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TrawlerFest-Florida's Boat Buyer's Survival Guide


Anyone planning to buy a boat in the next five years should attend our Boatbuyer’s Survival Guide at TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach in January. Even when it goes well, buying a boat can be a stressful experience. We employ a team of experts to help buyers make sound decisions and save money--much more money than the price of admission.

The seminar will be conducted over two mornings, Thursday and Friday, Jan. 22-23, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The venue is the new municipal marina at Riviera Beach.

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Larry Polster, vice-president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts begins the first morning with a discussion of why hull form matters, with a look at full-displacement, semi-displacement and planing designs and what type of cruising suits each. This is a fundamental first decision for a boat buyer.

Polster has been boating for 43 years, beginning on his parents wooden cabin cruiser. His family had a sportfishing boat and a motoryacht. He has owned a kayak, canoe and sailing dinghy, Hobie Cat, center console, Downeast cruiser, cruising sailboat and, of course, a Krogen 42.

After Polster, Steve Zimmerman will discuss boatbuilding techniques. Zimmerman, himself a cruiser, is the owner of four boatyards in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina and builder of the Zimmerman line of power cruisers. Zimmerman marine has been in business for more than 34 years. Joining him will be yacht broker and trawler specialist Judy Waldman with a quick talk about the benefits of steel construction.

We conclude the first morning with John Clayman, president of Seaton Yachts, who share tips on how to choose and work with brokers. A veteran cruiser under both sail and power with countless sea miles, Clayman brings decades of experience in the design, construction, and marketing of cruising boats to Seaton Yachts. He is a licensed Florida Yacht Broker, a YBAA Certified Professional Yacht Broker, serves on the board of the United States Superyacht Association and is a long time member of the New York Yacht Club.

The next morning Clayman returns with plea to the audience to “keep it simple.” Keeping it simple simply isn’t easy. KIS is a principle that is often invoked in boatbuilding and buying, but it is unfortunately, a principle more observed in the breach.

Clayman will discuss what’s really required to enjoy cruising and life afloat and how to avoid the traps that prevent you from living the dream. He’ll help you answer to the question of how much boat you need? Factors such as size, equipment, speed and pedigree are considered in the context of Great Looping, near coastal and voyaging. And his advice on controlling ongoing variable costs will save money.

Next, we welcome Al Golden, president of International Marine Insurance Services, with a plea of his own. Golden will urge the audience not to put off shopping for insurance until the last minute. Golden takes a sometimes irreverent look at the maritime insurance industry, how it is regulated, who the main players are, what to look for in their forms, and even whether you really need insurance in the first place!

With maritime attorney Todd Lochner of Annapolis we have the scariest for last. Lochner is not an ordinary lawyer. He’s a boater himself and his specialty is maritime law in all its facets, including tax and fee policies. His practice often involves defending boaters that have been unfairly targeted. His goal is to provide future East Coast cruisers with the savvy to stay two steps ahead of the taxman.

The seminar will end with a audience Q&A with entire panel.