Just taking a peek into the DarkSide. . .

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cool beans

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2015
Vessel Make
Bayliner 3870
Ahoy there! Can't live on my current boat much longer, I'm here to check out what all is involved Trawler ownership.

I've owned "Cool Beans", a Ranger 33 sailboat, for over 5 years. I've lived on her for a bit over 2 years. My third winter is coming up and I'm not looking forward to it in this boat.

Hard to heat (impossible in deep winter), getting small, dark, no room for guests, etc.. . .I won't bore you with the details right now :rolleyes:

So far, plan A is to research trawlers/motor yachts and see if I can afford a reasonable level of comfort vs cost vs usability. I enjoy sailing, but I'm not sure I could live on another, even if it was bigger. I've been reassured by other MB owners in the live aboard FB group that I will get over it :socool:

Plan B is to buy a house. . .but I'm not concerned with plan B at the moment. . .

Also by joining, I'm hoping to pester people to give me tours of their boats :thumb: I live at a marina in Little Creek, and I'm willing to drive a bit. . .just throwing that out there!
You're in the right place here to get info on decent live-aboard possibilities in trawler style vessels. Don't miss out on the enjoyment of the the search, and welcome aboard.
trawlers face some of the same problems

Heating a thin walled poorly insulated boat is a problem. It's expensive unless your electricity is free. Deisel heat is more expensive than electricity at the dock. Other than heat you will find living on a trawler/motor yacht far more comfortable. Just imagine entering your boat though a door instead of down a hatch, real stand up head room, windows that you actually can look out of while seated in the salon. It goes on and on. Go to the dark side, buy a small fast day sailer, move onto a power boat and have best of both worlds.
Yes..the dark side can convert even the hardest sailors. What with plenty of storage, stand up room, and even room to stretch out and watch the tube on those cold winter nights....sigh....and those trawlers even fit under the bridges...so what's not to like?
Welcome aboard

your in a great area to start your search

make a list of your desires, must haves and budget
Pretty sure a trawler is going to be as hard or harder to heat unless you have found one of the quality made ones with a cored hull, factory insulated or insulated by the previous owner.

The glass area of any trawler makes heating a challenge, and older ones with sliding windows often have gaps where the old felt wind block is worn/gone.

You can put the clear plastic window shrink covering over the windows and it helps a lot.

But again...most liveaboards I know (and we're neighbors while I live (d) aboard in NJ and Annapolis, Md) prefer sailboats for the winter as the are easier to heat due to less surface area, smaller interior space and fewer windows, all the major heat loss areas.

But I do understand as I would probably never live on a sailboat again due to the tunnel like living space. There are some sailboats and motorsailers that would be great though.
We heated our boat throughout the winter in Seattle. The temps are more mild than VA, and I wouldn't say it was efficient, but we were certainly comfortable.
The biggest issue I think is my limit of about 7500 btu of electric heat. It just isn't enough. . .my thought with a trawler would be multiple reverse cycle AC units, 50/60 amp power to run multiple heaters, and diesel furnaces. I figured I could out heat the dissipation rate to the outside :whistling:

The liveaboard group gave me some tips for this winter, for either on my current boat or another. They also suggested a second 30 amp supply if I'm on my current boat dedicated to space heaters. Shrink wrap was also suggested. . .

I do still have an eye out for a sailboat, but it would have to be a special boat.

Kinda weird, looking online at boats these last few days is bumming me out. . .same feeling I get looking at houses. . .it's weird :nonono:

Thanks for the welcome!

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