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Seattle Boat Show
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Boat Show University Course Descriptions:

Friday, January 24
Session 1:  9 – 12 
Using New Technology for Navigation and Cruising: iPad, iPhone, Smartphones - The best apps, software and tools
Presented by Mark Bunzel
During the last two 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: Marine Systems
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 25
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: 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 3: 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
  • Interpreting wave height forecasts, and strategies for dealing with ocean waves
  • 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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Sunday, January 26
Session 1:  9 – 12
Cruising in the Upper Half of British Columbia and Into Ketchikan, AK
Presented by Captain Linda Lewis

You finally have the time to live the dream and cruise the Inside Passage towards Southeast Alaska. This seminar will give you the information you need to have a safe and fun 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. Topics will include: route planning; strategies for crossing Queen Charlotte Strait & Dixon Entrance; decision-making tips for weather/wind/seas; print & online references; paper charts vs. back-up electronics; communications/internet access via Cell/WiFi & other methods; anchorages and moorages; fuel & repairs; water & provisions. Clearing 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 SE AK this year, but now you’ll know it’s possible and how to do it.

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Session 2: 12:30 – 3:30
Cruising in Southeast Alaska 
Presented by Captain Linda Lewis

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 3: 4 – 7
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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Monday, January 27
Managing Your Boat Like a Pro
Presented by Kevin Monahan and Mark Bunzel

When you pilot an airplane, a check-list is always at your side. Why not the same approach to Cruising and Managing the Maintenance of your Boat? This seminar will step through a practical approach to Managing Your Boat Like a Pro with checklists for all phases of operation. With a checklist approach you will never leave the dock again with the power cord still attached to the dock! Has this happened to you yet? Or, with a checklist the annual maintenance cycle to prepare your boat for cruising will be covered. This approach will add to your safety and enjoyment on the water. Checklist templates will be handed out which can be modified for the systems on your boat. The checklist approach will make you a more confident captain of your boat for your cruising enjoyment and the safety of your family and friends.

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Tuesday, January 28
Introduction To Developing Self Reliance in Marine Weather & Forecasting
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” (global scale; jet stream; synoptic scale; lows & highs on the meso-scale; squall lines on the micro scale;. thunderstorms/micro-bursts/waterspouts). The global scale is about “global pressure & wind belts”, such as those that prevail in the “trade wind belt”.

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 cover the marine forecast products and services provided by the local NWS office in Seattle for local weather for the islands and Inside Passage cruising.

Lee will show you the comparison of forecasts (48-96 hours surface pressure forecasts) to current surface pressure analysis charts to illustrate 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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Wednesday, January 29
OUPV/Master 100-Ton License Renewal Course
Presented by Captain Skip Anderson 

This is an official USCG-approved, industry-grade course that fulfills the requirement for professional mariners wishing to renew their licenses where they do not have the required underway sea service per 46 CFR 10.209 (c)(i).  Captain’s licenses are good for five years, followed by a one year administrative grace period, so each year this course is an imperative for a substantial percentage of the licensed captains in the region.  The renewal process will be briefed in detail, followed by a robust day full of instruction.  Two USCG-approved examinations will be administered late in the afternoon, with USCG-required completion certificates presented for those that pass the exams.   

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Thursday, January 30
Introduction To Developing Self Reliance in Marine Weather & Forecasting
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” (global scale; jet stream; synoptic scale; lows & highs on the meso-scale; squall lines on the micro scale;. thunderstorms/micro-bursts/waterspouts). The global scale is about “global pressure & wind belts”, such as those that prevail in the “trade wind belt”.

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 cover the marine forecast products and services provided by the local NWS office in Seattle for local weather for the islands and Inside Passage cruising.

Lee will show you the comparison of forecasts (48-96 hours surface pressure forecasts) to current surface pressure analysis charts to illustrate 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.

>> Return to Boat Show University Schedule >>


Friday, January 31
Critical Systems Review, Failure Prevention and Analysis
Presented by Steve D’Antonio

The right equipment and predictive maintenance are the keys to more enjoyable, less stressful and less costly cruising. In this interactive and photo intensive seminar the focus will be on fuel, electrical and running gear systems. For each system Steve will discuss the equipment options, the pros and cons of each and the top predictive maintenance actions you can take to keep each of these critical mechanical systems healthy…while keeping your vessel and its systems seaworthy, reliable and safe. The presentation will be interactive, ample time will be allotted for questions and discussion sessions.

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Saturday, February  01
Session 1:  9 – 12 
Diesel Fuel Systems, Tanks, Filtration and Polishing Explained
Presented by Steve D’Antonio

Clean fuel, it’s the very lifeblood of any diesel engine and for that reason its importance cannot be overestimated.  Contaminated fuel not only raises the risk of unexpected engine shut down, it increases the likelihood of damage to metallic fuel tanks.  One of the most effective ways of making certain the fuel that reaches an engine is clean is to ensure the fuel delivery system, plumbing, manifolds, tanks, as well as primary filtration, are properly designed, installed and maintained.  Beyond that, there’s fuel polishing, supplemental, stand-alone filtration that operates before it gets to the engines.  In this photographically intensive, interactive PowerPoint presentation you’ll learn about the details of fuel systems, from how they operate to how to design and install an efficient, reliable and effective system.  You’ll discover why all fuel systems are not created equal and how to distinguish between supplemental filtration and true fuel polishing systems.  Making heavy use of images from the field, an emphasis will be placed on material selection as well as proper design and installation techniques.

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Session 2: 12:30 – 3:30 
Achieving Electrical Independence:  How to design and maintain an electrical and charging system
Presented by Steve D’Antonio

How to design and maintain an electrical and charging system that will enable sailing and power vessels to cast off their shore power cord.  In this PowerPoint presentation marine technical journalist and marine systems consultant Steve D’Antonio will dispel common misunderstandings and myths about marine charging and electrical systems, while detailing a systematic approach to achieving energy independence.  An emphasis will be placed on robust installations that offer users the greatest reliability, safety, value and practicality.  The presentation will include details on alternator selection, AC chargers, battery types and installations and relative American Boat and Yacht Council recommendations. This is an interactive session, questions are encouraged.

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Session 3: 4 – 7
Top Ten Upgrades: What You Need and Want to Know
Presented by  Michael Beeme
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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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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 Intercoastal 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 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 chairman and still an active member 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. Along with the Academy 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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Lori and Greg Bernard
Greg and Lori Bernard have been sailing for 13 years, 12 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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Captain Linda Lewis
Capt. Linda Lewis holds a USCG 100-Ton Masters license and provides customized, private instruction on-the-water, on-your-boat – for individuals and couples (www.privateboatinginstruction.com).  An Emeritus Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Washington, Linda now focuses her teaching and speaking skills on recreational boating. She also teaches a 10-week Navigation course (Feb/March/April) to the public for the USCG Auxiliary – a course to which she brings her eleven years of hands-on experience cruising the Inside Passage. She also speaks at yacht clubs and boating seminars and was the editor of the 2007 Douglass cruising guide: Exploring Southeast Alaska. An avid boater for 40 years (sail & power), Linda now cruises the Inside Passage with her husband on their 45' trawler-style vessel. They trade the role of Captain yearly and share on a 50-50 basis all docking, navigation, and boat handling.

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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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Captain Skip Anderson
Captain Anderson is USCG Licensed Master and the founder and chief instructor for Flagship Maritime, preparing and certifying mariners for careers as licensed maritime industry professionals.  Anderson’s naval career spanned twenty-four years, including service around the globe, and aboard three destroyers, one frigate, three aircraft carriers, and one battleship.  He holds a B.S. in Operations Analysis from the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and a M.S. in Command, Control and Communications from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  He was a letter-winner on the U.S. Naval Academy Varsity Sailing Team, and went on to compete in several national and North American championships, plus one Olympic Trials.  He is a certified US Sailing Club Race Officer, a certified ASA sailing instructor, vice chair of the Washington Boating Alliance, lifetime member of the US Naval Institute, founder of the Tacoma Tall Ships Society, and a resource regarding all matters maritime throughout the region.

Flagship Maritime is a USCG-approved vocational school licensed by the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board as an Eligible Training Provider.

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Lee Chesneau
Lee 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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Steve D’Antonio
Steve has been employed continuously in the marine industry since 1988, beginning as a mechanic and electrician and, in 1994 going on to manage boat yards and custom boat building shops in North Carolina and Virginia.  In that same year, he published his first article, "Upgrading the Electrical System" in Cruising World magazine.  Since that time he has written hundreds of technical, seamanship, destination, boat review and historical articles for various publications, including Professional Boat Builder (Contributing Editor), Ocean Navigator (contributing Editor), PassageMaker (Technical Editor), Cruising World (Contributing Editor), Nautical World, Seaworthy, Soundings, Practical Sailor and among others.  Steve is a graduate of Boston College (1986), receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with an emphasis in Russian/Soviet history and affairs and a graduate of the Woods Hole-based Semester at Sea program.  In November 2007 Steve launched Steve D’Antonio Marine Consulting, Inc. (www.stevedmarineconsulting.com), which offers marine systems consulting, management and technical training and pre-purchase services to boat owners, boat builders and others within the marine industry.

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Ticket Prices:

  • Adults $12
  • Youth (11-17) $5
  • Kids 10 & Under Free
  • 5-Day BIG Pass $24