Cruisers University Instructors

Instructors are professional, well-known, and experts in their fields.

Lisa & Andy Batchelor

Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing

Captains Andy Batchelor and Lisa Batchelor Frailey are both life-long sailors and retired military officers. Andy served in the Royal Air Force in aviation and intelligence, and Lisa served in the US Navy in aviation, meteorology and oceanography – a combination of skills which have proved very useful to sailing and passagemaking. 

They founded and operated Sail Solomons American Sailing Association (ASA) school and charter base, receiving numerous awards for ASA “Outstanding School” and “Outstanding Instructors”.  Andy and Lisa wrote ASA’s textbooks for Bareboat Cruising and Catamaran Cruising, and are the primary contributors to ASA’s Advanced Cruising and Seamanship text. 

Cruising for seven years onboard their Passport 47 ZINGARO and Outbound 46 KINETIC, Andy and Lisa have made numerous coastal passages and ocean voyages, conducting cruising and passagemaking training while living aboard in exotic locations.  They also organize and lead sailing flotillas on cruising catamarans and monohulls in the Caribbean.  Andy and Lisa are regular speakers at Cruisers’ University, and present live webinars including the ASA Marine Weather Course.

Andy and Lisa launched Kinetic Sailing to offer marine consulting, charter brokerage, instructional yacht deliveries and tailored instruction and sailing certifications with a global scope. They are USCG Captains, cruisers, instructors, analysts and business owners with a wealth of experience in the sailing industry.


Bluewater Passage Weather Planning

Optimize Your Cruising Efficiency

Night Cruising Demystified

Take the Stress out of Docking

Scott Berg of Chardonnay Boatworks

Scott Berg

Scott Berg has been sailing, racing and cruising for the past 50 years and has experience on a range of power and sailing vessels from an El Toro Pram to a 135’ Baltic Trader.  Scott is the owner of Chardonnay Boatworks, a full service marine repair and consulting company focusing on the repair and re-engineering of sail and motor yachts.  He frequently lectures on marine electrical systems, communication, electronics, and yacht systems and off shore sailing.  Scott holds multiple certifications from the ABYC and NMEA.  He is the a co-founder of the SSCA HF Radio Network (KPK), holds both commercial and amateur radio licenses, and represents recreational boaters as member of the USCG’s Global Maritime Distress & Safety System(GMDSS) Task Force. Scott is a member of the Ocean Cruising Club and the SSCA (Past President).  He holds a USCG 100T Masters license and currently lives on his 60’ Seaton Ketch, ‘Chardonnay’.


Troubleshooting Basic Electrical Problems

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

Let the Sun Shine In



Nigel Calder

Nigel Calder

Nigel is best known for his Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electrical Manual and Marine Diesel Engines.  In addition to hundreds of magazine articles, he has authored “A Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean”, “Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook: A compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors” and “How to read a Nautical Chart”.  He most recently published Shakedown Cruise, a look back at his early years cruising with his then pregnant wife and a toddler. Nigel is currently the Technical Editor or an Associate Editor of PassageMaker, Professional Boatbuilder, Sail, and Ocean Navigator magazines and a freelance consultant on marine energy issues.  He and his wife, Terrie, spend several months every year aboard their Malo 46, Nada.  Over the past 35 years, they have cruised and written about the east coast of North America and the Bahamas; the Caribbean; the U.K. and points as far north as the Faroe Islands; the Atlantic coasts of Ireland, France, Spain, and Portugal as well as Scandinavia.


Electrical Systems – Understanding & Troubleshooting  A Two Day Master Class


Steve Caldero

Boating Safety with Sirius Signal


Teresa Carey

Teresa Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

Teresa Carey is a US Coast Guard licensed captain, writer, and educator. Teresa is the co-owner of Morse Alpha Expeditions, a coastal and offshore sail-training program in the Atlantic. She has worked aboard a variety of sail and power boats like schooners, motor yachts, sailing yachts, even a lobster boat — as the captain, an educator, delivery crew, and charter-boat captain. She taught for sea programs such as Outward Bound, and has also been a Marine Science educator. Teresa lived aboard a 27ft boat and sailed the northern Atlantic solo for a few years. She has given inspiring talks, such as her 2011 TED talk or 2012 National Women’s Sailing Association Keynote Speaker Address. She is also a science journalist at Freethink, and writes for NPR, Buzzfeed, The Smithsonian, and more. 

Beyond the Bowline:  Essential Knots & Theory

Cruising Couples: an egalitarian approach to cruising

Cruising Maine & New England

Line Handling

Sail Theory

Single Handed Sailing

Traditional Navigation – an all-day class

Ben Carey

Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions

Ben Eriksen Carey is a 200 Ton US Coast Guard Master’s License, 500 ton Mate. He is co-owner of Morse Alpha Expeditions, a coastal and offshore sail-training program. He has worked aboard schooners, tugboats, sailing and motor yachts — as captain, mate, and even dishwasher. Ben has a long list of maritime certifications including safety, firefighting, medical, etc. He began his sea life as a clammer in Stonybrook Harbor, NY. Ben pursued a degree in Human Ecology from Connecticut College with a focus in marine biology. In 1992 Ben attended the Sea Education Association (SEA) program, which sparked his love for sailing. Ben is a successful independent web designer. He worked and lived aboard Elizabeth, his 28ft cutter, while chasing his girlfriend Teresa’s 27ft sloop, Daphne for several years. It worked because now they are married. He is excited to be racing to Bermuda this year with Morse Alpha Expeditions.


Beyond the Bowline:  Essential Knots & Theory

Cruising Couples: an egalitarian approach to cruising

Introduction to Celestial Navigation

Line Handling

Rules of the Road

Single Handed Sailing

Traditional Navigation – an all-day class

Jenifer & Dane Clark

Crossing the Gulfstream




Behan Gifford

Behan Gifford of SailingTotem

A cruising sabbatical turned into a decade-long circumnavigation for Behan Gifford and her family; in the 13 years they have called Totem home, she’s sailed 60,000 miles and visited 48 countries/territories from Mexico to Madagascar to Martinique. Along the way, she co-authored Voyaging with Kids, the de facto guide to cruising with children, and is passionate about helping others find joy in a life afloat.

Together with her husband, Jamie, Behan has created a unique coaching service. TRU Coaching offers customized programs helping gonna-go cruisers shift from “dreamworthy to seaworthy.” They’ve assisted nearly 300 crews down their a path to successful cruising through consulting on boat selection, transitioning aboard, lifestyle skills, big-picture planning, troubleshooting aboard, weather routing underway, and more. Their TRU crew community actively supports each other with guidance from their coaches to realize cruising goals. They have published hundreds of articles in publications including Cruising World, Yachting World, Ocean Navigator, SAIL, 48°North: learn more at


Cruising Women – 2 Day Master Class

What Me Worry! Putting Cruising Fears to Rest

Healthcare While Cruising

Make Your Escape – Turn your dream to a reality

How to Budget for the Dream

Jamie Gifford

Jamie Gifford of SailingTotem

Jamie Gifford is a recovering racing sailor. His therapy was a 10-year circumnavigation with his wife and three children on Totem, their Stevens 47. As a sail designer, he was behind sails for winners in the Americas Cup, Vendee Globe Challenge/BOC, Whitbread, and numerous other regattas; in recent years, Jamie’s focused on cruising sails, rigging, and systems for offshore and regional sailors. Experience from professional life and that gained in 100,000+ miles sailing gives him rich perspective on cruising topics.

Together with his wife Behan, Jamie has created a unique coaching service. TRU Coaching offers customized programs helping gonna-go cruisers shift from “dreamworthy to seaworthy.” They’ve assisted nearly 300 crews down their a path to successful cruising through consulting on boat selection, transitioning aboard, lifestyle skills, big-picture planning, troubleshooting aboard, weather routing underway, and more. Their TRU crew community actively supports each other with guidance from their coaches to realize cruising goals. They have published hundreds of articles in publications including Cruising World, Yachting World, Ocean Navigator, SAIL, 48°North: learn more at


Offshore Rigging & Sails -When things go wrong

Route Planning

Safety at Sea

Kerry Gonzalez – AMG Insurance International

Kerry Gonzalez with AMG Insurance International

Kerry Gonzalez, CEO & Marketing Director of AMG Insurance International, will be holding Question & Answer sessions at the end of classes on Thursday – Saturday from 4-4:30pm. She will be available to guide you through the most troublesome part of cruising – the insurance industry. AMG Insurance International is in business to change the landscape of the marine insurance industry. There is no other brokerage like them; they assist marine facilities with implementation of storm planning and development initiatives that have unparalleled impact on insurance rates. They will work with your staff to have the ‘best in class’ safety standards and training. They will review contracts for compliance and reassurance that you are ‘covered’ outside of the insurance policy. When a Named Storm is moving in, you will have preparation calls with AMG Insurance beforehand and they will play a key role with you even after a storm. Their leadership has written feature articles for Passage Maker and Waterway Guide and they are committed to entrepreneurial servitude. AMG leaders are honorary members of many Power Squadron chapters, sponsors of youth safety days on the water, volunteers with the American Red Cross for disaster support and support for FEMA when FEMA can’t respond in a timely manner. Currently under consideration for a federal committee position with the National Boating Safety Advisory Council, AMG Insurance spends
countless hours each week helping yacht owners of all sizes with a comprehensive understanding and execution of storm plans that put both the vessel and the general public in a safer place. Every single customer of AMG Insurance International receives ‘whistles for life’. A ‘whistle for life’ has a clip to connect to each life jacket and is guaranteed for life to be waterproof, rustproof and erosion proof. It is endorsed by the military and all first responders. As the only known female minority owned contractor registered with the federal government, AMG Insurance is aligned with the best partners to make a difference in the marine industry. They are licensed in almost every State in the country as well as in foreign markets. Their markets include many syndicates of Lloyds of London, where they can insure just about any marine facility, product, work or service for almost any peril that keeps you awake at night. Please consider partnering with AMG Insurance International as your ‘outsourced internal risk manager’ on the water!”

Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail

Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine

Jeff and Jean assist couples in realizing their sailing dreams with their company Two Can Sail. They work with one couple at a time to provide cruising lifestyle training including; boat shopping/purchase, surveying, and personal training aboard the couple’s boat. Jeff has been actively boating over 45 years, sailing as Captain since the age of 15. Jean has been sailing since she was12 years old on vessels ranging from sunfish to 80’ schooners. Jean is an Accredited Marine Surveyor (AMS), a member of the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and is ABYC Standards Certified. Jeff holds an Electrical/Computer Engineering degree and has worked with almost all forms of electronic navigation. Jeff is also a licensed Buyers Broker. Both Jeff and Jean are 100GT Masters, ASA Certified Sailing Instructors and together have sailed over 240 different models of sailboats including 51 models of cruising catamarans. 


Anchoring for a Good Night’s Sleep

Docking & Linehandling for Couples

OMG, I Bought a Boat!

The Cruising Boat – The 5 Step Plan on Purchasing It

Watt’s Up – Electricity Simplified

Weather 000 for Cruisers

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

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

Tom Hale

Tom Hale

Sailor, racer, cruiser, boat builder. Tom Hale grew up working in his father’s boatyard on Martha’s Vineyard, where he learned to sail, race and operate all sorts of boats at a young age.  Tom spent his career in the marine industry as a boat designer, builder, boatyard operator and he spent many years has the technical vice president of ABYC.  Tom and Cristina are now full-time cruisers on a 38-foot trawler. They cruise the US east coast from New England to the keys.  For two years they were co-leaders for the SAIL Magazine Rally down the ICW.  Tom is a frequent presenter at boat shows and cruiser rendezvous on topics of boat repair, navigation and cruising.


Coastal Tides & Currents

Navigation by Tablet

Plugged In – Power Cord Safety

Tool Time – What’s in your Toolbox?

John Herlig

John Herlig

After bringing the storied world cruiser Ave del Mar back to life, John started sailing the US east coast. In the years since, he has spent time sailing Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas from the Abacos down to Great Inagua, as well as the greater Caribbean from Guatemala to Grenada.

He is the creator of the “Handy VHF Reference” sold on Amazon as well as the online course “VHF Radios: Everything You Need To Know,” which helps new cruisers get prepared for radio basics and helps experienced boaters get more out of their radio’s advanced features.

As a published poet and magazine columnist, odds are you’ll find John writing when he isn’t on a sailboat delivery. His energetic storytelling combines with his love of sailing simple to create an entertaining and fast-paced classroom experience.


Cruising Around the Bahamas

Good Copy – VHF Use & Etiquette


Dietmar Petutschnig

Dietmar Petutschnig

Captain Dietmar, founded the Panama Posse in 2017 with the mission of providing real time data for vessels to safely navigate passages between Florida and California via the Panama Canal.   Over  580 vessels have signed up to participate over the past four years, making the Panama Posse one of the largest boat rallies in the world. 

This mostly coastal 4,500 nm route includes anchorages and marinas with discounts from Mexico and all countries down the coast of Central America to the Caribbean.   Highlights include over 500 certified anchorages and marina sponsorships in less traveled countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.  Once through the Canal, the Panama Posse is sponsored in Colombia, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize, Mexico.

The Posse has partnered with SSCA, Predict Wind, yacht agents, local chandleries, Hertz and Home Depot.

As a seasoned explorer the Panama Posse participants are encouraged to visit over 50 must-see UNESCO world heritage and historic sites along the route.

Captain Dietmar is from Austria and is a dual EU/US Citizen.   He holds a USCG 100 ton Master’s License and RYA NZ 200 ton Yachtmaster Ocean. He has additional certifications in Maritime Communications, Celestial Navigation, Diesel Engine Maintenance, Vessel Safety, Performance Cruising, Inter Coastal Navigation, Radar,  Open CPN and HAM Radio Licenses.

Captain Dietmar is also President of Good Nautical, a 501(c)3 maritime non-profit organization focused on preserving nautical knowledge and collecting over 40,000 hard to find data points around the world certified by seasoned mariners.

Panama Posse

Lenny Rudow

Lenny Rudow of FishTalk Magazine

Lenny Rudow has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored seven books. He is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk Magazine, is Electronics and Fishing Editor for BoatUS Magazine, and is a contributing editor to several other publications. His writing has resulted in multiple BWI writing contest and OWAA Excellence in Craft awards. Volunteer positions have included NMMA Innovations Award judging, serving as president of Boating Writers International, and serving as the president of the Maryland Freshwater Foundation. Rudow is an alumnus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, and The Sea School. He boats and fishes as often as possible on the Chesapeake Bay and in the Atlantic Ocean.


Fishing from a Slow Boat – A Cruisers Guide to Feeding the Crew

Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson

Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson of 59 North

Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson founded 59 North Sailing in 2015 as a way to ‘share the wisdom of the high seas with those wise enough to seek it out.’ Since then they’ve sailed over 50,000 miles with paying crew on ISBJORN, their classic Swan 48, reaching as far as 80º North in the High Arctic, to the tropical climes of the Caribbean. In 2019, 59 North added a Swan 59 to the fleet, ICEBEAR and now with their core team of professional sailors, take over 100 people per year offshore, sailing each boat over 10,000 miles a season. 

Their next big challenge is preparing ICEBEAR for the round-the-world Ocean Globe Race in 2023, which follows the Southern Ocean route of the original Whitbread Race, and will be sailed in ‘retro’ style using only traditional equipment and celestial navigation techniques. Andy writes regularly for SAIL Magazine & Yachting World, and hosts the popular sailing podcast called ON THE WIND, which since 2013 has published over 320 interviews with sailors from around the world. In the fall of 2020 they launched The QUARTERDECK, an online membership platform that ‘dives deep on the art of seamanship’, already with over 250 members all dedicated to discussing and learning seamanship for ocean sailing. Learn more at


Seamanship for Offshore Sailing – an all-day course

Rudy & Jill Sechez

Rudy & Jill Sechez of Anchoring Consultants

Live-aboards and cruisers for over 20 years, Rudy and Jill Sechez built both of their cruising boats, first a 36’ wood cutter, and then their current 34’ sail-assisted trawler Briney Bug, their own design, also of wood.

In addition to their years of cruising, their experiences have included years of repairing and delivering boats, and installing and maintaining marine engines, as well as other systems. They have been contributors to PassageMaker, Good Old Boat, SAIL, Blue Water Sailing, as well as other magazines, and have authored the book “ANCHORING- A Ground Tackler’s Apprentice”.

As anchoring consultants,, they focus on helping boaters improve their gear and bolster their skills.


Anchoring – Avoid the Art of Dragging

Navigating the Intracoastal Waterway – tricks & secrets to make the journey a fun one!


Gary Shaw

Gary Shaw

Gary began sailing in 1964 and purchased his first sailboat in 1972.  He progressed upward in size to his present boat, a Seidelmann 37 which he still owns and sails.  He had done extensive cruising in the Chesapeake Bay for about 20 years.   Circumnavigated the Delmarva Peninsula and has crewed on a number of boats being transited between the Chesapeake Bay area and Rhode Island.  He entered three Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean races and won one.  Gary served as a volunteer sailing coach for the US Naval Academy Varsity Off Shore Sailing Team (VOST) for 5 years.  Served as assistant Officer in Charge aboard a Navy 44 on the return trip from Bermuda to Annapolis.

Gary is the inventor and manufacturer of the Chutescoop Spinnaker control system which has been marketed since 1980.


Spinnakers for Cruisers & Beginners

Carolyn Shearlock

Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley

You may know Carolyn Shearlock from The Boat Galley, her website and podcast that cover all aspects of living aboard and cruising. She’s lived aboard and cruised full-time for thirteen years, in two different stints aboard two very different boats – the first, a bluewater Tayana 37 monohull and now on a smaller, lighter, coastal-cruising Gemini catamaran.

Carolyn is the author of The Boat Galley Cookbook and Storing Food Without Refrigeration. Always cruising in hurricane waters, Carolyn’s boats have twice survived direct hits.

She’ll be leading four sessions: how to store (and find!) everything you need on a boat; the ways of the cruiser community; provisioning and food storage with a tiny boat refrigerator; and hurricane prep. Carolyn’s talks are filled with straightforward tips and how-to’s that you can put to use immediately.


Cruising & Living in Hurricane Latitudes

Eating Well with a Small Fridge

Secrets for the Beginner Cruiser

Storage Strategies When Your Boat is Your Home

Mark Thornton of LakeErieWX

Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton has been sailing for more than 25 years and currently owns Osprey, a C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences cruising and racing on the Great Lakes. Mark is a 2006 graduate of the Penn State University Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting, a two-year program that develops skills in general, tropical, and severe weather forecasting. He is the president of LakeErieWX LLC, a company dedicated to providing marine weather education and forecasting resources for recreational boaters ( Mark publishes a marine weather blog and teaches basic forecasting seminars to recreational boaters during the off-season. He has served as the Race Meteorologist for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Race to Mackinac since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.


Marine Weather Forecasting – 2 Day Master Class

Doppler Weather Radar & Satellite Imagery

Tropical Weather Forecasting

Thunderstorm Primer – Weather in Motion

Weather Forecasting & Routing with Gribs


Thomas Trimmer

Tom Trimmer of Custom Marine Products

Tom Trimmer is the founder and owner of Custom Marine Products, a company specializing in marine solar systems for the cruising sailor. Mr. Trimmer has been a cruising sailor for more than 20 years and understands that the number one challenge to comfortable cruising is the availability of electrical power. His company has helped many sailors analyze their power requirements, evaluate solar products available and design systems to meet their needs. A graduate mechanical/electrical engineer from the University of Michigan, Mr. Trimmer has been involved in the marine industry for over 20 years. He and his wife cruise the Great Lakes for six weeks each summer testing and evaluating solar equipment. (Somebody has to do it.)


Boating Life with Lithium

Designing a Cruising Solar System

Nica Waters of

Nica Waters

Nica Waters, one of the admin team for the Facebook group “Women Who Sail”, has been cruising on and off for the past 25 years. She and her husband, Jeremy, have owned and sailed their Bristol Channel Cutter, Calypso, since 1992. They have done 2 successful cruises (one before kids and one with) and are in the countdown phase for the next one. A longtime teacher and certified personal trainer, she’s passionate about the topics of provisioning, food, wellness, and how they all come together on cruising boats.

In addition to a weekly food series on YouTube called Tasty Thursday that she produced for 6 years starting in 2012, Nica regularly blogs on her website,, and podcasts with Carolyn Shearlock on The Boat Galley Podcast. The podcast, found wherever you listen to podcasts, is designed to help you turn your cruising dreams into reality, and features stories, tips, and advice on negotiating all stages of the cruising life. We welcome subscribers and listeners!

You can find out more about Nica and all she does on her website,


Making Money (Legally) While Cruising

Provisioning – From List to Last Bite

Preparing for Your First Cruise

Staying Ship Shape – When Your Boat Becomes Your Gym

Website, Blogging, & Podcasts – The beginning steps to share your cruising journey

Jim Zima of Great Lake Diesel

Jim Zima

Jim Zima is the owner of Great Lakes Diesel (GLD) in Huron, Ohio. In addition to maintaining, repairing, and re-powering marine diesels Jim teaches numerous seminars on diesel engines. GLD is the largest certified Yanmar dealer on Lake Erie, and is a certified dealer for Westerbeke, Universal, and Kubota.

Jim was just six weeks old when he first went sailing.  Since then he has enjoyed club racing, the IOR Lake Erie Circuit, and several Port Huron to Mackinaw races.  Jim got his diesel training at the Ohio Diesel Technical Institute, and from there worked in both Texas and Ohio as a truck and engine re-builder and a fleet manager. Working out of his garage on a part-time basis in 1988, Jim began rebuilding the diesel engines for the many Tartan Ten fleets found along Lake Erie.  One thing lead to another and a decade latter Jim started Great Lakes Diesel Incorporated. From a garage cluttered with engines and parts to his current multi-building facility on the Huron River, Jim Zima has built a reputation as a solid mechanic, businessman, and instructor along Ohio’s North Coast.


Diesel Maintenance – 2 Day Master Class

Advanced Diesel Diagnostics – a 3 part class


Annapolis, Maryland

"My wife and I met a lot of wonderful people who, like us, were focused on developing their skills and knowledge base as cruisers."

"I had high expectations for Cruisers University, and every single course far exceeded my expectations!"

"Presentation on Marine Weather was outstanding!"