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Old 23-04-2010, 08:33   #1
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Size Relationship Between a Trawler and a Sailing Sloop

I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm probably a big wuss. While I must admit there is nothing quite like a sailing boat under a night sky on a clear day, the draw of a motor powered yacht is hard to resist. Potential lower operating costs, higher transit speeds, and greater comfort all have a calling. Not to mention a possible concession to the woman of my life. (It's my wifes fault, you see!)

Is there any relationship between interor space of a "typical" trawler based yacht, and a sailing slope? If you were looking at a 45' slope or ketch, what size of trawler would you start looking at?

It would seem to me that the living space on a trawler style yacth is almost double or 1.5 times that of a sailing yacht, simply because of the size of the deck houses, and the more open decks.
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Old 23-04-2010, 08:49   #2
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I've been on several 30'+- trawlers with single engines that had eaisly 2X the useable room of comparable sailboats. Bought right they have great aft decks, wide open fly bridges, enourmous birght airy salons, and abundant room for engine maintainence and added equipment like a generator or air conditioning.


these little things have always been one of my favorites

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1977.../United-States
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Old 23-04-2010, 09:12   #3
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It very much depends on the trawler. Many pilothouse trawlers are "double decked" giving 2 levels. This obviously adds a lot of living space per LOA. And the space on a trawler isn't cavern-like. It's usually pretty open - similar to a sailing cat.

I grew up sailing and wanted a sailboat for cruising. My wife wanted more comforts, more space, and more reliability. My choice was a trawler or staying home (or perhaps picking a different wife but I sort of felt good about the one I had). I have to admit that I love trawlering now.

It isn't about speed at all. In fact, we were passed on the ICW this week by a sailboat and often get passed by cats. We typically go at 7.5 kts but it's a reliable 7.5 kts even if it's directly into the wind. This makes planning passages very consistent and makes everyone onboard emotionally comfortable with knowing where and when we'll be at different times. We can easily go 8.9 kts by upping the engine RPM's and used to go at that speed for the first few years - it almost doubles fuel consumption though. Now that we've been up and down the coast a bunch of times, 7.5 kts is about perfect. We're in no rush - we're already where we want to be.

It also isn't about space, it's about comfort. In our nice, warm, protected pilothouse, it can be a mean and miserable, wet and windy day outside on an offshore passage. We'll pass other sailboats all bundled up in weather gear">foul weather gear taking waves for endless hours. We're in our slippers sipping coffee, listening to music. Trust me, women like that a lot.

And there's comfort at anchor too. We were in Marathon for a month this Winter. Each day we could hang out high outside on the flybridge, or if it was windy, inside in the salon or pilothouse. Both inside spaces are well above the water line, surrounded by windows. Others on sailboats were confined to sitting outside in the cockpit (usually enclosed by biminis, etc) or inside in the hole with few windows and natural lighting. Again, cats seem to the the exception to this in the sailing world.

So yeah, I'm a wuss too. But the comfort allows a great lifestyle with a mate eager to get on the boat, untie the lines, and head off. We'll be on the boat for 9 months this year and looking for ways to make it 12 in the future.
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Old 23-04-2010, 09:19   #4
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We have a 36' trawler it has lots of space, v berth & small head fwd., salon, Large aft cabin with head and stall shower. it is a single engine so has lots of room in the engine compt. 9 KW Genset and airconditioning. Air conditioning is not a necessity but makes life along the hot and humid Gulf Coast easier.
You must be very watchful of leaky teak decks (rotten underneath) and rusty fuel tanks on any used trawler you look at.
The only sailboats I have owned were trailerable swing keels so can't make a space comparison. there are MANY trawlers on the market now so you could look at a bunch and draw your own conclusions
Good luck, feel free to PM me if you have any questions I can help with.
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Old 23-04-2010, 10:25   #5
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Have you considered a sail catamaran? HUGE space compared to the same length monohull. GREAT cruising speed (10+ knots under sail) 8 under power. FANTASTIC maneuvering with two engines 20 feet apart. NO roll at anchor. VERY competitive pricing against same length used trawlers. AND you can sail if you want to too.
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Old 24-04-2010, 09:53   #6
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"like a sailing boat under a night sky on a clear day"

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Old 31-05-2010, 16:51   #7
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The modern cruising cat makes a great warm weather charter boat but they also have some nasty features and they have to be considered in the compromise equation. high some rediculously high freeboard- only way to board is rear steps or high ladder-beam that rules out 90+ % of dock spaces-considerable windage-many need motor to sail to wind with any efficency(not what salesmen or advertiseing will tell you)-don't like to be loaded with gear since that tends to ruin whatever performance edge they may have and I say may. By the way I love multis I owned a custom high speed tri for 11 years -a fast multi can be very efficient -a less efficent design may make a good boat for some people depending on how it is used( including lots of open water anchor out use). In general for inlandand and coatal hop cruising cruising I dont think a cat(as large bulky cruissing cat) is a easy replacement for the trawler, lobster boat or typical motor boat -there are some forms of trawler cats that can be considered but there are not many of them around.
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Old 31-05-2010, 17:00   #8
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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post
Is there any relationship between interor space of a "typical" trawler based yacht, and a sailing slope?
Yes probably, but you know that you will expand to fill what ever space you have available If fuel costs are not critical a trawler yacht could make sence.

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Old 31-05-2010, 17:04   #9
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I too came down on the powerboat side of the debate. One of the biggest things I miss about sail is the roll dampening of the sail. I get very seasick, so a flybrige was out of the question for me. Factor your tolerance for rolling into your choice of trawler.

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Old 31-05-2010, 17:37   #10
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Factor your tolerance for rolling into your choice of trawler.
Or use stabilizers.
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Old 31-05-2010, 19:21   #11
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We went from 17 years of living and cruising on our 40 foot sailboat to our current 34 foot trawler. You can see both on our two websites. The current trawler has a bit more living space than the sailboat and a bit less storage space.
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Old 31-05-2010, 19:38   #12
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Or use stabilizers.
Quite correct, although stabilizers, for some reason, seem notorious for failure. I actually prefer gyros like these:

Seakeeper Website

As I said, I'm prone to seasickness. Motion reduction holds great interest for me.

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Old 31-05-2010, 22:02   #13
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I also find the motion of some trawlers a problem- I lived on a round bottom boat(40 ft) some years ago and even with a small mast and ridding sail I was not happy with the roll underway or at anchor-I now look for boats that have low freeboad and center of gravity with sharp entry and a flattish wide under water profile aft 2/3 rds of boat such as a semi displacement type-Nordic tug-eagle 40-saber trawler-tollycraft etc.The newer cat trawlers may also work but they are not common especially on used market. Regarding interior room I would equate a moderate freeboard and low profile type trawler or motor yacht of 38-40 feet with the room I had on my J/44(same layout and interior as J/46) which was a roomy boat with forward and aft state rooms 2 heads and good gally and main cabin.When dealing with 35 to 50 ft sail boats I think you can go down five feet with motor boat to get same room as a rule of thumb.
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Old 01-06-2010, 00:04   #14
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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post
If you were looking at a 45' slope or ketch, what size of trawler would you start looking at?
I think an 80 footer is about perfect.

We have even only been invited on one power boat and that was an ex-fishing boat and still appeared as such.

The fridge was the hold! The bathtub the live bait well....

Anyway, whatever you decide to get, make sure you invite us sailing cruisers on for drinks too!



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Old 01-06-2010, 01:11   #15
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After a couple of decades on Fishing boats, I found our Nauticat 44 a good blend of both worlds, on those cold wet windy days and nights the full pilothouse and internal helm, motorsailing with the Eberspacher on toasty warm perfect!, and on those lovely sunny days with the wind in the right direction sailing hard with the lee rail going in also perfect. The wife was happy and so was I/
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