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Boat Show University Course Descriptions:

Friday, January 29
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 four 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 allow a flow of data between different systems on your boat and your pad or computer.

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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 sail and powerboaters. With proper maintenance these engines run reliably 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 30
Session 1:  9 – 12
Learn from an Expert What to Do When the Going Gets Tough
Presented by Bill Baker

There are some days that just don’t go right when out on the water. The weather may change. The waves have grown big and nasty. The winds picked up and the boat’s engine is making a strange sound. When things start to go wrong on the water, it can get very uncomfortable. Expert, Bill Baker, will take you through scenarios that do happen on the water and what you can do to get through it in the safest possible way. Every boater should take this course for the safety and comfort of you and your crew. The course will cover:

  • Your fears - and the answers
  • Equipping your boat for changing sea conditions
  • How to use different equipment
  • Reading sea conditions and the weather
  • Steering the best direction when in rough seas
  • Docking in rough weather
  • How to diagnose engine problems
  • How to help your crew to avoid sea sickness
  • Tips from the expert - who has been there

A checklist will be available for all participants.

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Session 2: 9:30 – 12:30
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 3: 12:30 – 3:30
Starting the Trek North through Southern BC
Presented by Lori and Greg Bernard

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 
What to do when the Captain drops dead becomes incapacitated!
Presented by Mark Bunzel
What would you do if your captain became incapacitated and now it's your time to take the boat back to the dock? Mark will cover the basics of the key steps to how to prepare and the basics you need to know to be able to report an emergency on the radio, press the DSC Emergency button, and how to respond on the radio. He will also cover the basics on how to handle the boat to return to the dock. Mark will provide a checklist to use on the boat just in case something unfortunate happens. This course is structured for cruising couples, or the significant other who would like to be ready - just in case.

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Session 5:  4 – 7 
Testing the Waters: Cruising the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the East Coast of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)
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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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 31
Session 1:  9 – 12
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 2: 9:30 – 12:30
Cruising the Wild and Scenic Coast of Northern 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 3: 12:30 – 3:30
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 4: 1:00 – 4:00
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 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
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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Monday, February 1 9am - 4pm
A Woman’s Perspective: 101 Practical Tips for Safe and Fun Cruising
Presented by Margaret Pommert

Whether you're the Captain or the First Mate, you can make cruising on your boat more enjoyable for all with basic tips from experts who will share techniques from their experiences on how to cruise alone, with a crew, or as a cruising couple.

  • Envision and Plan Your Dream Trip: We will cover how to research, plan, and turn your dream into a reality. Using our approach to itinerary development, we will show you how to plan around tidal current gates and exciting things to do. We will discuss pre-trip planning, shakedown trips, provisioning and stowing things on board.
  • Master the skills: We will cover basic understanding and troubleshooting of boat engine and electrical systems, avoiding and dealing with bad weather, docking shorthanded, using electronic navigation including RADAR and AIS, avoiding seasickness, anchoring, using VHF and communicating with the outside world, knots to know, and more.
  • Travel Safely and Comfortably: We will help you address any fears and build your confidence, addressing issues from 'Suddenly Alone' situations if your partner is ill or overboard... to dressing for warmth and comfort. You will develop a personalized, fact based assessment of these and other concerns, and a specific plan for addressing all the elements that stand between you and your dream trip.

Over the day, we will provide you with check-lists and practical solutions to enjoying the passage of your dreams.

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Tuesday and Wednesday, February 2-3 9am - 4pm
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, February 5 9am - 4pm
Self-Sufficient Seamanship:
Understanding Boat Electrical Systems - key design criteria, do-it-yourself installation procedures, and simple troubleshooting techniques for the layperson
Presented by Nigel Calder

This course starts with a brief explanation of core electrical terms followed by key design criteria for both DC and AC systems. Because a failure to abide by these is responsible for many problems on boats (and, in the case of AC circuits, can result in corrosion of underwater metals and/or is hazardous to those onboard or swimming in the surrounding water). We will discover how to keep your batteries in a healthy state and will reference some of the newer technologies that are likely to transform the performance of your electrical systems in coming years. We will look at solar and wind power, LED lights and DC-to-AC inverters. We will see how to size and install electric circuits that comply with boatbuilding and safety standards, including the very important, and often neglected, provision of adequate over-current protection. We will look at core troubleshooting techniques, especially with a multimeter, that can be safely conducted by any boat owner. We will specifically investigate cranking circuits (the most common cause of an engine’s failure to start), charging circuits (the primary cause of battery failures), and general boat circuits. Included will be a look at the popular NMEA 2000 electronics network, with core troubleshooting techniques.

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
  • NMEA 2000 electronics networks

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. Attendees will come away with the ability to do basic wiring and electrical installations, and simple troubleshooting techniques that will enable the majority of electrical problems to be rapidly identified. The over-arching goal is to raise the confidence levels of boat owners with today’s increasingly electrically-loaded and complicated boats.

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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Saturday, February 5
Session 1 & 3: 9-3:30
Self-Sufficient Seamanship
Understanding Marine Diesel Engines - do-it-yourself maintenance and troubleshooting
Presented by Nigel Calder

A brief introduction to how a diesel engine works will be followed by a detailed description of the key systems – fuel, oil, air, cooling, and the transmission to the propeller – with associated maintenance. The goal is to identify and facilitate the maintenance that can be done by a boat owner while at the same time delineating tasks which require a professional mechanic. We will look at simple troubleshooting procedures, focusing on the most commonly experienced problems. We will define optimized operating modes that will maximize efficiency and engine life, and minimize maintenance. We will round out the day with a do-it-yourself engine health check for older engines. No previous experience is required. Attendees will come away empowered to carry out all normal maintenance on their engines and to troubleshoot some of the more common problems experienced at sea. 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

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Session 2: 9:30 - 12:30
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 4: 1:00 - 4:00
Understanding Pacific Northwest and Inside Passage Weather
Presented by Mark Bunzel

Understanding how to gather and interpret the weather when cruising can be the difference between smooth cruising and a rocky ride. There are many sources of marine weather information including the internet and the VHF radio. During this course Mark will present an approach to finding the right weather information to help you make go or no-go decisions, or to understand when to speed up or delay your cruise itinerary. He will mix in local knowledge for tides and currents and their impact on sea conditions. Using his checklist approach you will be able so interpret and understand the weather information and make effective decisions based on forecasts, buoy and lighthouse reports and graphical analysis..

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Instructor Bios

Bill Baker
Bill has spent the last 40 years upgrading, maintaining, repairing and restoring wooden and fiberglass boats for his own firm and others. He is the majority owner of Bake’s Marine, one of the leading boat dealers in the Seattle area. In addition he provides on-water training, yacht delivery, water test/sea trials, yacht purchase consultation, and vessel management through his company Bake’s Marine Consulting. Bill holds a USCG 100-ton Masters License. He owns, instructs and cruises in his extensively modified Defever 60 MV Shibumi. He has had a rogue wave blow out all forward windows on a west coast delivery, had fire aboard, had fuel problems and had a shaft come out on sea trial in Costa Rica. He has docked in 40 knot cross winds and had an engine shut down crossing the Columbia River bar in the fog on opening day of salmon fishing.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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Margaret Pommert
Margaret is a Puget Sound based boating instructor, teaching classes from beginning sailing through docking, bareboat chartering, coastal navigation, and advanced coastal cruising. She started boating over 35 years ago, and has since explored thousands of nautical miles in various parts of the world in a wide variety of sail and power boats, monohulls and catamarans. Margaret has enjoyed many of the world’s top cruising destinations, including the Inside Passage to Alaska, San Francisco Bay, the Med, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, the Great Lakes, the Channel Islands, Mexico, and Chesapeake Bay. She’s a certified instructor with both the American Sailing Association and U.S. Sailing, and holds a U.S. Coast Guard Master Captains License in Power, Sail, and Towing. Margaret has long been committed to getting more women on the water, and is active in groups such as Northwest Women in Boating, Women Who Sail, and Women Who Sail and Power Cruise Pacific NW. Margaret teaches private, co-ed and women-only sailing lessons, including week long “Learn-n-Cruise” San Juan Sailing courses that transform complete beginners into skippers able to bareboat charter anywhere in the world. She leads annual women-only flotillas, and is in her 3rd year of leading the Seattle Sailing Women’s program.

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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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