Cruisers University Courses

Advanced Diesel Diagnostics SOLD OUT

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 Marine

Anchoring – Avoiding the Art of Dragging

Part 1- PowerPoint presentation giving specifics about: sizing anchors and rodes; anchoring in mud and weeds; “surprises” about scope calculations and ratios, such as using the six, not three factors to calculate scope; why 5:1, 7:1, and 10:1 scope ratios aren’t always appropriate; shackles for High Test chain; and, hand signals, plus more. Questions are encouraged.

Part 2- PowerPoint presentation giving specifics about: The seven steps for anchoring & their associated idiosyncrasies; cautions and considerations before you drop an anchor; how hard to back down on your anchor; how not to break your windlass; marking your rode; sizing cleats; COLREGs applicable to anchoring; how to size swivels to be reliable; and deploying multiple anchors, plus more. Questions are encouraged.

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

Presented by: Rudy & Jill Sechez

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

Bluewater Passage Weather Planning

Bluewater passage planning involves a careful blend of weather, oceanography and navigation. In this seminar, we’ll review some marine weather basics, learn to interpret synoptic weather charts and text forecasts, explore the pros and cons of GRIB files, working with weather routers, getting data offshore. Finally, we’ll put it all together with a bluewater passage scenario, from climatology through route planning, Gulfstream crossing, enroute weather and observations.

Lisa is a retired Navy meteorologist and oceanographer, and brings those skills into play for practical bluewater passage planning. Lisa & Andy have made numerous offshore passages on their own sailboats, and while coaching onboard others.

  • This course is rated as an intermediate (201) to advanced (301) course

 Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing

Boating Life with Lithium

Thinking about replacing your boat battery bank?  There is a relatively new battery technology on the market that is ideal for marine applications.  Because it is over 20% more efficient at storing electrical energy it is an ideal companion for solar and wind generation systems.  What is this battery technology all about and how do I determine if it is the best alternative for my boat?  This seminar will introduce you to LiFePO4 battery technology and lead you through a process for designing a battery bank to meet your power needs and for evaluating products on the market.  You will also learn how to integrate LiFePO4 battery technology with solar systems to achieve the most efficient electrical generation and storage capability.  LiFePO4 battery systems will change the way you think about batteries for your boat.  

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

Presented by: Thomas Trimmer of Custom Marine Products

Boating Safety with Sirius Signal

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

Presented by: Steve Caldero of Sirius Signal

Catamaran Cruising – Are 2 hulls better than 1?  an all-day course

This all day course features Jeff & Jean of Two Can Sail walking the catamaran dreamer through the many stages of choosing the right catamaran for their plans. The course will cover:

Budgeting for a Catamaran – When you don’t know what you need to know, how do you get started?  We begin with an outline and a checklist to help you make a plan of action customized for you.  Beginning with a budget plan, we will discuss the costs involved in the purchase of a catamaran.  We will give you some examples of various new & used catamarans available for different budgets to help you visualize the reality of the current market.

How to avoid Catamaran buyer’s biggest mistakes – Once you have the budget in mind, the next thing you need to conside is where you plan to sail with the boat, near coastal or bluewater.  We will give you the perspectives on just what type of catamaran you need to sail in various parts of the world.  Whether you plan on cruising in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, or the South Pacific.  Explaining the different possibilities depending on where you want to go.

The top ten Features for short handed sailing – Over the last decade of catamaran sailing, Jeff and Jean will share their top ten features to look for when selecting your catamaran.  From the perspective of live aboard sailors, we discuss the various trade offs you need to decide on for the comfort and safety of sailing with just two people handling the boat.

Conquering your fears and handling emergencies at sea – We will lead a discussion of your fears, from man over board to night passages and more.  We have an open discussion with the class listing the things that may be holding you back from living the dream.  We will get fears out in the open and show you how to handle them.  With tips from handling a single-handed man overboard situation to avoiding heavy weather, we will show you how to acknowledge your fear and conquer it.

Catamaran handling tips – Docking, anchoring, and even picking up a mooring ball can be differnt on a catamaran then a monohull.  We will demonstrate how to make it easy with just two people handling the boat.  You would be surprised to find out that many self-taught sailors have been doing things the hard way, we will show you how to put a little spin on things in ways you may not have thought about of to make it easier.

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

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Coastal Tides and Tidal Currents

The tide induced rise and fall of sea level and associated currents directly affect the navigability of waterways and harbors and vessel course and speed. In combination with local winds and water depths, tidal conditions may also affect sea state, particularly in the narrow inlets prevalent along the U.S. East Coast. Analysis of the tidal conditions likely to be encountered represents an essential part of all coastal cruise plans. Planning requires an understanding of the factors governing tidal elevations and currents and the reasons why conditions in adjoining areas can differ substantially. We will review the fundamentals of tidal dynamics and the relative importance of the earth’s rotation and waterway configuration and water depths on tidal range, timing and current speeds. With this as background we will examine tidal conditions in selected estuaries and embayments, along the east coast of North America from Canada to the Caribbean, to evaluate the role of basin resonance (Long Island Sound and the Bay of Fundy), river flows (New York Harbor) and inlet morphology (Jersey coast and south) on the local tidal regime. In class hands-on exercises will examine student selected sites. A listing of primary source documents and recommended readings will be provided prior to the class.

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

Presented by:  W. Frank Bohlen

Cruising as a Couple – Making it a Dream Experience – an all-day course

Jeff & Jean from Two Can Sail will spend the day offering hints and suggestions to couples to successfully turn the cruising dream into an amazing experience for both parties.  Throughout the day, topics to be discussed will be:

The 5 Step Plan to Your Dream – This 5 step plan is a suggestion for charting your route to your cruising sailing goals.  Of course, this route highlights where Two Can Sail can help you meet milestones (or waypoints as we nautically call them) along the way.  We believe that you will find the cruising lifestyle highly rewarding and following this 5 step plan will allow you both to cruise anywhere in the world with confidence and enjoyment.

Boat & Equipment choices for Two – Look at the trade offs between Catamarans and monohull for couples.  Learn what unique qualities make a boat easy and safe for just the two of you.  In addition, get insight on what to look for when selecting the equipment list.  Along with suggestion on how much more you will need to budget to modify or add equipment to set the boat up for short handed sailing.

Yacht Maintenance, not Pink or Blue – Owners of Antigua Marine Survey & Consulting specialize in yacht selection, surveying, and outfitting bluewater sailing yachts.  Jeff & Jean combined over 60 years of sailing experience from Maine to Texas, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Both are USCG Captains and together instruct couples on the cruising life.  They will guide you on your maintenance list and how to divide the management of the modern day cruising yacht.  You will be provided with a guide to creating your own maintenance checklist so that you can remember to do the service and prevent being stuck paying for expensive repairs.

The Fear Factor – Jeff and Jean as captains have safely sailed more than 150 different model yachts of various brands and sizes on both coastal and offshore passages and pride themselves on the uneventful voyage.  They will discuss various scenarios of emergencies at sea, how making a plan of action can prevent panic and save lives.  You will learn how to map out a training plan to safely prepare you for sailing at night, open water passages and bad weather.

Couples Panel Discussion – Though questions will be fielded throughout the day, this is your opportunity to pick the brains of the experts.  We will also have couples that are past attendees of the class and are now at different stages of starting their cruising lives will provide perspectives closer to your own experience levels.

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

Presented by:  Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail

Cruising & Living in Hurricane Latitudes

None of us likes thinking about the possibility of a hurricane heading towards our boat, but it’s a reality of cruising. The good news is that weather forecasting generally gives ample warning for you to be well prepared. Having a solid plan – before a storm is bearing down on you – for where you will go and how you will prepare the boat is key.

Twice the eyewall of a hurricane has passed over Carolyn’s boat: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys in 2017 and Hurricane Marty in the Sea of Cortez in 2003. Both times, her boat suffered no damage while numerous nearby boats were lost or had major damage. After each, and numerous other storms, she has studied why some boats survived and others had catasprophic damage.

With pictures and video showing every detail, Carolyn will discuss issues such as: What should you do before hurricane season to be ready for a large storm or hurricane? How can you cruise during hurricane season? What do you do to prepare the boat once a hurricane is forecast? When should you evacuate? How do you stay safe after the storm?

Learn proven strategies for cruising in hurricane water and giving your boat its best chance in the event of a storm. Show your insurance company that you are serious about your hurricane plans: a certificate of completion will be given to all attendees.

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

Presented by: Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley

Cruising around the Bahamas

Are you preparing to cruise to the Bahamas for the first time?  Have you been there before but are curious about islands deeper in the chain or changes in the entry fees?  Do you know what to expect from grocery stores on the out islands?  How to see a doctor or find a veterinarian?  Do you know how a cruiser net works or how to find the best internet or weather forecast?  John will walk you through these questions and so many more in this fun and photo-intense course.  Get more out of your trip to the Bahamas; learn how the seasoned traveler does it!

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

Presented by:  John Herlig

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 Maine & New England

Discover some of the best cruising grounds in the world! New England and Maine in particular have hundreds of harbors and coves which can take years to explore. And lighthouses! Maine alone has 67 lighthouses. We will share photos and charts while discussing the waters, the weather and accessibility of this beautiful region. We’ll share a few sample cruising routes with essential provisioning stops, beautiful hikes, quaint villages, and picturesque anchorages. This seminar draws upon 30 years of combined sailing experience in this region aboard a variety of different vessels.

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

Presented by:  Teresa Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

Cruising Women

By and for women! This program provides two unique days of education: it’s led by Behan Gifford, who has circumnavigated with her family and extensively cruised North America’s coastline. She shares a wealth of knowledge about the cruising life, and is bringing in a range of guest speakers with additional cruising expertise – including TwoCanSail’s Jean Levine, 59°North’s Mia Karlsson, YouTube sailing celeb Megan O’Kelly, and Fit2Sail/TBG podcast’s Nica Waters.

Are you prepared to cruise? Behan and her invited guests will answer that and many other questions with understanding, patience and enthusiasm. They’ll fill in the gaps on how to successfully embark on the cruising life. This is primarily a classroom course, but also includes time aboard a docked boat to facilitate discussion of equipment, layout, and safety. You can ASK ANYTHING in this safe space!

The topics include:

  • An introduction to cruising:  with a partner, alone, or with family
  • What to expect for a day on passage, a day coastal cruising, and a day in port
  • Ways to build plan to meet skills and tasks to successfully depart
  • Demystifying equipment and jargon
  • Facing fears, breaking them down and forging ahead

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.

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

Comments from women attending previous Cruising Women seminars:

  • 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:  Behan Gifford

Designing a Cruising Solar System

Having plenty of electric power on board while cruising can make the difference between a fantastic experience or a marginal one. Solar Energy is an excellent source of electrical power for the cruising sailboat or power boat. Figuring out the size of solar panels you need and matching them up with the various accessories required for a complete high-performance system can be a daunting task. This seminar will address how to approach the design and procurement of a solar system and provide information on the current technology available.

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

Presented by: Thomas Trimmer of Custom Marine Products

Diesel Maintenance SOLD OUT

                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 Marine

DIY Electrical Survey

A marine electrical system is at the heart of every boat, and, simple or complicated, it is  based on industry standards that are designed to keep you and your family and crew safe. This presentation is full of real-life photos, diagrams and “gotchas” that will help you understand the most common electrical deficiencies found on a boat. 

Jeff Cote, and the techs at Pacific Yacht Systems, have worked on thousands of boats and it is this repetition that has made them experts in the field of marine electrical.  Jeff will share his experience and knowledge to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.  Are your batteries installed and secured properly?  Why is a battery monitor one of the most important pieces of gear on your boat?  Is your inverter/charger installed to ABYC code?  Most are not.  Is your charger sized correctly and is it set for the proper battery chemistry?  Is your alternator(s) sized and wired properly?  Is your solar array charging to maximum capacity?

Give yourself the confidence that your boat is wired safely and your electrical system is reliable.

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

Presented by: Jeff Cote of Pacific Yacht Systems

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
Spring Lines
Line Handling

  • 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 will 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 will 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

Eating Well with a Small Fridge

Let’s face it, you want enjoyable meals, not just sustenance, when you’re cruising. But how can you have fresh produce, eggs, milk, butter, cheese and everything else you love with a refrigerator that’s only a fraction the size of the one you had when living ashore?

The problem only gets worse when you realize that frequent trips to the grocery store aren’t the answer. Grocery stores may not be convenient or even exist along your planned route. You need to be able to go longer between shopping trips than you did when living in a house, not shorter.

You don’t need a larger refrigerator. You just need to use the one you have differently. This course will teach you exactly what you need to know.

Go up to three weeks between grocery trips and still have great meals with these detailed step-by-step galley-tested strategies from Carolyn Shearlock, the founder of The Boat Galley and author of The Boat Galley Cookbook.

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

Presented by: Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley

Electrical Systems – Understanding and Troubleshooting SOLD OUT

        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 class (101) which will move into an 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

Good Copy – VHF Etiquette and Use

A VHF radio seems so simple to operate: turn it on, pick up the mic, press a button, and talk.

But wait—what channel do you use to call another boat at a drawbridge? Is there really ever a reason to use low power? Do you say “Over” at the end of every sentence? How do you know if your radio is even working? How do you call a boat when you don’t know its name?

And what about your radio’s advanced features—things like automated distress calling, AIS for “seeing” boats around you, and WX channels for getting precise marine weather forecasts? Do you really know how to use all those?

BoatUS said, “Many boaters never take the time to learn how to properly use one of the most important pieces of safety gear on [their] boat: the VHF radio.”

In this fun, fast-paced class you’ll learn how to make basic VHF calls, how to choose working channels, what lingo you should avoid using, how to properly use your radio’s advanced features, and lots more.

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

Presented by:  John Herlig

Great Products You Need to 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.

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

Presented by: Pam Wall

Healthcare While Cruising

What are the most common medical problems cruisers face? How do they deal with them? Learn these tips, and how to prepare ahead of time. 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, experience with seeking out medical care in foreign countries, knowledge about managing prescriptions, and having health insurance.

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

Presented by:  Behan Gifford of SailingTotem

How to Budget for the Dream

Failing to financially plan for cruising crushes the dream. This session addresses practical aspects of the cost of cruising. Her lens is on on cost-conscious cruising, but she addresses budgets at both the ultra-frugal, the high roller, and the crews floating between. 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!

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

Presented by:  Behan Gifford of SailingTotem

Insider Secrets for the Beginner Cruiser

You’ve taken your ASA courses, you have your boat, your charts, and your cruising guides. But what about the unwritten aspects of cruising? How do you fit into the cruising community?

·       When is it okay to remove someone’s clothes from a washer in the laundromat?

·       How do you tie up at a crowded dinghy dock?

·       What do you do if someone anchors too close to you?

·       How do you make friends when people are constantly arriving and departing?

·       How do you socialize if you don’t drink alcohol? If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies?

·       What’s a boat card? Are they really necessary?

·       What’s a radio net? How could one help you?

Thirteen-year cruiser Carolyn Shearlock will discuss all of these questions and over 50 others to prepare you for a smooth transition into the cruising community.

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

Presented by: Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley

Introduction to Celestial Navigation

We’ll uncover the mysteries of celestial navigation and break it down in simple terms to get you started. Often considered a backup to electronic navigation, we’ll show you that it’s not that hard to learn and provides a far more enriching experience. We’ll cover topics such as the history of celestial navigation, the celestial sphere, using the Nautical Almanac, using the sextant, taking sun and star sights, as well as using Site Reduction Tables and plotting sheets.

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

Presented by:  Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

Let the Sun Shine In

Living aboard with Solar and Wind Energy

The class will cover:

  • History of Solar Power (short review)
  • Current State of the Art
  • Common Installation Mistakes
  • Common Misconceptions
  • Best Practices
  • Augmenting Solar with Wind
  • This course is rated as an advanced beginner to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Scott Berg of Chardonnay Boatworks

Line Handling SOLD OUT

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

Make Your Escape – Turn the Dream to a Reality

How do you lay out a plan to go cruising – and make it happen? What are the main pitfalls that prevent the hopeful from cutting docklines? Behan Gifford coaches dreamers to be cruisers, and draws from experience helping them successfully launch to local cruising or circumnavigations. Let her help you outlines steps toward a smooth departure, whether you are coastal cruising the US or making plans to sail to the South Pacific and beyond.

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

Presented by: Behan Gifford of SailingTotem

Making Money (Legally) While Cruising

Sure, you can wait until you’ve retired to head off into the sunset, but what if you want to start enjoying the cruising lifestyle NOW, before you’ve saved up enough to live on? Are there ways to make money while you’re exploring the world by boat? This course will share some realities on the legalities of working while cruising as well as some practical ideas on what you can do to add to the cruising kitty.

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

Presented by:  Nica Waters of Fit2Sail

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 SOLD OUT

             A Master Class with Mark Thornton

Coastal and offshore cruising requires many skills. Regardless of where your adventures take you, no
aspect of cruising is more important than an understanding of marine weather forecasting. Attendees at
the two-day Coastal & Offshore Marine Weather Seminar will develop an understanding of basic
weather principles and learn a wide variety of simple forecasting skills that will improve their cruise
planning and reduce the likelihood that they will be exposed to uncomfortable or hazardous weather

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.
• 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 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.

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

Navigating the Intracoastal Waterway

This presentation will include: identifying some of the important Aids to Navigation, including the specific ICW markings; tips for avoiding shoals and hazards; managing drawbridges and locks; dealing with currents and tides; intuiting water depths; plus more. Questions are encouraged.

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

Presented by: Rudy & Jill Sechez

Navigation – A Full Day Class

In an age where GPS technology is becoming increasingly reliable and affordable, the art and appreciation for traditional navigation are waning. Yet, traditional navigation, with honed skills, can be equally reliable, and in fact, it can build seamanship skills beyond a sharp sense of navigation. This seminar will cover the fundamentals of traditional navigation, some advanced topics, and it is designed to spark a love and interest in its practice and a strategy for reaping the multitude of benefits. We don’t see traditional navigation skills as a backup to electronics, but as a means to become a skilled mariner. We’ll also take a look at GPS and chart plotters to learn how to maximize their use in partnership with your new navigation skills.  

We will start with the basics, covering the essential tools, features of a chart, shipboard references, lines of position, calculating speed, triangulation, using a red sector. Then we will move into learning about traveling in the night and limited visibility, like fog. With some fundamental understanding of what to look for and how to interpret sounds, shapes, lights and targets you can feel comfortable proceeding safely in limited visibility. Some of the things we will work on include deduced reckoning, log-keeping, and danger bearings. Then in the afternoon, some of the topics we aim to cover include using tide and current tables, calculating set and drift, plotting a running fix, using the rule of 12ths, using ranges to estimate drift, calculating closest point of approach, making best use of ferry angles.

Tools: We will have navigation tools to share. But please bring a pencil and good eraser! We encourage you to bring the following tools if you have them: parallel rules, hand bearing compass, dividers, triangles, 2021 East coast tide book, Chart #1.

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

Presented by: Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

Navigation by Tablet

Navigating today you are likely to see more handheld devices in use than hardwired chartplotters.  Chartplotters maintain an important place in your suite of navigational  tools, handheld devices are  ubiquitous.  In this program we’ll cover some basic understanding of coastal piloting, how to use various devices to find a Line of Position, how to convert between magnetic north and true north, and the use of your depth finder in  finding position.  It is important to be able to read and understand a chart and access information on the tide and the currents.

Tablets bring all of this together in powerful and convenient navigation apps which will travel with you everywhere you go. We will compare several apps and look at how they can be used as a planning tool and as a navigation device. It is my  view that there is no one perfect app and you will be best served to have multiple apps. Navionics Boating Marine and Lakes  and Aqua Map Marine and Lakes with its companion Aqua Map Master  will be the primary apps discussed in detail.  It is recommended that attendees bring with them their tablets with both apps downloaded.  We can answer questions about navigating the East Coast between the Keys and Canada, however understanding the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay and the inlets on the New Jersey shore will present some of the best examples of how to use your  tablet navigation apps to plan a coastal cruise. Note: the program content is primarily built on the IOS apps, although Android apps are functionally the same.  

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

Presented by: Tom Hale

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 cruising 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 Rigging & Sails – When things go wrong out there

The condition of rigging and sails is easy to gauge when there is a rigger and sailmaker nearby. If they aren’t joining you to voyage beyond the horizon, can you assess these critical parts yourself?  This session starts by covering strengths and weaknesses of rigging and sail materials, such as the many shortcomings of stainless steel. Then we’ll discuss what to look for in rig and sail inspection, improving sail handling setup, and maintenance. Finally, how to safely manage a rig or sail problem when away from professional resources, including recommended maintenance and repair kit contents to prepare before you go.

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

Presented by:  Jamie Gifford of SailingTotem

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

Outfitting the Bluewater Cruiser

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.

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

 Presented by:  Pam Wall

Panama Posse – California to the Florida Keys

The Panama Posse is the Central America & Western Caribbean Rally with over 325 past participant vessels kicks off the seven months of the cruising season, offering 4,500 nautical miles with 500 verified anchorages and 36 Marina sponsors. Countries visited will include the US, Mexicao, Guatemala, El Salvadore, Nicaragua, Hondorus, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Belize and Cuba. Panama Posse delivers an unparalleled adventure for cruisers sailing from Southern California, the Pacific Coast of Central America, the Western Caribbean all the way to the Florida Keys. Boats range from 32 to 225 feet, they set their own schedule while enjoying all the perks of membership and the safety of their own vessels. Benefits include Fleet safety and security, along with discounted marina fees, dedicated Panama Canal agent, accurate detailed custom and immigration procedures, certified cultural land excursions, free digital ‘chartlets’, live 24/7 group support chats, route safety, provisioning and logistic seminars, weekly live calls for weather, local information, navigation hazards and of course, the making of life-long friendships. Come and hear what Dietmar has to say about your next cruising adventure!

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

 Presented by:  Dietmar Petutschnig

Plugged In – Power Cord Safety

It seems like such a simple thing when on the dock to plug the power cords in and enjoy the use of unlimited electricity, but there are many safety and systems concerns involved. How do you determine your power cord is not a fire waiting to happen, are you using the correct battery charger while on dock, should you equalize your batteries while plugged in, are the batteries receiving a flood or a trickle charge, and what is a smart charger?  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

Preparing for Your First Cruise 

You’ve bought the boat and set the date for casting off the dock lines. Now what? 

Don’t panic! In this class, we’ll talk about 

  • The importance of flexibility
  • The importance of communication
  • Staying on the learning curve
  • The “Oh shoot” factor and how to get past it
  • Money and the first year shocks: why a monthly budget isn’t the whole story
  • The trap of a schedule
  • Boat preparation
  • Practical skills for day to day life afloat (how to plan routes/passages)
  • Safety equipment/training
  • Leaving land behind (tips on paperwork, housing, communications)
  • (last but definitely NOT least!) What to look forward to
  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Nica Waters of Fit2Sail

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

Route Planning

Telling friends about dream destinations you’ll sail to is easy. Stepping up to the deep end of the pool – passage departure – is a less easy reality with stress and tough decisions. Poor route planning can lead to uncomfortable, slower than expected, and riskier passages. There are a surprising number of recent examples of beat-up or lost boats due to poor route planning. Learn how to prepare for a cruising season, pre-passage planning, and conditional changes underway. In this class we’ll cover methods, techniques, tools for a safer and more efficient trip down the coast or across an ocean.

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

Presented by: Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem

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:  Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

Safety at Sea

Safety at sea preparation is like good background music, it delivers a subliminal theme that continues to resonate. In this 2-part class we’ll spotlight real examples showing how easily unsafety at sea creeps aboard. This class offers a strong emphasis to mental preparation and in-situation management to of safety. Spotting problems before they happen, thoughtful decision making, and managing small issues before they spiral into crisis are paramount points. If a situation does go bad, your response can remedy or really complicate the issue. We’ll cover methods and procedures to managing situations of elevated risk, and up to full on crisis. From first hand stories and lessons in groundings, dismastings, medical emergencies, etc., you will leave this class with a to-do list for preparation and roles for safety and crisis management aboard.

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

Presented by: Jamie Gifford of SailingTotem


Sail Theory SOLD OUT

If you ever tried to learn the concepts of points of sail or sail theory from a textbook and got confused, you’re not alone. It is a lot to take in. but Teresa breaks it down into just three rules of thumb. Master those, and you’ve got it in the bag. The classroom theory will complement on the water experience, even if you’ve been sailing for years. It will also establish a way for partners to communicate with each other. This is a foundational course, but most experienced sailors also learn new ways to think about sail trim, communication, and wind over sail!

Topics Include: Points of sail, Bernoulli’s principle, steering with the sails aka rudderless sailing, actual and apparent wind, leeway, heave to, sailing backward, wind aloft, setting and striking, reefing.

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

Presented by:  Teresa Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Seamanship for Offshore Sailing – an all-day course

Ready to take your sailing goals to the next level? If you can sail, you can sail offshore. But to do so successfully requires proper seamanship. True seamanship is the art of combining both knowledge and practice. Only then can a sailor expect to have the kind of repeatable success on the ocean that elevates offshore sailing to — in our view — the philosophical, even spiritual realm. This full-day workshop will touch on all aspects of the ‘knowledge’ side of this equation.

Offshore, the actual ‘sailing’ of the boat is the easy part and will take the least of your time. Seamanship, then, is first and foremost about proper preparation, when 99% of the work of a successful ocean crossing is accomplished. With proper prep, all that’s left is execution. Offshore, seamanship is about learning to live aboard in constant motion, how to sleep, how to cook efficient, tasty and nutritious meals, how to maintain systems and how to live without them when (not if) they fail. It’s about learning weather forecasting tools in order to strategize not necessarily the fastest route, but the smartest and most comfortable. It’s about boat handling in a way that minimizes risks like broken fittings, chafing gear, flogging sails and worse, person-overboard situations. Most importantly, seamanship is about cultivating a mindset of risk management – of always thinking ahead proactively and being comfortable with uncertainty.

This full-day workshop will be focused on cultivating that mindset and applying it to a variety of decisions & situations you’ll encounter offshore. We’ll focus specifically on several topics and how to think about them:

  • ‘Mission critical’ systems & equipment
  • Weather forecasting tools & strategy
  • Sail selection & sail handling
  • Crew & watch rotations
  • Meal planning & cooking
  • Inspiring destinations!
  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) to intermediate (201) course

 Presented by: Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson of 59 North

Single Handed Sailing

Both Ben and Teresa have years of experience voyaging and passagemaking solo. There is a wealth of rewards with sailing solo, and both Ben and Teresa feel very strongly about it as an essential part of their development as sailors. But there is also a significant increase in risk when you head out to sea alone, on both coastal and offshore passages. This seminar discusses seamanship and safety techniques that help keep the sailor well-rested, safe, and alert at sea while sailing solo.

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

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha 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


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.

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

Presented by:  

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

Storage Strategies

No matter what size boat you have, storage is always an issue. How do you store all of your provisions for 3 months in the Bahamas? What about extra beer & wine? What do you do with multiple seasons’ clothing? You can’t live in a bathing suit all of the time! And how about your prescription medications or your furry family member’s food?

Carolyn Shearlock has lived aboard full-time over 13 years, on both a monohull and catamaran. In this course, she’ll show tested storage techniques, the compromises that have to be made, and ways to keep track of your galley provisions, first aid supplies, clothing, tools, spare parts and everything else needed for everyday life on a cruising boat.

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

Presented by: Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley

Take the Stress out of Docking SOLD OUT

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

The Gulf Stream – Structure & Strategy

An introduction for cruisers and racers to the structure and dynamics of the Gulf Stream system including consideration of the factors governing this major, North Atlantic, warm water current and its variability. Particular emphasis will be placed on the determination of Stream location, the extent to which it influences and is influenced by local weather, the presence and evolution of meanders and eddies, and the flow speeds associated with each of these features. Sources of  information detailing these features their availability afloat and ashore and utility in optimum routing efforts will be discussed and used as a basis for in-class hands-on exercises. Selected read-ahead materials will be provided to all students.

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

Presented by: W. Frank Bohlen

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 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

  • 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 – What’s in Your Toolbox?

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

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 will discuss where to find weather forecasting products covering the region and learn how to
interpret them. We will 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, do not 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 Forecasting & Routing with Gribs

GRibs (an abbreviation for gridded binary) are small, readily-available data files that contain a wealth of
weather forecasting information. Using GRibs is a great way for coastal and long-distance cruisers to
forecast the weather and plan the fastest and most comfortable route anywhere in the world. Gribs are
particularly useful when your connection to the Internet is very slow or you are limited to a slow
satellite data connection. The presentation will introduce the standard features of most grib viewers and
examine the advantages and disadvantages of using grib files 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 Me Worry!  Putting Cruising Fears to Rest

Every soon to be cruiser hears the horror stories of being out there from others about piracy, big winds, and big seas. Maybe they watch a movie with very scary scenarios creating a fear of leaving the dock. What is the myth, what is the reality? Behan Gifford separates these, and shares strategies for minimizing the fear of the unknown. Drawing from real-world cruising experience from a circumnavigation, she will put everyone’s worst fears to rest.

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

Presented by: Behan Gifford of SailingTotem





Annapolis, Maryland

"The courses were outstanding... better than I expected. It was great to have instructors that were experts in their subject. Well done!"

"Staff was outstanding to work with, helping us make the course options fit with our schedule."

"I now feel much more comfortable about being self-reliant and managing the boat's systems."