Selene trawlers compared to Nordhavn: the choice.

When choosing a trawler-type yacht, you will inevitably compare boats from two leading shipyards: Nordhavn and Selene. You will find many opposing opinions and owner reviews when trying to figure out which company builds the best trawlers.

To further confuse you and complicate your choice, we will also express our preferences based on our experience sailing on different yacht models from these two excellent shipyards.

Yes, many more well-known manufacturers of excellent all-weather boats worldwide exist, but Selene and Nordhavn are in their category. This category of incredibly reliable GRP ocean trawlers has an unrivalled reputation. These are not some planning cruisers with a 300 nautical mile range, styled like trawlers for the mass market, but actual displacement vessels that have a triple safety margin and allow you to feel safe in sea conditions when even sailing yachters are in a hurry to get home, not to mention all other types of boats.

The fact that even those who have owned yachts from both Nordhavn and Selene often find it challenging to make a final choice in favour of one of the shipyards speaks not so much of how similar these boats are but of how much attention the companies pay long-term experience of the owners, not short-term profits. You may find new Turkish-built Nordhavn boats, but the main Nordhavn models, like the Selene, are built in China, primarily Taiwan, in yards with a long history of producing the highest quality GRP hulls.

But let’s get back to the heart of the matter. Which trawler yachts are better, Nordhavn or Selene, in our humble opinion?
Unfortunately, as usual, no one paid us any money for good reviews, so we are again forced to express our opinions honestly.

We never experienced any obvious inconveniences, technical problems or any other difficulties during our stay on board the yachts of both shipyards, and their reliability in rough seas is almost tangible. These yachts are equally predictable and easy to sail, and their model ranges are roughly in the same price range. However, if we had to make such a difficult choice, we would have to go with Selene. And that’s why.

Overall, the boats are technically very similar, but the Selene seems more inclined towards luxury and comfort, while the Nordhavn trawlers are more brutal and, despite the incredibly high-quality finishes on the exterior and interiors, leave a subtle impression of a commercial vessel. It should be noted that this is not something negative; on the contrary, it further fuels the initial feeling of reliability. However, on a long cruise, not to mention living on board, Selene may seem friendlier to the owner and guests.

Selene is a semi-custom yacht; during the construction process, the owner can actively create a unique design of interiors and exterior elements, fully adapted to personal preferences. Undoubtedly, Nordhavn can also offer you customization, but the overall impression of all those boats from both shipyards we visited remains in favour of Selene. Selene yachts are more sophisticated, and their design is noble and elegant.

We also positively received a number of deeply technical nuances on board Selene. This applies to electrical equipment and various additional options related to engines, generators, and peripheral systems. Although Nordhavn told us that they could do everything the same or even better, Selene already had all these things by default. In any case, this is just a configuration that can constantly change.

At the same time, some comparable Nordhavn models boast a slightly more spacious engine room and slightly easier access to various important onboard systems.

As for such an essential characteristic as seaworthiness, we have not yet had the opportunity to test two boats of similar size from both shipyards on parallel courses in stormy weather. Given the similarity of the hulls, it is unlikely that there will be much difference between the two. However, you may notice that the lower profile of the Selene’s topside will have less windage, which you will appreciate when mooring in high winds.

So, for some subjective and objective reasons, we would choose Selene. But the problem is that both shipyards have an extensive range of models, and all other things being equal, some Nordhavn boats may have better characteristics and a design more suitable for your requirements and hobbies, for example, diving.

We hope we have made it easier for you to choose between Selene and Nordhavn.
Although unlikely.