If a slowed-down, more economical pace is on your radar, consider these salty and seaworthy vessels and broaden your cruising horizons.
Long, long ago before the Internet, iPhones and IPS, trawlers were full-displacement, single-diesel, large-cockpit fishing boats designed to slog their way to the rich fishing grounds of the North Atlantic. Half a century ago, the first recreational trawlers looked and acted the same, although with the addition of more comfortable accommodations and usually a lot of teak. Today, trawlers—and tugs, their first cousins—are still salty and seaworthy and designed for long-range cruising or living aboard, but the genre has widened considerably. Here’s a look at some of the current fleet of trawlers and tugs from 23-96 feet LOA.
Click the arrows left and right to see the Southern Boating’s round-up of trawlers and tugs:
17Ranger Tugs R-23
15Beneteau 30 Swift Trawler
The newest addition to the Swift Trawler line first launched in 2003, the Beneteau 30 is a fuel-efficient, single-diesel cruising boat that combines contemporary French styling with traditional cruising accommodations plus a semi-planing hull with a 15-knot cruising speed. It comes in a two-cabin or one-cabin configuration. Basically, the new 30 is a slimmed down version of the popular Beneteau 34 Swift Trawler, which a group of boating magazine editors used to complete the Great Loop about three years ago.
A pocket yacht, the 30 has a bright interior with lots of windows all around, a master forward, a second stateroom to port, opposite a head and shower, and a salon with convertible sofa, so it can sleep six. In the single-cabin configuration, the port side is given to a large separate shower. But the Swift Trawler is a cruisers’ boat, with such features as a sliding door next to the helm for easy access to the wide sidedeck. Visibility from the helm, which has a two-person seat, is excellent all around. A full galley is to port, with an L-shaped settee and dining table to starboard. The cockpit is the perfect spot to enjoy an alfresco breakfast or cocktails; a sturdy ladder leads up to the flybridge. With a 370-hp Volvo D6, range is about 200 nm. beneteauamerica.com
14American Tugs 365
A solid, no-nonsense pilothouse trawler from the Pacifi c Northwest, the new American Tugs 365 offers safe, secure, long-range cruising or liveaboard comforts for a couple with occasional family or guests. Well built with a 10-year hull warranty, the 365 offers a cruising speed in the 13- to 17-knot area, powered by a single fuel-efficient 380-hp Cummins diesel. Dial it back to 9 knots and the Cummins burns only 7.6 gallons per hour (gph), giving the boat a range of about 1,000 nm.Although American Tugs are built in La Conner, Washington, by the Tomco Marine Group, about half of the boats are sold on the East Coast for cruising the ICW, the coast of Maine, or over to The Bahamas.
The 18,700-pound displacement boat has a draft of only 3′ 5″, and the prop is protected by a skeg. The salon has a large galley to starboard, with a U-shaped, Ultraleather-covered settee to port that converts to a double bed. Down four steps, the master is forward with a walkaround queen berth, a cedar-lined hanging locker and a head with a stall shower.The pilothouse has seating for four on two Ultraleather® settees. Six opening windows and sliding doors give easy access to the decks on both sides. Aft, the cockpit is fully covered for all-weather protection. All in all, the American Tugs 365 is meant for easy cruising. americantugs.com
13Selene 42 Europa
12Nordic Tugs 44
11Krogen Express 52
10Azimut Magellano 52
9Cranchi ECO Trawler 53 LD
David Marlow doesn’t do things halfway. Indeed, he’s been building boats since he was 13 and building sturdy, safe offshore cruising boats under his own name for the past 16 years. The new Marlow 53E (Explorer) is the company’s latest launch, and it is ready to take its owners anywhere around the world in style and comfort. And they won’t have to stop frequently to refuel either. At a 7.7-knot trawler cruising speed, the Marlow 53E has a range of more than 3,000 nm.Even though the boat holds 2,000 gallons of fuel, that range—Palm Beach to Greenland, non-stop—means the Marlow has an efficient, low-drag hull shape.
Of course, if you want a turn of speed, Marlow’s twin 750-hp John Deere diesels produce a cruising speed of 21 knots and a top speed of just over 25 knots. The boat’s Velocijet Strut keel protects the running gear and helps provide superior stability and comfort in all sea conditions. Built with Kevlar, carbon fiber and modified epoxy, the Marlow 53E has an Ocean Class A certification, the international designation for a serious bluewater cruiser. Inside, the Marlow has three staterooms and two heads. The supersized master has a centerline king and his-and-her toilets. marlowyachts.com; (800) 362-2657
7Grand Banks 55 Aleutian
The Grand Banks Aleutian 55 RP is a new and improved version of the popular yet now retired 53-foot raised pilothouse yacht. It has the room and amenities to make extended cruising even more appealing and comfortable. The new 55 uses the same hull as the 53 but is stretched in length by 2 feet. The addition creates more space in the cockpit and in the utility room—an often-overlooked area that’s important for long cruises or living aboard—located between the midships, full-beam master stateroom and the engine room. For the 55, Grand Banks also designed a new warmer, lighter interior, added more stowage in the galley, built a second boarding gate on the port side, and made it easier to access the flybridge from the cockpit.The salon remains a social area and has interior stairs leading up to the flybridge—a major safety feature.
The galley and dinette are in the pilothouse, exactly where people tend to congregate during voyages. Two side doors open to the wide protected side decks and the Portuguese bridge. Three staterooms and two heads are below, while up top the aft deck of the flybridge has a standard davit with a 1,000-pound capacity and room for a 13-foot tender. Standard power is two 715-hp Cummins QSM11 diesels producing cruising speeds of 20 knots and topping out at 24 knots. grandbanks.com; (206) 352-0116