Affordable trawlering

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Affordable trawlering

Postby Georgs » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:17 am

pc_tc_cray_boat.jpg (34.48 KiB) Viewed 4723 times

A Floridian who is cruising Down Under sends the photo and this report:

Some of cray boats are just beautiful. We have seen a number of them working at sea. Amazing stability and a slow roll. Years down the road when the long miles are done we may retreat to the U.S. east coast etc. I would love to have one of these cray boats about 40' to keep in NZ's South Island to live aboard and cruise the south end of South Island.

Budget minded folks who yearn to cross oceans are pretty much limited to sail. After cruising around Tasmania these past months I see there is an alternative. Back tracking to New Zealand, we met a 40ish Aussie school teacher couple who were on a few year sabbatical cruising aboard their 46' ex-crayfishing boat. It was built in 1955 in wood (timber) and fished until they bought her. They re-powered with a rebuilt Gardner diesel and rebuilt gearbox. Next they extended the pilothouse aft and installed a berth and small galley. It isn't elegant but is safe and has taken them across the Tasman to New Zealand. While in NZ they spent 8 months in Stewart Island and Fiordland. This is a tough place in the world and they did just fine. Since leaving NZ they visited the usual northern islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and are now in the western Pacific islands staging to make the run to Japan, Aleutians and Alaska. After, they plan to head due south to Patagonia.

Cray boats are single engine, low profile, come with a house aft, flush foredeck and a mid-ship wet well for keeping the catch alive. The Aussies retained this well for stability. The wet well could be filled in with concrete for ballast, finished to suit your needs and give the same effect. Most cray boats come sloop rigged as a get home. Theirs came with a shorter ketch rig which they retained. The masts also slow the roll.

Back to Tasmania. There are many, many of these boats still working today. As quotas get sold to larger boats, fishermen retire and so on these boats become available. Cray boats are a very viable option for a world cruising boat. Their tough pedigree of working near rocks in seas that would make your hair stand on end tells the tale. Also, the excellent huon pine construction lets them live for years.

The picture is not of their boat but a similar boat in Tasmania. We met this owner who has done much the same but did plug the wet well and finished out down below. He has a large family and cruises locally. When the kids are away they will be as well living their dreams.

Click here for more on cray boats.
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