Rosborough 246

Illustration by Jim Ewing

Illustration by Jim Ewing

Today, quite a few boatbuilders use the term “pocket trawler” to describe the models they build. But back in 1987, when this husky little cruiser came out of the Canadian Maritimes, it just may have been the first of that genre.

Designer and builder James “Doug” Rosborough founded Rosborough Boats in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the mid-1950s. The yard was known for traditional wooden sailing vessels until 30 years later, when his son, James (known as “Bob”), took over the business and turned the focus toward fiberglass powerboats. The younger Rosborough experimented with an 18-footer, a 28 and then a 35 before settling on a trailerable 25-footer for couples to take on weekend cruises. The Rosborough 246 F debuted in 1987 and caused a buzz: The “pocket trawler” was born.

There were two versions of this model: the wheelhouse and a sedan cruiser. In both, the standard layout included a V-berth that converted to a table and seating area; an enclosed head compartment with a marine head, sink and shower; and a dinette with bench seating and a table that converted to a berth. Galley gear could include a refrigerator/freezer and stovetop, along with a sink and stowage. The steering station was to starboard with pedestal seats and a sliding door to the deck. Recommended power was a pair of outboards—150-hp maximum each—or a single diesel of about 190 horsepower.

Rosborough Boats Inc. produced some 500 of the boats through the early 2000s before selling to Eastern Boats of Milton, New Hampshire. Now marketed as a series from Rosborough Boats USA, there are three models in the line: the Halifax, Digby and Yarmouth, with each of the names reflecting the design’s Nova Scotia roots. 

This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue.