Cruisers University Courses


Advanced Diesel Diagnostics 

Many students who completed the Diesel Maintenance Master Class in the past, have requested a continuation of the course with Jim Zima to go into more detail for troubleshooting engine issues.  Well, this class is for you!  Jim Zima will use the knowledge he has taught in the Master Class and will work with each student on trying to determine where the malfunction is occurring with the engine.  The prerequisite for this class is having completed Jim’s Diesel Maintenance Master class anytime in the past 2 years.  Class Size will be restricted to 15.

  • This course is rated as an advanced (301) course

Presented by:  Jim Zima of Great Lakes Diesel


Amp it Up!  Cruising with Alternative Energy 

Bob will give a technical discussion on different solar photovoltaic(PV) and wind turbine technologies that make sustainable cruising possible.  Consideration will be given to the range of efficiencies, cost and durability of each technology. Installation examples will be shown  for both PV and wind, including mounting, maintenance, articulation and considerations for wiring.  Wind generators (turbines) will be considered as an alternative or compliment to PV, comparing efficiency, noise, durability and cost.  Installation examples are used to highlight some of the important consideration to safety and service.  Proper charge regulation for both photovoltaic cells and wind will also be covered. 

  • This course is rated as an advanced (301) course

Presented by:  Bob Williams of SALT Services, Inc.


Anchoring for a Good Night’s Sleep 

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

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Beyond the Bowline:  Essential Knots & Knot Theory

Knots and ropework can be used to fix just about everything! We’ll cover an introduction to key terminology and knot theory. We will discuss when to add an extra turn, hitch, or slippery hitch and the appropriate applications for different knots. We’ll get an intro to bends, knots, tensioning knots, purchase, slip knots and hitches, knots for lines of differing thickness, bends, and more. We will even talk about when not to use the bowline! Then, we will dive into hands-on practice. Time permitting, we will cover some essential knots and bends like: rolling hitch, figure eight, sheep shank, zeppelin bend, fisherman’s bend, round turn and two half hitches, constrictor knot, trucker’s hitch, lashing and frapping, and…yes, the bowline. We can cover more if there is time. If we run out of time, we’ll send you some helpful resources to continue learning the essentials. 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of MorseAlpha Expeditions


Cruising Couples: an Egalitarian Approach to Cruising

Take it from two USCG licensed captains with many years as professional mariners, and solo sailors who joined forces on one boat – it can be hard to be egalitarian! Its especially difficult in the maritime world where the term “blue and pink jobs” still has meaning. But, dividing the work along gender lines doesn’t always bring out the greatest potential in an individual, or the best synergy in a partnership. This seminar discusses blending the masculine and feminine roles on a boat so that both partners feel empowered to take the helm, manage the vessel, and find fulfillment in ways they never thought about.  

Topics include; confidence – too much, and too little, choosing a captain and the captain’s role, increasing trust in your partner, supporting your partner’s growth, and how to pass control to your partner. 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

 


Cruising the Eastern Caribbean

Dreaming of cruising the Eastern Caribbean, but not quite sure how to go about it?  How and when do you get there – direct offshore or a combination of ICW and island-hopping?  Should you join a Rally, buddy-boat or go it alone?  Are you and your boat ready for the passage?  If not, how do you prepare?  How and where can you provision and maintain your boat?  How can you stay in touch with friends and family? What charts and weather sources should you explore?  What are realistic itineraries to cruise the Virgin, Leeward and Windward Islands?  Lisa & Andy Batchelor have been cruising the Eastern Caribbean for the past 12 years and share their knowledge and experience to help you make your cruising dreams a reality.

  • This course is rated as intermediate (201) course

 Presented by:  Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


Diesel Engine Essentials with Amanda

Amanda Swan Neal will guide the student through six essential components of diesel engines with detailed illustrations giving you a good understanding of how engines work including troubleshooting and maintenance, based on her 43 years of ocean sailing.  

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by: Amanda Swan Neal of Mahina Expeditions

 


Diesel Maintenance 

                A Master Class with Jim Zima

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 running engine models of Yanmar 1GM10 and Universal M-25XP will be available to demonstrate parts and procedures.  

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

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

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. Take-aways include an information booklet for note taking and outlines. 

Comments from a recent student:

“After completing the Diesel Maintenance course, I now feel like I can do all my annual maintenance on my Yanmar diesel engine.  The yard savings this fall should pay for the tuition!”

  • This course is rated as an intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Jim Zima of Great Lakes Diesel


DIY Safety Survey

A sound, seaworthy, well fitted out vessel is a worthy goal, especially when it comes to lessening the likelihood of underway incidents.  In this session we will go from the bilge to masthead in search of what can go wrong and how to sort out inconsequential issue from the truly indispensable functions that keep you afloat and underway.  Structure, stability, systems and safety attributes lead the list.  This is an all inclusive session useful to those looking for a new boat, refitting an older vessel or pondering a switch from sail to power.

  • This course will start as a beginner / introductory (101) course and continue to intermediate level (201) throughout the class

Presented by: Ralph Naranjo


Docking and Line Handling for Couples 

This class addresses docking techniques and skills that can benefit every mariner but puts a special emphasis on common problems encountered by couples during the docking and line handling process.  This focus on processes required when 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
Forces
Spring Lines
Line Handling
Communication 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by: Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Doppler Radar & Satellite Imagery 

Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery are great resources for the weather-savvy mariner. This presentation will introduce common types of Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery and provide instruction in their interpretation and use. You’ll learn how Doppler 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 land-based Doppler radar, and therefore must rely on satellite imagery to monitor approaching weather systems. We’ll investigate how to use visible and infrared satellite imagery to enhance marine weather observations and forecasts.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course, you may wish to take Weather 000 first if you are completely new to weather forecasting

Presented by:  Mark Thornton of LakeErieWX


Efficient & Reliable Onboard Systems

Bob will review proven system design concepts available to cruisers today as compared to systems found on vintage vessels.  Air/water cooled refrigeration is considered essential for cruisers today and typically represents the single biggest power consumer, driving alternative energy production requirements and cost.  Different system design technologies available, costs and related trade-offs will be discussed.  Water cooled air conditioning for cruising, a related technology, will be reviewed, along with appropriate generator or inverter sizing.  Basic trouble shooting for both technologies will be discussed.  Overall interior design considerations for comfort without air-conditioning will be considered as well.  Desalination is a big game changer in range, water safety and onboard weight for today’s cruising lifestyle.  AC and DC systems will be discussed with considerations to PPM quality, GPH production, watt hours/gallon, maintenance and reliability.  Considerations for installation, service and troubleshooting will be reviewed.  All of these topics will be discussed in the context of an overall integrated systems design as it pertains to energy management and sea water distribution matrix.

  • This course is rated as an intermediate to advanced (301) course

Presented by:  Bob Williams of SALT Services, Inc.


Electrical Systems – Understanding & Troubleshooting

            A Master Class with Nigel Calder

The number one source of problems on boats large enough to have an electrical system, both power and sail, lies in these electrical systems. Tech guru Nigel Calder, author of the best-selling ‘Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual’ (now in its 4th edition, with over 300,000 copies sold) takes participants through the core design and installation requirements necessary to head off electrical systems problems, and to optimize electrical generating efficiency. There will be a hands-on segment installing cable terminals, which are critical to the reliability of electrical systems. Nigel will delve into step-by-step troubleshooting techniques, including using a multimeter, that will rapidly identify most problems should they arise. Various common electrical faults will be simulated and tracked down. Although the focus is on DC systems, Nigel will look at critical safety issues with respect to AC circuits, and measures to prevent galvanic and stray current corrosion. Not only will you leave class with a far better understanding of your electrical systems and knowing how to fix common problems, but you will also likely save the price of admission by not having to make service calls or swap out perfectly good parts in search of solutions. No previous experience is necessary, although this will be an intense two days for those with zero electrical experience! Basic wire terminal installation tools are required. These will be available for purchase for those who do not have them.

This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by: Nigel Calder


Fishing from a Slow Boat – A Cruiser’s Guide to Feeding the Crew

Everyone sees the pictures of the amazing catches of Mahi from boats traveling offshore, but how do Cruisers catch the same fish going 6 knots or slower while under sail?  Lenny will help make sense of the best fishing tackle & procedures you need to set it and forget it while cruising.  Some of the areas he will address are:  What type of fish and size is good to eat? What to do about a fishing license? How to set up simple trolling lines on the boat?  Can you fish along the ICW? How do you handle the fish once it is caught? And what tools & supplies should be in your tackle box?

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Lenny Rudow of Fishtalk Magazine


Heavy Weather Sailing

Severe weather appears, and your destination is still miles away.  Big waves and high winds make it challenging to keep your boat balanced and your crew safe.  You need a plan, you need the right equipment and you need practice to bring your boat and crew through heavy weather with everyone’s confidence intact.  This class will help you create a plan and overcome the fear of strong winds.  You will be shown Cape Horn tested methods to keep 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 & your crew, there are reasons you still must learn to heave-to.  Storm sail and gear selection will be discussed along with hints, so you can create a sea-anchor using gear you already have on board.

  • This course is rated as an intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  David Flynn of Quantum Sails


Highlights of Chesapeake Bay Cruising

Come aboard for a trip to what very well may be the finest cruising grounds in the world. Featuring protected waters and soft bottoms, and a notable diversity of town and country, the Chesapeake has so many creeks, coves, rivers and ports to discover that one could possibly spend their whole life boating them and never visit the same place twice! Learn sample cruises of both long and short duration, and find out how the history and culture of the Bay influences what you’ll see along the way.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  John Stefancik of Chesapeake Bay Magazine


Line Handling

The biggest misconception is that all you need to know is a few knots like the bowline and square knot. Too often knots are taught but line handling is neglected, resulting in hockled lines, figure-8 coils, jammed lines on cleats, rope burns, and a spaghetti mess when you need the line to run free. This course will cover the essentials in line handling, which is one of the most important and overlooked seamanship skills. We will also go over our list of essential knots, splices, and bends and when to use them.  
Topics Include: rope care, parts of a knots, bends, line handling, what makes a good knot, heaving a line, surging a line, understanding load, the fair lead, the proper direction to coil, when to trust a slippery hitch, types of rope, line care, “to flemish or not to flemish!” etc. Guaranteed even an experienced sailor will be surprised to learn something in this seminar! 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Marine Communications in the 21st Century – VHF, AIS, SSB, Cell, WiFi & Satellite

This three session class covers the range of marine communication from Hand Held VHF Radios  to installed Satellite Systems.  

Session 1 focuses on VHF Systems including Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) for short distance ship to ship and ship to shore communications less than 50 miles.  The focus will be on proper installation, licensing, and use of this critical safety equipment.

Session 2 covers Long Range High Frequency (HF) Radio communications using HF/SSB Radios for voice, email, and weather information using both Marine and Amateur Radio services. The relative advantages of Marine Session and Amateur licensing and equipment will be covered as well as email and weather downloads around the world.

Session 3 covers emerging Cellular and Satellite Systems including from consumer systems such as Iridium Go and Garmin InReach to commercial installed systems.   We will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and how they fit in to the Global Marine Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

  • This course is rated as an advanced beginner to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Scott Berg of Chardonnay Boatworks


 

Marine Weather Forecasting

             A Master Class with Mark Thornton

Coastal and off-shore cruising requires many skills. Regardless of where your adventures may take you, no aspect of cruising is more important than an understanding of marine weather forecasting. During the 2-day Marine Weather Forecasting Masters Class, you will gain an understanding of basic weather principles and learn how to use a wide variety of forecasting resources. These skills will improve your cruise planning and reduce the likelihood that you will be exposed to uncomfortable or hazardous weather conditions.

What you can expect to learn at the 2-day seminar:

  • A few basic meteorological principles.
  • How to decode the confusing symbols and meteorological shorthand on forecast graphics, regardless of your cruising grounds
  • How to prepare a detailed wave height forecast and recognize the conditions that promote dangerously high waves.
  • Why the wind behaves the way it does and how to prepare a detailed wind forecast.
  • How to predict the development and movement of low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries.
  • How to forecast the potential of thunderstorms, including when, where, and what type of storms may develop.
  • Identify the ingredients required for the formation of tropical cyclones and how to interpret the products published by the National Hurricane Center.
  • The terminology used by the National Weather Service during hazardous and severe weather events.
  • How to use Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery to help you avoid an encounter with severe or hazardous weather.
  • Where to find forecast graphics and a strategy for preparing a multi-day marine forecast.
  • The pros and cons of several of the most popular weather forecasting apps.
  • But most of all, the seminar will provide you with the skills to be self-reliant. The seminar combines classroom instruction, case studies, hands-on forecasting exercises, and live product demonstrations to create an engaging learning experience. For additional information on this class or to contact the instructor, please click here.

Comments from a recent student:  “Don’t miss the 2-day weather class.  You’ll be safer and a more confident cruiser”

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

  Presented by: Mark Thornton of Lake Erie WX


‘Miss’Perceptions – how to become or support an amazing sailor

There is no doubt that there are more male sailors, both recreational and professional, than there are female sailors. But many women wonder how they can break free from the “Miss”-perceptions that cause them to shy away from the helm. In this motivating talk, for men and women, Teresa breaks down the most common thoughts on a woman’s place in the sailing world and opens it up for men and women to enjoy side by side. 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Moving Your Business Aboard

Are you itching to go cruising but not ready to give up the business you’ve invested your time and money into?  You don’t have to wait until retirement to go cruising – all you need to do is take your business with you. In this course, we’ll cover everything from managing the harsh reality of mobile internet to time management, handling postal mail and voice communications, as well as customer support, retail fulfillment, bookkeeping, shipping, and more. Whatever your business – or whatever skills you have to build into a business – chances are, you can turn it into a cruising-friendly business with the right planning and management.  This course will also touch on the specific challenges of several types of businesses including retail, professional consulting, and software development.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Devon & Richard Anderson of Sea-Tech Systems


Navigating the ICW – North to South

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.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jody Schroath of Chesapeake Bay Magazine


Night Cruising Demystified

Cruising at night saves time and money on coastal passages and is a necessity when offshore. Yet for many 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.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

 Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


Offshore Cruising Seminar – an all day course

Self-sufficiency and preparation for your cruising adventures, whether to the Caribbean, South Pacific or the Med are the focus of this full-day seminar with John & Amanda Neal.

The Offshore Cruising Seminar features 18 dynamic topics illustrated with PowerPoint presentations that are documented in their 260-page of the 46th edition of the Offshore Cruising Companion. Topics include: Selecting and Outfitting a Boat for Offshore Cruising, Diesel Engine Maintenance, Storm Survival Tactics, Rigging & Sails, Communications, Anchoring, Piracy & Security, Managing Your Escape and Cost of Cruising. This is the 176th Offshore Seminar John and Amanda have presented to 12,000 sailors since 1976 and draws from their 732,000 miles and 89 years combined worldwide experience. Visit http://www.mahina.com/seminar.html for the list of topics and timing.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

 Presented by:  JohnAmanda Neal of Mahina Expeditions


Offshore Energy Management & Design

This class will demonstrate design concepts of a balanced, energy management system, from the primary components of energy consumption to production and storage.  

Part 1 will highlight some significant load considerations that can be designed for efficiency, most significant of these, refrigeration and desalination, which will be touched on briefly. 

Part 2 will demonstrate energy storage through a discussion of battery technologies, battery bank capacity calculations, effective charge regulation and staged load management. 

Part 3 will demonstrate the need for calculating balanced daily power production using alternators and generators but emphasize the benefits of sustainable wind and solar power. (Consider taking Amp it Up!  Cruising with Alternative Energy for a more in-depth focus on this subject).

  • This course is rated as an intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Bob Williams of SALT Services, Inc.


OMG I Bought a Boat! Now What? 

You may know how to sail, and perhaps you have chartered boats . . . but now that you own a boat you are finding that you didn’t know as much as you thought about systems and boat maintenance. Jeff & Jean explain how you can get familiar with your boat and her systems so that you can have Drama- free cruising. It’s likely that your To Do list is overwhelming. We will help you understand how to prioritize what needs to be addressed immediately and how to choose a vendor to do the work properly and cost effectively.  With tips to create a budget so you don’t run out of money before the work is finished!

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Optimize your Cruising Efficiency

Cruising efficiently involves a balance of factors including time, cost, energy consumption, comfort and safety – a unique combination for every mariner.  Learn the techniques to create the optimal balance for your vessel. You’ll save time and money, improve your quality of life, and benefit the environment too.  This seminar focuses on:

  • Efficiency of systems – power cycle, conventional and alternate energy
  • Efficiency under sail & power – reducing drag, sailing technique, voyage planning
  • Efficiency of Onboard Space & Resources

 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

 Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


Plugged In – Power Cord Safety

It seems like such a simple thing. When in a marina you plug the power cords into  a power post and enjoy the use of nearly unlimited electricity, but there are a few safety and systems concerns involved. Every year there are boat and marina fires which are attributed to faulty shore power cords. How do you determine if your power cord might be a fire hazard?  What can you do to protect your boat and your cord set? Is there a connection between shore power and the galvanic anode consumption rate?  Why is it that?  Are marinas corrosion hot spots? We’ll examine some simple  issues of galvanic corrosion and  discuss  what anodes will work well for your  boating area.  Tom Hale will help you understand the safe practices of plugging while on the dock with an in depth photo study of shore power systems.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to an intermediate (201) course

 Presented by: Tom Hale of Sail Magazine


Preparing for Your First Coastal Cruise

This course will help the first time cruiser get ready for a longer cruise than just the weekend away.  There are many areas to worry about, but Tom Hale will walk you through the stages of leaving the dock:  Planning, Preparing, and Practice!  This course will look at your boat and getting its systems ready for the extended cruise, preparing your crew for the journey as well as what to expect along the way.  He will give a few hints learned along the way of his cruising from the Chesapeake Bay, south along the ICW to Florida and north to Quebec along the St. Lawrence Seaway aboard his Trawler, Tadhana.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Tom Hale of Sail Magazine


Provisioning – From List to Last Bite

Provisioning can seem daunting. What should I get? How do I store it? Am I destined to eat Spam forever? Regardless of whether you’re planning a one-week Bay cruise or are headed across the Atlantic, food will take center stage for more of your cruise than you can imagine. To provision properly, you must account for budgetary concerns, refrigeration availability, storage space, and more. This class will teach you how to relax and provision like you’ve been doing it for years! We’ll cover:

What to provision:  What goes on the list? How much? How does meal planning fit in?

Unique challenges around provisioning for a cruise (and cooking aboard!): Storage, garbage, weather and more. 

Where and when to provision – pros and cons of farmer’s markets, your neighborhood grocery store, big box stores, and even ship chandleries, and the differences between when you might purchase non-perishable items and fresh food.

You will leave this class with a start of your own personalized provisioning list and a thorough understanding of what questions you need to answer to make the next provisioning run your best ever.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Nica Waters of Fit2Sail


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!

Topics Include: Collision avoidance, COLREGS, Lights, shapes, sound signals

  • This course is rated as an advanced beginner to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Sails & Rigging – Common issues & repairs for the cruising boat

This course is intended to give cruisers a broad lesson on how to care for your sails, preventative maintenance to avoid common problems, how to identify and repair various issues with your sails, and how to avoid and repair running rigging damage.

We will cover:

  • Preventative maintenance/ Sail Care
  • How sails work/ where they load up and how to analyze the stress/stretch on your sails
  • How to analyze sails and determine their quality and life
  • Where sails commonly fail, where they are most likely to chafe and tear, and how to avoid this
  • Common running rigging issues and fixes
  • General sail repairs and correct vs incorrect repairs
  • When to use insignia and when to hand stitch your sail repairs
  • Sun damage tear tests and corner webbing inspections
  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jerry Latell of Evolution Sails Chesapeake


Sail Trim for Performance & Safety

This presentation provides instruction on best practice sail trim for cruisers. The goal is to present the sailor with ways to deal with common cruising concerns of heel, over-powered situations, when to reef or use a Cunningham control on the main, best upwind performance and easy downwind 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.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  David Flynn of Quantum Sails


Short & Singlehanded Sailing Techniques

John and Amanda Neal 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.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  John & Amanda Neal of Mahina Expeditions


Spinnakers for Cruisers & Beginners

This course is aimed at families, cruisers, singlehanded sailors or folks thinking about buying a spinnaker or who have bought a boat that has a spinnaker but do not know how to use it.  The course will guide you through the following areas:  

  • Why fly a spinnaker?
  • Different types of spinnakers (pros & cons of each)
  • How to set up the boat for spinnaker use (equipment needed & how to run lines)
  • Basic operation (hoisting, jibing, take down for both types of spinnakers
  • Spinnaker trim – Close, running and broad reach
  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Gary Shaw of Chutescoop


Splicing 

Session 1 and 2 are the same class, just the opportunity to offer more students a chance to take this excellent course!

Traditional splicing and rigging know-how, paired with modern material knowledge, is a must have for every cruiser. This course will focus on the fundamental applications of each type of line including the most important splices to know.

We will cover:

  • 3-strand rope which is great for dock and anchor lines
  • Double braid line which is a go to for halyards and sheets
  • Dyneema/Spectra, which can be used for soft shackles, continuous loops, low stretch halyards and even as a lightweight, emergency standing rigging repair/alternative

We will cover all the basic and, time permitting, more advanced splicing techniques for all these lines. We will also go over the do’s and do-nots of ropework and splicing, and give a bunch of great tips you won’t find in a splicing book.

All lines used in the Splicing course have been donated by Latell Sails out of Deltaville, VA

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Jerry Latell & Jake Pender of Evolution Sails Chesapeake


Staying Ship Shape – When Your Boat Becomes Your Gym

Start in shape, stay in shape – the joys and pitfalls of exercise on board. Cruising is not always the most physical of lifestyles, and staying in shape can mean the difference between a successful cruise and one that ends too soon. At the same time, working out on a boat comes with its own set of challenges, among them space and weight for equipment, the lack of a nearby gym with fitness classes, and the worry about what others might think if you’re choosing to exercise on deck or on the beach. We’ll talk about overcoming these challenges (and why working out is important) as we learn about basic body exercises, good equipment (and substitutes) for use on board. By the time class is over you will have created your own personalized exercise routine for use on board – and you’ll feel confident you can do it!

We will be physically active in this class, so wear comfortable clothing you can move in.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Nica Waters of Fit2Sail


Storm Survival Tactics

Survival becomes critical when storm avoidance is no longer an option.  John & Amanda show you the safest survival tactics including some radical new techniques based on their combined 680,000 miles and decades of Southern Ocean experience plus surviving the Queen’s Birthday Storm.  A concise 25 page handout will be available illustrating and detailing the points of this seminar.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  John & Amanda Neal of Mahina Expeditions


Take the Stress out of Docking

Improve your maneuvering skills and docking technique.  This seminar explains how a boat’s individual characteristics affect maneuverability under power, and how you can use those features to your advantage.  Learn to assess the local conditions, decide upon and communicate a plan of action. Learn how to use to use spring-lines and transits to counter the effects of wind and current.  We’ll explore a number of techniques to overcome the most common docking challenges.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


The Cruising Boat – The 5 Step Plan to Purchasing It

The 5 Step Plan is a guide to becoming happy cruisers by maximizing your Dream and minimizing the Drama. Jeff & Jean will guide you through the 5 Step Plan, from what you should learn ahead of time, to creating a budget, the boat selection, a detailed look at the buying process, and then how to learn your boat after purchase.  The buying process can sometimes be complex and has several opportunities for expensive pitfalls. Jeff & Jean show you where the “stepping stones” are that allow you to navigate from Landlubber to Cruiser without making potential six figure mistakes.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Thunderstorm Primer – Weather in Motion 

Thunderstorms can quickly spoil an outing in many ways—strong winds, large waves, dangerous lightning or visibility-limiting rain. This presentation, presented by Mark Thornton of LakeErieWX, 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 resources.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course, you may wish to take Weather 000 first if you are completely new to weather forecasting

Presented by:  Mark Thornton of Lake Erie WX


Tool Time

It is time to drop the dock lines and set off on your cruising dream, but is your tool box ready to face the continuous maintenance on your boat and all of the systems?  Tom will address what tools you should have aboard (and ones most likely not necessary), what tools you should have duplicates of and what specialty tools may be needed.  Also, how do you decide the number of spare parts you should leave port with and where should it all be stored?  Tom Hale will give you an overview of what is and isn’t necessary based on his travels and his years in the marine business.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Tom Hale of Sail Magazine


Traditional Navigation – A Full Day Class 

Join world cruisers Ralph and Lenore Naranjo for “A Navigator’s Look down Long Island Sound and beyond”. The Naranjos will share basic coastal piloting and traditional navigation techniques in the morning and fill the afternoon with a blend of paper plotting skills and the most current electronic navigation alternatives. By the end of the day you’ll be shaping routes toward new landfalls near and far, and ready to plot on a paper chart just in case the lights go out. 

Morning Session:

  • Using a compass, chart and few simple plotting tools
  • Location by latitude and longitude
  • Anatomy of the Nautical Chart
  • Chart scale and symbology
  • Position plotting on a Mercator chart
  • Speed time and distance—a DR tradition
  • Working with a hand bearing compass
  • Planning and plotting a Long Island Sound summer cruise

Afternoon Session:

  • GPS and digital cartography
  • Three levels of commitment to electronic navigation
  • The role of piloting and DR in a satellite signal world
  • Interfacing the human mind and a digital solution to navigation
  • Developing a no-electrons navigator’s backup plan
  • Blending the best of both worlds
  • Plot your cruising plans for destinations near and far
  • This course will start as a beginner / introductory (101) course and continue to intermediate level (201) throughout the day

Presented by: Ralph Naranjo


Tropical Weather Forecasting 

Cruisers are naturally drawn to the tropics by the promise of shimmering blue water, warm sandy beaches, and predictable trade winds. However, the tropics are also the breeding ground for nature’s most destructive storms – tropical cyclones. The weather in the tropics can be far from relaxing.

Weather forecasting in the tropics is very different than forecasting in the mid-latitudes. Tropical Weather Forecasting begins with a review of the prevailing weather patterns in the tropics. From there, we’ll discuss where to find weather forecasting products covering the region and learn how to interpret them. We’ll also delve into resources that cover the formation, movement, and evolution of tropical cyclones (tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes). If your cruising plans include the tropics, don’t miss this introduction to tropical weather forecasting.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course, you may wish to take Weather 000 first if you are completely new to weather forecasting

Presented by:  Mark Thornton of LakeErieWX


Troubleshooting Basic Electrical Problems

This seminar is meant to assist the boat-owner identify the most common sources of onboard electrical problems found on cruising vessels.  Expedient diagnostic procedure and possible solutions will be discussed, with a focus on the use of a digital multi-meter and test leads.  Other areas to be covered are Battery Charging Systems, Charging Devices, Electrical Circuit Testing, and Ground Faults.  While DC circuits are the highest priority and will be given most focus, AC circuits will be discussed with common faults and troubleshooting techniques.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course, you may wish to take Watt’s Up  first if you are completely new to understanding electricity

Presented by:  Scott Berg of Chardonnay Boatworks

 


Watt’s Up – Electricity Simplified

The concept of electricity is both familiar and mysterious. We all know what electricity is, or at least have a rough idea, based on practical experience. Consider these points: 
We are very familiar with the electricity that flows through wires. That electricity comes from power plants, harnessing solar energy, or catching the wind.
It travels from the power plants to our houses in big cables hung high in the air or buried in the ground. Once it gets to our houses, it travels through wires through the walls until it gets to electrical outlets. From there, we plug in power cords to get the electricity into the electrical devices we depend on every day. But how do we achieve the right source of electricity on our boat.
This class will offer a broad overview of the components of electricity such as:  Amps, volts, watts, the difference between AC/DC, charge and circuits.  It will also give you an understanding of how cruisers live on DC power.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Weather Apps to Follow

There are plenty of apps devoted to marine weather observations and forecasting. Apps are a convenient and popular way to access wind & wave forecasts, marine observations, Doppler Weather Radar, and prepare the most favorable route for your passage. However not all apps are created equal. Several popular weather-related apps such as Squid Sailing, Predict Wind, Sail Flow, Windy, GR Level 3, and Radarscope will be introduced. We’ll examine the underlying data sources and discuss the positives and negatives associated with relying on apps for your cruising forecasts.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Mark Thornton of LakeErieWX


Weather 000 for Cruisers 

If you do not know the difference between High & Low Pressure, how to read a barometer, what causes wind flow, how to read the basic symbols used on weather maps, then you are not ready to take even the most basic 101 weather class.  Without this foundation of knowledge, you will be lost. This class will help you understand how weather works in lay language anyone can understand and will give you the basics needed to take classes on weather forecasting for sailing.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Website, Blogging, & Podcasts – Getting started to share your cruising journey

Used to be you could entertain your neighbors with a slide show of your vacation after you got back. These days, family and friends expect more consistent updates as you sail from spot to spot. There are no shortage of ways to share the cruising adventure! 

This course will help you decide what medium to use (Blog? Podcast? Video?), an overview of some platforms that exist currently and the pros and cons of each, and some advice on creating a well-crafted story. The focus is not on becoming the next social influencer or even on funding your cruising (though we will touch on that briefly) but on the practicalities and basics of keeping others up to date in an internet age. 

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Nica Waters of Fit2Sail


What’s in Your Med Kit?

Whether you are cruising along the ICW or heading to the Caribbean, one of the most important items on the boat is your medical kit.  Most of us can figure out the basic contents but what are the extras boaters need in the kit when you are not in your familiar home waters?  Steve Rakkar, MD has combined 35 years in medicine and his 25 years on the water, helping lay people put together an extensive medical kit to ensure all crew members can be cared for until professional help arrives.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Steve Rakkar, MD of SailingMedical.org


Winemaking in Tropical Places

There is nothing better than enjoying a nice glass of wine with friends as the sun sets while at anchor in the Caribbean, but how do you store (and afford) enough wine on your boat to make sure there is always a supply available?  What if you could make your own along your voyage with the supplies available to you? You may not find grapes in the local market but how great would mango wine taste!  Lauren Brush will walk you step by step through the simple process of basic winemaking. You’ll leave class with information about supplies, techniques and recipes so you can enjoy your own tasty wine made from local fruits, flowers and vegetables in as little as a month.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Lauren Brush


World Wide Anchoring Techniques

John and Amanda Neal detail six specific anchoring techniques necessary for the Mediterranean, tropical, high latitude and temperate cruising based on their extensive worldwide experience spanning 45 years and over 388,000 miles underway.  With the knowledge gained from this class, all detailed in a six page handout, you will be able to safely anchor anywhere in the world, avoiding the costly mistakes they have made.

  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  John & Amanda Neal of Mahina Expeditions

 



Annapolis, Maryland

"We gained a wealth of knowledge from people who have been doing what we want to do. The instructors are seasoned, knowledgeable, fun, and happy to share what they have learned over the years. We now have many new friends in the cruising community, and are looking forward to seeing them on the water at some exotic location in the world.”

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