Cruisers University Courses Fall 2022

Advanced Diesel Diagnostics – An all-day seminar

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


Advanced Internet for Entrepreneurs, Remote Workers & Digital Nomads

Are you a business owner, entrepreneur, remote worker, or digital nomad looking for more than just weather and email?  Have specific needs for your onboard connectivity in order to maintain or operate a business in your floating office?  This seminar is for you!  Emphasis on advanced cellular and satellite internet for boats that meets the needs of business applications from conference calling and email to video conferencing and more.

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

Presented by: Richard Anderson of Sea-Tech


A Well Fed Crew

A well fed crew is a happy crew! Learn adapt from a kitchen to a galley, strategies to provision for passages (or remote destinations), what it’s like grocery shopping in foreign locales, and how to plan for meals when familiar foods and brands may be unavailable – because a well-fed crew is a happy crew!

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

Presented by:  Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem


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


Bahamas – Part 1:  Successfully Crossing, Clearing In, and Adapting

Are you preparing to cruise to the Bahamas for the first time? How do you properly calculate a Gulf Stream offset? Do you know what to expect from grocery stores?  How to see a doctor or find a veterinarian?  Do you know how a cruiser networks 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-intensive course.  Make your first Bahamas trip a success by learning how the seasoned traveler does it.

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

Presented by:  John Herlig of SeabirdPodcast and The Boat Galley Podcasts


Bahamas – Part 2: Out-island Points of Interest & Navigation

You made it to the Bahamas. Now there are over 700 islands waiting for you to decide what, exactly, you should do.

Are the Abacos worth it, or are they too shallow? Is it worth it to press on all the way to Long Island? Conception? What’s the deal with Current Cut, Fleeming Channel, Devil’s Backbone, and the Whale? Can you anchor inside Hogsty Reef? Does anyone actually stop at Great Inagua? What are the Raggeds all about?

Get overviews on islands and island chains as well as cuts, inlets, and channels, and become more confident in your plan with a deeper dive into cruising around the Bahamas with veteran cruiser John Herlig.

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

Presented by: John Herlig of SeabirdPodcast and The Boat Galley Podcasts


Becoming A Cruiser – an all-day seminar

Long-time cruisers help you break down the massive project which is “how to go cruising.” Join Behan and Jamie Gifford for a full-day seminar that helps YOU learn how to become a cruiser. Whether you plan to sail coastally, head offshore, or circumnavigate like the Giffords – they turn the overwhelming into the addressable, breaking down the most important areas to prepare and the tasks to help successfully launch. They’ve coached hundreds of hopeful cruisers to successfully realize their cruising dreams, and can’t wait to help you achieve yours. This course will talk about choosing the right boat, the economics of cruising, what you’ll want to learn about systems on board for maintaining and troubleshooting, the foundations of successful voyaging – for nearshore and offshore cruising.

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

Presented by:  Jamie & Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem


Being Safe: Safety at Sea Begins Long Before an Emergency Happens

                An all-day seminar

Long before dealing with a toppled mast or recovering a person overboard become real emergencies, every day decisions increase or decrease the likelihood of having an onboard crisis. In this all-day course, Jamie spotlights real examples of how easily unsafety at sea creeps onboard, discusses how to identify them on your own boat, and recommends how to address these factors when they arise. Big problems start small, when potential risk isn’t recognized.

The first half of this class brings together a framework for being safe. This includes understanding variability of human response under stress, assessing risks, containing problems, using communication skills, and five unique procedural solutions. In the second half we’ll cover causes, resolution, and prevention of most common and worrisome safety at sea issues.

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

Presented by:  Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem


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, LiFePO4, that is ideal for marine applications.  Because it is over 20% more efficient at storing electrical energy, half the weight of lead acid, double the usable storage capacity of lead acid supporting over 3,000 charge cycles, 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 and existing boat charging 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


Building Your Cruising Confidence – You’ve Got This

Most people have the ability and knowledge to go cruising, but often the difference between those who cruise and those who don’t is confidence. With the knowledge you will gain in this seminar you can avoid many of the common mistakes sailors make.   You’ll learn what the experienced sailors do and how they do it.   The goal is to build confidence so when you leave this seminar you can say to yourself  … “I’ve got this!”

During the “Cruisers Confidence Building” seminar, we will touch on some of the more essential aspects of successful cruising.  Among the subjects that we will discuss are: 

  • Weather – two things to watch
  • Line and sail handling – 4 need to knows
  • Navigation & Piloting – three mistakes to avoid
  • Anchoring & Mooring – how the pros do it
  • Docking & Tying up – try this!
  • Bridges & Locks – defense now!
  • Diesel Engines – 2 things = 95% of troubles
  • Security & safety –
  • Food & Provisioning – keep it simple
  • Boat comfort & Gadgets – make it nice

Attending this seminar will build your self confidence, which may be all that’s needed to make your cruising more enjoyable and less unnerving for you, your partner and crew.

“I think most people have the ability and knowledge to go cruising, but they have doubts and fears that worry them.  What I hope to do is give them knowledge which in turn will build their confidence out on the water. ”

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

Presented by:  Bill Cullen


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

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


Comprehensive Hurricane Preparation

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 catastrophic 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


Country Hopping with Ease

Wondering what it’s like checking into foreign countries, and how to prepare? Circumnavigator Behan Gifford has cleared in and out of countries scores of times while circumnavigating and will break it down! Includes what documents to have aboard, how to deal with corruption or bribery, and how to prepare for your arrival into a new country.

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

Presented by:  Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem


Creative Storage Strategies on a Boat

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


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

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


Celestial Navigation – An Introduction

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


Cruising Down (or Up) the ICW

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

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

Presented by: Jody Schroath of Chesapeake Bay Magazine


 

Cruising Secrets for the First Time 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? What about those first-day-of-school nerves?

  • 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?
  • What’s a boat card? Are they really necessary?
  • Is it okay to remove someone’s clothes from a washer in the laundromat?
  • How do you socialize if you don’t drink alcohol? If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies?
  • What’s a radio net? How could one help you?

Let cruising veteran John Herlig walk you through all these and many more in this casual introduction to the ins, outs, what’s, why’s, and how’s of the cruising community.

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

Presented by: John Herlig of Seabird Podcast and The Boat Galley Podcasts


Designing & Installing a Marine 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 is divided into two back-to-back sessions.  The first session will address the basics of marine solar technology, how to approach the design, evaluation and procurement of a solar system and provide information on the current technology available.  The second session will address how to install a solar system on your boat including mounting the solar panels, wiring the system, programming the solar controllers and troubleshooting the system.  Upwards of 80% of our customers install their own solar systems with occasional assistance from our support team.

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

Presented by: Thomas Trimmer of Custom Marine Products


Diesel Maintenance 

                A Master Class with Jim Zima

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

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

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

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

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

The Diesel Maintenance program is part of the Master Cruisers Series, a 4-day Tuition Package. Students will choose electives for the additional two days. Take-aways include an information booklet for note taking and outlines. 

Comments from a recent student:

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

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

Presented by:  Jim Zima of Great Lakes Diesel Marine


Dinghy & the Outboard:  A Cruising Essential

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

 Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


Docking and Line Handling for Couples 

This class addresses docking techniques and skills that can benefit every mariner but puts a special emphasis on common problems encountered by couples during the docking and line handling process.  This focus on processes required when getting underway and when docking their vessels, making the next time you prepare to leave or come back to the dock less stressful. 

Topics Include:

Situational Awareness
Forces
Spring Lines
Line Handling
Communication 

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

Presented by: Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine of TwoCanSail


Doppler Radar & Satellite Imagery 

     Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery are great resources for the weather-savvy mariner. This
presentation will introduce common types of Doppler weather radar and satellite imagery and provide
instruction in their interpretation and use. You 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 Tiny 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 

        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


Finding Your Dreamboat

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

Presented by:  Dale Davis of Integrity Yacht Sales, Inc


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 of Seabird Podcast and The Boat Galley Podcasts


Great Gadgets & Ideas to Have Aboard

Learn about some great cruising equipment, gadgets, and useful ideas whether you are coastal cruising or sailing across oceans. These ideas can save you money, save your back, and make you more comfortable on the boat.  You may have seen some of these things in SAIL magazine in articles written by Bill Cullen.  Here’s your chance to see them in person and learn firsthand from the author.

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

Presented by:  Bill Cullen


Internet Everywhere Your Boat Is

Looking to bridge the gap between marina wifi and cell towers to stay connected at all times?  This seminar will cover the satellite options available today and in the future, including Starlink, as well as how the region, geography, and vessel itself affect the performance of each option.  Special emphasis on options for the Caribbean and Bahamas/Exumas as well as global options for the intrepid explorers in our midst.

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

Presented by: Richard Anderson of Sea-Tech Systems


Leadership, Roles, Responsibilities, & Decision Making at Sea

The number one reason for disasters at sea is not a lack of skill — it is a lack of leadership and communication. And leadership does not mean knowing everything or being the boss! This course is designed by two USCG licensed captains with years of experience captaining commercial vessels. A successful captain will facilitate a safe voyage where everyone will have fun, feel like they were a valuable asset to the voyage, and learn something. They recognize that emotional safety is equally as important as physical safety. That’s a tall task for one person. Plus, a great captain never needs to shout! This seminar will show you tips for facilitating an inclusive shipboard culture. This seminar is also great for couples who sail together but feel that being underway puts a strain on their relationship. We’ll discuss how to blend roles on a boat so that every sailor (even the rookie) feels empowered to take the helm, manage the vessel, and find fulfillment in ways they never thought about. Finally, we’ll use stories of true disasters at sea to analyze what problems they have in common and how to recognize in advance that things are going to unravel.

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

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Line Handling 

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

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

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


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

                     An all-day seminar 

This all-day seminar covers the range of marine communication from Hand Held VHF Radios  to installed Satellite Systems.  

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

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

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

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

Presented by:  Scott Berg of Chardonnay Boatworks


Marine Weather Forecasting 

             A Master Class with Mark Thornton

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

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

  • A few basic meteorological principles.
  • How to decode the confusing symbols and meteorological shorthand on forecast graphics, regardless of your cruising grounds
  • How to prepare a detailed wave height forecast and recognize the conditions that promote dangerously high waves.
  • Why the wind behaves the way it does and how to prepare a detailed wind forecast.
  • How to predict the development and movement of low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries.
  • How to forecast the potential of thunderstorms, including when, where, and what type of storms may develop.
  • Learn how to monitor the potential development 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 the most popular weather forecasting apps.

But most of all, the class will provide you with the skills to increase your self-reliance. The class, which is designed for beginner to intermediate forecasters, combines classroom instruction, case studies, hands-on forecasting exercises, and product demonstrations to create an engaging and entertaining learning experience. For additional information on this seminar or to contact the instructor, please click here.

Comments from recent students:

  • A+ Excellent, Thank you so much Mark! I was concerned that this class was going to be over my head. Those fears were quickly put to rest. Two days are definitely needed for this class. Jeopardy is a fantastic way to solidify and reinforce this information in our minds. The exercises were great!
  • Excellent knowledge, well organized easy to read slides and book, clear presentation style. Lots of practical advice.
  • 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


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

 


Nighttime & Limited Visibility

Night and fog travel presents a new set of challenges and hazards that we don’t encounter during the day — invisible shoals, indecipherable lights, watchkeeping, light and varied sleep schedule. This seminar will give you tips on how to make travel during the night or in limited visibility exciting and pleasant instead of nerve-wracking. We’ll cover navigation, lights, night vision, visibility, watch keeping, boat check, sleep schedules, safety, etc. We’ll talk about precise navigation in limited visibility travel – especially near shore (as that is where the navigation hazards are). We will also talk about overnight offshore travel, where watchkeeping, maintaining systems, etc is the priority.

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

 Presented by: Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Offshore Cruising Seminar with John Neal

Join John Neal and Pete McGonagle for an informative and comprehensive all day seminar. 18 dynamic PowerPoint presentations closely follow the included 260-page Offshore Companion (normally $60). This highly organized format allows you to easily follow, understand and retain crucial information enabling you to save years and thousands of dollars as you prepare for your cruising adventures.

Topics include boat selection & outfitting, engines & electrical systems, weather & passage planning, anchoring, seamanship, rigging & sails, piracy & security, communication, overall cost of ownership, offshore & health insurance, galley essentials and storm survival tactics. Full outline: www.mahina.com/seminars.

John Neal has conducted 175 offshore cruising seminars and 204 offshore sail-training expeditions worldwide aboard various vessels, sailing 391,000 miles since 1974. John is author, co-author or contributing author of 17 books including Log of the Mahina.

Pete McGonagle is uniquely qualified sailor/presenter with over 1,000,000 sea miles as a marine engineer, cruiser, ocean racer and delivery captain. He has extensive knowledge of the global sailboat market frequently traveling worldwide to list, survey & sell ocean cruising yachts.

John and Pete’s goal is to help prepare you to fulfill your own cruising dreams. The day starts at 8:00 and ends at 5:00 pm – a full day of everything you need to know!

        An all-day seminar

Presented by:  John Neal of Mahina Expeditions


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


Onboard Communications

Whether coastal cruising or sailing long passages, the communications equipment and protocols aboard are different from life on land. This session will cover needs for near-shore, remote or offshore, and emergencies– including how to differentiate between satellite options, and comparing costs. You’ll come away knowing all the ways to keep in contact from coastal to remote from the person who gets twitchy without internet.

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

Presented by: Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem


Onboard Rigging Survey – a hands on clinic

When you finally sail away, will your rigger be joining you? Rig tune and maintenance are not once and done tasks. When cruising you should be able to inspect rigging hardware; and know how to tune the rig because it will change from stretched wire. This class will teach metal properties: what makes them fail, how to identify faults, and how to make your rigging hardware last longer. It’ll cover common standing rigging faults like articulation, alignment, fabrication flaws, and taking the twist out of stretched wire. Running rigging gets focus as well, with discussion on material degradation, fair leads, friction, and easier sail handling. Lastly is learning to keep the rig in tune; Jamie will explain principles of a well-tuned rig, and how to DIY static and dynamic rig tuning.

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

 Presented by: Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem


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 is the best anchor? If you ask this to sailors on the internet, be sure to have popcorn ready for the drama that follows. Anchor types like all gear for cruising, have pros and cons. Mr. Salty’s “must have” anchor might be best where he sails, while totally missing the context of YOUR cruising plans. This class will teach you how to assess gear choices for practical and financial suitability for YOUR boat, crew, and cruising intentions.  All anchors, sails, safety gear, dinghy, electronics, etc. have compromises, but are the ones you can live with.

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

 Presented by: Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem


Preparing, Departing & Cruising in Europe

Most major accomplishments begin with a dream. Many dream of cruising away on a boat and adventuring the world. Yet, why is it that so few actually untie their dock lines and successfully pursue their dreams?

Rick and Julie Peterson dreamt of sailing away for years. Leaving your happy and productive life and relationships and actually sailing away takes time, focus and determination. Leaving the dock can be the most difficult part of the journey. However, modern communications and ease of air travel have expanded options for long distance cruisers.

Rick and Julie threw off the dock lines and left the safe harbor for a 10-year sailing adventure to Europe in 2011. It was the culmination of many years of persistent work. The fun and effort of planning and preparing are every bit as much of the journey as crossing an ocean or exploring your dream destination.

This session is partly about preparation, partly philosophical, and partly about logistics. It is based on their journey to 42 countries, primarily in the awesome cruising grounds of Europe. Technical issues of having a boat in Europe will be addressed.

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

 Presented by:  Rick Peterson


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 The Boat Galley Podcasts and 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 The Boat Galley Podcasts and Fit2Sail


Route Planning

Telling friends about the dream destinations you’ll sail to is fun, and easy. When it’s go-time, a different reality emerges as you pilot unfamiliar places, use imperfect charts, and experience iffy weather. Poor route planning can lead to uncomfortable, slow, and risky passages. A surprising number of recent routing fails shows how badly or tragically a passage can end. This class covers considerations in planning for the upcoming season, steps to make a safe and efficient chartplotter route, tips for interpreting GRIBs reliably to better choose a weather window, insight for adapting to changing conditions underway, and much more. Whether coastal hopping or ocean crossing, safe and efficient passagemaking begins with good route planning.

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

Presented by:  Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem


Rules of the Road

Captain Deb shares her knowledge and expertise to simplify the rules of the road in a fun, visual environment. The curriculum is specific and follows the USCG Col-Regs . This perspective of teaching will allow you to apply knowledge from this class that will provide greater confidence and understanding of navigational situations, and conditions. Reference Manual, Flash cards and more….

  • USCG Aids to Navigation – understanding the information
    • Basic understanding of Channel markers, and navigation aids
  • Basic understanding of Vessel types their pecking order
    • Constrained by Draft
    • Restricted in their Ability to Maneuver (Dredging, Servicing Nav Aids, Minesweeping)
    • Vessel Not under Command
  • Rules & Responsibilities
    • Operator responsibilities and collision avoidance
  • Maneuvering – Stand-on versus Give-way vessel
    • Crossing situation
    • Meeting a vessel – head on
    • Overtaking a vessel
  • Risk of collision & avoidance
  • Vessels in Priority
  • Lights & Shapes(Flags)
  • Sound Signals
    • Required sounding equipment
    • Maneuvering and warning signals
    • Inland Overtaking Signals, Head-on signals
    • And more…..
  • This course is rated as an advanced beginner to intermediate (201) course

Presented by:  Captain Deb Marlor 

 


Sail Inventory Survey & Sail Care – a hands on clinic

If bias loading, fill and warp, yarn denier, luff curve, tack cutback, UV degradation, and draft position aren’t familiar terms, this is a good time to tune up your sail knowledge. In this workshop, we’ll stretch out and inspect sails to learn technical features of sailcloth, sail design and construction. Then develop this into practical knowledge for the competent cruiser: better sail trim, make sails last longer, DIY sail inspection, and sail repair. 

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

Presented by:  Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem


Sail Theory & Points of Sail

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 & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


She’s A Cruiser: a Bridge from the Unknown to a Confident Cruising Woman

                A Master Class with Behan Gifford & Nica Waters

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, and Nica Waters, a cruiser who first cut dock lines in 1994 and now counts thousands of miles experience under the keel sailing the US, Bahamas, and Caribbean. They share a wealth of knowledge about the cruising life, and are bringing in a range of guest speakers with additional cruising expertise.

Are you prepared to cruise? Behan and Nica and their 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:

  • Basic skills, next-level skills, and how to acquire them
  • Boat systems: what’s there? What do you need to know?
  • Transitioning from land to sea
  • How to address fears about being at sea, and the unknown
  • Demystifying sailing jargon and equipment
  • Keeping healthy: fitness, medical needs, dietary needs
  • Finding personal fulfilment in your new life afloat
  • …and what the books don’t tell you, from a host of women who have Been There, Done That

 

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

Presented by:  Behan Gifford of Sailing TotemNica Waters of  The Boat Galley Podcasts & Fit2Sail


Shorthanded Sailing Techniques

John Neal will share valuable tips for setting up your boat plus procedures and checklists addressing the following:  safety, overboard prevention, watch standing, electronics for safety, sail handling, weather resources, dealing with sleep deprivation, docking, communications and storm tactics.  A handout featuring the key points and resources will be available for all students attending this class.

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

Presented by:  John Neal of Mahina Expeditions


Storm Survival Tactics

Survival becomes critical when storm avoidance is not long an option.  John Neal will show you the safest survival tactics for all types of vessels including some radical new techniques based on his 392,000 ocean miles including decades of Southern and Arctic Ocean experience, six Cape Horn roundings and surviving the 1994 Queen’s Birthday Storm.  There is a free handout and a 37 page e-booklet for all students attending this class.

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

Presented by:  John Neal of Mahina Expeditions


Take the Stress out of Docking 

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

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

Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


The 5 Step Plan to Purchasing a Cruising Boat

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 Dinghy & Outboard:  A Cruising Essential

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

Presented by: Lisa & Andy Batchelor of Kinetic Sailing


The Thornless Path

Passage planning is critical.  When planning your passages South, this information is critical to a successful versus stressful passage.  This passage is Southeast dead into the wind, and equatorial currents.  Seas can be treacherous, conditions tough, with unrelenting Trade Winds, with land effects,  and then there is the Mona Passage.   

What does Thornless Path mean?

Key Stops

Weather Resources

Weather Windows

Shipyards you can count on

Mail, shipping packages

Water – should I have a water maker?

Personal Security

Anchoring

Marinas

Provisioning and Groceries

Charts & Updating your Chart Plotter

Emergency Procedures and the importance of your safety equipment and ditch bag

Flexibility

Traveling at night

And more…..

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

Presented by: Captain Deb Marlor


The Ultimate Boat Management Plan

Manage your boat like a Professional, from stern to bow, top to bottom.  Power boat and/or Sailboat.

Get the complete vessel tool that eliminates searching, hassle, and confusion and you know exactly what you have on hand, an easy to use, simple management tool to make owning a boat simple.

Benefits 

All in one tool, with a go-to easy to find info for everything on, in, and part of your vessel.

Efficiency, safety first,

Created by an experienced mariner, who has owned several vessels, Charter companies, and lives and breathes this industry. RYA MasterYachtsman. 

This course will give you the tool that keeps every detail on your vessel from dates a part was purchased, part number, from what vendor, cost, quantity and more.

This document stores your …

  • Maintenance Log
  • Boat Details
  • Spare Parts
  • Personal Inventory
  • Passage Planning

1- Passage Log.     2- Sight Log.

  • Deviation Table
  • Personal Details
  • Annual spend

1- Income.   2- Expenses (Budget).  3- Power Budget.

  • Contact Details
  • Provisioning

Each participant will receive a hard copy reference guide

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

Presented by: Captain Deb Marlor


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
resources.

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

Presented by:  Mark Thornton of Lake Erie WX


Traditional Navigation

            An all-day seminar 

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


Transitioning to an Offshore State of Mind

           An all-morning class

You have the dream, you have the boat, you’ve explored your home waters, maybe you’ve even cruised to the Bahamas or Maine. How do you prepare yourself for stepping beyond coastal cruising? How do you know you are actually ready to go offshore? Lin will discuss vital topics to help you feel confident about crossing oceans. Storm Tactics and preparing for storms will be covered.  So will the attitudes, preparation and gear you’ll need to ensure gear failures don’t derail your plans.  An often-overlooked aspect of offshore voyaging, ensuring you and your crew can get enough sleep, will provide plenty of food for thought. This course will encourage you to make that leap and share the pleasure of crossing oceans.  

The morning is divided into three sections – Ensuring you are ready to transition from coastal cruising to crossing oceans; making your boat unstoppable; preparing for and handling storms at sea.  

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

Presented by:  Lin Pardey 


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


Watchkeeping & Planning for an Offshore Passage

Planning a multi-day passage can be thrilling or daunting – depending on the skill level of the crew. But we want to make it easier for your shipmates to sleep well while you’re on watch, and for the watchkeeper to stay alert and on task. This seminar will give you ideas for how to run a tight ship to have a smooth sail. We’ll cover topics such as passage making, the logbook, preparing for night travel, system checks, managing energy, sleep rotations, approaching a crossing situation, changing sails at night, etc.

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

Presented by:  Teresa & Ben Carey of Morse Alpha Expeditions


Water Makers 101: Understanding your Water maker Choices

Rich will conduct a review of current water maker technology and options for Cruisers.  From high output AC 120v systems to the latest in energy efficient 12v DC Systems.  Pros and Cons of the available systems will be review to give cruisers a better understanding of how the technology works and help them select a water technology type that best fits their cruising style and budget.

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

Presented by:  Rich Boran of Cruise RO Water


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


Weather Planning 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


What the Big Ships See

This talk will cover important information that every coastal cruiser and every passage maker needs to know. Real life “on the water” examples highlighting the differences between what we might perceive and what is actually happening out on the water will make up the core of this session.

Navigating busy shipping lanes in sometimes complex situations (not always perfectly) lead to Rick’s keen interest in how commercial vessels view and interact with recreational cruisers.

Approximately 90% of all the world’s goods are at some point carried on the sea. The number, size and speed of the ships that provide for our daily lives is growing rapidly. The possibility of a collision at sea is real and relevant. How does commercial traffic of all kinds affect the recreational cruiser and how do we affect them? More importantly, how do they “see” us? Or why do they NOT see us? How do we see and be seen?

Topics include:

  • Perspectives from the bridge of big ships
  • COLREGS (collision avoidance regulations)
  • Radar / AIS / Fog
  • Nav lights
  • Watch keeping
  • Ferries and commercial fishing boats
  • This course is rated as a beginner / introductory (101) course

Presented by:  Rick Peterson 


Why the Dream Fails (or succeeds)

Cruising dreams can percolate for years, then fail to launch or stop well short of expectations. Why? How can you avoid those missteps? This session covers top reasons for failure, and how to anticipate and sidestep those pitfalls to successful cruising – so you can get out there and live the dream instead of forever falling short.

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

Presented by:  Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem


Writing, Blogging, Vlogging and YouTube – Can it add to Your Cruising Life?

              An all-day seminar with Lin Pardey

Can you top up your ‘freedom chips’ by sharing your cruising life? No matter what format you use, it all starts with story-telling. But how do you make your story stand out from the rest? How do you get noticed?

Lin Pardey, along with several special guests, will share tips and ideas on what nautical readers and viewers want to know. You’ll learn ways to ensure your photos, diagrams and video footage add information to your stories and attract attention. For those interested in selling articles to print and online magazines, she’ll show how to get noticed by editors, ways to present work that sells and ideas for expanding your markets. Guest speakers will discuss handling online media and ideas to keep folks watching your YouTube channel.

Book creation and publishing will be covered, including the realities of self-publishing vs traditional publishing. You will also be given a clear picture of what returns you can expect along with the pitfalls and the practicalities of adding writing, blogging, photography and video making to your cruising life.

Several other speakers who are successfully earning their cruising funds with blogs, books, YouTube channels and podcasts will join Lin in person or by video to answer your specific questions.

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

Presented by:  Lin Pardey 


 


 

 

 

 

 



Annapolis, Maryland

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