Trawlerfest NEWPORT 2021
click to purchase tickets

click to purchase tickets

Seminar Registration & Tickets


Tuesday August 24- Saturday August 28, 2021
Starting at 9 a.m. daily
LOCATION: Newport Marriott 3rd floor
25 America's Cup Avenue
Newport, Rhode Island 02840


Show open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday & Saturday.

TICKETS: General Admission is $15 in advance, $18 onsite. Seminar tickets include General Admission to the boat show on the day of the seminar.

QUESTIONS? Contact us at or (954) 761-8777

Looking to exhibit your boat or product to the cruiser market, please contact Ryan Davidson at (954) 328-7573 or

HOTEL - Stay on site at the Trawlerfest host hotel: Newport Marriott
25 America's Cup Avenue
Newport, Rhode Island 02840
Click here to book group rate

All seminars will be held on the 3rd floor at the Newport Marriott Hotel across the street from the Newport Shipyard.  Seminar registration will be at the hotel on the 3rd floor.

What Trawlerfest Event Attendees are saying :

“We just want to thank Passagemaker for putting on such an incredibly high-quality event. I don’t think it is overstating it to say that Trawlerfests have been a huge part of our excitement and enthusiasm for entering the boating world.”

Tuesday, August 24th

Maintaining a Cruising Powerboat Session 1 of 2 with Steve Zimmerman
Tuesday & Wednesday, Aug 24-25, 8:30 am –12:30 pm
$260 for two session course

This two day session (Tuesday and Wednesday) class will provide practical in-depth information about maintaining your boat. Whether you plan to perform your own maintenance or pay someone, this class will help you avoid costly mistakes. Topics include:
· How to inspect and service seacocks and thru-hulls
· How to inspect and maintain your running gear, including props, shafts, and shaft seals
· Corrosion prevention
· Understanding modern fiberglass boat construction and repairs, including blister repairs, gelcoat maintenance, and core materials
· Shore power principles and safety
· Gelcoat Maintenance and core materials
· Bottom paints
· Sealants and adhesives – proper selection and application
· Engine checks

Anchoring - Avoid the “Art of Dragging” with Jill & Rudy Sechez
Tuesday, August 24th, 9 am – 12 pm

Don’t go if you can’t stay put… long-time cruisers and authors of “ANCHORING-A Ground Tackler’s Apprentice”, Rudy and Jill Sechez, will provide a thought- provoking PowerPoint presentation focusing on the four most critical aspects to prevent dragging. Topics include:
· How to size your anchors, rodes, shackles, and swivels
· Anchoring in sand, mud, weeds or rock
· Determining the bottom’s make-up
· How much scope is too little, and is there such a thing as too much?
· Six factors to include when calculating scope
· The danger of using 5:1 and 7:1 scope
· Marking your rode
· Determining the load on ground tackle at various wind speeds
· Using more than one anchor
· How to throw a line and hand signals
Time permitting: how to choose an anchorage, how to deploy and weigh anchor, and more … bring your questions

Survival at Sea with Bob Arrington
Tuesday, August 24th, 12 pm – 2 pm

When all of your boating goes according to plan, your flares and life jackets are of no use to you, your EPIRB and life raft just take up space aboard the boat. But life and our pursuits within it have a way of diverting from the plan, so experience tells us the emergency equipment we keep on our boats is worth carrying. Yet when most boaters free their lines and head for open water, they do so in a mild state of denial, an innocent but dangerous unwillingness to admit something could go wrong. Bob Arrington is a veteran cruiser and long-time TrawlerFest instructor, and he says that surviving an emergency aboard your boat is more than just having the latest safety equipment, it is a state of mind, a willingness to plan for “what if”, and an unwillingness to become a statistic. Join Bob and our emergency equipment specialists as we review the latest in safety equipment and how to use it correctly.

Survival at Sea Topics Covered Include:
· Most effective methods of communication in rescue situations.
· A special section on critical skills each cruising couple should have to survive a disaster at sea.
· Differences in units of latitude & longitude, and how to communicate them accurately.
· Understanding the differences in signal flares (SOLAS - Safety of Life at Sea).
· Complete understanding of electronic rescue signal devices like EPIRB, PLB’s, personal AIS transmitters and satellite devices.
· Differences in and use of storm drogues and sea anchors.
· Ditch bag set up.
· Description and use of emergency dewatering pumps.
· Life raft styles, placement and use.

The Great Loop with Kim Russo
Tuesday, August 24th, 2 pm – 5 pm

The first hour of this seminar sets the foundation for the Great Loop by providing the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the route and how to cruise it and covering some of the Great Loop’s stats. We’ll include details on distances, clearances, route options, locks, and Loop-capable boats. Then, we’ll take you on a tour of the route using photos submitted by Loopers. You’ll get a great idea of the types of things you’ll see and do along the way and what are likely to be the highlights of the journey. During the second hour, we’ll be joined by veteran Loopers who will share the stories of their Great Loop adventures and give you the best tips they learned along the way. The final hour focuses on how you can get started planning your own Great Loop adventure, including what to bring and what to leave behind, how to organize life aboard, how to stay in touch while cruising, popular apps among Loopers, and much more. We’ll wrap up with a question-and-answer session to address whatever topics are left unanswered during the presentation.

How to Cruise Simply & Frugally with Rudy and Jill Sechez
Tuesday, August 24th, 3 pm - 5 pm

Rudy and Jill Sechez will share, via a PowerPoint presentation, how they have cruised and lived aboard, economically for 23 years. Some of their concepts and ideas, while not for everyone, can be incorporated into the most sophisticated of boats. Some of the things you’ll hear about:
* An overview of building their own boats, first a 36’ cutter sailboat, and their current 34’ foot sail-assisted trawler, along with an explanation of their design choice and wood for construction material, as well as specific features of the boat.
· Jill and Rudy will highlight some of simple systems that have been incorporated into their vessels that make daily life onboard easier.
· They will share their uncomplicated approach to cruising, in matters such as navigation, anchoring, water management, boat and engine maintenance, and supply gathering.
*Participants will be encouraged to take an open-minded and individual approach to how they outfit their boat, and to understand that there is no “one-way fits all” approach cruising


Wednesday, August 25th

Boat Handling Illustrated with Bob Arrington
Wednesday, August 25th, 9 am – 12 pm

The Boat Handling classroom session, combined with “Boat Handling on the Water” will help you develop skills in close quarters maneuvering and docking. You will learn how to prepare the boat for docking in a variety of situations, along with how to predict and adapt to wind and current. Taught by one of the best instructors in the business, Bob Arrington holds a USCG 100 Ton Masters License with over 40 years of practical experience at the helm. He enjoys sharing his passion for the water with new boaters, having taught boat handling skills in multiple venues for the past 25 years. Arrington also writes boat handling and cruising columns for Passagemaker and Power & Motoryacht Magazines. The Wednesday morning session is mandatory before attending any of the six on-the-water sessions: Wednesday - Friday. (SEPARATE REGISTRATION FOR ON-WATER SESSIONS REQUIRED). The certificate of completion awarded to attendees may enable some to save money on their boat insurance. An example of Arrington’s training can be found here at:

Maintaining a Cruising Powerboat Session 2 of 2 with Steve Zimmerman
Tuesday & Wednesday, Aug 24-25, 8:30 am –12:30 pm
$260 for both days

Tips and Tricks for Navigating the ICW with Jill & Rudy Sechez
Wednesday, August 25th 12 pm -3 pm

Have a yearning to cruise the ICW? This presentation by veteran cruisers Rudy and Jill Sechez will discuss situations that you will likely encounter and provide guidelines for managing them. Questions welcomed.

Some of the topics covered will be:
· Distinguishing ICW Aids to Navigation (ATONs) from regular ATONs, and which side to keep the ‘red’ marks
· Day shapes and lighted ATONs
· Range marks
· Keys and tricks when using charts on the ICW
· Negotiating channels and tips for avoiding shoals
· Visual clues to water depths and determining distances by sight
· “Tides” and “Tidal Currents”
· The various ways to appropriately signal bridges and locks for openings
· Discussion of Chart 1 and the Coast Pilot
· Understanding railroad bridges
· ‘Truisms’
· How to throw a line
· Hand signals & unambiguous communication among crew
· Choosing the correct shackle for your anchor chain
· Suggested Reference books and manuals

20 Interesting (and Useful) Things you Probably Don’t Know About Marine Weather, but Should with Chris Parker

Wednesday, Aug 25, 1 pm – 3 pm

Veteran marine forecaster Chris Parker learned these 20 tips through decades of observation, much of it while cruising. These tips include how to observe the texture of clouds to gauge whether a thunderstorm is developing, understanding how wind parallels coastline, understanding why wind generally weakens as its direction “backs,” and what it means when it strengthens instead. (Hint: Bad things can happen.)

An Informal Ladies Tea with Jill Sechez
Wednesday, August 25, 3:00 p.m. - 5 p.m.

This seminar is for women who think they may want to go cruising or who have only recently entered into the cruising lifestyle and have a wide range of questions best answered by other women, and, alas, without any men in the room. 

Offshore Essentials with Jeff Merrill
Wednesday, Aug 25, 3 pm - 5 pm

“Offshore Essentials” was developed to review the necessary preparations required for trawler owners (and want-to-be owners) interested in transiting between sea ports for extended trips including overnight passages. This course is designed to be both an introduction and a refresher for owner operators and their crew. You will be reviewing important knowledge and fundamental skills needed to understand what to expect and how be organized in order to ensure a safe trip. Jeff Merrill is an active yacht broker who has logged nearly 20,000 miles offshore on trawlers and has spent the majority of that time training with clients on systems and teaching them how to manage and run their boats safely offshore. Merrill will touch on key topics such as safety, weather, pre-departure preparation, captain responsibilities, crew orientation, watch standing, engine-room checks, pilothouse navigation/electronics operations, and more. This talk will also include examples of important checklists Merrill has created and refined over many years of traveling out of sight of land.

click to purchase tickets

click to purchase tickets

Thursday, August 26th

Boat Buyers Survival Guide
Thursday, Aug 26, 9 am – 12 pm

Even when it goes well, buying a boat can be a stressful process. The idea behind this seminar is to arm buyers with the information they need to minimize frustration and unnecessary expense. There are several “team teach” instructors, with individual presentations and a group panel session at the end. The seminar will review what boat is the best fit for you, insurance, finance, survey to name a few topics. The seminar leads off with the first decision a prospective buyer of a cruising boat must make. That is, what kind of cruiser you plan to be and therefore which hull design, because, as boatbuilder Steve Zimmerman will argue, hull form matters. Metal boat builders explain metal boat construction and its advantages and disadvantages, and address custom boat building in general. For those buying a boat for the first time, thinking about it or need a refresher on best practices this seminar is for you.

Safe Radar Navigation in Bad Weather with Eric Kunz
Thursday, Aug 26, 9 am – 11 am

Safe Radar Navigation in Bad Weather: Use live Displays with real recorded rough weather simulation to understand how new solid state radar features can help you navigate when the weather gets rough, or in heavy fog when you really need to rely on your radar for to make landfall safely for you, your passengers, and your vessel. Modern solid state radars have new signal processing and features that have tremendous advantages over traditional marine radar systems. Learn about features like new Doppler Rain Modes, Automatic Radar Plotting, and terms like CPA(Closest Points of Approach) and TCPA (Time to Closest Point of Approach). Practice operating real displays to understand the details of how to manage and understand safe radar navigation. (Limited Attendance with six displays and 2-3 people per display) 2 Hour presentation.

What's up with the Charts with Bob Sweet
Thursday, Aug 27, 1 pm – 3 pm

Charts are our lifeline to what’s out there, and what to avoid. Both digital and printed charts have their benefits and both are evolving. Know what’s coming, which ones to use and when and how best to use them to safely get to where you are going. Learn the pitfalls of relying on what the chartplotter programmer decided to show you and how you can make sure you are seeing what you need to see.

The Other Loop Down East with Steve Zimmerman
Thursday, Aug 26, 3 pm - 5 pm

The Downeast Loop provides a unique combination of seaways and scenery. This journey takes you up the Hudson River, through the Erie Canal, into Lake Ontario, out the St. Lawrence River, and into the Atlantic Ocean, providing an enticing variety of conditions. Scenery includes the enchanting Thousand Islands region, a scenic fjord, the remote Magdalene Islands, the spectacular Bras d’Or Lake and Cape Breton, and the historic Atlantic side of Nova Scotia. This talk will provide practical information for those planning the trip, as well as beautiful photographs to whet your cruising appetite.


Friday, August 27th

Weather Decision Making with Chris Parker
Friday, Aug 27, 9 am – 12 pm

What to Look for Before you Hire a Marine Surveyor with Dylan Bailey
Friday, Aug 27 9 am – 11 am

So, you want to buy a boat? Boatbuilder, cruiser and ace-surveyor Dylan Bailey explains what you should look for before making an offer and hiring a marine surveyor. A dream of the perfect cruising boat can be crushed when its surveyed, but some of those deal-killers could have been detected early were it not for the fact that buying a boat is rarely a rational decision; we are often lead by our hearts. Bailey explains the ways in which buyers can slow down and take a look at the boat with the rose-colored glasses off. He will cover how to inspect hoses, valves, wiring mistakes, and signs of structural damage. There will be many photos of examples of what to look for. Attendees will be given a check list to follow for their inspection.

Rules and Ropes with Bob Sweet
Friday Aug 27, 1 pm – 3 pm

The most basic form of communication between boaters is the navigation rules. Knowing what to do, when to do it, and what to expect of other boaters is key to an enjoyable and safe cruise. This seminar provides an entertaining, useful and memorable way to learn and appreciate the rules, lights, and sounds. Then learn and practice key essential knots that you will use frequently. These are easy to tie, easy to untie, and well suited to the task. Not only that, you’ll look like a seasoned mariner.

Use Marine Apps for Route Planning and Remote Anchor Watch with Modern Internet Connection with Eric Kunz
Friday, August 27, 1 pm-3pm

Use your iPad, iPhone or Android device to learn route planning and provide “Peace of Mind” Anchor Watch functionality to while you are cruising anywhere in the world. Understand the integrated relationship between modern MFDs and your own personal connected devices. Experience how easy it is to safely create journeys and plans that are automatically safely saved in your own personal “Internet Cloud” web site. Then see how this safely saved information automatically transfers between your vessel’s MFDs and your own devices.

Use live modern MFDs to save pictures, route plans, and places of interest then transfer them between your own devices in the class. Use your own device with exactly the same charts to understand how easy it is to have the same information you create at your home automatically appear on your vessel’s navigation display when you embark on new journey whether it is a plan for a day trip or a month or a year! Watch the information save automatically to your MFD or from your MFD to your device using these amazing free apps. Modern connected MFDs leverage simple Internet Cloud integration so you never have to fear about losing critical navigation information again. (Limited Attendance with six displays and 2-3 people per display) 2 Hour Presentation.

Ask the Experts - A Town Hall Meeting
Friday, Aug 27, 3 pm – 5 pm

In this “town hall” event, our panel of veteran cruisers: Steve Zimmerman, Jeff Merrill, Eric Kunz, Bob Sweet, Chris Parker, Dylan Bailey, and Andrew Parkinson (Editor in Chief of Passagemaker magazine) will field audience questions on a wide-range of topics, sea stories always resulting.

Saturday, August 28th

Dial In Your Trawler with Jeff Merrill
Saturday, August 28, 9 am – 11 am

Over thirty years working with cruising clients and through his experiences on hundreds of trawlers, yacht broker Jeff Merrill has amassed a collection of good ideas that will help take some of the guesswork out of tracking various systems and equipment onboard your trawler. These are effective techniques that trawler owners are using to better monitor their vessels and they apply to most power cruising boats. It helps your awareness if you are observant and use quick reference reminders. Simple tips, like marking lines on your engine mounts, lines for tracking needles on analog gauges, color coding your anchor chain and many other common-sense tips make this an engaging and informative session.

How to Buy a Used Boat with Steve Zimmerman
Saturday,  Aug 28, 9 am – 11 m

This talk provides a unique perspective on the boat buying process. Boatyards usually become involved AFTER the checks have been cashed and the boat changes hands. Too often the buyer finds out what he should have known before the purchase. This seminar will give you the tools you need to understand how the game is played, what questions to ask, and how identify the right kind of boat for your plans. This is a practical workshop, delving into the bilges of the boat buying process.
Topics include:

*How to identify the best design type for your plans using a Boat Selection Matrix
*Understanding the brokerage process and how it has changed
*The role of a marine surveyor and how to find a good one
*Interpreting survey findings and post-survey negotiations

Safety for Cruising Couples with Bob Arrington
Saturday, Aug 28, 9 am - 12 pm

This popular program originally developed by the Cruising Club of America, helps couples work better together during challenging situations. You will learn confidence building skills, specifically geared towards how to prepare for onboard emergencies. The course will cover the most important skills you would need if you had to over command of the boat. This kind of training is like insurance for emergencies - you hope you won't need it, but you will be glad you have it. The course covers a range of essential boating safety practices, with particular emphasis on completing a safe voyage as a couple.

Safety for Cruising Couples Topics Include:
· Importance of Teamwork and Confidence Building
· Dealing with Emergencies
· Person Overboard and Recovery Skills
· Basic boat skills necessary to know in an emergency
· Know Before You Go: GPS, VHF, Using Charts and Chart-plotters
· Navigation and Safety Equipment
· Getting Help DSC Distress Communications
· Preparing yourself and your boat

click to purchase tickets

click to purchase tickets


The range that reinvents the Trawler concept. A boat with a cruising pedigree that has left tradition behind to win in speed, autonomy and intelligent design. Very seaworthy, extremely safe and comfortable, the four Beneteau Swift Trawlers are cut out for long ocean adventures.

Our Company is in the business of providing all your Insurance Solutions quickly and with compassion.