TrawlerFest- Stuart, FL 2017

TrawlerFest is excited to announce our new venue, Hutchinson Island Marina! Join us for our first stop of the TrawlerFest 2017 tour.
stuart docks from a distance 3

All seminars will be held onsite at the Riverside Conference Center. Seminar registration will be on the floor of the seminar rooms. A map of the Marriott is available here. Free onsite parking available

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Show open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily

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


555 NE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996

QUESTIONS? Contact Megan at or (410) 990-9086 x22

If you wish to become an exhibitor and display your boat for sale at TrawlerFest, please contact Will Carlsen at (410) 990-9086 x25 or



More exhibitors to come! TrawlerFest will feature over 50 new and pre-owned cruising powerboats and 22 marine products & services companies. 




Admiralty Yacht Sales

Privateer 54

Bradford Marine

Grand Banks Europa 56

Burr Yacht Sales

Fleming 55

Compass Realty Partners

Grand Banks 42

Denison Yacht Sales

Beneteau Swift Trawler 34

Denison Yacht Sales

Beneteau Swift Trawler 30

Denison Yacht Sales

Beneteau Swift Trawler 50

DiMillo's Yacht Sales

Coastal Craft 45

Endeavour Catamarans 

Trawlercat 40

Galati Yacht Sales 

Altima 52

Grampstr's Endeavour Charters

Trawlercat 48

Intermarine Inc.

Jeaneau Velasco 37

Intermarine Inc.

Jeanneau NC14

Kadey-Krogen Yachts 

Krogen 52

Kadey-Krogen Yachts 

Krogen 48 Whaleback

Kadey-Krogen Yachts 

Krogen 58

Kadey-Krogen Yachts 

Krogen 48 North Sea Walkaround

Kadey-Krogen Yachts 

Krogen 44' AE

Krogen Express Yachts 

Krogen Express 52

Krogen Express Yachts 

Krogen Express 52

Luke Brown Yachts

Nordic Tug 44


Azimut Magellano 76


Azimut Magellano 66


Azimut Magellano 53

Nautical Ventures

Ranger Tug 21

Nautical Ventures

Ranger Tug 33

Nautical Ventures

Ranger Tug 29

Nordhavn Yachts

Nordhavn 52

Nordhavn Yachts

Nordhavn 40

North Pacific Yachts

North Pacific 49

Pocket Yacht Company

Cutwater 30

Pocket Yacht Company

Cutwater 28

Seaton Yachts

Seaton 56

Seaton Yachts

Pilgrim 40

Seattle Yachtseattle Yachts

Nimbus 405

Seattle Yachts

Hudson Powercat 48

Sparkman & Stephens

Marlow 65

Sparkman & Stephens

Lee Wilbur Cruiser MY 70

SVP Yachts

Greenline Hybrid Yacht 48

SVP Yachts

Greenline Hybrid Yacht 40

SYS Yacht Sales

Minorca 34

Wefings Marine

Rosborough 46

Yacht Tech

Nordhavn 55




Ameriprise Financial Services

Financial Planning/Secured Lending

Captain Chris Yacht Services


DAN Boater


Grapster's Pride



Owners Association

Marine Trades Association of the Treasure Coast

Trade Association

Massey Yacht Sales

Yacht Sales



Pantaenius America Ltd


Rigid Boat Company 


River Forest Yachting Centers


Seacoast Marine Finance



Boating Apps/Resources

Spurs Marine Mfg


Sterling Associates Marine Lending


Total Dollar Insurance


Trinity Marine Electric

Electric Systems/service/Generators

Whiticar Boat Works

Nautical Art/Gifts

Whiticar Boat Works


*More exhibitors to come. Please check back in February for a more complete listing


Thursday, March 2
1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Yacht Insurance Policy – Presented by Pantaenius Yacht Insurance
This presentation provides an overview of what yacht insurance is for, the different types of policies that are available, and how yacht policies can differ overall. Topics to be covered include: implication of secret implied warranties, a review of clauses found in most yacht insurance policies, and how to negotiate with your insurance company for better terms. An Open Forum, ask ANYTHING about marine insurance and marine law.

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. How to buy a used boat…as told by the boatyard – Presented by Zimmerman Marine
This workshop will pull back the curtain on the boat buying process. We'll look at how the boat buying game is played, and then talk about how to look at a boat through a professional's eyes. Participants will learn what to look for when inspecting a boat.

Friday, March 3
1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Security & Defense Techniques for Boaters – Presented by Phantom Services
The ocean is the ultimate playground but can also leave you feeling vulnerable, especially when cruising unfamiliar waters. Security expert and Founder/CEO of Phantom Services, Tony Sparks, will address some of the common threats to be aware of and a few simple, non-lethal tips and techniques to better protect yourself and your vessel wherever you cruise. He’ll also discuss some of the strategies and cutting edge technology his company employs to ensure their clients’ safety and security on even the world’s most dangerous waterways.

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Tips & Tricks for Maintaining Your Marine Genset – Presented by Northern Lights & Technicold
Your boat’s generator set does a lot on board; but how well do you understand it? From the basics of properly sizing your genset to choosing the right coolant and oil, this course will cover the essential facts about power production that every recreational boater should know!

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Learn How to Change Your Fuel Filter Without Spilling A Drop! – Presented by Captain Chris Yacht
Services Is your engine struggling? Do you have water in your fuel filter? Can you see coffee grounds in the viewport? Save money and time by learning to troubleshoot and change these filters yourself. Ask Captain Chris how you can do this and more to get back on the waterway having fun!

Saturday, March 4

1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Financing and Insuring your Dream Boat – Presented by Sterling Associates & Total Dollar Insurance
This presentation will cover the basic cash flow and credit guidelines banks look for, as well as what they’re looking for in the boat itself to qualify for a loan - surveys, additional equipment, age of vessel, etc. It will also highlight some of the tax advantages, tax consequences, rates and term options to consider when shopping for your dream boat. An agent from Total Dollar will also be joining for a brief Q&A session at the end to answer all of your yacht insurance questions.

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Inflatable PFDs & Rescue Line Toss Demonstration – Presented by Captain Chris Yacht Services
Just because you wear an inflatable Personal Floatation Device (PFD) doesn't mean it's ready to inflate. Learn more about different types of inflatable PFDs and their care and maintenance. Step up and volunteer to pull the rip cord and see how it works. Take a few minutes to discover which works best for you. And learn how you can easily retrieve that “Man Overboard” with our LINE TOSS demonstration too.






Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines, With Nigel Calder, Steve Zimmerman & Adolf Ellert (SOLD OUT) 

Tuesday, Feb. 28 & Wednesday, March 1 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
2 Day Seminar. Certificate of Completion.
$495 (SOLD OUT)

*NOT included in VIP PASS*

This is not the only diesel engine course for boaters, but it is the only diesel engine course for boaters taught by renown author/researcher Nigel Calder and veteran boatbuilder and yard operator Steve Zimmerman. This year we are partnering with Whiticar Boat Works and its Shearwater Division, which is hosting the class and lending us their star tech Adolf Ellert as an instructor. 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. This two-day session combines classroom time with hands-on engine time in the shop. It also combines theory and practical troubleshooting instruction, and it does so with a touch of humor to keep things lively.

LUNCH: Attendees will be provided box lunches both days.

PARTY/CEREMONY: Attendees and spouses are welcome to a “graduation” party after Wednesday’s session, during which certificates of completion will be awarded, and a good time will be had. In some cases, the certificate of completion may help attendees save money on their boat insurance.

LOCATION: Please note that the Diesel Course will be held offsite at Shearwater Marine & Industrial Inc. The address is 4519 SE Commerce Ave, Stuart, FL 34997. Shuttles will be available to and from Hutchinson Island to the location. Parking is also available onsite.

Provisioning and Pets Aboard, With Chris & Alyse Caldwell
Tuesday, Feb. 28 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Captains Chris & Alyse Caldwell share much more than your typical shopping list. These experienced cruisers will help you learn what you should bring along to prepare for your cruise away from home port. Consider everything from spare parts and tools to first aid and groceries and how to replenish these supplies while cruising. Then, where do you store these items? We will explore what works in the real world of boating and what doesn’t. You just might rethink the way you’ve always done it. Plus, we’ll brief attendees on considerations for cruising with pets with help from big dog Bert.

Cruising the ICW, With Tom Hale

Tuesday, Feb. 28 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Cruising the Intracoastal Waterway can be the voyage of a lifetime for many cruisers. For some it is a chance to get to Florida and escape northern winters, and for others it is the first leg of a longer cruise through the Bahamas and the Caribbean islands. Whatever your destination you’re bound to have questions about the trip:

· Do we have enough boating experience?
· Do we have the right boat?
· Pre-trip planning. How far can we go/should we go?
· Where should we go and what should we see?
· Depth, draft & speed. Is our boat compatible with the ICW?
· Navigation. Is the equipment adequate? How can we supplement it?
· Tide & current. Why does it matter, and how can we plan for it?
· What is the necessary boat equipment & optional but worthwhile equipment?
· Provisioning (food/clothing/water and fuel)
· Using the VHF effectively
· How do we deal with other boats and barges/commercial vessels?
· How much should we budget for our trip? Can we bring our pets?
· How long will the trip take us? 

Over the last few years Tom Hale, retired from a long career in the marine industry, has helped dozens of cruisers achieve their dream cruise. This voyage is surprisingly easy, but there are tricks to doing it without undue stress. 

How We Cruised For Eight Incredible Years, With David & Kathryn Besemer

Tuesday, Feb. 28 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

In 2008, David and Kathryn Besemer sold their house and most of their belongings, and moved aboard their 43-foot trawler, Three@Sea. They hoped that traveling as a family for two or three years during their daughter’s middle-school years would provide a unique educational experience for her. They spent the next eight years cruising more than 35,000 nautical miles, from the Canadian Maritime Provinces, to the Panama Canal, to Glacier Bay, Alaska. Their boat was our only home, and they worked full time to make a living.

In this seminar, the Besemers will share the logistics and challenges of this alternative lifestyle, including: how to make a boat feel like a home; route planning and cruising guides; weather assessment and planning; working and studying from a boat; grocery stores and provisioning; staying in touch with family and friends; hosting guests; mail, bills, and logistics; financial considerations; medical preparedness; country check-ins and becoming “local”; and more. They plan to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion. To learn more about their voyage, visit

Cruising Tips From A Cruisin’ Couple
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

From their first weekend adventures to living the dream aboard their 44-foot trawler, your eyes will be opened by Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell as they share their experiences cruising together– and still managing to like each other! To live and work together in a small boat couples need to find a comfort zone and understand each role onboard. True, you can only have one captain but if you both contribute different skill sets then you’ll have 100 percent teamwork. Bring your tablet or laptop and we can show you a few tricks for easy navigation and trip planning too. This presentation is a must for future cruisers who are wondering how it can be done.

Smuggler’s Run: Cruising Florida’s Mini-Loop, With Ken Fickett
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2 p.m. -4 p.m.

Learn about an around-Florida adventure that involves circumnavigating the lower part of the state via the Okeechobee Waterway and Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. Boatbuilder, Florida native and all-around raconteur, Ken Fickett takes you on a journey that encompasses many of Florida’s remaining wild and eccentric places. He’ll show you the interesting stops and how to avoid those goshdarned smugglers.


Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines, With Nigel Calder, Steve Zimmerman & Adolf Ellert (DAY 2)

Boat Handling Theory With Bob Sweet

Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Certificate of completion

This course, combined with an on-the-water session (see THURSDAY) 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 includingPowerboat Handling Illustrated and The Instant Handbook of Boat Handling, Navigation and Seamanship. Wednesday is all class time, then on Thursday, the class breaks down into groups and goes out on the water to put what it has learned into practice (SEPARATE REGISTRATION REQUIRED). The certificate of completion awarded to attendees may help save some money on their boat insurance.

The Great Loop: How To Prepare, What To Expect With Kim Russo
Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Boaters who circumnavigate the East Coast of U.S., using the Hudson River, Erie Canal, Great Lakes, Mississippi River and Intracoastal Waterway are called “Loopers” for having completed “The Great Loop.” Kim Russo, executive director of the America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, will give a detailed briefing with plenty of time to answer questions. She will also address which boats are most suitable and how to budget.

Cruising to the Dry Tortugas, With Kim & Randy Kalisik
Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

The Dry Tortugas National park is a small group of islands located 70 miles west of Key West Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to a history of sea turtles, sunken wrecks and one of the largest coastal brick fortresses, Fort Jefferson. It is an amazing cruising getaway to unspoiled reefs, shallow water wrecks and fantastic star gazing. Learn about cruising to the Dry Tortugas by trawler and exploring all the wonders it has to offer, including: beautiful beaches, crystal clear water for snorkeling and diving, local wildlife and a fort that is rich in history.

The Kalisik's will take you on a guided tour of cruising to the Dry Tortugas and exploring their favorite cruising destination. They’ll discuss considerations such as provisioning (you must bring everything you need with you), isolation (no cell or wifi service), weather, anchoring as well as exploring the islands and reefs by snorkeling and diving.

Captain Randy and Kim Kalisik have cruised to the Dry Tortugas for the last three years with their son, Corey and dog, Sophie. For the past five years, they have been living aboard full time on their 40-foot DeFever Passagemaker trawler, Blue Turtle, in Fort Myers Beach. They blog about their experiences of working full time, raising their son while living aboard and cruising at

Admiral’s Roundtable, A Women’s Panel with Alyse Caldwell, Becky Fickett, Kathryn Besemer and Jill Sechez
Wednesday, March 1, 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

A standing joke in the cruising community goes like this: He may be the captain, but she is the admiral, because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Or something like that. Besides the obvious, that Alyse Caldwell, Becky Fickett, Kathryn Besemer and Jill Sechez are all women, all have cruised but with distinctly different experiences. 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.

Choosing, Maintaining and Troubleshooting Dinghies and Outboards, with Chris Caldwell
Wednesday, March 1, 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cruising is no fun without a good dinghy and outboard, yet the choice of dinghy is too often an afterthought and without a working knowledge of how to fix them, life with outboard motors can be a pain in the neck. Longtime live aboard and trainer, Chris Caldwell shares tricks and tips and briefs attendees on the pros and cons of different dinghy types, maintenance and troubleshooting. He is joined by Marty Milley, owner of M &M Marine Services in Fort Pierce, who will disassemble, clean and reassemble a carburetor in real time for the class.

Weather for Cruisers, With Chris Parker
Wednesday, March 1, 1 p.m. -5 p.m.

Weatherman Chris Parker, himself an experienced mariner, has been serving as a weather router for cruisers on the East Coast, the Bahamas and the Caribbean for more than 12 years. Parker’s lively and informative seminar is aimed at informing new cruisers or reviewing weather science for the more experienced. The idea is to prepare attendees to make their own passage decisions with whatever information is available. Topics include basic weather terminology and concepts such as temperature, wind and pressure and cloud identification. Parker reviews all the different free and paid way to get weather forecasts on a boat, including GRIB files with an explanation of why they are useful.


Two-Morning Class

Boat Buyer’s Survival Guide, With Steve Seaton, Ken Fickett, Dylan Bailey, Vin Petrella, Cary Wiener & Todd Lochner
Thursday, March 2 & Friday, March 3, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Even when it goes well, buying a boat can be a stressful process. The idea behind this eight-hour seminar is to arm buyers with the information they need to minimize frustration and unnecessary expense. There are six “team teach” instructors, with individual presentations and a group panel session at the end of the second morning. The theme of the first morning is “nuts & bolts,” leading 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 what kind of hull design, because, as boat designer Steve Seaton will argue, hull form matters. Then boatbuilder Ken Fickett will explain fiberglass boat construction, coring and how to discern between good and bad. Metal boat builder Dylan Bailey explains metal boat construction and its advantages and disadvantages, and addresses custom boat building in general. Then, Bailey dons his surveyor cap and discusses how to choose the right surveyor and his or her proper role

The theme on morning two is “the fine print,” and it begins with yacht broker Vin Petrella on how to choose the right yacht broker and the elements of a good sales contract. Insurance veteran Cary Wiener follows with a behind-the-scenes look at marine insurance and the elements of a good cruising policy. Topics will include navigation territories, coverages, claims liability coverages, international medical coverage, north/south restrictions, named windstorm deductibles and the differences between the agreed value and actual cash value policies. Maritime Attorney Todd Lochner then cautions buyers on the intricacies of local tax laws for East Coast cruisers.

Each morning ends with the panelists answering audience questions, and, as has sometimes happened in the past, disagreeing.

Bahamas Bound: Destination Abacos, With Chris & Alyse Caldwell
Thursday, March 2, 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Cruising the Bahamas need not be a mystery any more. In fact, the Abacos region is so welcoming that it has earned the nickname “Little America.” Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell will brief attendees on when and how to cross the Gulf Stream, supplies, weather, communications, fishing and Bahamian clearance procedures. They’ll share some of their favorite anchorages and destinations. Today’s electronics make the crossing easier and in less than a day, most boats find a wonderful marina or anchorage awaiting their arrival.

Troubleshooting Marine Electronics, With Eric Kunz
Thursday, March 2, 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

First of all, we said “electronics” not “electrical.” This new seminar will prove that when marine electronics fail there are remedies available to a boater other than surrender and a telephone call to the technician. Eric Kunz, senior product manager for Furuno, takes a non-partisan look at how to troubleshoot hardware, systems and NMEA 0183 and 2000 networks using a meter and common sense. As a teaching aid Kunz will bring to class a networked system in miniature to play with. This is one of those seminars that can end up saving you more than the price of admission.

Decision-Making Under Duress: Tips for Handling Emergencies at Sea from Those That Have Been There, with Michael Tougias.
Thursday, March 2, 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Bestselling author Michael Tougias has conducted extensive research involving people who have survived disasters and obstacles that most of us shudder to think about. He shares what he has learned about decision-making under pressure from researching his six national bestsellers: A Storm Too Soon, Overboard!, Rescue of the Bounty, Ten Hours Until Dawn, Fatal Forecast,andThe Finest Hours(A Disney movie released earlier this year).Tougias shares the secrets he’s gleaned from survivors and how they channeled and managed their energy into proactive decisions that saved their lives. A rare speaker on a well-researched topic, Tougias delivers practical advice for dealing with disaster.

Anchoring for Couples, With Rudy & Jill Sechez
Thursday, March 2, 10:45-12:30 p.m.

Veteran cruisers and PassageMaker contributors Rudy and Jill Sechez talk about successful anchoring strategies straight from their new book Anchoring: A Ground Tackler’s Apprentice. Their discussion includes rope stretch, the role of chain, scope, tandem anchors, chafe, bridles, mud bottoms. As a bonus, you will learn the Sechez method for throwing a line.

Guns & Governments (Plus!), With Attorney's Todd Lochner, Greg Singer & Col. Tony Sparks (ret.)

Thursday, March 2, 2 p.m. -4:30 p.m.

First of all, let us say what this seminar is not about. It’s not about advocating for or opposing guns aboard cruising boats. This seminar is for the coastal cruiser who has already decided to carry guns or is leaning toward that decision. The fact is anyone who cruises the East Coast between Canada and the Caribbean will pass through multiple jurisdictions whose gun laws vary wildly. What is legal in Georgia might very well result in serious legal consequences in Massachusetts or Puerto Rico. This seminar identifies the places that can cause problems for even the most conscientious armed cruiser. Presenters Todd Lochner and Greg Singer, who practice law in Annapolis, specialize in maritime law. Attendees will receive a bridge card-style hand-out, which breaks down the differences in laws in an easy to understand format. As a bonus, Col. Tony Sparks (ret.), a maritime security expert, will discuss the option of non-lethal ammunition and other alternatives.

Boat Handling On the Water, With Capt. Bob Arrington

Thursday, March 2

*NOT included in VIP PASS*

All sessions cover the same material.

(Prerequisite: Boat Handling Theory)

8:30 a.m. -10:15 a.m. Session 1 Boat Handling On The Water. Five per session. $125 *SOLD OUT

10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Session 2 Boat Handling On The Water. Five per session. $125 *SOLD OUT

1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Session 3 Boat Handling On The Water. Five per session. $125 *SOLD OUT

3:00 p.m. -4:45 p.m. Session 4 Boat Handling On The Water. Five per session. $125 *SOLD OUT


Boat Buyer’s Survival Guide, With Steve Seaton, Ken Fickett, Dylan Bailey, Vin Petrella, Cary Wiener & Todd Lochner (MORNING 2)
Thursday, March 2 & Friday, March 3, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two-Morning Seminar
The Haulout! Maintaining a Cruising Powerboat, with Steve Zimmerman
Friday & Saturday, March 3-4, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

From keel to cabin top and seacocks to sealants, this class will provide in depth instruction on how to maintain your boat.

  • Hauling
  • Bottom paints
  • Blister repairs
  • Inspecting and maintaining underwater hardware
  • Preventing damage to cored hulls and decks
  • Gelcoat maintenance
  • Installing and rebidding deck hardware
  • Coating options for exterior wood
  • Teak deck maintenance
  • Annual maintenance tasks

Getting the Most Out of Your Radar, With Bob Sweet & Eric Kunz
Friday, March 3, 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

For marine radar, World War II is over…finally. Marine author and trainer Bob Sweet and Furuno Senior Product Manager Eric Kunz will discuss the recent and rapid rise of solid-state multi-frequency radar and the demise of pulse technology originally developed during the Battle of Britain, and what this means for today’s radar consumers and operators. Instructors will share the theory and practical tips that participants can use to get the most from their radars. Now is truly the time for a radar seminar. Certificate of completion.

Dial-In Your Trawler, With Jeff Merrill
Friday, March 3, 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Over the years and through his experiences on hundreds of trawlers, yacht broker Jeff Merrill has amassed a collection of “good ideas” and “best practices” that trawler owners are using to better monitor their vessels. These simple and effective techniques apply to most power cruising boats. Tricks of the trade and helpful reminders will help take some of the guesswork out of tracking various systems and equipment on board your trawler. Little details like reference marks for needles on analog gauges, a dry-erase board in your engine room, anchor chain marking and many other common-sense tips make this an engaging and informative seminar that you won’t want to miss. Merrill will share photos of these ideas and also discuss an assortment of products that you should consider using on your trawler that will not only make your life more enjoyable, but may also favorably affect your eventual resale value.

SOLD OUT! Cruisers Roundtable, With Bruce Kessler, Andrea Gaines, Jeff Merrill, Dylan Bailey, John Clayman, Rudy Sechez and Steve Zimmerman

Friday, March 3, 2-4 p.m.


In this “town hall” event, Our panel of veteran cruisers will field audience questions on a wide-range of topics, sea stories always resulting. Circumnavigator Bruce Kessler can discuss what it’s like to spend months and months treading blue water. Andrea Gaines has a lifetime of boating experience in which she has accumulated tens of thousands of nautical miles in fair and foul weather. Jeff Merrill is a yacht broker, author and trawler specialist with thousands of cruising miles with clients. Surveyor Dylan Bailey is a veteran cruiser who learned to build boats with his father. John Clayman is a prominent East Coast yacht broker, cruiser, racer and all around boat guy. Rudy Sechez and his wife built their own "sail assisted trawler" and have been living aboard simply and economically ever since. Steve Zimmerman can discuss repairs and boatyards from the point of view of both a cruiser and boatyard owner. Former PassageMaker Editor Peter Swanson, who cruised down-island on a shoestring, will moderate.


The Haulout! Maintaining a Cruising Powerboat, with Steve Zimmerman (MORNING 2)
Friday & Saturday, March 3-4, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

KISS: The Virtues of a Simple Boat, With John Clayman

Saturday, March 4, 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Everyone touts the virtues of simplicity, but nowadays this idea is rarely achieved. A veteran cruiser under both sail and power with countless sea miles, John Clayman brings decades of experience in the design, construction, and marketing of cruising boats to Seaton Yachts. As president at Seaton, Clayman wrestles with the conundrum of complexity versus simplicity on a regular basis. This talk follows the debate down through the decades from Beebe’s design of the original Passagemaker to the trawlers of today. If you are considering buying a new boat or refitting your old one, this is the seminar to develop a healthy mindset and maybe even save a few bucks.

Solar Panels Come of Age, With Reuben Trane
Saturday, March 4, 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Boatbuilder and mad-scientist Reuben Trane discusses the advantages of auxiliary solar power for cruising vessels. Trane, who designed and built an electric-power catamaran festooned with solar panels, will discuss how to size your solar bank, differences in types and brands of panel, installation considerations and maintenance. He will also share a little known fact—the federal government will help pay for your installation.

Cruising Cuba: The Latest Word, With Addison Chan
Saturday, March 4, 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Addison Chan is a veteran Canadian cruiser and founder of the Facebook public group Cuba, Land And Sea, an excellent clearinghouse of up-to-date information about cruising Cuba and shoreside amenities. Chan also contributes to the latest Waterway Guide on Cuba. He will be joined by Peter Swanson of AIM Marine and Maritime Attorney Greg Singer to brief attendees on the current state of U.S. law with the new administration.

Electronic Navigation 202, With Eric Kunz
Saturday, March 4, 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Eric Kunz, who has been involved in the development of numerous innovative marine electronics products, offers a primer on navigation in the digital age. Chart plotters first became multifunction displays (MFDs) when they could also show radar and fish-finding sonar. Now many other possible functions have been added — like forward and side looking sonar, weather, camera display/control, engine monitoring, and digital switching — with more coming. Kunz, senior product manager for Furuno, will illustrate all sorts of integrated navigation systems now in use. He’ll also discuss techniques for managing multiple functions on one or more screens, electronic charting mistakes to avoid, and where it’s all heading.

Under Way, With Jeff Merrill
Saturday, March 4, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

If you have never travelled offshore on a trawler and would like to know what to expect, or just want a refresher to remind you what it is like, this seminar will help paint the picture. Most trawler owner/operators enjoy cruising between ports and develop their own routines. When you are always on the same boat it’s harder to pick up new techniques. There is always a new lesson to be learned and tips to share. Jeff Merrill is a well-known yacht broker specializing in trawlers who spends time training with his customers after the purchase and, as a result, has amassed an informative and entertaining collection of photos, ideas and stories to share. Being on the move safely and comfortably helps insure we all have a great experience on the water. Merrill will touch on weather, navigation, pilothouse operations, engine room checks and more.



Free onsite parking is available for all attendees


The Hutchinson Island Marriott is currently at capacity during TrawlerFest. Our room blocks are therefor sold out at this time. A list of alternative hotels can be found at


A very limited number of transient slips are available at Hutchinson Island Marriott Marina. Slips can be booked by calling the Dock Master directly at 1-772-225-6989. More information on slips can be found here.

For additional transcient slips, we recommend Loggerhead Marina Stuart & Nettles Island Marina. Shuttles will not be provided from this location, but we can give you a recommended list of transportation services.


Palm Beach International - PBI
Hotel direction: 38 miles North

Driving directions:
Depart Turnage Blvd toward Australian Ave. Keep right onto road. Take ramp left for I-95 North toward W Palm Beach. Take ramp right for SR-76 East toward Stuart. Turn right onto SR-714 / SE Monterey Rd. Turn right onto SR-A1A / SE Ocean Blvd. Airport shuttle service, with a reservation, is available for $75 one way.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Hotel direction: 80 miles North

Driving directions:
Take ramp right for US-1 South toward Dania Beach / Hollywood. Bear right onto SR-818 West / Griffin Rd. Take ramp right for I-95 North toward W Palm Beach. Take ramp right for SR-76 East toward Stuart. Turn right SR-714 / SE Monterey Rd. Turn right onto SR-A1A / SE Ocean Blvd.

Orlando International Airport
Hotel direction: 120 miles South

Driving directions:
Merge onto FL-417 Toll South. Take exit 12 for Florida’s Turnpike South, toward Miami. From Florida Turnpike, take exit 133 toward FL-714/Stuart. Continue onto Martin Downs Boulevard. Continue onto FL-714 E/SW Monterey Rd. Turn right onto SR-A1A / SE Ocean Blvd.


In-Water Boat Show General Admission Tickets
$15 in advance, $18 onsite
Show open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday


5-Day VIP Package - $499 (Tuesday- Saturday)

  • General Admission to all Three (3) days of TrawlerFest’s In-Water Boat Show (Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Unlimited access to seminars *(Tuesday-Saturday) (Diesel Engine course and Boat Handling Hands On is NOT available as part of the VIP package)
  • Entry for one (1) to Thursday’s Dinner, Raffle & Trivia Night
  • Entry for one (1) to Friday’s Trawlers At Twilight Cocktail Party
    VALUE: $1,100
    You save $600 with the 5-Day VIP Pass

*VIP Seminar Selection forms will be emailed after ticket purchase. We appreciate your patience as it is not an automated email. 

3-Day VIP Package - $399 (Thursday - Saturday)

  • General Admission to all Three (3) days of TrawlerFest’s In-Water Boat Show (Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Unlimited access to seminars starting Thursday* (Thursday-Saturday) (Diesel Engine course and Boat Handling Hands On is NOT available as part of the VIP package)
  • Entry for one (1) to Thursday’s Dinner, Raffle & Trivia Night
  • Entry for one (1) to Friday’s Trawlers At Twilight Cocktail Party
    VALUE: $680
    You save $280 with the 3-Day VIP Pass

*VIP Seminar Selection forms will be emailed after ticket purchase. We appreciate your patience as it is not an automated email. 

Evening Activities Package

  • Purchase tickets to either evening activity and receive FREE General Admission to the boat show! Simply show your ticket at registration.
  • Thursday 5:30 p.m. Dinner, Raffle & Trivia Night ($50)
  • Friday 5:00 p.m. Cocktail Party ($35)


Join us for our rendezvous style evening activities for an opportunity to connect further with other cruisers, presenters, exhibitors and PassageMaker editors!

SOLD OUT Only available with VIP purchase
Thursday, March 2 5:30 p.m.
$50 per person
Location: Palm Pavilion at the Hutchison Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina
*Included in VIP Package

SOLD OUT Only available with VIP purchase
Friday, March 3, 5:00 p.m.
$35 per person
Location: Poolside at the Hutchison Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina
*Included in VIP Package



Thank you to our TrawlerFest National Sponsors!


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Thank you to our TrawlerFest Media Sponsors!


Thank you to our TrawlerFest Partners!