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A new aluminum trawler

With its silver hull standing out among the shiny white yachts, the Garcia GT54 beckoned me to her slip at the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach. Garcia Yachting has been building aluminum sailboats for 40 years, and this is the French company’s first trawler.

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“The primary reason for an aluminum boat is safety,” Garcia development director Benoit Lebizay says. “Oceangoing vessels run a high risk of hitting submerged objects, like containers, and a metal boat absorbs the shock and suffers a dent while a [fiberglass] one breaks.”

The GT54 is a true oceangoing trawler, with a heavy hull (70,000 pounds, with 4 tons of ballast in the keel), a steadying sail, bilge fins and bow and stern thrusters. “We have very little weight in the upper part of the boat,” Lebizay says. “The result is a boat that is naturally stabilized.”

The company launched the boat at the Cannes Boat Show in August 2012, and it crossed the Atlantic for its U.S. debut at the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis, Md.

The GT54 is offered in two- and three-cabin versions. The boat I looked at was the two-cabin layout, with a full-beam master stateroom and a guest cabin — both with their own head. It also had a day head.

Price is $1.7 million with a single 185-hp Caterpillar diesel. The engine burns 3 gallons per hour while pushing the trawler at 8 knots for a range of 3,500 nautical miles. Broker Judy Waldman of JW Yachts in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., represents Garcia in the United States. Contact: (954) 894-8844; www.jw,

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April 2013 issue