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Trawler Vs. Motoryacht

Discussion in 'General Trawler Discussion' started by gccolvin, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. gccolvin

    gccolvin Guest

    I know, I know, this thread is beaten to death, obviously, but if I could pose it just one more time, for some fresh responses, say 2012 fuel prices, boat market, etc. have obviously all been impacted?
    So, why have I personally been drawn to the Trawlers? Well, for straters, I live/work onboard a 260' commercial supply vessel, so when I think of going out into open seas, etc., I obviously think of big, heavy, slow, but safe? Not including you blow-boat folks, although it is at the edge of my mind always.....
    On one hand, I envision myself chugging along efficiently, comfortable in the fact that a sudden squall, or rough patch of sea will not quickly turn into an emergency, or send me running for shelter. Living onboard part time, in a spacious living space. Working on and maintaining a single diesel engine, and genny, and maintaing a steel hull..... OR-- Being able to quickly cruise from one locale to another, spending more time at destination than in getting there, etc.
    Thirdly- longevity? Today, I cant even imagine wanting to actually cruise across the pond, but having a boat transported there seems much more useful, but of course, as with many other items, I expect that will change in time as I delve deeper asnd deeper into the world of cruising... So, lets assume I am not interested in trading boats regularly, it would seem that a trawler type vessel will meet my current desires, and leave open doors for the future? If a newer model trawler is purchased today, with proper maintenance, etc., in 20 years from now, it will still be a solid craft, yes?
  2. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    Having read that you are looking for the 50-60' range of boat size, I think for your intentions, a trawler is the way to go because at that size, it is hard if not impossible to find a motor yacht that is capable of ocean crossings. However, if yo find one, you have to consider that they cross faster, because they consume more fuel, will have double the equipment and some more equipment to be in charge of, so will require more crew, or more of your quality time to care for and maintain. Summing it up, if you are looking for slow but certain rides, wide beam, low fuel consumption, less equipment, a wing engine as a safety factor, stability by weight factor not using a stabilizer, then you are in for a trawler.

    Check online for blogs of those that have lived aboard and done crossings or long journeys, this might help shed better light on how it really goes.

    Cheers,
  3. gccolvin

    gccolvin Guest

    Thanks again Alfred! I am sold on the Trawlers! I suppose the looks are more nostalgic versus ultra-modern, but what sold me the most was in the review of the Bering 55, the pics of the ER, wow, looks like a breeze (physically) to observe, maintain, and repair in there! Hoses, couplings, electronics, all open and on the walls, versus some other engine rooms I have viewed...
    Thanks again for your input!
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Well, if a steel trawler is properly maintained, there is no reason that it should not last a lifetime, let alone 20 years. For your style of cruising a trawler makes a lot of sense and there's a lot to be had considering a trawler around 60' or so that can carry a nice sized center console on it (say 24') and a RIB as well.........but it all depends on how much time you have to cruise......if you can only spend days to a week on the boat, getting there on a trawler will eat all of that up......
  5. gccolvin

    gccolvin Guest

    Capt J,
    Thanks for your reply!
    Although I have a very long way to go before actually purchasing a boat, I do not see myself trading boats or up-sizing regularly, I would hope to be a one boat man, (my truck is a '91), the SO on the other hand, well.....lol!
    As for cruising time, I would expect after purchasing the boat, a minimum of 2+ weeks aboard, likely utilizing destinations near our home port, every other month, for at a minimum of the first 5 years ownership. I suppose even at 2 weeks, from our home waters, a substantial time could get eaten there as well, but, from my perspective, that is actual seatime, and where better to enhance and expand my skills, than at sea? I doubt you can become a "salty" seamen hanging on the hook sipping margaritas, right?
    Again, really appreciate all your replies, and insight!
  6. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    Given these answers, am I to infer that if I were to go for a larger, full-displacement boat, made, perhaps, of aluminum, that it might be less seaworthy? Do non-trawlers have a tendency to roll or perform some other manoever of which I should be aware?
  7. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    Not at all, the choice of trawler given here is because the requirement is for a small (relatively) boat, so range and stability point towards trawlers, many of which are made of composites nowadays like Nordhavn yachts. When you go for what you are looking for, looking at your other posts, the design should be ocean going not cruising, after all, it will be a semi or full displacement build, so it should be as seaworthy as you wish, add to that the fact of having stabilizers on such boats make them very stable. This post is asking for a boat that can go anywhere with minimal crew and less sophistication in regards to equipment and machinery while what you are looking for in your build, again as I understood from reading your posts is the whole nine yards.

    Cheers,
  8. doug p

    doug p New Member

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    Trawlers do roll especially at anchor, however a simple stabilizer can be put together with materials as simple as a pail overboard tied to your boom. One other negative is diesel fumes in a following sea.

    But, the safety factors outweigh everything else. Trawlers are the recommended vessel in the Pacific Northwest as many rivers carry logs down to the sea and hitting one of those dead heads with one of those tupper ware euro designs at 25 knots will not be one of the better days in your life....and being able to cover 400+ miles with out a refill is great.
    Doug
  9. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    Ah, thank you for clarifying that. Honestly, I'm not as adventurous as some of you "old salts." I'm happy to avoid the stormy seasons and motor up in calm waters. I do want something, however, that should rough weather visit us, I don't have the sensation of driving a Pinto at Le Mans. Are any of the American big builders known for producing stable, especially sea-worthy yahcts?
  10. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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  11. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    I've heard from a few ppl that westports arent especially seaworthy... iirc a few threads here or around the web support that... can you please point me to some references of the contrary? it may be useful for me for something nonrelated to this thread...

    they seem to have decent range at a reduced speed but i hear their hull performance is better in calmer conditions and than as a go-anywhere cruiser?

    Most larger trinitys then yes, i suppose most are really "go anywhere" displacement yachts, but to say the WPs are in the same league?

    (again, i'm actually looking for stuff in the 40m range, with good range and go anywhere/semi-go-anywhere capability...) short of a real rugged explorer...

    PS: the list you linked isnt really of big builders or even of "stable boat" builders by any means... just a list of comapnies in the yacht market... just to clear that so newbies dont get mixed...
  12. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    For an explorer, Westport is not a choice, shallow draft, a bit narrow beam, light and agile. If you add zero speed stabilizers it will go anywhere you want. I was not saying they are in the same league of Trinity because Trinity is somewhat part of all leagues!! They have built all types, even have a steel explorer (195' Ulysses). There are a couple of Westport 130's in the Med that are truly ocean going and in all conditions, I'll try and gather some proof for that because I know of one that has gone transatlantic twice.
    Yes there are many posts around here that say by experience they are not for heavy seas (One if I remember was a delivery from East to West Coast by Captain James), as stated in that same post, the stabilizers were high speed and of small area.

    I really like Westports, the only draw back for "Meidich_Hoertz" would be that they are semi custom, so he's stuck with the general design unlike Trinity which have done everything and used all materials.

    Cheers,
  13. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    Hi AlfredZ, why would some westports be better at sea than others? iirc all are pretty much identical in most respects (again, correct me if i'm mistaken plz...) - and in here we can put two distinctions as there are "new model" and "older model" from what i know... Please do give me more info on the WP if you can... I've heard a lot of bad things about them in terms of how they ride mostly... they have been described on multiple occasions as "med boats" similar to what some say of benetti classics, and a few others... a lower bow, etc... (obviously it can do a transatlantic crossing if the weather is fine, but not something you'd be able to hop around the world on with reasonable safety - again, this is all heresay... please correct me if i'm wrong)

    further, imho, just cause its "crossed to the med" doesnt necessarily make them a good choice for traveling open seas... i'm still to understand what really sets apart a "semi displacement" from a "displacement" yacht in practical use... and in this i suppose there are 4 categories to confuse us all,planing, "semi planing" (the heesen 3700 series comes to mind here, it also did at least 1 transatlantic crossing, but its a "go fast" boat...), "semi displacement" (lets take aluminum mondomarines as an example... some even have bulbous bows, but they are called semi-displacement for some reason... seem to do abt 18knt top, have pretty large engines, around 2000-2500hp), and then there are the "full displacement" types - trawlers would tend tobe in this last i suppose - (many different example here, even from heesen themselves, who seem to have a "semi-displacement" as well as a "full displacement" hull form for most of their lengths, as well as some steel mondomarines which tend to have smaller engines and do a max of 15kn for a 40m)...

    What i dont get is a) where is the westport on this scale (is it closer to semi planing or to displacement?), and then, b) i am clear about planing, I kinda get semi-planing, but semi-displacement means what in the context? What sets it apart from full-displacement?

    A 40m yacht with a bulbous bow going at 18knts isnt "planing" out of the water, (at least from what I'm used to see from smaller boats which i've come to call "planing" it defo isnt going to be riding up high on the plane), but then again why isnt it a displacement then? Is it merely a question of "riding above the hull-speed"? (even though fully displacing and not planing above the water?)

    thks for helping to clear this, and sorry for the semi-jacking of the thread...
  14. doug p

    doug p New Member

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    I see many vessels calling themselves trawlers. Most of these have planing hulls and defeat the purpose and make Exxon/Mobil richer.

    In LaConner WA, there are 2 TRUE trawler builders, Nordic and my choice American Tug.



    Doug P
  15. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    As far as Westport, if it is rigged for crossings, then it does it, am not saying it will compete with other semi or full displacement boats, nor am saying its a cool and relaxed ride, it is a heavy ride but the boat can do it.
    As I know Semi-Planning and Semi-Displacement are the same, a hull shape that is more rounded than flat, not so heavy, has lower wave drag and more dynamic lift by design. So full displacement boats depend on buoyancy and generate more wave drag therefore need a bulbous bow and deeper draft, they also have a higher beam to length ratio.

    Not all semi-displacement hulls can do ocean crossings, that is for sure, because of hull design, weight, and many other factors. At this point, I guess we all need a more technical reference because as you mentioned in your examples, it kinda makes the semi- area a very grey area! It could make sense that Semi-Planning and Semi-Displacement are nonidentical twins. Will check some references and get back to this, its getting interesting.

    Cheers,
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A Westport is a rough ride in a head sea. Let's take a 112' for example, in a 6-8ft head sea you are slowing way down like 10-12 knots, and taking green water over the flybridge. You'd be more comfortable in an 80' Hatteras than a 112' Westport in a head sea.

    A full displacement hull will only go as fast as the hulls displacement speed, no matter how much power you put to it, it won't go any faster
    which is calculated as:
    hull speed= 1.34x Square root of length

    A semi-displacement, while not quite a planing hull, will go faster than it's displacement speed with the more power you give it. It's sort of a compromise between a full displacement hull and a planing hull. The hull is able to create a moderate amount of dynamic lift, however the vessel's weight is still mostly supported through bouyancy.
  17. gccolvin

    gccolvin Guest

    I kind of expected the thread to get a varied response, all good information though!
    My choice of a trawler is based on my cruising style, and financial aspects, meaning-
    1. I will have multiple windows throughout the year for cruising, and my current plans include trips from point A- point B, then perhaps docking the vessel, and beginning anew at point B when returning from work- This to me means, I want a boat that I can safely putter on to point C in, despite perhaps a bit of rough weather/seas.
    2. Fuel efficiency- I suppose if money were no object, perhaps I would go with a speedy sleek MY, and just have it waiting for me wherever I chose- but I am not interested, or capable of being a absentee owner, need something i can work on and operate.
    So much great info. here, and thanks to all for that!
  18. gccolvin

    gccolvin Guest

    Hijack my own thread?

    Maybe I should post this as a new thread, but here is an interesting thing I have discovered-
    So, I have been looking at the trawlers, big, heavy, strong, and roomy boats, but the more i read about, and view the Hatteras boats, the more questions that brew in my mind?
    I see these guys in 70, 80, 90 model Hatts, and read of sea kindliness, livability, and even in some cases that at trolling speed they are somewhat consistent with efficiency of many like sized trawlers?
    I am torn now, help me out!

    P.S. Is it a ridiculous notion to consider living on a Sportfish? Sorry if I have crossed the line at that?!
  19. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    Thank you for this captj... I suppose then, there is more distinction between a "fast" semi-displacement (take a PJ120 or large Pershing type boat, or even heesen 3700) and a 18kn semi-displacement heavy, yacht-type, bulbous-bow,etc, boat, than between the latter and a full displacement boat?

    Can a "semi-displacement" boat of the second type I quote above, be a good ocean vessel, or is the fact that it is capable of going over its hull speed a direct detriment to its sea-keeping?

    thks for the info, if you have any factual references you can point me (no matter how long the reading :) ) i'd appreciate it!


    EDIT: to add havoc to mayhem, I just received a copy of a release stating that moonen had just launched a "fast displacement" boat... heheheheehhehe one more category to contend? :p
  20. Telemachus

    Telemachus Senior Member

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    Not Very Enthusiastic about . . .

    Westport or Christensen. I cannot convince myself that a composite yacht of any size--in the absence of a metal foundation, that is--will be particularly sturdy. Perhaps I lack the intellectual grasp, but I can't see that material as being equal to (let alone superior) aluminum, let alone steel. I wasn't aware that Trinity had such a good reputation; however, I've yet to see anyone express the sentiment that they are as good as the German shipyards that build out of steel.

    Obviously, in a perfect world, that is what I would go with by default. However, it has come to my attention that I may have been inaccurate in my financial calculations in terms of the European builders, so I must decide if I can achieve the same results with an American (less expensive) builder, or if I should just bide my time by two or three years. Clearly, I need to educate myself further, so if anyone has an opinion about these choices in terms of brands or trawler vs. motor yacht, please let me know.

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