In the market for my first trawler for the Great LooP

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
............... I always wonder why you North Americans always call petrol engines gassers, when they are not. Vehicles that run on LPG or CNG are gassers, if you like, but petrol engines run on petrol, or petroleum to some, or ok, gasoline to US types, but not gas..! Just sayin'...:facepalm:

To be technical, it is very difficult to find "gasoline" in the USA. Most of the time, it has been adulterated with ethanol and is properly called "fuel".
Perhaps the biggest differences between operating under power a sailboat vs. single screw power boat are 1) windage and the effect on the boat 2) lack of effectiveness of the rudder and need to use prop walk to accomplish many things. That said, a single screw with a bow thruster will do much to alleviate angst once you get comfortable.
Join the AGLCA and attend a rendezvous. You will be able to talk to 50-75 trawler owners currently on the LOOP

If you are seriously thinking of doing the Great Loop, I can't think of any good reason not to join. These people have done the Loop, are currently doing it or are planning on doing it.

Just like this forum, don't use that as your only source of information. You will get good and bad information on any web forum. It's up to you to figure out which is which.

Many folks have done the Great Loop and then written books about their experience. will have most of these and they are pretty interesting even if you're not planning on doing the great loop.

As for boat shows, these are another resource. A good way to see the insides of many different boats and different styles of boats. With your budget, you won't be buying any of these boats new, but it's a good chance to figure out what you like or don't like about berths, galleys, saloons, cockpits, etc. You can apply what you learn at boat shows to used boats you might consider.

Personally, I think a flybridge is a great feature for a trip like this because you can really see the sights from a flybridge (in good weather). You cruise a boat around the Great Loop to see the country and with a flybridge, you get to actually see it. A flybridge also gives extra "free" room and makes a boat of a given size seem larger.

As for handling, there are basically three choices: Single engine, single engine with a bow thruster and twin engine. I have a single engine with a bow thruster and that works for me. Whatever boat you get, it will take a while to get used to how it handles but they all work.
With relative inexperience, I suggest avoid gasoline engines. Diesel is safer, marine mechanics probably see more diesels than gassers, it costs less, but mostly, it`s a safety issue. Unless you are well attuned to gasoline safety in the enclosed marine environment, and some certainly are and are 100% comfortable with it, it`s an added responsibility you could do without. I`ve seen what can happen, it`s not pretty.

Mechanics on the loop see far more gas than diesel engines. Probably something like 30 to 1 for gas.
If the loop is your interest, read books by those who have done it. Look at the type boats they had. I'd always consider boats like Mainship and Bayliner but also Carver and Sea Ray.

Now, while we broke every rule of Captain John's, here is a link to his discussion of a loop boat.

Your Great Loop boat requirements and restrictions

The reality is if the draft and the air draft fit, then most any boat will work. I've known 72' Hatteras's to do the loop and 24' sail boats with the sails removed.
You should buy a trawler if you like trawlers. You can do the loop in any boat.
When you find some boats that you like, make sure to check them out very well. I don't remember where I found this set of check lists, but they are very good.
( Boat System Check Lists ) Do a web search for this title.
Find a well cared for Tollycraft... size and model of your choice! They are well built to have long lives with comfortable accommodations galore. Current value-cost is affordable. Ongoing value-hold last and lasts.

If we wanted to, which we don't, our Tolly could be sold for about the same price we paid for it nearly a decade ago... maybe even a touch more.
If you want few headaches, less responsibility, more time to relax during the trip, etc...etc...

Then charter vessels to run you around the loop.

That way you can pick the most suitable boat for each region.

Then again.....practical?

So buy a boat that can do it and you like and you can afford. As many have said, almost anything can do it.

So leave the bazillion to one worries at home, be careful when necessary and enjoy.....otherwise....why do it?
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