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Old 25-07-2011, 10:07   #16
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

I can assure you that we were in some big seas in our trawler when crossing oceans and we never flipped. You need to pick a trawler that is truly blue water capable, though. Most trawlers aren't. A key component to being blue water capable is a properly weighted keel that will right the boat if flipped. Make sure you carefully examine the physics of the hull before making a purchase to ensure it is a truly self-righting.

Also as important is proper weight distribution when outfitted with luxuries and extra gear. For example, our dinghy is stored up top. Concerned about too much weight up there, we picked a dinghy/engine that weigh 100lbs combined. I am sure if we had an 800 lb dinghy, like most trawler owners do, we'd up the risk factor for flipping in big seas. Not that a heavy dinghy would cause a boat to flip, but better to err on the side of caution and keep the weight low.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:16   #17
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

If this thread is going to spend anymore time in the gutters it will disappear beneath the waves.

Stick to the topic and avoid inflammatory statements, please.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:17   #18
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

sorry got the name wrong .. mike plant. reason i brought it up was the conversation about power cats not being dangerous after a flip cause they stay afloat. my point was that the violent motion of a big sea does enough damage to a light boat and the crew. i would choose a medium to heavy displacement keel boat to cross oceans.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:21   #19
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

We have a Colvic Watson 32 ft and have been in some pretty bad weather. I know she is a motor sailor but designed by Watson the guy that designed most of the british Lifeboats, enough said there. We have a 65hp motor that uses about 3 lts an hour for 6 knots but to cross the atlantic you would need an awfull lot of fuel this is where the sails come into their own in anything from a F4 upwards we can reach at about 60degs at 6-8 knots so decent travel times can be made. The big advantage with our boat is the size of the accommodation its HUGE plenty of room to carry 6 months food. Have a look in our profile if you want more pics I can send them.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:38   #20
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

Here in BC both trollers and trawlers go north of Vancouver Island and into the Queen Charlotte Sound and out to face the ocean. This is an area known for its turbulence. Steep thirty foot waves are common. Most people who are cruising the inside passage hit this spot and go like stink to get to the protection of the coastal waters further north but the fisherman turn out into it.

Certainly their boats are built to take the weather. With a sailboat I've read that one of the best strategies for facing a bad storm is to batten everything down, go below and climb into a birth but with a troller/trawler you stay at the wheel and you need the engine running to climb the waves and avoid troubled. Fishermen in this area go long spells without sleep and I would think that to be a big challenge when facing a storm in the middle of an ocean passage.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:39   #21
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

Most "trawlers" are about as much a trawler, as a Bene with a yard is a square-rigger. They generally are pleasure boats with a "work-boat" appearance.
My experience with stability on real workboats is limited to an incident, for which I was not on-board, but all my crew-friends were.
65 ft wooden shrimper being used as a treasure-diving work boat. Big vertical capstan on centre mid deck, driven off engine (a big Atlas diesel), no clutch.
Hoisting a cannon with boomed-out snatch block, line gets over-ride on capstan, and boat is heaved-down until gunwale is awash. We figured later she was hove-down 70 degrees.
Chop line with an axe, and she righted so quickly that she threw some crew members over the rail, on the other side.
Picturing these type of forces should give an idea of what it takes to capsize a "real" workboat.
Jus sayin.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:44   #22
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

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Most "trawlers" are about as much a trawler, as a Bene with a yard is a square-rigger. They generally are pleasure boats with a "work-boat" appearance.
That's my general opinion as well. The working trawlers I've been on have had ballast - concrete or iron - in the bilge as well as a huge clunky engine down there. Not staterooms and a candy-a$$ Yanmar. They are unlikely to roll over easily.
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Old 25-07-2011, 11:04   #23
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

Steve Dashew's line of motor yachts are designed to handle blue water conditions. They don't look a lot like trawlers. After reading his sections on hull form, stability, glazing, propulsion, range and roll control go take another look at those trawlers.

DashewOffshore.com - the serious cruising sailor's website


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Old 25-07-2011, 14:26   #24
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

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That's my general opinion as well. The working trawlers I've been on have had ballast - concrete or iron - in the bilge as well as a huge clunky engine down there. Not staterooms and a candy-a$$ Yanmar. They are unlikely to roll over easily.
My point exactlly. Being the OP it was suggested that I may have been baiting. Well no, not this time. In 3 days I'm going to the Sydney Boat Show and there will be some trawlers there. Ten years ago I would have had no interest in looking at them and presumed that the only way to safely cross an ocean would be in a single hull sailing yacht. This site has helped to enlighten me to the fact that, even if a slightly different approach is needed, that it can also be safely done in a multihull and in fact there can be many advantages to the mutihull. The growing contribution from trawler owners here is interesting. I had also assumed that it would be far too expensive to cruise in a trawler but some of the financial arguments offerred by the trawler operators are compelling. Are they serious cruising boats? Certainly I have seen the workboats (trawlers) from Port Stephens & Newcastle head out in weather that I stay home in and I have for a while assumed that the work boats may have a stability curve approaching that of a sailing yacht. Even if my interest is academic I enjoy seeing the different conclusions we arrive at to solve what is basically the same problem and an open mind will help me enjoy the boat show a bit more.

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Old 25-07-2011, 14:29   #25
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

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the trawler, I suspect is will neither float nor right itself if inverted?
If this is true about the trawler you are thinking about then you have sort of answered your own question I think....

Because a boat that will neither float nor right itself sounds like an unsafe option in my book...
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Old 25-07-2011, 14:41   #26
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

We had about 25 tons of ballast in our trawler, a real one, ex Danish fishing boat and she still floated a bit too high.

How do they handle weather? Check out the seas in the North sea or the Baltic which these boats go out in every day, not hove to, but working in force 9 and above. I've not seen many sail boats out playing with them.
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Old 25-07-2011, 14:48   #27
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

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If this is true about the trawler you are thinking about then you have sort of answered your own question I think....

Because a boat that will neither float nor right itself sounds like an unsafe option in my book...
I think we call a boat that neither floats nor will right itself a house.
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Old 25-07-2011, 14:57   #28
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

I think that we most all agree that many trawler working boats are quite seaworthy, and that one of them converted to pleasure use would likely retain those characteristics.

Now, how about the ubiquitous "trawler-style" motor yachts... you know, the Grand Banks sort of vessel that is so common on coastal waters? How are they in comparison. The addition of flying bridges and big dinks on the upper decks surely compromises stability to some degree, and I wonder if anyone has stability curves for them?

A comment from a knowledgeable NA would be interesting! Bob Perry, where are you when we need you?

Finally, I have seen some big MYs out of the water, and to my untrained eye they look, well, very top heavy. Yet, they do lots of blue water miles and don't sink very often. So, I am curious...

Cheers,

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Old 25-07-2011, 15:13   #29
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

IMO, we tend to get sucked in by the Madison Ave. hype of image creating.
"Trawler" defines a work-boat appearance, heavier displacement, non-planing, fuel-sipping combination.
It is like back a few years ago when ULDBs were called sleds. Because that was what the ride was like downwind.
OTOH, my boat IS a beautiful, classic yacht.
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Old 25-07-2011, 15:21   #30
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Re: How Safe Are Trawlers in Big Seas ?

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...Now, how about the ubiquitous "trawler-style" motor yachts... you know, the Grand Banks sort of vessel that is so common on coastal waters? How are they in comparison. The addition of flying bridges and big dinks on the upper decks surely compromises stability to some degree, and I wonder if anyone has stability curves for them? ...
Recreational "trawlers" are a highly varied lot. Most are coastal cruisers and gunkholers and their relative seaworthiness widely varied. Relatively few are designed for transoceanic cruises. Same can be said of "sloops," etc.
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