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Trawler Spotlight

Nordic Tugs

1. Nordic Tugs are hard-chine semidisplacement cruising yachts capable of offshore passages. These boats are perfect for people who want a rugged look and construction to match, and the means to travel in safety and comfort from, say, Seattle to Maine or Nantucket to Bermuda, watching the weather, of course. The model lineup is from 32 to 54 feet, so the 37 is one of the smaller models, and you can stay in the family if you decide to move up. The 37’s layout is practical, with a raised pilothouse forward, and a single Cummins 380 gives comfortable cruise speeds in the 13- to 15-knot range.

2. The boat offers a good view astern through large aft windows, a big help when docking stern-to.

3. There’s no sense going to sea in a loud boat, so it’s good to see Nordic Tugs keeping things quiet with this foil-backed insulation.


1. Nordhavn builds high-end, open-ocean displacement cruising yachts. Nordhavn’s line ranges from 40 to 120 feet, the biggest variety offered by any builder. These are little, self-contained ships able to tough it out in some of the worst sea conditions. Built to rugged scantlings and mostly powered with derated single diesels, Nordhavns have crisscrossed the globe. The 43’s master stateroom is in the middle of the hull, where the ride is most comfortable, and directly below the pilothouse, one of the few two-deck 43-footers you’ll find.

2. The 43 has a number of salty features. There’s a low bulwark around the ground tackle to keep incidental muddy water contained and directed overboard through corner scuppers. Also making the seaman salivate are four (count ’em) bow cleats, enough to keep a boat owner happy in about any situation, including rafting up. Forward is an industrial-strength aluminum Freeman scuttle leading to the anchor locker — no light-duty, leak-prone, non-structural plastic hatches on this boat. The windlass includes a wildcat for the chain and a separately controlled capstan for the nylon line.

3. The pilothouse includes a comfortable seat aft for the admiral, a watertight door (it dogs down) leading to the side deck, a big seat for the skipper, and a flat-gray-finished helm station with electronics flats ergonomically aimed toward the helm seat. Windows aft provide a view astern, not a trivial matter in an 8-knot boat that will rarely be the one doing the overtaking.

4. The 43 takes care of water management intelligently. Light, incidental water drains through the slotted scupper cove to the left, while heavy water drains off quickly through the ship-sized freeing port.

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1. The full-displacement Krogen 44 is a bluewater trawler built for heavy weather and long range. Though it’s at the lower end of a lineup that stretches from 39 to 58 feet, this is no starter boat. Wide side decks lead forward from the protected cockpit. The saloon has a conventional seating arrangement aft (which means it’s been proven to work) and galley forward. Then it’s four steps up to the pilothouse, with a center helm and raised bench seat for the admiral aft. Down forward is the master stateroom, with lots of locker space, a guest stateroom/office and a single large head. A walk-in engine room is just aft.

2. The engine room provides lots of room around the power plant, encouraging and facilitating regular maintenance. Bright, white surfaces improve visibility and make it easy to spot fluid leaks early. Deck hatches lift readily for easy bilge access.

3. The Krogen’s compass is big, making it easier to read by older eyes. And it’s up high, essentially at the horizon from the operator’s point of view, making it easier to keep an eye on without missing what’s going on ahead of the boat. The less white there is in the pilothouse (lights, interior surfaces) the better, because windshield glare is a big problem running at night.

4. Clean fuel is the key to a reliable single-engine boat of any description. The fuel is cleaned by a polisher, at right, before being fed to the dual shift-on-the-fly main-engine fuel filter-separators to the left. This Krogen’s genset is fed by the smaller filter-separator in the middle.

Grand Banks

1. Grand Banks produces a line of fast planing yachts — its fine Eastbay series — as well as a line of trawlers that are pretty much synonymous with the genre. The 47 Classic (there’s also an extended-saloon EU version on the same hull) has a new planing hull capable of a 24-knot cruise, or you can throttle back to displacement speed for extended range, increased comfort and lower noise levels, as on any yacht. Finished to a high standard, the deck plan has staterooms forward and aft, with two private heads and a galley down. An alternate layout has three staterooms, with the galley moved up to the saloon and replaced by the third stateroom.

2. The more glass and the thinner the mullions, the better the visibility. In an open-ocean trawler, this has to be weighed against the need to maintain watertight integrity in the face of boarding seas, so windows get smaller and glass thicker. Half-inch-thick glass is common on offshore pleasure trawlers. Whatever the window size, the wipers should cover most of the glass, minimizing blind spots.

3. Deep hatch gutters help drain deck water and keep things dry below. This one is 1.5 inches deep, generous for a midsize pleasure boat.

4. The aft cabin gets lots of light through the big opening side windows, and there’s full access to the berth with its walkaround design. It’s interesting that so few bluewater trawlers have their pilothouse aft in the Eastern-rig dragger configuration, since the vertical motions in rough seas are so much more comfortable aft.


1. Mainship’s newest trawler is the Expedition. This 41-footer has a conventional sedan layout, with a trunk cabin forward that adds headroom (and light with the side ports) in the cabin below. The hardtop extends all the way aft over the small cockpit, which offers protection from sun and rain. Wide side decks lead forward from the cockpit.

2. The saloon’s large windows provide lots of natural light, a teak and holly sole dresses things up nicely, and large doors open wide to the cockpit. The saloon includes a starboard helm station forward with a two-person seat raised up high for a good view forward. Aft is L-shaped convertible seating, pedestal seats with armrests, an entertainment center with a flat-screen television, and a galley with a double sink and three-burner stove. Down below, the builder manages to carve out room for a forward stateroom with private access to the yacht’s single head. There’s also a guest stateroom with a pair of twin berths farther aft.

3. Cockpit stairs lead up to this dance-hall-size flybridge, which provides a separate living area with seating for eight and a grill with sink and refrigerator. The helm is forward on centerline, and its excellent all-around view benefits from its height above the water.


From the French sailboat builder comes an ever-expanding line of capable power cruising yachts. The Beneteau 42 Swift Trawler is an 18-knot, planing sedan-style yacht with a trawler look provided by its raised pilothouse and top-deck overhang aft. It offers excellent visibility from the lower helm, comfortable accommodations and inshore cruising capability.

The builder recently introduced a 52-footer that looks unmistakable like a trawler.