Two thirds of the earths surface is covered by water - Our carbon fibre power catamarans can safely cover all of it
Trawlercat Marine Designs (TMD) President, CEO & Lead Designer Captain Graham Pfister is the founder and driving force behind the company. He was born within sight and sound of a surfing beach in Sydney Australia and has spent most of his life in and on the water. He was a swimming club champion, a “surfie” and a Volunteer Surf Rescue Boat Captain; voted 1979 Rescue Boat Captain of the Year by his Peers for the rescue of two people carried out to sea in 10 metre storm seas.
Australian Surf Rescue Boat
In 1977 he saw the need for aluminium workboat catamarans so he designed one, rented a small shop hired two aluminium boat builders, built one and it turned into a business he called Alloy-Cat. He brought in two partners to expand into a larger shop and they purchased an automatic welding machine from Germany at great cost. He had lost control of the company to his two partners and didn’t like the direction the company was heading so he sold out to the partners and moved on with lessons learnt.
He was driven to sail around the world in a catamaran and finding the right catamaran became a quest that took him to the UK in 1979 where he visited two UK production catamaran builders. He test sailed several of their models, wrote about them and had the articles published in Australian and International boating magazines.
Not finding just what he was looking for he decided to build his own catamaran in his own backyard. He launched “Quiet Achiever” in 1984 and lived aboard for 3 years. In 1987 after qualifying for an Offshore AYF Boat License he and his Canadian wife pulled up the anchor and set off to sail west about around the world. They chose the Red Sea route and after crossing the Atlantic Ocean they came to the British Virgin Islands where he upgraded to a 100 ton commercial license and began operating charter boats in paradise for the next five years.
"Quiet Achiever" Leaving Australia
During his time in the BVI’s between charters he had timeto reflect on his own catamaran cruise and surrounded by boats in the Caribbean the original trawler style power catamaran concept was set down on paper to eventually become TrawlerCat Marine.
Upgrading his 100 ton license to a 500 ton license it was time to step up to Super Yachts and having sold Quiet Achiever they flew to London and on to Antibes in the South of France the “Super Yacht Capital of the world”.
Here he operated Super Yachts in the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Israel and delivered a 23m motor yacht through the Suez Canal and down the Red Sea to Hurghada, Egypt for the winter. As he arrived in Hurghada fate stepped in; there in the marina was a large power catamaran. He knew the Captain who was leaving to go back to Antibes to a bigger boat and he recommend him to the owner an Egyptian Industrialist. He got the job which was to take the big cat up to the Mediterranean for the owner's summer cruise followed by a 15 week haul out major refit and its Lloyds Bi-annual Docking Survey.
After taking the big cat back down the Red Sea for the winter he flew to Japan where he ran a 102’ Broward for a Japanese Businessman but visa problems prevented him from staying longer. His next command was in Florida where he was hired to operate Ivana Trump’s 105’ triple engine motor yacht “IVANA”.
Captian Graham Pfister
32m High Speed Cat docked at its Red Sea Marina home port in Egypt
In 1997 TrawlerCat MarineInc. (TCM) wasincorporated federally in Toronto, Ontario Canada before moving the office to Nova Scotia to commence building the first of many power catamaran designs.
With two boats in production, material purchased for a third and four more to be built we completely overwhelmed the builder’s resources so found another experienced catamaran builder to build a 55’ in Charleston, South Carolina and another in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.
55' Cruiser 2002
Lured by low labour rates we negotiated a deal with an “experienced” boat builder in China and had them build a set of moulds. Five boats were commenced between February 2001 and December 2003 with the first one being the company demonstrator. Our project manager reported troubles and despite our best efforts they were unresolvable.
Captain Pfister stopped the project and invoked the Guarantee Certificates signed and “chopped” by the builder’s parent company the second largest company in China, China Merchants Group who refused to honour them.
TMD was able to settle with the owners of the four vessels, write off the company demonstrator and repay the loan by selling his house and all of his personal assets
Launching the 45' Company Demonstrator "Quiet Achiever" August 2003
Back in Canada TMD continued its design work and commenced building a 45’ followed by a 65’ and several others in Oregon State. What turned out to be the 2008 global economic downturn hit the recreational boat building business in 2006 as future clients put their retirement boat purchase on hold to pay off their expensive house mortgages or buy holiday homes with “give away mortgage loans”. This forced TMD to downsize and layoff their two Naval Architects.
In early 2007 before the 2008 announcement of the global economic downturn business was quiet enough for Captain Pfister to take up a one year contract position with Grand Banks at their Malaysia production facility. He worked in their Design and Development Department making final improvements to a new model, having an input on another new model and designing and setting up an improved hull and stringer manufacturing method. He designed a stringer to mold jig and had it built. He wrote up the procedure and trained the workers then had them install the first set of stringers using the new jig. He also learnt a great deal about production boat building from Grand Banks 50 years experience building quality boats.
TMD reopened in June 2008 to a dried up recreational boat market where old established companies like Luhrs Marine, builders of so many great boat brands were eventually forced to close down. At that time we made an executive decision to focus on commercial catamarans using carbon fibre as the construction material for the growing offshore wind farm industry. We developed four models from 20m to 35m all designed to meet DNV High Speed Rules for far offshore round 3 wind farms. We tested the market and had a good response from several companies operating OWF Crew boats and we commenced a new marketing program on September 3, 2013 that we are sure will lead to many sales.
By 2009 Pirates had became bolder at hijacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and off the South East Coast of Somalia and we very quickly discovered an URGENT need for our carbon fibre catamarans. We added four new models to be used as Navy High Speed Patrol Boatsfor the antipiracy market. This has developed into a market area with huge potential for our 20m to 35 metre carbon fibre "Pocket Patrol Boats". They can carry out Search and Rescue missions, patrol areas where pirates are known to operate, locate drug smugglers, ships polluting the oceans, boats full of illegal immigrants and foreign fishing trawlers poaching billions of dollars worth of fish every year inside a country's territorial waters.
We are currently pursuing the High SpeedPocket Patrol Boat market with countries who cannot afford large expensive warship patrol boats. We believe the EU, UN, NATO and others will help those countries with the biggest pirate and drug problems.
We are also approaching the US Navy and Coast Guard as they struggle to come to terms with sequestration budget cut backs and fielding enough ships to prevent drug smugglers in the Caribbean from bringing drugs into the US.
A mean looking bunch of pirates heading out to the shipping route
Our first catamaran was a 55’x24’ aluminium raised pilothouse model launched in Nova Scotia in September 2000. It revisited Nova Scotia in August 2010 with the same owner still living onboard happily enjoying his retirement.
The owner asked for it to be left unpainted; his reasoning was that he wouldn't have to repaint it every five or ten years; and he was right.
TMD has had twenty four of our recreational designs built and we project managed most of them. We also sold construction plans to home builders to build their dream catamaran.
TMD is very proud to have pioneered long range cruising power catamarans for the recreational boating market.
We are now looking forward to making a big impact on the workboat market with our carbon fibre workboats and High Speed Pocket Patrol Boats.
DYAD our first vessel launched in 2000 shown here back in Nova Scotia in 2010
In 2010 TrawlerCat Marine changed its name to Trawlercat Marine Designs to differentiate our design company from our build company Trawlercat Marine Workboats. This was done for clarification and for taxation purposes.
Captain Pfister’s experience is extensive and unique. He is the founder and the driving force behind Trawlercat Marine. Working directly with his two Naval Architects from 2001 to 2006 they produced 42 power catamaran designs.
He carries his 'hands on' Boat Building, Project Managing, Boat Operating and Boat Managing skills along with 19 years Boat Designing and Business Management Skills with him because, he says;
“Experience is Knowledge they can’t teach you in College”