My wife and I were bitten by the boating bug many years ago when we had the opportunity to take a short Pacific Northwest cruise with friends on their 52 foot yacht. At that time our boating experience was limited to kayaking. It took us twenty plus years and entering retirement to have the time and finances to start pursuing the goal of owning our own boat.

We heard Jeff Merrill make several presentations at the Anacortes TrawlerFest in 2022. He recommended that people new to boating and wanting to purchase a trawler should first charter a few similar boats, take some lessons from a training captain, and consider passing the basic captain’s exam (it helps with insurance) as good beginning steps toward future boat ownership. It turned out to be great advice. Also, Jeff provided reams of documents that he has developed to assist with the boat buying process and the future operation of a purchased boat.

Even though we had seen the high-end boats Jeff previewed for sale on his YouTube channel, and our budget was relatively modest, Jeff was the perfect broker for a couple needing some expert handholding.  He was always available for phone consultations (he doesn’t appear to take vacations). Jeff never pressured us to buy the first, second, or even seventh boat that caught our eye.  He waived us off more than one trawler as they were either in the wrong location and would cost too much to relocate, or needed the type of repair or updating that would be difficult to manage while living in another state. When we did find the boat we would buy (Catalyst, a 2006 Nordhavn 43, Hull #20), Jeff provided expert guidance throughout the entire purchase process. His knowledge of Nordhavn boats was extraordinarily helpful.

Finally, Jeff has been there for us after the purchase of Catalyst, directing us to people and resources that have made the new boat ownership experience much easier.  If you are in the market for your first or tenth boat, we would strongly recommend Jeff Merrill.

Dave and Kate Zocchetti – Nordhavn 43 – Catalyst

Nordhavn 43 Catalyst