Nigel Calder headlines Newport Boat Show seminar series


CruiserPort University, from the people who bring you TrawlerFest, is the seminar series at the Newport International Boat Show in September. Calder and other great speakers will present seminars at the Newport Blues Cafe.

Author and researcher Nigel Calder returns to Rhode Island for the first time in a decade to deliver two technical seminars in his inimitable style. Calder’s books Marine Diesel Engines and BoatownersMechanical And Electrical Manual have saved many a mariner who found himself in a dilemma but was wise enough to carry them on board for reference.

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The CruiserPort University seminar series is part of the Newport International Boat Show. Calder and others will present their seminars at the Newport Blues Cafe, which is directly across Thames Street from the show.

An Englishman by birth, Mainer by choice and storyteller by inclination, Calder will present “Diesel Engines: Maintenance & Troubleshooting” all day on Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ($240). His seminar “Troubleshooting Electrical Systems” will be taught over two mornings on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 15-16, also beginning at 8:30 a.m.($240).

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Those who attend the diesel and electrical systems seminars will receive a certificate of completion that may help them earn a discount from their insurer.

Calder will also join the AIM Marine Group’s Cuba specialist Peter Swanson from 3-5 p.m. Thursday to discuss how to take your boat to Cuba legally and what you will find when you get there. Calder is the author of one of the oldest boating books about the island nation, Cuba: A Cruising Guide.

Weather Basics For Boaters

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Jeremy Davis, operations manager at Weather Routing Inc., will discuss weather basics, reading weather maps, how to interpret forecasts and using a meteorologist. He will also review the myriad forecast delivery services and systems, and advise on how to choose the best one for your cruising style. Davis provides consulting weather forecasts, reports and routing advice to thousands of marine clients worldwide and has issued more 30,000 customized forecast products since 2000, including those for ocean crossings, day trips, regattas, rallies and fishing tournaments. This seminar is intended for new or inexperienced boaters and should give attendees the confidence and knowledge to make go/no-go or go-back decisions. Thursday, Sept. 15, 12:45-2:45 p.m. Certificate of Completion. $60

Rum, Rhumba And Revolution: Go To Cuba Legally With Or Without Your Boat

Just back from Cuba, where he ran the AIM Marine Group’s first Rallies to Cuba program, Peter Swanson will help attendees navigate the regulatory waters of travel to the “forbidden island.” Cruising guide author Nigel Calder describes each section of the 1,700-mile shoreline based on his own circumnavigation. Thursday, Sept. 15, 3-5 p.m. $60

Navigation For Husbands And Wives

Are you truly confident that you always know where you are and how to get to your destination? Whether you’re new to navigation or just want to get up to speed with the latest technology, this mini-course is for you. Instructor Bob Sweet is a senior navigator; the author of The Weekend Navigator, GPS for Mariners and a consultant to OceanGrafix. Sweet’s seminar is a comprehensive “quick start” guide to navigation. You’ll learn the essential skills, from planning a cruise to navigating — and checking your positionalong the way. You’ll learn how to use conventional charts with your electronics in a complementary way to ease navigation tasks and ensure your safe arrival at your destination. You’ll also learn some neat tricks for adjusting your navigation along the way. This also is a great course for mates and crew who would like to share in the navigation duties. You will get to work with charts and plotting tools on a simulated mini-cruise. Friday, Sept. 16, 12:45-2:45 p.m. Certificate of completion. $60

Hot News About Marine Radar

For marine radar, World War II is over … finally. Marine author and trainer Bob Sweet will discuss the rapid rise of solid-state multifrequency radar and the demise of pulse technology originally developed during the Battle of Britain, and what this means for today’s radar consumers and operators. Sweet will share the theory and practical tips that participants can use to get the most from radar. Now is truly the time for a radar seminar. Friday, Sept. 16, 3-5 p.m. Certificate of completion. $60

The Great Loop: How To Prepare, What To Expect

Boaters who circumnavigate the U.S. East Coast using the Hudson River, Erie Canal, Great Lakes, Mississippi River and Intracoastal Waterway are known as “Loopers” for having completed “The Great Loop.” Kim Russo, executive director of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, will give a detailed briefing with plenty of time to answer questions. She will address which boats are most suitable for the Loop and how to budget. She’ll also intersperse her seminar with brief presentations made by association members who have completed the route, a.k.a. “Gold Loopers.” Saturday, Sept. 17, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $120

The Physics And Psychology Of Hull Shape

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Avoid expense and humiliation. Don’t be the person who buys a slow trawler, becomes frustrated by its 8-knot cruising speed, repowers with bigger engines to no effect, then sues the boatbuilder and loses. This seminar with naval architect Lou Codega is for people who are trying to decide what kind of boat is right for them. The very first decision is to determine what kind of boating you intend to do and then buy a boat with the appropriate hull. Codega has designed sportfish boats, trawler yachts, Coast Guard ships and one of the Navy SEAL raiders. He is “Mr. Hull.” Saturday, Sept. 17, 12:45-2:45 p.m. $60

Onboard Communications And Entertainment

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Satellite communications and satellite TV keep you connected to the world when you’re out of range of terrestrial systems. Paul Comyns, a veteran marine electronics expert, outlines what is available, how these systems work (in layman’s terms), what to expect and what to ask for. There are many new services coming online, and Comyns will share what he thinks works best for liveaboard cruisers. He will also explain antenna placement and how to maximize the performance of the systems on board. Saturday, Sept. 17 3-5 p.m. $60

VIP Pass Option

The best value is to purchase a VIP pass for $375, which entitles the purchaser to attend all seminars except Nigel Calder’s diesel and electrical systems seminars. It’s the equivalent of spending $480 for seminars à la carte. Tickets can be purchased here: 

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