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 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.