The word "trawler" is often dirty to yacht builders. Many fear customers will associate their yachts with worn-out fishboats that have rust streaming down the topsides and smells emanating from the bilge as they do from dumpsters outside Red Lobster.
This phobia is a shame. No matter the nomenclature-trawler, trawler yacht, passagemaker-today's trawlers are available in ever-increasing choices for yachtsmen who want range, cruisability and comfort. We found all that and more when we tested the new Selene 53 and Menorquin 160, which you'll find in the following pages, and we expect to find the same qualities in the noteworthy new trawlers listed below.
Whether you're looking for a hardy ocean battleship or a plush coastal cruiser, these treasures are worth checking out.
Cape Horn 81
This Canadian builder gained prominence with its bulletproof Cape Horn 55 and 65. The new 81 is worthy of the same nameplate and offers a brilliant combination of tramp freighter exterior and yacht-like accommodations. What truly sets this voyager apart and brings Walter Mitty dreams to mind is the engineroom and attention to systems. Redundancy and ship-like scantlings abound. A rounding of Cape Horn may not be in your cards, but a summer circumnavigation of Newfoundland before heading south through the Panama Canal with a side trip to Polynesia on your way to Alaska would certainly be an appropriate shakedown cruise for this little ship. Hull number one demonstrates the broad range of the yard's custom yacht work and includes a revised layout and several owner-requested items. Cape Horn Trawler Corp., (905) 274-9999; www.thecapehorn.com.
Great Harbour 47
Mirage Manufacturing built and sold its first Great Harbour 47 last year, and now has fine-tuned the design for release as a production model. The updated machinery space and pump room mean skippers need only go into the engineroom under way to pull up dipsticks. Her easily driven hull can achieve displacement speeds with only twin 75 hp diesels, and her hard chine amidships creates a hull as seakindly as her 37-foot sister's. The low-maintenance exterior has an almost workboat simplicity that allows for an attractive base price and means owners will spend less time varnishing and polishing. Interior choices can turn the guest stateroom into an office/stateroom, an increasingly popular arrangement. The third stateroom abaft the wheelhouse is tough to beat, with a double berth, great views and plenty of fresh air for tropical nights when the air conditioning gets a rest. Mirage Manufacturing, (352) 377-4146; www.mirage-mfg.com.
A quarter-century ago, Art Kadey and Jim Krogen built the Krogen 42, a solid, well made, economical trawler able to cruise a couple or small family in safety and comfort. That model was only recently discontinued, and today, Kadey-Krogen Yachts is incorporating lessons learned into its new 44. With her additional 2 feet in length and 6 inches of beam, her lines are a little sweeter than the 42's, giving a nod toward the size-does-matter realm of boatbuilding. The interior has several refinements, as well, including a roomier saloon with an L-shape settee and a large entertainment center. Although you could argue the 42's pilothouse was tough to improve upon, the additional space on the 44 allows for a fixed helm chair, so throw away that battered stool. Standard power is the workhorse 154 hp John Deere 6068TFM diesel. Kadey-Krogen Yachts, (772) 286-0171; www.kadeykrogen.com.
Mainship Corporation is entering its fourth decade of building roomy, economical and affordable trawler yachts, and its latest launch, the Mainship 400 Trawler, is a worthy addition to the line. Power options range from single-diesel applications (315 to 385 hp) for the economically minded to twin diesels at 240 hp each. The 400's interior has an extended saloon with an UltraLeather sofa ("settee would not be an appropriate moniker), an entertainment center with a Bose audio system, and a Luce flat-screen TV. The starboard-side galley has all the necessary appliances for a down island cruise. Accommodations forward include a master stateroom with centerline queen berth and a second stateroom with twins. A desk arrangement is optional. Mainship Corp., (800) 578-0852; www.mainship.com.
Nordhavn is often credited with having boosted the trawler revolution by introducing its salty, single-engine Nordhavn 46 more than a decade ago. Six of these full-displacement designs have since circumnavigated, arguably the most by a single powerboat builder. The line gradually grew in a focused and deliberate fashion, ranging from the 35 Pilot to the all-ocean 62. The new 72 is a culmination of the company's experience and offers 62 owners a fine choice if they are inclined to step up. Her styling is a nice blend of the popular 57 and no-nonsense 62, with an elegant yet business-like profile. The standard power configuration for this 200,000-pound beast will be a single Lugger 6140 diesel. For those who prefer twin diesels, Nordhavn offers an optional configuration. The boat's 4,100 gallons of fuel provide an estimated 3,000-mile cruising range, according to the company. PAE, (949) 496-4848; www.nordhavn.com.
Nordic Tug 52
The Nordic Tug 52 is scheduled to begin sea trials in March, joining the builder's line of simple, rugged and comfortable boats with shippy good looks. Like her seagoing siblings, the 52 has a pilothouse that is thoughtfully designed for cruising in colder and tropical climates. An L-shape settee with a table converts to a single watch berth, and two side doors provide great cross ventilation and easy access to the decks for close-quarters maneuvering. Unlike the Nordic Tug 42, the new 52 has direct access from the pilothouse to the flying bridge. The flying bridge design in general demonstrates this Pacific Northwest builder's entry onto the global stage, where a comfortable flying bridge is as important as a functional pilothouse. Twin 450 hp Cummins and an 1,100-gallon fuel capacity are standard. Nordic Tugs, (800) 388-4517; www.nordictug.com.