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Washington State TrawlerFest Goes Live For Registration & Ticketing


Registration is now under way for TrawlerFest seminar staples such a "Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines," "The Boat Buyer's Survival Guide" and "Hands-On Boat Handling" and a score of other seminars coming in May.

 Mike Beemer of Northwest Center for Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology of Anacortes, a TrawlerFest partner, gives "Diesel Engines" attendees some hands-on training at the 2015 event.

Mike Beemer of Northwest Center for Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology of Anacortes, a TrawlerFest partner, gives "Diesel Engines" attendees some hands-on training at the 2015 event.

The TrawlerFest boat show and seminar series happens at the Cap Sante Marina Tuesday through Saturday, May 17-21. The boat show runs Thursday through Saturday, May 19-21, and includes booths displaying marine products and services. Online registration opens by mid-month.

"Diesel Engines" is not the only engine course for boaters, but it is the only diesel engine course for boaters taught by Calder, the renown author/researcher (mad scientist?), and veteran boatbuilder and yard operator Steve Zimmerman (shown in the photo above). Calder’s status is such that when he makes an observation about engine performance, the engine manufacturers themselves pay attention. He has become something of a one-man skunk works for propulsion and power generation innovations.

This two-day seminar combines classroom time with hands-on engine time in the shop. It combines theory and practical troubleshooting instruction, and it does so with a touch of humor to keep things lively. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion that in some cases may help save some money on their boat insurance.

It is also worthy of note that unlike most other engine instructors both Calder and Zimmerman are real-deal cruisers, who bring this perspective to the curriculum. Before you sign on to any other diesel course, ask the organizers how many years of long-distance cruising its instructors have done.


“Hands-On Boat Handling” will develop skills in close quarters maneuvering and docking, not to mention the confidence gained from having been taught by some of the very best instructors in the business. Bob Sweet is the author of several marine titles including Powerboat Handling Illustrated and The Instant Handbook of Boat Handling, Navigation and Seamanship.

Here's what Ladd Thorne had to say after taking the course during our event in Connecticut last year:

Simply stated, Bob Sweet opened all of our eyes to the ease and common sense of power boat handling. The seminar covered the fundamentals of how propeller action has certain characteristics that influence the handling of a boat in entirely different ways than sails do. Bob presented all aspects of docking, anchoring, power-boat maneuvering in normal conditions, and in not-so-normal conditions in a seaway.

As part of the seminar Bob arranged for on-the-water instruction in which all class members could participate in small groups. This element was outstanding, as it enabled my wife, my son, and me to prove to ourselves that we could accomplish the basics that we had just learned in the class room, at the helm of a 32 foot trawler.

John Park of Seattle, Washington, came out of last year's “Boat Boat Buyer’s Survival Guide” at the Anacortes, Washington TrawlerFest with a sense of regret. “If I had taken this course 10 years ago, I would have saved $100,000 and a whole lot of aggravation,” Park said.

Park had made some mistakes and paid the price, but even when it goes well, buying a boat can be a stressful experience. Anyone planning to purchase over the next five years should attend this year's event in Washington state. A team of experts will help buyers make sound decisions and save money, and as Park has learned, much more money than the price of admission.

"Diesel Engines" and "Boat Handling" are limited to 36 and 20 attendees, and the "Boat Buyer's Survival Guide" is a favorite among VIP pass-holders.

A $399 VIP pass offers the best value at TrawlerFest because it allows entry into any and all of the seminars (except "Diesel Engines" and “Boat Handling” seminars) for a set price and also includes admission to the show and evening social events.

For information about TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach, call 954.703.4789 or send an email to