Single Engine Trawlers – Are They Better Than Twins?

During the course of normal boating discussions with new boat buyers, the topic of diesel engines  always arises. And there is no right or wrong answer to the subject either.

It’s really more of a personal preference to most but there are some compelling facts to consider both ways. I personally like the feel of a twin screw boat more so than a single engine. I like the way they respond at slow speeds. Perhaps it’s a personal preference but that’s the way I see it.

And docking a twin screw boat is a breeze. It is so simple to place her in her slip.

For the sake of discussion, let’s assume you are a trawler buyer and wish to determine if you should be looking at single engine trawler or twin engine diesel trawlers. Bear in mind that there are no gasoline powered trawlers in existence.

Both singles and twins will get the job done; it is more of how you want to do it.

Single Engine Diesel Trawlers



  • Single engine trawlers have only one engine to service and maintain; the cost of an oil change on most diesel engines is about $150.00
  • Single engine trawlers burn diesel about 30% less fuel than their twin cousins and at $4.00 per gallon, that can add up
  • In most cases, a single engine boat will give you more engine room space


  • Single engine trawlers have but one engine; if that breaks down you are down. If you are making a long passage out of range from a VHF radio or a cell tower, that will place you in a difficult situation if you need a tow.
  • Single engine boats are more difficult to dock than twins; a bow thruster makes it easier however. A single engine boat is very difficult to dock without a bow thruster.
  • There were fewer single engine trawlers built over the years so you will have less to choose from.


Twin Engine Diesel Trawlers


    • Twin engine diesel trawlers always have a back get-home up engine; I have had this happen aboard my personal trawler; the starboard engines lost oil pressure and I had to shut her down. We did get back to the dock safely on one engine.


  • Twin engine diesel trawlers are easy to dock; you can pivot a twin screw boat in its own length. Twins make operating a boat very easy at idle speeds.
  • Twin engine diesel trawlers outnumber their single cousins by a large margin; searching for a twin will give you more to choose from. In searching for boats for customers, we always find that twins outnumber singles perhaps 10 to 1.



  • Twin engine diesel trawlers have two of everything to maintain, yes, double the oil and filters plus having to change them.
  • It will be double the cost to maintain twin engine diesel trawlers. Sure, yes it is double the cost but I feel the benefits outweigh that.

So there you have it.

Find that trawler and get out on the water.

More trawler information on our blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *