Trawler Planning

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siestakey

Guru
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
1,815
Location
USA
Vessel Name
Steppin Stone IV
Vessel Make
Marine Trader Kelly Trawler 46
Hello All

I grew up around large and small boats in St Petersburg, Florida. I have been planning and dreaming of getting a trawler since I was a teenager ( I will be 50 this year). I want to take it to the Islands and to Central America and of course many other places but those are the first.

Now that we have it in our budget time to really do some research and to talk to other owners.
 
Welcome aboard siestakey.

You will find a wealth of information here. The type of boat your interested in is unique and not owned or operated by many on this site. Open water boats like you are interested in are mostly sailboats as they are much more suited to the weather conditions and fuel use needed for your type of adventure.
 
The types of trawlers you will see here and get advice on for what you want to do..... fall into 2 general categories. Ones you can spend several days on offshore and ones you can spend several weeks on offshore.

Not that any boat can't be modified to cross an ocean...just many of us only need boats to coastal cruise and harbor hop.

While you may think you need an ocean crosser...to do the entire Western Hemisphere...you can get by with a coastal trawler. Boats like Grand banks, Albins, Marine Traders are just a few of the same type/construction trawler with some a little more finished but about the same seaworthiness by design.

Then there are all sorts of trawlers from redone commercial fishing trawlers to boats built along the same heritage that have thick windows/doors, safer designed bridges and superstructures, better laid out and equipped engine rooms, etc...etc. These boats often cost double or triple...but are generally where you want to start if you are going places where the weather can get to you before you can make safe harbor.

Many have their favorites...and many have never really put to sea in small vessels. There's plenty of stories out there on what some vessels can do safely in the right hands...no boat is safe in the wrong hands.
 
There are a few things you need to decide and many things to learn. If you are planning to go long distances for extended passages you'll want a boat made for that purpose. There is a reason why offshore boats cost more. They are made to take repeated poundings, load cycles, without coming apart. Each time the boat crests a 10' wave and dives into the next wave there are enormous stresses and loads on the boat and gear. In a 5 day passage offshore a boat will experience many more load cycles than a coastal cruiser may experience in years.

Which boats can take all these load cycles, year after year, without coming apart can be a matter of opinion but you need to learn as much about the different kinds and brands as you can so you can make an informed decision. There are many custom boats that are very capable but I like the name brands if for no other reason than they have a track record and for the resale value. Trying to sell a custom built boat can be difficult. Selling a name brand boats helps.

I like the older 46 Nordhavns and I admit I'm bias, I own one and love it. My wife and I have lived aboard full time for 7 years and have cruised from Alaska to southern Mexico and have never worried about the boat once. When you're pounding into 15' waves in the middle of the night it's nice to know that the boat is not going to start falling apart under you. You can buy an older 46 for less than $400K, take off and never look back. There are other boats, Krogen is one, that can do this, we just like the Nordhavn.

Good luck on you journey. Start walking the docks, read everything you can get your hands on and talk to as many people as you can. It's a great trip.
 
I want to take it to the Islands and to Central America and of course many other places but those are the first.

Be very sure that the above mission is what you really want. Many of us (and I am one of them) started out thinking that the sky is the limit, but reality set in: finances, spouse, security, etc and we became near coastal cruisers.

You can buy a sailboat for under $50,000 and do bluewater cruising safely. You can't do that with a trawler. The starting price for that kind of boat is about three times more.

David
 
Be very sure that the above mission is what you really want. Many of us (and I am one of them) started out thinking that the sky is the limit, but reality set in: finances, spouse, security, etc and we became near coastal cruisers.

I'd like to add a little about this comment. We've all seen couples who buy a boat with the intent/dream of cruising long distances only to change their minds after a couple of years and put the boat up for sale. Nordhavns are notorious for this. Just look at all the 2-3 year old Nordhavns in the brokerage market. People get sucked into the dream and then realize it's not for them. I say 'good for them'. They had the courage to admit they made a mistake and to change course.

The only way to know if the cruising life is for you is to do it. You can charter but until you cut the ties to land and live on a boat with no home base to return to you'll never really know. 7 years ago we sold the house, put the personal stuff in storage and took off on the boat. Our agreement was that we would continue cruising as long as we were both having fun. Our original plan included maybe the south Pacific but after going down the west coast my wife admitted that long distance cursing was no what she wanted to do but she loved living on the boat. So we changed the plan to be coastal cruising down Mexico and Central America. A few overnighters but no 20 day passages. Although I think I would like to go to the south Pacific, I can spend many years within 20 miles of the coast. And my wife has told me that if I absolutely must go to the south Pacific to fulfill some life mission then she'll fly over and meet me there.

I guess my point is, if you have the dream go for it, don't be afraid to try but don't be afraid to change the dream as you learn more about yourself. Being offshore in the middle of the night being bounced around with no place to go is not for everyone.
 
Most of the Islands, Central and South America CAN be done by coastal cruising as stated by fosborne and others.
 
Most of the Islands, Central and South America CAN be done by coastal cruising as stated by fosborne and others.

Yup. We left Alaska in July of 2007 and arrived in Florida this past June via Colombia and Blanquilla, Venezuela. We live and cruise on Hobo year round with no land based home. In 16,000 miles, we had 24 legs that were over 100 miles. 12 legs that were over 150 miles, with our longest passage 250 miles.
 
Thanks So Much

I am so looking forward to gleaning information from all the experts.

Thanks

Timjet

Psneeld

fosborne

djmarchand

larry M

for taking the time to reply to me

A little more about myself and my limited boat knowledge and ownership

We own a modified Irwin 54 (sailboat) that I have taken to the Virgin Islands from Destin Florida we left it there for 2 years and brought it back to Sarasota 2 years later we sailed it ( partly motored) to Progresso MX.

I am also part owner of a Viking 62 (1/5th) 89 hull 2012 Cat diesels.

As a younger man in the summers I would mate on boats from St petersburg area to the Bahamas

Although my experience is very limited I do have some

So I am so looking forward to learning and gathering information from the ones on here

and thanks again I am so looking forward to exchanging with you

Siestakey
 
siestakey:

So obviously this isn't your first rodeo.

I am a more conservative guy than some of the responders. For your mission I would only consider ballasted full displacement trawlers: Nordhavns, Krogens and some Selenes.

The low end of these starts at about $150,000 for a Krogen 42, $300K+ for a Nordhavn 46 (my favorite) and up from there.

David
 
research

DJ

Thanks I have a great deal of research to do I can see
 
DJ

Thanks I have a great deal of research to do I can see

Yup. But your dream is a very familiar one, and probably most of us started with it (or some variation thereof). Probably you would be quite surprised at how many of us came to the eventual conclusion to start with a blue water sailboat, get the cruising bug out of our system, and then settle down to a trawler, coastal cruising, and adventures to the Bahamas. And believe me, you will get it out of your system. Pain is fun at first, but as you get older it stops being fun. :)

John
 
Jw

Yes I am sure it will not last to long maybe 20 years (HAHA) going to be 50 this year and the long distance sailing is already a little wearing.

My viking 62 stricly a fishing boat I keep not to far from you in Port St Joe

But I am thinking once I settle on a trawler I am going to keep it near the Sarasota house most of the time
 
siestakey:

So obviously this isn't your first rodeo.

I am a more conservative guy than some of the responders. For your mission I would only consider ballasted full displacement trawlers: Nordhavns, Krogens and some Selenes.

The low end of these starts at about $150,000 for a Krogen 42, $300K+ for a Nordhavn 46 (my favorite) and up from there.

David

David and Larry summed it up well. Some boats are more capable than others, but honestly, it's really about you. As i started this process over 6 years ago, it seemed to balck and wihte, but the more I read, the more I realized that where there is a will there is a way.

"Coastal Cruisers" that have gone around the world and Norhavns that never got more than 3 miles from shore.

We decided on a Krogen because we really wanted a boat that was fuel efficient, large fuel capacity, we felt was capable for heavy seas and lastly, but no less important, affordable, both in fuel costs and used purchase price.

Figure out your real show stoppers. For us it ended up being a fuel capacity of >600 gal, with the ability to cruise at 1 to 2 gal/hr.
That really limited our choices in the long run, but we ended up with a boat that will do what we want.

Richard
 
Fosborne has nailed it. Always nice to hear from someone with a real boat who actually uses it!
 
There are a few things you need to decide and many things to learn. If you are planning to go long distances for extended passages you'll want a boat made for that purpose. There is a reason why offshore boats cost more. They are made to take repeated poundings, load cycles, without coming apart. Each time the boat crests a 10' wave and dives into the next wave there are enormous stresses and loads on the boat and gear. In a 5 day passage offshore a boat will experience many more load cycles than a coastal cruiser may experience in years.

Which boats can take all these load cycles, year after year, without coming apart can be a matter of opinion but you need to learn as much about the different kinds and brands as you can so you can make an informed decision. There are many custom boats that are very capable but I like the name brands if for no other reason than they have a track record and for the resale value. Trying to sell a custom built boat can be difficult. Selling a name brand boats helps.

I like the older 46 Nordhavns and I admit I'm bias, I own one and love it. My wife and I have lived aboard full time for 7 years and have cruised from Alaska to southern Mexico and have never worried about the boat once. When you're pounding into 15' waves in the middle of the night it's nice to know that the boat is not going to start falling apart under you. You can buy an older 46 for less than $400K, take off and never look back. There are other boats, Krogen is one, that can do this, we just like the Nordhavn.

Good luck on you journey. Start walking the docks, read everything you can get your hands on and talk to as many people as you can. It's a great trip.

I forgot to add that I do agree with Frank also. The full diplsacement hull versus Semi, became another show stopper, that further reduced the pool of acceptable boats.

Our first day out on the boat, we took it in the ocean and 6 ft waves. Why, because we were curious. :dance:

and e learned that this boat likes to rock and roll:smitten:

Now, it was only days later when I read that the St. Lucie inlet can be dangerous with >5ft waves, :whistling:
 
Yup. We left Alaska in July of 2007 and arrived in Florida this past June via Colombia and Blanquilla, Venezuela. We live and cruise on Hobo year round with no land based home. In 16,000 miles, we had 24 legs that were over 100 miles. 12 legs that were over 150 miles, with our longest passage 250 miles.


Larry, you have said it best.

Alaska to Florida, 16000 miles, longest leg 250 miles.

Folks, I know this thread is about trawler planning, but its not about the boat, its about the sailor.

Larry has spent five years on the water in a very capable boat by any measure, a Krogen 42. But it isnt the boat that made the trip, it was him.
It was his planning, his waiting for weather, his adventure!

He could have made that trip in any one of our boats.

So, while for someone that does not have a boat to plan and say "I want this boat" that is good.

But it is not necessary to have a passagemaker to coastal cruise. Any anybody that thinks it is, please re-read what Larry posted above.

Alaska to Florida, 16000 miles, longest leg 250 miles.

Larry Cudos for your adventure, and Cudos for giving the rest of us hope that we to can do it!
 
Larry, you have said it best.

Alaska to Florida, 16000 miles, longest leg 250 miles.

Folks, I know this thread is about trawler planning, but its not about the boat, its about the sailor.

Larry has spent five years on the water in a very capable boat by any measure, a Krogen 42. But it isnt the boat that made the trip, it was him.
It was his planning, his waiting for weather, his adventure!

He could have made that trip in any one of our boats.

So, while for someone that does not have a boat to plan and say "I want this boat" that is good.

But it is not necessary to have a passagemaker to coastal cruise. Any anybody that thinks it is, please re-read what Larry posted above.

Alaska to Florida, 16000 miles, longest leg 250 miles.

Larry Cudos for your adventure, and Cudos for giving the rest of us hope that we to can do it!

Are you kidding :eek:... as Tingum said, Larry or some of us don't have real boats and don't use them....:rolleyes:
 
Are you kidding :eek:... as Tingum said, Larry or some of us don't have real boats and don't use them....:rolleyes:


Yea I know. :blush:

The problem is if people read much of what is written here they will believe that they need a FD nordhavn, or Selene or Krogern to coastal cruise.

These types of statements might sound like the truth on an internet forum, but they misrepresent the realities of Coastal Cruising.

With the exception of the KK 42 and the Willard 40, these types of statements could, and probably do, make people wrongly believe that the dream is beyond their means because they do not have a half million dollars they can put into a boat.

So, I'll say this again...

If you have a dream of cruising, You can do it. You can do just like Larry did and sail from Alaska to Florida. You can do it in any reasonably seaworthy boat. It does not take a passagemaker.

It takes a prudent captain, with boat handling skills. It takes a tinkerer with boat fixit skills. It takes someone with enough time, and sense, to sit in a safe harbor, waiting for good weather.

I do not have the sea miles under my keel that Larry does. But I have made enough open water passages in my Bayliner to know I could do it. No doubt about it at all.

You can do it, and do not let any internet "experts" convince you of otherwise
 
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It takes a prudent captain, with boat handling skills. It takes a tinkerer with boat fixit skills. It takes someone with enough time, and sense, to sit in a safe harbor, waiting for good weather.

Thus said Kevin Sanders. That's it in a nutshell. 2000 mile range for a coastal cruiser? Just not necessary. Just make sure that you have enough range with a safety factor-----say 5-600 mile fuel capacity.

This is not to take away from those like Larry that have really done it.:socool: Skill, judgement, and perseverance are needed for sure.

Coastal cruising!:thumb:
 
This is not to take away from those like Larry that have really done it.:socool: Skill, judgement, and perseverance are needed for sure.

Yes, it is captains like Larry that make the voyages, live the adventures.

The boat is secondary to their skills. These guys could do it in any boat.

The main point is if you can come up with the time, and have the inclination, take the leap and have the adventure.

If you wait untill you can afford a 1/2 million dollar boat AND have the time it may never happen.

I learned a long time ago that people that can afford expensive things for the most part can afford them because they work their butts off, and have little time for doing anything else except making money.

The adventure isnt about money, or having the nicest boat, its about having the time to live the adventure, and the gusto to go for it.
 
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Jumped In

I Finally did it !!!

Ok lots of thinks to do but I got it

46' Marine Trader Kelly Trawler
 

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Listen to all but ignore some too. You're looking for your boat, not the one that others might choose or prefer. So start your list, start looking online at lots of boats and in person when you can. Ultimately you'll develop a list of requirements and then you can narrow in. But don't pinpoint the boat prior to the requirements definition. Match boat to requirements, not the other way around.

Look at all your potential uses, accommodations you need, speed, range, operating cost. Don't fall victim to words like displacement or planing or semi-displacement. Don't fall victim to words like trawler or cruiser or expedition or coastal. One can argue over what fits each of those for days. But what speeds you're happy with, what range, what type water it should be able to handle can be a more concrete definition.

And somewhere along the way, budget comes in. I saw sailboats mentioned but ultimately the reason was cost of boat and cost of fuel. You haven't even said cost is a factor to you. Only you know whether it is or at what point. I'd examine tons of boats through yachtworld just to get a feel for what various ones will do.

And get on boats. Charter. See how they feel, what you like and don't like about one. In many ways we found decision making to be more an elimination than a choosing for a bit. Once you know your requirements that becomes easy.

Just a simple list of things we started defining early:

Size
Air clearance-bridges, etc.
Draft
Budget, both initial and annual
Cabins, heads
Galley up or down, galley size
Bridge or not
Bow seating or not
Helms, lower, upper or both
Single or twin engines
Equipment such as generators, watermakers, stabilizers
How long must we be able to sustain on it without provisioning
Speed
Dinghy/Tender space
Head room
Type water conditions it will handle
Ease of docking, anchoring
Speed at WOT, cruise, economic cruise
Range at various speeds
Electronics, both navigational and comfort

These definitions are different for everyone. Now being an organized type couple we made spreadsheets early with requirements on the left and various boats across the top and listed those that seemed to come close. Others that didn't meet one of our basic requirements, we'd make a note.

And do not let someone else tell you what you should want. I'll give you the simplest of examples. Nordhavn is an excellent boat. But if you want to be able to cruise at least 18-20 knots, then they aren't for you. Many here cruise the ICW most of the time, but if you want to be able to get to the outside and want to cross to Bermuda, then your requirements differ.

Then ultimately, there is no perfect boat. You'll decide then what compromises you can make. Which ones don't really bother you. Look at some of the boats in signatures here and think, what do I like about it for me, what don't I like for me. There are thousands of great boats. The objective is finding the one right for you.
 
You can buy a sailboat for under $50,000 and do bluewater cruising safely. You can't do that with a trawler. The starting price for that kind of boat is about three times more.

David

The evidence proves otherwise.
 
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What a lovely hole in the ocean to be in - congrats..!
 
Congrats! Looks like she is at Marina Jack?
 

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