Update: Seminar schedule announced for the 2017 Seattle Boat Show


One of the most popular features year in and year out at the Seattle Boat Show is the extensive line-up of free boating and fishing seminars and the advanced training classes for a fee through Boat Show University. Many out-of-town attendees plan their travel arrangements around the seminar schedule, which has recently been announced. Others buy a multi-day pass to fit in all the seminars they want to attend. And, according to organizers, no other show in North America matches the Seattle seminar schedule in terms of the quality, variety and number of seminars offered.

Three Sheets Northwest is once again excited to support the seminar series and to have an opportunity to be apart of the fun. Managing editor Andy Cross will be giving two seminars about sailing around Vancouver Island as a family and will also be apart of the new Offshore Sailing Forum. (The Vancouver Island seminars will be on Friday, January 27 at 6:15 p.m. on Stage #3 North Hall and Sunday, January 29 at 12:15 p.m. on Stage #5 Club Level. And the Offshore Sailing Forum is Saturday, January 28 from 10:15 to 12:15 on Stage #5 Club Level.)

With two locations — indoors at CenturyLink Field Event Center and afloat at South Lake Union —the show opens on January 27 and runs through February 4. Here’s the official FREE boating seminar schedule and the fishing seminar schedule.

Seminar Highlights:

Cruising: There’s no shortage of advice and seminars to choose from for those planning a cruise, whether in our local waters, to Alaska or as far afield as the South Pacific. New topics for 2017 include:

  • Granite, Glaciers and Grizzlies – Cruising the Kenai, the Katmai and Prince William Sound
  • Around Vancouver Island as a Family
  • Cruising Couples: Learn how to take the stress out of cruising as a couple
  • How to Do a Bareboat Charter with Other Couples in the Americas or Europe
  • You Don’t Need to Buy a Boat to Enjoy Cruising: Charter!
  • America’s Great Loop for The Pacific Northwest Boater

Sure to be of interest to those who have dreamed of making that left‐hand turn at Cape Flattery, or who are already in the planning stages, is the NEW Offshore Sailing Forum. This will be a two-hour engaging panel discussion with active and experienced cruisers John and Amanda Neal, Andy Cross, Will Curry and moderator Sarah Curry. (Sign up here.) They will draw on their years and miles of experience to answer questions such as:

  • What should you prioritize when choosing and outfitting an offshore boat?
  • How can you best prepare yourself for the lifestyle and situations you may encounter?
  • What should be your priority safety equipment aboard? What should you never sail offshore without for safety reasons?
  • What are the most important skills to have to be a competent cruiser?
  • How do you best pick crew members for a passage?
  • Budgets – what is a typical monthly cruising budget? Where does it go?
  • How do you stay healthy and fit in your life aboard?

Technology: Keeping up with technology is hard to do. Not just what’s new with the latest in marine electronics but what about all those apps? Many of the seminars will help boaters sort through these issues, including:

  • VHF for Mariners
  • Ten Tips for Using AIS on Your Boat
  • Modern RADAR and Integrated Navigation
  • Signal K — What is it and how will it change boating?
  • Connected Cruising
  • Using Your Mobile Device with Your Onboard Electronics
  • Drones on a Boat
  • iPhones, iPads, and Boats: Tips from a Twenty-Something Cruiser
  • Navigating like a pro with the devices you own!


No matter how much experience you have, there are always new skills to learn or refresh. Safety-related seminars include:

  • Stories of a Towing and Salvage Captain: What really makes you safe!
  • Suddenly in Command; designed to help those not generally at the helm be prepared in case of an emergency
  • I’m Taking on Water; How to find it, and Stop it!
  • Boating Safety for Kids
  • Man Overboard!  Single Handedly Get Them Back on Board

Free Fishing Seminars

On the fishing stage there will be 60 free fishing seminars with the best experts in their field such as Tom Nelson, host of ESPN 710’s Outdoor Line and Puget Sound expert fishing guides Keith Robbins, Gary Krein and Nick Kester. There is no better way for an angler to improve his or her success on the water than investing in an hour or two at one of the show’s seminars on topics ranging from tuna, lingcod or salmon fishing to successful Puget Sound shrimping or crabbing.

Boat Show University

The popular Boat Show U. programs feature well-known nautical experts such as Jeff Renner, Lee Chesneau, Mike Beemer, Kevin Monahan, Linda Lewis, Margaret Pommert, Bill Baker, Mark Bunzel, the R2AK crew and others. The 3-hour programs are priced at $39 each. Day-long expert training sessions during the week cost $100 and cover comprehensive topics such as 101 Cruising Tips for Women, Diesel and Electrical Troubleshooting and Marine Weather and Cruising. Other courses include how to enjoy cruising in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, the Broughtons and the dream trip Cruising to Alaska with lots of practical tips.

New for 2017 at Boat Show U.:

  • Jeff Renner, former KING 5 meteorologist and one of the most distinguished members of the Northwest meteorological establishment will present Understanding Inside Passage Weather. Cruisers will learn how to avoid surprises when cruising in local waters or all the way up to Alaska
  • Radar expert and former Canadian Coast Guard Captain, Kevin Monahan will share how marine radar technology has radically improved in the last two years, present the new and the old and provide answers about how to integrate them for safe navigation.
  • Waggoner Guide editor Mark Bunzel will address all the new technologies for use on a boat including iPads, AIS, DSC, integrated chart plotters and new emergency devices. He will help boaters determine which ones are the best.
  • On Monday, Jan. 30, as part of the Women’s Day program, local experts Captain Linda Lewis and Margaret Pommert will present an all-day course, A Women’s Perspective: 101 Practical Tips for Safe and Fun Cruising.
  • Cruising without or before boat ownership: Mark Bunzel will cover the many options available in in the Northwest and beyond, including bareboat charter, crewed charter and flotilla options.
  • The Race to Alaska (R2AK) crew will share tips on how to be successful and survive one of the toughest boating events of the year. In this all-day program, they’ll cover the course, boat and crew preparation, navigating with the weather, tides and currents and survivability if things go wrong.

All Seattle Boat Show U. courses are available for advanced registration on the Seattle Boat Show website.

About the Seattle Boat Show

The show features two locations, 1,000 recreational watercraft and more than 400 exhibitors. There are more than three acres of the latest innovations in accessories, technology and boating gear on display indoors, plus 100 world-class yachts in their natural habitat on South Lake Union. A free shuttle runs between both locations.

For a complete list of exhibitors, seminars, travel packages and ticket prices, please visit www.SeattleBoatShow.com  E-tickets go on sale Dec. 1, 2016.

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3 Responses to Update: Seminar schedule announced for the 2017 Seattle Boat Show

  1. Johnathan Walton December 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    They used to make boats out of concrete… and they floated!!! Here’s proof on youtube

  2. Patrick November 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    When in the “Offshore Sailing Forum” going to be? I couldn’t find it under the Seminars listing on their site.

    • Andy Cross November 17, 2016 at 7:44 am #

      They’re still finalizing the schedule, but I’m told that all dates and times should be released on November 18.

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