Twelve Months of Trawlers Clubs to Help You Cruise Around the Calendar
By Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell
ou know you are old when you start saying, where did the time go? Well, we must be old not only because we are trawler owners, but also because the past year has just zoomed by, and here we are at the last of 12 articles for our TrawlerTalk series. Was that a big sigh of relief heard from the sailing purists? Relax and don’t get too excited. We trawlerites will still contribute to SOUTHWINDS from time to time and you may even see us on the water hobnobbing with friends from the rag boat crowd. It happens. In the meantime, trawler topics like “Propulsion Designs,” “Stabilizer Options,” “Arrive Dry in a Pilothouse” and “Trailerable Trawlers” surely have opened your eyes to cruising in comfort aboard economical and spacious trawlers. Now that you’ve learned how to anchor from a high bow trawler, what your dinghy options are and the cost of cruising in a trawler, your obvious next step to start your migration over to the dark side is to join a trawler organization. Trawlering comes in many forms with an incredible variety of clubs and associations specific to the trawler world. General to trawlers is the MTOA, Marine Trawler Owners Association, a very inclusive group with a lively and quite active membership. They have a website, www.mtoa.net, and have more rendezvous across the country than any other trawler group we know—that’s a gam but with powerboats instead of sailboats. On the website, you can find regional groups near you. The Gulf Coast looks a little empty right now, but maybe that’s just their shy faction. You can easily spot these members by their turtle burgees flying from their trawler, sportfish or sailboat. Yup, even sailboaters can join, as this crowd doesn’t discriminate against anyone, although there is a higher concentration of trawlers as they used to be known as the Marine Trader Owner Association. Many other trawler clubs require membership specific to the brand you own, but even that seems to be relaxing and wannabes are often welcome. DeFever Cruisers is such an organization, and while they are not as large a group as the MTOA, their numbers are rapidly growing. From the 36
Trawler owners often fly the burgee of a group they are members of. Here, loopers fly the burgee of the AGLCA.
DeFever 34 Passagemaker to the 65 Grand Alaskan, these owners represent a large segment of the cruising population, and they rendezvous in spectacular cruising destinations. You can check out their site at www.defevercruisers.com and see if this group will help you in your trawler quest. Fleming, Nordic Tug and True North owners also have associations with Q & A forums once you are a member of their crew, but as a non-member you may still find items of interest in their blog links or classified sections (see listings below for club information). Kadey Krogen, Nordhavn, Hatteras and other cruising/owners groups can also offer you some insight before and after you become a member of the opposing team of trawlerites. Please feel free to add to this list if you are familiar with an active group that is willing to be a resource for the neophyte. Sometimes there is even a bit of crossover discussion in the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), which is a cruising association and not specific to sailboats, although this group does lean heavily toward the sailing cruiser. They welcome and encourage trawlers and all cruisers to join, sail or power. The America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association or AGLCA may be a mouthful, but this group brings all loopers together. What’s a looper? Cruisers of America’s eastern half around the Great Loop, of course. Start anywhere along the route including up through NYC, the Erie Canal, Great Lakes, Canada, Chicago down to Mobile, AL, and back to the Gulf of Mexico, Key West and then the Atlantic Seaboard. Cross your wake and you’ve looped. While most loopers complete this trip in about a year, there are many out on the waterways who are more than five years into the www.southwindsmagazine.com