Cruisers University Instructors

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

Devon & Richard Anderson

Devon & Richard Anderson from Sea-Tech

Richard and Devon own Sea-Tech Systems, providing communications equipment, airtime, services, and support for cruisers, and also Skepsis Technologies, a technology and bookkeeping business for solo and small law firms.  For the last year and a half, Richard and Devon have been successfully operating their businesses from S/V Mobert as they travel, and now they’re helping other cruisers do the same.
Their backgrounds are perfectly suited to helping business owners take their businesses mobile.  Richard has 20 years of IT experience working with media, entertainment, gaming, software development, aerospace, healthcare, travel, and web companies in the PacNW both internally and as a manufacturer’s pre-sales engineer.  Devon is an attorney with over 13 years of experience helping businesses succeed.  Their sailing resume is equally impressive, with over 6000 miles of family cruising with their two kids aboard S/V Mobert, their 45-ft Jeanneau.  In addition to their significant cruising experience, Richard holds USCG 50T Masters, OUPV, and Aux Sail licenses.


Moving Your Business Aboard

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.  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, electronics, and yacht systems and off shore sailing.  He is a current member and past president of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), he also holds a USCG 100T Masters license and currently lives on his 60’ Seaton Ketch, ‘Chardonnay’.


Troubleshooting Basic Electrical Problems

Maritime Communications – an Introduction

Lauren Brush

Lauren Brush

Lauren Brush was introduced to sailing only a few years ago. She crewed on an offshore passage and volunteered as a line-handler through the Panama Canal to test her compatibility with the cruising life style and returned home convinced. Now she and her husband are actively preparing a 1988 Bristol sloop and themselves to go adventuring. Lauren has attended LOTS of Cruisers University classes on maintaining systems, sailing techniques and what it takes to be self-sufficient on a big ocean. She realized it’s less overwhelming when she can incorporate aspects of her land-based life. She enjoys leveraging skills from her work in water quality assurance, web design and risk management into the boat projects. And she has lots of creative plans to ensure that living on a boat doesn’t mean giving up her interests in painting, crafts, cooking and of course wine!


Winemaking in Tropical Places

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.


Marine Electrical Systems – Master Class

Teresa Carey & Ben Carey

Teresa & Ben Carey

Teresa is a US Coast Guard licensed captain, writer, and educator. She has worked aboard a variety of sailboats from dinghies to schooners as 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 met her husband when she was sailing solo for a few years between Maine and the Bahamas. She has given inspiring talks, such as her 2011 TED talk or 2012 National Women’s Sailing Association Keynote Speaker Address. She now works as a science writer for the National Institute of Health and is the co-owner of Morse Alpha Expeditions, a coastal and offshore sail-training program in the Atlantic. 

Ben 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 followed with many professional experiences aboard schooners and a 200 Ton US Coast Guard Master’s License, 500 ton Mate, and a long list of other certifications. Ben is a successful independent web designer. He worked and lived aboard Elizabeth his 28ft cutter, while traveling alongside Teresa’s 27ft sloop, Daphne for several years. He now works on tugboats and is the co-owner of Morse Alpha Expeditions, a coastal and offshore sail-training program in the Atlantic.


Line Handling, Knots & Bends

Rules of the Road

Single Handed Sailing Tips & Techniques


Annie Dike

Annie Dike of

Annie Dike is a sailor, voyager, writer, speaker, drinker and swearer – in that order.  She has been blogging and vlogging at for six years now documenting her adventures (and more often misadventures) as she and her boyfriend, Phillip, cruised the west coast of Florida, the Florida Keys, Cuba, and the Bahamas on their 1985 Niagara 35, as well as their delivery of 2 catamarans across the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to France in 2016 and France to the BVI’s in 2019.  Pam Wall encouraged Annie to ‘get out there’ as soon as possible and helped Annie on her path to the joys of sailing her own, refitted boat to the places that Pam suggested.  Once again, Cruisers University introduces a student who is now an instructor!


Old Salts, New Systems:  How to Rig an Older Boat for Comfortable Cruising (taught with Pam Wall)

David Flynn of Quantum Sails

David Flynn  

David Flynn has a unique combination of sail making, sailing, and teaching experience. A sail maker with experience in all aspects of design, he provides a balanced perspective, having worked with north, Horizon, and Doyle during his thirty-year career. He joined Quantum during its formation in 1996.

David’s racing background covers a broad spectrum, from dinghies and offshore one-designs to custom big boats. He has participated in winning programs at every level, including multiple national, North American, and World championships. David has also found time to win the trans-Atlantic, Fastnet, Bermuda, and several other major open ocean events.

For the last two decades his principle focus has been offshore one design. He recently started working as the head of the special projects group, tasked with coordinating design, engineering, and project management for many of Quantum’s big boat cruising programs.

An in-demand speed doctor, David has an exceptional eye for sail shape and a feel for the subtle alterations of trim and tuning that make boats go. He has been instrumental in developing Quantum tuning guides and systems for many of the leading offshore one design classes, including the one Design 48, farr 30, J-24, J-30, J-105, farr 40, one Design 35, and swan 45.


Heavy Weather Sailing

Sail Trim for Performance & Safety

Behan Gifford of SailingTotem

Behan Gifford

Behan Gifford has sailed more than 50,000 nautical miles while circumnavigating with her husband, Jamie, and their three children. She has visited 48 countries/territories from Mexico to Madagascar to Martinique while raising a family during the last ten years and continues cruising in the eastern Pacific. Behan is a co-author of Voyaging with Kids, the de facto guide to cruising with children; she and Jamie provide coach/mentor services to help people realize their cruising dreams. She maintains a blog for SAIL magazine and chronicles her family’s adventures at


Cruising Women – 2 Day Master Class

Cruising on a Budget – Silver, Gold, & Platinum

Top Newbie Cruising Mistakes

What Me Worry? Putting Your Cruising Fears to Rest

Jamie Gifford of SailingTotem

Jamie Gifford

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.


Safety at Sea

Splicing SOLD OUT

Route Planning

Offshore Rigging & Sails – When Things Go Wrong

Kerry Gonzalez

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 Monday – Wednesday 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 170 different models of sailboats. 


Anchoring for a Good Night’s Sleep

The Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean

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

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.  


Tool Time

Plugged In – Power Cord Safety & Corrosion Concerns

Preparing for Your First Coastal Cruise

Ralph Naranjo

Ralph Naranjo

Ralph Naranjo is the Technical Editor of Practical Sailor Magazine, the author of The Art of Seamanship and a regular contributor to Cruising World and other boating magazines. During his ten-years as the Vanderstar Chair at the U. S. Naval Academy, he coordinated safety and seamanship training for midshipman and played a key role in the design development of the sail training sloops purchased by the Navy.

He and his wife Lenore and their two young children Tara and Eric spent five years sailing around the world, and exploring south seas landfalls using a sextant and traditional paper charts. In the 1980’s, they ran a full-service boatyard. And during the past 17 years, Ralph has moderated U. S. Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars, and served as a past Chairman of U. S. Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee. 

Currently he is an adjunct lecturer at the Annapolis School of Seamanship. Ralph teaches traditional navigational techniques, celestial navigation and has written and lectured extensively about the value of blending new gadgets and tried and proven traditional navigation techniques.


Traditional Navigation – An all day class

Bob Osborn

Bob Osborn of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association

Bob is an active seasonal cruiser having covered the waters from eastern Maine south to the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Cuba and most recently the eastern Caribbean as far south as the Grenadines.  Bob is a member of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, Ocean Cruising Club, and serves on the board of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association and is the Antigua Port Officer for the fall Salty Dawg Rally.  SDSA runs the largest rally to the Caribbean with nearly 100 boats participating every fall.  Bob and his wife, Brenda, split their time between their home in Essex, CT and aboard Pandora, their 47′ Roger Martin designed Aeordyne.  Bob is the co-founder and organizer of a cruiser’s event in Essex, CT, the Open Blue Water Boat Weekend, in its 7th year.


Rally Ho! – Is a Rally Your Best Option to go South?

Lin Pardey

Lin Pardey

Lin Pardey wrote her first sailing article three years after she started voyaging with Larry on board their 24 foot self-built, engine-free cutter Seraffyn.  During the 47 years since then, literally hundreds of her articles have appeared in magazines around the world.  Working alongside Larry, she created 5 successful DVD programs, condensed versions of which have appeared on PBS.  She has written 13 books, which have been translated into 6 different languages and sold more than 350,000 copies.  Major New York publishers produced the first 7 of her books.  Eighteen years ago, she began publishing her own and other sailor’s titles.  Her latest book project, a vastly expanded and revised third edition of the Self Sufficient Sailor, will be launched this fall at the United States Sailboat Show.  Lin is currently out voyaging again and writing as she sails the global waters.


Writing, Videos & Blogging – How can you make it pay!

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

Jody Schroath of The Chesapeake Magazine

Jody Schroath

Jody Argo Schroath has been an editor at Chesapeake Bay Magazine for the past 10 years, exploring and writing about the extraordinary estuary that is the Chesapeake Bay. She is also a veteran of nearly a dozen passages along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and author of the new Atlantic Coast ICW Planning Guide, published by Chesapeake Bay Media. A lifelong boater in both sail and power boats, she currently cruises out of Annapolis aboard Moment of Zen, a 36-foot Endeavour sailing catamaran, with her two-dog crew, Bindi and Cowboy Bob.


Navigating the ICW – North to South

Rudy & Jill Sechez of Trawler Training & Anchoring Consultants

Jill & Rudy Sechez

Live-aboards and cruisers, Rudy and Jill have 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. Briney Bug has gained some notoriety, having been featured in PassageMaker magazine and on the Trawlers & Trawlering website. In addition to their 20+ years of cruising and anchoring, their experiences have included years of repairing and delivering boats, and installing and maintaining marine engines and other systems. Through the years, they have been contributors to magazines such as PassageMaker, Good Old Boat, SAIL, and Blue Water Sailing.

 Rudy and Jill are Trawler Training and Anchoring Consultants. They have written a book, “ANCHORINGA Ground Tackler’s Apprentice”, published through Waterway Guide Media, LLC.


The Art of Anchoring – Tackle, Tips & Tactics

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 of The Boat Galley

Carolyn Shearlock

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 twelve years, in two different stints aboard two very different boats – the first, a heavy bluewater Tayana 37 monohull and now on a smaller, lighter, coastal-cruising Gemini catamaran.

She’ll be leading three sessions: everything you need to know about becoming part of the cruising community; techniques for storing food without refrigeration; and her favorite: hurricane prep. Her boats have survived two direct hits by hurricanes and she has always cruised in hurricane waters. Carolyn’s talks are filled with straightforward tips and how-to’s that you can put to use immediately.


Cruising & Living in Hurricane Latitudes

Storing Food with a Tiny Fridge

Cruising Secrets:  The Insider’s Guide to Walking the Walk

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 SOLD OUT

Tropical Weather Forecasting

Thunderstorm Primer – Weather in Motion

Pam Wall at the helm of Kandarik

Pam Wall

Pam Wall and her husband, Andy, built their own Freya 39 sloop. After taking their two small children around the world on their boat KANDARIK, Pam worked at the West Marine store in Fort Lauderdale for several years. Pam started the Outfitting Program at West Marine where she helped fellow sailors get fully prepared for offshore cruising. Pam’s job at West Marine not only helped cruisers have the right equipment for blue water sailing, but she was also a source of any information on the cruising lifestyle. West Marine sent Pam to many of the boat shows to give seminars on sailing equipment, the cruising lifestyle, and empowering women to really like sailing. She is now a Keynote Speaker at numerous boat shows across the country and is an active Cruising & Sailing Consultant. Pam has also been a sailing instructor at the Bitter End Yacht Clubs’ annual event “Women on the Water Week”.


Cruising Women – 2 Day Master Class

Bahamas Bound – The Abacos

Great Products You Need To Know About

Old Salts, New Systems:  How to Rig an Older Boat for Comfortable Cruising (taught with Annie Dike)

Nica Waters of Fit2Sail

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, 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’s produced since 2012, Nica podcasts with Carolyn Shearlock and Lin Pardey 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,


Provisioning – From List to Last Bite

Staying Ship Shape – When Your Boat Becomes Your Gym

Bob Williams of SALT Services, Inc

Bob Williams

Bob Williams is the founder and an owner of SALT (Sea-Air-Land Technologies) Service Inc. an organization dedicated to helping clients meet their energy management needs whether in marine or land-based environments. Originally focused on providing yacht builders in the US, Europe and Asia with fully engineered systems, Bob and his company also address the needs of aftermarket customers, providing them access to energy-related solutions configured for minimum maintenance and maximum efficiency.

Bob is himself an experienced cruiser, holding a 100-Ton USCG license, a licensed private pilot, a state-certified Solar Contractor, and an EPA Section 608 HVAC-certified technician – Type 3. He and his company are experienced in systems as varied as refrigeration, desalination and electrical power management for cruising yachts and off-grid homes in addition to systems large enough to support US embassy operations. For over 30 years SALT has also helped design power solutions in developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America.


Amp It Up! Cruising with Alternative Energy

Offshore Energy Management & Design

The Efficient & Reliable Onboard Systems


Steve Zimmerman of Zimmerman Marina

Steve Zimmerman

Steve Zimmerman is the president and founder of Zimmerman Marine, a company specializing in boat repairs, refits, and maintenance. Started in 1981, ZMI now operates five boatyards in Maryland, Virginia,  North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition, the yard has built a number of custom cruising boats in sail and power. 

Steve writes a column for PassageMaker Magazine and is one of the featured presenters at TrawlerFest events around the country. He has cruised over 35,000 miles along the East coast from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas, the Great Lakes, the inside passage to Alaska, and has made over fifty delivery trips. 


Maintaining Your Boat – Above & Below the Waterline

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 SOLD OUT

Advanced Diesel Diagnostics SOLD OUT

Maintain Your Diesel Engine 101

Annapolis, Maryland

"Top-notch lecturers with outstanding reputation in the cruising community."

"It was so well done from the lectures, to the delicious breakfasts and lunches to your wonderful cocktail hours."

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