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Old 22-06-2018, 22:58   #1
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Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

How would you compare powered catamarans vs Trawler-style vessels for long range blue-water cruising. Such aspects as range, safety, sea-keeping etc.
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Old 02-07-2018, 18:26   #2
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

I've been on a few cats and owned several traditional trawlers. The cats were a little faster and possibly more fuel efficient for the size but they where not anything I'd want to be out on when its rough. I always found that we'd arrive before our friends with a cat even though they were faster too.

Another thing I've yet to see is a cat with a stay/steady sail. Granted the design doesn't need one like a round bilged trawler. They still are useful. It was great at anchor,the boom lifts things and best of all was after a little while I figured out how to fly sails and under the right conditions we gained speed while saving fuel.

There are good points to each but I feel a proper trawler is a little bit more seaworthy than most cats.but there's always exceptions to the rules and they're usually out of my budget.
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Old 02-07-2018, 21:18   #3
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

Interesting that reportedly Malcolm Tennant said that the only change he would make to his 60' long-range power cats (like Domino) was to add a mast. The mast didn't even need a sail, but would assist to slow down the flick speed of the roll.
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Old 02-07-2018, 21:19   #4
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

...and to the OP, we hope to find out your answers soon as we're purchasing one
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Old 03-07-2018, 00:48   #5
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

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Originally Posted by bluenomads View Post
Interesting that reportedly Malcolm Tennant said that the only change he would make to his 60' long-range power cats (like Domino) was to add a mast. The mast didn't even need a sail, but would assist to slow down the flick speed of the roll.
That's what they're primarily used for and I'm not a yacht designer by any means. So I'd have to agree with him. I do know from reading and experience that a stay sail is less effective on hard chined V bottom boats than it is on a rounder bottom boat. With the rounder bottom our one boat would heel over a little bit and she'd really settle down. It had very little rolling motion under way with the stay sail.

From your quote I'm assuming a cat will act similar with a stay sail. I just assumed it would act more like a V bottom that didn't really heel over.

If you don't mind me asking, what boats are you looking at?
I had a 89 Grand Banks 42 with twin 3208 Cats,a 36 Gulfstar trawler with 2 85 horse Perkins's diesels and a converted 68ft steel fishing trawler that had a 3406 cat main and a smaller cat for a wing engine.

Out of the 3 you could burn through the most fuel in the GB and while they're great boats I was happy when I sold it. It was a project and I would've liked to keep it longer but I received a great off about 6months after she was finished.
The Gulfstar was the surprise and flat out sipped fuel and she handled every bit of weather I sent her way. They're a real value for the money if you're able to find one. I forget how much fuel it held but she'd easily run 700-800 miles between the pumps. On top of being spacious for the size the engine and systems access was good too on everything but the genset.

The steel fishing trawler was another project that literally made it through 2 hurricanes off the Jersey shore including a direct hit from Sandy. I would've loved to have finished it and kept it. But my daughter came along and I had a offer that was quite a bit more than I had in her not counting labor. So off she went but I'm currently looking at a Allied 40 and a Seawolf 44. But neither of them are trawlers although the Seawolf is more or less a ketch rigged motor sailor that needs mast's, so she's close enough lol.

Anyway good luck
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:33   #6
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

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Originally Posted by Almost-There View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what boats are you looking at?
I had a 89 Grand Banks 42 with twin 3208 Cats,a 36 Gulfstar trawler with 2 85 horse Perkins's diesels and a converted 68ft steel fishing trawler that had a 3406 cat main and a smaller cat for a wing engine.
I'll answer even if you meant the OP .

We have been looking for a powercat with a number of criteria. But it seems that two of the criteria make it very difficult to find our boat!
  • a power cat
  • able to cross oceans, which almost certainly means able to circumnavigate
  • electrifiable in the future, as a hybrid
  • liveaboard
  • able to go through canals of France and Europe (plus Great Loop)

There are many powercats out there - Fountaine Pajot, Leopard, Lagoon, then designers Tennant, Schionning, etc.

But the ability to cross oceans almost rules out the ability to go through the canals: the range needed of 2500nm means a long cat to take the weight of diesel, and almost every long cat (say 40'+) is too wide for the canals (Freycinet width 5.05m/16.6'). The beautiful Tennant 60' Domino for example.

There are a reasonable number of smaller cats - 34-38' - that are of ok width. Something like the Fountaine Pajot Greenland 34 or Highland 35, but their range is 1000nm not 2500nm, and their ability to fit another 1500L of diesel on-deck safely to tackle Atlantic or Pacific crossings is pretty much non-existent.

For consumption, and seeing what others have got (the NZ and Aussie's like Robin Chamberlin for example) we expect a powercat with our qualities can get 1L/nm at 6-7kn (1.7gph) - probably on one engine,
1.5L/nm at 10kn , (3.9gph) - just possibly on one engine
2L/nm at 13kn (6.8gph),
2.5L/nm at 15-16kn (10gph),
and probably WOT with sized engines of <4L/nm at 18-19kn (19gph).
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:36   #7
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

Thanks, I definitely would like trawler capable of long passages myself. It's just not economically feasible for me at the moment. So sailing it will be. Plus by the time I can afford something like that chances are my daughter will be out of college ;-)
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:54   #8
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Re: Powered Catamarans vs Trawlers

Have you looked at Domino's blog. They are in the process of a west to east Pacific crossing now. DOMINO 20: Transpac 2, Part I
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