NEW: the plans now include complete scantlings for foam sandwich (October 2007)
Our Trawler 28 is a sturdy offshore trawler with a straight inboard diesel.
hull is a typical displacement hull, trawler type. This means a relatively
wide beam for her length.
hulls are typically used for work boats, fishing boats and pleasure boats
where moderate speeds are sufficient to fulfill operating requirements.
Displacement hulls are generally considered more suitable for serious
offshore cruising than planing hulls.
With their big rudders, and deep keels, these boats can turn on a dime
and punch through seas that would stop lighter ones. They also use less
fuel, have smaller engines, more range and cost much less to operate than
optional mast with steadying sail will ease the motion in a beam or following
sea. Rigged with a jib, it enables her to reach a downwind port in the
event of engine trouble. The boom can be used as a dinghy hoist with the
tender stowed on the roof during long passages .
hulls can carry much larger loads than planing hulls of the same length:
no problem with storing more than 2,000 lbs aboard our Trawler 28.
makes our Trawler 28 an ideal boat for a couple to live aboard or for
a crew of 4 that wants to go far in safety and comfort.
The economical diesel engine gives her a range of around 1,000 miles at
This type of vessel is not limited to short day cruises from harbor to
harbor, she can remain offshore for long cruises going steadily 150 miles
particularity of this design is the relatively wide box keel somewhat
in the style of the Jersey skiffs. W. Atkins was a great believer in that
feature and we have used it on long range sailboats between 32 and 65
That keel is a NACA profile and has very little drag. It is easier to
build than a keel with outside ballast and allows us to install the engine
very low. This gives a shallow shaft angle which is more efficient and
the low engine installation angle gives better lubrication, extends engine
life. Plus, it lowers the engine weight and gives easy access to trim
to the shaft coupling and stuffing box is also much easier than on most
hull is designed to have around 2,000 lbs of ballast, some of it is trim
ballast. We say "around" because some amateur builders will
increase the scantlings and increase the hull weight despite our assurances
that the boat is strong as designed. In that case, less ballast will be
needed to bring her down to her lines.
will outfit the boat with plenty of extra equipment and the amount of
ballast can be adjusted accordingly.
Trawler 28 is a medium to heavy displacement boat with the motion and
feel of a little ship.
Her D/L (displacement to length ratio) is 240 fully loaded and 216 at
medium load. For comparison, a Krogen 48 trawler has a D/L = 267 and most
of the G. Buehler designed trollers are lighter between 165 and 220.
calculated range with the 80 gallons tanks is as follow:
At 5.1 kn. (6 mph): 1360 NM,
At 6 kn. (7 mph): 800 NM
At 7 kn. (8 mph): 465 NM
figures are for calm weather but even with a 50% safety margin the range
is impressive. BTW, there is room to double the tank capacity and range.
is designed to operate around the theoretical hull speed of 7 knots. To
achieve that speed requires less than 20 HP at the shaft but we designed
her with a 40/45 HP diesel engine, either Vetus Mitsubishi or Nannidiesel/Kubota.
is a real double cabin "yacht" that will easily accommodate
a family of four if not five in comfort and privacy.
standing headroom is 6'-1" in the pilot house and 6' 4" in the
galley, shower and forward cabin.
plans show some layout options: one with the cockpit sliding door in the
middle and a U shaped dinette and one with a door offset to the side and
larger L shaped dinette. If you build the boat with the steadying sail
mast, you must use the offset door.
dinette that will seat four or more and the table drops down to become
a double bed. There is room for a cabin heater or even a wood stove with
chimney behind the steering station.
That side of the pilothouse can also be fitted with a fold back steering
seat and a sofa behind it that becomes a full size extra berth.
As designed, the space behind the steering position is a chart table with
room underneath for an entertainment center.
three part windshield windows can be hinged along upper edge to open for
ventilation in hot climates. The plans also show small hatches in the
two more hatches forward, the Trawler 28 has enough air circulation and
will not require AC to be comfortable in tropical climates.
the saloon, you step down to the full size galley on the starboard side.
ample room for a stove with oven, a good size sink, fridge and storage.
There is a dorade vent over the galley and another one over the head plus
an optional large hatch in the middle.
Across the galley there is a fully enclosed roomy head complete with shower.
There is at least 6' 2" standing room in the shower.
forward cabin has a wide and long vee berth that becomes a double with
an insert in the vee. It is possible to build a one piece double on the
port side with a seat or cabinet on the opposite side.
builder has complete freedom to modify the layout as long as all the framing
Along the full length of the cabin, there is storage room under the sole
and much more under the seats and berths. The box keel is deep and can
be used to store reserve anchors and chain.
the self bailing rear deck is wide enough for folding chairs, a barbecue
The transom lockers are large enough to store good sized fenders plus
plenty of lines and other gear.
run along the full length of the cabin and handrails on the roof will
make maneuvers easy.
self-bailing rear cockpit is wide enough for a lounge chair or more storage.
It can be covered it with a bimini top or, if the mast option is chosen,
covered by canvas over the boom.
The forward deck is raised:
there is a 10" step in the gunwale hidden behind the bulwark. This
explains all the headroom downstairs and the unusual feeling of space
for a boat of this size.
is a sturdy sampson post on the foredeck. That post extends under the
deck, workboat style, along the chain locker bulkhead: much sturdier than
the tiny little cleats with almost no backing plates found on production
boats. You can anchor in real bad conditions without worrying about the
deck being torn apart.
anchor locker drains overboard.
method: The Trawler 28 is built the stitch and glue way: simple, fast and
strong. She is not a plywood boat held together with some resin and glass
tape. The hull is a true composite in which most of the strength comes
from the fiberglass/epoxy skins. The bottom planking thickness varies
from 3/4" to 2".
is used for all fiberglass laminations and all plywood parts are saturated
Completely encapsulated in epoxy, the plywood will not rot. The monocoque
structure with its fiberglass framing is typical of composite boats: stronger
than plywood on frame.
hull assembly is very simple. The Trawler 28 is built
upside down on a jig like most large boats. It is also possible to
build this hull in a basket mold, right side up.
superstructure can be build from our plywood-epoxy-glass composite or
as a foam sandwich composite if the builders chooses that option.
There are several advantages to a foam sandwich superstructure. Lighter
topsides and excellent insulation, an important factor for long cruises.
Less condensation and an easier temperature control.
plans show specifications for the two methods: cabin made of regular plywood
and epoxy and our sandwich panels. We can supply all the materials for
October 2007: the plans now include scantlings for the foam sandwich hull. See our foam sandwich tutorial. That is how you would build the TW28 in foam sandwich with one difference. For the TW28 we would use wide foam sheets, not strips.
all our stitch and glue boats, the TW28 is easier to build than plywood
on frame or fiberglass boats.
There is no wood framing, no delicate assemblies with tight fits, no need
for special tools. Since the strength comes from the fiberglass, small
gaps between parts are recommended: a 1/4" cutting mistake becomes a blessing!
The plans are very detailed. Each part hull panel, stringer, bulkhead,
frame, floor etc. is described.
We understand that engine installation and alignment, rudder and steering,
exhaust and other parts of the building may be intimidating but we divided
the building process in simple steps described in detail in our building
There are specific plans included for the rudder and steering system,
complete engine installation with shaft, fuel, electricity, cooling, exhaust
On request, we will supply more drawings and specifications if necessary
but our plans are more detailed than any others: see the list of drawings
at the end of this page.
are some picture excerpts from our building notes:
Jig with molds
Mold bracing with side panel support at sheer line
Stuffing box frame
Shaft with coupling and packing box
building notes include many more pages of pictures and text describing
not only the building of the hull but the installation of the engine step
highly recommend to build the superstructure from foam sandwich. This
option will result in a very sturdy cabin structure with great insulation.
Condensation is greatly reduced in a foam sandwich cabin, it is a great
factor of comfort.
we highly recommend to build the steadying sail mast. It will not only
stabilize the boat and add the safety of an emergency sail but the Trawler
28 looks much better with a mast.
show two types of steering: cables on quadrant and hydraulic.
engines than the one shown can be used for example the Toyota or Kubota
diesels from Nannidiesel Engines and all engine room parts can be purchased
parts like tanks, hatches, steering quadrant, vents etc. can be made by
the builder. The plans show details for those parts but also manufacturers
is possible to build the Trawler 28 completely in foam sandwich. This
will increase the cost of the hull materials by around 60%. Fiberglass
scantlings are shown below.
are many possible changes in the layout: as long as the builder keeps
the framing intact, almost anything is possible.
Some will ask to enlarge the boat.
Lengthening is possible to maximum 10% but the builder will have to recalculate
most dimensions. Scaling her up in 3 dimensions would require new complete
hydrostatic calculations and scantlings, we do not support those changes.
Of Materials: (Excerpts
from our BOM)
BOM list materials based on our standard layout and includes a 15% waste
factor for fiberglass. For plywood, we use standard sheets 4' x 8' (122
x 244 cm). Please read the building notes and see the plans for detailed
specifications. Okume or Meranti marine should be used and cost starts
at around $26.00 a sheet (1/4").
Foam sandwich BOM:
4x7' (122x244cm) 1/2" or 5/8".
Note that while the area of directional glass is close to the plywood version, we use much heavier glass.
Resin quantities will vary in function of the experience of the builder. Keep in mind that a 33% glass content lamination uses two times more resin than 50% glass. The quantities above are based on 40% glass.
Glass quantities will vary in function of the cuts. The quantities above are for glass used in full length with some recycling of leftover pieces.
total cost of the full Epoxy-Fiberglass Kit would be $6,200.
Total cost for all the plywood would be $3,600. November 2004).
The estimated cost for the foam sandwich version is US $ 18,800.00 (October 2007)
We do not list a complete epoxy-fiberglass kit because most builders will
buy supplies as work progresses. One of the big advantages of amateur
boat building is the gradual outlay of capital. You can start with most
of the plywood and our epoxy-fiberglass starter kit. This is sufficient
to build a complete hull shell.
The hull will go together fast: around 200 hours for the average builder.
The superstructure, appendages, mechanical installation and inside cabinetry
will require more labor. This will bring the total up to 1,000 hours for
a boat show finish or as little as 500 work boat style.
Visit our message board, help pages, tutorial pages and read our FAQ:
most questions are answered there.
Detailed drawings with all dimensions required to cut the sides, bottom,
bulkheads, deck, floors and all parts from flat plywood sheets: no lofting,
no templates required.
Nesting drawings for the best plywood layout with numbered parts.
drawings showing assembly and parts numbers for small hardware.
Plan and Profile
Nesting of all panels and major parts
Construction, 4 views with details and notes
Stations (hull dimensions, lines)
Expanded Plates with dimensions for hull panels
Expanded Plates with dimensions for inside structure
Details: typical rubrail, cap, backing plates, butt blocks for soles
Steering system, rudder and post, quadrant etc. with part numbers