BOAT REVIEW Pescador 35

July 2023 Launch Reviews
Words by Matt Vance. Photography & video by Roger Mills.
Build Quality
MODEL Pescador 35
DESIGNER Yigit Akbarlas
BUILDER Kizilkayan Yachts
LOA 10.8M
LENGTH (Waterline) 9.15M
ENGINE 2 x Yanmar 4LV250, v-drives
Maximum Speed 25 knots
Cruise Speed 16.7 knots
  • Effortless operation and good performance from the semi-displacement hull
  • Decent cruising range
  • Stylish modern interior that’s practical and clever
  • Very liveable accommodation and excellent outdoor flow

With New Zealand’s stock of home-grown 30-40 foot (9.1-12.2m) launches beginning to age, the rise of the European-styled trawler, with the accommodation and seakeeping of a displacement launch and the speed and power of a planing hull, are finding a new generation of Kiwi followers.

Despite having an overseas design pedigree, there is something about the trawler-style launch that suits New Zealand conditions. Perhaps it is seaworthiness to get you home in all weathers, good fuel economy, or maybe the European-style accommodation with excellent indoor-outdoor flow of that nicely suits our climate. Whichever, the fortunes of the 30-something-foot trawler-style launch is on the rise, among them this Turkish-designed and built Pescador 35.


While many similar European imports are known for well-designed layouts and stylish looks, the Pescador 35 adds value for money to the mix. Through clever design and quality control where it is needed, the Pescador 35 brings a range of options that allows individual buyers to customise their boats. In a market that can sometimes confuse bling with ease of use and reliability, it is refreshing to step aboard a boat that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The first impression of the Pescador 35 is made by her striking lines. With a trawler pedigree, she has an attractive mix of displacement launch and planing hull slickness. Designer Yigit Akbarlas has achieved this with a distinctive plumb bow, sweeping sheer and hard chine detail, capped off with a well-proportioned pilothouse with a reverse raked trawler windscreen. Collectively they give the package the prescence of an elegant, modern classic.

Akbarlas’s design has been skilfully put into production by Kizilkayan Yachts Ltd, based in Turkey. Established in 1979, the company began its life building elegant wooden fishing boats for Mediterranean waters. In 1983 they moved the yard to a new location in Tuzla, Istanbul, where they began to perfect their GRP production process. The Pescador 35 is the latest model to come off the production line and benefits from some solid craftsmanship and detailing. The hull and decks are PVC sandwich construction with hand laminated GRP. Combined with the efficient use of structural frames, this gives the hull a stiff and solid feel to match the trawler-style robustness the hull form suggests.

The Pescador 35 comes with a variety of add-ons, making customisation to the owners’ requirements easy. This is apparent when it comes to the power packages on offer. There are single and twin outboard options from Yamaha and Mercury, plus single or twin inboard options with shaft drive, sternleg or POD drive, from 110hp (single) to 300hp (twin). At the bottom end of the horsepower range, engine options make for an economical displacement launch setup, while at the upper end of the range, engine options provide the power and speed of a planing launch.

The test boat, which arrived recently, has engines in the upper range – twin Yanmar 250hp inboards with v-drives that allow access to all the servicing areas of the front end of the engines. The engine room is under the cockpit sole and has plenty of room for the 500-litre fuel tanks and twin engines. While fuel burn figures have yet to be calibrated, the Pescador’s range at cruising speed with these engines is estimated to be around 250-300 nautical miles, which bodes well for extended cruising in places like the Marlborough Sounds.

A walk through the Pescador 35 is a feast for the senses. Starting at the duckboard, which provides easy boarding and a great wet deck for fishing or swimming, there is a simple filleting bench/ rod holder/BBQ stand fashioned by Hurricane Rigging. All the wet, fishy fun of the duckboard is separated from the commodious cockpit by a walk-through transom and stainless steel gate to starboard.

The cambered and self-draining aft deck is laid out in teak trim as an add-on, which gives the deck layout an elegant and bare-feet-friendly surface all the way forward to the foredeck. The wide coamings, stainless railings, and L-shaped settee make good use of the cockpit’s 7m2 area. The addition of a removable table makes it the preferred socialising and dining option for the New Zealand climate.
The transition into the saloon has a small step defining its edge and to keep any errant water out. Triple sliding doors enclose the saloon for those cold winter days on passage. Immediately to starboard is the galley with two-burner hob, sink, and fridge surrounded by ample storage space. To port is the four-seater dining booth and table, which can be converted to a double berth if required.

The helm station to starboard contains the Garmin MFD, instrument panel, engine gauges, alarms, twin throttles, and bow and stern thruster controls. In keeping with the rest of the boat, it is simple and easy to access without the sort of clutter that can sometimes get in the way of just using the boat. The view from the helm is through large tempered glass windows which give a nearly 360-degree field of vision. The windows have window hatches for ventilation and are complemented by an electric hatch in the centre of the saloon roof.
Down in the accommodation section of the boat, there are some well-thought-out spaces. A full queen size bed in the owner’s cabin in the forepeak and a guest cabin to port with a large queen-sized bed that extends under the saloon floor provide plenty of space to relax. A shower and toilet to port rounds out a very liveable space which is flooded with light due to the large side-panel windows on either side. The accommodation layout would work well for a couple with occasional guests.

On the water
While the great design, engineering, and attention to detail are nice, it is what the boat feels like that ultimately counts. Pelorus Sound put on one of its cracker winter days for our review. With Ian Michel and Pip Strack from New Zealand Pescador agent Vinings aboard, we were introduced to the first Pescador 35 in New Zealand. A quick walk around allowed the important first impressions to sink in: the striking design, generous deck space, and solid feel that make the boat seem bigger than her 35 feet, which bodes well for long both long-term cruises and shorter day-trips and overnighters.
With twin engines and both bow and stern thrusters, Pip Strack made short work of getting out of the tight marina berth. Thrusters take the panic out of close-quarters manoeuvring, which means the boat is more likely to be well-used. Low-speed manoeuvring also came in handy as we wound our way out of the tight channel into Havelock Marina.

Out of the blocks, the twin Yanmar 250’s had plenty of power, but thanks to a well-insulated engine room, engine noise in the saloon was just a distant throb. In displacement mode, the Pescador 35 seemed comfortable at 2100rpm and 8.8 knots; in planing mode, cruising speed is a serene 16.7 knots at 3100rpm. Flat out with full water and fuel tanks, we were getting 21 knots at 3800rpm.
At around 8 tonnes. The Pescador 35 has that displacement launch feel, but with the ability to fast-cruise economically, effectively shortening motoring times on those long ,twisting reaches of Pelorus Sound.
With the drone in hot pursuit, we laid the vessel into the corners. She held on nicely in the turns, with a sure-footed grip and a solidness which meant smashing through her own wake was easily absorbed. Both Ian and Pip were aboard for her first run after being commissioned and driven across Cook Strait. They confirmed she had the chops for this notorious stretch of water, which is a solid test for any boat.

Just inside the entrance to Kenepuru Sound, we moored up for a spot of lunch. This is another one of the tests of a good cruising platform! The wide aft deck, good flow through to the saloon, and beer made the experience relaxing and easy. Perhaps the best indication of a good boat review is when the boat reviewer stops worrying about the boat and starts relaxing and yarning.
The Pescador 35 oozes effortlessness and had me swapping tales with Ian, Pip and our photographer Roger all the way back to the marina. While we were talking about the pros and cons of boat designs and scallywags we knew, the Pescador 35 did its work efficiently, economically, and stylishly.


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