Which Boat is Right for You: Trawler or Motor?

Trawlers tend to have a spacious layout and large storage space, making them great for extended trips. Motor boats, on the other hand, are great for watersports such as skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. Motorboats are usually faster than trawlers and cost less than trawlers.

The Purpose of Your Boat

When deciding between a trawler and motorboat, it’s important to consider the purpose of your boat. The answer to this question will determine which type of boat is right for you.

Trawlers are designed for leisurely cruising and exploring in sheltered waters. They are also well-suited for fishing, depending on their size and design.

Motorboats, on the other hand, are built for speed and agility and are more suited to a variety of activities such as skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing.

Trawlers tend to have a spacious layout and large storage capacity, making them perfect for extended trips and living aboard.

Many trawlers also have higher freeboard, or height from the waterline, making them safer and more comfortable in rougher waters.

If you plan on using your boat for cruising or living aboard, then a trawler is the way to go.

Motors, on the other hand, are ideal for activities such as skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. They are fast, agile, and often less expensive than trawlers.

In addition, they require less maintenance and are typically easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

If you plan on using your boat primarily for recreational activities, then a motorboat is likely your best option.


Trawlers are fishing boats that are designed to trawl or drag a net through the water. They can be used for commercial fishing or recreational fishing.

The hull of a trawler is usually made of steel and is usually between 25 and 50 feet long.

Trawler designs typically have a long bow and stern, with a flat bottom and a deep draft. This design makes them stable in rough waters but also limits their speed.

Trawlers come in three distinct types: sportfishing, commercial, and pleasure.

Sportfishing trawlers are designed for anglers and include features such as an aft cockpit for fighting fish, multiple rod holders, a live well for keeping bait alive, and a fish box for storage of the catch.

Commercial trawlers are designed for more serious fishermen and typically include additional features such as sonar/GPS navigation equipment and extended deck space.

Pleasure trawlers are more recreational in nature, and often feature amenities such as sleeping quarters, a galley, and bathrooms.

If you’re looking for a boat that can provide comfort, stability, and good fuel efficiency, a trawler is a great option. They are perfect for long trips as they can be slow but comfortable.

The wide variety of types makes it easy to find the perfect trawler for your needs.

here is a video to walk you through a small trawler boat to explore how spacious a trawler is.

What makes a boat a trawler?

Trawlers are a special type of boat that are primarily used for leisure travel and long-distance cruising.

Generally speaking, they have a full-displacement hull that is designed to provide greater fuel efficiency and a smoother ride.

Trawler yachts typically feature a single-screw, long keel design that gives them the characteristic ‘trawler’ look, as well as a low-speed cruising speed of 5 to 8 knots.

This type of boat also has ample living space due to its wide beam and generous storage capacity. Trawler boats offer exceptional comfort and stability, making them an excellent choice for a longer cruise.

Are trawlers seaworthy?

Trawlers are among the most seaworthy vessels on the water.

Their wide hulls, shallow drafts, and heavy displacement make them well-suited for both open ocean and coastal cruising.

The design of these boats helps them to remain relatively level in choppy waters, and their engines provide powerful torque for navigating through tight spaces.

Additionally, the quality materials used in trawler construction give them the ability to handle rougher conditions than many other types of boats.

Trawlers are made to handle big seas and rough weather.

The large beam, long keel, and deep V-hull of a trawler allow it to handle the higher waves of the open ocean and travel long distances.

In addition, trawlers have ample fuel capacity, making them well-suited for extended cruises and long-distance trips.

In conclusion, trawlers are incredibly seaworthy boats that offer excellent stability and comfort in rough seas.

How far can a trawler travel?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors.

Generally, trawlers are designed to travel at an average speed of around 8 knots, though some can reach up to 12 knots.

The range and fuel efficiency of a trawler will vary depending on the size and design of the vessel, as well as the type of engine.

For example, a larger trawler with twin engines may have more range than a smaller single engine trawler.

Additionally, trawlers can be equipped with auxiliary propulsion systems, such as sails or electric motors, which can help extend their range.

The average cruising range of a trawler is usually between 1,000 and 1,500 nautical miles, though some can travel much farther.

Many trawlers can cruise for up to 4 days without having to refuel. Of course, the actual range will depend on how efficiently the vessel is operated and the type of fuel used.

Trawlers are often used for long-distance cruising, so their range should not be underestimated.

With proper preparation and maintenance, a trawler can be a reliable vessel for extended trips and ocean crossings.

What are the pros and cons of trawlers?

The pros of trawlers are that they are larger and sturdier than most motorboats, providing a more comfortable ride on the water.

Trawlers also have better fuel efficiency due to their slower speeds and greater range. This makes them ideal for longer trips and less frequent refueling stops.

They have a full-displacement hull, which means they are designed to cut through the water more efficiently, making them great for cruising around in calm waters.

The cons of trawlers are that they are not built for speed. Most trawlers only reach speeds of 8 knots or less, so they are not suitable for watersports activities like wakeboarding or skiing.

Additionally, they require more maintenance than motorboats, as the engine has to be regularly serviced.

They also cost more to purchase and may require additional specialized equipment such as a bow thruster or stern thruster.

Lastly, some marinas may not allow trawlers due to their size and displacement.

here is a good video to show liveaboard on a trawler.


Motor boats are the most common type of boat on the water. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and types. Motorboats are powered by either inboard or outboard engines.

Some of the most common types of motorboats include runabouts, ski boats, pontoon boats, bow riders, and cabin cruisers.

These boats are built for speed and maneuverability. They are great for watersports, fishing, and other recreational activities.

Most motorboats are designed to be used in inland lakes and coastal areas, but they can also be used in larger bodies of water.

When choosing a motor boat, you should consider the size of the boat, the power of the engine, and the features you want.

Some features you may want to consider include amenities such as cabins, seating, and storage compartments. Additionally, you should look into fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and handling before making a purchase.

Motorboats are great for people who want a fast and easy way to get out on the water. They are easy to operate and are usually less expensive than other types of boats.

Additionally, most motorboats are easier to transport and maintain than trawlers or sailboats.

The Decision

When it comes to choosing a boat, it really depends on what your needs are. If you want a boat for leisurely trips, trawlers are a great option. They are extremely seaworthy and can cover a lot of distance.

On the other hand, motorboats are great for cruising around and can provide some fun speed.

Both types of boats are great for different purposes, so it is important to consider your needs when deciding which one to buy.

No matter what you decide, boating is a great way to get out on the water and explore.

Do your research and take the time to pick the right boat for you. With the right boat, you will be able to enjoy the water for many years to come.