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It’s a fresh new year and the first TrawlerFest has come and gone in Stuart, Florida. The temperature was pleasant, the sun was shining, and a fresh ocean breeze was in the air. It was a wonderful week spent learning, exploring different boats and rendezvousing with new and familiar faces – all of whom we share a very fun, common interest. The best kind of people are trawler people, in our completely biased opinion. We say it in every Trawlerfest recap article, but it’s true – we had a fantastic week at TrawlerFest and we are excited to summarize it for you!


This Trawlerfest was especially busy with two of our active listings in the show, the Nordhavn 50 Grey Goose and the Selene 55 Finish Grade. The JMYS team was made up of brokers Jeff Merrill, Mark Pittman, John Hoffman and Eric Bescoby. Eric, our newest broker, flew in from California for his first TrawlerFest event. He has plans to present at TrawlerFest Anacortes in May, talking about his experiences completing the Big U on his Nordhavn 40 Sprezzatura.

Trawlerfest 2023
Trawlerfest 2023

The JMYS team stayed busy talking to and meeting with clients, showing our two boats, and attending/presenting seminars. Jeff’s wife Pam, and father-in-law Jon Ingebrigtsen were the friendly faces that greeted inquisitive guests at the JMYS booth and we appreciated their extra hands while Jeff was zipping around the event.

Trawlerfest 2023
Trawlerfest 2023
Trawlerfest 2023

The boat show portion of TrawlerFest is really a fun time. This year’s event sold out all available boat slips, and there were about 20 boats on display! Prospective clients, current clients and brokers were able to have relaxed discussions while hanging out in the saloon or flybridge of some beautiful boats. It’s an especially fun “shopping” experience for future trawler owners as they can really figure out what features they like aboard, or which size boat they can realistically handle. Cruising couples have to make decisions on their different preferences and what they are comfortable with, so this is a good opportunity to have those discussions aboard.

This marina at Hutchinson Island is tide sensitive so with our deeper draft boats, we had to move them in and out at high tide. The boats were docked across from one another at the end of the pier near the fueling station, allowing easy switching from boat to boat for our team.

The Nordhavn 50 Grey Goose came in from Vero Beach, Florida with broker Mark Pittman and hired captain, Kevin McCarthy. Guests were welcomed aboard and enjoyed exploring the vessel at their own pace. Ray Danet, former JMYS and Nordhavn broker, stopped by to share some sea stories on Saturday aboard Grey Goose and reconnect with the brand and lifestyle he has shared with so many clients.

The Selene 55 Finish Grade had a short hop from her home marina across Stuart with the owners and broker John Hoffman. Finish Grade was shown by guided tour, and the owners were wonderful hosts aboard all show long!  We had a lot of shoes on the docks and had a constant flow of visitors touring Finish Grade, we wish we had more time, but there were always more attendees who wanted to get aboard.

Jeff Moser, editor of Passagemaker Magazine stopped by to sit down with Jeff Merrill to record a podcast segment in the pilothouse of Finish Grade.  This talk will be broadcast in the coming weeks and the general theme is “Tell me about TrawlerFest”.  Stay tuned, we will let you know when it drops.

Trawlerfest 2023

Both the Nordhavn 50 and Selene 55 are sought after trawler models, so having these boats on display and allowing people to see what they have to offer is a wonderful experience for all. There was a lot of interest in these boats, so we expect them to be off cruising with new faces aboard soon!

Back up at the seminars, we saw a large increase in classroom attendance! It is always fun to sit in on the seminars and learn a thing or two from some wonderful presenters.

Trawlerfest 2023

The first day of the event, Tuesday, Jeff presented Heading Offshore.

On Wednesday, Jeff presented Dialing in Your Trawler in the morning and had an afternoon session moderating Trawler Buying Tips at 2pm.

Note:  If you sat in on Jeff’s talks, the PowerPoint presentations are posted below in PDF as well as all of the hand outs described and are available for you to download.  Please take a few minutes to grab these now, as we will be taking them down by mid-April.

On Friday, Jeff ended the day by moderating Ask The Experts: A Town Hall Meeting at 3pm.  Steve Zimmerman was surprised by Bob Arrington on behalf of the PassageMaker team and presented with an award for his years of contributions.

Trawlerfest 2024

A huge thank you to the TrawlerFest team – Donna and Christine in the seminar registration area and Ryan, Patrick and Germain manning the tent sign in on the dock level. This year’s event was a big success with sold out tents, boat slips and a record number of VIP passes purchased. We left Stuart with good energy leading into the next event – Anacortes in May!

Dialing In Your Trawler:

Offshore Cruising:

Trawler Buying Tips:

Want more Trawlerfest content? Stay tuned for our Trawlerfest Recap Video!