The Journey vs. the Destination: Modern Trawlers versus Sleek Speedsters

DeFever Trawler 49 Lioness

Whether you focus on the journey or the destination, or somewhere in between, this quick-read shares the pros and cons of three types of boats designed for extended long-range cruising. Read more below on the journey versus the destination of modern trawlers versus sleek speedsters.

Image caption: DeFever Trawler 49 Lioness

Pros and Cons of Three Trawler Types

Takin’ It S-L-O-W

Modern trawlers combine the best features of 19th century commercial fishing boats after which they were styled and today’s popular luxury yachts. The result: Recreational cruisers, ranging from 35 to 60 feet, that take you thousands of miles in comfort and style – safely and economically.


Trawlers with their wide, full-displacement boat hulls mean roomier, more luxurious living spaces, extra headroom, smoother rides, greater stability and accessibility. They slip under bridges and navigate well in shallow water. They’re easy to maneuver and extremely versatile. Want to fish? Sunbathe? Entertain? There’s plenty of deck space to accommodate several activities – simultaneously. And having to stop and refuel happens once in a blue moon.


Depending on how you look at it, the primary advantage/disadvantage of a trawler is its top speed – which is no more than 22 mph. Some people find that annoyingly slow, while others appreciate the unhurried, leisureliness of it all. True, you won’t be able to outrun rough weather, but the trawler’s full-displacement boat hull makes it mighty seaworthy in heavy seas.

If you’ve got plenty of time to go places, take a trawler. There’s no better way to slow down and unwind.

High-Performance Motor Yacht Cigarette Tirranaa, Pros and Cons of Modern Trawlers versus Sleek Speedsters

Image caption: High-Performance Motor Yacht Cigarette Tirranaa

Gotta Get There NOW

The upside:

If you’re more into the destination than the journey or if time is a factor, a high-performance motor yacht is a smart choice. They’re luxurious, safe, loaded with amenities and offer all the recreational activities of slower trawlers. The big plus is their planing hull, which generates lift as you increase speed, and helps you cover a lot of water in a lot less time. Of course, the yacht’s size and type have a lot to do with how fast you can go as well, but 30 to 60 mph is typical. Another advantage: The amount of time spent traveling to and from your destination is less, so you won’t need to stow as many provisions.

The downside:

Handling a larger boat at higher speeds requires experience and concentration, which may limit the number of people who can help with piloting. Increased speed also raises the chance of hitting debris and possibly damaging your boat. The biggest drawback, however, is fuel consumption. Doubling or tripling your speed burns almost twice as much fuel. Plus, you have to take time to stop and refill the tank. But, don’t let anybody kid you: Fast pleasure cruising is FUN! So, if time is of the essence or you simply enjoy flying across the water at breakneck speed, there’s a motor yacht with your name on it.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 35, Pros and Cons of Modern Trawlers versus Sleek Speedsters

Image caption: Beneteau Swift Trawler 35

Somewhere In The Middle

In between full-displacement trawlers with their deep drafts and rounded hulls and fast cruising boats with deep-V planing hulls, lies what is often classified as a swift trawler. Swift trawlers have a semi-displacement boat hull that is V-shaped at the front and flat by the time it reaches the rear. This relatively simple design compromise improves performance without sacrificing volume, large fuel tanks or the ability to travel long distances efficiently and power up when necessary. So, if you’re not planning any transatlantic crossings, but still have your heart set on extended cruising, this in-between trawler has the get-up-and-go you need when you’ve someplace to be or a storm system crosses your path.

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