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Trawler vs Motor Yacht

trawler vs motor yacht

When looking for a nice liveaboard boat, the continuous argument over whether a motor yacht or a trawler is better may confuse you. Both are excellent designs that are ideal for cruising.

The trawler is well-known for its slow speeds, making it suitable for long-distance cruising, whilst the motor yatch appears to be popular among boaters who prefer to travel at a higher speed and enjoy modern facilities.

Read on to know more about these boats.

What is a Trawler Boat?

A trawler boat is a type of fishing boat that is used to catch large quantities of fish by dragging a net along the seafloor. Trawler boats can be either powered by sails or engines, and they range in size from small vessels that can be operated by a single person to large ships that can accommodate dozens of crew members.

Trawler boats are often used in commercial fishing operations, and they are also popular among recreational fishermen.

Furthermore, this type of boat has full displacement and wide hulls , which allow for a variety of living places when travelling.

Advantages of Trawler Boat

  • Trawler boats are designed for long-range fishing, so they can travel farther than other types of fishing vessels. This means that you can access more fishing areas and catch more fish
  • Trawler boats are also very stable to allow easy maneuvering, even under bridge and in shallow water
  • Trawler boats are spacious and well-equipped, making them perfect for extended trips
  • Trawler boats are extremely versatile, making them perfect for a wide range of applications. Whether you need a boat for fishing, cruising, diving, or simply enjoying the water, a trawler can do it all

Disadvantages of Trawler Boat

  • The top speed of a trawler boat is around 22 mph, thus deemed slow by many boaters who love higher-speed cruising
  • One disadvantage is that a trawler boat can only fish in relatively shallow water
  • Another disadvantage is that a trawler boat can be very expensive to operate. The cost of fuel, maintenance, and crew salaries can be quite high. This can make it difficult for fishermen to turn a profit using a trawler boat
  • Finally, a trawler boat can be a danger to the environment, especially the seabed. Trawlers often drag their nets along the bottom of the ocean, which can damage coral reefs and other important marine habitats. This can harm fish populations and disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem

What is a Motor Yacht Boat?

trawler yacht

A motor yacht boat is a type of watercraft that is propelled by an engine. Motor yachts are typically larger and more luxurious than sailboats and can be used for both recreational and commercial purposes. They are often used for luxury vacations, as well as for corporate events and charters.

Motor yachts come in a variety of sizes, from small vessels that can accommodate just a few passengers to large boats that can accommodate dozens of people. They may have one or more decks and may be equipped with a wide range of amenities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis, sun decks, and bars.

The engines on motor yachts can be powered by gasoline, diesel fuel, or electricity. Some vessels are also equipped with hybrid engines that can run on multiple types of fuel.

Advantages of Motor Yacht Boat

  • Motor yachts can be used for both recreation and transportation purposes. This makes them a versatile option for those who want to enjoy a variety of activities on the water
  • Motor yachts offer plenty of space for both passengers and cargo. This makes them an ideal option for those who want to travel with a large group or transport a lot of belongings
  • Motor yachts are known for their luxurious features and amenities. This makes them the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy a high-end boating experience
  • Motor yachts have modest drafts, allowing them to enter narrow bays and shallow water without difficulty
  • This type of boat allows higher top speeds reaching 30 mph for faster cruising activities for boaters, therefore it can offer a more exciting travel

Disadvantages of Motor Yacht Boat

  • First, they can be expensive due to their luxurious design and facilities
  • They require a lot of maintenance. A motor yacht needs to be properly cleaned and serviced regularly to stay in good condition. This can be costly and time-consuming
  • These high-speed and large boats can be difficult to operate. A novice sailor may have trouble maneuvering a large motor yacht boat. This could lead to accidents and damage to the

motor yacht

Are you considering purchasing a yacht, but aren’t sure if a trawler or motor yacht is the right fit for you? Read on to know their differences:

The first major difference between trawlers and motor yachts is size. Trawlers are typically smaller than motor yachts – most range from 30 to 60 feet long.

Motor yachts, on the other hand, can be much larger, with some exceeding 100 feet in length. Some mega yachts can be as long as 130 feet.

Trawlers are also slower than motor yachts. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, many people prefer the slower pace of a trawler, which is around 22 mph.

Suppose you’re looking for a yacht that can travel quickly and easily across open water. In that case, a motor yacht is the better option, with its top speed reaching 30 mph.\


Trawler accommodations tend to be more basic than those on a motor yacht. This is because trawlers are designed for fishing, not luxury cruising.

Motor yachts, on the other hand, typically have more luxurious amenities, such as multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, and a spacious living area.

Finally, one of the key differences between trawlers and motor yachts is price. Trawlers are typically much cheaper than motor yachts.

So, what is the best choice for you – a trawler or a motor yacht? It depends on your requirements. Although trawlers are becoming more popular, motor yachts will always be a luxurious option for those who want to cruise in style.

Which type of vessel do you think would be a better fit for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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Boating enthusiasts are familiar with the terms motor yacht and trawler. Both boats share similar features, yet their underlying purpose and design are fundamentally different. Let’s explore the difference between these vessels.

Motor Yacht:

A motor yacht is a sleek, luxurious vessel designed for speed and comfort. Also known as a motor cruiser, it has a smooth, aerodynamic design that allows it to cut through the water with ease. Motor yachts have a powerful propulsion system comprising of either gas, diesel, or electric engines, allowing it to reach high speeds of up to 50 knots.

A motor yacht typically features state-of-the-art amenities such as luxurious cabins, a spacious salon, a modern galley, and entertainment systems. The focus is on comfort, style, and luxury. These boats are perfect for those who appreciate a visually impressive boat that delivers a high level of performance.

On the other hand, a trawler is designed for long-distance cruising and fuel efficiency. It has a more reserved look with a displacement hull that allows it to move slower and more steadily while conserving fuel.

Trawlers are known for their durability, reliability, and their ability to handle rough weather conditions. They are often fitted with a single hull engine, which consumes less fuel, making them more cost-effective for long journeys. Trawlers also have plenty of space and stability, ideal for living on board for extended periods.

A trawler’s focus is on practicality and functionality rather than luxury. It often features a functional galley, a comfortable salon, and practical sleeping quarters. Trawlers are perfect for those who want to explore new and exciting places without breaking the bank.

The difference between a motor yacht and a trawler is primarily in design, purpose, and amenities. The choice between the two comes down to one’s needs, budget, and preference for either speed, comfort, or practicality. No matter which one you choose, both options offer an outstanding boating experience.

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difference trawler and yacht

Sailboat vs. Trawler: What’s the Difference?

difference trawler and yacht

For anyone new to boating, it can be difficult to determine what type of water-bound vessel is right for you. There are several categories of boats; each of them is designed for unique purposes and offer different benefits. However, when it comes to boating on large bodies of water, these boat types can be narrowed down into two main classifications: sailboats, such as vessels that are propelled by sails, and motorboats, such as engine-powered trawlers.

What’s the difference between a sailboat and a trawler? There are a few distinct differences between sailboats and trawlers:

[table id=2 /]

(Source: Discover Boating )

There are also a few similarities that can be found among sailboats and trawlers, such as the types of activities that can be performed with the vessels. The remainder of this article will explore both types of boats, and the various characteristics of each.

Understanding Sailboats

A sailboat is classified as a water vessel that is mainly (or partially) propelled by a sail or sails using wind currents. However, although most sailboats are associated with their ability to move on solely wind power, there are a few sailboats that may also have a small engine to help move it along on less windy days.

How Do Sailboats Work?

Unlike a car, where its movement is more dependent on internal, automatic functions of the motor, a sailboat requires its owner to be more involved in the process of propelling it forward. However, this movement does not happen unless a sailboat is fully equipped with these eight essential parts.

  • Hull – The shell of the boat.
  • Tiller – Considered the boat’s steering wheel.
  • Rudder – Attached to the tiller and functions like a tire, helping guide the boat as you turn with the tiller.
  • Mainsail – A larger sail that captures the bulk of wind needed to move the sailboat along.
  • Mast – A long, upright pole that the vertical part of the mainsail is attached to.
  • Boom – A long pole parallel to the deck of the boat that the horizontal side of the mainsail attaches to.
  • Jib – A smaller, triangular sail that adds additional power to the mainsail.
  • Keel – Also referred to as the “centerboard” or “daggerboard,” the keel is a long, slender plank that is located underneath the hull and designed to help keep the boat balanced.

Maintenance & Operation

Sailboats require regular maintenance, including interior and exterior cleaning, hull waxing, woodwork varnishing, sail repair, and more. Sailboat equipment, such as the hull, engine, or sails, will also need routine repairs as they age in years.

Types of Sailboats

The various types of sailboats that exist are distinguished by size, hull type, keel type, and mast and sail configuration.

  • Hull Design – Monohull (single hull), catamaran (two-hull), or trimaran (three-hull).
  • Keel Design – Fin, wing, bilge, daggerboard, or centerboard.
  • Mast Configuration & Sails – fractional rig sloop, yawl, cutter , sloop, ketch, schooner, etc. 

The most common types of sailboats that can be described with these categories are as follows:

  • Beach Catamaran – These sailboats are usually between 14 to 20 feet in length. They are mostly used for day sailing.
  • Cruising Catamaran – Cruising catamarans are a larger version of the beach catamaran, reaching between 25 to 50+ feet in length. They are also much more similar to cruising monohull sailboats. Cruising catamarans feature accommodations for extended cruising periods.
  • Cruising Sailboat – Cruising sailboats average 16 to 50+ feet in length. Most cruising sailboats are designed with cabins for extended cruising.
  • Daysailer – As the name suggests, daysailer vessels are meant to be used during the day, and are the common sailboat choice for new boaters. Ranging from 14 to 20 feet in length, these boats are modestly sized and have enough room to seat about four passengers.
  • Motorsailer – Motorsailers use inboard engines to cruise for long periods of time. They are quite large in comparison to other types of sailboats, starting at 35 feet in length; this is due to its high number of luxury accommodations. However, due to its size and weight, this type of vessel is not ideal for high sailing speeds.
  • Racer-Cruiser – The racer-cruiser sailboat is a combination of the cruising sailboat with equipment designed for competitive racing. The average length starts at 25 feet.
  • Racing Sailboats – Racing sailboats are nearly similar to cruising boats, but are built lighter for speed. They are typically 20 to 70+ feet in length.
  • Sailing Dinghies – These smaller boats are usually under 15 feet in length, and are built to seat one to two people. They are often used for competitive racing, but are a great sailboat option for anyone new to boating.

(Source: Boat U.S. )

Popular Sailboat Brands

There is a wide variety of common sailboat brands, including:

  • Hallberg-Rassy
  • Amel Yachts
  • Oyster Yachts
  • Hinckley Yachts
  • Sparkman & Stephens
  • Baltic Yachts

Pros of Sailboats

  • Sailboats give you the opportunity to improve your physical health with the amount of movement and strength involved.
  • Sailboats are fuel-efficient due to their smaller engines and reliance on wind power. They are also more friendly to the environment as a result.
  • Sailboats have a tendency to have a longer lifespan compared to motorboats such as trawlers.  
  • Ideal for individual sea-farers or smaller groups.
  • They allow an unlimited potential for travel; you do not have to be restricted to where and how far you can go based on how much fuel you have in a tank.
  • Sailboats give owners a sense of adventure and satisfaction by having full control of how you navigate the waters.
  • Being without a motor most of the time means you can sail with peace and quiet.

Cons of Sailboats

  • The costs of maintaining a sailboat increase with its age, and in general, they require more routine maintenance compared to other vessels.
  • Sailboats do not offer a lot of speed compared to engine-based vessels like trawlers. On average, they may reach a max speed of 7 knots (13 km/h).
  • Some sailboats can lack the space needed to hold a large number of passengers.
  • Because sailboats mostly have to rely on wind to move about, optimal sailing can only occur if the weather is favorable enough.
  • There is a high learning curve for first-time sailboat owners.
  • Due to the amount of equipment on the decks of sailboats, there is often not enough room for shade for passengers. This is unfavorable for many who wish to go sailing during the summer months.
  • Sailboat hulls usually sit lower in the water compared to other types of water vessels, meaning that you may often not be able to sail in shallow waters or even get too close to any beach areas when docking.

Understanding Trawlers

A trawler is a distinct type of powerboat, designed for cruising across large bodies of water. They often have features such as a displacement hull and fuel-efficient engines, ideal for smooth maneuvering through water without using too much fuel or exhausting a lot of horsepower. Trawlers also usually have a living area below deck for seafarers wanting to stay aboard for long stretches of time.

Types of Trawlers

There are two main types of trawler: fishing trawlers and trawler yachts. *

  • Fishing Trawler – Fishing trawlers are the most commonly known type of trawler. They are mainly designed to help drag large fishing nets through the water for fishermen.
  • Trawler Yachts – Also referred to as the recreational trawler or cruising trawler, trawler yachts are unlike the fishing variety in that they are built for comfort and luxury. They offer staterooms and other fine amenities for its passengers.

*A fact worth mentioning is that during the World Wars, there once were Naval Trawlers, which were more so designed to launch underwater missiles and mines toward sea bound enemies. Of course, this type of trawler has no longer been common since that time period, although a few lingering historical vessels remain.

(Source: Marine Insight )

How Do Trawlers Work?

Trawlers work just a little bit differently, depending on the type. Fishing trawlers tow at slower speeds with their built-in motor, usually to accommodate the casting and dragging of fishing nets (also known as trawls, hence the origin of the trawler name) throughout fishing waters.

The fishing trawler relative, the trawler yacht (recreational trawler), on the other hand, can run at double the speed–cruising between 7-9 knots (13-17 km/hr), with a maximum speed of 12 knots (22 km/hr).

The few similarities the two types of trawlers share are the hull forms and propulsion.

Because trawlers often resemble small sized homes with the number of luxury amenities they offer, it is often recommended to maintain them similarly to how you would a home. Some things that need regular upkeep include plumbing, electrical systems, and the boat’s HVAC system.

Popular Trawler Brands

There are over 70 trawler manufacturers in the United States, with some of the more popular brands including:

  • Nordic Tugs
  • Cutwater Boats
  • Ranger Tugs
  • Marlow-Pilot
  • Sabre Yachts

Pros of Trawlers

  • Trawlers are great for long-distance or overnight cruising.
  • Trawlers offer a good fuel economy compared to other types of powerboats.
  • They are an ideal boat type for fishermen or fishing hobbyists.
  • They make a good boat choice for those interested in navigating around bays or wide-open or large bodies of water.
  • Trawlers offer a lot more speed compared to sailboats. They can reach max speeds of 12 knots (22 km/hr).
  • They often have plenty of room to hold multiple passengers.
  • Trawlers also have more amenities compared to sailboats, perfect for long days of travel and to keep passengers in comfort.
  • Because they rely on engine power rather than wind power, trawlers can be used no matter the weather.
  • There is not a high learning curve when it comes to operating trawlers.

Cons of Trawlers

  • Because trawlers are often used extensively and continually, they may have higher maintenance costs compared to other types of boats.
  • Although trawlers are made to be fuel-efficient, the cost of keeping their tanks full can add up with fluctuating, unpredictable gas prices.
  • With an onboard engine comes a costly repair fee if it were to break down, just like any other motorized vehicle.
  • In addition, with an engine in a trawler, you are inviting unwanted noise as you travel.

Similarities Between Sailboats & Trawlers

So far, we have discussed some of the key differences between sailboats and trawlers, but what about similarities? Besides both being common types of water vessels, they often share the following characteristics:

  • Use & Purpose – Both sailboats and trawlers can be used for the same type of water activities, from fishing, to day and night cruising. It is important to keep in mind that no matter what type of boat you decide to invest in, it should fit what you intend to do with it. 
  • Maintenance – The two types of vessels both require regular maintenance that should increase and correlate with how often you use them. For example, try to perform routine cleanings, engine and/or sail checkups, and regular equipment inspections. 
  • Fuel-Efficient – Sailboats rely on wind to guide them, eliminating the need for fuel at all. In the cases where a sailboat does feature an engine, the engine is usually quite small, still making the boat quite fuel-efficient. Trawlers, on the other hand, use small, fuel-efficient engines to keep them going across wide bodies of water for hours to days at a time. 
  • Hull Type – Many trawlers, and even quite a few sailboats, have displacement hulls, which are designed to help navigate through the water smoothly and efficiently. They are usually rounded at the bottom, and form a teardrop shape from the boat’s bow to stern.

Should You Use a Sailboat or Trawler?

If you are planning on taking an extended trip or vacation out on the water, a trawler boat may be the better option for you. Trawlers are often designed to have private staterooms, a kitchen (galley), and a living room (saloon), allowing you all of the comforts of home on your sea vessel. Trawlers are also fuel-efficient with their small engines, large fuel capacity, and fair cruising speeds, making a long journey across the water worth taking in these vessels!

A trawler boat may also be a better option for fishermen, specifically the fishing trawler type. Its onboard winches and pulley system allows you to cast large fishing nets into the water and pull along as you slowly tow across fishing grounds.

On the other hand, if you are more interested in day-sailing or shorter trips near the dock, a sailboat may be the better fit. Because sailing requires more time and energy, it is usually only for those who are more than willing to learn the craft and genuinely enjoy being more hands-on on the water.

In conclusion, both sailboats and trawlers make excellent sea-faring vessels for boaters of all types; the best vessel for you will simply depend on what exactly you are looking for in your boat. If you are looking for ultimate relaxation or to fish, a trawler boat is what you need. But, if you find excitement in navigating the waters with your own hands and being one with the water around you, a sailboat can provide exactly that experience.

I am the owner of sailoradvice. I live in Birmingham, UK and love to sail with my wife and three boys throughout the year.

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Blue Turtle Cruising

Differences living aboard a trawler vs. a sailboat

It’s been roughly a little over a month of living aboard our new (to us) sailboat. So, I’ve decided to put together a few initial thoughts on the differences of living aboard a sailboat vs. a trawler. We spent 9 years living aboard Blue Turtle, our 40’ trawler and have recently bought and moved aboard a 44’ CSY sailboat. The boats are roughly the same size (within 4 feet) but there are some very defining differences straight off the bat. First of all, these differences are not necessarily bad or good, just different. 

As you know, there are many different styles of trawlers so my comparison is based on the 40’ DeFever Passagemaker. To get an idea of our trawler layout you can  view a pictorial tour of our trawler here . Sailboats also run the gamut in size, space and layout. Our sailboat is a 44’ CSY center (or mid) cockpit. Below are my initial thoughts (and my own personal opinions) on living aboard a sailboat vs. a trawler.  Differences of cruising and handling will come later once we have had significant experience cruising our new Blue Turtle {sailboat}.

Our sailboat is actually 4’ longer than the trawler but it’s interior actually seems smaller.  The trawler had more boxy, wide open interior space which made it seem bigger. Our sailboat actually has 2 separate cabins that require us to walkover the cockpit to get to each one (this is very specific the the make/model boat we have). Its interior space is divided up more with built-in storage and a large fold-up table. The aft cabin, which is the master stateroom and head, is quite small which affords us to have a large cockpit area in between. One area I didn’t lose any space was the galley. It’s roughly the same size as the trawler but with more storage (more on that in the next item).

Engine room space is another area we lack on the sailboat. I think Randy was a bit spoiled on the trawler with just a single engine and all that room to move around it.

difference trawler and yacht

The trawler may win the space category, but it’s the sailboat for the win in the storage category. Our sailboat doesn’t have all that extra open space like a trawler, but it certainly makes the most use of the space it has. In the galley, my cabinet space was tiny on the trawler. I had very little room for dishes, pots and pans and food. On the sailboat, I actually have a few large areas still unoccupied (which is wonderful since we will need that space for provisioning food for long trips).  

On the trawler we did have more outside storage areas on the decks with 2 large dock boxes and under bench seating storage on the bridge. We used this space to store Randy’s tools and spare parts. On the sailboat, we lack that kind of deck storage. We do have a small dock box on the aft deck, but other than that, it left us nowhere to put tools and parts. Add to the fact that the previous owner loaded us up with enough spare parts to support a small West Marine, we had to find storage inside the main cabin for all of everything. Thankfully, our sailboat utilizes the interior space more efficiently than the trawler and we have a ton of space under and behind settee cushions for parts and tools.  

There’s no denying that our trawler had many creature comforts. Of course we had 9 years to tweak and modified things to make her comfortable for us. We  removed the built-in bench seating  and added a recliner sofa. With the recliner sofa, a large (for a boat) 36” flat screen TV and surround sound soundbar, we had our own personal theater. Space was abundant so we were definitely comfortable.  

difference trawler and yacht

The sailboat does not have room for a large TV or really a great comfortable spot to view it from. It does have a very cozy aft master stateroom much like our trawler. We recently custom cut a memory foam mattress for the aft berth which has been wonderful. It came with a small TV/DVD combo and with our Amazon firestick we’re able to stream movies. This is the most comfy space on our new boat.

Obviously, with more open space you have more options for adding creature comforts and I think the trawler wins in this category.

difference trawler and yacht

Outdoor livability

Our trawler had large, wide-open decks. It was great having that large aft deck to spread out all of our dive gear when we cruised to the  Keys  and  Dry Tortugas  and the large flybridge was great for viewing sunsets with friends and having family gatherings. One thing I didn’t like about the outdoor space on our trawler was how it wasn’t easily accessed from the inside cabin. To go outside, we had to shimmy down a narrow walkway to get to the back decks and bridge. This was really only a problem when needing to carry the dog, beverages, food, etc. around the back of the trawler to hang outside.

For a sailboat, we have nice large decks to walk on as well. We also have a very large cockpit which literally divides our 2 cabins. It’s a great comfortable outside space that’s easily accessible from either cabin which makes it more likely for us to spend time there.

difference trawler and yacht

Boarding the boat

Getting on and off the boat is varies from trawler to sailboat. With both boats we use a portable fiberglass step that helps us board the boat from the dock. On the trawler, all it took was a single step from the fiberglass steps and you were on the boat. Boarding the sailboat is a little more difficult. Because we have rigging lines that run down the sides of the boat we have to be careful to step over them when getting on the boat. Then, to get to the cabins we have to duck under the cockpit bimini, step onto the seat and and into the cockpit. Thankfully, Randy and I are in good shape and it doesn’t effect us too much but it does make it harder to board with groceries and other items you want to carry onto the boat.

difference trawler and yacht

Other differences we’ve noticed

In our first week living on the sailboat and moving our stuff onto it, Randy and I both agreed that living on a sailboat is harder. This probably had to do with the fact that it was 90 degrees outside, we were moving large dock carts full of our stuff onto the boat and we had the air conditioning on so the main cabin was closed. Climbing onto the boat (stepping over the lines and ducking into the cockpit) with arms full and then having to open 3 separate doors/hatches to get inside the salon proved to be a bit more cumbersome than it would’ve been on the trawler. We also had to get used to less power on board. On the trawler we used 50 amps, on the sailboat we only have 30 amps. Trying to run an underpowered AC with anything else was a challenge. Seems like it would be worse to move onto the sailboat after the ease of the trawler, but what we realized was that this sailboat isn’t meant to be stuck on a dock. It was built for cruising and everything it may lack compared to the trawler, it more than makes up for it in cruising capability. Thankfully, we plan to do a lot of cruising in the future.  And now that temperatures have finally dropped below scorching, our power and AC issues have subsided and we are beginning to fully enjoy our new boat. 

Tula’s Endless Summer has a great  sailboat vs. trawler comparison on Youtube  that brings up other good points. Be sure to check it out.

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Taking up summer residence in Delaware City

2 thoughts on “Differences living aboard a trawler vs. a sailboat”

I don’t own a trawler yet, but have been looking into them for some time. I did own a sailboat for 12 years and put 35,000 nautical miles on it, so I know about sailing. Here are some things you didn’t mention. Cost to move. If you are on a trawler and want to move it will cost you. Three gallons, or $15 per hour. On the other hand sailboats cost very little, I sailed from San Diego to la paz Mexico and only burned 20 gallons, about 1300 miles. Trawlers have inadequate anchor gear. My sailboat weighed 12,000 lbs and had a 35 lb anchor with three eighths chain. I have seen trawlers that weigh 25,000 lbs with the same gear, way to small. And the windage on a trawler is huge. But then I rarely see them anchored out. Passages with a sailboat are very uncomfortable a lot of the time. You need wind to sail and wind causes waves so you will be looking for the opposite in weather over a trawler. Sailboats to me are for long passages and even crossing oceans. Trawlers are better along the coast. Each has it’s advantages and failings. Good luck to you in the future.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comment. I agree with some of what you’ve mentioned. When I wrote this post it was more about differences living aboard not necessarily cruising. Because of the space, trawlers are definitely more comfortable (unless you have a catamaran). The reason we traded our trawler for a sailboat was because we planned and are now cruising full time and we wanted the option of sailing to save on fuel. With that said, on our trip to the Chesapeake Bay this summer we cruised the ICW most of the time due to lack of wind. We spent almost as much on fuel as we would have in our single engine trawler. We are hoping to be able to sail more when we head north again this spring. For full-time cruising (no home port and little marina stays) the sailboat is the best choice. Eventually, we plan to go back to a trawler because they are so much more comfortable than sailboats for coastal cruising. Also, not all trawlers have inadequate tackle. We had alot more anchor for our vessel when we had the trawler and we anchored out a lot. We used to joke about the sailboats that would come in and anchor next to us with tiny anchors and only rode (no chain). We’ve seen many sailboats drag in Dry Tortugas with inadequate ground tackle. We upgraded our anchor on our 44′ sailboat to a 73lb Rocna. We see a lot of trawlers and power boats anchor near us with no issues. It really comes down to the experience of the captain, crew and confidence they have. Obviously if they don’t anchor out much and end up dragging, they will be more comfortable in marinas. You are right that each has it’s advantages and failings.

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difference trawler and yacht

Catamarans vs. Trawlers: The Differences Explained

difference trawler and yacht

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Catamarans and trawlers are two vessels ideal for your sailing adventure. But while they are both great boats, they have different characteristics and therefore are more or less suited for specific tasks. So what are the differences between the two, and which one should you opt for?

Catamarans are double-hulled yachts that come in both sail and power editions (two diesel engines). Trawlers are single-hulled displacement boats powered by one diesel engine. Trawlers have better loading capabilities but cats are faster and more stable.

For anyone not very familiar with boats or sailing, it can be challenging to decide on the best-suited boat for your sailing needs. Fortunately, in this article, we explore the differences between catamarans and trawlers as well their pros and cons. Stick around to get all the information you need to choose your ideal sailing companion.  

difference trawler and yacht

What Are Catamarans?

Catamarans are sailing vessels with double hulls and a deck in between (known as the bridgedeck ) connecting the two hulls. These sail or engine-powered boats are quite popular with leisure and sport boaters because of their elegant style, sleek designs, superb performance, versatility, and comfort.

Catamarans come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiniest beach cats you can lift with a friend or giant 70ft luxury ships worth millions of dollars.

These boats date back to the early centuries. They started off as simple fishing rafts made from bound tree trunks and were favored vessels throughout Polynesia and Micronesia. The modern catamaran is a modification of this unique, ancient design. By the 20th century, catamarans were full-fledged yachts, competing in races against mono-hulled boats. 

Catamarans: The Pros

Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of catamaran boats.

Catamarans Deliver a Superb Performance

Catamarans are pretty fast. This is because their water length is double that of traditional monohulls. They are also light in weight since they lack lead keels – which typically weigh hundreds of kilograms. Cruising cats average around 10 knots (18.52km/hr or 18,520m/hr) with top speeds of about 15 knots (27.7km/hr or 27,700m/hr). 

How fast can a catamaran sail?

While the structural design of most charter catamarans tends to focus more on space than speed, modern performance catamarans are quite the opposite. The latter can cruise 25 – 50% faster than similar-sized monohulls.

Their excellent performance is one of the main reasons why these boats are so appealing. Still, heavy loads tend to weigh them down. Thus, an overloaded cat will be much slower.

difference trawler and yacht

Catamarans Are Very Stable

Catamarans are stable flat platforms both offshore and at anchor. A cat’s stability comes from its wide beam since, unlike a monohull, it doesn’t have a ballasted keel. The cat’s flat plane and natural stability make it highly suitable for a family looking to enjoy their holidays in maximum comfort. It is also ideal for scuba diving holidays since divers can gear up, enter or exit from the water with ease. 

Additionally, by minimizing the level of wave-induced motion, the twin hulls boost the catamaran’s balance and stability. What this means is that you are less likely to suffer motion sickness on board a cat.

Motion sickness on a cat?

difference trawler and yacht

Catamarans Have Lots of Space

Catamarans are spacious boats. The space between the two hulls provides ample living room to fit a dining area, lounge, and a spacious kitchen for preparing your meals. The yacht’s back and front regions also offer additional lounging areas. With the varied relaxation areas, you get lots of privacy onboard a catamaran.

Double hulls translate to additional privacy since the cabins are separate. Furthermore, each hull typically comes with its own separate entrance. This feature makes catamarans well-suited for couples, families, or groups of friends. They also find the ample deck space and overall comfort quite appealing.

Larger families will also find a catamaran very convenient. While the cabins’ size varies depending on the catamaran model, they are generally spacious and comfortable.  

What’s the perfect boat layout for you?

Catamarans Are Comfortable

Catamarans do not heel. Their wide stance on the water reduces heeling, wave-induced motion, and may also contribute to reduced wakes. What this means is that cats are pretty comfortable both while underway and at anchor. You can take a stroll on deck with ease and enjoy a drink without worrying about spilling its contents on yourself. 

These features make cats ideal for families with young ones or elderly grandparents who might not be too steady on their feet.

difference trawler and yacht

Catamarans Are Easy To Handle

Balanced hulls and twin engines make catamaran vessels significantly easier to operate than monohull yachts. Manoeuvering into narrow marinas becomes simpler and more straightforward too. This fluid maneuverability allows those with sailing experience to sail a catamaran single-handedly.

Is sailing a catamaran hard?

difference trawler and yacht

Catamarans Can Get Into Shallow Waters

When compared to monohulls, catamaran vessels have lesser volume, lighter displacement, and shallower draft. With less of the boat below the water, it means that you can pull the boat into shallow water without worry. This enables you to anchor much closer to the shore, where it’s safer, better protected, and more comfortable for anchoring.

Most catamarans can even go all up unto the beach !

Catamarans Use Less Fuel

A catamaran’s twin-hull design causes it to have low hydrodynamic resistance. As a result, the boats tend to use less fuel because they don’t require much sail or motor power to get them moving forward. This makes catamarans more economical to run. 

Catamaran fuel efficiency

Catamarans Are Extremely Safe

It’s almost impossible for a catamaran to sink. The thing is, modern cruising catamarans consist of lightweight builds of foam construction, making the boats virtually unsinkable. This feature alone accords any sailor a high level of offshore safety, not to mention peace of mind. 

When do catamarans capsize?

Catamarans: The Cons

Catamarans are great vessels, but they have their downsides. Let’s have a look at a couple of them. 

Catamarans Are Expensive

Buying or chartering a catamaran is expensive. At times, the rates could go up by more than double the cost of similar-sized yachts. However, cats provide great value for money due to their unrivaled comfort, space, and flexibility. As such, when going for a sailing holiday, it makes great economic sense to opt for a catamaran.  

Cats are also expensive to maintain. Two engines, two hulls, two rudders, multiple sails, and rigging translate to high maintenance and repair costs as there’s always something that needs fixing.  

Why are catamarans so expensive ?

Catamarans Have High Marina Fees

Due to their great width, the rates charged in most marinas often go as high as 150% more than those for sailboats of a similar length. It’s also more challenging to find space in the marinas since cats require double spaces – try finding 2 empty slips right next to each other in a crowded marina. Worse still, some docks are not able to accommodate large-sized catamarans.

Note that catamarans are highly popular vessels, hence marina slots are usually limited due to the high demand. So, in the face of this serious challenge with space availability, it’s advisable to book the marina long before you come. 

Catamarans Don’t Sail Upwind As Well

Catamarans find it difficult to sail too close to the wind. And some don’t point to the wind as well as monohulls, so they sail with a larger angle. Fortunately, most cats can sail pretty fast when on a reach. Therefore if you happen to fall a couple of degrees off, you can catch up with a monohull if you speed up. This is despite having to cover more ground. 

How to sail a catamaran upwind

difference trawler and yacht

What Are Trawlers?

Trawlers are unique powerboats built for long-range leisurely cruising. They are also known as cruising or recreational trawlers . Many boaters live aboard these vessels for a long time as they move from one port to another. Trawlers originated from vessels used as commercial fishing trawlers; hence fishing trawlers and trawler yachts form the main types of trawler boats.

Fishing trawlers are the most common kind of trawlers. Built for fishing, they are popular with fishermen who use them to drag huge trawls (fishing nets) through the waters, capturing fish. However, they run at slow speeds to accommodate these fishing nets dragging across the water.  

Recreational trawlers appeal to sailors who enjoy going on long-distance cruises but at a much-reduced pace. During winter, many retirees sail south down the intercoastal waterway and head back for the summer. And since speed is not the focus here, trawlers cruise at a slow and leisurely pace to their regional or worldwide destination. 

Also, trawlers are versatile boats suitable for a wide range of activities such as day or night cruising, offshore boating, fishing, and sailing.

Cruising trawlers have well-laid out private staterooms, full galleys, and spacious saloons. These boats typically range between 35 and 60 feet (11 and 18 m), and most come with a single-engine, a displacement hull, and a raised pilothouse or deckhouse. However, it’s possible to find trawlers that sport two engines.

Trawlers: The Pros

Here are some benefits of using trawlers :

difference trawler and yacht

Trawlers Are Comfortable

Recreational trawlers are built for a comfortable and luxurious life on board. To this effect, they come equipped with fine staterooms and other creature comforts. The boats are super comfortable during calm conditions though they tend to roll from side to side in choppy seas. 

Trawlers Have Big Living Spaces

Trawlers make superb family yachts and are excellent for entertaining guests. Below deck, they play host to large living areas that include a pilothouse, accommodation, a freezer hold, and big open galleys with ample headroom. The large windows brighten the interior while making it easy for parents to keep an eye on the kids while they play. 

The boats also have lots of counter space, which means preparing meals for your family and friends is super easy. On the deck, the enormous flybridge offers unobstructed views and additional seating. 

Due to their massive size, trawlers can comfortably fit 2 to 8 people for several days. What’s more, they can even make a permanent home.

Trawlers Have Considerable Storage Space 

There’s no need to pack light on board a trawler boat since the available storage space is more than adequate. In addition to the standard closets, cabinets, and under-seat storage areas, trawlers also come with an enormous engine room that’s great for storing your spare parts. 

There’s also extra room to store your stuff in the bow locker, beneath the top deck seats, and underneath the steering station.  

Trawlers Have Two Helm Stations

Trawlers boast two helm stations: one in the interior and the other placed on the outside. The flybridge presents a favorable steering location, but during foul weather, you have the option of steering the boat from inside, away from the elements. The flybridge also enables you to catch spectacular views of the water when underway.

Trawlers Have Strong Weight Carrying Abilities

Unlike catamarans, which are pretty sensitive to weight, trawlers are designed to handle lots of weight. You can thus load up your boat without worrying about dampening its performance. In fact, you can even tow a large dinghy with trawlers.

difference trawler and yacht

Trawlers Are Economical

Because trawlers have a large fuel capacity and a small, fuel-efficient engine, they can cruise for long distances without any need for refueling. This feature, along with the slower speeds of a displacement hull, allows these vessels to have greater range and fuel economy than other powerboats. 

difference trawler and yacht

Trawlers Are Easy To Operate

Trawlers contain displacement hulls designed to enable them to navigate smoothly and efficiently through the seawater. The hulls have a rounded bottom while the boat’s bow and stern form a teardrop shape. The hull design affects the boat’s capability, and a ballasted full-displacement hull is best suited for rough waters. But for faster cruising, a trawler with a semi-displacement hull is the better choice.

A user-friendly learning curve makes the trawler an ideal choice for navigating bay areas and large water bodies. And since the boats rely on engine power, you can run them in any weather. Besides, if you are worried about sailing during the night, you need not be since with a trawler, you can sail safely from the inside helm.

Another exciting feature is the trawler’s shallow draft which allows you to fit your boat into marina slips with ease. It also means easy access to remote anchorages. 

Trawlers: The Cons

Trawlers have their disadvantages too. Let’s take a look.

Trawlers Are Not That Fast

Unlike catamarans, trawlers do not have incredible speeds. Instead, they sail slowly – but steadily. The boats deliver cruising speeds ranging between 7 and 9 knots (13 to 17km/hr or 13,000 to 17,000m/hr) but can attain maximum speeds of up to 12 knots (22km/hr or 22,000m/hr). As such, you always need to pay attention to the weather forecast since your trawler might not be able to outrun a storm. 

Again, a trawler designed with a full-displacement hull offers the stability required to combat rough seas, but at the expense of speed. Therefore, such trawlers cruise rather slowly.

Trawlers Have High Maintenance Costs

Cruising trawlers are like tiny homes, and given their numerous luxurious amenities, it is best to maintain them the same way you’d maintain your home. This means ensuring regular upkeep for the boat’s plumbing and electrical systems as well as the HVAC system. 

Keeping a trawler’s tanks full can be a significant expense too due to fluctuating and unpredictable gas prices. Furthermore, extensive and continuous use makes trawlers prone to much higher repair and maintenance fees than other vessels.

Trawlers Heel in Choppy Waters

Unlike catamarans, which do not heel, trawlers tend to roll from one side to the other quite a bit. This happens both while underway and at anchor. This can be pretty uncomfortable, especially when you are trying to get a good night’s rest. It can also make it more challenging to control the boat in rough weather.

Trawler engines can get a little noisy, too, which can make your nights a little uncomfortable as well.

Which One Should You Go For?

Should you go for a catamaran or a trawler? There is no simple way to answer this question as both are excellent sea-faring vessels capable of delivering a satisfactory cruising adventure. Moreover, the right boat choice for you will depend on the intended use as well as your personal preference. 

For instance, if you are planning to go on long-distance voyages that include ocean crossings, then the obvious choice would be a catamaran. However, if you have no plans to cross major oceans but still want to give your big family a long cruising vacation – or an overnight trip – then a trawler would be your best bet.  

Final Words

Catamarans make ideal yachts for avid sailors and families interested in a relaxing and comfortable cruising vacation. Their greatest appeal comes from the generous spacing, stability, and comfy living quarters of these luxurious yachts.  

On the other hand, trawlers are incredibly roomy, stable, and offer you all your usual home comforts, making them well-suited for an extended vacation or trip. Their large fuel capacity and fair cruising speeds also make them ideal for long-distance cruising.

While both boats have their pros and cons, going for either one will most likely depend on your budget, your cruising plans, or your personal preference.

Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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Chandlery Yacht Sales Santa Barbara

What is a Trawler

what is a trawler

What is a Trawler?

Traditionally, trawlers were known as a working man’s boat. They had deep hulls for icing down/storing fish and got their name from what they did… drag a trawl net to catch fish. (AKA trawling).

Many of today’s pleasure trawlers have full displacement hulls with weighted keels while some have moved to a semi-displacement hull type.

Full displacement designs are known to move through the water, rather than on top of it, and are considered very seaworthy and rather slow. Semi-displacement hulls also ride low in the water yet are able to plane versus push through the water.

The common theme of the trawler is its look. They have a heft to them, ride deep in the water and often have hoists for a tender. What makes a trawler a popular choice for many boating enthusiasts?

what is a trawler santa barbara

  • Stable at sea.
  • Range to reach remote anchorages.
  • Lots of living room and accommodations.
  • Good to great fuel economy.
  • Ability to carry and launch a tender. (Not all craft can accommodate this)
  • Room to serve as a live-aboard vessel.
  • Walk-around Decks.
  • Larger engine rooms.

We’ve found that many trawler owners are seasoned powerboat owners who love the idea of long-distance cruising with comfort. Many boats have larger than normal staterooms and under-decks living area. It is not uncommon to find full-size refrigerators or washer and dryers.

Let’s read what a couple trawler owners say about their boats.

What is the trawler lifestyle? Quite simply, it is the sailors cruising lifestyle in a power boat. What is the definition of a trawler? It is a power vessel that accommodates the cruising lifestyle. What a trawler isn’t is a fast powerboat, especially those with full-displacement hulls. They are designed for cruising, often at 8-10 knots.

Some of the semi-displacement hulls like Beneteau’s Swift Trawlers double that speed or more. That said, most trawlers are more tortoise than hare as they travel from port to port.

What are some of the more popular trawlers on the Central Coast?

There are more than 25 manufactures of trawlers. Some, like Nordhavn, stick to the classic style while others are utilizing new building practices to get the needed space from a semi-displacement hull with twin powerplants. This shift has created quite a stir from traditionalists who feel a real trawler has a full displacement hull, and typically one engine.

what is a trawler grand banks

Since 1956, Grand Banks has been building yachts. They are credited with introducing cruising Trawlers to the yacht world back in the early 1960’s with the introduction of the Chantyman and are best known for the ever popular GB42. Grand Banks trawlers, built in Singapore, have changed over the years offering semi-displacement hull options and fine workmanship. One tell-tale of a Grand Banks is the use of exterior teak. While this adds cosmetic heritage to the boats, it also comes with brightwork maintenance.

Kenny Kieding, the owner of The Chandlery Yacht Sales in Santa Barbara, has a soft spot for these classic boats. Perhaps it is the fact Grand Banks is a legacy builder with 60+ years in the business and The Chandlery recently celebrated 70 years of service on the Central Coast. Legacy companies are a rare and wonderful thing.

what is a trawler beneteau swift

Beneteau has a strong following for both their sail and powerboat lines. The Swift Trawler blends the engineering of both to create what boat owners call “wonderful.” Their modern boatbuilding capabilities have allowed Beneteau to create a semi-displacement trawler with both speed (25-knot max) and spaciousness.

Like with everything Beneteau does, attention to detail is paramount. This could explain why many seasoned yacht owners choose the Swift. There are so many niceties in their design that add comfort to long distance cruising and the live-aboard lifestyle.

what is a trawler kadey krogen

Kadey Krogen, out of Florida, is another popular trawler manufacturer. They are considered a classic style builder who believes their full displacement hulls are the best in the business. Since they’ve been engineering their patented Pure Displacement Hulls (PHD) for over 40 years they may have a point.

Kadey Krogen is known for building a very stable boat with timeless design features. Much of this is obvious when you step aboard one of their richly appointed craft. The salon has a home-like feel often lost aboard many boats. This might explain the cult-like following they enjoy.

what is a trawler nordhaven

Any list of Trawlers has to include Nordhavn. Nordhavn is based out of Dana Point California and builds their yachts in Taiwan. If you ask a seasoned yachtsman what the name Nordavn signifies, most will say endurance. Their boats are built to cross oceans and have done so for decades. They are also known for being a technically well-engineered craft with design ideas not seen on many of their competitor’s boats.

what is a trawler selene

Built by Jet Tern Marine in China, the Selene line of trawlers is vast with offerings in 42’, 45’, 49’, 54’, 60’, 62’ 66’, 78’ and 92’ sizes. Selene’s slogan is Grace and Strength and her name comes from the Greek goddess of the moon. They are known to come with more standard equipment than most of their competitors including bow and stern thrusters. As an all fiberglass boat, maintenance may be a bit easier too.

What is a Trawler – Conclusions

Purchasing a cruising trawler is not for everyone, yet for many, it is a perfect choice. If comfort, storage, and low fuel costs matter more than speed, you just may find them the perfect boat.

Naturally, we did not cover all the trawlers available on the new or resale market. It would have made for a very long article. Others such as Nordic Tug, Defever, Tollycraft, Albin and more are found in marinas up and down the west coast.

Kenny is quite knowledgeable about trawlers and is here to help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and needs. Give him a call 805-965-4538.

What Is A Trawler – Let’s Look at Some Videos

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Boating Beast

A Complete Guide to Liveaboard Trawlers: All You Need to Know

John Sampson

Are you thinking about spending a few days at sea on a boating adventure? Living out on the ocean on a dive trip or an extended deep-sea fishing journey is an experience you’ll never forget.

Some boats allow you to live permanently out on the water. Liveaboard trawlers are an example of a vessel equipped to spend days or weeks at sea without the need to return to land.

Trawlers also make popular liveaboard boats for marinas, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle, and the expense, of living in the city. Liveaboard trawlers suit everything from student accommodation in a marina to a research vessel for marine scientists.

The liveaboard trawler gives you all the conveniences of living in an apartment. Sure, you might not have the floor space you get with an apartment, but not everyone needs that in their life. Liveaboard trawlers provide you with a snug, comfortable living space.

This post unpacks everything you need to know about liveaboard trawlers.

What Are Liveaboard Trawlers?

Trawlers typically feature displacement hulls and wide beams, with single or twin outboard or inboard motors powering the boat . Trawlers are one of the more popular fishing boats , and they work well as liveaboard dive boats.

A liveaboard trawler is ideal for traveling long distances up and down the east or west coast or around the Great Loop. They make sturdy vessels for deep-sea conditions and can handle rough weather.

What Is the Layout of a Liveaboard Trawler?

The trawler layout comes in many designs and setups, and they are highly customizable if you’re buying a new model from a dealership. If you’re buying pre-owned, it pays to shop around, and you might find an owner with plenty of additional customizations to their boat.

The good news for buyers is that pre-owned boats don’t fetch any extra market value for the accessories and extras included in the vessel. So, there’s a chance you could find a fully-kitted boat at a great price on the secondary market.

Regardless of the layout, most trawlers come with the following design features.

Berths and Cabins

The large displacement hull of the trawler means that there is plenty of room for a large berth. The size of the berth depends largely on the length of the boat. Depending on the boat manufacturing brand and the layout, a 40-foot trawler may accommodate up to eight to six people.


The berth usually features four small living quarters with bunk beds or full-size queen beds. The range of finishes and fittings varies depending on the price of the boat and the manufacturing brand .

Most trawlers under 40-feet come with a center cockpit and aft cabin layout. You’ll find a standard-sized bedroom and queen size bed in the aft, separated from the other living quarters.

These berths are far more spacious and accommodative than v-berths, and the cabin with Pullman berth, typically in the bow of the boat, provides a standard size bed with enough room to sit up in bed.

Dining and Entertainment Salon

The salon is the lounge and dining area of the boat, and it’s where people hang out during the day. Salons vary widely in design, depending on the manufacturer.

Some features, such as a drop-leaf folding table in the salon center, might make no sense to the design, making it hard to walk around the table. Some plans also offer you better natural lighting than others.

Look at the positioning of the port hatches and lights to get an idea of the light you’ll get inside the salon. You don’t want to feel like you’re living in a cold basement. Most trawler designs offer better lighting in the salon compared to other styles of boats.

Many have panoramic windows and other features to bring in more natural light. However, the more glass on the boat, the higher the price tag.

If you’re out at sea for a few days, you’re going to need somewhere to cook your meals. The galley is a small kitchen in the boa, usually in an L-shape design. The design allows the chef to wedge themselves into the L to give them stability when cooking in rough weather conditions.

Look for features like double-sinks, plenty of counter space, burners, refrigerators, and electrical outlets. Don’t forget about the dedicated storage space for your dinnerware and cookware. If the stove features a propane burner, check to see that you have enough space to fit a 50lbs tank, at minimum.

Captains Cockpit

The captain’s cockpit sits high up on the trawler, overlooking the ocean, giving the driver a 360-degree view of the water. Most cockpits come sealed from the elements, with sides and walls. Some boats may have an open-back design to the cockpit, while others come with folding doors.

difference trawler and yacht

A few models come with an open cockpit design featuring waterproof consoles and a windshield. The issue with this design is that it’s not very weather-friendly. You’ll need to invest in a Bimini top for shade and rain protection when driving the boat.

If you’re regularly operating the vessel in cold and rainy conditions, we recommend going with a canvas bridge and full enclosure if you have the budget.

Storage Systems

Boats’ storage space comes at a premium, and the more you have, the better. The galley should feature cupboards for your plates and dry goods, the bedrooms should have closets and drawers for your clothes, and the captain’s area and salon should have enough storage to accommodate your fishing and dive gear.

Older boat models tend to have more storage space than newer designs. The cost of having a streamlined design with spacious living areas means that you have less storage space on modern models.

If you need extra storage space for your boat, consider purchasing dock boxes and using one of the cabins as a storage area.

The head, or the bathroom, differs between boats. The higher the price tag, the better the bathroom. Regardless of the price of the vessel, the head should include a shower, basin, and toilet.

Many boats don’t come with showers, but we recommend going for one with a shower if you can find it; it helps with rinsing the salt from your skin after a dive or swim.

The shower should connect to the water heater, and the boat should come with enough capacity for storing fresh water for a long trip at sea. The larger boats come with two heads on board.

Benefits of Liveaboard Trawlers

The liveaboard trawler offers you a unique on-the-water living experience compared to sailboats and other common watercraft choices for long trips at sea.

Here are the top advantages of buying a liveaboard trawler.

Wide Hulls and Roomy Interiors

As mentioned, the wide displacement hull of the boat means the trawler comes with plenty of generous space below the deck . You get bigger sleeping accommodations and better finishes and fittings than small boats.

Plenty of Headroom

The trawler comes with plenty of headroom, and you’ll find it easy to stand up straight in the bedrooms, kitchen, and salon. They are the ideal entertainment vessel, and they also have plenty of deck space for having a party in great weather.

Superior Stability

The hard chines of the trawler bring exceptional stability to the boat. As a result, there is less rocking effect than in other boat designs using rounded chines.

Shallow Draft

The trawler has a shallow draft, thanks to its displacement hull design. As a result, it’s the ideal choice for navigating through shallow waters where yachts and sailboats can’t go. It’s a great choice for waterways around the Florida Keys, where the water can get shallow fast.

Good Bridge Clearance

Most trawlers are bridge-friendly, and they can sail under without raising the bridge.

Drawbacks of Liveaboard Trawlers

Liveaboard trawlers have a few drawbacks compared to other liveaboard options on the market.

Slow Cruising Speeds

Trawlers are not performance vessels. Most of them reach speeds of between six to seven knots, and they don’t benefit from the wind.

Noisy Engines

The trawler’s engines are noisy, and they can detract from the experience on the vessel.

Trawlers are Thirsty

Trawlers have one of the highest fuel consumption rates of any boat design.

High Maintenance Requirements

The larger the trawler, the larger the maintenance bill.

Hard to Handle in Rough Weather Conditions

The displacement hull in the trawler makes it more suitable for calm weather conditions, and they tend to “slap” on the water in rough weather conditions. Sailboats and other designs will slice through the water.

What Is the Suggested Length for My Liveaboard Trawler?

If you’re looking at sizing your trawler, follow these guidelines.

  • 25-35 feet for singles.
  • 35-45 feet for couples.
  • 40+ feet for four or more people.

Take the Liveaboard Trawler for a Sea Test

We recommend downloading the Boatsetter app. This app is like the Airbnb of the boating industry, and you can rent a trawler directly from its owner. It’s a great way to see if you like the trawler layout and design before finalizing a purchase.

If you get out on the water and find that you don’t like the boat’s handling or the noisy engines , a test drive could end up saving you from making a big mistake. The reality is liveaboard trawlers are expensive boats, and you don’t want to spend all that money to end up with a vessel you don’t like.

Affordable Trawlers Under 40-Feet

Nordhavn 40.

This trawler is an excellent example of a 40 footer that’s a great choice for cruising. The Nordhavn is an established sea-faring brand with a reputation for high-quality builds and designs. It successfully completed a global circumnavigation and the Atlantic crossing.

Nordhavn N40 Trawler

The N40 is the shortest vessel in the Nordhavn range of ocean-crossing trawlers, and it comes with a real pedigree backing it. You get a full displacement hull design with a 900-gallon fuel capacity providing a range of up to 2,400 nautical miles per tank .

The boat features a buoyant bow design with a dry ride, and the forefoot in the bow design helps the boat cut through the water like a sailboat to avoid slap in choppy conditions. We like the Seakeeper gyro-stabilization system that minimizes rocking and rolling.

With the N40, you get an amazing vessel and one of the highest-quality trawler designs available.

Affordable Trawlers Over 40-Feet

Beneteau swift trawler 44.

The Beneteau “fast” trawler range, including the “Swift Trawler 44,” debuted back in 2011, and it’s one of the top-selling trawlers of the last decade.

You get twin Volvo Penta 300-HP diesel engines, providing a top speed of up to 23+ knots, which is far above the seven to eight knots you’re going to get with most other trawler models. The boat has one of the best cruising speeds in the market, and it comes with an elegant look.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 44

You’ll find plenty of room topside on the deck, and a spacious cockpit in the aft, loaded with teak trim. There’s a large foredeck on the boat ideal for dancing, fishing, or any other activity where you need plenty of room.

The cabin top and sun pad area feature a large flybridge deck and plenty of seating with storage available for an inflatable dinghy. Drop anchor and paddle to the shore of an island for some exploring. The boat’s interior features a two-stateroom design plan, with a master bedroom in the bow and guest accommodation in the aft.

It’s an amazing boat, but it comes with a heavy price tag. The base model starts at $500,000, and you could end up adding another $200,000 in accessories.

Wrapping Up – Get the Best Liveaboard Experience with a Trawler

Whether you’re going out on the ocean for a liveaboard dive trip, or you need the boat for a few days to go on a deep-sea fishing trip, the trawler is a great choice. This boat is a cruiser’s dream with plenty of space, luxury accommodations, and living quarters.

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John is an experienced journalist and veteran boater. He heads up the content team at BoatingBeast and aims to share his many years experience of the marine world with our readers.

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Trawler vs. Yacht — What's the Difference?

Trawler vs. Yacht — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Trawler and Yacht

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Understanding the different categories of boats

There are many types and names given to boats such as: Cuddy, Open Deck, Center Console, Express, Express Cruiser, Cruisers, Sport Cruiser, Opens, Cuddy, Sedan Bridge, Flybridge, Sport Bridge, Aft-Cabin, Sports Cruiser, Cockpit Motor Yacht, Motor Yacht, Motor Yacht Pilothouse, Motor Yacht, Megayacht, SuperYacht, Sport Fish, Fishing Boat, Sport Express Fish, Fishing Convertible, Skylounge, Trawler, Fast Trawler, House Boat

There are no strict definitions, but tendencies accepted by all. We have chosen some photos to illustrate what a boat in this category would resemble, but always remember that there are several variants and some boats can easily fit into several categories.

OK, let’s start …

Cuddy Cabin : boat less than 30 feet with a small cabin at the bow of the boat. This small cabin is furnished with a large cushion only and perhaps a porta-potti toilet. Everything is pretty rudimentary.


Open Deck : boat less than 40 feet with the bow section offering easy access to a sitting area. Generally, there is a space for a toilet on the passengers side by the windshield. Everything is designed to accommodate friends and family for a day excursion, where comes the name, Day Boat.


Center console : boat powered by outboard engines, the whole boat is easily accessible, meaning that it is easy to move about the boat with a central cockpit.  Often a toilet is incorporated in the cockpit and often has a fabric bimini or hard top roof. With a higher freeboard that most boats in this length, it is a very versatile boat, very popular in the south of the United States. The Boston Whaler or Everglades Rugulator are a perfect match to this category.


Express : boat with inboard engine (s) with a fairly large cockpit and a cabin that allows comfort. It usually offers the possibility of sleeping 4-6 people and the cabin has a toilet in a closed compartment.  A galley with a microwave, a hot plate and sometimes a dinette area. The options of air conditioning, , hot water and a generator for comfort at all times is also available in a Express model.   This category also uses names such as: EXPRESS CRUISER, CRUISER, SPORT CRUISERS, SPORT YACHT and among Europeans: OPEN and FEATURED. The Searay Sundancer 33 or 48 correspond to this description.


FLYBRIDGE :  boat that has a helm above the interior cabin accessible from the cockpit by stairs or ladder that allows an improved vision while navigating but especially adds additional living space for all on board. Depending on the configuration of the main deck, there are several possible variations … The Azimut 53, 55, 60, 62 or Searay L510 Fly, for example, correspond very well to this description.


Sedan Bridge :   offers easy access to the cockpit area without the need to climb stairs as the cockpit is almost at the same level as the boat’s aft platform. A Sport Bridge can also offer this easy access and basically both the Sedan Bridge and Sport Bridge fit in the flybridge category.


Aft-Cabin : it is also a flybridge but there is a stateroom located on the stern of the boat.  This boat will require you to climb a small ladder or stairs to get access to the cockpit area and then again more steps to gain access to the helm.  The engine is found in the central part of the boat, usually below the living room floor. The Carver 456 or Meridian 408 fits this description.


Cockpit Motor Yacht : it fits into the same description as the Aft-cabin except that there is an area at almost the same level as the aft platform to embark onto the boat, much like a sedan bridge, but there are stairs or a small ladder to access the cabins and the cockpit. The engines are still under the living room floor. The Meridian 459 perfectly matches this description or the Carver 564. These are of course flybridges also.


Motor Yacht:  is a flybridge first and foremost, but a Motor Yacht when the boat attains a certain length. Sometimes we add the abbreviation M / Y to other descriptions, such as AFT-CABIN M / Y. In summary, several manufacturers add the letters M / Y as soon as the boat has engines. Not a precise category but what is certain is that it is a boat with engines.


Pilothouse : think of the Carver 56 Voyager for example, it is primarily a flybridge but with a well arranged helm in a section separate from the rest of the boat. Sometimes we mention RPH, for Raise Pilot House, when the helm is completely separate but above all raised above the main deck. This helm is not on the flybridge itself. Several European manufacturers offer this configuration for the helm, such as Ferretti and Sunseeker.


Skylounge : this is primarily a flybridge with a helm located on the upper deck like all flybridges except that the cockpit will be completely enclosed from the outside elements, ie protected from the sun and / or rain. Often mentioned as a fully enclosed helm, very comfortable with the air conditioning/heat, seats, sofa for people accompanying the captain. It really is another environment on board the yacht, usually there is a full bar, TV, etc.


Yacht : here we are talking about a boat greater than 50 feet, rather luxurious. It is a Motor Yacht that is at the top of the range. Often the Azimut, Princess, Sunseeker, Sanlorenzo, Ferretti, Riva, bear this name. The new Searay L series also fits this description.


Megayacht :  it is customary to refer to a megayacht when the vessel is over 100 feet and less than 200 feet in length but like the other types of boats, there are no rules. Normally the boat would have at least 3 decks including a sundeck.  The lower deck for the bedrooms, the main deck for the living room, galley, cockpit or additional small lounge, an RPH (raised pilot house), an upper deck with an enclosed and comfortable area.  The sundeck on the top deck for sun and sometimes a spa.


Superyacht : these are custom-made yachts for a very wealthy client. The value easily exceeds 80 million USD and can reach and exceed 500 million USD. It measures at least 200 feet and up to 500 feet. They often have a very large swimming pool, a heliport, 4 to 5 decks. In short, very luxurious yacht with crews of 15 to 30 people. Normally there are anyway from 3 to 6 rooms for 12 guests.  Sleep quarters for the crew are separate and ratio with the length of the vessel.


Sport Fish : fishing boats in this category include several types of fishing boats and depends on length.  One can qualify a 20-foot boat a sport fish but generally they exceed 30 feet. They are well built boats, strong and robust as they can handle an uneasy sea. They have very powerful engines. They are also called Fishing Boat. The most prominent of this category, to name a few, are the brands Viking, Bertram and Hatteras. They always have a helm on the upper deck and a very distinctive appearance.


Express Sport Fish : these are fishing boats without a raised helm but may have a TUNA TOWER.


Convertible Fishing : again, this is a Fishing Boat but with a very luxurious interior in line with a luxury Cruiser and even sometimes more luxurious than a Motor Yacht. Usually the Convertible will have the upper deck completely enclosed for more comfort. The helm on the upper deck is then merged with a full lounge with refrigerator and of course a bar. A class A yacht.


Tuna tower :  is a helm at the top of a stainless steel tubing structure to provide excellent visibility inorder to spot the schools of fish in the distance.


Trawler : a boat designed for long periods of navigation. The engine room is particularly functional, the different systems are very visible and above all are easy to maintain. The functional aspect is the priority of the manufacturer. The helm is also a highlight. Usually, it is easy to move around outside the boat (the bulkwalks are wide). Normally there is one engine and the maximum speed hardly exceeds 10 to 12 kn.


Fast Trawler : is a Trawler but speed performance of the boat is superior, in fact, the speed can reach and exceed 20 kn. Often, there will be twin engines.


House Boat : a boat that allows a lifestyle that is similar to floating cottage. It is usually mounted on a structure similar to a pontoon. The main deck includes the helm, galley, staterooms and bathrooms and often there is a roof terrace. This is not a fast moving boat but does allow for lots of room for entertaining and family life.  Some houseboats can reach over 70 feet in length.


Lobster Boat : originally built as a fishing vessel on the northeastern coast of the United States with the stern open so as to allow, for example, to easily access fishing nets or cages.  The bow of the boat was designed to tackle big waves as fishermen rarely have the luxury to wait for a calm day. Today, Hinckly for example, produce this type of boat in a more luxurious format.

Hinckley Picnic boat in Maine

There are also many other terms as the nautical vocabulary is quite elaborate and especially very adaptable. The same boat can be labeled differently and left up to not only the experience of the sales person but the clientele that the manufacturer is aiming.

Do not hesitate to contact the brokers at Ita Yachts Canada for any questions at 514-521-1221, we are at your disposal.

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Florida News | Go inside research boat that studies…

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Florida news | rep. carolina amesty notarized document that teacher says he never signed | special report, florida news, florida news | go inside research boat that studies florida’s overheated corals.

The Coral Reef II is docked in Miami on March 13, 2024. The research team left that morning for Key Largo.(Tampa Bay Times)

While you might first notice the glossy super yachts or a fishing trawler on the Miami River, there’s also an 80-foot vessel packed not with partiers, but scientists, trying to protect the coral offshore.

Bridget Coughlin, the CEO of the Chicago-based Shedd Aquarium, said their research vessel named the Coral Reef II is docked in Miami because of the diversity of marine life in the area.

“We teach climate change through empathy with animals,” said Coughlin. “If you talk about how otters are starving, that empathy for that otter is going to catalyze you to act.”

The vessel can go out to sea for three weeks at a time and can travel as far south as the Dominican Republic. The researchers study a plethora of animals including queen conch, endangered rock iguanas, sharks and climate change’s impact on the coral reef. From March through October, the crew often works days that stretch from 7 a.m. to midnight.

How to come aboard the research vessel

The Coral Reef II also acts as a live-in laboratory for aspiring marine biologists. High school and college students can go on a weeks-long journey that includes snorkeling in crystal-clear water with Caribbean reef sharks and working side-by-side with scientists. Chuck Knapp, a 30-year employee of Shedd and the head of conservation on the vessel, said he got his start that way.

Rep. Carolina Amesty notarized document that teacher says he never signed

“I was originally a high school marine biology student back on the boat as a 17-year-old in the late ‘80s so it’s been a thrill of a lifetime to come back,” Knapp, who gave a tour of the vessel in the video said.

This summer, high schoolers will be taking a trip to the Bahamas to learn about how to protect dolphins, snorkel shipwrecks and observe firsthand from Shedd’s shark research biologist.

Conducting research on coral reefs bleaching

One of the most unique parts of the vessel is its live well system, which consists of large built-in tanks at the front of the boat filled with seawater.

These mini aquariums are a safe harbor for wildlife that scientists are trying to study or move. The live well system makes it easy to scoop marine life like coral up, perform heat stress tests and return them back to sea in hours.

Ross Cunning, a coral biologist with Shedd, said researchers can use technology onboard to test how well the coral absorbs sunlight and observe what temperature and speed cause corals to bleach.

Mark Schick, the senior director of animal operations on the Coral Reef II research vessel owned by Shedd aquarium, dumps water overboard. (Tampa Bay Times)

Even two corals of the same species might bleach at different speeds, and they’re looking for the most heat tolerant coral, Cunning said.

Last summer he worked alongside South Florida research groups, like the University of Miami, the Coral Restoration Foundation, and Reef Renewal to test snippets of these baby corals in nurseries that have been growing in higher water temperatures.

“Finding interventions to boost the heat tolerance in coral reefs is more important than ever,” Cunning said. “But the most critical thing we need to do is stop climate change.

“All the research in the world will not boost coral heat tolerance enough to cope with oceans that continue warming. We must stop the root of the problem and stop greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible.”

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The “free kill” provision of Florida’s Wrongful Death Act makes it so if a doctor’s mistake kills someone who’s over 25, unmarried, and without children under 25, no one can sue the doctor on their behalf.


Health | despite momentum, ‘free kill’ malpractice repeal fails in florida this year.

The new Apple TV+ series “Palm Royale,” streaming now, is set in Palm Beach and is about a woman’s efforts to enter high society.

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With the Florida Supreme Court deciding whether an abortion-rights constitutional amendment should go on the November ballot, Attorney General Ashley Moody's office and abortion opponents are urging justices to consider another part of the state Constitution that they say could apply to "unborn children."

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