There are several boating magazines that go into details on trawlers. PassageMaker, Yachting, Pacific Yachting, Ocean Navigator, Soundings, Southern Boating and Power and Motoryacht to name a few great resources. Pick up an issue of each, pour through the contents and get a feel for that magazines’ style and then subscribe to publications that speak to your interests. As you delve deeper into trawlers; articles and advertisements will help you determine which “brand” you find the most appealing and appropriate for your cruising plans.

Additionally, the internet is a great way to discover more boat specific trawler details. There is a new true multiple listing service (MLS) on the internet called YachtR – created by the IYBA (International Yacht Brokers Association) it is a directory that is industry owned and industry supported. The IYBA also has a separate broker-friendly site, called YachtBroker.org.

The best way to look for trawlers on the internet is through search engines, the obvious choices like Google and Bing.  Type in the make and model of the boat you are interested in and you will be rewarded with videos and manufacturers’ websites.  As you begin to narrow your search to the right size and brand(s) you will learn about comparable brands and models that should be included in your consideration.

Selene 53

Reading about trawlers in print or online should pique your interest and give you a knowledgeable foundation, but there is nothing more convincing than getting aboard a trawler and seeing for yourself exactly what they are all about. Every year, around the world, there are dozens of boat shows and similar events that provide this opportunity. We are large supporters of the TrawlerFest event series hosted by PassageMaker magazine. When you get ready to board trawlers you are considering buying, here are some things to think about:

  • How do you physically fit in the living and working spaces?
  • Is there enough headroom and are the hallways easy to walk through?
  • Can you see out the pilothouse windows?  What about seating in the saloon, is it comfortable and can you look outside?
  • Are the stateroom beds big enough and comfortable for getting a good night’s sleep?
  • Can you easily sit down on the head and are the showers big enough?
  • Do you have enough room to move about in the working spaces – engine room and lazarette – for normal inspections and service of equipment?
  • Do you like the fit and finish, is the quality level appropriate with the price you will pay?

One of the last things to consider before purchasing a trawler is how it looks outside of the water. Seeing trawlers out of the water or “on the hard”, is very revealing. A good, qualified yacht broker will set aside time to visit a boat yard with you and show you trawlers hauled out of the water. There, you can learn a great deal about hull shape, thrusters, through hulls, active fins, rudders, propellers and shafts.  You will also be able to better appreciate what will happen when you run aground (a reality of cruising – most times a soft landing, not a big crunch) and should be aware of the design choices you have.


We would caution you to be very careful searching on YachtWorld which has, in our opinion, become increasingly unfair and unreliable. They dilute listings with pop up ads and promotions of their in-house financing department. They don’t support the brokers who have built them up and have very suspicious behavior when it comes to consumer privacy.  You don’t have to take our word for this, ask any broker you know what they think of YachtWorld – there is no better source for an unbiased opinion.  You will find that most brokers are very unhappy customers.

There is a growing industry wide movement to abandon YachtWorld.  We believe that soon their obsolete technology and customer unfriendly practices (pop up ads, private label search, secretly recording phone conversations, to name a few) will go the way of the encyclopedia.  We try to avoid putting our listings on YachtWorld for these reasons (and many others). If you want to know more, give Jeff Merrill a call, he has been complaining about the parent company, Boats Group for years.