• On September 1st, Maine Sail suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke. One of the most generous members of our sailing community, he has helped thousands. Now it's our turn. Click here to learn more

Sailboat converted to . . . trawler?

Clark

.
Jun 30, 2004
880
Hunter 280 Lake Guntersville, AL
Was daydreaming (about boats of course) at lunch and had a strange idea. Has anyone seen or actually converted an older medium sized sailboat and removed the spars and rigging; just to use as a power boat? I suppose one with damaged spars would make for a cheaper example. Top speeds would be in the 7-8 kt range but fuel economy would be excellent. I've seen Morgans that might look decent after a conversion . . .
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Maybe... but.

Sailboats hullforms are designed with the stability their rigs give them in mind. Even with the sails down, a sailboat is MUCH more kindly with its rig in place. I would not want to go far on a sailboat sans its rig.
 
Mar 6, 2012
357
Hunter H33 (limited edition cabin top) Bayou Chico
idk jackdaw ive heard of a few ppl that have done this and comment that the boat looses so much weight aloft that it ends up being pretty nice, less windage as well, not for me but its an interesting thought.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
idk jackdaw ive heard of a few ppl that have done this and comment that the boat looses so much weight aloft that it ends up being pretty nice, less windage as well, not for me but its an interesting thought.
Could be for some. Probably impossible to state an absolute case.

But what often happens is the big weight of the keel whips the boat around its vertical center of motion. Without the rig to act as a counterbalance and dampen the motion, the movement can be rather violent.

People notice after switching their boats from aluminum to carbon masts.
 
Mar 6, 2012
357
Hunter H33 (limited edition cabin top) Bayou Chico
yeah, I could see that. and your right, its such a rare choice that it would be near impossible to find good info.
 

Clark

.
Jun 30, 2004
880
Hunter 280 Lake Guntersville, AL
Could be for some. Probably impossible to state an absolute case.

But what often happens is the big weight of the keel whips the boat around its vertical center of motion. Without the rig to act as a counterbalance and dampen the motion, the movement can be rather violent.

People notice after switching their boats from aluminum to carbon masts.
Are you talking about roll or pitch? The better candidates I saw had longer, more shallow keels. I do recall older power boats having a short riding sail - was that to dampen roll motion?
 
Aug 15, 2012
301
Precision 21 Newburyport MA
There was someone on one of the other forums who posted a travelog of French ports. He pointed out several examples of what you describe. It seemed pretty common, and with expensive fuel in Europe, it was a cheaper way to get around.
 
May 24, 2004
6,795
CC 30 South Florida
We were in the middle of a trip in the Chesapeake Bay headed for St. Michaels when our Starwind 223 got demasted. We had trailered the boat from Florida and had put in considerable effort in planning and financing the trip so we decided to go ahead and continue in our now new slow powerboat. From St Michaels, we motored on to Kent narrows and subsequently to our home base in Baltimore. It felt funny as we lost the shading action from the sun provided by the sails and had the outboard noise to contend with. It did feel a little jerky but what caused the most anxiety was the knowledge that we were less visible to faster traffic. We got the boat back and the insurance company did honor a claim for the accidental occurrence and the boat was soon made good. I came out with the idea that although it is not a good use to consider for open waters that the boat less riggin would probably make an excellent canal boat. Even started planning a trip to Upstate NY but latter got diverted.
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,182
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
I knew several folks who bought Macgregor 26 Xs and siimply left the mast at home. Of course, that's pretty much a power boat hull anyway
 
Jan 24, 2011
49
Hunter 30-2 Lake Champlain
I recently motored a mast-less Hunter 30 from upstate NY to Lake Champlain along the St Lawrence. I can tell you the roll stability you get from a 40'+ mast should not be taken for granted.
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
2,004
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Our dock mate lives aboard a trawler based on a sailboat hull. She is about 40', twin engined, full keel. I'm pretty sure it is a production boat, but I forget the make. The owner said she does roll a bit, but is economical to run, and doesn't pound in a sea like a powerboat hull would.
 

Tim R.

.
May 27, 2004
3,626
Caliber 40 Long Range Cruiser Portland, Maine
I knew several folks who bought Macgregor 26 Xs and siimply left the mast at home. Of course, that's pretty much a power boat hull anyway
This must be a popular idea. I saw two MacGregor 26x's in NC that had no rig. One had no mast and was tied in a marina. The other was motoring along the ICW with a 10' spar where the mast usually is. It had a set of spreaders and some flags on it. No boom, no discernible way to attach a sail.
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,282
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
There was one factory built Mega 30 as a trawler. Have no idea how it handled, but understand the cabin roof was not installed. The practicality is going to depend mostly on the boat chosen. If you find a larger trailer sailor, the keel will retract, so one could easily remove it completely, or leave a stub for cornering stability. Choose a boat with a planing hull, and you should be able move pretty well. Another thought would be an old multihull, like a Trailer-Tri. The boat would be very light, very stable, and probably be able to cruise at 15+ knots with only a moderate sized outboard. I think I remember someone had an old Telstar that would hit 15 knots with a 25hp outboard.
 
Jan 6, 2010
1,520
I have several sailboats in my area that have removed the spars & motor around like a trawler. With no aloft weight, the boat is more stable with no heel & less roll as being hit by a wake. You have the weighted keel below giving you stability, what you don't have with a spar are reactions from wind & sail.

I agree that when you see these stick-less boats, it does makes you look twice.
Painting my deck, I left my spar at the boatyard & while motoring back to my dock for painting, I got alot of second looks. It did feel weird.

CR
 
Jan 22, 2008
31
Hunter 30_74-83 Cincinnati OH
I have seen several of these in Mobile Bay at Fairhope Harbor. One was even converted to a fishing boat. Looks like a good use of available material.
 

Sumner

.
Jan 31, 2009
5,254
Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37 Utah's Canyon Country
This must be a popular idea. I saw two MacGregor 26x's in NC that had no rig. One had no mast and was tied in a marina. The other was motoring along the ICW with a 10' spar where the mast usually is. It had a set of spreaders and some flags on it. No boom, no discernible way to attach a sail.


They are getting used for that more and more. I'm of course on the Mac board on here and another one and unfortunately some of us are getting older. Instead of giving up going out on the water some of the guys in their 70's and some that have medical conditions that makes putting the mast up or even just sailing have kept the boat but removed the mast. Others are buying boats at very low prices that have a damaged mast with no intention of putting one on. Others take the mast off for part of the season and put it on for other parts (in Florida when the wind is down in the summer they have a power boat and the rest of the year a sailboat). Others are parents grandparents and they bought the boat to help connect with their kids and grand-kids and like the boat because it can pull those water toys or light skiers and such. Everyone's needs are different and if it work, why not.


It would be hard to find a 26 foot boat with standing room below and as much room as the Mac X and later M have. Also with a big and a little motor on the transom you can run at 20+knots or cruise at over 10 mpg at 6 knots.






The M's are generally too expensive yet to do the trawler thing but in the future I'll bet more are used.

If you read about doing the Great Loop one will find a number of people who have taken a number of different sailboats and turned them into trawlers. Of course for some of that trip even if you do have a mast it will down ;),

Sumner


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]============================

Our Endeavour 37

Our MacGregor 26-S Pages

Our Trips to Utah, Idaho, Canada, Florida

Mac-Venture Links
[/FONT]
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,585
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
Tie two 30's together and make one big cat. Just think of the room. :D:D

All U Get
 

Clark

.
Jun 30, 2004
880
Hunter 280 Lake Guntersville, AL
Great input guys! Idea is not as far fetched as I assumed.
 
Sep 8, 2014
2,551
Catalina 22 Swing Keel San Diego
Back in August this year when I was looking for Catalina 22's for sale I came across a CL ad for one in FL I think. An older gent had taken the rig off and built the cabin up to a standing interior height. It looked horrible and he was asking $7K for it!