The Selene line of long range ocean trawlers was named for Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon who travels across the night sky in a silver chariot drawn by white horses. (I had to look that up – but it did shed some light on the design of the brochure.) The boat was originally marketed under the brand name Solo but as the line gained popularity in the US and in Europe, it was renamed. Today, the company builds boats up to 92 feet, but they started smaller and the 47 was one of their most popular models in the early 2000s.
Design, Construction and Performance
The Selene line of modified displacement-hull trawlers comes from Jet-Tern Marine, a subsidiary of Jet-Tern Group, the largest tableware manufacturer in the world. The shipyard was started in 1998, and was the darling of naval architect and passionate boat-builder Howard Chen. Ted Hood, the pre-eminent sailboat designer, was also associated as part of the Selene dealer network and an advisor for design. Initially located two hours from Hong Kong on mainland China, the shipyard first produced the 43 foot Solo that was later re-launched as the Selene 43 and then extended into the Selene 47.
Below the waterline, Selenes are solid fiberglass. Above the waterline and throughout the deck, the construction is vacuum-bagged balsa or Divinycell coring. Structural beams are all fiberglass for longevity and attention to detail is high in every aspect of construction. The 47 has a fine entry but gets tall and beamy very quickly. Altogether, it’s a snappy boat that responds well, is maneuverable and although bouncy in a chop, keeps rolling to a minimum due to its flat bottom. Visibility forward from the flybridge is not great but is adequate from the sides and from the wheelhouse below.
The majority of owners are couples who coastal cruise or head offshore on waters anywhere between Alaska and Mexico or Maine and the Caribbean. Top speed for the 47 is 10.5 knots with cruising speed around nine knots where the burn rate is approximately 3.5 gallons per hour. However, with the standard 950 gallons of fuel at 7.5 knots, it’s possible to have a range of 2,500 to 3,000 nautical miles—and that makes the boat a true bluewater voyager.
Flybridge and Deck
One of the striking things about Selenes was the extensive list of standard features. For example, the flybridge, which can be an expensive option on other boats, came standard on the 47. Other standards were the shower in the aft cockpit, the huge lazarette below the cockpit, the bowthruster, and the hinged swim step that can be a lifesaver in a marina that allows no overhang. The cockpit is fully covered by the flybridge, as are the sides for maximum protection from the elements.
Forward, there’s a large vertical electric windlass, out of the way in the deep anchor locker so it’s not activated by accident. There is also a beefy twin anchor roller and a large Sampson post to take the strain off the windlass in an anchorage. Cleats are recessed and there are plenty of handholds when moving the entire length of the vessel.
Layout & Accommodations
There’s a good seating area in the wheelhouse so others can keep the helmsman company, and the spot behind the seating bench extends out into a bunk for anyone off watch. The electrical panel is easily accessible and well-labeled, and there’s also a convenient, full-sized chart table.
Just a few steps down from the wheelhouse is a seagoing galley amidships. A unique feature of the Selene models is the commissary – a crawl-in stowage space, which is below the saloon sole and behind the engine room. This really makes an impression as it features a 10-cubic foot deep-freeze, a wine rack, and dry stowage, all of which came standard. The finish in this pantry below the sole is of the same quality as anything visible in the galley or saloon.
A few steps down to port, there’s a washer/dryer combo and immediately to the right is the engine room door. The crawl-in engine room provides plenty of handholds and great access to key systems.
The master stateroom is in the bow, with an island queen berth, plenty of stowage space and a plush finish. The head features a bathtub. The guest cabin has two bunk beds and can be left open due to its sliding door. The guest head has a separate shower stall and just like the master head, it feels like a bathroom rather than a boat head.
Systems & Mechanical
Many of the systems on the Selene line were standard including the dual Racor fuel filtration system, four bilge pumps, and an oil exchange pump system. Most of the components and the engines were U.S.-sourced and included names like Grunert, Westerbeke, Cummins, and Village Marine. Gelcoat, paints, and pumps were also sourced in the U.S. or outside of China so maintenance and availability of parts were greatly simplified.
There’s an optional fuel transfer system to spread the weight of the 950 gallons between two baffled tanks, so trim can be adjusted depending on the kind of provisioning that was done. The boat is designed so that the engine can be removed via the saloon sole, through the galley (the headliner is removable) and out via the flybridge. It takes approximately a half a day for removal and a half a day for the installation of a new engine. Few boats are actually designed for ease of engine removal, and this feature shows some forethought that might benefit second and third owners looking to repower.
The systems on the Selene line are similar from model to model and most of the original boats differed primarily in length, which was added through the saloon and the cockpit. Otherwise, the boats remained basically the same. This made them more economical to build, and owners who moved up in the line to larger boats did not have to come up a completely new learning curve.
Resale value has held over the years, which speaks volumes about these trawlers. For anyone considering heading offshore for extended cruising, a general rule of thumb is that you can expect to add 10 to 40 percent to the base price of a boat when outfitting for bluewater voyaging. However, the extensive list of standard equipment that each Selene came with right out of the factory makes these boats a great value on the brokerage market today. And remember, every Selene trawler came with a custom set of flatware – courtesy of Jet-Tern Group – so you can cross that off your list, too.
See Selene 47 listings.
LOA: 51’10” * Beam: 15’8″ * Draft: 5’1″ * Displacement: 62,000 lbs. * Water Capacity: 500 gal. * Fuel Capacity: 950 gal.
To learn more about the Selene 47, read Learn to Run a Selene 47 Trawler. To learn more about trawlers on the market in general, read: