6 Pocket Cruisers Ready to Hit the Road - PassageMaker

Designed with a common objective to accommodate the best of the land-sea lifestyle, trailerable cruisers seem a natural fit in the world of trawlers. According to one prominent builder, many of their clients are retired sailors—not speed freaks—who enjoy easygoing scenic cruising. Others embark on the trailer-trawler life to simplify their cruising style, downsizing from larger motoryachts, or to add variety to their list of viable cruising destinations. Traveling is always at the core, and the question of how far, how fast or how long remains up to the owner. 

Boatbuilders have answered growing demand with a wide variety of solutions, making the portable life more accessible than ever before. Here are six capable cruisers you can strap down and take with you virtually anywhere.

RANGER TUGS/CUTWATER BOATS

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Founded in 1958, Ranger Tugs was purchased by designer David Livingston and his son, John, in the late 1990s. Today, the company offers a variety of 23- to 41-foot models: Yamaha outboard with planing hull, diesel inboard with semi-planing hull, and IPS drive with semi-planing hull.

For a lighter, sportier appeal with more fishing amenities, Cutwater Boats (same ownership) manufactures models from 24 to 32 feet: Yamaha outboard with planing hull and diesel inboard with semi-planing hull. The C-32 CB just won an NMMA Innovation Award for Cabin Cruisers.

Both companies offer pickup of new boats in Kent, Washington, so buyers can cruise the Pacific Northwest, then have their boats shrink-wrapped and shipped home. rangertugs.com

ROSBOROUGH BOATS USA

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Rosborough built a reputation on classic wooden boats in Nova Scotia in the 1950s, then moved into fiberglass designs. After 25 years and almost 500 boats, the founders sold the molds to Eastern Boats in Milton, New Hampshire, which builds the 25-footers today.

The boats reportedly attain speeds in the low 20s, powered by a standard 150-hp (or optional 200-hp) Honda outboard engine. There’s an optional cockpit hardtop extension for extra shade, creating a “back porch” with privacy side curtains. The air conditioning can run on shore power, RV park power or a generator. rosboroughboatsusa.com

LIFE PROOF BOATS

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Known for building law-enforcement and commercial vessels, Life Proof offers 25- and 27-foot full-­cabin models with an 8-foot-5-inch beam, powered with one or two outboards (total 300 to 350 hp) or a single diesel engine for reported speeds up to 43 knots.

The self-bailing boats have a cabin that accommodates six people. There are two Shockwave helm seats, bench seats abaft them, and an optional sink, stove and refrigerator. The aft deck has a high transom and can include a fishing package with downrigger mounts, a raw-water washdown, rod holders and a trolling-motor mount. Other options include exterior cushions, a stereo, navigation/radar and tow mounts. lifeproofboats.com

OCEAN SPORT ROAMER

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Ocean Sport Roamer builds 26- to 33-foot boats. Its new 26-foot Legacy has twin 250-hp Yamaha engines, or an optional 270- to 440-hp Volvo Penta diesel. The planing hull reportedly cruises at 28 to 50 knots.

Designed for fishing and built by Nordic Tugs, the fiberglass boats are sold by Island Marine Center on Lopez Island in Washington state’s San Juan Islands. Each boat can sleep six, and has an aft deck with hatches for fish, ice and stowage. A rocket launcher and rod holders add fishability, and Burnewiin accessories are available. islandsmarinecenter.com

ARROWCAT

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The ArrowCat 320 Coupe with twin 225-hp Mercury outboards is modeled after a pilothouse boat but with a redesigned roof, windshield, side windows and lengthened hardtop overhang to increase solar efficiency. The 31-foot-2-inch boat requires a wide load permit because of its 10-foot beam, and its trailer comes with a ladder for bow boarding.

Based in Clearwater, Florida, ArrowCat also offers 34- and 42-foot models. On the 320, there’s a mezzanine with extra rod holders and a live well. For cruisers, fold-down seats are optional. The extended aft deck platform between the engines has safety rails and a built-in ladder that folds up and in. An alternator and lithium battery, charged by the engines, can reportedly operate the air conditioning for three hours at anchor, and shore power can be used overnight. arrowcat.com

ASPEN POWER CATAMARANS

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After building Glacier Bay catamarans for 20 years, Larry Graf created Aspen Power Catamarans. They have asymmetrical sponsons to reduce drag, and are sold with a single diesel engine or two outboard engines of different horsepower. The bow is shaped like an airplane wing to balance thrust and torque.

The smallest model has a 10-foot beam, which means it requires a wide load permit, but Graf says catamarans provide better visibility than monohulls while towing. The builder’s 28-foot C90 is ideal for trailering, he says, though some owners trailer the 32- and 34-footers. Graf trailered a 34-foot Aspen more than 1,170 miles through the Canadian Rockies. 
aspenpowercatamarans.com

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