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There is no marina on the west coast better situated to host TrawlerFest than Cap Sante Marina. Take one look at this expansive marina and you’ll understand why – reversed rake windows as far as the eye can see line the slips.

This welcome sight signifies you are in the trawler capital of boating on the west coast – Anacortes, WA. With direct access to serene, picturesque pacific northwest boating, this quaint seaside town attracts trawlers (and trawler people!) from all over the world.

For the past few years the Anacortes Boat and Yacht show has teamed up with TrawlerFest to deliver a fantastic show for all who attend – and 2024 was exceptional!


Our team for this year’s show was made up of brokers Jeff Merrill and Eric Bescoby, along with Pam Merrill and Pam’s father, Jon Ingebrigsten. Pam and Jon are welcoming faces to have at the JMYS booth while Jeff is in seminars or meeting with clients.

This particular Boat Show and TrawlerFest has a wide variety of businesses showcasing their products and services in the tent area. Items from stabilizers to custom mattresses and services from insurance and marine loans to boat name decals draw interested customers in.

Anacortes is home to a few boat builders as well, so brands such as Nordic Tug, Aspen Catamarans and Northern Marine were represented by a city promotional booth in the tent area.

Trawlerfest 2023
Trawlerfest 2023
Trawlerfest 2024

Down on the docks, over 200 boats were on display for attendees to hop aboard and explore. There was an impressive lineup of boats this year with major brands like Selene, Kadey Krogen, Fleming, Offshore, North Pacific, Nordhavn, Nordic Tugs and American Tugs all representing their gorgeous trawlers on display. Jeff filmed a Dock, Walk and Talk video showing many of the boats, you can find the link to that at the end of this article! The full list of boats on display can be found here:

On Tuesday of the show, Jeff presented Heading Offshore to a class full of eager participants. Whether it’s your first or 20th time heading away from land, this class is a great reminder on what to expect and what boxes to check before uncleating the lines and taking off.  A last minute addition to fill in for Bob Sweet who could not make it, Jeff and Eric Bescoby actually kicked off the day offer a course discussing cruising with technology called, Modern Electronics Navigation Overview.

Note: PDF editions of the Power Points and Word/Excel versions of the course hand outs are available for downloading at the end of this article though August 2024.

On Wednesday morning, Jeff presented another of his signature classes, Dialing In Your Trawler. Attendees of this class get access to Jeff’s collection of simple tips that he has picked up over the last few decades of being aboard trawlers.

Thursday brought an informative discussion in the class, Trawler Buying Tips, which Jeff moderated.  His fellow panelists included Cindy Lewis – Sterling Associates, John Posey – Total Dollar Insurance, Matt Maynard CPYB – Irwin Yacht Sales (and past president of the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association), Fred Robinson- Marine attorney and marine surveyor, Jim Merrick, from Merrick Marine.

On Friday, Jeff moderated Ask The Experts with a packed panel of experts who are passionate about yachting and have the experience to back them up. The session started with a tribute to circumnavigator, Bruce Kessler.  Bruce and his wife, Joan Kessler, were huge pioneers in offshore long-distance cruising – incredible role models and regular TrawlerFest attendees.  Bruce originally conceived the “Cruisers Roundtable” panel and will be sorely missed.  Getting some real-world cruising tips from Tom and Dorinda McMillan, who own a Nordhavn 62 and were invited to sit in this discussion to share some of their experiences, the panel also included several experienced cruisers from the marine industry: Wayne Goldman representing Selene Americas, Bud LeMieux the founder of Northern Marine. Phyllis Woolwine of Shearwater University and Eric Bescoby – JMYS broker, engineer and Big U finisher.

On Saturday of TrawlerFest, JMYS broker Eric Bescoby presented The Big U for the first time. Eric completed this enormous route on his Nordhavn 40 Sprezzatura and shared his story of why he decided to tackle this, the route, his crew, challenges and the aftermath.

TrawlerFest is a great opportunity to connect to fellow boaters who have the same passion for the trawler lifestyle. The speakers chosen to present are highly experienced in their subjects and attendees walk away from TrawlerFest seminars with an almost overwhelming amount of information and tips. Walking the docks provide first hand experience getting aboard a variety of vessels. Current owners can check out other boat layouts, or look for ways to improve something onboard – such as creative storage options for dishes in the galley or different technology options in the pilothouse. Prospective buyers can “shop” around and see what works best for them- does a 55 foot boat make sense for two people just wanting to take short hops offshore? Spending time aboard an actual 55 can help them make that decision.

It doesn’t matter where you are in your trawler journey – there truly is something for everyone at TrawlerFest. Even if you’re just there for the delicious homemade cookies from Mary LaFleur’s insurance booth.

Want to hear more about the boat show portion of Trawlerfest? Watch our Dock Walk and Talk video from the event!

Save the date! We are looking forward to seeing you at Baltimore Trawlerfest on September 24-28, 2024!