Cruisers University Instructors

Naval Academy Club at the United States Naval Academy

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

Andy Batchelor & Lisa Batchelor Frailey

Andy Batchelor & Lisa Batchelor Frailey are long-time sailors and boat owners.  They both hold USCG Master’s Licenses and are American Sailing Association (ASA) instructors, they founded Sail Solomons Sailing School and Charters, which operated in the Chesapeake Bay and the Caribbean.

They then began cruising on their Passport 47 Zingaro and took advanced students on ocean passages and charter guests throughout the Caribbean.  They organized and led 7 annual sailing flotillas on cruising catamarans and monohulls, ranging from the BVI’s to Grenada, and continue to coordinate flotillas for various sailing groups.

Their broad range of experience in cruising, chartering and charter operations enabled them to write the ASA ‘Bareboat Cruising Made Easy’ and ‘Cruising Catamaran Made Easy’ textbooks.

Andy & Lisa has since launched Kinetic Sailing to offer marine consulting, charter brokerage, deliveries and specialized instruction with a more global scope.  They now conduct coastal cruising and ocean passagemaking instruction and advanced ASA certification on their 2015 Outbound 46 Kinetic.


Cruising the Eastern Caribbean

Bahamas Bound – The Exumas

Cruising Green – Saving the Planet and Your Wallet

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

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

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

Blogging & Digital Communications – Keeping Friends & Family up to Date

Top Newbie Cruising Mistakes

San Blas Islands on the way to Panama

What Me Worry? Putting Your Cruising Fears to Rest

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.


Blogging & Digital Communications – Keeping Friends & Family up to Date

Crisis Management while Cruising

Offshore Rigging and Sails – When Things go Wrong

Transiting the Panama Canal

What Me Worry? Putting Your Cruising Fears to Rest

Safety At Sea

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

Cruising the Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean

Is the Cat Life For You?

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

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

Tides & Currents on the ICW and Coastal Waters

Plugged In – Power Cord Safety & Corrosion Concerns

Arista Holden

Arista is a US Coast Guard licensed master, Wilderness First Responder, and an experienced sailor. She grew up sailing traditional craft throughout Penobscot Bay, Maine. She is a long-time seamanship instructor for adult and youth programs including Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership school, Atlantic Challenge, the Nova Scotia Sea School and the Wooden Boat School. She has traveled, sailed, taught and studied all over the world. Just last year, she sailed 900 miles of the Norwegian coast in a 42 ft. open, square-rigged fembøring with Fosen Folkehøgskole (Folk School). She works as a part time skipper for the recently built Viking boat replica, Polaris, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and has her own new business, Maritime World Expeditions, where she brings groups to experience the traditional boats of different cultures around the world. 


Coastal Navigation & Chartplotting

Navigation (a full day course)

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

Cruising the Potomac

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 eleven 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: how to store (and find!) everything you need on a boat; the ways of the cruiser community; 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

Cruising Secrets – An Insider’s Guide to Walking the Walk

Storage Strategies When Your Boat is Your Home

Dave Skolnick

Dave Skolnick is a degreed naval architect and marine engineer with experience in commercial, military, and civil vessel design, construction, operation, and service-life extension. An avowed radio geek, Dave has been a licensed amateur radio operator for over 35 years. He is a recognized expert on HF/SSB, satellite, WiFi, cellular, and VHF analog and digital communication.

He is also an active delivery skipper who uses a broad range of communications and navigation tools underway. From installations through operation offshore Dave uses the technology on which he shares his perspective. Dave is active on ham and marine nets. He has side-by-side experience with HF and satellite systems over commercial and military networks.

As “Auspicious Works” he provides installation, trouble-shooting, and consulting for communication systems, deliveries, yacht management, training, speaking, and writing for recreational boats.


Crossing the Gulf Stream in Comfort

High Seas Communications – VHF & SSB Radio

Is Anyone Out There?  AIS & Radar Systems

Staying Connected – WiFi & Cell Service

John Stefancik

As Publisher of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, John Stefancik spends time on the water aboard his center console powerboat, racing sailboats of all sizes, and cruising the Bay. Born and raised into a boating family, John shared many summers in the v-berth with his brother while his parents took them cruising all over the Chesapeake for weekends and for weeks at a time. He also spent many off-seasons learning and refining marine maintenance skills on an array of his family’s boats. John lives just outside of Annapolis, and cruises with his wife and three children. 


The Grand Tour of the Chesapeake

Mark Thornton

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 maintains a website ( devoted to marine weather education and forecasting resources and is the current president of the local chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Mark is employed as the Vice-President of Administration for the law firm of Wegman, Hessler & Vanderburg and as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.

Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he and his wife Susan currently own Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences cruising and racing on the Great Lakes. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark enjoys publishing summaries of interesting weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to recreational boaters. 


Marine Weather Forecasting – 2 Day Master Class

Weather Apps to Follow

Weather Makers – Low Pressure Systems

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. You can also become a student of Pam’s at the Bitter End Yacht Clubs annual event “Women on the Water Week” where she is an instructor for women sailors who want to learn more and become confident sailors.


Cruising Women – 2 Day Master Class

Bahamas Bound – The Abacos

Gear Up – Get Ready to Drop the Lines

Great Products You Want to Know About

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,



Make Your Cruising Dream a Happy Reality

Provisioning – From List to Last Bite

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 Boat Fridge

The Endless Fresh Water Supply

The Insider’s Guide to the Florida Keys

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 four boatyards in Maryland, Virginia, and North 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 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

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

Maintain Your Diesel Engine 101

Annapolis, Maryland

"The presenters not only shared their vast knowledge, but inspired me to get out there as soon as possible and have fun!"

"Pam and Behan are an amazing pair as teachers for the Cruising Women course and I learned so much. Thank you for your knowledge and support!"

"Presentation on Marine Weather was outstanding!"