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TrawlerFest returns to Seattle with a full program to initiate couples into the cruising lifestyle or to sharpen the skills of those who have already made the leap. The goal of TrawlerFest seminars is to make your cruising safer, less expensive and more fun. This unique in-water boat show and seminar series happens April 14-18 at Bell Harbor Marina in the heart of downtown.

Nigel Calder is back as instructor for our flagship seminar, Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines. Calder will be joined by co-instructor Matt Mardesich, instructor at the Marine Maintenance Technology school at Skagit Valley College in Anacortes. A renown author and researcher, Calder is technical editor for PassageMaker magazine. Here’s what retired U.S. Navy Admiral Dixon Smith, a recent TrawlerFest diesel course grad, said about it:

I’ve been around boats and ships my whole life, and having recently purchased a trawler, I’m glad I took the time to attend the two-day diesel engine course. The range and depth of material covered, not just the main engine, but electrical and various auxiliary systems, is excellent and covered many areas I didn’t know, or didn’t know well enough. The “hands on” opportunities also helped reinforce/clarify what we covered in the classroom.

While I certainly don’t remember everything, I do feel more comfortable moving around my engine room. When I come upon something I don’t have 100 percent confidence in, I’m now better prepared to find my way to the correct solution. I definitely find TrawlerFest’s diesel course to be of continuing value. 


This year we're offering more than 25 seminars, including hands-on boat handling and hands-on MFD navigation. Our destinations topics include the Inside Passage to Alaska, British Columbia, Mexico and beyond. Due to attendee interest we even have a seminar on the Great Loop, an East Coast favorite. Perennial offerings such as First Aid and Medical Prepareness and Boat Buyers Survival Guide will also be on the marquee.

SEMINARS: Tuesday-Saturday, 14-18 at Seattle Marriott Waterfront

IN-WATER BOAT SHOW: Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 at Bell Harbor Marina.
Show hours are 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.

ROOMS: Marriott Waterfront offers a limited number of TrawlerFest discounts. Call (206) 443-5000 and mention TrawlerFest.

QUESTIONS? Contact Donna at

BEST VALUE: Every seminar except the diesel course and “Boat Handling on the Water” are part of our VIP package. Being a three- or five-day VIP gives attendees access to their choice of 24 other seminars. The cost is $449 for a three-day VIP pass and $549 for the five-day pass. Visit our ticketing site and do some math. You'll see how being a VIP maximizes your seminar buying power. 

Purchase Tickets Here:

Bell Harbor Marina, Seattle's TrawlerFest location

Bell Harbor Marina, Seattle's TrawlerFest location


Seattle’s weather is famously wet, but by mid-April the average high temperatures have moved into the 60s. The peak tourism season is still months away so hotels, venues and attractions are less crowded. Flowers are in bloom. We naturally pitch our Florida event as a vacation opportunity. Seattle should be no different. This is an opportunity for trawler enthusiasts to enjoy a unique American city while they shop for a boat and expand their cruising knowledge.

Catching a thrown fish at the Pike Place Market

Catching a thrown fish at the Pike Place Market


James Beard-awarded (and nominated) Chefs: It is foolish to try to compile a comprehensive list of the best chefs in downtown Seattle, but we're here to point you in a few directions. Here are a few names to consider in preparing a list of the up-and-coming - plus the already established - luminaries in the local culinary arts scene. Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell, Renee Erickson, are a few of the primary movers and shakers who have established reputations with a number of restaurants around town. New this year, is James Beard-winning "Best Chef in the Northwest" Edouardo Jordan and his "Best New Restaurant in America"-winning restaurant, JuneBaby ( Not all of these spots will be at the doorstep of TrawlerFest's waterfront festivities, but most are within reach either by foot or a fairly short Uber ride away.

For a list of tremendous up-and-coming chefs, check out this story from SeattleMet:

Palisades & Canlis: A 10-minute Uber ride from Bell Harbor will land you at Elliott Bay Marina, the location of Palisade, a higher-end restaurant with stunning views of downtown Seattle, West Seattle, and Bainbridge Island. Feast on Alaskan king crab legs (the house specialty), excellent cocktails and an extensive wine list while you watch the ferries come in and out of Elliott Bay. Canlis is a well-entrenched restaurant at the upper end and has earned its reputation over the years for featuring gourmet food, craft cocktails, and service that is hard to match. Either restaurant is within easy reach of Bell Harbor. /


Craft Beer: Craft brewing has exploded in Seattle, and the waterfront boasts several of its most exciting newer breweries. The closest among them are Cloudburst, founded by a former star at Elysian Brewing, Holy Mountain, and . The former focuses its attention on hoppy India pale ales, while Holy Mountain generally excels at oak barrel- or foudre-aged clean and wild fermented beers. Other breweries nearby are Pike Brewing, a Pike Place Market stalwart, and a newer craft house, Old Stove, which is also in the Market. The latter has impressive views over Puget Sound. For a healthy list of some of the best NW breweries, check out this tremendous map created by Seattle Eater:

Wine: Well-regarded Washington wine, as well as wine from all over the world, can be found at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, located downtown on 4th avenue. If you're hungry, they also serve small plates that are perfect for what Zagat calls "upscale grazing."

Whiskey: Another favorite haunt in Pike Place Market is Radiator Whiskey. If you're interested in sample a wide array of Kentucky bourbon, whiskeys of all ages and flavors, and even barrel-aged whiskey cocktails, Radiator is the place to be.

Pike Place Market is one reason Seattle ranks among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Pike Place Market is one reason Seattle ranks among the top tourism destinations in the world.


Pike Place Market: Seattleites imagine that everyone knows about the flying fish of Pike Place Market, the infamous gum wall, and the country mile of fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers that can be purchased inside the Market's twisting, turning halls. There is more than that, though, and we encourage any first-timer to visit - and get lost - inside. 

Quoth Wikipedia: Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay ... The Market opened Aug.17,1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle's most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world. The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill, and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle.

Seattle Aquarium: Down the way on Pier 59 you'll find the Seattle Aquarium. It's pretty self-explanatory, but check out their website ahead of time to find out about special events during TrawlerFest's April dates.

Seattle Art Museum: Swing by SAM itself (but do check to find out about traveling exhibits and shows), or the Asian Art Museum while you're visiting Seattle. If the weather is cooperating, take a stroll through the nearby Olympic Sculpture Park.

Benaroya Hall & The Paramount: If you're into theater, concerts, shows, and performances of all kinds, you're coming to the right place. Both Benaroya Hall and the 1928-build Paramount Theater - among dozens of others located within a stone's throw from Bell Harbor - offer a dizzying array of performing arts. Check out their individual websites or TicketMaster to find out what is coming to town during your visit. /

Seattle's Underground Tour: Take a humorous stroll through Seattle's unforgettable underground - the city that was mostly destroyed during the Great Seattle fire of 1889. You're sure to laugh - and be generally more informed - after the 75-minute tour that comes highly recommended by all.


Major League Baseball - Seattle Mariners: April kicks off the season for Major League Baseball, and while we can't promise it won't rain, we can promise that newly renamed T-Mobile Field has a functioning retractable roof. Come visit the "House that Griffey Built" - baseball Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey, Jr., that is, because without Griffey the "M's" would probably be playing in another city. Instead, you can sit down and inaugurate another season of futility for a team that hasn't qualified for the playoffs in 17 painful years. Who knows, though, maybe your precious Red Sox will be in town?

Major League Soccer - Sounders FC: More recently, Seattle was given a professional men's soccer franchise, and named the new team Sounders FC. Unlike the Mariners, the Sounders have found quick success, having already bagged a number of U.S. Open Cup trophies and an MLS Cup championship, to boot. The team plays at the home of the Seattle Seahawks, at Century Link field, which does not have a retractable roof, but does have a few covered seats. You've been warned.

Of course, how could you ever miss the gum wall, within walking distance of Bell Harbor Marina? It's a place that really sticks with you.

Of course, how could you ever miss the gum wall, within walking distance of Bell Harbor Marina? It's a place that really sticks with you.