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San Diego, CA

March 5 - 16, 2018
April 2 -13, 2018
April 30 - May 11, 2018
June 4 - 15, 2018
July 9 - 20, 2018
August 6 - 17, 2018
September 10 - 21, 2018
October 1 - 12, 2018
October 29 - November 9, 2018
December 3 - 14, 2018

Alameda, CA
April 23 - May 4, 2018
July 9 - 20, 2018
October 29 - November 9, 2018

Long Beach, CA
March 5 - 16
December 3 - 14, 2018

Monterey, CA
March 19 - 30, 2018

Newport, CA
June 18 - 29, 2018
October 1 - 12, 2018

Oxnard, CA
April 16 - 27, 2018

Santa Barbara, CA
September 11 - 22, 2018

So. Lake Tahoe, CA
May 14 - 25, 2018

San Diego, CA

June 4 - 22, 2018
Nov. 26 - Dec. 14, 2018

Alameda, CA
June 18 - 29, 2018
October 15 - 19, 2018

San Diego, CA

March 19 - 23, 2018
May 21 - 25, 2018

Offered on the First Thursday of
Any Scheduled Captain Course

Offered on the First Tuesday of
Any Schedule Captain Course

San Diego, CA
May 21, 2018
September 24, 2018

Alameda, CA

February 12, 2018
April 30, 2018
November 14, 2018

San Diego, CA
June 18 - 22, 2018
August 15 - 19, 2018
October 15 - 19, 2018

Alameda, CA
June 4 - 8, 2018
September 10 - 14, 2018
December 17 - 21, 2018

Long Beach, CA
May 14 - 18, 2018
November 12 - 16, 2018

San Diego, CA
June 18 - 20, 2018
August 15 - 17, 2018
October 15 - 17, 2018

Alameda, CA
June 4 - 6, 2018
September 10 - 12, 2018
December 17 - 19, 2018

Long Beach, CA
May 14 - 16, 2018
November 12 - 14, 2018

San Diego, CA

March 14, 2018
April 18, 2018
May 2, 2018
June 13, 2018
June 22, 2018
July 11, 2018
August 1, 2018
August 29, 2018
September 5, 2018
October 19, 2018
November 14, 2018
December 19, 2018

Alameda, CA
March 2, 2018
April 11, 2018
May 9, 2018
June 8, 2018
July 25, 2018
August 15, 2018
September 19, 2018
October 31, 2018
November 28, 2018
December 21, 2018

Captain's Corner - Gazing at Stars (and the Sun) Gets More Complicated
- By Captain H.G. "Rags" Laragione - President
Greetings Mariners - Welcome to the March/April issue of the Maritime Institute newsletter.

Many mariners attend a Celestial Navigation course here at the Maritime Institute in order to get an Oceans endorsement. In these courses, the theory and mechanics of noon sun shots and star fixes are taught, but until recently, it was not a requirement to actually go out in the noonday sun or in the cold cold night and actually do the shoots.

Well, no more. The National Maritime Center (NMC) has recently established new requirements to do just that, or you may have your Captain's License limited to the 200 mile limit.

Delivered by highly qualified Instructors, the two week course covers all required types of celestial navigation calculations for mates and masters and satisfies the Celestial Navigation Training & Assessment Requirement of STCW A-II/1.

The new NMC requirements are meant to ensure that if all of our modern day electronics should fail in the middle of the ocean, we will actually be able use the skills we were taught to find out where we are.

That's it for me this issue - I hope you found this useful - Enjoy the newsletter, and remember - Education is the key to safe boating, so, lets get educated.

See Maritime Institute at the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show
The Maritime Institute will be exhibiting at the Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show (Formerly the Strictly Sail Pacific Show) from Thursday April 19th - Sunday April 22nd. The show is being held at the historic Craneway Pavilion and Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond, California.

Dan Leninger, Maritime Institute's Northern California branch manager will be presenting a seminar entitled "How to Get Your Captain's License –- Rumors, Myths and the Truth". Dan poses the question, "Why settle for a 6-Pack, when in addition you can get a Master (Inland) and a Mate Near Coastal License with the same amount of Sea Time?"

Dan's presentation clears up the rumors and myths surrounding USCG licensing. Attendees at this seminar learn everything they need to know about who needs a license, the requirements for different types of licenses, the complete application process, and more. The presentation will me made three times - Friday at 10:30 a.m. and then again on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Celestial Navigation Course for Offshore Sailors Returns March 24th
The Maritime Institute has scheduled a return in March of Hewitt Schlereth's popular Celestial Navigation For Offshore Sailors course. The course covers the modern method of finding your way around the open ocean by our stars and the sun.

The course is divided into seven consecutive four-hour Saturday sessions of sextant practice followed by classroom work. The first of the 7 sessions will be held on Saturday, March 24th - then on each following Saturday through May 25th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Maritime Institute's facilities at 1310 Rosecrans St., Suite G, San Diego, CA 92106.

The Nautical Almanac, a notebook for recording your sextant sights, plotting sheets, plotter, textbook and Sight Reduction table 249 are included in the $195.00 course fee. Class size is limited to 6 students.

Students will need to have a digital watch that continuously displays hour, minutes and seconds, or one with a sweep second hand. Students will also need to have their own notebook, pen, pencil, eraser, and dividers. If a student has a sextant, plan to bring it. Otherwise, there are several available at the Institute for use during the course.

Your instructor, Hewitt Schlereth, a lifelong sailor and navigator of blue water and shoal, is the author of six books on celestial navigation. His Celestial Navigation in a Nutshell is the textbook for the course. Call Toll Free at 888-262-8020 if you have any questions or to register to attend the course.

Autopsy of a Capsize - Did "Wave Height" Have Anything To Do With It?

- By Commodore Vincent Pica
When it comes to the forces that can cause a boat to capsize, tragedies abound that point to the urgent need for more understanding of the effect of wave height in this phenomenon by boat captains.

There is a tremendous amount of data on "Righting Moments", "Center of Buoyancy" and "Center of Gravity" thanks to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, amongst many other institutions that literally live and die by these metrics.

To understand the forces of capsizing, and how those forces change when you load the boat, let's get some terms under our belt.

Most of us understand "Center of Gravity" (G) instinctively, but what is the "Center of Buoyancy" (B)? The Center of Buoyancy is the center of the volume of water which the hull displaces.

When a ship is stable, the Center of Buoyancy is vertically in-line with the center of gravity of the ship. So, as long as the Center of Gravity pushing the boat down is above the Center of Buoyancy pushing the boat up, we're good.

How good? That is a very good question and as with many good questions, it requires more information to answer properly. Take a look at this diagram.

What is that "M" sitting up there above our trusty Center of Gravity and the Center of Buoyancy? That is something very important called the Metacenter.

The Metacenter remains directly above the Center of Buoyancy regardless of the heeling of a boat (tilting caused by external factors like wind or waves) or listing (tilting caused by internal factors such as poorly stowed cargo or on-boarding of water by wind or waves).

Now take a look at this diagram. If you are starting to worry about the distance between "G" and "M" called the "Metacentric Height" (or "GM" in naval architecture parlance), you're catching on quickly.

The math gets pretty complicated from here but suffice it to say that the ability of the boat to right herself, i.e,, her "Righting Arm" or "Righting Moment" has a lot to do with GM. The larger the GM acting as a lever, the better.

Sail boats are designed to operate with a higher degree of heel (greater GM) than motor boats but the principles are exactly the same.

So, as we asked in the beginning, what does wave height have to do with capsizing?

You can infer that your motor boat's Center of Gravity and Center of Buoyancy can't be too far apart when the entire distance from the keel to the floor boards is probably something like 2' or 3'. Think of her draft. It isn't a big number, even for a 40 footer. No reason to panic but you now realize that M, G and B can't be that far apart, which means that GM just can't be that great either.

And GM is a surrogate for the righting ability of your boat.

But wait. I've been out in some pretty steep seas and I think the boat handled it well.

Yes, that's because studies conducted by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) determined that 3 things must exist for a capsizing to occur:

1. The boat is broadside to the wave.

2. The boat is struck by a breaking wave, and

3. Wave height must exceed a certain percentage of the boat's length.

When these three things occur, the wave contains enough energy to overcome a boat's righting moment.

So, what is that "certain percentage?" At only 30% of your boat's length, (about 6' from trough to crest for a 20' boat), things enter directly into the realm of high danger. At 60%, it is nearly certain that one wave will catch you and then you, the crew and the boat may well come to grief.

One Last Thought - Be mindful that as you change the weight of your boat (with cargo or people), you change its Center of Gravity. This is because the Center of Gravity "follows the weight" - so if you have ice forming in the rigging for example, you need to take that sort of thing into account. This can make the boat 'more tender', i.e., it can reduce the Righting Arm, which makes the boat easier to capsize.

Commodore Pica is District Directorate Chief; Strategy & Innovation; First Coast Guard District, Southern Region USCGAux.

He is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master Captain. BTW, if you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at or go direct to the D1SR Human Resources department, who are in charge of new members matters, at DSO-HR and we will help you "get in this thing"!


Introducing Leah Loyer - Maritime Institute's New Administrative Assistant

The next time you call or visit the Maritime Institute, chances are that the exceptionally cheerful and helpful person who will greet you is Leah Loyer, Maritime Institute's new Administrative Assistant. Leah joined the Maritime Institute seven months ago to team up with Tammy Poole in the front office, and in that short time has become an important member of our staff.

Born and raised in Michigan, Leah also has spent good portions of her life living in Idaho, San Diego and Montana. While in Montana, Leah graduated from the University of Montana in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

In 1988, Leah enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and believe it or not became a proficient Engine Mechanic, specializing in Detroit Diesel engines and also many Outboard Motor brands. While in the Navy, she was stationed initially at Naval Air Station Pensacola, and then at Naval Air Station San Diego, where she mustered out as a Petty Officer 2nd Class Engineman.

Also worth mentioning, in the process of these duties while in the Navy, Leah also qualified as a Coxswain.

The maritime world also runs deep in Leah's family. Her mother Dianna and her "Pop" Bob Simons are both prominent members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in San Diego, and the family is also part owner of Seabreeze Nautical Books and Charts of Point Loma. Bob Simons also gained notoriety recently as the co-owner and co-developer of the new Sirius SOS Distress Signal.

Leah's duties at the Maritime Institute include answering telephone questions by prospective students about the Institute's courses; guiding students through the USCG credential application process and general front office duties. When asked what her favorite duties at the Institute are, she said, "The best part of what I do is working with the students, making them feel welcome and comfortable, and helping them through the process of obtaining their Captain's credentials is very rewarding." Welcome aboard Leah!

Australia Claims "First Ever" Rescue at Sea by Drone

It might not be an exaggeration to say that drones are likely to change the world in the future on the same magnitude as the internet has done - and similarly, for both better and worse.

On the better side of the ledger, however, nothing shows more promise than the use of drones in search and rescue missions - both on land and on the water.

The internet is abuzz with companies anxious to get into the game of producing drones suitable for search and rescue operations and organizations anxious to start experimenting with them.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been looking at the prospect of getting such a drone fleet for over two decades, but critics complain that to date, the Coast Guard has still not deployed a single drone.

Meanwhile, other countries and organizations around the world are pressing ahead, and two weeks ago on January 19th, in what is being described as "first", lifeguards successfully deployed a drone to rescue two boys in trouble while swimming off the eastern coast of Australia.

There was a lot of luck, though. Members of the Australian Lifeguard Service just happened to be training with the drone - which is being developed to spot sharks - when they got word that the swimmers were having difficulty nearby as they encountered a 9-foot swell in rough surf conditions.

The lifeguards steered the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is equipped with a flotation pod that can be dropped into the sea toward the swimmers who were 800 metres away. After spotting them, they dropped the pod with pinpoint accuracy.

The two grabbed onto it and made it to shore with the help of the waves. A team of lifeguards who had raced to the scene in an ATV greeted the two. They were unharmed.

Maritime Institute and the Sea Scouts Restore a Classic Yawl

The eyes of the world are watching a fun project taking place at the home of Maritime Institute President H.G. "Rags" Laragione. Several Sea Scouts and "Rags" are restoring a badly in need of some lovin' Drascombe Lugger 19 foot yawl.

Cruising Outpost, Latitude 38, and the California Boating Safety Officer's Beacon are just three of the magazines that are following the project, as are the people at Drascombe, the manufacturer of the Lugger in the U.K.

When it's finished, the team envisions new rigging and a Bristol Finish white hull with a narrow gray stripe along the gunwales, and the standard lugger crimson sails.

Captain Laragione is a founding member of Sea Scout Ship 1886, hosted at the San Diego Yacht Club.

The goal is to have the boat finished in time to unveil it at Opening Day on Sunday, April 22nd at the San Diego Yacht Club. The boat will then be donated for use by the Sea Scouts.


Maritime Institute Can Teach the Course You Need Near You
The Maritime Institute teaches regularly scheduled maritime courses in classrooms all up and down the California Coast and at South Lake Tahoe.

The Maritime Institute is your complete source for U.S. Coast Guard approved courses for the recreational, professional, military, and law enforcement professional.

Our curriculum covers everything from the basic maritime rules of the road, to the OUPV/6-Pack and Upper Tonnage Captain's Licenses (Master 100, 200, 500 & 1600 GT and 3rd Mate).

If none of these locations work for you however, please note that you can take many of these affordable courses on-line. Please call us Toll Free at 888-262-8020 if you have any questions or would like to register to attend a class.


Have 10 or More Students That Need Training? Maritime Institute's Professional Mobile Team Will Come Do the Training at Your Facility
If your organization or company has ten or more students that need U.S. Coast Guard approved maritime training, the Maritime Institute's "Mobile Team" of instructors will come to your facility to perform the training.

This is an extremely cost effective alternative to what it would cost to transport and house your students at our facility.

If you would like to have a no obligation quote for our mobile team service, please give us a call at 1-888-262-8020. The total cost varies depending on the desired course(s) to be taught; the number of students; and the cost of moving instructor and materials to your location.

This option is ideal for entities such as private clubs; law enforcement and military agencies with maritime branches; fire departments with fire boats; commercial maritime companies; etc.

Upcoming Courses at the Maritime Institute

There's no better time to upgrade your maritime education and get certified to improve your career and your paycheck.

Visit for a complete description and pricing of the these and other U.S. Coast Guard approved courses we have coming up in the next few weeks, or please call us Toll Free at 888-262-8020 if you have any questions or would like to register to attend a class.

On-Line Education Study at Your Own Pace
2017 Course Schedule
The on-line courses are self-paced which allows you the convenience of learning in your own home at your own pace. Each course consists of lessons and activities.
Current Course Schedule

Click Here to Download a
PDF of our complete 2017
Course Schedule
Course Locations
San Diego, CA
1310 Rosecrans St., Suite G
San Diego, CA 92106

Alameda, CA
Maritime Institute
1150 Ballena Boulevard, Suite 255
Alameda, CA 94501

Dana Point, CA
Dana Point Marine Inn
24800 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629

Long Beach, CA
Shoreline Yacht Club
386 East Shoreline Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802

Monterey, CA
Brandman University
99 Pacific St., Suite 375-B
Monterey, CA 93940

Newport Beach, CA
Harbor Police Training Office
1901 Bayside Dr.
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

Oxnard, CA
Channel Islands Yacht Club
4100 Harbor Boulevard,
Oxnard, CA 93035

Santa Barbara, CA
Marine Center Classroom
125 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, Ca. 93109

South Lake Tahoe, CA
Tahoe Keys Marina
2435 Venice Drive East #100
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Note: Course locations may change. Upon registering for a course the
exact location will be verified.

1310 Rosecrans Street, Suite G, San Diego, CA 92106
Toll Free:
888-262-8020 - Tel: 619-225-1783 - Fax: 619-523-9178
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