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Old 26-06-2011, 10:32   #1
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Best Single Handing Trawler

I am new to this forum so please excuse me if this subject has been beat to death, but I would be interested in hear thoughts on the best trawler for a single hander. looking for a 36 foot range to do the bahamas, florida keys and maybe the loop cruise. looking to spend less than 100,000 . and will be single handing. any thoughts? is it do able alone?

bob
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Old 26-06-2011, 10:53   #2
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Re: best single handing trawler

It's doable alone...depending on your experience though. In this economy you ought to be able to get a decent boat for that much. They key is engine condition...without sails as back up...maybe you want twin engines... although, there goes some economy.. I cant help much with which boats though. Some of the 34 Mainships look like a pretty good deal. Stay away from older Taiwan buiilt boats with Plywood decks and houses....
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Old 26-06-2011, 11:07   #3
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Re: best single handing trawler

I singlehand our 44 Thompson 99% of the time. I find deck layout, midship cleats and not being in a hurry very helpful. If you are serious about the cruisin life, feel free to contact me for a great deal!
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Old 26-06-2011, 12:34   #4
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Re: best single handing trawler

I would definetly look at twin engine models if you are going to single hand. Docking, locking, etc is a breeze with twins, but can be difficult with a single even with a bowthruster.

At that price there are lots of Island Gypsies, a couple of Monks (my favorite) and even an early fiberglass Grand Banks 36 listed on Yachtworld.
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Old 28-06-2011, 03:46   #5
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Re: best single handing trawler

Other than the plywood decks and cabin tops what are the major issues with the Taiwan built trawlers that are not present in the monk and island gypsy?
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Old 28-06-2011, 09:28   #6
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Re: best single handing trawler

I'm no expert on these, but my impression is the Taiwan boats are good. The early ones have the plywood issues. Just like the early Taiwan sailboats.
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Old 28-06-2011, 09:35   #7
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Re: best single handing trawler

I have over 7000 miles on a 34' marine trader most single handed I do have a bow thruster which I would not be without, single motor fuel burn 2.4gph Even with a bigger boat I see no real problem I always ask the doch master about current before I approach a dock
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Old 29-06-2011, 11:07   #8
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Re: best single handing trawler

Before buying production or used, consider a custom build. You might be surprised at how much cheaper that can be, especially if you are actually experienced (e.g., you have learned that the more stuff, the more pain, the less stuff, the more fun). Also, consider commercial boats before pleasure boats. They are all about fiscal responsibility, maximizing the reward/cost ratio: minimum cost to own and maximum flexible space and volume. That's what you really need, and that is not what pleasure boats generally target.
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Old 05-07-2011, 21:46   #9
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Re: Best Single Handing Trawler

I singlehanded my Mainship 34 (single Cummins, no bow thruster) around the Loop from the fall of '05 to spring of '07, doing the Bahamas twice and did the Keys/Bahamas again this past winter. (Yes it's for sale).
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:49   #10
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Re: Best Single Handing Trawler

I find that docking is the key to single handling. Anything can have an autopilot, so its not a big deal underway.

So to make docking easy singlehanded, one needs:

* Visibility of the entire vessel from the helm. You need to be able to easily and clearly see the entire gunwale.

* Very easy and quick access from the helm to the stern cleats and midship cleats (for spring lines). Fairly easy and quick access to the bow cleats.

* Low freeboard, so its easy to step on and off docks. Its a really good thing if you even have low freeboard forward, so its possible to get from boat to dock before the entire boat is in the slip, for example.

* Full length rub rails that are inches proud of the topsides, so you can crash into pilings, docks, lock walls, sea walls, without damage.

I don't think single or twin really matter that much. Maneuverability is obviously important, but there are plenty of very maneuverable boats with single screw.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:59   #11
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Re: Best Single Handing Trawler

I have owned a single engine trawler with bowthruster and I singlehanded a twin engine catamaran for most of 2009. Let me tell you, twin engines are nice, maybe even mandatory for easy singlehanding. Admittedly the cat made everything easier with its wide engine spacing, but a conventional trawler with twins would be almost as good- see below.

Let me relate a couple of examples.

I pulled in for fuel at a marina on the Sassafras. The dead end channel was narrow in front of the fuel docks, maybe only 100' wide even for my 3-1/2' draft. After fueling there were a line of boats waiting, mostly blocking the channel. I simply made a 180 deg turn, never more than 5' from the dock and motored away. Try to do that with your bowthruster particularly with any wind.

Coming into the right side of the free dock at Oriental, NC I motored up to the dock which is a single pier coming out from the roadway's bulkhead. I was hemmed in on the left by Fulcher's seafood. As I got close I simply made a 180 turn in my own length and snuggled up to the dock.

And on a 45' CHB trawler with twins: I was helping a friend deliver his new to him trawler. We came into Oriental's town dock and there were boats already tied to both sides of the pier. The skipper of one said that his wife and kids were browsing the shops and would be leaving soon and would be like to raft for a few minutes.

We pulled in alongside of him bow facing the road, this time on the opposite side as before but hemmed in by the docks at Oriental Marina. Again we turned around in our own length (this took much longer and with more throttle jockying due to the limited engine spacing) and snuggled up along side and rafted up.

In all of these cases, there was no one to help with docklines except for the guy we rafted to. I had to be self sufficient and do it myself. Twin engines really make it easy.

David
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