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June 14, 2013

Anacortes, WA Trawler Fest May, 2013

By Jeff Merrill

Anacortes, WA is a terrific trawler town.  The proximity to the San Juan Islands and Canadian waters make it a natural stepping off location for marvelous cruising. I’ve visited Anacortes numerous times over the years on Nordhavn business, so much so that is feels like home whenever I return.

This year’s Passage Maker magazine Trawler Fest was another successful event. The Northwest market is rich in trawler heritage, much from the glory days of the huge sea food fleets that plied the waters from the Puget Sound to Alaska and a lot of that tradition and nautical history remains in plain sight to all who visit the area.

Trawler Fest is a three day extravaganza that blends a boat show with seminars and other land and water events to celebrate the trawler lifestyle. What not everyone knows is that the two days preceding Trawler Fest are set aside for Trawler Fest University – a series of two day courses where you can choose to participate in either boat handling classes or on-land classes to sharpen your cruising skills.

I was asked to conduct my “Cruising from Point A to Point B” course for TFU, a compilation of photos, ideas, handouts and on-board reviews based on my thousands of miles at sea to help boaters gain an appreciation and understanding of what it is like to cast off andtravel on the open water between ports.  This offshore preparation class was well attended by enthusiastic trawler owners (and trawler owners-to-be) and we shared ideas, preparations and lessons learned to provide guidance that will make their next trips more successful. 

The official Trawler Fest kicked off on Wednesday and we had an extraordinary Nordhavn 60, Last Samurai, owned by the MacClures from Australia who were marvelous hosts.  My sales colleague, Eric Leishman, who sold the boat, flew up for the event and we were joined by our local Nordhavn sales team, Don Kohlmann and Barbara Lippert.

Last Samurai is really an excellent new build.  She has the VIP forward cabin with island berth, a gorgeous cherry wood interior and is the first 60 to get the innovative extended boat deck which covers the cockpit.  The interior is tastefully decorated and very warmly presented. We have a nice video of Rick MacClure on our website – here is the link.

The weather was superb with a little bit of rain and wind, but I remember the days of sunshine best!  There were a wide variety of trawlers on display of all shapes and sizes – a great opportunity for buyers to explore their options in a low key, casual setting.  The Cap Sante marina is beautiful, nice docks and pilings, good electrical and water, an all around first class facility.

Good friends Denis and Mary Umstot were around and brought their famous trawler, Teka III for visitors to explore. I sat in on their talk about the new version of Voyaging Under Power (the fourth edition) and waited in line to get my copy signed.

In addition to the trawlers on display, Trawler Fest features a wide variety of seminars.  I presented two, “Purchasing A Trawler” and “Enjoying Your Trawler” to packed classrooms with a lot of great questions and helpful information exchanged.

A number of Nordhavn owners were present, in fact it was a little like “Old Home Week”. A special thank you to Rick and Dianne from the Nordhavn 60 Last Samurai, they truly were the hit of the show.  Rick took delivery in Dana Point and traveled up to Anacortes to help us with the show and they have since departed north bound to cruise Alaska.  I also counted a number of other Nordhavns in the marina – (1) 35, (3) 40’s, (1) 46, (1) 50, (1) 52, (3) 55’s, (2) 60’s …it’s truly a great staging place for provisioning and then taking off to enjoy the wonders of Northwest cruising.  Seeing all of the Nordhavn owners and other trawler friends who make up this tight knit community was a refreshing and inspiring experience and I look forward to getting back to Anacortes again soon.

If you get the chance, I’d suggest you figure out a way to get to any of the Trawler Fests, they are always a wonderful experience and there is probably no better way to get such an in-depth exposure to the trawler world.


 




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