To the wise on this forum...what classifies a pleasure boat as a "trawler"?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Hybrid Boat Co, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Hybrid Boat Co
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    Hybrid Boat Co Hybrid Boat Co

    Since fuel has become very expensive over the last several years, I have seen a lot of renewed interest in fuel efficient boats. Some owners are even looking to "down-size", that is, to trade in larger boats for the more efficient smaller "trawler" boats. I see references that are made to "Trawler" type pleasure boats. Some are even referring to a new breed called "trailerable trawlers." So the question of what make a boat a "trawler" is becoming important and, I think, it should be defined. I know of no better forum than to answer this question.

    Can the wise men on this forum come up with the guild-lines necessary to classify a pleasure boat as a "modern trawler design". For example, is a 26' cat hull type boat running with twin four-stroke 150's a trawler? Or, is it just another "power boat." Or, for that matter, can any hull designed with the power to make it plane even be considered as a "trawler design"?
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

  3. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Looks...if it looks like a trawler today it is considfered to be such, at least in the marketing world anyhow....but what would they know......
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The word trawler is now generic for displacement powerboats of certain configurations. Trawlers aren't the most economical vessels to operate, but do provide a lot of interior volume for the buck, so some think of them as efficient in this regard. They are compared to the sportsfishermen they've stepped down from, but mostly they're just big holes in the water that can carry a lot of stuff, at slow speeds, which requires considerable less fuel burn comparatively.
  5. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Short but serious answer - any boat can be called a trawler if someone decides to. Makes no difference what anybody else says or thinks.

    One use of "trawler" is to describe a boat which fishes by trawling, pulling a net through the water.There have been very few "trawler yachts" over the years which had other than a superficial resemblance to a commercial fishing trawler. Some of the early "trawler yachts" somewhat resembled boats used on the west coast of the US and Canada for fishing by trolling, pulling lines with hooks through the water. Perhaps someone involved in marketing some of the early "trawler yachts" confused "trawler" with "troller".
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  6. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Consider the use of the term "dory". Historically in North America a dory was a boat with a relatively narrow, transversely flat bottom and fore-aft planking. The sides had considerable flare, could be either straight or rounded in section, and had the side planks overlapped as with lapstrake planking. There was no keel or keelson and the transvese frames were sawn. A dory is almost double-ended with a very narrow stern transom, and the sheer was considerably higher at the ends than the sides. Boats with similar shape built with plywood or fiberglass also were called dories.

    In Britain a "dory" is now used to describe an open outboard powered boat with a square bow, flat sheer and cathedral hull. This usage originated in the 1960's with the Dell Quay dory which was close to a knock-off of the Boston Whaler. But then a Boston Whaler has absolutely nothing to do with any boat historically called a whaler. And several of the boats historically called "whalers" had little to do with boats used for hunting whales.

    And so on.
  7. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    And again I say-- a yacht (trawler)(dory)(schooner)(dragger)(lobstaa boat) is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner :D
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    David, I can think of at least a half dozen separate dory types, though you're right most wouldn't know the difference between a real dory and a modified skiff. When we die, it's probable that things like a slick, will be only used in reference to oil spills. Such is the nature of evolution.
  9. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    To me at least a trawler yacht is a boat that operates in planing mode only, with the primary design concern being fuel efficiency and sea keeping ability. Pretty much a boat that can take the worst of conditions, and keeping slugging away towards its destination in conditions where other boats have to turn around, or make a run for it. Not necessarily the prettiest, or the fastest, but the strongest.

    And btw I get annoyed when builders use the term trawler to describe planning hull speed boats.
  10. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Never done any 'trawling' at planing speeds, some 'trolling' though, and you realise how much drag exists through the water at speed, by how that rod bends !
  11. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Ugly displacement motor cruiser...?
  12. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    DCOCKEY--Excellent description of a dory -- Growing up in what was the fishing capital of the world thru the 40's--50's and part of the 60's I saw first hand the evolution of the shore based fishing craft. The traditional dory propelled by oar and sail were used both inshore and from mother ships on the offshore banks. When the make and break engines came into being these were generally installed in small schooner type hulls generally up to 30ft. in length and usually equipped with a fixed or stowed mast on which to set a sail in case of motor problems or as a fishing steady sail. These we simply and logically called "motorboats" . In many cases the make and break engines were also installed in traditional built but larger dories --these we called "motordories". When outboard motors became popular (late 50's early 60's) the local fishermen which in most situations were also boatbuilders simply cut the stern off their traditional dory and mounted an outboard - over time this of course evovled into a lower wider stern section. However anything mounting an outboard motor we called a "speedboat" as these could outrun the make and break motorboats. Such is how names develop and evolve and to this present time you will hear such names for these types of boats in Newfoundland and eastern Canada in general.
    In the case of the "trawler" yacht logically someone converted a large trawler fishing craft into a pleasure boat and the Trawler Yacht was born. This not unlike the Novi lobster hull evolving into the traditional down easter lobster boat and then on into the lobster yacht and more recently the picnic boat. The idea of a yacht based on a proven fishing hull of course lends itself to all sorts of twisted and incorrect promotional visions of the craft being built and marketed. In many cases it resembles a fishing craft as much as a tanker resembles a schooner. Regardless my personal opinion of a good seaboat is one that has the gut input of an experienced fisherman/seaman (sea time) and a qualified designer. So to the designer I say don't let the dogs bite that drafting hand ;) ---Geo

    A Yacht is not determined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner
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  13. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Trawler is a technical term only when applied to a vessel equipped with a specific style of fishing gear.

    Trawler Yacht is non-specific, as with Sportfishermen, could mean almost anything though certain traits come to mind when the term is mentioned. The former editor of PassageMaker magazine (looking for maximum advertizing dollars) claimed "Trawlering" is a lifestyle and the boat doesn't matter.......:p Thus by his definition the term is meaningless.

    In 1975 Bob Beebe coined a term "Trawler Truth ratio" (T/T). This was intended to be a comparison of a specific "trawler"yacht to a North Sea type fishing trawler. Well, there is no non-subjective way to do that so the term went nowhere.

    One boatbuilder used the term "fast trawler" for a boat using one of my hull designs, her hull is a scaled version of a high-speed sportfishermen..........:eek:
  14. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Called them little schooners a bummer on the south shore, bye. Smelled as bad as the gurry pool at the fish plant.


  15. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Yup at 20 to 1 gas/oil mix they smelled like a 52 chevy with the rings gone--. The old skippers had a neat trick if fishing from an indented harbour along a coast of cliff rock.They had the exaust set on a 90 deg. elbow just above where it came thru the engine box. Attached to this they had about a foot of straight tail pipe. When running along the steep cliffs in thick a fog they turned that pipe in the direction of land and listened for the echos off the puck-a-puck exaust. From the echoes they could tell how far off the land they were plus when the echo dissappeared they were at the entrance to a cove. Some guys were cracker Jacks at it. By the way thats what we called the make and break engines --- Puck-au-pucks --self explanatory for anyone who ever heard one on the water .---

    So me son ya has sum nolege of da sout share -- weres ya from --or was ya dere at one time ---Jarge
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