Features Type of Boat

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Read Profiles of the Different Boat Types on Soundings Online

Classic Trawlers

Part of the reason I first fell in love with trawlers was their salty lines. If you’re hatching an escape plan (as I was), you’re going to want a boat that can really take you places, and the traditional trawler announces its serious voyaging potential with a high bow, a pilothouse with forward raked windows and perhaps a Portuguese bridge, as well as voluminous fuel tanks — this kind of vessel lets you know it’s not messing around.

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Pocket Trawlers

52_nordic-tug-26Pocket trawlers. They’re less than 30 feet, powered by a single diesel or a pair of outboards, and many are small enough to trailer without a permit. But don’t let the “pocket” label fool you. These are small boats for big dreams.

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Fast Trawlers

There are many ways to define “fast trawler,” and there are many builders that have taken to using the label. For our purposes, let’s define a fast trawler as a semidisplacement vessel with true trawler origins, capable of climbing over its bow wave and making 16 to 20 knots. Compared to full-displacement boats, they draw less and weigh less but require more power to climb on plane.

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Grand Banks 38 Eastbay EX

Illustration by Jim Ewing

The 38 Eastbay EX was something different when it debuted in 1993 and launched Grand Banks’ new line,­ a radical departure from the builder’s well-known cruising trawlers. The dark-blue hull, trunk cabin and distinctive windshield stood out against the sleek, curvy Euro-styling that was popular at the time. Its traditional profile evoked Maine lobster yachts, and it had something of the trawler tradition in it, too.

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Brownell 26

Illustration by Jim Ewing

Off Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts, 4:30 a.m. The predawn chill of late October is intensified by a bitter wind. Whitecaps dot the gray-green waters around the Elizabeth Islands. It’s a perfect morning for striped bass.

A small, sturdy boat manned by a few figures in oilskins fishes close in, right off the shore. It haunts the troughs behind the offshore bars, delves into the surging gullies of foaming water around kelp-covered boulders, swirling with currents.

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