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Diesel, Boat Handling Seminars Filling Fast


The jewel in the TrawlerFest crown is our two-day diesel engine seminar with Nigel Calder and Steve Zimmerman. Capped at 36 students, already 16 seats have sold for our Riviera Beach, Florida event. A dozen have registered for another signature seminar, Hands-On Boat Handling, which caps at 20 participants.

TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach is happening Tuesday through Sunday, Jan. 26-31 at the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina. The in-water portion of the event runs Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 28-31.

Our most challenging is the diesel seminar, “Everything You Need to Know About Diesel Engines,” which involves several experts teaching 36 students over two days. One of them was Calder, PassageMaker technical editor and one of the leading authorities on marine propulsion.


A couple years ago, we decided to “reinvent” the TrawlerFest seminar program. We had come to believe our seminar series had become stale and reasoned that these kinds of decisions should be made by someone with cruising as well as editorial experience, as opposed to marketing or events staff.

That’s when we came up with the team approach. Developing the engine course with Calder was Troubleshooter columnist Steve Zimmerman and reps from the engine manufacturers and a maintenance monitoring company. Calder wrote the book on diesel engines (Marine Diesel Engines), and Zimmerman owns four boatyards in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

Feedback on our diesel course “professors” was overwhelmingly positive with this from one Riviera Beach, Florida, attendee:

“Nigel was excellent I believe he presented a great deal of information but did not drown us in the unimportant stuff. His presentation seemed to get at the ‘meat’ of the issue directly. Thus, he was able to cover more. He was entertaining and repeated: ‘You can do this’ many times which I found very supportive.

“Steve, your presentation was equally solid. I liked your approach from the prop forward and it was great to hear what shipyards see as the major problems.”

Diesel course attendees receive a certificate of competency during a graduation party/ceremony with instructors and TrawlerFest sponsors at the end of the day on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Some insurers may consider the certificate when they decide an applicant’s rate category.


Other team topics for Anacortes are “Boat Buyer’s Survival Guide,” “The Great Loop and Amazing Side Trips” and “Hands-on Boat Handling.” Zimmerman also offers a two-morning course that is a natural follou-up to the diesel seminar, called “Care & Maintenance for the Cruising Powerboat.” All-morning sessions are: “ICW Adventures,” “Cruising Cuba and Doing It Legally,” “Bahamas & Beyond,” “Basic Coastal Navigation for Husbands & Wives” and “Weather Basics for Cruisers.”

We round out the program with 17 two-hour seminars, for a total of 28 altogether.


So whether you’re looking for the nuts-and-bolts information to begin the cruising phase of your life or inspiration to expand your cruising horizons, our reinvented TrawlerFests are designed to provide fodder for your dreams. See you at Lake Park, Anacortes and on the water.

For information about TrawlerFest call our dedicated number 954.703.4789 or email us at