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Old 14-11-2008, 07:28   #1
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Anyone Familiar with Great Harbor Trawlers ?

I'm trying to get more information on these. I'm looking at open ocean cruising and hoping to find someone who owns one.
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Old 14-11-2008, 08:33   #2
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These boats were not designed for open ocean in anything other than calm conditions. The hull design and excess windage also make them sail all over the harbor in windy conditions while at anchor. With any kind of seas running they roll like a barrel even with stabilizers. The are great dockaminiums and comfortable liveaboards for marina stays. The deck layouts don't make them user friendly for coming and going from the dock.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:28   #3
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I've seen a few around. They always reminded me of Florida Bay boats like the Benford designs. The only bit I can add is that they are very difficult to board or get off of. Watched one come into Barefoot Landing once. Without shoreside help he would never have made it to tie up on the floating dock.
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Old 14-11-2008, 12:21   #4
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To clarify: Great Harbor Navigator (N37)

Thanks for the inputs! Maybe I need to clarify that I mean the Navigator AKA N37. The website claims its seaworth in the open ocean and I now several long distance ocean crossings have been accomplished (mostly in the Pacific). Sounds like all of them, Navigator included, are prone to excessive roll, though, is that what you've seen? Does anyone out there actually own one?
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Old 21-11-2008, 14:42   #5
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The literature for the Great Harbor trawlers claims they do not roll much because they are very beamy and have a hard-chine, flat bottom. My guess is that would give them a lot of initial stability but a quick, snap-roll in beam seas. They are built very strongly, and designed with excellent engine and systems access. They are also very slow -- designed to cruise at about 6 or 7 knots. I would think they are pretty seaworthy but possibly uncomfortable if they have a quick, jerky motion in certain conditions. You need to have endless patience to cruise at 6 knots in a powerboat -- I have heard third-hand reports of Great Harbor Trawler owners who have sold them to buy PDQ power cats that can cruise at 10-14 knots with equal fuel consumption figures.
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Old 25-12-2008, 08:44   #6
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I have been following these boats over a couple of years.

I plan on getting a new N37 in 3-5 years.

This is the model that has gone to Cuba, Bermuda, and Hawaii.

I have visited the factory and gone for a ride on the N47, the newest and bigger brother to the N37.

They are solid boats, but their advertising and numbers have changed over the years.

I have an older Passage Maker issue where Mirage advertises that the N37 would be great along side the French coast. To me that hints of an Atlantic crossing.

Also, a range claim of 2,500 miles. Now they claim 1,500 miles.

Same on the N47. When it came out it was advertised as a boat with true transatlantic range. Now the factory recommends shipping the boat across the pond. But with twice the fuel as the N37 it does have the range.

Anything can be done, it is just how comfortable you want to be.

With as far as the N37s have gone, done correctly I think that boat can go just about anywhere, and that is my plan in a few years.

There web site is good, but not 100% up-to-date. They are not actively building the sport fish boat. But they are also building a hard dink and a 20'ish sporty boat not shown.

In the latest e-mail from the factory, they have plans to build a GH74 Exploration Yacht.

Sean
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Old 25-12-2008, 08:57   #7
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These boats, whichever model, swing at anchor like no other boat. There were three of them moored together at Boot Key Harbor last year (one was a pilothouse), and they swung and sailed, almost uncontrolled. One mate insisted her captain leave the mooring and they tied up at the City Marina.

And what's the discussion about "slow?" Six or seven knots beats most of the cruising sailboats out there. And they are very economical with their twin 50's.....
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Old 25-12-2008, 09:23   #8
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I would add that anyone considering taking one of these boats across an ocean reconsider. I would suggest this is why the manufacturer recommend it be shipped. These boats roll like a 55 gallon drum and if not heavily stabilized should not be considered for offshore use. I am not sure any kind of stabilization would be suitable for offshore heavy weather.
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Old 16-01-2010, 22:07   #9
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Thanks for the input. Also considering this vessel.
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Old 01-02-2010, 20:38   #10
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What I don't understand is why people think three story boats under 50 ft with shallow draft make good sea boats. Go to any boat yard and look at the work boats that go to sea(not shallow bay boats). You will find 5-8 ft draft with plenty of bite on the water some with signigicant balast. The florida bay type boat is at home in shallow protected waters. Yes you can go to sea in almost any boat even rafts of used containers can cross oceans and venders claim almost anything just short of miraculous for their products. If you ran a marine insurance company would you give these boats the same rate for crossing an ocean as a more accepted type for that purpose and why?
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Old 28-02-2010, 03:42   #11
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Originally Posted by skickoko View Post
I'm trying to get more information on these. I'm looking at open ocean cruising and hoping to find someone who owns one.
We are building a Passagemaker lite 486 designed by Tad Roberts http://www.passagemakerlite.com but there is aslo a 41 ft version of this very fuel efficient passagemaker http://www.passagemaker.co.za
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Old 20-10-2010, 18:35   #12
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It's been some time since I looked into the Mirage Great Harbor, and the views on this post are refreshing.

If anyone has first hand cruising knowledge, please post (I realize that they swing wildly on the hook).
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Old 31-03-2011, 10:46   #13
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Re: Anyone Familiar with Great Harbor Trawlers ?

Just what do you mean by open ocean cruising? I own a GH 47 and submit that even the manufacturer will say that some ocean voyages are possible but basically these are built for coastal water. That said the manufacturer routinely runs his N 47 between the Bahamas and Savanah offshore. One N 37 did make a voyage to Hawaii and last year a N 47 went to the BVI's via the DR and Puerto Rico, but other than the one Hawaiian trip the other 20 owners I know use their vessels up and down the east coast, through the Bahamas and the Gulf, and the Great Lakes.

As far as the conjecture in the above thread as to the ride let me correct any impressions given by these experts without experience. I have the GH with the greatest windage and the ride is very soft, without any sharp motions at all. This was a concern of mine before purchase and my concern was alleviated by spending a hour or two with the naval architect who designed the boat, and several other owners. I have had little difficulty docking in any condition worthy of venturing out. I have anchored out until wind conditions abated for docking but I did that with the Grand Banks owned prior. In fact I would put the Great Harbor ride above that of the Grand Banks because of the hard chines. The GH hard chines and low center of gravity cut the motion by about half.

True there are no low side decks, but the boat deck runs around the entire vessel and who does not use pre rigged lines when approaching a dock? We spend a lot more time in the full width salon than we do docking. There also is the argument for the twin engines where the boat has excellent manueverability in reverse. We almost always back into slips where we don't get a T head, but we only ask for T heads because we tow a 17' skiff and the T head saves dropping the skiff off at the fuel dock.

Lastly regarding sailing at anchor, these vessels do sail, but having anchored in the same places as our friends with similar designs from DeFever and Krogen, their sailing at anchor is similar as well. The cure for sailing is a second snubber line (we use two, one from an eye on the bow near the waterline, and attach both to the same spot) on the anchor chain led aft to a cleat halfway between midships and the stern and adjusted to keep the wind on one side. The same can be accomplished with a stern anchor deployed with a dink on the upwind side, and don't forget one can always move to leeward anchorage where available as sailors have for years. Actually inside the boat the sailing is hardly noticeable, but it makes for caution when entering the dink.

All boats are a compromise (duh), we chose the GH because of several factors the greatest being the shallow draft (2'11"). We have cruised the Abacos each of the last three years and routinely are able to use passes and anchorages unthinkable to Krogens, Nordhavens, etc.

If you are not going to cross oceans why buy the boat designed for it at probably twice the price? If you are crossing oceans then the Great Harbor is not for you, but not for the misguided reasons in the thread above.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:03   #14
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Re: Anyone Familiar with Great Harbor Trawlers ?

Thanks.

All boats are compromises. I personally think that people who intend to cruise Florida and the Bahamas in a "oceangoing" trawler with 5 or 6 feet of draft are just plain nuts.

Where exactly do ya go in a boat like that? Up dredged channels to crowded anchorages. You miss 90% of what is available, and ya miss the better places to anchor and explore.

That 2 foot and 10 inch draft opens up a lot of options as to where to anchor or explore. The speed is not even a issue in a trawler. The point is to save fuel at less than hull speed which gives ya a great range. If you are time-limited don't buy a trawler. And as someone above said that 8 knots in a straight line and constant speed is rocket speed compared to most sail boats.

The bouncing around at anchor thing if true is a problem though. This is counter-acted somewhat by your ability to use more and better anchorages due to the shallow draft.

Anyway, this sounds like a pretty cool boat that allows ya to avoid the marinas, and refueling very often, and gives ya the ability to go more places where people actually go.... almost nobody crosses oceans in trawlers BTW.

Not perfect but I would consider this boat over many other more popular types if operating in Florida and the Bahamas was my goal, and it is.
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Old 23-04-2012, 18:49   #15
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Re: Anyone Familiar with Great Harbor Trawlers ?

Hey Timb! Do you still have your GH47? We've been looking at these boats, only we're looking at the GH37. The "sailing" at anchor and docking problems are two of my concerns with this boat. I know several of them cross over to the Bahamas for the Winter, you just have to pick your weather window, which we would do anyways, with any boat. Prices are coming down, and for a Great Loop, mostly coastal cruiser, with occasional trips to the Bahamas and economical engines, this boat seems to have it all.
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