Trawler Boats Guide

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Why Your Next Boat Should Be A Trawler

If you want to be able to visit far-flung destinations from a seat of luxury, without shelling out for mega-yacht prices, you have to consider a trawler yacht. These one-of-a-kind vessels are large and absolutely in charge. While they’re often not the flashiest boat in the marina, trawlers maximize onboard living space and fuel efficiency, meaning they’re perfect for people looking for a boat that can serve as a floating hotel. Some people even use their liveaboard trawlers as their residence.

If you’re in the market for a new vessel, you have to consider a trawler boat. Here are five key reasons why your next boat should be a trawler.

Why is it Called a Trawler?

I’m sure you’re thinking the term “trawler yacht” sounds a little like an oxymoron. With a name like “trawler” you’re probably imagining a fishing boat designed to catch bottom feeders or shellfish. Well, you’re partially right. Trawler boats get their name from their appearance, since they often appear utilitarian or industrial. They’re functionally built boats that look like they're less luxurious than they actually are. Part of the fun of these boats is that looks are absolutely deceiving.

A better name for a liveaboard trawler should be a “cruiser boat.” These boats are made for comfortable, slow cruising, which helps them get excellent gas mileage compared to faster, more performance driven boats. Since their hull designs are similar to ocean fishing boats, they’re incredibly capable offshore. Many large trawlers can even complete trans-oceanic trips easily, making them incredibly appealing for those who want to get away and chart their own path across the sea.

Do Trawlers Need To Trawl?

Trawler boats are hardly the fishing vessels that most people think they are. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve totally abandoned the root of their name. Trawlers are designed for function first, which makes them excellent boats for beginners or experienced sailors.

The proven design of a trawler yacht means that it’s easy to drive and can stay stable in rough weather. The stability comes from a wide, ballasted hull which keeps the boat balanced in high seas or strong winds. They also tend to have low-rev, high-torque engines that get great fuel economy, helping them go long distances.

However, for these benefits, you might have some limited amenities. While liveaboard trawlers are incredibly comfortable, they’re also functional. When you’re taking a boat across the ocean, you don’t want too many creature comforts that can break or become cumbersome in poor weather. So, when you consider luxurious cruisers, expect fine finishes and impeccable build quality, instead of custom cutlery or glass sinks.

Motor Yachts Guide

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Are all Trawlers Big?

While some of the most popular trawler yachts are large vessels made for trans-oceanic journeys, there are plenty of smaller boats that fit in this segment that are perfect if you want to spend only a weekend aboard, or want to avoid paying for dockage at a marina.

Small trawlers are sometimes called pocket or mini trawlers. These boats normally come in at under 30-feet long, and 10-feet wide which is in accordance with trailering laws in many states.

While the small size may lead you to believe that small trawlers are less luxurious than their larger counterparts, you’d be mistaken. For example, the Ranger Tugs R-29CB comes with a full galley, and plenty of space to host the whole family for an overnight stay on the water. This trawler boat also has a max range of nearly 300 miles, making it perfect for trips offshore.

What’s it Like Living on a Trawler?

Most people call trawlers functional liveaboard vessels, which means there’s often not a lot of deck space for amenities like you might see on a cabin cruiser or power yacht. Instead, most of the luxurious amenities are kept inside the vessel where they’re safe from the elements and can be enjoyed by those living on the boat.

While some trawlers may have some on-deck amenities, like a small seating area or outdoor salon, most try to maintain functional outdoor spaces. There may be a crane on-deck used for moving a tender around, or on-deck storage for tenders, lines and fenders. This functional exterior gives trawlers a bit of a rugged appearance that may hide the truly luxurious inside.

For example, the compact Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 has limited on-deck seating. However, inside it features two staterooms with en-suite bathrooms and sleeping arrangements for up to six people. What this trawler yacht lacks in speed, it makes up for in refined finishes, and plenty of space for entertaining during long voyages at sea.

The Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Trawler

Since trawlers are so popular, and have so many great features, here are the top five reasons people purchase trawler yachts.

1. They Are Economic

Trawlers offer a great value for the price, which is why they’re so popular. Since they’re built to last, with time-tested designs, engines, and amenities, you have the comfort of knowing that you can expect a long life with your trawler. Even better, this bulletproof design means that you can get great value from a used vessel as well.

2. They Come in a Variety of Sizes and Trims

Whether you’re looking for a comfortable motor yacht, or a trailer trawler, there’s a vessel out there for you at your price range. The best part is that whatever size trawler you get, you know you’re going to get a functional, safe, and luxurious boat that can handle inclement weather, overnight stays, and more.

3. They Are Seaworthy

Every type of trawler is based on a timeless and proven hull design that originated in fishing vessels. That means you can head offshore with peace of mind knowing that you’ll be safe.

4. They’re Fuel Efficient

Trawler boats normally come with high-torque, low rev diesel engines that maintain slower speeds than other powerboats. While this might not give you a thrilling driving experience, you’ll pay less at the pump. Trawlers are much more fuel efficient than motor yachts of similar size. That means they can go farther on a tank of gas, making them perfect for trans-oceanic voyages.

5. They Provide a Comfortable Ride

The goal of a trawler boat isn’t to get you to your destination fast. These are comfort cruisers that have all the amenities of a yacht in an economical, ocean-worthy package. The fuel-efficient, bulletproof engines are designed for slow speeds that stay stable in inclement weather, and are so gentle you’ll forget you’re on a boat.

What are the Best Trawler Brands?

While trawlers don’t have the dock appeal of a motor yacht, they’re incredibly popular for their versatility and unique styling. Here are some of the most popular trawlers on the market today.


Beneteau is well known for its ultra-luxurious yachts and powerboats. The company’s Swift Trawler line is perfect for the person who’s comfortable spending a little extra to get all the luxury they’d expect from a premier manufacturer, in an ocean-ready package. The Swift Trawlers start at 35 feet and extend to 41, with the Grand Trawler line coming at a whopping 61 feet.

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These Canadian built trawler boats are perfect for those who want an iconic silhouette in a capable ship. Powered by Cummins diesel engines, they perform great in all weather conditions, making them perfect for extended stays at sea.

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With almost 50 years of experience building boats, the ship designers at Nordhvn know how to design a seaworthy vessel. While the company started with sailboats, it quickly turned to power in the 1980s. Nordhvn’s fleet features everything from trawlers to mega-yachts, ranging in length from 41 to 148 feet.

Nordic Tugs

The tug boat is a capable and iconic boat that inspires joy in all who see it. Despite the name, Nordic Tugs is an American-based company that makes durable boats made to withstand the temperamental oceans of the Northern Pacific. The company has everything from small trawlers to marina models so you can find the vessel right for you.

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Marine Trader

If you’re looking for a proven hull that can provide luxurious long-time living accommodations, you won’t go wrong with a Marine Trader. Most Marine Trader trawlers available today are well-loved, used models that have been impeccably maintained. Since they’re used, these boats are a great way to get incredible value for your money.

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We know everyone’s trying to get the most value for their money when it comes to buying a boat. Trawlers are a unique opportunity to get a boat that can help adventurers and families reach new shores and have incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Check out our selection of trawlers at to find the right one for you.

Trawler FAQs

How fast can a trawler go?

Trawlers are built for comfort and fuel efficiency, not speed. That means they go a bit slower than boats of a similar size. You can expect most trawler yachts to cruise between 10-12 knots, or 11-13 miles per hour.

How far can a trawler go?

Since these boats cruise so slowly, they’re often very fuel efficient. They also come outfitted with enormous fuel tanks, so they have the capability to go the distance. It’s not unusual for a small trawlers to have ranges over 300 miles, while full sized options can go over 600 miles.

How much can a trawler cost?

Since trawlers come in a range of sizes, amenities, and finishes, they also come in a wide range of pricing. That means, there’s a trawler boat out there perfect for almost any buyer. There are several ways to fit your perfect trawler into your budget: you can either buy a smaller boat new; buy a large boat with most standardized options; or buy a luxurious boat used. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find the right boat for you, in your price range, without any trouble. Check out our available trawler boats today at!