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Read Profiles of the Different Boat Types on Soundings Online

The owners chime in

Brand, dependability, liveability and seaworthiness are among the characteristics our panel of owners value in a trawler (Nordic Tug 42 shown.)"Quality, dependability and comfort are important, and support from the builder, as well as from the broker where the boat is initially purchased. Wilde Yachts in Essex [Conn.] has been extraordinary from day one. ... We just loved the design and look of the Ranger Tug. It packed a lot into a very small space, yet we can still overnight on it.

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The elements of a good trawler

Nordhavn 47 owners Milt and Judy Baker place a high priority on buying a top-quality brand.Simply put, a good trawler is one that will handle the kind of cruising its owner intends, and do so safely, reliably and comfortably. The Catch-22 is that there are no working crystal balls, and many people starting their search for the perfect trawler have no idea what kind of cruising they'll be doing.

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In tune with nature

Mark Hayhoe feels at peace producing fewer emissions courtesy of his revolutionary Campion Allante 645.

Hayhoe works the land and plays on the water in Ontario.Emissions - even if we hate them, we create them. And if we don't, others do while making the stuff we buy. What those emissions are and how much of them go into the atmosphere or into the ground and water is largely taboo.

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Ice, snow, sawdust

Winter in the Maine boat shop

Benjamin Mendlowitz photos

Lobster boats in BrooklinLike the forest trees that traditionally provided wood for skiffs, workboats and yachts, Maine's boat shops respond to the seasons.

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A bimini that uses the sun it blocks

The Bimini has two 10.75-square-foot panels that produce 50 watts each.The old Bimini is learning new tricks. It isn't giving up its customary job of dispensing shade, but a new version will also have solar panels stitched to the weather side to produce electrical energy from sunlight.

Call it the yin and the yang of canvas. Although rooftops of buildings have been used for solar power for decades, boats - especially sailboats - have been difficult to adapt.

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