Cruisers University Courses

Naval Academy Club at the United States Naval Academy.  

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Anchoring & Docking: Tips & Tactics

Many stories, and even a few songs, have been written about the “entertainment” a couple can provide when doing docking and anchoring. With large doses of humor and humility, learn some tricks for working together on these maneuvers.   

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman and Jean Levine of Two Can Sail        

Approaches to Cuba and the Bahamas via the Gulf Stream

This seminar is meant to separate fact from the rhetoric associated with crossing the Gulf Stream safely.  Examples will be given using the Florida Straights as a convenient transition between the US, Cuba and the Bahamas with considerations to optimal conditions for crossing or riding the Gulf Stream.  A detailed description will be given of Gulf Stream dynamics and why certain weather conditions should be avoided in crossings.  Prudent onboard preparation and seamanship in consideration of unexpected condition changes will be discussed as well.  Solutions to common navigation challenges when crossing will be demonstrated as well as the best conditions to schedule your arrival and how best to transition a reef.

Presented byBob Williams

 A Round Trip Tour of the Abacos

Pam Wall will take you on a circumnavigation of the lovely Abaco Islands in the Northwestern Bahamas.  She will explain checking into a foreign port, what you need for cruising in a foreign country, her favorite anchorages and marinas, where to get your laundry cleaned, and the best restaurants!  Pam will take you on a cruise that she has made many times and will give you all the information you will need to have a Blast in the Bahamas!

Presented byPam Wall


 . . . Preparation for cruising the Abacos and other islands in the Bahamas

Pam Wall will tell you what she knows about getting all prepared for cruising the Abacos and other islands of the Bahamas.  She will tell you about equipping your boat, what you need to take with you to the Bahamas, crossing the Gulf Stream, weather to expect, and get you all excited about cruising these lovely islands so close to our Eastern Seaboard.

Presented byPam Wall 

Climate Control Down Below

Staying Cool in the Tropics and Elsewhere

Design concepts will be presented for optimal humidity and temperature management for comfortable living and sleeping below decks. This includes benefits and mechanisms for keeping air moving and exchanging hot moist air for cooler drier air. Materials best suited for not trapping salt and humidity will be discussed along with mechanisms for exhausting interior air for cooler and drier evening air.  Design details will be provided for the most efficient air conditioning systems – both conventional generator support and DC support with inverter and solar/wind power production will be discussed. Examples of good and bad installation practices will be demonstrated along with methods to correct them.  System components and diagnostic methods relating to the most common failures will be covered as well.

Presented byBob Williams

Communications for Cruisers

       “Tried, True, and Technically New”
From traditional methods to the most modern, get yourself comfortable with the many ways to communicate with the world from your boat.  This session discusses relative benefits of different tools on board from basic sat messengers, richer sat-fi systems and the standby HF radio. Understand differences based on coverage, technical requirements, and flexibility. Learn lots of practical information about how to get weather data, track ocean currents, communicate via social media/blogging, stay in touch via email, or talk to your family from anywhere in the world.
Presented by: Behan Gifford

Creating The Unstoppable Cruising Boat

One well-known journalist wrote, “Cruising is fixing your boats in a series of exotic locations.” Preventing this from becoming your reality requires two steps; adjusting your attitude, then taking a careful look at how you outfit your boat. Lin Pardey will discuss the difference in attitude between cruisers she has known who never once changed their sailing plans due to gear problems and those who felt their cruises or budgets were ruined by gear failures. A careful analysis of ways to assure you do not have to change your sailing plans because of gear failures, the benefits of non-integrated systems, essential spares you should carry, simple techniques you can use to overcome breakdowns and planning your yearly refit are among the topics that are covered in this seminar.

Presented by:  Lin Pardey

Crossing the Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream should be respected but not feared. Andy will discuss weather window & routing considerations & preparation for passages south. He’ll share tips & tools from personal experience & as event manager for the Caribbean 1500, where making the call on departure day was crucial to a successful rally. The talk will focus most on offshore passages from the Chesapeake to Bermuda/Caribbean, but will also briefly touch on the crossing from Florida to the Bahamas.

Presented by:  Andy Schell

Cruising and Health Care

Learn about (and prepare for) everyday health concerns while cruising. This course is not taught by a doctor and doesn’t address emergencies – instead, it addresses those issues you are MOST likely to encounter! Raising a family while sailing around the world gives Behan Gifford a broad perspective on the most common health concerns on board, how to prepare for them, and what to do when they occur. She’ll discuss what it’s like seeking out medical care in foreign countries, managing your prescriptions from home, and how most cruisers handle health insurance.

Presented by: Behan Gifford


Cruising Green: Preserve the Planet and your Wallet 

Cruisers are inherently aware of their natural environment and the need to preserve it against man-made threats.  Learn how you can combat these threats with a multi-faceted approach incorporating green technologies and onboard practices. This seminar addresses how cruisers can be good stewards of the environment with regard to carbon footprint, pollution, waste management and habitat. Optimize your onboard resources to help preserve the planet and conserve your cruising wallet.

Presented byAndy Batchelor and Lisa Batchelor Frailey  of Kinetic Sailing

Cruising in Harmony

Living onboard for extended periods presents unique challenges and opportunities for cruising couples. Lisa and Andy Batchelor, founders of Sail Solomons and owners of Kinetic Sailing, share strategies, stories, and tips for cruising together in harmony. This seminar is designed to help take the stress out of cruising as a couple, so you can operate smoothly and safely as a team.

Presented byAndy Batchelor and Lisa Batchelor Frailey  of Kinetic Sailing

Cruising Women

The Cruising Women program provides two unique days of education for, and by women.  Pam Wall and Behan Gifford have each traveled tens of thousands of nautical miles in many areas of the world, and garnered a wealth of information about the cruising life.

Are you prepared to cruise? Pam and Behan will help answer that and many other questions as they fill in the gaps of your knowledge with understanding, patience and enthusiasm.  One half-day is spent aboard a docked boat to facilitate discussion of equipment, layout, and safety.

The topics include:

  • An introduction to cruising:  with a partner, alone, or with family
  • Typical tasks and experience for a day on passage, a day coastal cruising, and a day in port
  • Skill sets – learn what you still need to acquire
  • Equipment overview     
  • Understanding the jargon
  • What works, what doesn’t work

The Cruising Women program is part of the Master Series Package at Cruisers University.  In addition to two fabulous days in this program you get to choose from a wide variety of elective classes held on Wednesday and Thursday.

Comments from women attending previous Cruising Women seminars:

  • Changed me from passenger to crew. I took a two-day class for women that changed my perspective on sailing. It all became do-able after that. Beforehand, it was like learning a new language. The class showed me that I can do everything needed on a boat. The class was so supportive on every level, and I came away with experience and knowledge that has been invaluable since.
  • There is no way to express my gratitude for how gracious you are! You truly made me feel like there is no stupid question.  
  • 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! 
  • The wide range of topics covered answered many questions I didn’t know I had. 

Presented by: Pam Wall and Behan Gifford
Cruising Women is part of the Master Cruisers Series, a 4-day Tuition Package. Students will choose electives for Wednesday and Thursday.

Diesel Engine Essentials with Amanda

Amanda Swan Neal will guide you through the six essential components of diesel engines giving you a good understanding of how engines work and how timely preventative maintenance saves you money and prevents engine failure, based on her 40 years of going to sea. A handout highlights the essential points and resources of this seminar.

Presented by:  Amanda Neal


Diesel Maintenance

This two-day, hands-on class will provide a preliminary and in-depth review of how a diesel engine works. All aspects of general and yearly maintenance will be covered, to include:

  •  Oil changing
  •  Impeller replacement
  •  Cooling system service
  •  Fuel filter replacement and general fuel system servicing
  •  Basic transmission service
  •  Trouble shooting electrical systems
  •  Motor mounts and shaft alignment

. Various engine parts, tools, and cut-away engine models of Yanmar 1GM10 and Universal M-25XP will be on display and used to demonstrate parts and procedures.  

Day two of Diesel Engine Maintenance will include topics such as:

  •  Valve adjustment
  •  Compression testing
  •  Cooler/heat exchanger repairs

  Take-aways include an information booklet for note taking and outlines.  A complete and in-depth description to follow.

Presented by:  Jim Zima of Great Lakes Diesel, Inc. on Monday & Tuesday
The Diesel Maintenance program is part of the Master Cruisers Series, a 4-day Tuition Package. Students will choose electives for the additional two days (Wednesday and Thursday) 

Docking and Line Handling

Join Captain Matt Benhoff from Annapolis School of Seamanship as he talks about docking techniques and skills that can benefit every mariner.  This seminar will cover topics encountered by Captains and their crews while getting underway and when docking their vessels, making the next time you prepare to leave or come back to the dock less stressful. 

Topics Include:

Situational Awareness
Spring Lines
Line Handling

Presented by: Matt Benhoff

Dollars and Sense

This session addresses practical aspects of cruising with a focus on cost-conscious cruising. Behan Gifford draws from real-life experiences sailing around the world to address common concerns and realistic aspects of cruising, to quell worries and help you spend less… so you can get out there, and cruise more more! Topics include:

  • Avoiding the last-minute cash hemorrhage on gear
  • Sensible provisioning
  • Managing local currency and money at home
  • Big-picture budgeting (including the Totem crew’s expense breakdown, year by year around the world)
  • Avoiding budget killers
  • Cruising with a pet
  • Clearing in and out of countries
  • Staying safe
  • “But I don’t speak _____ language!”
  • Achieving self-sufficiency

Presented by: Behan Gifford

Exploring MD’s Chesapeake Bay

“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 Maryland half of 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 byJohn Stefancik

Gear Up From Bow To Stern

What can you do to make your boat a blue water sailing yacht?  Pam Wall’s expert knowledge after years of circling the globe will help you learn about and understand the essentials of blue water cruising equipment.

There will be the “why and because” answers with many products, ground tackle, sails and rigging set-ups, safety equipment, below deck comfort ideas, and plain old common sense ideas that you never would have known and will become so obvious in this presentation.

Pam also shares unique, knowledgeable, and practical ideas on how to make your boat easier to handle, safer, and more fun to sail.

Class Curriculum, complete with detailed handouts, includes:

  • Layout and Equipment on Deck
  • Layout and Equipment Below Deck
  • Check Lists
  • Inspection Lists,
  • Maintenance Lists     
  • Tools to have aboard
  • Rigging
  • Tender equipment
  • Heavy Weather Sailing
  • Hurricane Preparation            
  • Downwind Pole Use and Deployment

Presented by: Pam Wall

Great Products I Bet You Don’t Know About

Pam Wall worked for West Marine for over 20 years.  During that time she was able to cruise thousands of miles on her own 39 foot sloop.  She came to know, and use, many products that very few would ever know existed.  In this seminar Pam provides a list of products that she thinks are unusual yet so important to your cruising.  Pam will take you down the list, product by product, explain what it is, tell you what it is good for, and let you know how she uses it on her own boat KANDARIK!  This is a very informative seminar that will help you find incredibly useful products that you otherwise would never know were available.

Presented by: Pam Wall

Keeping Your Relationship Afloat

A happy crew makes for a happy voyage. Venturing offshore in a small boat puts new pressures on even well-established relationships. Don’t let 24/7 start feeling like a life sentence. Learn techniques for addressing the diverse needs of a crew and dissipating tension aboard so that you can enjoy the places you visit and the unusual way of traveling there. Wendy Hinman, award winning author of Tightwads on the Loose and Sea Trials, shares the wisdom she gathered during her 7-year 34,000 mile voyage aboard her 31-foot cutter as well as years racing in all manner of boats with her husband and others. She discusses how to find balance in a small, sometimes violently rocking environment, while facing the new challenges that cruising can present.

Presented by: Wendy Hinman

Maintain your Cruising Boat

This three part course will cover all the basics of cruising boat maintenance, from bottom paints and blister prevention, to power train service and corrosion prevention, and much more.

Session 1 will focus on below the waterline issues and how to get the best out of your annual haul out.  

Session 2 will explore modern composite construction with strategies for keeping moisture out of the deck/cabin structure and gelcoat maintenance.

Session 3 will cover misc annual maintenance tasks, and electrical system safety and maintenance. 

Course topics include:

·         Hauling

·         Bottom paints

·         Blister repairs

·         Inspecting and maintaining underwater hardware

·         Preventing damage to cored hulls and decks

·         Gelcoat maintenance

·         Installing and rebidding deck hardware

·         Coating options for exterior wood

·         Teak deck maintenance

·         Annual maintenance tasks

–     Electrical system safety and maintenance

Presented by:  Steve Zimmerman

Marine Weather Forecasting

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 Marine Weather Forecasting Seminar provides attendees with an understanding of basic meteorological principles and explores the conditions favoring the development of severe weather. Animated graphics and analysis 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.

Note:  To sign up, purchase the One, Two, Three, or Four Day Package; a link will be sent where you’ll opt for this course for one of your days.

Presented byMark Thornton 

Minimizing Medical Issues
             . . .  that impact a successful cruise

This course will provide practical knowledge for dealing with medical problems that a boater will encounter. The objective is for better preparation and ability to react appropriately when the need arises. Dr. Chimiak has applied this system successfully from tertiary medical centers to operating 6 main Operating Rooms during the invasion of Iraq and has even conducted both personal and telemedicine house calls to occupants of an undersea habitat.

Dr. Chimiak serves as the medical director for the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN). He oversees thousands of calls both urgent and routine from both divers and boaters around the world who are experiencing medical problems in the most remote locations. He takes even the most complex medical problems and breaks them down to the expertise, location and the capabilities of where the patient is currently located. Simultaneously, evaluating the need for medical evacuation to higher levels of care.

Presented by: Dr. Jim Chimiak


Modern Navigation

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

Navigating the ICW

For legions of boaters, a trip down the ICW is the cruise of a lifetime. For others, it’s the first big step in a grand tour of the Islands. Whichever it is for you, “Navigating the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)” will help you do it in style. We’ll talk about how to follow the famous magenta line south without getting lost. We’ll discuss some of the route’s hidden treasures, like Marineland, Fla., and McClellenville, S.C. And we’ll discuss the best ways to negotiate the ICW’s infamous shallow areas, like Hell Gate and Lockwood’s Folly. Join lifelong cruiser Jody Argo Schroath—cruising editor at Chesapeake Bay Magazine and author of the new Atlantic Coast ICW Planning Guide—for a discussion of all facets of negotiating the ICW, from cruise planning and the best navigation apps to finding the tastiest ghost shrimp in the Carolinas.

Presented byJody Schroath

Night Cruising Demystified

Cruising at night saves time and money on coastal passages and is a necessity when offshore. Yet for many new cruisers, the prospect of sailing at night can be daunting.  This seminar gives tips and techniques for preparation, situational awareness, orientation, watch-standing, navigation, collision avoidance and training – to make night sailing a pleasure!  Covers inshore, coastal and offshore cruising.

Presented byAndy Batchelor and Lisa Batchelor Frailey of Kinetic Sailing

Offshore Energy Management & Design

Bob Williams will demonstrate the design and operational concepts of a balanced, energy management system as it pertains to daily energy consumption onboard, battery technologies for energy storage, and energy production.  

Part 1  will focus on designing your onboard systems for optimal energy efficiency and performance – most significant of these, refrigeration, desalination, inverters, autopilots.  Refrigeration, being the highest ongoing consumer, will be discussed briefly.  (Consider taking the more focused seminar on The Efficient Boat Fridge, Thursday at 10 am).   Will demonstrate the procedure for calculating daily watt hour consumption and battery bank options for sufficient energy storage through a discussion of the pros and cons of battery technologies.

Part 2  will demonstrate how to design and install a balanced energy production system.  The optimal design and use of alternators and generators will be discussed, including mounting.  Designing for the benefits and reliability of a fully sustainable wind and solar power system will be covered in detail. The most efficient charge regulation technologies will be discussed along with manual and auto staged load management.

Presented byBob Williams

Offshore Yacht Rigging

How to think about your boat’s rigging, specific to taking her ocean sailing. Design considerations, materials selection, brand recommendations, inspection tips & importantly, how to manage rigging offshore – like rigging proper downwind preventers & how to lead sheets when hove-to  . . . and what to do if it fails.

Presented by: Andy Schell


Planning a Voyage – 3 Destinations

Jimmy Cornell covers cruising trips from the US east coast to the Caribbean and back, to Europe and back, to Panama and all the way around the world. Weather systems, favourable seasons, practical and safety considerations are covered.

Presented by:  Jimmy Cornell

Pleasurable Passagemaking

 . . . . How to set up for happy passages

This session walks through tried-and-true rules for routing with safety and comfort, from technical skills like route planning to practical guidelines for making good passage choices and avoiding common pitfalls that can turn a passage from a pleasant journey to an ordeal. Recommendations for weather, routing, sailing efficiency along with softer skills for crew comfort to keep passages safe and enjoyable.

Presented by: Behan Gifford

Rules of the Road

We are all legally bound to the COLREGS, but very few recreational boaters have actually looked at the rules or even carry a copy aboard. And there’s good reason for that! The Navigation Rules are confusing, long and cumbersome. In this seminar we will simplify some of the most important and common rules by drawing upon real world experience. We’ve developed many tools to help you understand and remember these complex regulations. We’ll look at meeting, crossing and overtaking situations, vessel responsibilities (aka, who’s got the right-of-way), navigation lights, sound signals, and discuss in depth some techniques to help you make informed and safe decisions to avoid collisions in a variety of situations. Bring your notebooks!

Presented byBen Carey

Safety at Sea for Cruisers

Safety at sea is like good background music, it delivers a subliminal theme that continues to resonate. The skill set involved in safety training for cruisers is all about thoughtful decision making, the ability to solve a small problem before it evolves into big trouble.  And finally, if caught in the midst of a Mayday situation, having a plan to cope with fire, flooding or a crew washed overboard.

This session delves into specific risks and how to develop the skills to respond to these safety challenges.  Its fine tuned to the reality of short-handed cruising, and doesn’t dwell on how a crew of ten copes with a man-overboard recovery. Instead, each aspect of every emergency response takes crew size, skill level and vessel readiness into consideration and focuses on incident prevention as well as an effective response.

  • Measuring risk and the USCG red-yellow-green mindset
  • Crew skill and risk mitigation
  • The role of vessel seaworthiness
  • How to efficiently handle a crew overboard situation
  • Selecting useful safety gear
  • Ongoing safety training

Presented by

Sail Trim for Control

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 byJeff Jordan of JWorld

Selecting an Ocean Cruising Sailboat

John Neal details 20 key points to consider when purchasing a boat for extended passage making, based on his 350,000 miles and 42 years of teaching and voyaging. Drawing on his extensive and objective knowledge of boats and builders worldwide, he has helped over 10,000 sailors find their dream boats..

Presented by: John Neal

Short and Singlehanded Sailing Techniques

John and Amanda will share valuable tips for setting up your boat plus procedures and checklists addressing the following: safety, overboard prevention, watch standing, electronics for safety, sail handling, weather resources, dealing with sleep deprivation, docking, communications and storm tactics. A handout featuring key points and resources is included.

Presented by: John and Amanda Neal

Storm Survival

Survival becomes critical when storm avoidance is no longer an option. John & Amanda Neal show you the safest survival tactics including some radical new techniques based on their combined 678,000 miles and decades of Southern Ocean and Arctic experience plus surviving the Queen’s Birthday Storm. A concise 25-page text is available illustrating and detailing this seminar.

Presented by: John and Amanda Neal

 Storm Tactics – Storm Preparations

“Storms, raging winds, breaking seas, how will I cope?”  Everyone who goes to sea asks this question. Too many answer it by saying, “I’ve got the latest in weather forecasting technology, so I’ll avoid bad weather. This is wishful thinking.  You need a plan, you need the right equipment and you need practice to bring your boat and crew through heavy weather with their confidence intact. This seminar will help you create that plan and overcome the fear of strong winds. You will be shown Cape Horn tested methods to help any type of boat, classic or modern, ride out extreme weather. Even if you think running or lying-ahull are effective storm tactics for you and your crew, Lin show the reasons you still must learn to heave-to. Gear selection will be discussed along with hints so you can create a sea-anchor using gear you already have on board.

Presented by:  Lin Pardey

Successful Voyaging

Learn the factors that will contribute to the success or failure of a voyage. An overview of the main causes: choice of boat (mono or multihull), equipment, crew, finances, self-sufficiency. Based on a wide-ranging survey among a large sample of long distance sailors.

Presented by:  Jimmy Cornell

The Efficient Boat Fridge

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 byBob Williams

The Offshore Galley

Planning meals, buying provisions & cooking offshore for a happy & healthy crew! Best-practice tips from over 30,000 miles sailed personally & through lessons learned from cruisers met along the way.

Presented by:  Mia Karlsson

The Paperwork of Cruising

Head off cruising and the paperwork of your life should be less complicated, and it will if, and it is a big if, you do some careful but relatively simple planning beforehand. Lin will discuss some of the important and often overlooked documents you will need on board, starting with papers to prove you own and have the right to operate your boat. She’ll include vital passport information plus safe economical ways to transfer and carry money. Mail handling, paying bills, insurance coverage and email considerations are also covered.

Presented by:  Lin Pardey


Top 10 Cruising Destinations

Exotic locales for cruisers

Favorite places drawn from 9 years and 50,000 miles of sailing around the world include a mix of destinations to tempt the adventurous cruiser. From the classic island paradise (places that haven’t been overrun yet), to locales that seem to have stood still in time, to those which are truly unique to the cruising community (and inaccessible to almost anyone else): these highlights of top destinations will inspire wanderlust and fill out your bucket list for cruising plans.

Presented by: Behan Gifford

Top Newbie Cruiser Mistakes
                      . . . and how to avoid them

Improve your odds for a successful launch into cruising: this session will talk about decisions and habits that make the transition into cruising more challenging or cost people their cruise outright. Topics include boat selection, preparation, transitioning aboard, finances, and a review of “cruise killers:” learn how to avoid the top five reasons (besides cute grandchildren!) that people stop cruising sooner than intended.

Presented by: Behan Gifford

Weather in Motion: A Primer on Thunderstorms

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 byMark Thornton 


Weather Maps:  What’s with all those Symbols?

 Weather forecast maps use a confusing collection of symbols, meteorological shorthand, timekeeping systems, and color schemes to display current and future weather patterns. The symbols identifying high and low pressure systems, frontal boundaries, troughs, ridges, tropical cyclones and other meteorological features will be introduced. Wind forecasting graphics such as wind barbs, streamlines, and wind vectors will also be examined. 

Presented byMark Thornton


Why Knot

            Useful Knots for Boaters

Do you ever wish you could tie a bowline without even thinking about it?  Or have you wondered what would be a good knot to use for tensioning a line?  Would you like to throw and heave a line, getting it exactly where you want it to land? Do you know how to keep a line from pulling out, or how to coil a line properly so it does not tangle . . . or the safe and proper way to hang a fender?

All these seamanlike line handling, and knot tying tricks, will become as easy as pie once you attend Pam Wall’s class on Why Knot. In this hands-on class, Pam will teach you a variety of knots, tell you what they are used for, and underlie the importance of making them without thinking about it.  You will be the one making the knots and Pam will be there to explain how and why and when!

Men and women alike will appreciate this class – one comes out of it with a total feeling of empowerment from knowing what knot to use, when to use it, and how to tie it without even thinking about it!

Presented byPam Wall

Writing, Video, Blogging – how to make it pay

Can you top up your cruising kitty by writing? How do you sell that first sailing article?  What will make your voyaging blog stand out from the rest?  How do you get folks to keep watching your videos?  

Lin Pardey will share tips and ideas on what nautical readers and viewers want to know, how to insure your illustrations not only add information to your stories but attract people’s attention. She’ll show how to get noticed by editors, ways to present work that sells and ideas for expanding your markets. A discussion of what returns you can expect for your work will be included along with the pitfalls and the practicalities of adding writing, blogging, photography and video to your cruising life. Book Writing and publishing will be covered, including the realities of self-publishing. The discussion on creating sailing videos and distribution realities is based on her experience as creator and co-producer of 5 successful DVD programs. Condensed versions of these programs have appeared on PBS and are streamed on Vimeo and other platforms.

Presented by:  Lin Pardey

World Cruising Today

Join Jimmy Cornell in an overview of the current global situation. Where do cruising boats go, and what are the main concerns expressed by sailors planning to leave on a long voyage? Topics covered include type, size and number of boats, weather and tropical storms, formalities, safety, and piracy concerns.

Presented by:  Jimmy Cornell


Cruisers University

Annapolis, Maryland

"Great people, delicious food, wonderful rum punch, informative lectures and most of all the people made the event extra special and a huge success!"

"Excellent presenters discussing the topics cruisers and would-be cruisers want to hear."

"Cruiser's University is a great program taught by seasoned cruisers."