The rather extreme popularity of our article on Five Affordable Trawlers Under 40 Feet goes a long way in proving how dedicated folks who buy trawlers are. They seem to have an acute case of nautical wanderlust—a strong desire to explore distant ports under power, where the enjoyment of the journey is almost as important as the destination. Trawlers make that dream possible. Their capable hulls, spacious interiors, and comfortable accommodations create a relaxing home on the water that can go wherever the owner’s whimsy points them. For many boaters, however, trawlers under 40’ simply don’t have the living space they need or want. Luckily you don’t have to spend every last bit of your retirement savings to buy a larger one. While they may be expensive in the grand scheme of things, there are trawler manufacturers that produce capable models with a lot of comfort and seaworthiness for the buck. And, if a new model isn’t in the budget, many of the trawlers you’ll read about below can be acquired as previously-loved models at a significant savings. Bon voyage!

Beneteau Swift Trawler 44

With a top-end of just over 27 MPH, the Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 is among the fastest boats in this category.

With a top-end of just over 27 MPH, the Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 is among the fastest boats in this category.

When Beneteau started introducing passage-making “fast” trawlers like the Swift Trawler 44 back in 2011, lots of folks in the North American boating market sort of scratched their heads. Known for ages in this geographic market mainly for its sailboats, plenty of folks had never heard of nor seen a Beneteau powerboat, much less an adept passage-making model like the Swift Trawler 44. Six years later the 44 is an unabashed hit, having sold out production runs during many model years. Besides being ultimately affordable in this size category, the Swift Trawler 44 is fast. Very fast, indeed.

Twin Volvo Penta 300 HP diesels have the beans to push the Swift Trawler up to a top end of just over 27 MPH. But the Swift Trawler 44’s top end is only part of the story. The 44’s semi-displacement hull allows it to cruise efficiently at speeds as fast as 21 to 22 MPH, and even more so at around 15 MPH, where the two engines turn into absolute fuel misers, burning only 14.5 GPH combined. Though the ultimate range isn’t as high as many other trawlers in this category, not many can keep pace with the 44 at its ideal cruising speeds.

Inside and out the Swift Trawler 44 has a shippy but elegant look. Outside spaces include a capacious aft cockpit smothered in teak trim, a large foredeck and cabintop sunpad area, and a huge flybridge deck with lots of seating and room for an inflatable dinghy. Inside is a two-stateroom scheme with the master situated forward and the guest accommodations just aft of it, to port. There are two enclosed head/shower compartments aboard.

The cost of entry for a new boat starts at a little over a half-million dollars and can come close to $700,000 depending on how it’s equipped, but peruse these Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 listings and you’ll also see some pre-owned boats that cost significantly less.

For more information, visit Beneteau.

Fleming 55

The Fleming 55 is a delicious blend of luxury, performance, seaworthiness, and style.

The Fleming 55 is a delicious blend of luxury, performance, seaworthiness, and style.

When the Fleming 50 first hit the market in the mid '80s, it was generally considered one of the most graceful pilothouse trawler designs ever conceived. In fact, some folks said that it wasn’t a trawler at all. That original hull grew in short increments until the ’90s, when the 55 was introduced. Today there are more than 300 Fleming hulls plying the world’s most adventurous passages, and the majority of them are 55s.

Though the Fleming 55 has a long and lean look versus the short and stout appearance of many other trawlers, its hulls have proven infinitely capable, having hundreds, if not thousands, of long-distance offshore passages under their belts. In a large part, it’s this elegance and seaworthiness that make the Fleming 55 such a popular boat. Superior build quality, luxurious accommodations, and lots of innovation play a part in that popularity, too.

Two Cummins QSC8.3 500 HP diesels lie in the belly of the Fleming 55, capable of pushing the boat’s nearly 70,000 lbs. up to just over 18 knots. Six to 10 knots is where the Fleming 55 cruises most efficiently, however, burning only around five to 10 GPH in that range. A thousand gallons of diesel fuel are spread around the 55’s four stainless-steel tanks, netting around a 2,000 nautical mile range at seven knots.

Luxury abounds on the Fleming 55—she’s trimmed in the best of just about everything, from the flybridge down to the engine room. There are two layouts available. The standard layout had a twin-berth guest cabin, while an optional layout has a full-sized berth in the port guest quarters. A huge pilothouse with plenty of seating and a large main saloon round out the interior accommodations. There’s plenty of room on deck, too, with virtually all exterior decks being clad in beautiful solid teak.

If you’re on the hunt for a sleek and luxurious trawler/motor cruiser hybrid packed with tons of luxury and a seaworthy hull, the Fleming 55 is legendary in its market space. It does, however, also press the definition of “affordable,” as it’s likely to break the $2 million dollar barrier. If a new Fleming 55 is too rich for your blood, there are many used models populating the market.

See all Fleming listings.

For more information, visit Fleming Yachts.

Grand Banks 43 Heritage EU

The classic good looks of the Grand Banks 43 Heritage EU are difficult to beat.

The classic good looks of the Grand Banks 43 Heritage EU are difficult to beat.

When it comes to trawlers, there’s hardly a better-known or respected name than Grand Banks. Along with a few others, the builder virtually wrote the book on recreational trawlers. Today the company has segued toward the increasingly popular “fast trawler” market. Luckily the company didn’t leave one of its classic designs, the Grand Banks 42, behind. It’s been re-engineered and designed to retain its classic good looks but with enhanced performance. The result is the Grand Banks 43 Heritage EU.

Though the 43 Heritage EU has the look and charm of the 42—the most popular full-displacement model the company ever built—it rides on top of a modern semi-displacement hull that allows it to cruise at speeds more than twice as fast as its older kin. A pair of Cummins QSB6.7 diesels rated at 480 HP and mated to Zeus pod drives are the other part of the speed equation, pushing the 43 Heritage EU to a top-end of 24 knots with an efficient cruising speed of 20 knots—right in the slot with the other “fast trawlers” in the crowd. With 582 gallons of fuel on board the 43 Heritage EU has a range of around 600 miles at 20 knots.

The standard layout includes a master stateroom forward and guest accommodations aft, to port, with two enclosed shower/head compartments. The galley is up in the main saloon, and there’s a large dinette aft with adjacent bench seating. Outside is a spacious aft cockpit, where a set of full-sized steps leads up to the large, comfortable flybridge. All in all, the 43 EU Heritage is a solid and comfortable long-distance cruiser.

Though the Grand Banks 43 Heritage EU can push right up to the million dollar mark, it’s difficult to find a trawler of this type with this level of build quality, performance, and comfort. And, if you’re okay with slowing it down a bit, you can always take a look at the 43’s ever-popular predecessor, the 42. There are plenty of listings for used 42’s on the market, some of which cost just a tenth of the price of a new 43 Heritage EU. See listings for 42’ and 43’ Grand Banks trawlers.

For more information, visit Grand Banks Yachts.

Great Harbour N47

The Great Harbour N47 has an astounding 2,500 nautical mile range and sports among the roomiest interiors in its size range.

The Great Harbour N47 has an astounding 2,500 nautical mile range and sports among the roomiest interiors in its size range.

It would be awfully difficult to find a 47’ trawler with as much foot-for-foot room inside as the Great Harbour N47. Designed to maximize livability while delivering solid performance as a long-distance passage-maker, the Great Harbour N47 represents an excellent value for the dollar.

Powered by twin 75 HP Yanmar diesels, the N47 isn’t a sprinter. Instead of speed, it capitalizes on the “slow-and-steady wins the race” mantra, cruising at around eight knots. With 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel aboard you can point your bow for a destination around 2,500 nautical miles away. With just under three feet of draft, the N47 also can sneak over shallow-water entrances and shoals that would leave other trawlers this size high and dry.

Buyers of new N47s can pick from a menu of different layouts, including a two-stateroom model with a lower level dinette, a three-stateroom model, and a three-stateroom model with crew quarters. Interior accommodations are utilitarian but well-crafted, built with an eye toward durability under heavy use. And the interior isn’t the only spacious aspect of the N47—there’s seven feet of headroom in the engine room, making maintenance and daily engine checks a breeze.

For more information, visit Great Harbour Trawlers.

Kadey-Krogen 44 AE

A design that’s been improved and enhanced over 35 years, the Kadey-Krogen 44 is a truly pedigreed long-distance passage-maker.

A design that’s been improved and enhanced over 35 years, the Kadey-Krogen 44 is a truly pedigreed long-distance passage-maker.

Another legendary name in the trawler world is Kadey-Krogen, which has been building solid trawlers since 1977. It all started with its renowned Krogen 42. Kadey-Krogen further built on that original model with decades of improvements and enhancements, launching the Kadey-Krogen 44. In 2012 the Kadey-Krogen 44 AE—the “AE” stands for “Advanced Ergonomics”—launched, and it represents the refinement of 35 years of the 44s that preceded it.

All 44s feature a stout and robust full-displacement hull and exterior outline that has changed relatively little over the many years the model has been produced. But don’t worry; in many ways that’s a good thing. All 44s feature a deck plan with plenty of exterior space, but with an interior that’s been pushed to the edges for maximum volume. The result is a passage-making yacht with a nice mix of both interior and exterior accommodations, but with a bend toward providing maximum interior comfort. That’s one reason the 44 is such a popular model among folks looking to live aboard full time.

Unlike other boats in this category, which often have twin engines, the Krogen 44 relies on a single 148 HP John Deere diesel engine for propulsion. Efficiency is the goal here, and the results are a cruising range of nearly 2,000 nautical miles at eight knots. Back down to six knots and the range jumps to a whopping 4,450 nautical miles. That’s some serious distance.

A new Kadey-Krogen 44 AE will go for the better part of a million, but there are also many pre-owned Kadey-Krogens in our listings, including some that fall below the three figure mark.

For more information, visit Kadey-Krogen Yachts.

Written by: Gary Reich
Gary Reich is a Chesapeake Bay-based freelance writer and photojournalist with over 25 years of experience in the marine industry. He is the former editor of PropTalk Magazine and was the managing editor of the Waterway Guide. His writing and photography have been published in PassageMaker Magazine, Soundings, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Yachting Magazine, and Lakeland Boating, among others.