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What exactly is the MTOA?
The Marine Trawler Owners Association is a not-for-profit group dedicated to those with an interest in all things dealing with the trawler lifestyle.
Does that mean that I can’t join if I don’t own a trawler?
Absolutely not! The MTOA is for you regardless of what type of boat you own, (and even if you don’t have ANY boat at all) as long as you have an interest in the trawler lifestyle….and having fun!
I thought that you guys were the Marine Trader Owners Association, and only accepted Marine Trader owners?
Well, when we started the club, we WERE called the Marine Trader Owners Association. However, over the years, Marine Trader has ceased production, many of our original members have since purchased other boats, but remained members, and a year or so ago, the club voted to officially change the name to the Marine Trawler Owners Association.
I’m currently between boats, can I still join?
Absolutely! As long as you have an interest in trawler lifestyle, we have an interest in you becoming a member!
How was the club started?
Back in 1990, our founding members, Mike Creedon and Pete Donnelly and their wives, who had recently purchased Marine Traders thought it would be beneficial to create a group dedicated to the mutual interest of Marine Trader trawlers and trawlers in general. The club has since grown by leaps and bounds.
Are you just an East Coast group?
No. The MTOA has active members on the East, West, and Gulf Coasts, the western rivers and the Midwest, as well as in Canada. Wherever you are, you are probably close to another MTOA member and don’t even know it. Many locations have MTOA Port Captains who will supply local knowledge, and sometimes even local transportation and free dockage.
Tell me some more about the benefits?
Let’s see. Where to begin? There are the large national and smaller regional rendezvous’, there is a quarterly news magazine, just packed with articles from members on everything from how to fix anything, to cruising information, and on and on. Every news magazine since the club was started is available on the website's members only area where you can search by keyword for any topic quickly or download the entire magazine in Adobe PDF format. There is a ships store where club specific articles can be purchased. The club also has an active website (where you are now!) where both public and club member only information can be found, as well as a club web based Listserv. The Listserv is a kind of member’s only bulletin board where members can post messages and other members can respond with answers. I could go on about the benefits, but this I’ll get into more later.
Sounds like Trawlerfest. What kinds of things do you do at your rendezvous?
It’s like a Trawlerfest, but with more emphasis on camaraderie and without the “sales pitch”. An MTOA rendezvous is a great experience, and a fantastic value. Usually several days in length, there are dozens of seminars, conducted by knowledgeable members or other invited speakers. We have both ladies and men’s engine room discussions.  We have ladies underway docking classes conducted by retired Coast Guard members, and wireless internet discussions by technology professionals and on and on. We recently had a discussion by the lock tender at the first lock on the Great Dismal Swamp. We have something called ‘Green Ribbon” hour each day, where members open up their boats (we typically have 40 to 60 trawlers) for members to visit and ask questions. And let’s not forget the social aspect. We have organized group dinners, social hours, and planned events to encourage meeting and socializing with other members. It’s very educational, but also great fun.
How many members does the group have?
We currently have 2600 members nationwide, which equates to over 1000 vessels. As indicated before, we have members in most of the lower 48 states and in Canada.
How much does it cost to join?
The cost for joining MTOA is $65.00 and $77 US for members living outside the US. Upon joining you will receive an email with your membership number and password that you can use to access the website's members only area, which provides online access to all past magazines, our roster and lots of other member services. You will also be invited to participate in our ListServ – our online question/answer forum.
Are there any pro-rating of dues if you join mid year?
Although subject to change by the Board of Directors, currently membership is based on the calendar year running from January 1st through December 31st. If you join between July 1st and December 31st your membership will be considered paid for both the current and following year.
Are the rendezvous included in the dues?
No. Each rendezvous has an admission price. This price is your admission to the rendezvous and generally includes a dinner or two, and social hour each day. There are usually optional dinners or other activities that have minimal additional cost and allow you to customize your rendezvous experience as you’d like. Cost is usually between $130 & $160 per person.
Are there any other services available to members?
Yes. Besides everything mentioned above, MTOA also has what are called “Port Captains”. These are volunteers who stand ready to provide any assistance needed in their home port to other members who travel through. This might include advice on best fuel prices, assistance in finding a slip, local navigational knowledge, providing company for dinner, providing transportation for shopping or virtually anything else that traveling member might need. It’s a great service and it’s provided free with your membership. Beside the Port Captains, club members also receive a group discount at Boat/US marine centers as well as other participating marinas and marine centers nationwide.
I’ve been trawlering for years. What can I get out of this organization?
It doesn’t matter if you are new to trawlering or an “Old Salt”. You WILL find your trawlering experience enriched by joining and becoming an active member of MTOA. As indicated previously, we have members with very specialized knowledge in virtually every topic that a boater could have an interest in, who come together and share their knowledge, both physically at the rendezvous, as well as virtually in the news magazine and in the Listserv.