All posts by Zeke Quezada

Meet Captain Steph

Captain Stephanie Mansberger Wolters is an ASA trained instructor and USCG Licensed 50 Ton Masters Captain with Sailing and Towing Endorsements. Growing up in Morgantown, West Virginia, Stephanie learned to sail at a young age through the Sea Scouts. There she learned to navigate and race on small and large bodies of water.  These days she sails out of Fort Myers, Florida with classes through ASA affiliate Island Dreamer Sailing School. Captain Stephanie regularly offers women’s only courses as well as multi-day courses in the Caribbean and the Flroida Keys.

Stephanie acquired a taste for the cruising / liveaboard lifestyle in 2011 after working a few seasons as Sailing Commissioner at Sea Base in the Florida Keys. She’s lived aboard 41’ & 45’ sailboats for a little over 5 years as she taught ASA lessons full time – mostly teaching sailing charters in the Florida Keys with advanced sailing lessons cruising offshore and in the Intercoastal Waterway between North Carolina and the Florida Keys. She has specialized in teaching Couples Sailing Lessons, Women Specific Sailing Classes, Youth Lessons, works occasionally for Biscayne National Park Institute as one of their Charter Captains, and was featured throughout ASA’s 104 Bareboat Cruising Text Book as one of their instructor models.

In addition to sailing, Stephanie is a full-time interior designer with Benson & Associates in Fort Myers, Fl. She loves to sail, design, kayak, cycle, and SCUBA dive in her free time along with hanging out with her husband Brandon, NAUI SCUBA Director extraordinaire, and all five of their fur kids.

Go Sailing With Captain Steph

Captain Steph sails out of Fort Myers, Florida where you might catch “Captain Copper” on board, her longtime feline crewmember. She sailing on the Caloosahatchee River or the Gulf and teaching out of Island Dreamer Sailing School in Florida. She offers women-only sailing courses as well as multiday courses in the Keys and Bahamas.

With over 10,000 nm of sailing under her belt, she has sailed throughout the Florida Keys, Offshore East Coast & Inter Coastal Waterway (from New Jersey to Key West, Fl), Saronic Gulf (Greek Islands), Abaco Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, and the Western Coast of Florida. She has operated various types of power and sailboats ranging from small sailing dinghies to 40’+ cruising vessels, 75’ tall ships, and 40’+ catamarans varying from fun evening cruises, to live aboard style week-long sailing lessons, and offshore boat deliveries.

SAILING: (Courses taught aboard your personal vessel, S/V Bandit, or chartered vessel)

  • Learn to Sail on your Own boat
  • Docking on Your Own Boat

American Sailing Association Courses:

  • ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing
  • ASA 103 – Basic Coastal Cruising
  • ASA 104 – Bareboat Cruising
  • ASA 105 – Coastal Navigation
  • ASA 106 – Advanced Coastal Cruising
  • ASA 114 – Cruising Catamaran
  • ASA 118 – Docking Endorsement

What Type of Sailboat is This?

This past winter while sailing in the Sir Francis Drake Channel in the British Virgin Islands I noticed a peculiar catamaran heading in our direction. A two-masted catamaran. Have you seen a boat like this? Does it have a name?

How often do you see a sailboat and realize that it has a different sail plan or configuration and most likely has a different name?  

This guide to sailboats should help you identify the types of sailboats you might encounter while on your cruising adventures.

Continue reading

Who Do You Sail With?

ASA school Spinnaker Sailing in San Francisco shared this photo of Romain and Lucio taking ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing as a father and son team. 

All you need is this photo to explain what sailing is all about.

Meanwhile, take a look at some of these and hopefully, they will inspire you to share your love of sailing with others.

This photo is all about handing over the helm to your children at a young age. They grow up and soon they will take you on sailing adventures around the world.

This what they grow up and become. By the way, they don’t pose for pictures as easily anymore and getting them to work on the wood instead of sailing is impossible.


Share your photos with us and show us what sailing means to you. 

Who do you sail with, friends, family or strangers? The sailing lifestyle is infectious so share it with others and tell us who you sail with.


SeaTrek BVI shares their boat with Teenagers!


Sea Safaris in Chicago and ASA Captian Jean “John” De Keyser and his wife “Admiral” Mila share their boat and knowledge of destinations worldwide on Flotillas.

Flotilla-Croatia-Dubrovnik-Sea-Safaris-02

Captain Joe Mastrangelo in the Florida Keys at Veterans Sailing Association sails with Veterans!


Manhattan Sailing School sails with all of their friends in New York Harbor and in exotic destinations on Arabella.


Our friend and fellow sailor, Kelsey Durham, shares his boat with other racers.


ASA Sailing School, Sailing Virgins, go sailing with their newfound friends in destinations around the globe.

Sail Local: Sailing Colorado

Drive across Colorado and you’ll notice that there are a lot of mountains and a lack of an ocean.  Rivers flow in every direction from the Continental divide and you are more apt to find a ski resort than a sailing school. However, they exist and if you thought that being landlocked would prevent you from learning how to sail, you would be wrong.  Colorado is home to plenty of lakes and reservoirs and it is there where Coloradans work on their sailing education. 

There is a sailing community in Colorado. Is Colorado the place for you to learn to sail? We asked Victoria Sailing School to shed some light on sailing in Colorado. 

Continue reading

What Is Your Role on a Boat?

Your ASA sailing education will prepare you to be a skipper on a sailing vessel and with that comes the responsibility of keeping your crew safe and ensuring the safety of the vessel you are sailing.  You will also have a crew and responsibilities are spread among those on the boat with you.

What type of sailor are you and what role do you take on the boat?

The Roles on a Boat

When on a charter sailing vacation your group will share responsibilities. While the skipper and mate will take the lead on running the boat, many important tasks are available for the crew to handle. These roles can be rotated and the entire crew can become familiar with the complete operation of the vessel.

Skipper

Assure the safety of the crew and the safety of the boat and to ensure that the way the boat is handled complies with all relevant rules and regulations.


Engineer

Performs engine checks and routine inspections of systems.


Navigator

Checks weather forecasts, plan sailing routes and courses, and monitors the boat’s position under way.


Helmsman

Steers the boat to the courses supplied by the navigator.


Trimmer

Supervises sail trim to suit the course being steered.


Dinghy Captain

Ensure the dinghy is clean, dry, inflated, fueled, and equipped with safety gear and that it’s properly secured at all times.


The Crew Responsibilities

The crew’s primary responsibility is to follow the skipper’s orders for the safe operation of the boat. Even if a crew is made up of family members, including children, the skipper needs to establish order for the sake of safety.

These Three Asa Certification Courses Will Prepare You to Take on Any Role on a Sailboat:

ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing will prepare you to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat of approximately 20 to 27 feet in length by day in light to moderate winds (up to 15 knots) and sea conditions. Knowledge of basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards. Auxiliary power operation is not required.

ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising will prepare you to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered (inboard or outboard engine) keelboat of approximately 25 to 35 feet length by day in moderate winds (up to 20 knots) and sea conditions. Knowledge of cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, safety and seamanship.

ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising covers 55 skills that must be completed to earn certification. In addition to being able to skipper a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered keelboat of approximately 30 to 45 feet in length during a multi-day cruise upon inland or coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30 knots) and sea conditions you will have knowledge of provisioning, galley operations, boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, routine maintenance procedures, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation including basic chart plotting and GPS operation, multiple-anchor mooring, docking, health & safety, emergency operations, weather interpretation, and dinghy/tender operation. 

Falling in Love with Sailing, 101 Steps at a Time

As the COVID -19 restrictions have begun to slowly be lifted sailing schools have been able to start their summer sailing seasons. ASA had Caribbean Travel Writer, Bob Curley, participate in ASA 101 with Black Rock Sailing in Rhode Island as restrictions were lifted.  Students wore masks in the classroom and on the boat. Social distancing was practiced (where possible) while taking the course.

Continue reading

Tips From The Text “Tides and Currents”

Sailing Tips Come From Bareboat Cruising Made Easy, the Official Manual for the ASA Bareboat Cruising Course. (ASA 104)

Tides are the vertical movement of water caused by the gravitational fields of the sun and the moon acting on bodies of water. Tidal Currents are the result of water moving between high and low tides.

Depending on where you sail your experience with tides and currents will vary. Sailors in San Francisco Bay regularly sail with a fast-moving current that dictates even the most mundane of sail plans. Have you ever seen the tide in the Bay of Fundy?

Continue reading

ASA Featured Instructor: Tibor Van den Wildenbergh, Victoria Sailing School

Tibor learned to sail through the Victoria Sailing School, from its founder, Jim Cook. Since then he has been sailing and racing extensively. You can find him at Chatfield racing nearly every Wednesday night during the season. He currently teaches basic on the water courses, as well as a Diesel Maintenance Course, and Racing and Spinnaker courses.

Tibor Van den Wildenbergh is this month’s Featured Instructor.

Continue reading