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2017 Boat Show University Course Descriptions:

Friday, January 27
Session 1:  9 – 12 
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 step by step 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 2: 12:30 – 3:30
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 and those not so funny little sounds
  • 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 3: 4 – 7
Navigation with New Technologies
Presented by Linda Lewis
Marine navigation has transitioned from paper charts to electronics. While many use to carry paper charts as a back up, now many mariners travel with multiple electronic chartplotters ranging from a laptop or pad/tablet device with a navigation program, to a full dedicated chartplotter installed at the helm. Until now, many navigation training classes have stayed the same teaching the basics using nav tools and paper charts. This course is for those who may never use a paper chart but need navigation skills to successfully navigate using the new technology on pads/tablets chartplotters and PCs.

Captain Linda Lewis has taught thousands of mariners and is an expert navigator. She has created a new program to teach navigation skills using iPads, tablets and chartplotters. She will show you how to plot a course and understand how to best use the capabilities of your electronic nav equipment for safe navigation. If your primary means of navigating with your chartplotter or nav software is to use the “Go To” button – you will benefit from this course and be a safer and more competent on the water.

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Saturday, January 28
Session 1:  9 – 12
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 1B:  9:30 – 12:30
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 2: 12:30 – 3:30
Understanding Pacific Northwest Weather for Safe and Comfortable Cruising
Presented by Jeff Renner

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

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Session 2B: 1:00 – 4:00
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 3: 4:00 – 7:00
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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Session 3B: 4:30 – 7:30
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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Sunday, January 29
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/Wi-Fi communications. If you don’t own a boat for this passage, we will cover the options for chartering. This seminar will also launch you successfully towards future cruises up the Inside Passage and maybe even to Southeast Alaska.

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Session 1B: 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 boat owners 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:

  • New digital radar technologies are now available with many new capabilities
  • How to use your marine radar system while underway
  • Basic radar tuning and how to set up an older system
  • How to interpret the screen display and how to correlate it to navigational charts, the surrounding area, and other vessels around you including integrating AIS and full overlay

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

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Session 2: 12:30 – 3:30
Cruising the Wild and Scenic Coast of Northern British Columbia and on to Ketchikan, AK
Presented by Mark Bunzel
You 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 Inside Passage north of Cape Caution 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, passing Cape Caution 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/Cape Caution and 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 begin planning for a future passage.

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Session 2B: 1:00 – 4:00
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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Session 3: 4:00 – 7:00
Cruising Southeast Alaska – Beyond the Most Popular Destinations
Presented by Leonard and Lorena Landon
The ultimate Northwest boating destination; Southeast Alaska. The dream is here. You’ve arrived in Ketchikan. Now, where to go, what to expect, and how to prepare. Beyond cruising the most popular “trapline” destinations, they will present how to explore the lessor traveled destinations. Topics include: trip planning; routing alternatives; what to expect in the way of weather, wind, & seas; anchorages & moorages; wildlife expectations; hot springs; ruins & relics; boardwalk villages; water & provisions; fuel & repairs; print & online references; VHF radio issues; communications/internet access via Cell/WiFi & other methods; information on permits and cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, LeConte Glacier, and other favorite locations like: Anan Bay Bear Observatory, Elfin Cove, and Hoonah; as well as off beaten track locations like Yakutat and Point Baker. You’ll likely want more than one cruising season in Southeast Alaska 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 3B: 4:30 – 7:30
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 communicate your emergency and take the boat back to the dock? Most importantly, has the captain prepared the information needed to call for help and manage the boat? Mark will cover how to prepare an emergency binder and procedures someone needs to know to be able to report an emergency on the radio to authorities, and what happens when you press the red 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 and how to pull someone out of the water. Mark will provide a checklist template you can use to create your own emergency binder for use at the helm by crew or family that may suddenly find themselves in charge of the boat. This course is structured for cruising couples, or the significant other who would like to be ready - just in case.

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Monday, January 30 9am - 4pm
A Woman’s Perspective: 101 Practical Tips for Safe and Fun Cruising
Presented by Capt. Margaret Pommert (Sail) and Capt. Linda Lewis (Power)

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

  • Envision and Plan Your Dream Trip: We will outline how to research and plan for the trip. For example, we'll show you how to time the tidal current 'gates' for safe passage. And we'll show you how to find exciting places and things to do.
  • Master the skills:The Inside Passage is about world-class cruising in glorious surroundings. It can also be about making a passage inside yourself as you build the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence to make safe and happy trips. We will cover basic understanding and troubleshooting of boat engine and electrical systems, avoiding and dealing with bad weather, using electronic navigation - including Radar and AIS, using the VHF Radio, and communicating with each other and the outside world.
  • Travel Safely and Comfortably: We will help you identify any fears you might have and suggest ways to build your confidence. We'll look at 'Suddenly Alone' situations - if your partner is ill or overboard (Life Sling pick-up), to dressing for warmth and comfort and avoiding seasickness. You will use check-lists to assess your own skill-needs and begin making a specific plan for tackling anything that stands between you and your dream trip.

A day with us can help you start making the change from dreaming... to reality.

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Tuesday and Wednesday, January 31 - February 1 9am - 4pm
Understanding Weather Forecasting & Cruise Decision Making for Off-Shore Cruising
Presented by Lee Chesneau

Successful Pacific Ocean blue water cruising on the offshore and high seas waters involves receiving some form of extended range marine weather forecasts from pilot charts, alpha-numeric text forecasts, to the real time graphical analyses and forecast charts. These products are generated and issued from government agencies such as the U.S. NWS/NOAA, Japan’s JMH, or Environment Canada.

In this two-day workshop, we will look at how to integrate the appropriate pilot charts and real time core synoptic scale weather charts, including the 500 mb and sea-level surface pressure, & wind/wave analyses & forecast charts:

  • First; we’ll look at long range distance voyage planning via pilot charts.
  • Second; the importance of documentation and verification of marine weather forecasts will be presented through a 120 hour period (5-days) to enable an ocean navigator to develop the big picture through the use of synoptic scale weather charts.
  • We then will tie together the big picture to local marine phenomenon (e.g. gaps winds in the uneven land-sea interface of the Pacific Northwest) to the nearby offshore waters and the longer-range forecast of these conditions.
  • Finally, we will bring it all together by developing a plan for a North Pacific Ocean virtual voyage from Puget Sound via the Strait of Juan De Fuca, south along the U.S. West Coast to San Francisco, then westbound to Hawaii, using all available resources previously discussed & introduced.
  • Lee’s free short-form seminars at the Seattle Boat Show can provide a good prerequisite to the 2 day advanced course.

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).

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Thursday, February 2 9am - 4pm
Preparing for and Surviving the Race to Alaska (R2AK)
Presented by Daniel Evans, Katy Stewart, & Mark Bunzel

The Race to Alaska, better known as R2AK, is one of the most challenging boating events in the world. 750 miles from Port Townsend and Victoria up the Inside Passage, ending in Ketchikan, Alaska all by wind or human-power. Along the way the waters can range from flat calm to tidal current whirlpools to torrents of wind swept seas that can reach 8 feet or more!

Still interested? This day-long seminar will cover:

  • Preparing you and your crew for the event
  • Preparing and equipping your boat for whatever this event might throw at you
  • Understanding the weather, the waters, and the currents to successfully survive this event
  • And if things do go wrong – what do you need to know to survive and possible recover to continue the race, or when to decide it is time to give it up for another year.

R2AK Race Boss Daniel Evans will lead this talk with presentations from Inside Passage veteran and Waggoner Guide Editor Mark Bunzel on what conditions to expect on the water and Katy Stewart, an experienced sailor and past R2AK participant, who will talk about the realities of this race from actual experience. If you plan to enter the R2AK, this day-long seminar will give you a lot of useful information for surviving and maybe even winning the $10,000 or a set of steak knives.

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Friday, February 3
Session 1B: 9:30 – 12:30
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 1: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your Boat’s Electrical Systems
Presented by Mike Beemer

Michael Beemer, a Skagit Valley College Marine Technology Instructor will take you through the ins and outs of your vessel’s electrical systems. There is plenty of information every boat owner should know about these critical systems, whether they are doing improvements themselves, paying a professional for upgrades, or simply trying to understand this complex system and “Keep it Alive”. Every boat owner should understand their electrical systems—

  • How an electrical system works
  • Warning signs
  • How to monitor the system to ensure proper working function
  • How to use a multi-meter for trouble-shooting
  • General maintenance
  • Alternative energy
  • How to make repairs to this critical system on almost every cruising vessel

This one-day course includes new technologies and how they might interface or be a solution for your energy needs. Let’s keep the light’s on J

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Saturday, February 4
Session 1: 9-3:30
Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your Boats Diesel Engine System
Presented by Mike Beemer

Michael Beemer, a Skagit Valley College Marine Technology Instructor, will take you through the ins and outs of your diesel engine. There is plenty of information every boat owner should know, whether they are doing the maintenance themselves or paying a professional. The bottom line is boat owners need to have a reliable diesel engine while out on the water, and there are a few things you must be able to do. Michael will cover all the topics you need to know about your diesel engine—

  • Seasonal and Routine Maintenance
  • Fuel tanks, including filtering and bleeding of engines
  • Troubleshooting common problems
  • Cooling systems
  • Understanding engine starting circuits
  • Charging your battery bank
  • and other topics he calls “Keeping it Alive”

This one-day seminar will leave with you a solid understanding of your diesel engine and provide peace of mind while out on the water.

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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 2B: 1:30 - 4:30
You Don’t Need to Own a Boat to Cruise the NW and the World
Presented by Mark Bunzel, Jim Rard, & Brian Pemberton

Want to go boating in some of the most beautiful places in the world? Are you waiting until you can buy the perfect boat for the trip. Are you waiting for retirement when you have extended time to cruise? Don’t wait! Do it! Three cruising trip leaders and charter experts will tell you about the different options available to cruise in the Northwest, SE Alaska and some of the best places and most scenic places in the world. We will show beautiful pictures and discuss the options for flotillas and charters to and within SE Alaska, cruising the South Pacific, Australia, the Caribbean and Europe. We will even cover cruising bareboat canal boats in Europe. There are many options whether you own a boat or not. At the end of this seminar you may even reserve your own trip of a lifetime.

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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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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 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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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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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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Leonard and Lorena Landon
Leonard and Lorena have been boating Pacific Northwest waters for over 30 years. Primarily power boaters, they have navigated the waters in sport boats to trawler vessels. In the early years, they bareboat-chartered, cruising from Olympia, WA to the reaches of British Columbia with their two young sons. Since 2010, they have been cruising year-round on their 46’ Pilothouse trawler and have logged over 20,000 miles on West Coast waters from Manzanillo, Mexico to Yakutat, Alaska. 2017 will be their fifth season in Southeast Alaska. Leonard has extensive navigation skills both as a boater and a licensed aircraft pilot. Lorena enjoys the unique adventures that boating brings and has written a blog for each of their excursions (llcruise5.blogspot.com). She was the author of Cleats & Eats, a series of restaurant guidebooks for boaters, published from 2002-2010, and has written articles for local boating magazines. Lorena currently serves on the Boating Programs Advisory Committee for the State of Washington RCO.

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Captain Linda Lewis
Linda is an experienced professional educator, PhD, and former Associate Professor at the University of Washington. She has over 40 years of boating experience with 9 passages to SE Alaska in her logbook, and holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-Ton Master's license. She is a member of the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary and teaches electronic & traditional navigation course to the public. Through her company, Private Boating Instruction she provides personalized instruction on the water to couples and individuals to build or improve their boating skills.

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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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Jeff Renner
Jeff Renner has been a fixture in forecasting ?Seattle weather for more than three decades. He recently retired as the Chief Meteorologist at Seattle's King 5 News. He is a pilot, skier, climber, scuba diver and boater as well as the author of several books, including Northwest Marine Weather. He is frequently called as an expert witness in legal cases. This combination of skills and interests puts Jeff in a unique position to explain the ins and outs of northwest weather and how it affects boating in the Pacific Northwest and the Inside Passage. Jeff has taught weather interpretation to a variety of user groups, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. Jeff has a new publication due out in May called Marine Weather Pocket Guide: A Field Reference, published by Mountaineers Books.

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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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Katy Stewart
Katy is currently working in the Marine Casualty Response Division at Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. She works to help find solutions when vessels get into a tricky spot. She has a U.S. Coast Guard Captains 100-ton Rating and has trained in marine firefighting, oil spill response and oil spill aerial observation.
She has been a sailor most of her life and sailed to Mexico for the first time at the age of 3, on board a trimaran built by her Dad. Last year, she borrowed another of his homemade boats to take on the Race to Alaska.

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