For a taste of TrawlerFest, Visit CruiserPort-Miami

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Pssst! We have a free appetizer for you. Enjoy a TrawlerFest seminar series by attending CruiserPort at the Yachts Miami Beach Boat Show. TrawlerFest speakers will present abridged versions of four popular seminars on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18.

Yachts Miami Beach will return to Collins Avenue Feb. 16-20 with a completely revamped layout, several entrances in conjunction with a first-time entrance fee and beefed-up transportation to get attendees to and from the show. Attendance, formerly free, now will cost $20.


The show will have water taxis to help visitors and exhibitors avoid Miami Beach traffic. It also will offer free shuttle buses between Yachts Miami Beach, which is owned by Show Management and the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, and the Progressive Miami International Boat Show, which is owned by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Although they are separately owned, the two shows run concurrently.

CruiserPort’s location will be on the docks in the vicinity of the prominent Eden Roc hotel. Check the map and signage once you arrive.

Here is the schedule of free CruiserPort seminars:

 Randy & Kim Kalisik

Randy & Kim Kalisik

FRIDAY, Feb. 17

Cruising the Dry Tortugas, With Kim & Randy Kalisik
1-2 p.m.

The Dry Tortugas National park is a small group of islands located 70 miles west of Key West Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to a history of sea turtles, sunken wrecks and one of the largest coastal brick fortresses, Fort Jefferson. It is an amazing cruising getaway to unspoiled reefs, shallow water wrecks and fantastic star gazing. Learn about cruising to the Dry Tortugas by trawler and exploring all the wonders it has to offer, including: beautiful beaches, crystal clear water for snorkeling and diving, local wildlife and a fort that is rich in history.

The Kalisik’s will take you on a guided tour of cruising to the Dry Tortugas and exploring their favorite cruising destination. They’ll discuss considerations such as provisioning (you must bring everything you need with you), isolation (no cell or wifi service), weather, anchoring as well as exploring the islands and reefs by snorkeling and diving.

 Jeff Merrill

Jeff Merrill

Don’t Be Afraid To Go “Outside,” With Jeff Merrill

2:30-3:30 p.m.

Over the years and through his experiences on hundreds of boats, yacht broker Jeff Merrill has amassed a collection of “good ideas” and “best practices” to help new owners prepare for that fateful day when they leave the safety of inland waters for open ocean. Being on the move safely and comfortably helps insure we all have a great experience on the water. Merrill will touch how to prepare yourselves and your boat, including tips on weather, navigation, helm operations, engine room checks and more.


Smuggler’s Run: Cruising Florida’s Mini-Loop, With Ken Fickett
1-2 p.m.

Learn about an around-Florida adventure that involves circumnavigating the lower part of the state via the Okeechobee Waterway and Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. Boatbuilder, Florida native and all-around raconteur, Ken Fickett takes you on a journey that encompasses many of Florida’s remaining wild and eccentric places. He’ll show you the interesting stops and how to avoid those goshdarned smugglers.

 Ken Fickett

Ken Fickett

Tricks for Identifying High-Quality Fiberglass Construction, With Ken Fickett

2:30-3:30 p.m.

More than 40 years of up-close-and-personal boatbuilding have made Ken Fickett one of the nation’s leading experts on fiberglass boat construction, including expert testimony before the U.S. Congress. During his seminar, the builder of Mirage sportfish boats and Great Harbour trawlers shares his tricks for separating the good from the bad and the ugly. He’ll supply the questions you should ask as you walk the docks and tour the yachts. Forewarned is forearmed.