Catamaran Guru has been involved in sail training for the American Sailing Association as sailing school instructors since 1996. We taught hundreds of people (mainly couples) how to sail and how to approach the cruising lifestyle enthusiastically but safely. Stephen is also an instructor examiner and is the recipient of the prestigious "Outstanding Instructor" award for the ASA. We have recently added the International Certificate of Competency (ICC) from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to our resume and have an endorsement from NauticEd, one of the most advanced online sailing educators.
The ASA sail training courses provide a good grounding for all new sailors and the weeklong live-aboard courses are invaluable for anyone who plans to own their own boat. We combine our hands-on practical training methods with the most up-to-date theory courses, all while living aboard for a week, enjoying a stress free cruising lifestyle. During a weeklong live-aboard course, students will learn how to sail, anchor, trim sails and navigate, but more importantly, you will learn how to safely get from point A to point B…and then, like all good sailors, enjoy watching the sunset in a gorgeous anchorage with your favorite beverage in hand.
Alert! Until further notice, we will not teach live-aboard sailing courses ourselves. We are currently conducting onboard "Boat Buying: How to choose the right boat" seminars, which is taking up all our time for the moment. Contact us for sailing school recommendations.
We are very proud of our former students. Most of them have embraced yachting, sailing and cruising in some way or another. Many of our graduates have successfully moved on to owning their own boats. Some are long-term cruisers or charter boat owners and some have even done successful circumnavigations. Others have done long-term sabbaticals and several graduates have even moved on to successful careers in the marine industry as yacht brokers, charter yacht operators and charter management.
The demand for sailing schools is overwhelming and we are simply not able to meet the demand ourselves. We have therefor teamed up with some of the best training facilities in the USA, Bahamas and Caribbean to provide top-notch training.
Catamaran Guru introduces Captain Jeff Riecks and his boat, Mira Mar, a Fountain Pajot Lavezzi 40 as one of our "preferred" schools in Florida! We toured his boat, checked out the location in Tavernier, Florida, enjoyed some quality time with him and we decided to recommend him as a first rate school!
He operates in the Florida Keys / Bahamas from November through May, and the Chesapeake Bay from June through October, with passage-making opportunities in between.
Jeff is a highly educated and accomplished sailing instructor, but best of all, he is just a really nice and fun guy and a great teacher who is passionate about sailing! He specializes in catamaran sailing adventures and American Sailing Association (ASA) courses.
He is currently the Standards Coordinator for the American Sailing Association (ASA), where he contributes to the upkeep of ASA’s education standards, textbooks, and exams. He also serves on the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Education Standards Panel (ESP), and is a member of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) Project Technical Committee (PTC) for the National On-water Skills (NOWS) Program.
The catamaran, Mira Mar is a 2006 Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40. Mira Mar is a 4-cabin, 2-head layout, with queen/double berths and is a well appointed and comfortable boat. Mira Mar is not too big or intimidating and is the perfect catamaran to learn on for "newbies".
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND Jeff Rieks and Mira Mar Sailing Adventures as a sailing school and for an enjoyable sailing adventure in Florida!
Catamaran Guru offers a 5% discount to all our readers who would like to learn how to sail and who would like to book a sailing school with Jeff. Check out Mira Mar Adventures Sailing School for rates and more info OR contact us directly for info.
To receive your SPECIAL 5% CATAMARAN GURU DISCOUNT on weeklong sailing school courses, please quote this coupon code: CATGURU450S.
We have known Andy and Lisa Batchelor for a while and have the highest regard for their skills as experienced sailors and sailing instructors. Andy Batchelor, a retired wing commander from the Royal Air Force has received the “Outstanding Instructors” award five times.
He is a USCG captain and ASA Instructor Evaluator. His lovely wife, Lisa Batchelor Frailey has had a successful career in the US Navy as a navigator, meteorologist and oceanographer. She too, is a USCG captain and has received the “Outstanding Instructors” award four times.
Founders of an award-winning ASA sailing school, they are a formidable team and together they have launched their new company, Kinetic Sailing. We highly recommend them as sailing school instructors. These two are also the authors of the brand new textbook “Bareboat Cruising Made Easy” – ASA course 104 - for the American Sailing Association (ASA).
Mark Thompson is the Chief Instructor accredited under NauticEd & RYA programs and can issue the International Certificate of Competency (ICC) certificate. The ICC is an international license ratified under United Nations resolution 40, an attempt to ensure all sailors entering or chartering in foreign waters have a recognized minimum standard of expertise.
Mark has a significant sailing resume including multiple Atlantic Ocean crossings and experience in Caribbean, Mediterranean, Australian and USA waters. Mark's career has centered on charter catamarans including a 5-year captaincy aboard the luxury yacht S/Y Lone Star. At 85' she was at one point the largest charter catamaran in the Caribbean and after crossing the Atlantic, Mark and his crew, hosted families on more than 100 weeks of charter.
Mark grew up in Melbourne Australia and joined the maritime industry after a career converting inner city office buildings into trendy apartments. During a year spent traveling the world he discovered a sailing career while driving through Viareggio Italy and thought "you mean I get paid to sail?". His love of sailing is infectious and his calm, patient demeanor has empowered hundreds of students to consider a bareboat charter and many to purchase their own boat. Whatever your level of expertise, the practical time spent with Mark will be enlightening and your certification will open up a world of sailing opportunities.
Get to know NauticEd, the world's most advanced online sailing educators. We have also teamed up with NauticEd, the most advanced online sailing education and certification program. Doing these online courses before the practical on-the-boat training helps prepare students for different sailing scenarios. The NauticEd certifications are internationally recognized by most charter companies. These interactive multimedia online sailing courses are a great way to learn and a great way to get more out of sailing school.
The Director of Education, Grant Headifin, is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable world-class sailor. He and his NauticEd team are eager to share their knowledge. Please try some of the free interactive courses and the Catamaran Sailing Confidence Clinic. I'm sure you will enjoy it and learn a lot. However, Grant emphasizes that electronic navigation is an aid to the good sailor's senses, but cannot replace them. No matter if you are a beginner or a master, we guarantee you'll learn some really cool high-tech stuff as well as essentials. It's a fantastic value at only $29.
Catamaran Guru can assist with private training classes with approved instructors for new boat owners depending on availability
Catamaran Guru and their partner schools follow internationally accepted standards of the American Sailing Association. We offer basic, intermediate and advanced sailing and navigation courses during one week live aboard cruises. This format provides the most immersive environment possible and provides a more thorough experience than being on the boat only a few hours a day. Sure, we have textbooks and required reading, but that's to prepare you for "hands on" instruction and practice.
ASA Standards and Certifications
The ASA sailing curriculum is composed of eight levels from Basic Sailing to Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passagemaking. Our courses combine two to three levels of the ASA program taught in a one week liveaboard format.