Our motivation for creating the new TT35 trailerable trawler was personal: We wanted a power cruiser that reduced the costs and complexities of ownership and operation, while at the same time providing true liveaboard comfort, coupled with easy access to a wide range of destinations. One of the key requirements of the design is the ability to move the boat overland with relative ease and economy. We drew inspiration from the current crop of “trailer trawlers,” but wanted to go just a bit bigger to provide enough space for things like a private queen-berth stateroom, full galley and a roomy shower. All that, but still trailerable.
We've had a few comments to the effect that a ten-foot-wide boat such as the TT35 "isn't really trailerable.” For the sake of argument, let's acknowledge that you can move some pretty big boats on a trailer, as evidenced by our opening photo. But in the real world, there comes a point where the cost and complexities of overland transport outweigh the advantages. We think we've placed this new model on the right side of that equation.
Yes, the TT35 is wider than the standard 8'6” vehicle width set for most US highways, and it will require some permitting to stay within the letter of the law. But obtaining these over-wide permits is a straightforward process that can usually be done online, and there are also companies that will handle the entire process for a reasonable fee.
What is often overlooked in the discussion of trailering a larger boat are the other factors that can be more important that width. One major limiting factor is weight. A conventional inboard motor yacht of similar size to the TT35 could easily tip the scales at 14,000 to 16,000 pounds dry weight. Add in some gear, fluids and a trailer, and you'll be hitched up to ten tons, which is a lot to manage—or stop guickly. By comparison, the TT35 will come in at just over 6,000 pounds dry, and even with a few extras and a trailer, should be road-ready at well under the 10,000 pound mark
Height is another important consideration. The TT 35's outboard configuration will allow it to sit lower on a trailer, which drops the center of gravity for better stability, reduces wind resistance for better tow vehicle fuel economy, and allows the boat to clear lower overpasses and tree branches. The TT35's lighter overall weight and lower profile also makes for easier ramp launching and retrieval, which can significantly reduce the costs of storage and maintenance, and may reduce insurance costs.
For a real eye opener on the advantages of trailering, we made a head-to-head comparison of moving the TT35 from Florida to the Great Lakes, as compared to a conventional 34-foot inboard trawler, which would have to be be loaded on a flatbed. Calls to a number of boat haulers netted us an average quote of $3.25 a mile from reputable services. Add in permitting fees and lifts in and out of the water, and the 925 mile move from Jacksonville, Florida, to the Sandusky, Ohio, waterfront will cost at least $3,600 for the 34-foot trawler, and could run significantly higher depending on the season and other variables. Hitch up the TT 35 to a capable diesel pickup, and keep the towing speeds reasonable, and you should net 12 to 14 mpg. At current fuel prices, you could make the same trip for under $500, including fuel and permits, with a few bucks left over for cheeseburgers along the way.
As a point of interest, we recently received this comment from one of our newsletter subscribers:
I completely agree with everything you said on the TT35. I have towed a similar boat on a double axle aluminum trailer with surge brakes from Mississippi through Alabama into Florida on a few occasions with a Chevy dually diesel back in the late 1990's. It was 30', about 10' beam, I/O propulsion, and about 6500lbs dry. Plus trailer and everything inside that came to about 10k lbs. Towed with permits that were easy to get before the internet was anything big, so I did by phone and mail. Never had any issues. Just put the Wide Load sign on the back, and we just could not travel after dark. No escort needed. Also towed it through the Mobile Bay Tunnel with no worries. Easy Peasy.
Thank you for thinking outside the box.