‘Finest Hours’ author to speak
STEVENSVILLE — Michael Tougias, best selling author of “The Finest Hours,” which was made into a Disney movie that debuted earlier this year, will be speaking twice on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Bay Bridge Marina as part of Trawler Fest.
His first speech, entitled, “Survive and Thrive,” will be at 10:45 a.m, featuring lessons learned from survivors of shipwrecks and near-death experiences. “I’ve had several best sellers on the survivor at sea topic,” he said. “It’s been my career (writing) about these people who beat the odds.”
At 3 p.m., he will tell the true story behind the movie version, “The Finest Hours” and will have a multimedia presentation with historical photos of the two 450-foot tankers that were split in half off Cape Cod in a storm in 1952.
As part of his presentation, he will use slides of the storm and discuss the sinking oil tankers, the rescues, the victims, the survivors and the heroes to tell the story of the historic event.
Also, he will talk about his new book, “So Close to Home,” with the subtitle “A True Story of an American family’ s fight for survival from a U-boat attack during World War II.” The Downs family of four were aboard a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico when a German ship torpedoed their ship in 1942 and left the family to struggle for their lives.
His speeches are part of Trawler Fest, which started on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and ends on Saturday, Oct. 1. Trawler Fest is Passage Maker’s series of boat shows. Passage Maker is a magazine focused on power cruisers and trawler boats.
The boat show and events, including his speeches, will be at the Bay Bridge Marina, 357 Pier 1 Road, Stevensville. Tickets are $60 per person for each of Tougias’ seminars. The boat show is $15 per person.
About 2,000 people are expected at the boat show from Thursday, Sept. 29, through Saturday, Oct. 1. And a thousand people are expected just on Oct. 1, the day Tougias speaks.
Strategically located in key cruising regions nationwide, Trawler Fest showcases inwater displays of cruising powerboats, boating courses and demonstrations, and all the latest in marine products and services.
Tougias has written many books containing important information for boaters, whether recreational or professional, including malfunctioning weather buoys, decisions that saved lives and heroic actions by Coast Guard rescuers.
“The Finest Hours” movie opened in 45 countries in January 2016, staring Chris Pine. Besides Tougias’ best selling book the movie is based on, he has written other best sellers include “Fatal Forecast,” “Overboard,” “King Philip’s War” and “There’s A Porcupine in My Outhouse: the Vermont Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe.”
In all, he’s written and coauthored 24 books.
He lectures across the country on each of his books and offers leadership and inspirational programs for business groups, and has spoken to companies and organizations such as General Dynamics, Raytheon, Massachusetts School Library Association, New York University Surgeons Round Table and many more.
Tougias, 61, was a manager at a major insurance company when he began writing a self-syndicated newspaper column about outdoors in New England. That writing morphed into books, including several of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Best Day Hikes series, a book about the Connecticut River, and his autobiographical humor book, “There’s a Porcupine in My Outhouse” (voted Best Outdoor Book of the Year by the Independent Publisher’s Association).
Soon he turned to survival at sea stories, which now total six and he’s a frequent guest on television and radio programs about survival, rogue waves, Coast Guard rescues, and decision making.
He is a sought-after speaker on the topics of his books and on survival, making nearly 100 appearances a year at maritime museums, conferences, and corporate events.
Michael Tougias, author of “The Finest Hours,” which was made into a movie, will speak at the Trawler Fest boat show on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Bay Bridge Marina.