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6 boats from some familiar names

Don’t be fooled by their appearance. Trawlers often sport a traditional look, but they’re also packed with the latest technologies and designed to make cruising more enjoyable and safer.

French builder Beneteau's Swift Trawler series entered the U.S. market in 2007 (ST50 pictured).

Nordic Tugs uses bow and stern thrusters to give the operator joystick-like maneuverability. “Our owners have fallen in love with this control,” says Ben Wilde, owner of Wilde Yacht Sales, a Nordic Tugs dealership in Essex, Conn.

The Nordic Tug 39 Flybridge has a Side-Power dock control panel that gives the pilot command over the bow and stern thrusters. A boat-shaped knob serves as the system’s “joystick.”

Today’s trawlers also make use of advances in diesel propulsion — engines that run cleaner, quieter and more efficiently. Ranger Tugs’ R-31, with a single Volvo Penta D4 common-rail fuel-injected diesel, makes 7.3 knots while burning about 1.9 gph to go 3.8 nmpg.

Outboards are also being put to work on some “pocket” trawlers, such as the 33 Eco-Trawler, an efficient and easy-to-maintain boat that gets about 4.1 nmpg at 7.4 knots with a single 115-hp Mercury (

Trawlers use electrical power more efficiently, too. “We are now 100 percent LED — inside and out, including running lights,” says Larry Polster, vice president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts.

During the past few years Kadey-Krogen has concentrated on making its interiors more user-friendly so owners can move about the boat easily and safely, Polster says. “The nuances include ‘house-size’ steps and galley appliances, more handrails, easier-to-reach storage areas and drawers,” he says.

The company has sharpened its focus on ergonomics so much that the 44 and 48 includes “AE” (Advanced Ergonomics) in the nomenclature.

Trawlers from North Pacific Yachts are designed with lighter fabrics and larger windows to brighten the interior spaces, says company president Trevor Brice. “We’ve made huge upgrades to our interiors, with more light inside,” he says. “We’re not going ‘Euro’ but are lightening things up.”

For instance, the North Pacific 49’s forward stateroom has a white cabin overhead and long counters sandwiching the berth. “But there’s also a good amount of wood to balance modern and traditional,” Brice says. Much of the woodwork on the North Pacific trawlers has no joints; the wood is steam-bent into shapes, he says.

North Pacific’s hull designs have changed slightly, too. “We are seeing a movement to a more traditional plumb bow, which gives you more interior room forward,” Brice says.

Here’s a look at a half-dozen trawlers — all brands that are well-known to American boaters.

Ranger R-31

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A trailerable single-diesel semidisplacement pocket tug with a flybridge and accommodations that include a forward and a midships stateroom.

LOA: 31 feet, 2 inches

POWER: Volvo Penta D4 (300 hp)

SPEED: 26.6 knots top, 15 knots cruise

PRICE: $279,937

CONTACT: Ranger Tugs, Kent Wash.,

(253) 839-5213.

Nordic Tug 39 Flybridge

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Responding to customer feedback, Nordic Tugs has made several improvements to its new 9-footer, which replaces the NT37 in the builder’s fleet of pilothouse trawlers.

LOA: 40 feet, 3 inches

POWER: single 380-hp Cummins QSB

SPEED: 8-14 knots cruise

PRICE: $492,800

CONTACT: Nordic Tugs, Burlington, Wash.

(360) 757-8847.

North Pacific 49

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The flagship of the fleet, this long-range coastal cruiser rides a semidisplacement hull and can be ordered in two- and three-stateroom configurations.

LOA: 51 feet, 4 inches

POWER: single 355-hp Cummins QSB 6.7L

SPEED: 12 knots top, 7-9 knots cruise

PRICE: $750,000

CONTACT: North Pacific Yachts, Surrey, British Columbia,

(877) 564-9989.

Grand Banks 55 Aleutian RP

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This raised pilothouse yacht’s standard layout includes three staterooms and now touts a new lighter, warmer interior.

LOA: 64 feet, 7 inches

POWER: twin 715-hp Cummins QSM11

SPEED: 24 knots top, 20 knots cruise

PRICE: $1.84 million

CONTACT: Grand Banks Yachts, Seattle

(206) 352-0116.

Nordhavn 59 Coastal Pilot

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A new entry in Nordhavn’s Coastal Pilot line, the 59 CP is one of the most versatile cruising boats of its kind, with both long-range and coastal capabilities.

LOA: 58 feet, 9-1/2 inches

POWER: twin 715-hp Cummins QSM 11

SPEED: 18-20 knots top, 9-10 knots cruise

PRICE: $1.85 million

CONTACT: Nordhavn (Pacific Asian Enterprises), Dana Point, Calif.

(949) 496-4848.

Krogen 68 Expedition

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The 68 Expedition has been designed to be handled comfortably by two people yet have the flexibility of dedicated crew space for those who want extra hands.

LOA: 70 feet, 4 inches

POWER: twin 231-hp John Deere 6068 AFM85

SPEED: 11.1 knots top, 7-9 knots cruise

PRICE: $3.9 million

CONTACT: Kadey-Krogen Yachts, Stuart, Fla.

(800) 247-1230.

See related articles:

- European Invasion

- Cruising for a cruiser

- The Lord Nelson Victory 37

May 2014 issue