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Best Trailerable Trawler Brands: Pocket Cruisers to Go Anywhere

There are many different types of boats with cabins, but if you want to do some serious adventuring from coast to coast, nothing will beat trailerable trawlers. You can hitch up to your tow vehicle and head to any lake, river, or bay you want, sleep aboard, prep meals, and essentially enjoy your very own floating mini-home. Ready to start exploring? These top pocket trawler brands are just waiting for you to take a peek.


Best Trailerable Trawlers for Towing

Some boats are technically trailerable but require a huge beast of a tow vehicle and special permits to get from point A to point B. Those that are best for trailering, however, can be hauled by a standard full size pick-up truck or a large SUV. True, these will be among the smaller options out there and will have tighter cabins and fewer amenities. But if lots of space is your highest priority you’d probably be looking at larger trawlers for sale, as opposed to these pocket trawlers. If you can get by with less elbow room and want to hit the highway with minimal stress, check these options out.


Atlas Boat Works

With an LOA of 21’3”, a beam of 7’0”, and a dry weight of 2,400 pounds, the Atlas Pompano 21 is about as small as you can get while still enjoying a cabin worthy of an overnight. With a 54-hp diesel inboard, it’s also about as fuel efficient as you can get, burning a mere 1.4 gph at an 11-knot cruise. And even though it’s an inboard, the Pompano 21 draws a mere two feet of water, so it can be launched and loaded at most boat ramps. The helm is enclosed on three sides, and below there’s a mini-galley and a V-berth with a portable MSD underneath. 

You say you want an outboard powered-pocket trawler? Atlas also offers the 23 Pompano, which adds a bracket and a 70-hp outboard that provides speeds of up to 20 mph and a cruise in the mid-teens. If a touch more elbow room is to your taste check out their Acadia 25 models, which have substantially more cabin space and fully enclosed stand-up heads. Beam is 8’6, though, so they can still be hauled just about anywhere in the U.S.

Atlas Boat Works boats for sale


Atlas Pompano 21

Photo credit: Atlas Boat Works



C-Dory has a number of trailerable models but the 22 Cruiser takes the cake for ease, since it tips the scales at a mere 2,600 pounds and stays under a 5,000 pound fully loaded towing weight — which means even a relatively modest tow vehicle can pull it without any problems. It’s designed to run with just 115 horsepower on the transom, and has an open 4’6” aft cockpit so you can enjoy some fishing when the mood strikes. Yet for such a svelte disposition, the cabin has a significant amount of room, with a dinette to port, the helm station to starboard, a mini-galley behind the helm, and a 6’3” V-berth forward. Surprisingly, it also has 6’2” of headroom. 

You can up the ante a bit with their 23’ Venture, which takes headroom to 6’4” and can handle up to 150 hp. Or consider the 25 Cruiser and 26 Venture. These have significantly larger cabins yet still keep beam at 8’6” so they can be hauled legally in the U.S. without a permit.

C-Dory boats for sale



Photo credit: C-Dory


Best Trailerable Trawlers for Cruising

If you plan to do serious cruising and spend days at a time aboard, a few creature comforts and some additional elbow room is in order. You’ll need the ability to prep meals, have plenty of room for sleeping, enough stowage space for all your gear, and a separate fully enclosed head compartment. Can you get all that and still have trailering abilities? You bet.


Ranger Tugs

There aren’t many pocket trawlers that have a full suite of cruising amenities yet can still be trailered, but Ranger Tugs has several models that fit the bill thanks to an 8’6” beam and a folding mast. Check out the R-23, R-25, and R-27, for example, and you’ll see a list of options including perks like diesel forced-air heat, air conditioning, Fusion stereo systems, and electric cockpit grills. More important for the cruisers among us, the galley is fully equipped (including a microwave, stove-top, and refrigerator/freezer), and there’s room to sleep five even on the smallest model, with a forward stateroom, a convertible dinette berth, and a midship berth.

If you’re willing to jump through the hoops to get a wide tow permit, Ranger Tugs R-29 and R-31 offer much bigger cabins and gobs of amenities. Dry weight for the R-31 is 12,000 pounds so you’ll need a tow vehicle that’s quite capable, but everything above hard-top level folds down to maintain a 13’6” height, keeping to the legal maximum.

Ranger Tugs boats for sale


Ranger Tugs R-25

Photo credit: Ranger Tugs


Nordic Tugs

This builder only offers one model that’s trailerable, the Nordic Tug 26, and with a 9’6” beam in most states you’ll have to get a permit to haul it down the road legally. You’ll also need to be careful about the ramps you use, because the boat has a 3’6” draft. But if you’re willing to deal with the extra paperwork you’ll have an excellent cruising boat with sleeping accommodations for four, a fully enclosed stand-up head compartment, a full galley, and lots of extra stowage space. At 8,600 pounds you’ll need a substantial tow vehicle, but this isn’t outside the capacity of many full-sized trucks.

Nordic Tugs boats for sale


Nordic Tugs

Photo credit: Nordic Tugs


Sporty Trailerable Trawlers

There are many different types of boats out there, and while trawlers are historically slow and fuel efficient, in this day and age you can find some that are downright sporty. With planing hulls and outboard power they certainly push the definition of a trawler, but these boats deliver the amenities and often the look that trawler aficionados love.



Cutwater’s C-248 is their only model that offers the hassle-free trailering that goes along with an 8’6” beam. If you’re willing to do some legwork, however, the C-288 C and C-30 Sedan have 10-foot beams and can fly across the asphalt atop a permitted trailer. These boats feature fully enclosed helms and cabins, riding atop a fast double-stepped hull. They also display an inventive use of space, designing in a bonus berth underneath the dinette.

Cutwater boats come fully equipped right out of the box, with an eyebrow-raising list of standard features including perks like Garmin electronics systems, digital engine displays, and folding cockpit seating. More to the point, they also come with plenty of power and the C-248 is one of the few boats on the planet that can be used like a pocket trawler and also pull a water skier.

Cutwater boats for sale


Cutwater C 248 Coupe

Photo credit: Cutwater



Solara is the latest brand from Fluid Motion, and these boats are billed as “luxury pocket cruisers.” With outboards on the transom and stepped planing hulls, many of their models cruise at over 30 mph and can hit speeds well into the 40s. They offer three different 25-footers that have that magic 8’6” trailerable beam, but very different layouts. 

The Solara S-250 C “coupe” model features a fully enclosed cabin and helm station, with a galley, dinette, and helm station plus a lower cabin with a berth and enclosed head. The CW “center walkaround” is almost like a center console, except that the console goes all the way to the port side of the boat and encloses a cabin with a berth, mini-galley, and head. And there’s a dual console model as well, which is great for day-boating but doesn’t really fit into this roundup since it doesn’t have enclosed sleeping accommodations.

Solara boats for sale



Photo credit: Solara


Just which of these options would be the best pick for you, personally? That depends upon your priorities—and just how hefty your tow vehicle is. Whatever you may decide, however, one thing is for sure: These days you can get trailerable trawlers that are simple, sumptuous, sporty, and everything in-between.



Written By: Lenny Rudow

With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites. Rudow lives in Annapolis, Maryland, and is currently Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk; he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.


More from: Lenny Rudow

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