Travelling distances, long cruises and spending a long time aboard. The new trawler from Bénéteau was not designed to stay tied up at the quay
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Nicolas Claris
The yards with large sales numbers obtain a lot of information from their buyers. It is a significant advantage, and it is important to make the most of it. When the first trawlers appeared, including very short ones, it was immediately clear that they were aimed at people who liked to spend a lot of time onboard and cover significant distances. So, the characteristics that people were looking for were those sought in practically any boat: comfort and seafaring qualities. But with trawlers, yards know they cannot take any shortcuts. Their owners don’t limit themselves to a mere handful of hours at sea, and so they are quick to notice if a boat doesn’t live up to expectations.
«The first thing that Gianguido Girotti, the deputy CEO of Bénéteau, asked us for – and he was practically obsessive about it – was range», says Amedeo Migali from MICAD. And the designer who handled the naval architecture certainly took that into account, to such an extent that at nine knots, the Grand Trawler 62 achieves a range of nearly a thousand nautical miles. That’s not enough to get across an ocean but is enough to cover a considerable distance without having to refuel. And the advantages are financial as well as practical. Having a longer range means you can travel to where fuel costs are lower, which is something that owners who like to do long trips are keenly aware of.
The project is very much Italian made, given that the interiors and deck are by Nauta and the naval architecture by MICAD.
The Grand Trawler 62 is a semi-displacement boat with two fairly powerful engines. At top speed, it does over twenty knots, but there are two speeds to bear in mind – nine and fourteen knots. The first of these is a typical rate to get from A to B, with snapshot fuel consumption of just 25 litres per hour, which means three litres per nautical mile. That is a really low figure considering that we are talking about a boat that is nearly nineteen metres long overall, with a 5.41-metre beam, three decks and 28.5-tonne displacement. While at fourteen knots, it needs 135 litres per hour, and 10 litres per mile. Weight and height were an obsession for MICAD at the planning stage. A trawler has to provide a lot of room for onboard comfort but still has to be a boat with good seafaring qualities. Three bridges, including a significant flybridge, could affect the trim, but I didn’t get that feeling at the helm.
Fuel consumption is minimal, and the fuel tanks have a lot of capacity. At nine knots the range is around a thousand nautical miles.
Large trawlers often run the risk of being stern heavy when they accelerate. But Bénéteau’s 62’ didn’t, and I thought it always sat well in the water. The height of the superstructure, however, means you have to be a bit careful when turning. It’s best not to exceed twelve knots if you are at the full rudder. That is just an impression, given that the boat doesn’t tip at all. Steering from the flybridge and with the wind on the beam, I felt completely safe up to twelve knots. But if I turned tightly going any faster, I didn’t get the same feeling of stability. Taking the waves on the bow you do feel a bit of pitching, which I think is inevitable given the interior dimensions and type of boat.
Everything that isn’t waterlines or naval architecture is the work of Nauta, the Italian design studio which did both interiors and the exterior. They had plenty of space to work on. The rule is always that you shouldn’t waste any, even if you have plenty of room to play with. And an example of that is how the flybridge has been laid out, which is immediately convincing because of the double access points, which help to get around aboard. To get up there you can use the traditional staircase in the cockpit that leads to the aft part of the flybridge, or there is the one located to port of the helm station. Two access points mean that passengers whoever is at the helm don’t get in each other’s way. The layout also includes a lunch area, sun pad, helm station for pilot and co-pilot, corner bar, lounge area and even a crane for tenders or jet skis. There is also an interesting solution which gives you an extractable awning and side parasol curtains which can provide shade regardless of the angle of the sun, and not just at noon.
THE INDOOR HELM STATION HAS GOT EXCELLENT VISIBILITY
AND GIVES THE FEELING OF BEING IN COMPLETE CONTROL, WHETHER UNDERWAY OR WHEN MOORING.
On the main deck, the protection is structural because the cockpit area is protected by the flybridge, which goes as far as the stern, and even the gangways are protected by the outsized fly deck. The interiors seem like a mega yacht, both in terms of the volume and some styling which consciously reflects that of larger vessels. In the saloon, for example, there is a galley in a separate room, and the helm station is in the middle; the design of the dashboard and wheel also have a bit yacht feel to them.
Visibility from the interior steering position is excellent, and its location in the centre increases the feeling of keeping an eye on the sides while manoeuvring. As well as being able to see directly, there are also video cameras to avoid blind spots and make mooring easier. No room is wasted as you go down to the cabin area, just like everywhere. The staircase starts to the starboard of the helm station, and curls round to the left to use as little space as possible, while still being comfortable and safe to use. This leaves more room for the cabins, while at the same time you can have the console as far forward as possible and close to the windscreen, thus improving visibility and control while underway. So basically, the designers have managed to create functional and comfortable interiors and deck space which enable you to spend a long time on board and cover a lot of distance. Everything that you expect from a trawler.
Saint Hilaire de Riez, Francia
Studio MICAD (naval architecture), Nauta Design (interiors and deck)
LOA 18.95m • Length 16.47m • Maximum beam 5.41m • Displacement 28,500 kg • Fuel tanks volume 4,000 l • Water tanks volume 840 l • Stainless steel bowsprit • Electric windlass • Anchor locker, 2 lockers for fenders on the forward deck, mooring lines lockers
2xMAN i6-730 • Outlet mechanical power 537 kW (730 hp) • 6 cylinders in-line • Swept volume 12.42 l • Maximal rotational speed 2300/min • Dry weight 1,251 kg
Starting from 1,522,900€ – powered with two MAN i6-730 engines of 537 kW each (June 2022)
(Bénéteau Grand Trawler 62, Long Range Cruise – Barchemagazine.com – June 2022)