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The 53' Steel and Aluminum Trawler Yacht

Braveheart 53

53' BRAVEHEART - A Trawler-Yacht for Voyaging - Kasten Marine Design
Perspective Aft | Perspective Side | Perspective Forward
Interior Plan | Deck Plan | Interior Profile

Copyright 2003 - 2007 Michael Kasten

General Concept

The Braveheart 53 prototype has a hull form has been derived from the Greatheart 54, in this case optimized for the stated requirements for interior, headroom, and materials of construction. If bilge keels and sailing rig were added, there would be reasonably good performance as a motor sailor.

The request in this case was to develop an interior similar to that of the 56' Ketch Shiraz, but with a "passage" between fore and aft cabins large enough to contain the galley, in order to open up the layout of the Saloon area for more lounging space. The interior of the Braveheart 53 is therefore similar to that of Shiraz, and has worked out better than I anticipated. As it turns out we did not need the full hull length of the 56' Shiraz, nor even the whole length of the Greatheart 54.

As a motor yacht, roll dampening would most effectively be handled by paravanes or active stabilizers. If rigged as a motor sailor, the sailing rig would be the means of roll dampening, and there would be the added boost from the sails when the wind favors.

If for motor sailing, the intended rig would be similar to that shown for the Greatheart 60 (see image below). Check out the potential benefits of this type of rig here. The sail rig would be augmented by the presence of asymmetric bilge keels in addition to the centerline keel. When beached, the boat would sit upright!


The following is a "walkthrough" of the interior (see the above links to follow along).

The aft stateroom layout is the same as with the 56' ketch Shiraz, only flipped port to starb'd to allow a passageway to port. Access to the aft cabin is from forward via the passageway, which contains the galley.

The galley extends forward of the passage, in order to allow the stove to be placed more out in the open (for safety), and to allow the galley counter to wrap around and extend inboard some. This provides a nice "dual-use" at the forward end of the galley counter, where an aft facing seat allows one to use that part of the galley counter as a chart or work desk, and also allows one to sit there and socialize with the cook... This "work desk" would be a perfect sewing spot or other project area as well.

Opposite the galley, on the starb'd side just forward of the engine room is a large bureau, which I have tentatively referred to as the "laundry" area. A washer / dryer could easily be placed within the cabinet, with plenty of room left over. On top, the bureau could be at galley counter height, or possibly at "bar" height to allow a TV or other entertainment center to be placed there.

Forward of the galley / laundry is a large "saloon." In the saloon, there is a settee / couch / spare berth to port, and a large dinette is located to starb'd. There is a large table at the dinette. Forward of the saloon is a head to starb'd and tub / shower to port, exactly as with Shiraz. Also, the forward stateroom is the same as with Shiraz.

The engine space is quite large, and would have around 5 feet of headroom. Access to the ER is on center forward. The fuel tanks are located outboard of the galley and engine space.

Above the engine space is the pilot house. On center is a steering station, just as with Greatheart 54. To starb'd is the companionway stair / ladder to below, and farther to starb'd is the exit door to the side deck. To port in the pilot house is a long seat, raised up so that there is a good view out of the pilot house windows in all directions. The seat is 84" long, so can be used as a "pilot berth" if desired.

Aft on center in the pilot house is a "stack" that houses the air intake and air exit for the engine space, and also creates the support for the mast step. On the forward face of the engine room air plenum is a table or bureau. The idea is that this would be used as a "serving counter" for entertaining, as well as a chart desk when under way. The helm chair is intended to be able to swing around facing aft in order to sit at the chart desk.

Aft to starb'd is a seat facing forward. A small fold down table could be located forward of this seat, say for using a lap-top computer or for reading, etc. Aft of the "stack / air plenum" and on top of the aft cabin is a cozy double berth.

On Deck

On deck, aft of the aft cabin is an aft-facing seat. The body of the seat creates additional headroom above the head of the berth in the aft cabin.

At station #13, the fore deck steps up. The foredeck is at the height of the bulwark top, and a substantial toe rail is located there (from Station #13 on forward). The huge fore deck is the ideal sunning spot, and there is still plenty of room left over for the shore boat to be stowed there via davits to the side.


Preliminary Hydrostatics

Light Displ
Beam wl



Heavy Displ
Beam wl


Design Genesis

As with our other designs in this series, the hull form for the Braveheart 53 has been adapted from real trawlers - US West Coast fishing vessels which have to operate in all weathers - including in the Gulf of Alaska, a place where the ocean is... well, not so nice. Our aim has been to retain the excellent sea keeping qualities of those working craft, and to refine their lines into 'yacht' form to achieve a more easily driven hull with relatively light displacement. See the following links for vessels in the Gulliver / Greatheart series...

Greatheart 36 | Vagabond 36 | Gulliver 46 | Greatheart 48 | Greatheart 54
Greatheart 60 | Swallow's Nest 60 | Swallowtail 60 | Braveheart 53 | Braveheart 63 | Swallows Nest 70

In order to achieve a proportionately longer waterline and more interior space without increasing boat length, we developed another series of designs based on the same hull form, but with a more upright stem and transom. Combined, this reduces the overhangs and increases the WL length to gain more interior space with less overall hull length. Check out the following links for boats in the Vagabond series...

Vagrant 49 | Vagrant 70 | Vagabond 50 | Voyager 52 | Valdemar 53 | Valdemar 70

Further Development

In all, I think this is an outstanding solution to the original design requests... The hull form is modeled after West Coast fishing vessel types for maximum sea keeping ability, though the Braveheart 53 is much finer than the much more burdensome fishing vessel types. In general, long range ocean travel has been the primary requirement, along with a good dose of elegant styling, and the potential for sailing as a means of self-rescue and roll attenuation.

Extra good, I say...! For more information, please inquire.

60' Greatheart Trawler - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.