Boating purists are quick to point out that a "real" trawler is built on a full displacement hull with only a single diesel engine for power. By that rigid standard, most of the boats we call trawlers these days fail to measure up. Nearly everyone thinks of the classic Grand Banks 42 as a trawler, but in fact Grand Banks models all ride on semi-displacement hulls, and they mostly came with twin engines. Same with most of the Taiwan-built trawlers that flooded the U.S. market in the 1970s and '80s, as well as all of the popular Mainship Trawlers that were so successful before the company cratered during the Great Recession. These boats are perhaps better described as "performance trawlers."
Profiled below are eight go-anywhere trawler yachts that have stood the test of time. And no, we didn’t forget the Nordhavn series of displacement trawlers—a Nordhavn-specific blog article can be found here.
DeFever 44 Offshore Cruiser
Hatteras 48 LRC
At a Glance: A classic Hatteras yacht — one of only a handful of American-built trawler yachts. Most 48s were delivered with two-stateroom teak interiors featuring a full-beam salon with L-shaped settee and coffee table to port, U-shaped galley (with breakfast bar) forward, and spiral companionway to starboard. The full-beam master stateroom of the Hatteras 48 is amidship with built-in dresser and private en-suite head with stall shower. Forward, the guest stateroom has V-berths, storage drawers, and private access to a head with shower. The pilothouse, four steps up from the salon, includes a U-shaped dinette, single watch berth, and port/starboard deck doors. Topside, the boat deck is designed to carry a dinghy and hoist. A cockpit transom door assists boarding. No lightweight, twin 112hp GM 4-53N diesels cruise the Hatteras 48 LRC at 8–9 knots. Over 40 were built.
Price Range: From the mid $100s to high $200s.
At a Glance: Seaworthy, comfortable and economical — over 150 DeFever 44s were sold. Heavily constructed on a full displacement hull, the DeFever 44 is a rare flush deck design with the aft deck and side decks on the same level. The result boat with slightly higher freeboard, but with an enormous aft deck area perfect for entertaining. The DeFever 44’s roomy two-stateroom interior is arranged with the galley aft in the salon where it’s easily reached from the aft deck and flybridge. Grab rails in the salon overhead are a nice touch, and large windows provide panoramic views of the water. Note the pass-thru window from the galley to the aft deck. The full-beam master stateroom is huge with tons of storage and space for a washer and dryer. A great feature is the walk-in engine room with workbench and near standing headroom. Twin 135hp Lehman diesels cruise at 7–8 knots with a range of 1,500 nautical miles.
Price Range: From $75–80K to the mid/high 200s.
Krogen 42 Trawler
Krogen 39 Trawler
At a Glance: Replacement boat for the legendary Krogen 42 — seaworthy and comfortable, the single stateroom interior of the Krogen 39 is designed for the cruising couple. Entering the salon from the aft deck, a dinette is to port and an L-shaped settee with fold-out table is to starboard. The compact galley is located forward in the salon on the starboard side. Four steps up from the salon/galley, the Krogen 39’s raised pilothouse offers commanding views of the water. Port and starboard Dutch doors provide quick deck access, and the settee behind the helm pulls out to form a watch berth. The stateroom and head are reached from the pilothouse—the head is on the starboard side, and the stateroom with island queen berth is forward. One of the great features of the Krogen 39 is her standup engine room. A single 121hp John Deere diesel will cruise at 7–8 knots with a range of 2,000+ miles.
Price Range: From the mid $200s to the high $300s.
At a Glance: An iconic Krogen design with a ballasted displacement hull and tremendous storage — a proven cruising or liveaboard yacht. The hull is solid fiberglass below the waterline and cored above. Until hull #65 (1985), they were built with glass-over-plywood decks; thereafter, they were built with a cored deck and superstructure. There are two versions, the Standard model with walkaround side decks, and Widebody model (introduced in 1989) with a full-width salon. Both versions were available with two lower-level accommodation plans. Double doors open from the aft deck to the salon where an L-shaped sofa and table are to starboard. The galley is forward, on the starboard side of the salon. The focal point of the Krogen 42 is the pilothouse with watch berth, overhead hatches, and port/starboard deck doors. A single 120hp Lehman diesel will cruise at 7–8 knots. A total of 206 were built.
Price Range: From about $100K to mid/high $200s.
Krogen 44 Trawler
At a Glance: Heavily built passage maker for cruising in comfort and security — Selene sold a lot of these yachts. The interior is finished in satin varnished cherry wood with teak and holly flooring throughout. The focal point of this yacht is her well-appointed pilothouse — fronted by a Portuguese bridge—that towers high above the water. A U-shaped galley complete with full-size refrigerator is forward in the salon. Below, the living quarters consist of three staterooms and two full heads. The full-beam amidships master stateroom has direct access to the Selene’s standup engineroom (also reached via a spiral staircase opposite the galley). The forward VIP stateroom has an island queen berth, and the second guest stateroom to port has twin single berths. Teak is used on all exterior deck surfaces. A single 430hp Cummins diesel—or twin 230hp Cummins diesels—cruise at 8–9 knots.
Price Range: From around $500K to over $1 million.
At a Glance: Based on the original Krogen 42 — a serious long range yacht for the cruising couple. The added length of the 44 can be seen in her larger pilothouse and roomier aft deck. A not-so-obvious upgrade is that the pilothouse, flybridge and boat deck are a single mold instead of fastened together providing a much stronger structure. The interior of the 44 is similar to her predecessor. An L-shaped settee is to starboard in the salon, opposite two occasional chairs, and a U-shaped galley is forward, also to starboard. Accessed from companionway steps forward of the salon, the guest stateroom with convertible settee, desk, and book shelves doubles as a den/office. The single head is to port, and master stateroom with island queen berth is forward. Note the weathertight doors and windows. A Widebody version came out in 2006. A 158hp John Deere diesel will cruise at 8 knots with a range of 2,000-plus nautical miles.
Price Range: From about $600K to over $1 million.
Lord Nelson Victory Tug 37
At a Glance: A quality-built displacement trawler perfect for cruising the world in comfort and safety. Several interiors are available in the Selene 47, all with the galley forward in the salon. Accessed from companionway steps forward in the salon, the two stateroom, two head layout includes twin single berths in the port guest stateroom and a walkaround queen berth in the forward master stateroom. The master stateroom head features a tub, and a washer/dryer unit is located at the foot of the companionway steps. Part of the guest cabin bulkhead folds away to create a large common area abaft the master stateroom. A large storage area is between the engine room and lazarette. In addition to great visibility, the pilothouse features a watch berth and inside access to the flybridge. A single 330hp Cummins diesel will cruise at 8 knots with a range of 2,000+ miles.
Price Range: From the mid $200s to mid/high $600s.
At a Glance: Based on a traditional New England workboat hull — 76 of these popular boats were delivered. Her teak batten interior, functional pilothouse, large galley, and wide walkaround decks with substantial bulwarks will appeal to the discerning yachtsman. The salon and galley are three steps down from the pilothouse. The U-shaped galley has a serving counter, and the convertible salon settee has storage space below. A pantry door in the galley opens to the engine room. The salon sole is teak and holly, and the overhead is tongue and groove teak. Forward of the pilothouse, the stateroom features a double berth and head with stall shower. The original teak decks were ultimately eliminated in favor of fiberglass, and the teak handrails were replaced with stainless steel late in her production run. The Victory Tug 37 has a cruising range of 800–900 miles at 7 knots with a single 150hp Cummins diesel.
Price Range: From $75–80K to the mid $100s.