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Boat Show University Course Descriptions:

Friday, January 23
Session 1:  9 – 12 
Using New Technology for Navigation and Cruising: iPad, iPhone, Smartphones - Making the right choice for the best apps, software and tools
Presented by Mark Bunzel
During the last three years there have been amazing advances in new technology for smart phones and tablets with many new apps for use on a boat. Waggoner Cruising Guide Editor Mark Bunzel will demonstrate and show the full range of low-cost apps now available for cruise planning and navigation. He will show you the differences between apps and how you can choose the right apps for your use. He will also show how your entire boat can be networked to allow you to view critical engine and navigation data from all your devices anywhere on your boat. New NMEA, bluetooth and Wi-Fi bridges can even allow you control your autopilot and steer your boat directly from your iPad or smartphone, if you desire.

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Session 2: 12:30 – 3:30
Keeping it Alive: Troubleshooting Marine Systems While Cruising
Presented by Michael Beemer
Modern cruising boats have numerous systems that we rely on every day. While these systems are remarkably reliable they are also increasingly complex. The corrosive salt water marine environment, constant motion, and seasonal use of boats constantly threaten our boat’s systems. In some of the remote cruising areas along the Inside Passage you may be unable to summon a mechanic or call for help. How do we keep these critical systems alive? This course goes beyond the basics in understanding how to find and fix problems aboard a vessel. Topics will include:

  • Knowing, understanding & maintaining critical systems for the safety and comfort of the captain and crew
  • Planning what to check, inspect, and look for to prevent break-downs while passage making
  • Techniques for troubleshooting systems
  • Hands-on activities to learn important lessons about using a multi-meter for troubleshooting
  • Practical tips for temporary repairs of key systems

We’ll end this session with a checklist of proven maintenance items you will want on your boat that will help you “Keep it Alive” during your cruise.

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Session 3: 4 – 7
Keeping it Alive: Diesel Engines
Presented by Michael Beemer
The modern diesel engine is relied upon by both sailboaters and powerboaters. With proper maintenance these engines run for thousands of hours. Understanding the nuts and bolts of the diesel engine and how to perform routine maintenance will keep you out on the water. This course is not specific to one brand, but will cover most engine manufacturers common in the industry. Topics will include:

  • Understanding, starting, and charging circuits
  • Service intervals and schedules
  • The importance of the cooling system and how to prevent overheating
  • Troubleshooting techniques
  • New technologies and tips for easier and cleaner maintenance and repairs

We’ll end this session with a list of tools and techniques to help you “Keep it Alive” during your time on the water.

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Saturday, January 24
Session 1:  9 – 12
Staying Local: Cruising Puget Sound from Olympia through the Gulf Islands
Presented by Mark Bunzel

Being on the water is pure magic—especially in the Pacific Northwest! If you haven’t spent the time to explore our own backyard, this course is for you. This seminar, presented by Mark Bunzel, the editor of the Waggoner Cruising Guide, will give you planning routes and tips to make the most of your summer holiday. Topics will include unique areas and must see highlights in the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, and the Canadian Gulf Islands; clearing US and Canadian Customs; books and charts; electronics/internet access; anchorages and moorages; fuel & repairs; water & provisions; cell/WiFi communications. This seminar will also launch you successfully towards the Inside Passage.

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Session 2: 9:30 – 12:30
Docking and Anchoring - Making It Easy!
Presented by Ace Spragg

Docking and Anchoring do not have to be fearful events when boating. There is a practical approach that can work for you and your crew. Ace Spragg, of the Northwest Maritime Center will take you through the steps of how you can successfully dock in different wind conditions. Next, she will step through her tried and true method to anchoring. With her approach and technique, you and your crew can sleep with confidence with your anchor securely hooked on the bottom.

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Session 3: 12:30 – 3:30
Starting the Trek North: Nanaimo through Cape Caution
Presented by Lori and Greg Bernard

The area between Nanaimo and the northern tip of Vancouver Island is a large and amazing area that includes two major cruising destinations: Desolation Sound and “The Broughtons”. In addition, Northern Georgia Strait, the Discovery Islands, and Queen Charlotte Strait are also worthy destinations in and of themselves, and with some effort, can reward the adventurous boater with quiet and solitude that is hard to find in the two more popular areas. All of the areas boast a variety of secluded anchorages, marinas, and communities to explore. Careful route planning through this area is the usual course for those taking on adventures to the more remote parts of the West Coast – north to Alaska, and south down Vancouver Island’s Pacific coast. This course will help to prepare boaters – power and sail – for voyages north from Nanaimo as far as the Rivers Inlet area north of Cape Caution. Topics will include:

  • The boat and equipment
  • Personal readiness and preparation
  • Tides and Currents, and strategies for optimizing speed over ground
  • Routing options and voyage planning for passing through “the gates”
  • Summer weather patterns and forecast interpretation to find safe and comfortable “weather windows”
  • Select anchorages
  • Useful reference material
  • Provisioning
  • Fishing basics
  • Tips we’ve learned for maximizing our time “off the grid”

Where applicable, there will be an opportunity to practice some of the necessary planning skills in the comfort of a classroom. We will also share stories of our own adventures to these waters, and in the process, inspire you to consider cruising to these magnificent waters.

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Session 4:  1 – 4 
A Riggers Guide for both Power and Sail Boats
Presented by Brion Toss
A rigger does not just work on sailboats. Every boat can benefit from the tips from one of the best riggers in the business - the Pacific Northwest’s own Brion Toss. What is your best choice for mooring and anchor lines, what rope should be selected (size, construction, material, lengths) for the different uses on a boat. How do you make splices or shackles from high strength Spectra. What are the best systems for your stern-line or spare anchor. Where do you use snubbers or chafing gear. What do you do when anchoring with wind foul with current, and how cleat placement can affect rode life. In addition, Brion will show you how to put together a block-and-tackle system to have ready, as both sail and power vessels have to pick up dinghies and may have to fish someone out of the water. Brion will also cover some basic and not-so-basic knots for use on your boat.

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Session 5:  4 – 7 
Getting on the Outside: The West Coast of Vancouver Island
Presented by Lori and Greg Bernard

The West Coast of Vancouver Island offers some of the wildest, most remote cruising that the West Coast of BC has to offer. For sailors, it also offers 350 miles of potential downwind ocean sailing in short, manageable sections. For many Pacific Northwest sailors, this trip is serves as preparation for offshore sailing adventures. It also offers many miles of secluded, sheltered inlets and fiords, with many excellent anchorages, fine sandy beaches, small coastal villages, great fishing and abundant wildlife. With a keen weather eye, these features are also available to those traveling by power. This course will help to prepare boaters – power and sail – for voyages south from Port Hardy to Victoria (or Neah Bay), as well as provide strategies for experiencing a taste of the west coast by sailing north up Juan de Fuca to Barkley Sound. Topics will include:

  • The boat and equipment
  • Personal readiness and preparation
  • Tides and Currents, and strategies for optimizing speed over ground
  • Routing options and voyage planning for passing through “the gates”
  • Summer weather patterns and forecast interpretation
  • Select anchorages
  • Useful reference material
  • Provisioning
  • Fishing basics
  • Tips we’ve learned for maximizing our time “off the grid”

Where applicable, there will be an opportunity to practice some of the necessary planning skills in the comfort of a classroom. We will also share stories of our own adventures to these waters, and in the process, inspire you to consider cruising to these magnificent waters.

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Session 6: 4:30 – 7:30
Top Ten Upgrades: What You Need and Want to Know
Presented by Michael Beemer
The marine world is constantly evolving, and getting better! Technology is helping us with upgrades and improvements for our cruising vessels. Most of us always have a boat project in the works or planned, some may even be doing complete refits. What works? What should you purchase? Learn from an expert who isn’t a salesperson or earning commissions. Michael Beemer, the lead systems instructor from Skagit Valley College' Marine Technology Center in Anacortes, will help you navigate many of the most cost effective new technologies you can put on your vessel.

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Sunday, January 25
Session 1:  9 – 12
Cruising the Wild and Scenic Coast of Norther British Columbia and on to Ketchikan, AK
Presented by Mark Bunzel

You so often hear - it just gets better the further north you go on the Inside Passage. Waggoner Cruising Guide Editor, Mark Bunzel will provide recommendations on the must see destinations along the way such as Pruth Bay, Shearwater, Ocean Falls, Fiordland and the different hot springs. He will present his tips and techniques and give you the information you need to have a safe and scenic cruise from the top of Vancouver Island, across Queen Charlotte Sound, all the way through the upper half of British Columbia, across Dixon Entrance, and into Ketchikan, AK. Whales, bears, bald eagles are just part of the scenery along the way. Topics will include: route planning; strategies for crossing Queen Charlotte Strait & Dixon Entrance; decision-making tips for weather/wind/seas; the key guidebooks and online references; paper charts vs. back-up electronics; information on routes and anchorages and moorage; fuel & repairs; water & provisions. How to clear customs at Ketchikan and Prince Rupert (for your return trip) will also be covered. This is your opportunity to learn how you can explore this unique cruising area. You might not even be planning to go all the way to Southeast Alaska this year, but now you’ll know it’s possible and how to do it for a future passage.

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Session 2: 9:30 – 12:30
Radar for Navigation and Collision Avoidance
Presented by Kevin Monahan

Radar is one of the most versatile systems of all of the marine electronics on your boat. Most only know how to use about 10% of the capabilities of their marine radar. The manuals that come with a radar system tell you what the buttons do, but not how to confidently use radar for both collision avoidance and navigation. In addition to learning the basics of radar operation participants will also learn:

  • How to use your marine radar system while underway
  • Basic radar tuning and how to set up your system
  • How to interpret the screen display and how to correlate it to navigational charts, the surrounding area, and other vessels around you

With this course you will have a new appreciation and competency with the radar system on your boat.

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Session 3: 12:30 – 3:30
Cruising and Exploring Southeast Alaska
Presented by Sam Landsman
The dream is here. You’re in Southeast Alaska at your starting point in Ketchikan! Figure out where to go, what to do, and how to have a great trip. Topics will include: anchoring in deeper waters; trip planning; routing alternatives tailored to what you want to do and see; what to expect in the way of weather, wind, & seas; anchorages & moorages; water & provisions; fuel & repairs; print & online references; paper charts vs. back-up electronics; VHF Radio issues; communications/internet access via Cell/WiFi & other methods; winter boat storage options; detailed information on permits and cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, Sawyer Glacier, and other favorite locations like: Anan Bay Bear Observatory, Elfin Cove, and Fords Terror. You’ll likely need more than one cruising season for the many adventure opportunities in this glorious cruising ground. This seminar will help you make your choices and start your dream planning.

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Session 4: 1:00 – 4:00
Understanding the Tides and Currents for a Safe and Comfortable Passage
Presented by Kevin Monahan
A good understanding of the Tides and Currents can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a rough ride for a captain and crew. The Inside Passage has a unique water system where the tides power strong currents around the islands and in many of the key passes. In this session, we will begin with an understanding of how the lunar cycles create water movement and the various stages of the tidal cycles - in short, the conditions for slack can mean different things based on the lunar cycle, the winds and even the geography. The course will explore the many gates that are keys points in travel and understand the key concepts of vertical movement (tides) and horizontal movement (current) of water. Understanding local knowledge and the resources available to plot times of slack and understanding the tidal range and current speed in a given day and hour are emphasized. Next, the impact of wind is reviewed. Wind against wave can lead to ugly and uncomfortable seas. A brief understanding of the weather reports will allow you to avoid uncomfortable seas, where waiting an hour or two can make all the difference and a comfortable sea state for safe passage.

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Session 5: 4:00 – 7:00
Understanding Weather and Cruise Decision Making
Presented by Lee Chesneau
Cruising on the Northwest waters always involves receiving the marine weather forecast issued from NOAA or Environment Canada. We will delve into the weather mapping including wind/wave forecasts, surface analysis and the 500 mB charts. This course will examine:

  • The difference in charts and their purpose
  • Upper air constant pressure surface; Fundamental concepts for mapping weather above the surface on various constant pressure surfaces
  • Fundamentals of marine weather mapping, interpretation and pattern recognition
  • Integration of 500 Mb charts with surface weather maps for complete understanding of marine weather forecast
  • Introductory routing and heavy weather avoidance using marine weather charts

Participants will have some key strategies for decision-making on the water for more enjoyable and safe time.

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Session 6: 4:30 – 7:30
Secrets of a Detailer to Keep Your Boat Looking Great
Presented by Jeff Paxson
Keep your boat looking its best. Jeff Paxson, owner of Marine Detail Specialists will give a comprehensive presentation covering the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of maintaining a beautiful boat in the Pacific Northwest. He will also answer some of the biggest boat cleaning mysteries such as: What are those pink spots on my boat cushions? How can I get those water spots off my windows? And, how do I make my boat smell better? How can I make my boat shine inside and out? All attendees will be given a comprehensive guide to Cosmetic Yacht Maintenance as well as a free product samples.

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Monday, January 26 9am - 4pm
Empowering the First Mate: A practical approach to gain confidence on the water

Presented by Pam Wall
Sponsored by West Marine

This all day seminar is designed to fit the needs of the participants as we explore the many aspects of being on the water and how to enhance your boating experiences. You will gain the necessary skills to take control at the helm and be empowered in your role as first mate.

During this seminar, we will explore topics that include:

  • How to plan for the typical days at sea and at port
  • The essential equipment to make life aboard more comfortable, fun and safe
  • What skills the first mates needs for the sailing and cruising lifestyle
  • How to achieve these skills to build your skills
  • The keys to working with the line—how to throw a line properly, cleating, hanging fenders and basic knot tying
  • The essential things to know if you’re found Suddenly Alone
This interactive seminar will be packed with many learning opportunities within a safe environment to promote confidence in the first mate. No matter your level of experience on a boat, being confident makes for a more enjoyable time all-around.

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Tuesday, January 27
Professional Day for Marine Trades Only

Sponsored by the Northwest Marine Trade Association and The Center of Excellence for Marine Technology

Morning Session 1: 9-12
Customer Service - How to Keep a Happy Customer
Presented by Mark Bunzel


Afternoon Session 2: 1-4
Installing the New Marine Systems Customers are Demanding
Presented by Mike Beemer


Open to Marine Professionals Only
- No charge -

Call Fine Edge Nautical Seminars to Reserve Your Seat
360-299-8500

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Wednesday and Thursday, January 28-29
Understanding Marine Weather for Cruising
Presented by Lee Chesneau

The course begins with the all-important discussion of the marine advisory and warnings system of the National Weather Service-NWS -(Small Craft Advisories (SCA), Gale, Storm, and Hurricane Force Warnings). Never leave the dock without knowing which one applies to your vessel. Then the course will look at “scales of weather systems” from (global scale- jet stream; to synoptic scale- lows & highs; then onto meso-scale- squall lines; finally micro scale-thunderstorms/micro-bursts/waterspouts).

The course will work its way to the meat and potatoes of the course: “synoptic scale weather systems”, especially those dominant in the middle latitudes between 30N and 60N, because they significantly impact the Pacific Northwest. The impact of middle latitude “low & high pressure systems” and their associated “synoptic scale features” such as fronts (cold, warm, occluded, & stationary), troughs, & ridges will be discussed. Next, the course will cover the identifiable applied symbols as they are depicted on surface pressure charts prepared by the Ocean Prediction Center.

The course will also cover the marine forecast products and services provided by the local NWS office in Seattle and Environment Canada for local weather for the islands and Inside Passage cruising. Buoy reports, light house reports and their intervals will all be covered to demonstrate the depth of current weather data you can receive while on your boat. Lee will show you the comparison of forecasts (48-96 hours surface pressure forecasts) to current surface pressure analysis charts first to illustrate the accuracy of the forecasts, and second, to discuss how systems develop and move across the Pacific and impact Inside Passage waters.

The course will conclude with a discussion of means to procure weather information including "fax charts" versus GRIBs and demonstrate the pros and cons of each.

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Friday, January 30
Session 1: 9 - 12 Favorite Cruising Destinations Around the World
Presented by Nigel Calder and Mark Bunzel

Nigel Calder and Mark Bunzel have cruised in some of the most exotic and scenic destinations around the world. We will be covering some of the best places to cruise and the options for cruising in either your boat or a charter boat.
We will be covering:

  • Exumas in the Bahamas
  • West Coast of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides
  • West Coast of Sweden
  • Canal du Midi - France by Canal Boat
  • Virgin Islands
  • Baja Mexico
  • Southeast Alaska

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Session 2: 12:30 – 3:30
Self-Sufficient Seamanship:
DC Systems Design, Installation, Optimization and Troubleshooting
Presented by Nigel Calder

Contemporary boats are loaded with more and more electrical gear. Electrical systems are the number one cause of problems on boats that have anything more than a rudimentary electrical system. In this presentation we'll look at:

  • Designing DC electrical systems to avoid problems
  • Proper installation practices
  • Electrical systems maintenance
  • Simple troubleshooting procedures
This seminar is designed for the inexperienced and requires no prior knowledge. It will help you understand your own electrical systems and to nip many common problems in the bud. It will build your confidence when working on your electrical systems. According to Nigel, he doesn't have electrical problems on his own boats. If you follow his advice, he claims you will not have them on your boat.

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Session 3: 4:00 – 7:00
Self-Sufficient Seamanship:
Do-it-Yourself Diesel Engine Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Presented by Nigel Calder

If properly installed and maintained, modern diesel engines are remarkably reliable. In this seminar we will look at core installation issues that will eliminate many potential problems, basic maintenance, and troubleshooting common problems. Topics will include:

  • Often overlooked critical installation issues
  • Core maintenance and how to do it
  • Testing cranking and charging circuits
  • Techniques for starting recalcitrant engines
  • Overheating engines
  • Troubleshooting miscellaneous engine problems
This seminar is designed for the inexperienced and requires no prior knowledge. It will help you understand your own engine and to nip many common problems in the bud. It will build your confidence when working on your diesel engine.

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Saturday, January 31
Session 1: 9-12
Using New Technology for Navigation and Cruising: iPad, iPhone, Smartphones - Making the right choice for the best apps, software and tools
Presented by Mark Bunzel

During the last three years there have been amazing advances in new technology for smart phones and tablets with many new apps for use on a boat. Waggoner Cruising Guide Editor Mark Bunzel will demonstrate and show the full range of low-cost apps now available for cruise planning and navigation. He will show you the differences between apps and how you can choose the right apps for your use. He will also show how your entire boat can be networked to allow you to view critical engine and navigation data from all your devices anywhere on your boat. New NMEA, bluetooth and Wi-Fi bridges can even allow you control your autopilot and steer your boat directly from your iPad or smartphone, if you desire

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Session 2: 9:30 - 12:30
Criteria for Successful Cruising
Presented by Liza Copeland

You’re thinking of cruising further afield, maybe a coastal route to Canada and Alaska, or possibly sailing south offshore in search of the sun, but something is holding you back. Maybe its the boat, the equipment required, where to go and when, commitments at home or the crew has different ideas! Whether these or other issues this seminar will help everyone aboard define their criteria for a safe, successful cruising lifestyle that is a compatible and rewarding adventure for all.

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Session 3: 12:30 - 3:30
Practical Seamanship: Hassle-free anchoring and docking, kedging off if you get it wrong, and understanding the limits of chart accuracy so you don’t run aground in the first place!
Presented by Nigel Calder

Anchoring and docking are two of the more stressful boating activities. They cause many meltdowns between crew members. This seminar will describe mechanisms and techniques to take the stress out of anchoring and docking in order to preserve those precious relationships! We’ll also look at how to kedge off if you run aground. Given that chart inaccuracies are blamed for many groundings, we will finish off by looking at the extent to which you can trust paper and electronic charts, including some rather alarming facts and statistics.

Topics will include:

  • Critical ground tackle design issues
  • Stress-free anchoring techniques
  • Anchor retrieval
  • How to kedge off it you run aground
  • Techniques for docking against wind and tide
  • Coming off a dock against wind and tide
  • The limits of chart accuracy in the digital age

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Session 4: 1:00 - 4:00
Eat Well, Live Well - Making Your Boat a Comfortable Home on the Water
Presented by Lynette Brower

Cruising the Inside Passage does not mean you have to rough it! Experienced cruiser Lynette Brower will detail tips and techniques on how to effectively manage food stores and common tips for keeping your boat clean and comfortable. The challenges of preparing a suitable and impressive Happy Hour or Pot Luck special will also be covered. Special products for packaging food items will also be presented. With Lynette’s tips the crew and guests will not go hungry and the techniques are designed make the work easy. At the end of this season you will be looking forward to getting back on board to try some of the special recipes and techniques.

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Session 5: 4:00 - 7:00
A Revolution in Onboard Comfort and Efficiency:
A Review of Existing and Emerging Technologies that will Improve Your Onboard Lifestyle
Presented by Nigel Calder

The past decade has seen the introduction and emergence of a raft of new products and technologies which taken as a whole create the possibility for improved onboard lifestyles with reduced maintenance and improved reliability and efficiency. In this seminar, Nigel Calder will explore how you too can live on board like you do at home without becoming a slave to onboard maintenance or breaking the energy budget. Topics will include:

  • Simple efficiency and comfort upgrades such as replacement LED lightbulbs and variable speed water pumps
  • Incorporating solar panels, wind generators and the latest variant of water generators
  • Understanding the principal drivers in terms of onboard energy efficiency with respect to alternator-generated energy and AC generators
  • Improving alternator efficiency with hairpin stator windings and permanent magnets
  • Improving AC generator efficiency with synchronizing inverters
  • The role of networked power distribution and electronics systems, including NMEA 2000
  • Latest generation batteries, including carbon-enhanced lead-acid and lithium-ion
  • The keys to improved propulsion efficiency
You will come away from this seminar with a raft of ideas on how to improve the comfort, reliability and efficiency of your onboard energy and propulsion systems.

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Session 6: 4:30 - 7:30
Radar & AIS for Collision Avoidance
Presented by Larry Brandt

Radar can be one of the most valuable marine electronics on your boat. Learn the techniques to use marine radar to its fullest. The course starts with practical tips to tune your radar. You will learn how to interpret the display based on how radar works. Special features of your radar such as how to use the EBL and VBM will be covered. Your radar can also be used for close in navigation to show or verify your actual position. Together with AIS (Automatic Identification System) you will learn how to recognize and avoid marine traffic, especially the large commercial vessels that transit our local waters ranging from tugs with tows to the large cruise ships that travel the Inside Passage. This course will assist you to feel safer and more confident on the water in marginal visibility using the full capabilities of your radar system.

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Instructor Bios

Mark Bunzel
Mark is an experienced boater having cruised extensively in the Pacific Northwest, the Inside Passage and throughout Alaska on assignment while writing and photographing beautiful locations for magazines and to update the books he edits and publishes. In addition, he has chartered cruised the Chesapeake and the Intracoastal Waterway, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, the Canal du Midi, Greece, Honduras, and he lead the first American charter crew to sail the coast of Vietnam. He is the principal owner of Fine Edge Nautical Publishing and the co-Author of Cruising the Virgin Islands, the most popular cruising guide for the Virgin Islands. He is now the Editor and Publisher of the Waggoner Cruising Guide and is responsible for the annual research for all of the marinas and anchorages between Olympia and Ketchikan, Alaska. Mark’s articles and photography have appeared in magazines including PassageMaker, Northwest Yachting, Canadian Yachting, Dockside, Latitudes and Attitudes, Power Cruising, Soundings and Pacific Yachting. Mark holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters rating in Power and Sail. He is on the board of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend and is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA), the presenters of the Seattle Boat Show. Mark is the former chair of the Seattle Boat Show Committee for the NMTA and he is the founder of Seattle Boat Show University.

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Michael Beemer
Michael is a Marine Technology instructor at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy in Anacortes, WA. He has been instrumental in developing the marine programs for the Academy that bridge both the high school/college programs with the industry needs. In the cruising community, Michael is well known as “The Boat Doctor” who can diagnose and fix almost anything on a vessel. He teaches for Skagit Valley College in the marine systems program, including ABYC certification courses. Mike grew up as the son of a master mechanic. This experience included learning all things mechanical including motorcycles, automobiles, and boats. He has operated his own successful boat repair businesses and has moved into the marine systems consulting field. Michael has presented programs such as Keeping Your Diesel Alive and maintenance courses covering water-making systems, gensets, steering and control systems, marine electrical systems, boat freshwater and gray water plumbing, and freshwater pump systems. Mike’s specialty is the new technology systems now coming on-line for boats in power generation, water systems and propulsion.

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Ace Spragg
Carolyn "Ace" Spragg grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, messing about in boats. She built her first raft at age 6, learned to sail at age 8, and has spent more than 30 years teaching on the water. She taught swimming, sailing, canoeing, and waterskiing at summer camps back east, and was the Waterfront Director and Program Director for 15 years. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2000, she started teaching sailing and cruising skills on her Yorktown 39, s/v Fraid Knot, which she lives aboard.
Ace has her USCG 50 ton Master's License, International Sail and Power Association Yachtmaster Offshore teaching certification, US Sailing teaching certification, and is a US Maritime Academy Captain's License Instructor. She's skippered her boat to Hawaii and back with all-women crews. She's been teaching adult sailing classes at the WBF and NWMC since 2008 and also speaks at various seminars on Docking, Tides and Currents and Trip Planning. This is her dream job!

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Lori and Greg Bernard
Greg and Lori Bernard have been sailing for 14 years, 13 of which have been on their own boat. Currently, they own, maintain and skipper a 1979 Mariner 36 sloop. Most years, their family lives aboard and sails the local waters for 9 weeks of the summer. This is possible because they are both secondary school teachers; Lori teaches math and Greg teaches woodwork and carpentry. On average, they spend 65 days and nights per year aboard, mostly at anchor. All of their experience has been in the waters between Seattle and Bella Bella, including 2 circumnavigations of Vancouver Island. In addition, Greg and Lori occasionally serve as crew on a local 37’ race boat. In total, they have approximately 12,000 nm of sailing experience, including approximately 1000 nm of open ocean sailing in the North Pacific and several night voyages.

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Brion Toss
Master Rigger, Brion Toss, is best known as author of The Compete Riggers Apprentice, first printed in 1984, and today considered an authoritative text on the subject of rigging. Brion's career as a Master Rigger was born from an obsession with knots over 30 years ago, which led him to work with some of the finest traditional riggers in the world. As his expertise and passion for the art of rigging grew, Brion's education was taken to the highest levels, rigging everything from tiny daysailers to huge square-riggers and yachts. With his extensive experience, Brion is able to take the ageless wisdom of traditional rigging and apply it to the materials and applications of today, pursuing the challenge of designing the ideal rig, that unique combination of details best-suited to a particular boat and its particular crew. The ideal rig will make any boat sail better, cruise better, faster, and safer. At Brion Toss Yacht Riggers they practice a systems approach to rigging,in which all components the rig, hull structure, and even the captain and crew are treated as an interdependent, interrelated system.

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Sam Landsman
Sam is the Managing Editor of the Waggoner Cruising Guide. He is out every cruising season updating the Waggoner for the area ranging from Olympia to Ketchikan. He took his first trip up the Inside Passage from Seattle to Glacier Bay, Alaska several years ago in his family’s 22-foot C-Dory. Next, he circumnavigated Vancouver Island with the C-Dory. He has moved up and now lives aboard his 37’ Nordic Tug where he has continued to explore the anchorages and ports of Southeast Alaska. Last season, Sam was a flotilla leader for the Waggoner Guide’s Flotilla Trips up the Inside Passage. His articles have appeared in the Waggoner Guide, Waggoner eNews and Pacific Nor’West Boating on cruising, maintenance and marine electronics topics.

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Kevin Monahan
Kevin has spent most of his career on the British Columbia coast, first as a fisherman, then as a Canadian Coast Guard patrol boat skipper, and later as the Pacific Region Manager of the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety. Kevin, just recently retired from Transport Canada national HQ in Ottawa where he worked on marine regulation and safety issues. Kevin is the author of "The Radar Book"' "GPS-Instant Navigation" and "Local Knowledge-A Skipper's Reference". His books and presentations have helped boaters get the most out of their boats and their equipment so they can manage their boat confidently and enjoy the cruising experience.

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Liza Copeland
Both as a racer and cruiser Liza has sailed extensively internationally, including completing a circumnavigation with her young family. Just on their current boat, Bagheera, she and husband Andy have voyaged over 121,000 miles to 114 countries including extensive recent cruising locally to northern BC and Alaska.
A former educational psychologist, Liza now writes for many boating magazines and is the award-winning best-selling author of four cruising books. Just, Still and Comfortable Cruising describe her family’s world travels and sabbatical around North and Central America (from Vancouver). Cruising for Cowards, written with Andy, (latest update 2015) is a combination of both the technical and practical aspects of cruising and is an excellent resource for her seminar.

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Jeff Paxson
Jeff is the owner of Marine Detail Specialists—a full service marine detailing company in the Pacific Northwest. This company is run by the husband and wife team of Jeff and Anya Paxson. Jeff has been around boats his entire life. He began detailing at the age of 15 and has expanded his knowledge and expertise over the years. He is very passionate about his work and the relationships with his clients. Jeff brings with him the expertise and knowledge to help Boat Show U. participants to understand the secrets of making their own boat look great and retaining its value.

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Lee Chesneau
JLee is a highly experienced professional meteorologist on land & at sea (with over 70,000 miles under his keel), a retired naval officer, author, & dynamic instructor and lecturer. He has an ongoing distinguished 40-year career, during which he received a number of awards and recognition. Lee’s career includes service with the U.S. Navy, the National Weather Service (NWS), & the private sector, specializing in maritime weather forecasting & ship routing. Lee is also the author of the book, “Heavy Weather Avoidance,” and has written numerous magazine articles. He is a speaker at a number of Safety at Sea Seminar Symposiums (SASS), marine trade, & boat shows. As a certified approved U.S. Coast Guard instructor for five maritime schools teaching Standards Training Certification, and Watch-Standing for Seafarers (STCW) for Basic and Advanced Meteorology. Each is a five-day course for professional mariners. Lee has a version of each course tailored to the commercial fishing and recreational communities in both one and two-day courses. Lee is dedicated to educating and training every seagoing mariner on self-reliance for their own marine weather & forecasting, strategic routing, emphasizing prudent independent decision making. He has his own company, Lee Chesneau’s Marine Weather www.marineweatherbylee.com and can be reached by e-mail at lee@chesneaumarineweather.com.

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Pam Wall
Pam Wall had her honeymoon in 1972 crossing the Atlantic on a 30 foot timber sloop. Her first ocean passage, and the next couple of years cruising in Europe, were happily spent sailing with no radios, no electronic navigation equipment, no engine, and a black bucket for a toilet. Once home from sailing back across the Atlantic, Pam and her husband, Andy, built their own Freya 39 sloop. After taking their two small children around the world on, KANDARIK, Pam worked at the West Marine store in Fort Lauderdale for 20 years as West Marine's "Cruising Consultant and Outfitting Manager." Pam and Andy sailed their boat KANDARIK back and forth across the Atlantic three times after returning home from their circumnavigation.

Pam started the Outfitting Program at West Marine where she helped fellow sailors get fully prepared for offshore cruising. Pam not only helps cruisers have the right equipment for blue water sailing, but she is also a source for information on the cruising lifestyle, routes and sailing information, and helping to encourage new cruisers.

Today Pam has her own sailing and cruising consulting business and lectures at boat shows around the country. Down at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands, Pam has been an instructor for their annual "Women on the Water Week." You can also attend the Annapolis Cruiser's University where the highly popular two day course for "Cruising Women" takes place.

Pam is a member of the Cruising Club of America, the Ocean Cruising Club, and has been awarded the "Seven Seas Award" from the Seven Seas Cruising Association. She is also a member of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami, Florida.

Pam can be reached at her home in Fort Lauderdale at: pam@pamwall.com
Facebook: Pam Wall Outfitting and Cruising Consultant
And on her Website: www.pamwall.com

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Nigel Calder
Nigel Calder got into motorcycles and sailing dinghies as a teenager, and has never been far from mechanical things and boats ever since. In a varied career, before becoming a full-time sailing writer he worked on an automotive assembly line, in a foundry and machine shop, and on offshore oil production platforms. He and his wife, Terrie, built a couple of 70-foot canal boats (on which they lived in Oxford), and a 39-foot Ingrid cutter. They then sailed a Pacific Seacraft 40 for 5 years, following which they had a Malo 45 built in Sweden. This was replaced by the same boat but with experimental electrical and propulsion systems. It was used by the European Union HYbrid MARine (HYMAR) project, of which Nigel was the Technical Director, for extensive testing of hybrid propulsion systems. Nigel is a member of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) Electrical Project Technical Committee. Nigel and Terrie have sailed in the North Sea, Scotland and points further north, the US east coast and Bahamas, and extensively in the Caribbean, with Pippin (now aged 28) and Paul (27) augmenting the crew along the way. Nigel is best known for his Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and his Marine Diesel Engines, both in their third editions, and both considered the definitive works in their field and a must-have on every cruising vessel. In addition to over 200 magazine articles, he has also authored a ‘Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean’, ‘Cuba: A Cruising Guide’, ‘Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook’ and ‘How to Read a Nautical Chart’.

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Larry Brandt
Larry is an ASA Advanced Coastal Cruising Instructor and has been a Skipper for Sailing Vessels, Crew for Powerboats. He has particular strength as navigator, and additional experience in the waters offshore Washington, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Columbia Bar, Puget Sound waters, and Canadian waters. An experienced instructor, Larry has taught American Sailing Association-certified Advanced Coastal Cruising, Navigation and courses. Certified by both Oregon and Washington to teach the State-Recognized boater education courses. In addition to boating, Larry rounds out his past experiences holding Airline Transport Pilot License (multi-engine), Commercial Pilot License (single-engine, helicopter and seaplane).

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Ticket Prices:

  • Adults $12
  • Youth (11 to 17) $5
  • Kids 10 and younger Free
  • 5-Day BIG Pass $24