Passagemaker the Ocean Crosser

passagemaker trawlerThere are four types of trawlers, Trunk, Sedan, Sundeck, Pilothouse. Then there is the Passagemaker it is a heavy duty, well built, long range ocean crossing trawler. Passagemakers are clearly defined as being able to ”make the passage”. This trawler is completely set up for Trans-ocean crossings. a full displacement hull most likely starting at 50′ and up having features not found on regular trawlers. Using such a trawler for local, inland or coastal and Island cruising would be overkill and a waste of money. Passagemakers are used for extremely long range open ocean crossings. The high seas mates!

First and foremost, range is a concern. Depending on what part of the world you plan to cruise, you must find your longest leg first. For instance, a Trans-Atlantic crossing from Bermuda to the Azores is about 1,850 miles, and a Pan-Pacific crossing from San Diego to Hawaii is about 2,300 miles, in order to establish your fuel tank capacity you must do your arithmetic and calculate your range leaving about 10% — 15% fuel in reserve to be safe.

The “Raised” pilothouse cabin should be well forward towards the bow and up high for the captains best view and totally separated from the rest of the boat.. You want to have a total blacked out effect for night vision on such long voyages. Reversed-raked windshield’s helps reduce the glare. Window thickness is important for safety from pounding waves, storm shutters at the ready for total protection when needed in foul seas.

A Portuguese Bridge is a fixed solid U shaped structure wrapping around the front of the pilothouse cabin to the side access doors.    This provides excellent protection from being washed overboard when the watch stander must go on deck, it also provides good protection from waves smashing over the bow in heavy seas.

Engine room – the more room the better and most have stand up rooms, also some have work bench and lots of storage for tools and spare parts. easy access is important for ongoing inspections while underway.

We covered range and heavy-duty hull construction for seaworthiness. Now for all the bells and whistles (options), you can add some of the following for your convenience, comfort, safety and especially cost.

Today’s new technology has really allotted comfort and convenience to the blue water ocean crosser for those that can afford these options/equipment, making there voyages more enjoyable, safer with less fatigue administered to the Captain and crew on hand. Communication’s, sitcom, portable cell phones, emergency positioning locators, advanced emergency safety equipment, chart plotters, GPS, SSB, weather fax, water makers, stabilizers, computers, emergency auxillary get home system’s are just some of the options adding to the comfort and safety. Why take unnecessary risks?

Some owners either don’t have the budget or the desire for some of these option’s. You’ll be surprised at some of the old salts (not me) looking for adventure on the high sea’s roughing it one leg at a time finding it exhilarating that only the heartiest shall survive. It has been done for centuries with only a sexton on board.

Written by Captain Bob Trawler School Charters Dania Beach Florida

for more information go to Captain Robert Hamilton

Sea U

Captain Bob