Boat show offers more than 200 free seminars

Staff reportDecember 22, 2013 

The 2014 Seattle Boat Show will feature hundreds of seminars, in addition to more than 1,000 watercraft. Organizers of the show, which opens Jan. 24, released the seminar schedule Tuesday, and it includes sessions on destinations, boat buying, maintenance and electronics.

There are more than 200 free seminars at CenturyLink Field Event Center and additional advanced training classes for a fee through Boat Show University.

The seminars run the gamut: Beginner topics include introduction to marine radar, docking techniques and anchoring basics; advanced topics include use of the asymmetric spinnaker and how to get your captain’s license.

There are plenty of options for sailors planning an offshore cruise or just dreaming of cruising. For those who prefer to stay close to home, seminars include cruising South Puget Sound, the marine parks of the San Juan Islands, the central and north coast of British Columbia, and traveling to Alaska. For those with goals of going farther, seminars include the Coho Ho Ho or Baja Ha-Ha rallies, cruising from Mexico to Australia, and cruising in the tropics.

Among seminars that are new for 2014 are sessions on cruising with kids, paperwork requirements for cruising Mexico, cruising to Fitz Hugh Sound, tools to observe and forecast weather patterns, and using the iPad and tablets for marine weather and navigation.

There also will be a number of sessions on saltwater fishing in the Northwest. Participants can learn how to target salmon, lingcod, albacore tuna and Dungeness crab — or learn to catch them while kayaking.

Boat Show University is offering 18 seminars to help make cruising safe and fun. With courses on weather, cruising to Alaska and new technologies, the education program features well-known nautical experts such as Lee Chesneau, Linda Lewis, Mike Beemer and Mark Bunzel. There will be three-hour nautical training and full-day seminars.

New this year will be classes by Steve D’Antonio. With nearly 25 years of experience as a marine mechanic, electrician, consultant and boatyard manager, D’Antonio is one of the most knowledgeable boating experts in the country, said show organizers. He is presenting an all-day course and two three-hour courses.

The three-hour programs are $39 with a special package including four courses and boat show admission for $149. All-day sessions are $195. All courses are available for advanced registration on the show website.


When: Jan. 24-Feb. 2.

Where: CenturyLink Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle, and South Lake Union, 901 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle.

SHUTTLES: Free shuttles will run continuously between both venues.

Tickets: Adults, $12; ages 11-17, $5. A five-day Big Pass is $24. On Mondays-Thursdays after 5 p.m., tickets are $8 and children 10 and younger get in free. Check the website for parking and package deals.

Seminars: The complete schedule of seminars can be viewed at

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