Selene 47 Long Range Trawler
NOVEMBER 2001
 
   
Length overall  47'
Beam 15'6"
Draft 4'7"
Displacement 44,500 lb
Fuel Capacity  945 gals
Water Capacity  274 gals
Bridge Clearance (mast down)  13'9"
Base Price  $475,000


The big wheel is on the centerline in the roomy pilothouse, making for good visibility all around the raised pilothouse.

Whether you start at the bow or the stern, you'll find a lot to remark upon in this pretty remarkable trawler designed by the Australian marine architect, Harvey Halvorsen, whose Island Gypsy and Kong & Halverson designs helped define the cruising trawler genre over the past quarter century. The Halversons' trademarks abound on the Selene 47. Take the fold-up swim platform, for instance. Or the deep chain lockers up on the high bow. No matter where you start, once you've taken a good look at it, you'll find the Selene 47 is a serious long-range cruiser.

The chain lockers form one of five watertight compartments. The bulwarks are high, providing plenty of protection on the aft deck, side decks and the foredeck. The teak caprail around the gunwales is the only brightwork exposed to the weather, other than the trailerboards behind the navigation lights on top of the pilothouse. The raised pilothouse is further protected by a sturdy Portugese bridge that will deflect any wind or waves that manage to sweep over that high, bluff bow. The scuppers are large, and the hawses are high up and horned with cleats to take serious dock lines.

As my host, Matt Gambrill, owner of Calvert Marina in Solomons, Maryland, explains, the Selene was formerly on the market as the "Solo." The Solo 43 came out a couple of years ago. The Selenes are built on Mainland China near Hong Kong, but with many US-built components, most remarkably the Cummins diesel engine. The 47, he explains, is essentially the same hull as the 43, elongated to make more room in the saloon and the aft deck.

Much of the aft deck sole comprises a huge hatch that lifts up with a gas-assisted piston to access a cavernous lazarette. The rudder post is immediately accessible for fitting an emergency tiller if needed. This model had a large deep-freeze unit in one corner.

There's another huge commissary compartment under a hatch in the saloon sole just inside the door. The cabinets down there are finished in cherry, just like the cabinets, furnishings and paneling throughout the interior. Other large hatches give access to the engine room. The saloon in the 47 is quite spacious and comfortable, with plenty of headroom and big, square windows on each side and aft. An L-shaped settee wraps around a dining table where there's room for custom furniture on the other side --- this model had a pair of nice wicker comfy chairs. But the key design feature is the bar with two fixed bar stools planted into the teak-and-holly sole. It's ideal for breakfast or for chatting up the cook over cocktails.

The bar counter, fashioned of a beautiful burled cherry that accents counters and table tops throughout the boat, backs up over the double stainless stinks in the galley area. The galley is well laid out, with a good amount of molded countertop, a gimbaled gas range and oven, good-sized fridge and freezer, and plenty of storage in cabinets below and cupboards above. Very salty-looking round ports accent either side of the saloon.

The steps leading up to the pilothouse lift up to reveal the manifold for bilge pumps to the various bulkheaded compartments, plus a reassuringly handy hand-operated pump. The raised pilothouse itself is the heart and soul of the Selene, with a salty teak ship's wheel amidships and the three big panes of the reverse-raked windscreen with its overhanging brow.

There are Dutch doors on either side leading to the side decks, a broad, comfortable settee that sits way up high, with footholds, making a comfortable perch for captain and passengers alike, plus a handy quarter berth just aft of that for those long watches. Two square ports give an adequate view aft, and an overhead hatch, along with the doors and opening side windows, provide good ventilation. There's lots of room on the dash and the overhead panels for a wealth of electronics. Visibility is somewhat restricted by the high bows and by the bridge deck that extends back over the aft deck, but you can poke your nose easily out of either side door for docking.

Steps from the pilothouse lead up to the flybridge, where there's a second steering station, also amidships, where the visibility is further limited by the brow of the pilothouse top and the extended deck aft. But there's plenty of room up there for lounging and stowing a good-sized dinghy. Sturdy stainless-steel railings protect all around, and there's a hatch with a ladder that leads down to the aft deck. You can get a Bimini top for up there, as well as a trawler mast for launching dinghies or spreading steadying sails.

Access to the living accommodations below is by a stairway from the saloon. There's an apartment-sized combination washer/dryer unit behind louvered doors at the foot of the stairs. The layout below is unique. A watertight bulkhead door leads aft into the engine room. The guest stateroom has over/under bunks, and a unique folding door that when closed, actually forms the corner of the cabin. This provides a good amount of space in the passageway when the room isn't occupied.

The head across from the guest stateroom has a separate shower stall and a generous sized vanity with a molded sink. The teak-and-holly sole adds a nice contrast to the fiberglass sides. There's another head in the master suite in the bow, but this one has its own bathtub. The master stateroom has very high overhead with a big hatch for air and light, a walk-around full-size berth with big drawers underneath for stowing bulky bedding, and spacious his-and-hers hanging lockers on either side, plus drawered bureaus built in to the bulkhead, accented by more of that beautiful burled cherry countertop.

After enjoying an astonishingly delicious, baseball-sized crab cake on the deck of Stony's Restaurant, we hopped on board, cranked up the diesel, and headed out of Back Creek, past the University of Maryland's marine research facilities, and slipped up the Inside Channel toward Drum Point on a beautifully clear early-autumn day. There was a light southerly breeze and the water was flat, so there was no chance to get any sense of how the trawler behaves in any kind of challenging weather; but it did handle just as you'd expect a 22-ton displacement hull to feel, solid and sure.

The reason for the solid feel of the ride becomes clear when you examine the hull, built of hand-laid, solid fiberglass, with vacuum-pressed Balsa core sandwiched side shell and decks. The hull has a round bilge at the bows, but is relatively flat with hard chines aft, especially compared to other trawlers its size, which could account for its responsiveness for a displacement hull, as well as its stability. The skeg extends aft to protect the propeller and rudder and add directional stability. The single 220 HP Cummins provides a steady cruising speed of about eight knots at 1800 RPM and a top speed of about 10 knots. The fuel capacity of between 900 and 1000 US gallons should provide a cruising range of just under 2,000 nautical miles at eight knots.