Posted on Mar 17, 2020
Posted on Mar 17, 2020
Trawler-style motor yachts are extremely popular along the Pacific Coast and especially in the Pacific Northwest for good reason. Most everyone knows of Arthur DeFever, the prolific Southern California naval architect's history: that he got his start in the 1950's designing long-range tuna fishing vessels that were highly reliable and seaworthy, featuring a deep draft, full-displacement, diesel-powered and designed for safety and comfort on long passages.
The yachting community took notice and commissioned DeFever to design a recreational vessel based on the commercial trawlers' key features. The recreational yachting community now had a seaworthy, beautifully crafted long-range cruiser to take on the Pacific seas in comfort and safety. Current estimates put Arthur DeFever designed vessels at a legendary 3,800! What is it about the trawler style that makes them so popular and desirable, especially in the Pacific Northwest passages and for Great Loop cruising in the eastern third of America?
Long-range. Trawlers are designed and built to go the distance; with heavy, full-displacement hulls and a relatively small diesel engine(s), trawlers move slowly, but sturdily through the passages.
Seaworthy. High, flared (DeFever style) prow; raised deck pilothouse; Portuguese bridge with 3-side walkway protected from green water sprays coming over fore-deck in heavy seas by waist-high bulwark; pilothouse with forward raked windows to deflect instrument and sun glare for greater visibility; full-displacement hull plows through the seas instead of nosing into wave troughs.
Spacious. Spacious engine room especially with a single diesel space for fuel and generator; flybridge; boat deck and dinghy crane/davits; pilothouse; large salon; galley; dinette; staterooms; heads; deck space; storage, all for comfortable living aboard for a length of time.
Fuel Efficient. Especially important in the Pacific Northwest, where fuel, marine supplies and other provisions are not readily available along the 1000-mile Inside Passage from Puget Sound in Washington to Glacier Bay in Alaska. A single diesel allows more space for fuel on-board and a full-displacement hull doesn't require the thrust needed to get up on plane, like semi-displacement or planning hulls that ride on surface, allowing them to go faster, but burn a lot more fuel.
Drawbacks. Slow cruising speed can mean waiting out weather for long crossings such as Gulf of Mexico (Loopers (GreatLoop.org)) going from Alabama's Mobile Bay or Carabelle in the Florida panhandle to Tarpon Springs on Florida's west coast and further southwest, Ft. Myers). Full displacement hulls tend to rock, as they sit deeper in the water; some type of stabilization system may be necessary (Flopper-stoppers passive stabilization, Naiad active fin stabilizers, Seakeeper's gyro stabilization are some options) along with thrusters, especially a bow thruster, that help make maneuvering easier, such as docking or in tight spaces.
Looking for a trawler to make your northwest passage adventure or just to enjoy local cruising? Transitioning from sail to power?
These are some of the Recreational Trawlers and Tugs currently being produced: American Tug, Beneteau (builds a "Fast Trawler"), DeFever, Fleming, Grand Banks, Grand Alaskan, Kadey-Krogen, Marlow-Pilot, Nordhavn, Nordic Tugs, Ranger Tugs, Sabre Yachts, Selene and of course, many custom designs/builds.
Or, do you have a trawler to sell? We are familiar with our local market however; United Yacht Sales is the largest network of brokers and as such, is not dependent on location for showing and selling boats. We operate with a vast network of UYS brokers through a proprietary internal forum to locate that special boat and coordinate a showing!
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