Fuel management is perhaps the most crucial element of passagemaking. The published range of the 57 is 4,000 miles at 8.5 knots. User-friendly fuel fills are raised from the side decks. Snorkel vents sit beside each fill. One bulkhead in the engine compartment is dedicated to a bank of manifolds whose red handles direct fuel from various supplies (a 1,100-gallon bow tank and two 800-gallon stern tanks); the Caterpillar continuous-duty 290 hp 3306T feeds off a 130-gallon day tank.
The machinery space is an open compartment with great accessibility and lighting. A Vickers power takeoff runs off the main engine and pushes the hydraulics for the thruster and stabilizers. A sea chest handles raw-water needs. Making repairs while you're underway, even in an active sea, will be relatively easy, thanks to good headroom, smartly placed grab rails and a work area with toolbox, vise and grinder. The same Speedair compressor that powers the MSDs also powers tools.
As a result of sound reduction in the engineroom, decibel levels throughout the vessel were quite low. The sole in the engineroom is marine plywood with a vinyl diamond-plate skin. Soundown insulation also is used. The generator is in a hush box abaft the engine. Access to the lazarette is beyond the generator. Four emergency pumps are positioned throughout the boat, since not all emergencies occur in the engineroom.
The air conditioning unit is in the mast, contributing to the openness of the machinery space. Johnson likes that it draws less power and is easier to repair than a standard marine unit and, with no seawater lines, can run when the boat is hauled for repairs. In addition, the reduction of water circulating aboard this steel ship will likely cut down on corrosion. A heat strip within the air conditioning unit allows it to warm the cabin. A second marine air conditioning unit is available for the pilothouse, if you need the extra push.
Though doing so takes more time and money, Real Ships avoids hard edges in favor of round shapes. The Portuguese bridge and pilothouse are a prime example. It is hard to identify the material as aluminum.
The pilothouse is my favorite space aboard most yachts, and the 57 did not disappoint. Five panels of half-inch windows set in welded frames provide unlimited lines of sight-as well as confidence for when bad weather sets in. Storm doors with dogs complete the seaworthy image and provide access to the port- and starboard-side decks.
A long watch should pass quickly in the 57's comfortable helm chair. Crewmembers sharing the duty can dine or spread out a board game on the large table near the center of the upholstered U-shape settee. A pilot berth lowers from behind the settee. To starboard is a terrific work area of Brazilian hardwood with seven drawers and an immense chart flat. Electronics are bracket-mounted. The area in front of the helm is flat. Wire runs are neat and accessed through a panel under the helm.
When you're off watch, or the destination is at hand, where better to be than the galley? Granite countertops offer the feel of a country kitchen, and four stools create a casual dining venue. Appliances, including a full-size GE refrigerator/freezer, are finished in stainless steel. A Splendide combination washer/dryer is also part of the appliance package. Joinery is American cherry, with professional-grade fit and finish. Owners will have options when it comes to the selection of joinery materials.
Each area of the boat seems spacious, but when I reached the main saloon, I felt a little shortchanged. The L-shape settee was modest, and the size of the saloon seemed small. With the galley, the area is a cozy 15 by 12 feet and has a handsome, rugged appeal. The galley stools and counter supply suitable seating and entertaining platforms. The entertainment center is visible at all points in the saloon and galley. Air handlers off the Trane compressor keep things cool. Headroom is 6 feet, 9 inches. Soft patches in the sole lift for major engine repairs, and overhead panels are removable as well.
The 57 has a three-stateroom, three-head arrangement. Liberal use of wood in the cabins and marble in the heads lends her the quality of a vacation home. Companionways are wide and comfortable, and the guest head functions as a day head. The master and VIP staterooms have queen berths. The guest cabin settee converts to upper-and-lower berths. Fit and finish are unblemished, and hardware is top-notch.
When it comes to trawlers, choices for buyers are always increasing. The Real Ships 57 Pilothouse Trawler has proven herself a worthy contender.
Contact: Ships International, (954) 764-3702; West Coast, (206) 652-4001;