Sunday 8 April 2007

Trailer Trawler Prototype

Vessel is nearing completion and is ready for your personal customization and diesel engine choice.

Innovative lightweight cruising Trailer Trawler with traditional appearance built using modern materials and construction techniques.

Click on pictures to view construction sequence and teak deck procedure
  • Length: 7.6 meters
  • Width: 2.5 meter
  • Weight: less than 2000 Kg
  • Motoring Speed: 6-9 Knots
  • Trailer able - Extended choice of cruising grounds (Choose the entire coastline of Australia as your cruising ground using the highway instead of holiday consuming ocean passages)
  • Lightweight advanced construction allows vessel to be towed by large family vehicle (not a dedicated towing vehicle).
  • Use as conventional caravan during land based travels and camping, beside a lake or up a river !!
  • Water ballasted for stability at sea and lightness while trailering
  • Store and work on the boat on land, cutting slippage and anti-fouling maintenance costs.
  • Displacement hull matched with lower horsepower fuel efficient diesel engine for dramatically reduced fuel costs and extended range.
  • Fully fitted for extended voyaging on land, sea, lake or river
    Galley with 100 liter drawer type refrigeration, gas cooker top, sink and pressure water
    Separate compartment, electric head and shower with holding tank.

  • Entirely built from epoxy vinylester resin for elimination of osmotic blistering
  • All laminates used are non-woven stitched fabric orientated for strength.
  • Kevlar in laminate in fwd sections below w/l
  • Hull, deck, cabin and cockpit construction with Divinycell H80 Core
  • No heavy chop strand mat!! No useless chopper gun layup!!

Construction Photo Album

Trailer Trawler - Why?

I think I'm a true sailor at heart. I really do!!. Except I don't like to fold sails anymore. Or pull them up and down, or get hit by the darn jibbing boom.
Time to change !!

I've been cruising the South Pacific and the USA over a 30 year span.
During that time I experienced long enjoyable ocean passages as well as enjoying the inside passages of both coasts of the US, crossed the great lakes and 3 trips to Alaska.

One thing I realized over these many miles was you don't actually need a huge powerful fuel sucking boat to see some of the most interesting places.
While we were cruising the inside passage to Alaska in "Billabong" and "Foreigner" (Sailboats,43' and 41' respectively) we would watch HUGE power boats come in a bay fill their fuel tanks and race off into the horizon (watching the $$ fly out the window). At the end of the day we would typically end up sharing the same anchorage, but I really think we got to enjoy more of the scenery as we traveled along at our 6 knot max.

The other thing that did be come apparent to me was that I actually motored many thousands of these miles in my sailboats !! Now granted, Alaska isn't the best place for a sailboat (not much wind or too much) and the East Coast's ICW is just a no go to sail, but it did trigger a thought..

If I could (and did) travel a fair old amount of the US + 3 Alaska trips on a 20,000lb sailboat with a 45hp diesel and not even notice the fuel costs !! then, a light weight, trailerable cruising trawler, with a lower horsepower engine, designed specifically for these situations would be a winner for me !! Especially, as with a reasonable size vehicles I could travel from coast to coast lake to river. superb !!

In order to develop such a boat I needed to focus on the weight of the hull design and turned to my previous training on vacuum infusion.
I perceived a boat, designed using vacuum infused panels which can be far superior to conventional hand laminated or molded techniques for weight to strength ratio.
Fellow sailor and boat Designer /builder John Sayer assisted with laminate schedules which we chose based on those used for a 40 foot ocean going catamaran. Having built my first composite boat back in 1974 (and its still going great) I was comfortable with handling the structural design Myself.

I chose a displacement hull over a planing hull to provide best fuel efficiency at the speed the boat was intended for (6-10 knots). Typical planing hulls only reach their efficiency after getting up on a plane, causing increased fuel consumption at lower speed (not planing). Lower speed constraints were based on regulations (large potions of ICW east coast), debris (big big logs in Alaska, many of which I hit) and the enjoyment of the passing scenery.

John Sayer currently uses this vacuum infusion technique on his world class ultra light racing yachts with outstanding results.

Advantages I saw:
  • Trailerable - Extended choice of cruising grounds (move between East and West coast's) Using the Highway instead of exposed ocean passages for more expansive crusing
  • Store and work on the boat on land, reducing slippage and anti-fouling maintenance costs.
  • Reduced fuel costs and extended range.