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Just Right

Numerous boats on the brokerage market can be ideal for a Great Loop adventure.

In the mid-1990s, Ron and Eva Stob purchased a 40-foot trawler and set out on a circumnavigation of the eastern half of North America. They spent a year cruising 6,300 miles and transiting 145 locks before writing the book Honey, Let’s Get a Boat: A Cruising Adventure of America’s Great Loop and founding the America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.

Today, members of that association spend a lot of time discussing which boats are the best for cruising the Great Loop. They talk about powerboats and sailboats up to about 70 feet length overall, and they chat about which models are best for seaworthiness, protection from the elements, fuel efficiency and comfortable amenities. Quite a few members say certain older boat models are ideal.

Here’s a look at Great Loop candidate boats that can be found on the brokerage market.

Grand Banks 42 

LOA 43’3”,  Beam 13’7”,  Draft 4’2”, Displacement 27,000 lbs.,  Speed 7 TO 15 knots,  Brokerage price $60,000 to $135,000

LOA 43’3”, Beam 13’7”, Draft 4’2”, Displacement 27,000 lbs., Speed 7 TO 15 knots, Brokerage price $60,000 to $135,000

One of the most popular trawlers of our times, the Grand Banks 42 Classic has an aft stateroom. The Grand Banks 42 Europa (pictured here) has a boat deck and accommodations forward, and the Grand Banks 42 Motoryacht has a raised aft deck and stateroom. Each version has a semi-displacement, hard-chined hull that helps provide a comfortable ride. Wide, well-protected side decks are typical, with reasonable interior salon dimensions. All three models have galleys up, and stowage in the teak lockers and furniture. The flybridges have seating for family and friends, and additional stowage. grandbanks.com

Ranger Tugs R-31 CB 

LOA 34’10”,  Beam 10’, Draft 2’6”,  Displacement 12,500 lbs.,  Speed 6.6 to 20.6 knots,   Brokerage price $219,000 to $349,900

LOA 34’10”,  Beam 10’, Draft 2’6”, Displacement 12,500 lbs.,  Speed 6.6 to 20.6 knots,  Brokerage price $219,000 to $349,900

The Ranger Tugs R-31 Command Bridge is a trailerable coastal cruiser. This boat has drop-down flybridge stations with electronic steering and engine controls; a foredeck bench seat with an adjustable table; and, in the cockpit, sides that cantilever out to create more space. Inside, accommodations include a forward stateroom with an island berth, a private head and an amidships stateroom beneath the raised dining area. Outboard of the starboard helm, a sliding door allows instant access to the side deck for singlehanded owners. Bow and stern thrusters are standard, making maneuvering in locks and around crowded docks more convenient. rangertugs.com

Aspen C100 

LOA 34’8”  Beam 10’  Draft 2’7”  Displacement 8,400 lbs.  Speed 7.8 to 20.5 knots   Brokerage price $300,000 to $411,500

LOA 34’8” Beam 10’ Draft 2’7” Displacement 8,400 lbs. Speed 7.8 to 20.5 knots Brokerage price $300,000 to $411,500

When Larry Graf founded Aspen Power Catamarans in 2008, he patented the Power Proa hull design—essentially a catamaran with one hull that is 35 percent thinner than the other. With a single engine in the larger hull, reduced drag below the waterline, and a high tunnel between the hulls, Graf’s hull proved seaworthy and economical to run. In October 2018, a 40-foot C120 flybridge model completed a 10,502-nautical-mile journey from the Pacific Northwest to the Chesapeake Bay. The 32-foot C100 sedan, which has space akin to larger monohulls, is capable of similar jaunts. aspenpowercatamarans.com

Kadey-Krogen 36 Manatee 

LOA 36’4”  Beam 13’8”  Draft 2’6”  Displacement 23,000 lbs.  Speed 6 to 7 knots   Brokerage price $124,000 to $140,000

LOA 36’4” Beam 13’8” Draft 2’6” Displacement 23,000 lbs. Speed 6 to 7 knots Brokerage price $124,000 to $140,000

Introduced in the mid-1980s, the Krogen 36 Manatee is a full-displacement, fuel-efficient trawler with a single- or double-stateroom layout, a raised pilothouse and an aft deck that can be sealed against weather. The full-beam salon has a U-shape galley. Access to the foredeck for line-handling and anchoring is from the flybridge, and the boat deck for the dinghy protects the aft deck below. Inside, cabin-side windows bring in natural light and ventilation. Although most 36 Manatees were built as single-stateroom layouts, the doubles are prized by those who have occasional guests, need an office or want extra stowage. kadeykrogen.com

Swift Trawler 34 

LOA 36’  Beam 13’1”  Draft 3’4”  Displacement 16,420 lbs.  Speed 12 to 24 knots   Brokerage price $219,037 to $258,600

LOA 36’ Beam 13’1” Draft 3’4” Displacement 16,420 lbs. Speed 12 to 24 knots Brokerage price $219,037 to $258,600

Beneteau, the 135-year-old French builder of sailboats and powerboats, launched the Swift Trawler 34 in 2011 and sent one around the Great Loop in 2012, starting and ending in Annapolis, Maryland. The trip established the ST34 as a solid cruising design with efficiency and performance capabilities. Key features include flybridge and lower helms; an extended boat deck that protects the aft deck and side decks; and an asymmetrical stateroom layout with increased salon space. An opening door at the lower helm leads to a wider starboard side deck. Accommodations include a master stateroom in the bow and a guest stateroom with bunks to port, both served by a single head. The salon has a foldout settee that converts to a double berth. A C-shape galley is opposite the helm. Side and forward windows offer views in virtually every direction. beneteau.com

Nordic Tug 34 

LOA 34’11”  Beam 11’4”  Draft 3’8”  Displacement 15,700 lbs.  Speed 12 to 14 knots   Brokerage price $249,900 to $379,900

LOA 34’11” Beam 11’4” Draft 3’8” Displacement 15,700 lbs. Speed 12 to 14 knots Brokerage price $249,900 to $379,900

Called the 32 early in its production, the Nordic Tug 34 is a semi-displacement cruiser with a traditional full keel and a rugged build. Considerable use of teak inside adds warmth, while exterior teak is minimal for reduced maintenance. The raised pilothouse allows exceptional visibility with sliding-door access to the side decks. The galley is usually located forward in the main salon, down a set of steps from the pilothouse, although some hulls have the galley aft. In the stateroom, down another set of steps forward, there may be a double berth or V-berths with access to the head compartment. Guests can bunk in the salon on a convertible settee. nordictugs.com

American Tug 34 

LOA 34’5”  Beam 13’3”  Draft 3’5”  Displacement 20,000 lbs.  Speed 7.5 to 10 knots   Brokerage price $249,900 to $279,000

LOA 34’5” Beam 13’3” Draft 3’5” Displacement 20,000 lbs. Speed 7.5 to 10 knots Brokerage price $249,900 to $279,000

Fans of the naval architect Lynn Senour, who designed rugged, reliable hulls for commercial fishing and Nordic Tugs, penned the American Tug 34. It’s a semi-displacement boat with a full-length keel. Wide side decks lead fore and aft, with substantial safety rails and raised bulwarks. Visibility from the pilothouse helm is outstanding, with two hinged opening pilothouse doors and locking dogs leading to the side decks. The 34 eschews exterior woodwork, but uses teak lavishly inside the salon, which has an L-shape galley to starboard and a dinette to port. Sliding screened windows let in natural light and ventilation. Air conditioning is optional. americantugs.com

DeFever 49 PH 

LOA 34’10”  Beam 10’  Draft 2’6”  Displacement 12,500 lbs.  Speed 6.6 to 20.6 knots   Brokerage price $219,000 to $349,900

LOA 34’10” Beam 10’ Draft 2’6” Displacement 12,500 lbs. Speed 6.6 to 20.6 knots Brokerage price $219,000 to $349,900

Art DeFever was one of the most successful naval architects of our era. His background was in commercial tuna fishing boats, and his distance-cruising and trawler designs were renowned for their seaworthiness and long-range capabilities. His 49 Pilothouse, originally built in wood in the early 1970s, had classic lines and offshore features such as a high bow; a Portuguese bridge that protected a wide lower pilothouse helm; wide and well-protected side decks; and a comfortable aft deck. The three-stateroom layout was spacious, with stowage and teak joinery. DeFevers are no longer built, but there is an active website to discuss them. defevercruisers.com

Marine Trader 38 Sedan 

LOA 38’  Beam 12’10”  Draft 4’  Displacement 22,000 lbs.  Speed 8 to 10 knots   Brokerage price $33,500 to $92,796

LOA 38’ Beam 12’10” Draft 4’ Displacement 22,000 lbs. Speed 8 to 10 knots Brokerage price $33,500 to $92,796

The Marine Trader 38 Sedan has lines reminiscent of a Grand Banks Europa. Like the Marine Trader 38 Double Cabin that was introduced earlier in the decade, the 38 Sedan is a semi-displacement trawler with a flybridge, an extended boat deck that protects the aft deck below, and well-protected side decks with tall bulwarks and teak-topped handrails. The Sedan also has two staterooms, but they are forward with access to a single head compartment (some with a shower and small tub, forward and down). The galley location may be up, on the salon level or on the accommodations level. The company is no longer in business.

Meridian 490 Pilothouse 

LOA 54’  Beam 15’1”  Draft 3’4”  Displacement 29,990 lbs.  Speed 8.5 to 23 knots   Brokerage price $259,900 to $389,995

LOA 54’ Beam 15’1” Draft 3’4” Displacement 29,990 lbs. Speed 8.5 to 23 knots Brokerage price $259,900 to $389,995

The Meridian 490 has its origins in the yachts division of Bayliner, with its 45 and 47 Pilothouse Motor Yachts. The three-stateroom layout is intended for cruising families or cruisers who regularly invite guests aboard. The flybridge has interior access from the pilothouse as well as access from the aft deck, with seating on both levels. A U-shape galley is on the salon level to port, with centerline steps to the accommodations level and starboard steps to the pilothouse. A sliding door to starboard of the helm provides quick access for line-handling or anchoring. The Meridian 490 Pilothouse is now retired from production.

Mainship 43 

LOA 43’  Beam 15’6”  Draft 3’8”  Displacement 36,000 lbs.  Speed 12 to 26 knots   Brokerage price $199,500 to $345,000

LOA 43’ Beam 15’6” Draft 3’8” Displacement 36,000 lbs. Speed 12 to 26 knots Brokerage price $199,500 to $345,000

Mainship, a division of the Luhrs Corp., launched its first semi-displacement cruiser—the Mainship 34—in the early 1980s. The boat challenged Taiwan-built cruisers flooding the U.S. market on price, and offered better quality and features. The 430 was introduced in 1999 in an aft-stateroom configuration reminiscent of early Grand Banks designs, with overall two- or three-stateroom layouts. Dual helms—one on the flybridge, one protected in the salon—were typical. The Mainship 43 (also known as the 45 and 479) shown here is a more modern version, and was the largest trawler-style boat the company built. The boat deck overhangs protect the wide side decks and aft deck. The semi-displacement hull allows for double-digit cruising speeds, as well as efficient performance at single-digit speeds. Mainship’s Pilot line of sedan-style trawlers is now available through Marlow Yachts. marlow-pilot.com

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