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When yacht designer George Buehler decided he no longer wanted to sit in a cockpit of a sailboat and steer with a stick, he created a line of cruising powerboats that many people could afford and sailors could still love. He called them Troller Yachts. Unlike those fuel guzzling seagoing bulldozers called Trawler Yachts, his new designs were based on the graceful salmon trollers of the Pacific Northwest, among the most fuel efficient, seaworthy, and beautiful powerboats ever built. This wasnt particularly original because some west coast naval architects had designed boats based on troller types long before Buehler was even born. But Buehler took the idea and gave it a hull form that was inexpensive to build, fuel tankage for transcontinental range, and an interior specifically planned out for a couple to be comfortable full time living aboard as well as long term cruising. Finally, he added a simple sailplan that greatly stabilizes roll, helps fuel economy, and will get you to shore if the engine quits.
He named the first of these new designs DIESEL DUCK. Built of steel in California, powered by a small four cylinder diesel, and just 38 feet long, small for what many people thought an ocean going powerboat should be, she rapidly proved to be seakindly and comfortable to live in. But she did something else that nobody had expected. Wherever she went her rugged, simple, and traditional good looks stood out amidst all the white molded production boats, and soon Buehler was being asked to design more boats of this type. People wanted different lengths, different interiors, and even wood versions, so Buehler started designing variations on the Troller Yacht theme. People started building these new boats, and some of them added wonderful new ideas to the concept. Buehler happily incorporated many of them. Today, DIESEL DUCKS and his other fuel efficient Troller Yacht concepts are being built in various countries and are cruising on many of the worlds oceans.
For example, a 41 footer circumnavigated South America, sending out an email as she rounded Cape Horn. A 44 cruised from her builders yard in China, through the Red Sea, to Europe. Another spent two years single handing the South Pacific before ending up in Washington State. Several of the 462s have crossed the Pacific and at least one is in the middle of a circumnavigation. Today, Troller Yachts are quietly out doing their job and more are being built. They are being built by professional builders who turn out beautiful yachts with gorgeous interiors as well as home builders, some with small budgets and smaller skills but big dreams. And that is part of the Troller concepts appeal; it includes many approaches, all valid and equally welcome.
This is the second edition of Buehlers popular The Troller Yacht Book. It has detailed information about design theory, building, outfitting, and even discusses converting commercial boats to yachts. It is essential reading for anyone interested in ocean cruising boats, power or sail.