Looking to boost your boating knowledge? Anacortes’ Cruisers College might be the place

The summer cruising season is just around the corner, and if you’re in need of some new technical skills or simply want to become a better boater, you might not need to look any farther than Anacortes’ Cruisers College.

Launched in 2016 with the goal of providing mariners with high quality, useful marine courses at a reasonable price, Cruisers College’s aim is to create safer and more self-sufficient boaters who have the skills to confidently repair and upgrade their vessels. All of the college’s classes are held in a first class marine training facility that allows instructors to  provide demonstrations and hands-on activities for students.

Similar to Skagit Valley College’s (SVC) technical program — which provides training for new technicians and has great material for boat owners but requires 12 weeks per course — Cruisers College brings in expert staff to teach eager students. And the courses are taught at SVC’s Marine Technology Center in Anacortes on the weekends so visitors can have time to come from out of town by boat or car to participate.

Their slate of upcoming classes in April includes:

Intensive 3-Day Marine Weather: April 3, 4 and 5 

Instructor Lee Chesneau will combine interactive lectures and hands on exercises over the intensive 3-day period beginning with the 101 building blocks of weather basics before moving onto the diverse core of marine oriented weather products from graphics, alpha-numeric text, to voice broadcasts. Whether you’re a novice or experienced cruiser or racer who sails and cruises the Inside Passage, the Pacific Northwest coast and farther offshore into the North Pacific, this is an extremely educational course designed to wrap your head around all things weather related.

DIY Diesel Engine Training: April 8 

For sailors and powerboaters alike, having your diesel engine fail at the wrong time can ruin a cruise or put your boat in a perilous situation. The key to keeping a properly functioning engine is having the know-how to maintain it properly and troubleshoot effectively should something go wrong. Using the Marine Tech Center’s diesel engine lab, instructor Mike Beemer will work with live diesel engines to show students the different systems and boost your overall engine knowledge. Topics will include annual and regular Maintenance, changing oil and filters, changing fuel filters, flushing the heat exchanger, replacing impeller, belts and hoses, and troubleshooting.

A Woman’s Perspective: 101 Practical Tips for Safe & Fun Cruising: April 8 

Join Captain Linda Lewis as she provides basic and technical tips to make your cruising adventures more enjoyable. Passage planning for area waters, basic understanding and troubleshooting of boat engine and electrical systems, avoiding and dealing with bad weather, using electronic navigation – including Radar, AIS and VHF Radio — and communicating with each other and the outside world will all be topics of discussion. She’ll also help you identify any fears you might have and suggest ways to build your confidence.

To find out more and sign up for Cruisers College classes, visit cruiserscollege.org.

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