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Get certified in March at the Stuart, FL TrawlerFest!

Do you want to advance your trawler knowledge?

The PassageMaker magazine Stuart, Florida TrawlerFest has announced their schedule of lectures and classes (March 5th through 9th, 2019).

The JMYS team will be in attendance and are also involved with the lecture series.

Christopher and Alexandra Bruce are speaking on Saturday and Jeff Merrill is presenting on Wednesday and Friday.

To learn the full schedule of events including dates, venue, hotels, seminars, etc. go to:

As for getting certified, read the Peter Swanson PassageMaker web article reprinted with permission below.

TrawlerFest Get Certified Picture

Nine Seminars To Make Cruising More Fun, Safer and Less Expensive
By Peter Swanson
Originally posted January 3, 2019 – reprinted with permission.

TrawlerFest seminars are designed to do three things—make you safer, save you money and make your entire cruising experience more enjoyable. At our Stuart, Florida event, there are nine seminars that can hit all three goals because they reward attendees with a Certificate of Completion.

These certificates can potentially save you some money on insurance premiums, though this depends on the type of boat insurance you have and policies of individual underwriters.

Of course, our most popular certificate seminar is Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines, but that one is pretty close to being sold out. 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 (above in back) and veteran boatbuilder and yard operator Steve Zimmerman. Calder is PassageMaker magazine’s technical editor, while Zimmerman writes a regular column called “Troubleshooter.” Adolf Ellert (above front) is the top technician for Shearwater Marine of Stuart Florida, a division of Whiticar Boatworks and TrawlerFest partner.

Medical Preparedness and First Aid for Boaters taught by Dr. Jim Chimiak, DAN medical director, for an open discussion on boater safety resources and an approach to basic medical care, including case reviews that detail the initial steps in dealing with medical emergencies in remote locations. Chimiak is an Annapolis graduate, an avid coastal boater, has a great deal of marine medicine experience and is a practicing surgeon.

Author-Illustrator Bob Sweet teaches Boat Handling Illustrated. This course, combined with Boat Handling on the Water with Capt. Bob Arrington 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. Each course awards its own certificate.

Weather 202, Advanced (Live!) with Chris Parker is a sequel to a Weather 101, Basics at, which is a prerequisite. This seminar is ambitious in its goal, which is to teach boaters how to create their own weather forecasts using publicly available information. This is a deep dive into science, and its goal cannot be accomplished in a single day. The “Weather 101” prerequisite will teach the basics in a format that allows unlimited reviews of the material, reinforced with quizzes. A video of “Weather 202” will also be available soon after TrawlerFest at free to anyone who has completed Weather 202 at Stuart.

Jeff Merrill, CPYBteaches Offshore Essentials, which was developed to review the necessary preparations required for trawler owners (and want-to-be owners) interested in transiting between sea ports for extended trips including overnight passages. This course is designed to be both an introduction and a refresher for owner operators and their crew.

Safety & Navigation Illustrated with Bob Sweet will discuss how to get the most from radar, sounders and chartplotters, which nowadays often live together on our multi-function displays. He will discuss the latest uses for AIS technology. Do we still need to carry paper charts? Sweet has an opinion on that. This seminar is designed to be paired with “Multi-Function Display Hands-On” later in the morning and on Friday.

Eric Kunz is the instructor for Multi-Function Displays, Hands On. This seminar is designed to show you how to become proficient at electronic navigation–six working MFDs, 18 students with three per screen. Our instructor has spent an entire career developing marine electronics for Furuno. But this seminar is not about one brand; it’s about what all brands share in common, which is a lot.

Safety & Survival at Sea with Mario Vittone & Michael Carr is all about preventing disaster and coping when you can’t. Surviving a crisis at sea happens because of preparation, the right gear, seamanship skills and a good attitude. The instructors are the very best. Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer, whose career choice lead him to become a national expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. Vittone is a regular contributor to PassageMaker’s sister publication Soundings magazine. In 2007, he was named as the Coast Guard Active Duty Enlisted Person of the Year. Michael Carr is a veteran boat handler and weather expert, who, after graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, served in the Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and Army.

BUY IN BULK FOR BEST VALUE: Every seminar except the diesel course, “Weather 202, Advanced” and “Boat Handling on the Water” are part of our VIP package. Being a four- or five-day VIP gives attendees access to their choice of 24 other seminars. The cost is $449 for a four-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.

SEMINARS: Tuesday-Saturday, March 5–9, 2019

IN-WATER BOAT SHOW: Thursday-Saturday, March 7–9, 2019

LOCATION: Hutchinson Island Marriot Resort and Marina, 555 NE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996

QUESTIONS? Contact Donna Aschheim at or (954) 270-7170.