engine, speak in normal volume, and don't even get me started. All you have to do is learn some skills and probably more important; patience. Yes I have thruster, but I use it like a crutch, not an engine.

Am I right? Who knows but as a previous blogger put it; when you only have one engine, you tend to take care of it better. Much better. So also say the thousands of commercial boats and ships out there running a single.

Tip: most 12v thrusters run on their own bank with no alternator help; in mine, I also have the windlass there, which explains awkward power losses. Easily fixable, or simply remember to start the genny when returning from a day of heavy use.

Great advice here!

cyf, that nose-blower battery sounds like a perfect use for combiner! Mine is selectable with a small panel switch to combine my banks on command for a shared charge. I have a Yandina, but Blue Sea makes a good ACR, too.

Know your uses, know your boat. Mine is a great bay and delta boat that is a piece of cake for one to handle. To some, that's not a high priority, but for me it was essential. I needed to be able to fish during the NorCal winter and cruise during the SF Bay and CA Delta summer. No AC required and portable heat is more than adequate. Don't try that in FL or OR/WA!

But then again, sometimes your intentions change and you get to go boat shopping again! How bad can that be?
 
Style is up to you. Do see an advantage of roofing over lower deck, but I've lived without it. In my waters, I'm most concerned about rudder and propeller protection employing a keel in front of same. Friends wuth twin-engine boats here have suffered propeller/shaft damage, which, knock on wood/skull, I have not.
 
...
Think I'd rank single/thruster and twins about equal in handling around the dock. In various situations, one or the other might be slightly better, but in general, approx the same. ...

I agree with Chris.
 
Who needs thrusters

Yes, I'm sure they're handy but let's not leave the impression that thrusters are a necessity on single screw boats. It's all about practise and learning how your boat reacts to various control inputs, wind and current.
Also as previously mentioned if you do your own maintenance you'll appreciate the extra room around the engine in a single.
As to tricabin vs sedan/europa , the tricabin usually provides a bigger guest cabin than a similar sized europa. In my opinion, as well as the covered decks the advantage to the Europa is easier boarding through a transom door from the swim step. Particularly if you boat with a large dog!
 
Europa?

Okay, so maybe the word ambivalent was the wrong choice on my part. Sorry, I'm going to spend some time reading the threads that discuss single vs duals. I have some learning to do.
Thanks again for the constructive comments and suggestions from all of you. I am trying to figure out just exactly what I want the boat for. I know I want to spend my time on the water and I would rather live aboard than just visit her on weekends. I know I want to be able to cruise singlehanded when the mood strikes me. I would rather have something that is affordable and reliable than something that will get there quickly. I want to take my time and smell the kelp so to speak.
I love the stories and suggestions, some really good stuff here. Let me read some of the discussions re single vs duals before I come back with more questions
 
I agree with Chris.

I think there's a hidden option in there where, if you have twins, you don't really need a thruster. Twins give you all the control you need below 40'.
 
Ok I will jump in here.. We have a 40' Ocean Alexander Europa, It is also a single and doesn't have a bow thruster. I thought at first I would add one but the boat doesnt need it. The real bonus's of a europa are great Salon, Covered decks, mine has side and transom doors so access is really great, nice lazarette,
good E.R ( although I dont really this a place you have to crawl into should be called a " room" ).
Our Europa is very easy to handle... after to 50' trawler we had for 10 years with a single AND a thruster.. but it weighed three times as much as our current boat. If you take your time and use the rudder and prop walk to your advantage you can put a single just about anywhere.. it just takes longer. I do come from my knowledge with additional imput.... we also have owned a GB36 tri cabin and it felt alot smaller than the 40' Ocean Alexander.
Most 40' Europa's are single head boats so the space taken up by a second head is used as living space.. and we really dont miss the tiny second head the GB had.
As a additional plus the Europa has a big upper deck and flybridge for storing a big dinghy and the Admiral uses it as her private tanning space.
Good luck on the search.
HOLLYWOOD
 
Yes, I'm sure they're handy but let's not leave the impression that thrusters are a necessity on single screw boats. It's all about practise and learning how your boat reacts to various control inputs, wind and current.


Doug, I agree with you to a point. However, sometimes without thrusters you simply will not be able to make it in or out of certain docking situations regardless of the amount of practice and learning you have done.
 
Doug, I agree with you to a point. However, sometimes without thrusters you simply will not be able to make it in or out of certain docking situations regardless of the amount of practice and learning you have done.

I sort of agree with you David in a way, as in some situations a thruster or thrusters plural, might make it quicker and a bit easier to get in or out of some situations. But if you are handy with your vessel, and also have a few warping (round a cleat and leaning the boat this way and that against a fender) tricks up your sleeve, I find it hard to envisage such a situation as you claim in your last sentence. I have just a single and no thrusters, and basically echo what Hollywood just said. I think I gave up saying "we really need to fit a bow thruster to this boat" after about our third trip out. That was 15 years ago now. Just sayin' :D
 
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I think there's a hidden option in there where, if you have twins, you don't really need a thruster. Twins give you all the control you need below 40'.


I think I'd say that's sometimes a matter of nuance, too. We have twins, no thruster. There have been times when a thruster would have made thing much easier.

Need? Not sure... Without one, I sometimes defer leaving the slip, or defer approaching a docking situation, if single-handing... usually because of high winds and sometimes depending on wind direction relative to slip or dock or whatever.

I can usually afford (the time) to defer a trip. OTOH, some of those times, with a thruster, I'd maybe head out (or in) do whatever I want to do.

Can't say that means I need one, but can't say that means I don't need one, either.

-Chris
 
Doug, I agree with you to a point. However, sometimes without thrusters you simply will not be able to make it in or out of certain docking situations regardless of the amount of practice and learning you have done.
That is true of twins also.

While I agree a newer boater or someone who doesn't get a chance to cruise much, a thruster can be the difference between giving up cruising or selling..... if you have a knack and practice, I often see people putting singles in where people with twins don't dare.

Also, some twins are even less manageable with one engine out than many singles. Poo pooing a thruster on twins falls right into doing the same for singles.

One more tool in the bag to dock when you otherwise couldnt.

Even after countless miles in singles and twins, I still consider adding the thruster, especially as I get older...no telling when the skills may diminish just enough that pulling the rabbit out of the hat after someone cuts you off in a narrow fairway just ain't gonna happen and the deductible is 1/2 the price of the thruster.
 
Like Hollywood, we also have a 40' OA Europa but we have twins and a bow thruster. The main things we like include easy side-deck access for docking or picking up mooring buoys, easy step-out side boarding doors, and a larger salon area. Our second "stateroom" is a bunk room that is used for shop and storage most of the time. We like the covered side decks for the rain.
When we were looking for a larger boat we found that the multi-level aft-cabin or sundeck boats made us feel like we were constantly dealing with stairs and that we needed dock steps to negotiate that big step off.
As far as handling, twins are wonderful and the bow thruster even more so. If the budget wère unlimited I'd put in Side-power proportional bow and stern thrusters with an auto-hold feature and electrically-operated shifters with a remote.
 
First realize that trawler is simply a marketing name given to many makers products and may have little to do with performance. Second consider that design is an appearance issue while function is often more important in actual use. I suggest looking at lots of boats of all description and imagine yourself spending a lot of time aboard, probably not underway.

Your objective should be to buy the boat you will be happy with not the one you will trade in a few years after you experience life aboard.

If you can, charter a couple of different designs. You will probably get some training and will definitely get a good feel for the style of boats.
 

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