Tag Archives: trawler training

Our Goal Was to See If We Could Handle a Trawler

Captain Bob.        
Our goal was to see if we could handle a trawler.

#1 to leave and come back to the dock.
#2 learn basic navigation skills.
#3 the art of anchoring.
#4 should we buy or charter a trawler.

We had beautiful weather and did not run aground Captain Bob spent time teaching us navigating and let us on our own for the entire trip. Wow. We now have all the confidence in the world. His classes were very informative and now we have a lot to think about.

We highly recommend Captain Bob’s trawler school, it was worth every penny. What a wonderful time we had onboard, and 5 great Anchorage’s and fabulous food.

Steve & Jan
Bryan Oh

Micro Bursts are No Match for Capt. Bob

Ahoy Captain Bob,          08-7 — 08-12-16

As we considered buying a trawler after selling our 34′  Catalina sailboat we discovered the wide variety of different trawlers models and manufactures produced, so we decided we need some help.

Not just any help – experienced and knowledgeable help from Captain Bob’s trawler school. We had been following his site for some time and we felt his school was the best training out of the other schools we looked into. He keeps learning simple, all inclusive one price, and has 11 years of service.

We both have Captain’s licenses and have been racing sailboats for many years. The time has come to sit back at the helm and relax, cruising along, watching the world going by slowly.
We can assure anyone that the knowledge gained here is of common sense, realistic, and hands on training. We learned more about the diesel engine in one class than we figured out in 10 years on our sailboat!

Now for the fun part. You can’t ask for a more entertaining teacher and Captain. Can you find a Captain Bob anywhere? Hell No!

While in the Dry Tortuga’s we experienced a Micro burst that lasted over 30 mins with winds of 59 mph. All the boats anchored around us broke loose and some dingys were lost and flipped over. We were one of the few that did not blow off anchor. The captains ground tackle and his anchoring class turned out to be the best of all. We have learned from a real pro. The sunrise the next morning was unbelievable. Dry Tortugas is the 8th wonder of the world! A fort built in 1825, made of 18 million bricks, built in the middle of nowhere 70 miles of Key West in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico! This was a once in a life time amazing trip. THANK YOU!

Lemon drops & Cheers
Curly (Jen) & Robb
Lancaster Pa

P.S. Fair weather and “seas ripple” on your trip to Cuba next week. Have fun and best wishes…

A Bonding Experience

Captain Bob,            July 25 — 29–2016

Joe, Christine & our son Avery (15) this is our first time on a trawler charter we are seeking education & fun in the sun. We have bonded as a family on all the learning techniques, handling a trawler, and a dingy. We are now a team that is ready to buy our 1st trawler.

This school has opened our minds to bigger and better plans on trawlering. We got much more than we paid for. This was a real family vacation all wrapped up into trawler school, our memories of Key West with Captain Bob this trip will certainly hold a special place in our hearts. Oh yes, Avery was promoted from (Swab) to First Mate. The Captain was very pleased with his outstanding interaction.

Warmly Christine, Joe & 1’st Matey Avery
West Lynn, OR

Not Just for Newbies

3-25 – 3-28-2016

Wow!! I learned so so much. It was a  “no nonsense” learning experience. Very practical, hands on training, hundreds of tips. Capt. Bob is a great teacher and I’m a retired teacher and I know what I’m talking about. Even though I’ve owned a 44′ Marine Trader for two years, I needed some training. Trawler school is both educational and full of confidence building. This trawler school is not just for Newbies.

Thanks Captain Bob
Ron S Sarasota Fl

Dear Capt. Bob
Having a Brithday is one thing but my brother in law taking me along to trawler school as a birthday gift is another. One of the best brithday gifts ever. Learning all types of things about trawlers is something special – especially training at 60, you provided much needed attention to details and proving you’re never to young or old to learn.

Thank You Captain Bob for your time and patience – I will never forget you or this trawler experience.

Sincerely Gary S
Sarasota FL

The Imperfect Storm … and other highlights from 2012

7/1/2012 – 7/5/2012

Captain Bob,

This trip was much more than we expected. We got such good experience that we will remember this trip for a long time. There were unexpected drills like MOB (man overboard) with a life jacket. It was fun, but also a great way to practice such important procedures. Our wives wanted us to come here to learn how to operate boats of this size so we can charter one in the future and we got the experience we needed.

Dear Capt. Bob,

It was a great experience. We got exactly what we came for and much, much more. I’m confident to charter the boat and share what you taught me with my wife and family. Thanks for a great time!

Mitch & Steven – Ann Arbor, MI

6/25/2012 – 6/29/2012

Captain Bob,

What a great adventure – we hit tropical storm Debbie enroute to the Miami Mermaid. We thought the weather would detract from our enjoyment and comfort on the trip, but you were able to accommodate every condition which only added to the fun and learning experience. The rough conditions we encountered on the first day gave us hands on experience in handling the Miami Mermaid in unusual conditions not seen in 7 years of charters. While Rich kept saying “I love this,” Susan was ready to find a calm anchorage and have a glass of wine. The next day we arrived in Boca Chita Key under windy conditions (kept the bugs away) but made docking practice difficult. We had arrived in paradise! After a magnificent sunset and a great meal (as they all were) we enjoyed relaxing with Capt. Bob and listening to the stories of his wonderful adventures. Keep dancing with those palm trees.

We learned so very much in such a short time. After researching a number of trawler schools with confusing pricing and fee structures, we found the perfect school with Captain Bob and the all inclusive price. Thanks for making it so easy!

An adventure we will never forget!

Rich & Susan – Doylestown, PA

6/17/2012 – 6/21/2012

What an extraordinary experience we have had! As we planned for this great adventure our anticipation escalated. Arriving on the Miami Mermaid and meeting Capt. Bob we settled into the journey. Our first night out navigating through the ICW was exhilarating; we anchored and watched the sunset over Hollywood, FL. The next day navigating on to Boca Chita Key, learning to dock, and swimming in the refreshing clear water was beyond anything we could have imagined. The entire trip was so informative, entertaining, and relaxing. We had many hands-on learning from operating the trawler, navigation, docking, repairs, and classroom instruction. We received much information and now know our next step in bareboat chartering next summer. Thanks so much for the learning, great food, and the journey!

Leland & Karen – Marshall, TX

6/3/2012 – 6/7/2012

We learned so much! Trawler School was exactly the learning experience we needed and were hoping for. Thank you.

We certainly feel much better prepared for our eventual Great Loop adventure and I now am certain we can do it!

Thank you Captain Bob,

Mike & Susan – San Clemente, CA


We had the pleasure of learning basic trawler boating with Captain Bob … and what an experience we had. Yes, Bob is a great cook, a wonderful teacher, and good cabin boy, and all that … But this captain is a master of the unexpected. We got caught in a sudden gale force wind and 4’ waves off Boca Chita – ‘The Imperfect Storm’. For 3+ hours, while we were below deck wondering if we’d survive (REALLY) Capt. Bob brought us through safely and with great poise.

For us, Bob’s patience with new boaters was a bonus, as we needed to learn slowly and Bob certainly accommodated that. All around, this was a wonderful learning experience and we recommend Bob 100%.

Michael & Pamela – Orlando, FL


Great experience! Hell Yea!!!

Had to wait “five minutes” before we could board because the Captain was on his knees in “our bathroom” replacing the toilet seat. Didn’t know what to expect. Hell yea, the Captain of the Miami Mermaid, hand and knees working on the toilet. Then it was on to some “serious” business. Drop your luggage, take a walk, get something to eat, wow, a true captain- barking orders. After our walk on the beach, eating something, etc. We arrived back to the Mermaid and the order barking Captain Bob. After a well performed introduction and “trawler school training” agenda, no doubts remained that our captain was anything but professional (except his fish jokes). After leaving dock I was told to take the helm and “left” into the ICW. The greatest part of our trawler training was you Capt. Bob, with your vast experience and knowledge of operation, navigation and pros/cons of ownership versus “the final solution.” Hats off to a job well done. Janet and I have the confidence to operate and investigate a big boat (trawler) now. Enjoyed more than words can say!! Smooth trawling and don’t forget the breakfast …. thing. Comes in handy, more so than not. Hell yea!!

Ronnie & Janet – Portsmouth, VA


WOW!! This was an awesome experience! Captain Bob is a gracious and accommodating host, great cook, informative instructor, and definitely an interesting character! This “excursion” was much more than we expected it to be. Besides learning how to maneuver the trawler, Capt. Bob instilled a confidence in me that made me want to know more. It has been one of the best vacations I have ever been on! Boca Chita was the best and seeing Miami from the water is probably the best way to experience Miami. Having the pleasure of watching both a sunrise and sunset at Boca Chita was breathtaking. OK, my primal scream the first night was a little over the top, but I’m glad Capt. Bob seemed to understand!

We can’t wait to implement the “Final Solution” and charter another trawler to build one experience and hopefully eventually purchase a boat of our own.

Thanks for everything! Hell Yeah!

Tammy & Bob


Dear Captain Bob,

Our experience aboard the Miami Mermaid was interesting, informative, fun and awesifying! Driving and docking our own trawler will be much less intimidating for me, and even my know-it-all husband leaned a few new things. Wonderful scenery, great meals, and fish tales made for an awesifying time! Was it worth doing? Hell yes!

Captain “Sunshine” Joan & navigator/boat boy Bruce – Lakewood, NY


Capt. Bob,

What a character! And pirate! And Teacher!

This was an amazing way to learn about being on a boat. I was reluctant, my husband was gung-ho, so we found Capt. Bob and scheduled our trip. I am confident we can charter a boat in many locations to build our knowledge and experience.

He uses a great teaching technique- show you, let you do it, corrects you when necessary. Invaluable if you are going to go it alone.

The scenery was beautiful, he is a good cook, and allowed us time to be alone, which made it feel like our baot and our time. We especially enjoyed the sunset and the skyline of Miami.

Ask lots of questions. He is a wealth of information and his knowledge invaluable.

Thanks for a fabulous 4 days Capt. Bob!

Tricia & Scott – Keene, NH


This was a confidence builder. Now it is not “I think I can” but “I can!” The whole idea of learning that the boat is a trawling island that takes us to point A to B without necessarily docking, but anchoring was enlightening. The class sessions were very informative, just be prepared for an occasional “Hell No” or maybe even a “Hell Yes?”

We have learned much about “Captain No-It-All (chart plotter) and how to depend on it with additional navigation skills that do not involve celestial navigation or longitude, latitude. The anchorages were magnificent and, normally, quite quiet. It was a great week that makes us anticipate our own adventures on our trawler! Thanks Captain Bob (oh the food was wonderful and the cabin a delight – but those thanks go to cabin boy Bob).

Walter & Barbara – Ohio

3/25/2012 – 3/28/2012

It’s amazing how much Captain Bob can teach you and re-teach you in two days. One of his secrets, I think, is that he has you jump right into it and lets you learn from your mistakes. His lectures are entertaining and informative. I like the fact that he doesn’t overdo it, but keeps it simple – even for a female who isn’t mechanical. In addition to the classes and what you’re learning, it’s a beautiful cruise with great food.

You have to watch out for his fish jokes, they are pretty corny! He has a good teaching style with repetition when needed. He didn’t like me taking notes in a notebook though.

We enjoyed ourselves and look forward to trying out our newly learned skills.

Cornell & Alice


Captain Bob,

Your charter and Trawler School was the perfect gift for Jeff’s 60th birthday. We both learned a lot about navigation, chart plotting, diesel engines, electrical systems, and how to buy a trawler. On top of that, we ate well and saw sights in and around Miami that we never knew existed. We are already talking about taking a “bare boat” charter next year!

Jeff is extremely impressed that you taught me how to navigate, use a chart plotter and drive the Miami Mermaid under a bridge while another boat passing through as well.

Thank you so much for a wonderful time and a perfect present for Jeff.

Jeff & Doris – Chapin, SC


Captain Bob,

Fantastic experience for two boating and trawler neophytes. The anchorages were remarkable and superseded only by the food! Captain Bob, more than just a superb trawler captain, but also a great chef, surprising us each day with restaurant meals at sea!

If/when we decide to buy a trawler the information we gained at trawler school charters will be invaluable. Captain Bob has a way of distilling complex subjects to the real “need to know” level for us rookies.

Very much appreciate the amount of helm time and navigation experience we gained. We feel confident entering the bare boat charter world.

In conclusion, do we have anything negative to say about Captain Bob or Trawler School charters? HELL NO!

RADM Jack (USN Ret.) & Gail – Losby, MD

February 27 – March 1, 2012

Chris and I enjoyed our days and nights on the Miami Mermaid. Captain Bob gave us some valuable lessons on piloting a trawler. We came to “school” not knowing what to expect. We left with enough confidence to charter a trawler on our own in order to get some more hands-on experience.

The weather was perfect, the meals – delicious and the companionship unforgettable!

Thanks for the memories and the manatees, Capt. Bob

Jane & Chris – Rhinelander, WI

February 22, 2012

We had no idea what to expect when we first booked out Trawler School with Capt. Bob. A drill sergeant? Or a laid back Academic? After several days and nights we learned that Capt. Bob is part captain, part cook, part trawler expert, part tour guide, and part jokester. We learned everything we needed to know to charter our own boat and just as importantly we had a great time doing so. Among the highlights of our trip was the manatee at Jimbo’s. As someome who earns their living in the marine industry, I thought I pretty much knew it all. Boy, was I wrong. Capt. Bob taught us countless truths about operating and owning a trawler. We will never forget our Capt. Bob experience and will forever be grateful of the many things we learned. It was time very well spent! We loved sitting out on the sundeck in the evenings just relaxing and the night spend “on the hook” at Marine Stadium taking in the spectacular Miami skyline was fantastic. All the meals Capt. Bob prepared were absolutely delicious and perfectly satisfying. And the Miami Mermaid was very comfortable sleeping aboard. Thanks again for a great experience.

Parker & Karen – Knoxville, TN

February 16, 2012

My son and I have just spent 3 days with Captain Bob aboard the Miami Mermaid. We are both crazy about baots and have had the idea of trawlering for quite some time. Bob gave us an extraordinary experience teaching us how to navigate and handle his trawler. As well, he gave us a good practical teaching on the maintenance and care involved in keeping a trawler in good repair. Finally, Bob went through the pros and cons of ownership and gave us great advice on how to proceed, if we want to buy a used trawler.

On top of all of the above, Bob is a great host and cook and made us feel “at home.”

Thanks for everything,


February 8, 2012

Captain Bob – you are a great “host”- your stories are worth the price and the knowledge, tips, and confidence building priceless, especially the simulated engine failure. We enjoyed the food and friendship. Despite a little rain we accomplished everything we wanted – your tips on boat buying are invaluable. We have owned boats before, and now wish we had met you first. Continued success in your trawler school.

Best wishes,

John and Pat