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WORKSHOP - 2018 Offshore Sailing Workshop // Annapolis, MD

  • Chesapeake Sailmakers 7366 Edgewood Road Annapolis, MD, 21403 United States (map)

Offshore Sailing Workshop

$500pp // Sept. 29 & 30, 2018

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Join Andy, Mia & friends in Annapolis for a weekend all about offshore sailing. This in-depth, small-group-discussion based workshop will focus on what we feel are the most important aspects in offshore sailing. This weekend is still a work in progress, but we've got a date set and have now opened the weekend for registration. The workshop is limited to the first 20 people to register. There will be more details and info as the summer progresses.

Join us Friday evening Sept. 28 at 1700 for a happy hour & a chance to get to know the other participants! Friends and family welcome as well, even if they're not in the course.

We'll cover the following topics & more:

  • Boat design & how to find a suitable used boat
  • Outfitting, incl. 'mission critical' gear & safety equipment
  • Sail selection & offshore rigging
  • Weather interpretation & weather sources
  • Modern navigation & iPad tools
  • Leadership & watch rotations
  • The offshore galley
  • Physical & emotional fitness 

*This will be a discussion-based weekend, and not your typical PowerPoint seminar! So come armed with questions and topics YOU want to hear about, and bring them up!*

Boat Design & Selection

Swan 48 Lines.png

The weekend will be supported by Forbes Horton YachtsForbes himself will be on hand and will select 3 or 4 brokerage boats that we will examine in detail in small groups. You'll learn what to look for when buying a used boat, how to do a self-survey, and what design characteristics make for a good oceangoing sailboat.

We also hope to have Sojourner on hand for tours and walkthrough's with Andy's dad Dennis. Dennis has outfitted and sailed Sojourner to the Caribbean 3 of the past 4 years, and will be getting the boat ready in fall 2018 for another passage south. Check out the ways in which we took his 1986 Wauquiez Hood 38 and outfitted it for offshore sailing!


Andy will lead a discussion on offshore weather, focusing on big picture weather patterns, choosing routes and seasons, how to interpret GRIB files, outline synoptic charts & text-based forecasts and how to put it all together to make better weather routing decisions at time of departure and offshore.


Andy & Mia will go over how they've evolved their thoughts on navigation from paper charts through to using an iPad as their primary source of electronic navigation. We'll discuss our favorite iPad apps, why we installed an old-school standalone radar on Isbjorn in her last radar, how we use paper charts and why it's important to understand some basic concepts of celestial.

Safety Equipment & Firefighting

 Kevin driving Isbjorn towards St Bart's in 2017.

Kevin driving Isbjorn towards St Bart's in 2017.

We'll also be joined by professional fireman Kevin Pachas, who sailed aboard Isbjorn with us in 2016, and who will be joining us for the next trans-Atlantic in 2019. Kevin will spend a short amount of time talking about fire prevention and firefighting, one of the most dangerous situations for a sailboat offshore, and one of the least covered in magazines and seminars. Kevin will demonstrate different types of fire extinguishers and what works best on a boat.

We'll also have on hand some of the crucial safety equipment we feel is required for offshore sailing, and you'll be able to see how it works. For example, what makes the right offshore liferaft? Or PFD/harness combo? How do SOLAS flares differ from USCG? Stuff like that, which we think you'll find useful.

Other Highlights

The weekend will be tailored to the folks who join us - there will be substantially more time focused on answering your questions and providing real-world, hands-on demonstrations, and less time in front of powerpoint displays listening to people talk. We'll focus on what Mia & I have found to be most helpful throughout the 50,000 miles we've sailed offshore.

The goal is to make this a weekend workshop unlike most seminars you will have attended, and by the end of it we hope to have some new friends! Of course, there will be time for lots of sea stories, photo slideshows of our adventures and discussions on all things offshore sailing! 

What's Included (Or Not)

We'll provide the following for the weekend:

  • Coffee on all day (Swedish style!) - bring your own mug, we will NOT have plastic cups!
  • Happy hour Friday night & Saturday night. We'll provide beer, wine, water & soft drinks. No food, no hard booze, but feel free to BYO beer/wine if you have a favorite!
  • Whatever materials are needed for the course itself (we'll notify you in a newsletter if there is anything specific you'll need to bring).

What's NOT included:

  • Food (eat brekky beforehand & pack lunch or eat at one of the nearby cafes!)
  • Accommodation if you're coming from out of town (we like to use Airbnb).

Sign Up Now!

Add To Cart

To register for the seminar, simply click the 'Add to Cart' button. Complete the signup form below by and clicking 'signup'. A form will pop-up on screen - complete that form, hit 'signup' and make sure to complete the checkout process and payment by going to the shopping cart, which will appear at the top right of your screen.