Do-it-yourself sailors interested in technical topics such as electrical systems, marine refrigeration, diesel engine maintenance and celestial navigation have a unique opportunity to learn from experts during the spring series of weekend workshops at the Annapolis School ofNavigation & Seamanship.
Workshops are conducted in the school's classroom at Pier 7 Marina on the South River in Edgewater.
Next Saturday's offering is a session on diesel theory and maintenance, taught by Robin Allison of Atlantic Marine Propulsion in Annapolis. In addition to being a marine diesel expert, Allison also is anaccomplished instructor in the field, whose work with women's sailing programs over the years has drawn high praise.
The workshop series began this weekend with back-to-back sessions on "Electrical Systems -- AC and DC for Boats," followed by a workshop on "Boat Refrigeration," taught by John Cermak of Offshore Systems.
Those who missedthem need not despair, however, because both of these workshops willbe repeated later this month.
Another highlight of the program will come at the end of April. Louise Burke, an expert offshore heavy weather sailor who served as director of the Naval Academy's Offshore Sailing Program and was a key figure in establishing the academy's noted Safety at Sea seminar series, will offer a two-day course in celestial navigation.
The non-profit Annapolis School of Navigation & Seamanship, which is dedicated to excellence of instruction in navigation, seamanship, sail vessel handling and blue water cruising, is the only school that has been approved by the Maryland Commission for Higher Education for offshore on-the-water training.
In addition, the school also is an approved American Sailing Association training facility and provides certification for both students and instructors at all levels of competence from basic keelboat sailing to offshore passage-making.
The school's director is Richard Sandifer, who currently serves as master of the S.S. Sealand Discovery, a 700-foot container ship owned by Sealand Service Inc. He has a Master's Unlimited Tonnage Oceans License for steam and motor vessels, and also has a first-class pilotage endorsement for San Juan Harbor and a license as Master of Auxiliary Sailing Vessels (100 tons) upon Oceans.
Sandifer said that for future workshops the school plans to offer instruction in a wide range of areas of interest to boat owners as a supplementto its hands-on training cruises. A major goal of the workshops is to provide boat owners and charterers with the necessary information to be completely independent at sea or while cruising inland waters, he said.
The current series of workshops, as well as those that will be scheduled in the future, are designed to directly complement theschool's offshore navigational training cruising and flotilla cruises to Bermuda, around the Delmarva Peninsula, and in the Chesapeake Bay, Sandifer said.
"The workshops will be intensive and are intended to present comprehensive coverage of various subjects, not just a cursory survey," Sandifer said.
Registration already has begun for the school's 1992 summer season Bermuda and DelMarVa navigational cruises, which will sail from Annapolis on the school's 55-foot ketch-rigged training vessel Flying Cloud.
Information on the weekend workshops and the summer navigational cruises is available by writing theAnnapolis School of Navigation & Seamanship, 49 S. South River Road,Edgewater, Md. 21037, or by calling Sandifer, at 956-2439.
Speaking of offshore trips to Bermuda, it's time to start making serious plans for this year's Bermuda Ocean Race, a biennial race from Annapolis to St. George's, Bermuda, set to start June 13.
Sponsored jointly by the Eastport Yacht Club at this end and the St. George's Dinghy & Sports Club at the other, the race has an entry limit of 50 boats, so it's always wise to get an application in early to avoid being shut out.
The regatta kicks off this month with a pre-race reception for entrants, family, crew and friends on March 28 at Eastport Yacht Club.
This June's event, which will be the eighth Annapolis-to-Bermuda contest, is designed for racer/cruiser yachts, particularlythose with a higher ratio of the latter than the former, to be an affordable, safe and winnable blue-water race.
First run in 1979 by an informally organized fleet of seven boats, the race offers a challenging combination of inshore and offshore racing. The first 125-mileleg of the race is down the bay to Norfolk before the course bends eastward across the Atlantic, negotiating the Gulf Stream along the way, for another 628 miles to Bermuda.
This combination of inshore and offshore work is relatively unusual and marks this race, which is actually quite a bit longer, as significantly different from its venerable counterpart, the traditional Newport-to-Bermuda Race, which takes place at about the same time every other year.