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VIDEO: Cruisers get a new port

The publishers of PassageMaker and Sail magazines are launching a new event for New England cruising enthusiasts.

The International Cruising Boat Expo will combine educational seminars, a cruising boat show and social gathering in the tradition of PassageMaker’s long-running TrawlerFest event series. AIM Marine Group, the parent company of PassageMaker, Sail and Soundings, decided on the new name to better explain the event’s appeal to a broader audience.

ICBE is tailored for recreational boaters, power or sail, who cruise or want to cruise for long periods or live aboard their vessels.

For so many people engrossed in work and raising families, this notion may seem impossibly romantic, but the fact is that an increasing number of baby boomers are taking to America’s waterways for what they see as the adventure of a lifetime. ICBE will help visiting boaters make these dreams a reality.

The five-day event will be held June 2-7 at Brewer Essex Island Marina in Essex, Conn., and it promises something for everyone.

The event will include dozens of new and used sail and power cruising boats displayed in the water. The boat show portion of the ICBE begins on Thursday, June 4, and runs through Sunday, June 7.

The week begins on Tuesday, June 2, with a two-day diesel engine seminar, Troubleshooting Boats & Diesel Engines, led by PassageMaker columnist Steve Zimmerman in collaboration with Bell Power, a John Deere engine distributor based in Essex. Zimmerman has been repairing boats for four decades and owns four boatyards in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. He is also the builder of the Zimmerman line of power cruisers.

Other seminars feature the same “team-teach” approach as the Troubleshooting class. They are The Great Loop & ICW; The Boat Buyer’s Survival Guide; Soup-To-Nuts Navigation; and Hands-On Boat Handling, all of which provide the equivalent of a full day of instruction. But for those who like their topics a la carte, there are plenty of two-hour seminars to choose from.

Sailors will enjoy two-hour seminars such as Dealing With The Rough Stuff: Heavy Weather Seamanship; Monohull or Multihull: How To Make the Choice; Comms for Cruisers: SSB Satphone and the Rest; and Empowering the First Mate: Cruising Confidence for Cruising Wives.

In all, the event will feature 31 seminars — including Canadian Capt. Cheryl Barr, an expert on cruising to Cuba. Barr will discuss being prepared for a Cuba cruise, officialdom and the checking-in process (facts and myths), marine infrastructure (or lack thereof), routes for long- and short term cruises, and must-see sights and how best to access them.

For information about the International Cruising Boat Expo, call (954) 703-4789 or email To see all of the seminars available and sign up, visit and