Informative courses are designed to complement your boating skills and fill in your knowledge gaps!
The 2015 courses are below, with more being added as they are finalized.
Anchoring is one of the most underestimated seamanship skills of all. It only takes a middle of the night squall and an anchor-dragging episode to drive home the full implication of ground tackle choice, anchorage selection and the art of staying put.
Ralph Naranjo, Practical Sailor’s Technical Editor and instructor for Annapolis School of Seamanship, will share the secrets behind anchor choice, rode selection and the hardware and techniques involved in handling the gear on a cruising boat.
Presented by: Ralph Naranjo on Saturday at 8:15 am, and on Sunday at 1 pm
Captain John Martino, from the Annapolis School of Seamanship, will run through the basics of marine diesel engines and troubleshooting some common problems.
Presented by: John Martino on Sunday at 10 am
Learn a little meteorology and reduce some of the uncertainty of coastal and offshore cruising. Whether you are cruising the Chesapeake, the Caribbean, or the coastal waters of the Atlantic, an enhanced understanding of basic weather principles and a few simple forecasting skills can improve cruise planning and reduce the likelihood of being exposed to uncomfortable or hazardous weather conditions.
The Basic Marine Weather Seminar provides attendees with an understanding of basic meteorological principles and explores the conditions favoring the development of severe weather. Animated graphics and analyses of past weather events are used to delve into the interesting and unique weather forecasting challenges associated with coastal and offshore cruising. Attendees will develop a basic forecasting resource kit based upon readily available government and university websites.
Section 1: Introduction
Presenter's background and a discussion of the seminar’s structure and goals. The various NOAA government agencies responsible for producing marine weather forecasts and their areas of responsibility will be introduced.
Section 2: A Solid Foundation
An understanding of the weather requires a familiarity with basic physical and meteorological principles. This section addresses concepts such as barometric pressure, air masses, atmospheric instability and other meteorological terminology in order to build a foundation for the remainder of the seminar.
Section 3: Interpreting Weather Graphics
Weather forecast graphics use a confusing array of symbols, meteorological shorthand, and color schemes to display current weather conditions and portray future weather patterns. The symbols identifying high and low pressure systems, frontal boundaries, troughs, ridges, tropical cyclones and other meteorological features will be explained.
Section 4: The Invisible Forces Controlling the Wind
Mariners have attempted to explain the capricious nature of the wind for thousands of years. This section looks at the forces that control the wind and reviews a variety of online resources that will improve your ability to predict its speed and direction. Small-scale and short-lived features such as sea and land breezes will also be presented.
Section 5: Waves
Wave heights and direction can make all the difference between a pleasant trip and a wet, uncomfortable one. This section explains the dynamics of wave formation and the forces that sustain them. We will review a variety of forecasting resources to help you predict the size of the waves you will be encountering. Resources for determining the location and conditions associated with the Gulf Stream will also be examined.
Sections 6 and 7: Understanding Low Pressure Systems
Cruising the Chesapeake, the Caribbean, or the Atlantic will place you in the path of low pressure systems, known as “cyclones” in the meteorological community. Cyclones come in two basic varieties – extratropical (mid-latitude low pressures systems) and tropical (tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes) – which form in very different environments from fundamentally different atmospheric dynamics. Both types of cyclones are associated with bad weather. Their arrival often presents a significant risk to boaters in the form of strong, gusty, shifty winds, steep waves, dangerous lightning, damaging thunderstorms, and, in the case of land-falling tropical cyclones, storm surge and tornadoes. Sections 6 and 7 will investigate both types of cyclones in detail, and review a variety of resources for predicting the development, strength, and movement of these weather-makers.
Section 8: Observational Tools – Radar and Satellite Imagery
Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery have a lot to offer the weather-savvy mariner. This section will introduce common types of Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery and provide instruction in their interpretation and use. You’ll learn how weather radar works (along with a few of its quirks) and how it can be used to monitor the development, intensity, and speed of approaching thunderstorms. Offshore cruisers venture beyond the reach of Doppler radar, and therefore must rely on satellite imagery to monitor approaching weather systems. We’ll investigate how to use visible, infrared, and water vapor satellite imagery to enhance marine weather observations and forecasts.
Section 9: Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms can quickly spoil a cruise in many ways—strong winds, large waves, dangerous lightning or visibility-limiting rain. This section will examine the various types of thunderstorms and the atmospheric ingredients that lead to their formation. Learn why thunderstorms often ‘pop-up’ late on summer afternoons and why some storms have short life-spans while others persist for hours. Discover why thunderstorms remain independent on some days and form into damaging long-lived squall lines on others. Reduce your chances of a hair-raising or wind-swept encounter with a thunderstorm by learning to assess the potential for their development using readily available Internet resources and the sky.
Section 10: Conclusion
This section will present a daily forecasting routine and strategy for managing weather forecast information. The section also includes a hands-on forecasting exercise to reinforce the seminar’s meteorological concepts and increase your familiarity with a variety of forecasting resources.
Presented by: Mark Thornton on Saturday, 8:15 am – 4:15 pm
Offshore and inshore
Even if you have an unlimited budget, deciding to go cruising means unplugging from the modern communications network to some extent. How much connectivity you have to give up depends upon how much money you have and how important it is for you to stay in touch with friends, family and/or business associates. It also depends on whether you are offshore or inshore, with most cruisers using different solutions sailing coastally than they do on passage.
This class will give you the information you need to decide how to outfit your boat so that you can get the most connectivity for your communications dollars.
Presented by: John Martino on Sunday at 1 pm
This two day seminar has women instructors who have been cruising for many years all over the world. Their enthusiasm and knowledge will be contagious. They team up to offer an in-depth two-day program just for women – to introduce women to, and prepare them for cruising.
This program is directed to women:
1. who are introduced to the dream of cruising by a husband, or boyfriend or partner, and want to know “What is cruising like? — Do I want to do it?”
2. who like the idea of cruising with their partner or even alone, but don’t know if they are skilled enough, smart enough, young enough, rich enough, or brave enough to pull it off . . .
3. who know they want to go cruising, and now want to acquire the skills and knowledge to get out there and make it safe and fun.
For all these women, we have organized a unique program to answer your questions and give you the skills and knowledge you will need:
· We introduce you to cruising, help you learn what it is like, in all its variations – aboard sailboat and powerboat, cruising close to home, or to the Caribbean, or around the world – sailing with your partner, or family, or by yourself.
· We cover the skills that you need to acquire and help you figure out what you know already and what you still need. We assist you in putting together your personal plan to go cruising.
· We spend time aboard several different boats, in small groups, learning the jargon, the equipment that we live with, discussing daily routines and safety, what works and what doesn’t.
· And most importantly, you will have LOTS of time to ask questions and to raise your concerns about cruising.
· This is a very personal, and fun course. We will talk, laugh, tie knots, heave lines, poke around with equipment, and discuss ALL your questions and practical issues. You will come out of this weekend with an understanding of the cruising life and ready to make your dream come true.
The Cruising Women program is part of the Platinum Master Cruisers Series, a 4-day Tuition Package. In addition to two fabulous days in this program you get to choose from a wide variety of elective classes held on Saturday and Sunday.
Comments from women who have previously attended the Cruising Women program:
There is no way to express my gratitude for how gracious you all are! You truly made me feel like there is no stupid question. Your range of experiences
and expertise was amazing and very
much a blessing!
- It takes the fear factor out of cruising.
- It reassured me that I am not foolish or crazy for pursuing this dream, this lifestyle. It also helped me believe that I can learn the skills needed to do this, even be good at it!
- Thanks so much for all the sharing, information, humor, and encouragement. And so non-intimidating! It was great! We appreciate all of you. Terrific job!
- This seminar assured me even more that this is what I want to do and took some of my fears and worries away.
- The dynamic of the three instructions was phenomenal!
- Even though cruising seems scary sometimes, you have all made it seem very possible!! Thank you so much!
- The wide range of topics covered answered many questions I didn’t know I had.
- I found that other women have the same fears and concerns that I had.
- Hearing the instructors’ first hand experiences was invaluable.
- Great, enthusiastic instructors who clearly love cruising.
Pam and Kathy will discuss the many aspects of cruising in the Abacos, Bahamas. Learn about weather patterns, protocol, what to take with you, suggested routes and places of interest. The Abacos are the Bahama Islands closest to the US and have many protected harbors and anchorages.
Pam and Kathy will discuss sailing further east and south of the Abacos to the Exumas and Eleuthera. Learn about suggested routes from the Abacos and points in Florida, following the weather, what to take, skills for sailing the Bahama banks, cruising events, fishing and favorites islands and anchorages.
The Caribbean provides a myriad of cruising destinations and cultures. All sectors will be discussed including alternate cruising routes across the middle.
Suggestions on boats, equipment, weather forecasting, security and communications will also be included. Liza met her husband Andy met in the Caribbean, was married aboard the classic yacht Ticonderoga and has spent many years there running charter boats, leading charters, completing deliveries and extensively cruising on their own boat both on and away from the typical Caribbean cruising routes.
Presented by: Liza Copeland on Friday at 2:45 pm
Peter Trogdon, President/Owner of Weems and Plath, and his wife, Cathie, with tens of thousands of cruising miles taking them from the Bahamas to Alaska share tips and stories of how to stay happily married in close quarters for months at a time. They discuss the various roles onboard that require a different communication strategy to help keep couples happy and make the adventure enjoyable.
Presented by: Peter and Cathie Trogdon on Saturday at 10 am
This 2-day class is designed to benefit both recreational boaters and professional mariners who operate vessels equipped with diesel engines. The course covers all types of diesel engines and is not brand specific. While no previous experience is necessary, we have had experienced gasoline engine and automotive mechanics take this class to learn the unique characteristics of marine diesel engines. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand, troubleshoot, and perform basic preventative maintenance and repairs to their diesel engine. Throughout this course, students receive both lecture and hands-on instruction utilizing both a working diesel engine and a cutaway diesel that offers visual access to its inner workings. The cutaway engine enables students to easily make the transition from a theoretical to practical understanding of a diesel engine, while the working engine allows each student to perform hands-on procedures in the classroom.
Although this course is not designed to turn boat owners into expert mechanics, graduates gain a working knowledge of marine diesels, and the confidence to know when an experienced mechanic
is needed. They are also better equipped to communicate with industry professionals.
- Principles of Operation
- Anatomy of a Diesel Engine
- Maintaining a Marine Diesel Engine
- Basic Troubleshooting
Instructor: Captain John Martino
Captain John Martino holds a 500 Gross Ton, All-Oceans captain's license from the US Coast Guard. He is an experienced professional captain with a 20-year background in marine training, as well as more than 1500 sea days upon waters ranging from the Great Lakes to Panama.John has served as captain on ocean-going vessels up to 105 feet, and has done extensive yacht delivery work. As founder and president of Annapolis School of Seamanship, he produces and leads courses ranging from basic navigation and seamanship for recreational boaters to professional mariner training for licensed captains up to 200 gross tons. John also writes boat reviews for Chesapeake Bay Magazine.
Instructor: Scott Segal
An ABYC certified diesel technician, Scott has more than 20 years of experience servicing marine diesel engines of all makes and models. Scott is the owner and founder of AR Marine Diesel Service which provides repair and repower services for diesel and gas engines and generators on both sail and powerboats. Scott has been teaching diesel engine maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting at the Annapolis School of Seamanship for over 8 years
Presented by John Martino and Scott Segal on Thursday and Friday, all day.
The Diesel Maintenance program is part of the Master Cruisers Series, a 4-day Tuition Package. Students will choose electives for Saturday and Sunday.
A thorough review of the different solar PV technologies will be presented with a focus on variations in efficiencies, cost and durability. Installation examples will be shown with discussion of pros and cons of each. This will include shading, mounting, maintenance, articulation and wiring arrays. Wind generators (turbines) will be considered as an alternative or compliment to PV, with considerations to efficiency, noise, durability and cost of various choices in the industry. Installation examples are shown to highlight some of the important consideration to performance, maintenance and safety. Proper charge regulation for both PV and wind will also be covered.
Current technology available to the cruiser for generating AC power offshore, from supporting smaller appliance loads to significant loads, such as air conditioning and AC water makers will be discussed. System variations will be demonstrated from the basic application and proper sizing of a diesel generator to more innovative pairing of alternators and inverters. Discussion of the benefits of the more sophisticated DC generators using inverters to produce AC will also be covered. Most importantly, examples of system investments made to fail and dangerous compromises to safety that should be avoided will be discussed.
Presented by: Bob Williams on Friday at 10 am, and Saturday at 2:45 pm
"You can cruise the Chesapeake your whole life and almost never have to visit the same place twice.” This is how John Stefancik begins his seminar about cruising the Bay. The Chesapeake has so much cruising area, and so many towns to visit, with such a diversity of scenery packed into a mid-sized region that boaters can literally get lost in between skyscrapers and rolling farmland in the very same day aboard.
Whether you are cruising in sail or power, for a week or a whole season, this seminar will take you on a tour of much of the Bay and give you the details needed for a successful cruise.
Presented by: John Stefancik on Friday at 1 pm
Ashore meal preparation can be just one more chore to fit into a busy schedule, and the results compete with the convenience of restaurants and fast food. Yet meals prepared aboard in the confines of a small galley without ready access to well-stocked supermarkets can be much more satisfying both to cook and eat.
In this seminar, we will look at the ways that we can work magic in our galleys, creating good food. We will cover such topics as: outfitting the galley, choosing cookware and cooking utensils and appliances, cookbooks and references, making the most of a pressure cooker, baking aboard with or without an oven, cooking from scratch, preparing the seafood we catch, happy hours and potlucks, substitutions, and cooking with local ingredients.
Presented by: Kathy Parsons on Saturday 8:15 am
This seminar will cover proper sail care, routine maintenance requirements and introduce the sailor to inspections he/she can perform themselves to prevent a major sail disaster at sea. The attendee will also learn basic emergency repairs they can make on a sail such as corner ring replacement, replacing a broken luff slide, replacing a broken batten receptacle and repairing a broken battens.
Presented by: John Balano on Saturday at 1 pm
Modern integrated navigation calls for the navigator to blend traditional navigation skills with the use and knowledge of sophisticated, networked electronic aids. This two-day (12-hour) class is focused on marrying paper chart navigation with electronic navigation systems, tablets and smart phones. Students will receive lecture, demonstration and hands-on training that utilizes Annapolis School of Seamanship’s bridge simulator. The simulator allows students to engage in a virtual voyage in all weather and can simulate tablet-based navigation systems such as iNavx®.
Students for this class must have a solid foundation in traditional navigation and plotting.
- Electronic Navigation Basics
- Relative Motion, Collision Avoidance
Presented by Paul Truelove and Matt Benhoff on Thursday and Friday, all day.
The iNavigation© program is part of the Master Cruisers Series, a 4-day Tuition Package. Students will choose electives for Saturday and Sunday.
©Annapolis School of Seamanship January 2014
The unthinkable happens and you find yourself abandoning ship due to an emergency on board. You’re in your life raft; now what do you do? We will cover what you will need to do from the time you abandon ship to the time you get rescued. Following the seminar, we will deploy a life raft to give you an idea as to what to expect.
Presented by: Charles Daneko on Sunday at 8:15 am
What's it like to step off the 'deep end' and sail out of site of land? Bluewater sailing is as much about mental preparation as it is about preparing your boat. Knowing what to expect offshore is a key to good seamanship. In this popular lecture, Andy walks students through a tropical offshore passage, from the preparation stage to the day of departure, the first few days offshore, the spiritual 'middle section' and finally landfall. He touches on the most common anxieties at each stage and the tricks he's learned to overcome them.
Importantly, he puts into perspective what you SHOULD worry about – the strength of your rigging and sails, for example – and what's trivial, like if you packed enough toothpaste. 'Mental Preparation' will enable new and veteran sailors alike to approach a long passage with the knowledge and confidence needed to succeed.
Presented by: Andy Schell on Friday at 1 pm and on Sunday at 8:15 am
Captain Matt Benhoff of the Annapolis School of Seamanship will discuss the world of modern navigation and how to combine GPS chart plotters with traditional paper chart navigation techniques to help keep you on the right course.
Presented by: Matt Benhoff on Saturday at 2:45 pm
Whether you're heading for Key West or want to do the Great Loop, the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), is an interesting, exciting and challenging leg of your journey. In this class, professional captain and ICW cruiser Paul Truelove will share his expert insights and knowledge, gained over ten ICW passages, of the joys and pitfalls of cruising a route that has been an active passage since colonial times. Through lecture and discussion, get answers to your questions such as; "Do I have the right of way over a shrimp boat? And "Where would I find this information?". Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey and ensure a safe voyage.
Presented by: Paul Truelove on Saturday at 10 am
With the aid of numerous installation and product photos, system configuration diagrams, and
related graphics, Bob Williams will explore the critical issue of power management aboard recreational vessels. This seminar focus is on three principal considerations in balancing energy needs: energy production, energy storage, and efficient energy consumption.
Bob will examine various electrical system designs, as well as an overview of various types of batteries, alternators, photovoltaic systems, wind turbines and appropriate regulation. Examples of buying for efficiency will be addressed, as well as examples of effective system design and common system design flaws often found in production boats. Whether your goal is fully sustainable cruising or making the best use of your existing electrical system, you won’t want to miss this valuable session.
Presented by: Bob Williams on Friday at 8:15 am, and on Saturday at 8:15 am
What does it take to make your boat a blue water sailing yacht? Learn from Pam and her families’ experiences while they sailed across the oceans. Her expert knowledge will help anyone learn the essentials of blue water cruising equipment, along with the obvious little products that are so important. Pam gives knowledgeable and practical ideas on how to make your boat easier to handle, safer, and more fun to sail.
Part 1 On Deck: Start at the bow with ground tackle and work aft to downwind sailing gear, awnings, reefing, solar panels, ventilation, and much more. Lots of information is provided on how to make your on deck systems work for you.
Part 2 Below Deck: Come below deck and get ideas on:
- chart tables
Presented by: Pam Wall on Saturday at 1 pm (Part 1) and 2:45 pm (Part 2)
Proper Prior Planning prevents problems aboard. Experienced cruisers usually rely on routines and checklists as they prepare for a passage or an approaching storm, docking in an unknown marina, haul-out, taking on crew or guests, or making landfall in a new port or country. Established routines also distinguish cruisers who make anchoring, sail handling, docking, and all sorts of other maneuvers look easy and controlled.
Two experienced cruisers, Kathy Parsons and Pam Wall, with many decades of offshore and coastal sailing experience, share their routines and checklists. You will come from this seminar with an understanding of the most important areas where you need routines, plus a set of checklists that you can adapt for your own boat and crew.
Bob Williams will examine the refrigeration design and technologies available to today’s cruising boater. Refrigeration typically represents the single biggest onboard power consumer, in many cases more than all other loads combined. For this reason the presentation will look at refrigeration as it pertains to energy management in addition to managing food storage temperatures.
Examples of efficient box design and types of construction material will be covered, as well as possible improvements that could be made to existing boxes. AC, DC and engine driven condensers will be discussed, including the latest variable speed control compressors. A general explanation will be given of a typical refrigeration circuit as it pertains to troubleshooting and diagnostics.
If you have a refrigeration system on your boat, or want to install one, this course should provide you with the understanding to design, buy and service your refrigeration intelligently.
Presented by: Bob Williams on Saturday at 10 am
This presentation provides instruction on best practice sail trim for cruisers. The goal is to present the sailor with ways deal with common cruising concerns of heel, over-powered situations, best upwind performance and easy down-wind sailing. We examine all the components of sail shape and trim and how to use the controls on your boat to overcome these common concerns.
Presented by: David Flynn on Saturday at 8:15 am
Severe weather appears and your destination is far away. "Batten down the hatches" has become part of everyone's vernacular, but there is plenty more to do. Big waves and high winds make it challenging to keep your boat balanced and your crew safe. Learn essential storm tactics to give you the control you'll need.
Presented by: Ralph Naranjo on Sunday at 2:45 pm
Let's face it – one of these days something is going to go wrong on your boat. By learning how to recognize risk and manage problems aboard, you can avoid the downward spiral of events that too often turns a minor problem into a major emergency.
From your boat's rigging to the engine room, we'll cover the most common problems encountered onboard, how to prevent them in the first place, and how to handle them when the time comes.
Presented by: Andy Schell on Friday at 8:15 am
In a variety of ways, thunderstorms can quickly ruin an outing. This presentation will examine the types of thunderstorms and the ingredients that lead to their formation. Reduce your chances of a hair-raising encounter by learning how to predict and monitor thunderstorms using readily available Internet resources.
Presented by: Mark Thornton on Sunday at 8:15 am
Cruising the Chesapeake, the Caribbean, or the Atlantic will place you in the path of low pressure systems, known as “cyclones” in the meteorological community. Cyclones come in two basic varieties – extratropical (mid-latitude low pressures systems) and tropical (tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes) – which form in very different environments from fundamentally different atmospheric dynamics.
Both types of cyclones are associated with bad weather. Their arrival often presents a significant risk to boaters in the form of strong, gusty, shifty winds, steep waves, dangerous lightning, damaging thunderstorms, and, in the case of land-falling tropical cyclones, storm surge and tornadoes. This presentation will investigate both types of cyclones in detail, and review a variety of resources for predicting the development, strength, and movement of these weather-makers.
Presented by: Mark Thornton on Sunday at 10 am
This class concerns the technological differences between types of Reverse Osmosis water making units with graphs, photos and system schematics for reference. Particular attention will be given to DC desalination that can be supported with wind and solar energy sources, not requiring engine or generator support. Comparisons between Watts per gallon, PPM of salt rejection between models, and noise level will be made. Installation considerations that may affect performance, maintenance and life expectancy of the membranes will also be discussed. Maintenance and system diagnostics will be discussed with systems diagrams to aid in the understanding of the relationship between system components.
Presented by: Bob Williams on Friday at 1 pm
What Works: Tips and Techniques for Long-Distance Cruising
Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference. With decades of cruising and tens of thousands of miles under their keels, cruisers Pam Wall and Kathy Parsons have learned lots of
little things that make cruising safer, more comfortable, more successful.
In Part 1 of this two-part seminar, they will share some of their favourite tips, techniques and
gear for Anchoring, Docking, Mooring, Line handling, and Downwind Sailing. You are
bound to learn new ideas to improve your cruising.
In Part 2 of this two-part seminar, they will share some of their favourite tips, techniques and gear for Night Watches, Leveraging our Strength, Water Collection and Hauling, Deck Organization: Mast rails, Mast steps, Ratlines, Whisker poles, Preventers, Lazy jacks and Cradles, Mounting ideas for Solar Panels and Wind Generators, Tender and Outboard, Ventilation, Lighting and Shade.