The idea of taking off on a great adventure to explore distant shores aboard your own yacht has inspired a great number of people to look very closely at recreational power boats, specifically “trawlers” as the safest, easiest and most efficient method to safely accomplish this.
Entering into the trawler market as a buyer, whether this is the first time or you are a “repeat offender”, can be a daunting, potentially overwhelming proposition. There are so many decisions you have to make and a lot of things to think about that you may not even realize are important.
The Trawler Lifestyle is a great escape from the routines of the traditional 9 – 5 work world rat race. Instead of sitting in traffic or staring at your computer screen while gazing out an office window – you are sitting in a helm chair and looking out your pilothouse…at waterfront views!
Back in December of 2013 Jeff flew back to Massachusetts. with David and Susan to help them buy the Nordhavn 47 they named “Dragonfly”. It was snowy, icy and very cold – winter was in full freeze mode.
Long time dinghy sailors, this was a big switch to buy a trawler.
After de-winterizing and splashing we reconvened in June of 2014 for several days of hands-on training including a trip from Portsmouth, RI to the island of Cuttyhunk and back.
Since then, David and Susan have enjoyed being on the move along the US east coast exploring with their sea dog, Coco.
Today, March 30th we received this photo by email. The email subject line was “On the hook” and included this note:
“Cat Island. Long way from Cuttyhunk.
We celebrated 1,000 nights on a boat yesterday!
Thanks for helping make it happen.”
All the best Dragonfly and we hope you enjoy the next thousand nights just as much!
If the first TrawlerFest of 2017 is any indication, we are all in for a spectacular ride (planning at high speeds vs. plodding at full displacement).The attendance was fantastic, trawler owners and buyers traveled from all over the US and internationally to attend this remarkable event.Sunny days with a few scattered showers set a warm and friendly tone. The Hutchinson Island Marriott is a true destination resort with pool, golf course and marina facilities.
The PassageMaker magazine team was superbly organized. The ticket lines checked people in swiftly and every land tent exhibitor we spoke with enjoyed a steady flow of trawler aficionados.
Jeff gave two presentations, “Dialing in your Trawler” on Friday and “Underway” on Saturday. The seminar audiences asked great questions and their enthusiasm boiled over through the Q and A at the end with multiple private conversations. There appears to be a lot of new faces in the market, interested to learn more about the joys of the trawler lifestyle and ready to go cruising on a boat of their own.
Seminars were packed, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen every seat filled with standing room only in the back of the class room.A great assortment of vendor tents created a natural channel to guide the crowd down to the dock where over 40 trawlers of all sizes on display.
The fixed concrete docks in the marina are sturdy and secure, but boarding some boats at low tide was a little tricky – something that can hopefully be addressed and improved for next time. We like that PassageMaker moves the venues around to keep things fresh – over ten years ago, Hutchinson Island was the site for TrawlerFest and since then it has been moved to Fort Lauderdale and Riviera Beach – hey, anytime you can hang out in a Florida marina and hop aboard trawlers it’s not a bad place to be.
Jeff had several client appointments and was able to tour most of the trawlers on display. The brokers with boats for sale were welcoming and friendly – just about everyone we spoke with is extremely busy – buyers are shopping and trawler are selling. The market activity is as strong as we have seen it since the pre-recession days.
Ray Danet also was around and did several walk throughs on trawlers with our clients.
Whatever the reason, pent up demand, timing in life or the “Trump Bump” it is obvious that a new group of trawler owners has arrived on the scene, excited and eager to join in on the fun and start their own adventures.
Many of the participants in Jeff’s two courses asked for electronic copies of the PowerPoint presentations and handouts, a sure sign that more and more people are doing their homework and getting prepared before making a trawler their home on the water.
The next TrawlerFest event will be in the Pacific Northwest at a new venue, in Bremerton, WA. The dates are May 16 – 20, 2017. JMYS is hoping to have a trawler or two on display and Jeff has been asked to conduct a new two-day course, “Principles of Passagemaking” as well as his ever popular “Dialing in your Trawler” class. Registration is now open. For event details please click on this link:
For those people who attended the Stuart classes, we decided it would be easier to post the PowerPoints and handouts on JMYS.com so the course information is available to download below.
The time sensitive information has been removed, but may still be available. Please sign up for the JMYS newsletter to inquire. Or, put “TrawlerFest Stuart 2017” in the subject line of your email to Jeff.Merrill@JMYS.com.
Jeff Merrill is proud to announce his appointment as FPB ambassador for the US west coast.
The FPB designs by Steve and Linda Dashew are proven ocean crossing power yachts that are safe, reliable, comfortable and capable of non-stop passages running thousands of miles.
Jeff has been associated with the FPB brand since the middle of 2016 when he attended the launch party for FPB 78 hull number one, Cochise, in Whangarei, New Zealand.
Built by Circa Marine in New Zealand with worldwide marketing by Berthon in the UK, FPB’s are in a class by themselves and coveted by savvy trawler owners who enjoy exploring the world as owner/operators.
Originally asked to help with the marketing of the FPB 64 Buffalo Nickel, Jeff is now the point man on the US west coast for new and used models of the FPB brand.
Merrill commented, “I’m very excited to have this tremendous responsibility of helping to spread the word about the FPB brand to the many people I know who enjoy the trawler lifestyle and are looking for something beyond what is available in production fiberglass power yachts.Seeing the craftsman at Circa Marine, working with the Berthon marketing team and spending time at sea with the Dashews both in New Zealand and Fort Lauderdale has convinced me how very special these magnificent boats perform”.
Berthon International recently distributed the press release below.
Jeff Merrill joins the FPB family as West Coast USA FPB Ambassador
Berthon is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Merrill as Ambassador for the FPB Brand on the West Coast of the USA with immediate effect.
Jeff Merrill is a successful and well known broker, who specialises in the sale and purchase of trawler yachts. He has been in the yachting business for 35 years and is the go to contact for owner-operator clients searching for offshore adventure.
Berthon is the worldwide marketing agent for the FPB Programme.
FPBs are designed by Dashew Offshore and built by Circa Marine in New Zealand. These are outstanding, go anywhere explorer motor yachts with huge range, proven sea keeping, recovery from capsize and advanced solar array energy capture systems. New FPBs are available in three sizes: 70, 78 and 97.
Currently there are 13 FPBs at sea, with a further 4 in build. FPB 78#2 launches in April.
Sue Grant of Berthon commented –
‘We are delighted to welcome Jeff to the FPB team. His understanding of the exceptional qualities and abilities of FPB will enable him to offer us increased visibility on the West Coast of the USA, which is a very important area. His experience and knowledge of the market place is a big plus.’
Said Jeff Merrill –
‘Steve and Linda Dashew are a legendary cruising couple whom I have admired for decades. It is a huge honor to work together with them on this team. Visiting the Circa yard in New Zealand convinced me of the construction quality and craftsmanship. Berthon has done a wonderful job in promoting these extraordinary yachts. Until you have gone offshore in an FPB you will not be able to fully appreciate the exceptional design – every detail has been considered and optimized. I look forward to introducing more clients to this remarkable product and can’t wait to get underway.’
Notes to editors:
Berthon market the FPB Programme worldwide and have offices in the UK, France and in the USA. Contact them for high resolution imagery of the FPB fleet and further information about the range.
Steve and Linda Dashew of Dashew Offshore are responsible for the FPB Programme, and these extraordinary yachts are built as a result of their vast and unique experience of blue water sailing. Please visit http://www.setsail.com for further information.
Circa Marine are the home of FPB: situated in Whangarei, North Island, New Zealand, they build the FPB range. To date there are 11 FPB 64s, an FPB 83, an FPB 97 cruising the world’s oceans, an FPB 78 with 2 more in production and 2 FPB 70s under construction.
Jeff Merrill grew up in a boating family and has raced sailboats of all sizes his entire life, including competing in the 1987 America’s Cup trials in Perth, Australia. In 2011, Jeff served as Commodore of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, CA.
As a business man, Jeff has worked in the marine industry for over three decades. He enjoyed 14 years at PAE/Nordhavn, highlighted by crewing on the record breaking Nordhavn 40 Around the World (ATW) trip. An avid traveller, he has met with clients all over the world and regularly visited the Nordhavn construction yards in China and Taiwan. Jeff was the top Nordhavn salesperson for several years.
In 2014, Jeff formed JMYS to share his experience with a wider range of trawler enthusiasts. A renowned trawler specialist, Jeff has spent time aboard thousands of different trawler models and sold hundreds of new and used cruising sailboats and trawlers. His confident approach and friendly, low key sales style has created close friendships with his many repeat clients.
An accomplished author, he pens a popular series of “Dialing-In-Your-Trawler” articles for Ocean Navigator magazine. Since 2001, Jeff has been a regular presenter at PassageMaker Magazine TrawlerFest events around the US.
Jeff is a CPYB (Certified Professional Yacht Broker) and holds his yacht broker’s license in California and Florida. Jeff served as president of the CYBA (California Yacht Brokers Association) for two years in 2015 and 2016.
Jeff’s enthusiastic personality, attention to detail, competitive drive, product knowledge and follow-up skills have created an increasing demand for his services. Jeff is well known as a client advocate, a broker whose clients trust him implicitly.
Jeff and his wife Pam race a Lido 14 sailing dinghy when they are home in California. Their two children, Elle and Jonn, also have a passion for water activities.
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