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TrawlerFest-Pacific Northwest returns to Bremerton, Washington, May 1-5 with 25 nautical seminars, including its flagship offering, "Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines." Ticketing began today.

Lead presenter for the diesel course is Mike Beemer (above left), who chairs the Marine Technology Department of Skagit Valley College in Anacortes. He is a friend of PassageMaker magazine and its technical editor, Nigel Calder, who writes this:

 Mike has developed, and runs, some of the very best marine systems courses available anywhere in the country. He is also a long-time boat owner with a great deal of hands-on experience, and as such brings a strong practical element to the academic courses. I can think of no one more qualified to lead the Trawlerfest diesel maintenance and troubleshooting seminar. 


Our all-star cast of experts also include Sam Devlin, Mario Vittone, Michael Bliss, Patricia Rains and Bruce Kessler.

Sam Devlin is one the world’s foremost practitioners of the wood-epoxy boatbuilding technique also known as stich and glue.” “There are few people like Sam Devlin,” writes PassageMaker Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Cooper. “He is an artist and a perfectionist, a dreamer caught in the profession of boatbuilder. But he is also highly analytical. He first gets to know each customer personally, and then figures out exactly how the customer will use each boat.”

Sam Devlin leads off one the most popular seminars at TrawlerFest, "the Boatbuyers Survival Guide."

Sam Devlin leads off one the most popular seminars at TrawlerFest, "the Boatbuyers Survival Guide."

Mario Vittone is a made-for-Hollywood American hero. He is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer, whose career choice lead him to become a national expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. Vittone is also a regular contributor to PassageMaker sister publication Soundings magazine. He and Thomas Bliss will co-present a new seminar for the Pacific Northwest, "Safety and Survival at Sea."

Thomas Bliss              Mario Vittone

Thomas Bliss              Mario Vittone

Capt. Thomas Bliss, a self-described “safety nerd,” is founder and director of Northwest Response, a lay-responder medical training enterprise. Professional mariners subscribe to his services to keep their licenses up to date. He once taught cold water survival to seismic ship-board exploration crews 270 miles north of the Arctic circle. A coxswain in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Bliss was Awarded the Meritorious Service Award in 2010 by Coast Guard commandant, Admiral Thad W. Allen. He lives in Gig Harbor, Washington.


Cruising guide author Patricia Rains is the nation’s foremost authority on cruising Mexico and other points south. Rains, a Coast Guard licensed captain, has logged more than 100,000 nautical miles, skippering a variety of yachts (sail & power) up and down both coasts of Mexico and Central America. 

Patricia Rains

Patricia Rains

She has transited the Panama Canal more than 30 times on different boats. She has worked as a bridge officer on a research vessel for the U.S. Navy and crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. She will teach three seminars and partipate in one of TrawlerFest's signature offerings, the all-women "Admiral's Roundtable."

Bruce Kessler gave up directing TV shows for the role he truly coveted—living and promoting the cruising life. He and his movie star wife, Joan, were the first couple to circumnavigate on a recreational motor vessel, the 70-foot Spirit of Zopilote. Kessler is also founding father of the FUBAR (now CUBAR) rallies from Southern California to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Kessler is the longest participating member in our unique a town-hall-style event called "Cruisers Roundtable."

Bruce Kessler pilots Spirit of Zopilote through Maine waters.

Bruce Kessler pilots Spirit of Zopilote through Maine waters.

Picturesque Bremerton is located on one of the protected harbors of Puget Sound and serves as a gateway to one of the greatest playgrounds in the United States. The Olympic Peninsula is a place of mountains, glaciers, forests, lakes, mountain streams and the Pacific Ocean. Within its corporate limits, Bremerton has the best equipped Navy Yard in the United States, constantly overhauling and repairing warships.

Blackberry Festival-Bremerton Marina, Plus

Bremerton is a salty little city.

The ferry from Seattle takes an hour and docks a short walk from Bremerton Marina, site of the in-water boat show. The seminars, including our signature diesel engine, boat handling and boat buying courses, will be taught at the Kitsap Conference Center, which overlooks the marina. Seminars run Tuesday through Saturday, May 1-5. The boat show and booths are open Thursday through Saturday, May 3-5.  

The city of 38,000 has a lively restaurant scene and other amenities. Bremerton’s U.S. Navy Museum features more than 18,000 objects, and the Vietnam War-era destroyer USS Turner Joy is preserved and open for tours a short walk from the event.  

You can take most of our seminars (the diesel course is one exception) for fixed prices with a four- or six-day VIP Pass, which gives you access their choice of attending any seminar. The cost is $399 for a four-day VIP pass and $499 for the six-day pass. Visit our ticketing site and do some math. You'll see how being a VIP maximizes your seminar buying power.  

SEMINARS: Tuesday, May 1 – Saturday, May 5

IN-WATER BOAT SHOW: Thursday, May 3 – Saturday, May 5
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

120 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337

Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside
100 Washington Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337

QUESTIONS? Contact Jennifer at or (954) 761-7073

Interested in being an exhibitor? Contact Ryan Davidson (954) 328-7573 or