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Old 09-23-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
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Trawlerfest - worth attending?

In initial stage of considering the purchase of a used trawler. As a "newbe" to trawlers, would it be worth my time and money to attend the Trawlerfest in Maryland scheduled for Oct 1+ . 4-5 hour drive plus overnight hotel costs.
Thanks for all input
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:19 AM   #2
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absolutely!
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:22 AM   #3
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Mr. 7. It all depends...Costs do add up. If one wants to experience a boating venue with like minded people where you have plenty of opportunity to see both the newest vessels and equipment as well as tour (I think they still offer this option) other attendees vessels and sit in on the lectures then probably not a bad thing. We've been to 2 Trawlerfests. In hindsight, a worthwhile experience but in our case, not worth the money.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:10 AM   #4
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In initial stage of considering the purchase of a used trawler. As a "newbe" to trawlers, would it be worth my time and money to attend the Trawlerfest in Maryland scheduled for Oct 1+ . 4-5 hour drive plus overnight hotel costs.
You say you are "In initial stage of considering the purchase" but what does that really mean?

Do you have a size range, budget and defined use yet?
Depending what you might be looking for, a trawlerfest may not have it or might prove to be very confusing. You ever look at a dozen open houses or used cars in a day? Can you describe the third one you saw?

If you are just in the "thinking about it stage" then no, I wouldn't put a squeeze on your time and financial budgets just yet.

It's getting late in the season in your area but there should still be people in local marinas to talk to and they are usually willing to talk. Take advantage of that while you can; use all available online resources, walk the docks and yes, look at broker boats.

This forum is at or near the top of any list of resources. You have been a member for 2 years so must have been lurking, no? It is a great place. You just need to understand if you start a thread about shaft seals it will quickly morph into one about cat hair in the Irish stew.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:19 AM   #5
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I think it might depend on whether you can easily afford the time and money.


If you can, then it might depend on whether you intend to eventually buy new (or new-ish) or old.


If you're intending to start looking at more current builds, TF can give you some insight into what's available, insight into a particular builder's design, joinery, engineering, installation, access to systems, etc. And then there are some seminars, topics might be useful. Finally, mingling with some of the other shoppers -- especially those who might be moving up or sideways or whatever -- might help, too.


Those latter two would still be benefit if you intend to shop older models... but then you'll have to judge whether it's enough benefit.


FWIW, this is opinion from having attended the first several TFs, so we haven't been to one in this century.


Might go to this one, though, simply 'cause I understand I've got a free ticket and it's just up the road...


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Old 09-23-2015, 11:21 AM   #6
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I attended a Trawler Fest in Essex Ct this year. I did not attend any lectures which were expensive. The gate admission cost was reasonable, $15 I think.

But it is just a boat show. Check the boats that are being displayed on their website and compare to the Annapolis power boat show. The Annapolis power boat show will probably have many of the same new boats, but will not have owner boats available to look at. But the Annapolis show will have lots more boats and acres of vendor tents.

And FWIW the smaller Essex Trawler Fest did not have any owner boats to look at, just new and brokerage boats and the vendor tents were a tiny fraction of the Annapolis show.

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Old 09-23-2015, 11:38 AM   #7
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We went to TF in MD once we had done some homework and understood, on paper, what some brands strengths and weaknesses (per our desires) were. It was a good opportunity to see many manufacturers next to each other. Even if a model you're considering isn't represented others from the builder will still have value in checking them out. Most of the boats we saw were owner boats btw.

The classes we took we found informative and well laid out btw.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab7 View Post
In initial stage of considering the purchase of a used trawler. As a "newbe" to trawlers, would it be worth my time and money to attend the Trawlerfest in Maryland scheduled for Oct 1+ . 4-5 hour drive plus overnight hotel costs.
Thanks for all input
We went to TrawlerFest in Anacortes last year and it far exceeded our expectations. We went specifically to see one particular boat and talk to owners, builder and the designer. We had a great time, learned a great deal, and met some awesome people. That trip led to other trips and information. We did look at other boats but we know what we want and looking at other boats is only so interesting for us. We both took classes that were very valuable to us as well. There are many more we would like to take but we are limited by time and money.

We are going to the MD TrawlerFest to take a particular class that I have not seen before and might not be offered again. We would take other classes but we are limited by time and money as well as class schedules. The one class we are taking is at the same time as another class we would really like to take but that other class can be taken later.

Take a look at the classes and the boats that will be shown and see if they are of interest. Most of the classes and boats brand will be at another TrawlerFest and boat shows so balance that out with you time/money constraints.

We wanted to return to Anacortes TrawlerFest this year to meet back up with some people and attend some classes but we just could not go to that show due to work and family requirements. There is always another TrawlerFest or boat show UNLESS there is something REALLY specific you want to see that might NOT be there again.

Later,
Dan
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:08 PM   #9
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I have found the Seattle Boat show to far exceed the offerings of Trawlerfests. Not only to just boat look, but talk to marine mechanics, electricians, vendors, instrument companies, marina owners, fishing guide services etc.

With the 3 or 4 days per year we set aside for this type of event it covers lots of bases one cannot easily find at a Trawlerfest.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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Thanks to all for the input. What show or resource would you consider then"best" for a one quick view. Looking for an oversight as I begin my search.
Budget around 150,000, size 40ft or less. One couple (old), dog and a hope and a prayer. Cruise Hudson, Erie and other canals. Target date Spring 2016. Duration - until!
Thanks
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. 7. I'm not familiar with the"northern" boat shows but as Mr. s so correctly suggests a boat show may be a better investment in regards to time and exposure. The Ft. Lauderdale boat show is massive and one could easily spend 2 or 3 days wandering around. As I mentioned we've attended 2 Trawlerfests and it's not for us.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:48 PM   #12
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I second the Lauderdale show Nov 5-9, if at all doable.
Make a mini holiday of it if you can, it is well worth it.
The mega yachts alone make it worth the trip and you would make some very valuable contacts.


Check out Yachworld before you go and look at some broker boats as well.
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2015
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:58 AM   #13
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Very dangerous to your wallet.

The bigger boats will resemble your dirt house and feel more comfortable.

The mere volume of a roomaran may be comfortable , but usually has zero purpose while cruising , and lots of added expense.

You may think you need room for kids and grand kids, all the time , although they might not visit once.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:29 AM   #14
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I say it is worth it. Living in NJ I can tell you it is not easy to check out trawlers.
It almost always involves a drive to Maryland or Conn. If you see some of interest on line in the area maybe you can stay an extra day and view them too.


Enjoy! JohnP
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:56 AM   #15
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As boat shoppers I went to the Anacortes Trawlerfest two years ago and my wife and I the AGLCA rendezvous 3 years ago. I joined Trawler Forum. I also joined Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA)prior to attending. MTOA members were very welcoming and generous with their time and knowledge. I also joined a number of owners forums, Bayliners, Mainship, Monk, GB. They are very informative for their particular brands and overall I have learned a lot from forum contributors. My membership in these forums has resulted in meeting a number of people and new friendships. I also spent ALOT of time on Yachtworld. We bought a great boat last year that we really like and overall It has been a fun journey for us! Good luck!

In answer to your question, Trawlerfest was worthwhile for me as we shopped for our boat. I may attend future events, boat shows in the future but now for more specific reasons.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:19 PM   #16
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Since you are in the beginning stages of your search, you have a lot of questions to ask. Once you determine what those are, you will have even more. It's a life long learning experience and using as many resources as possible will help. Boat shows are great for seeing different options, while Trawler Fest tends to have more classroom learning oportunitys. The time and money you invest now will pay dividends for years to come. Get out on as many boats as possible, attend as many classes as you can and most of all, enjoy the experience.........Arctic Traveller
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:46 PM   #17
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Personally, if we were in the position of being a newbie to powerboat cruising we would not bother with a TrawlerFest or boat show or any other similar event. We would instead put the money toward a charter to see if we even liked the idea of cruising.

Which is what we did when we started thinking about perhaps giving powerboat cruising a try. Chartered a boat, decided we liked the experience, and so bought our own boat. Seventeen years later we're still at it.

There are plenty of resources to learn about cruising other than Trawlerfests/boat shows, which exist primarily to sell stuff to the attendees.

Reading some of the countless books on the subject, walking docks, talking to boat owners, looking at videos, either amateur on YouTube or professionally made like the excellent videos about PNW cruising made by a member of this forum, lurking or participating on cruising forums like this one--- there are all sorts of ways to research and learn for free if one is willing to take the time and make the effort.

We went to the Seattle boat show a couple of times immediately after buying our cabin cruiser to look at and compare specific items because the ones we were interested in were going to be in the same place at the same time. In one case it was dinghies, in another it was PFDs.

But outside of this, we have never had any interest in attending the show or reason to do so. As we continued to learn about this type of boating we quickly learned there are far better resources for finding out what we want or need to know than the shows.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:30 PM   #18
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Does the Trawlerfest include displays of used boats within your price and specs? If yes, ie it`s not just Boat Show featuring new boats, go, and add to your knowledge. If it`s just new boats, maybe not.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:23 AM   #19
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I found Trawlerfest worth attending. My wife took the "Women and boating" course and I took Bob Smith's engine course--twice!

What everyone else said is correct as well, but I enjoyed trawlerfest. We also did a couple of bareboat charters. You need to get on a lot of boats before you can really know what you want.


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Old 09-30-2015, 08:26 AM   #20
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Is it still worth attending in the rain if I'm not attending any seminars? I'm not sure if I would want a bunch of dripping wet people climbing in and around my boat
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