Our Staff & Instructors

Our Staff

Mary Goff

Sailing School Owner

(Rose between the thorns!) Mary now runs and owns the school. Scheduling the classes, assigning the instructors, registering the students, paying the bills, and keeping up with the books is just PART of what Mary does. Her title of “The Mom” better describes her myriad tasks and duties. A USCG Captain, an ASA instructor, and a lady that loves introducing people to the World of Sailing!

Our Instructors

Many Sailing Schools hire college kids to teach for the summer. Some schools have just a few ‘full time’ instructors. Our feeling is there are many aspects of sailing and cruising, and different approaches to overcome the challenges. So we have many seasoned cruising sailors teach our aspiring sailors. Average age of our dozen instructors is 55.

Personality type is a critical piece of the selection criteria. Only gentle souls get to teach here. Unflappable personalities that take everything in stride, and explain details rather than raise their voice. Plus you will have different instructors as you go through our program, learning various ways to solve the myriad of problems that come up. After getting their ASA instructor certification, all our “sailing coaches” go through a rigorous, intensive process of in-house training so we are all teaching the same material, but with our individual stories and flair. All of our Instructors are USCG captains as well as exceptional instructors.

Mary Goff

Mary now owns the Sailing School. She schedules classes and manages the Instructor team. Not just an administrator, Mary is a certified ASA instructor and USCG captain as well! She started sailing as a young adult on an Islander 36 with her husband. When she started with Narragansett Sailing 3 years ago she got serious about sailing and has so much to share!

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 118

Rob Lawnsby

ASA Instructor of the Year 2011 and 2013. A sailor of 40 years, Rob was the owner of the Narragansett Sailing companies, including the school, charter, and brokerage. Rob has cruised extensively, both coastal and offshore, along the Eastern Seaboard and beyond. Rob is an ASA Instructor Evaluator and ASA site evaluator, and as such instructs and qualifies experienced sailors to be ASA instructors as well as evaluates schools for ASA accreditation. ABYC certified in Boat systems, Standards, and Diesel Engines; he holds a Coast Guard 50-ton Masters License. Rob lives aboard his Tanzer 35 sailboat year round at Cove Haven Marina. He loves his commute to work which is just a walk down the dock!

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 114, ASA 118, 114 Multihull, Diesel, Boat Systems, Marine Electrical

Regina Kreiger

Regina is a Licensed captain with sailing experience including coastal New England, San Francisco Bay, South Coast of England inclusive of The Solent and English Channel, and offshore experience Southern Ocean & Pacific. She sailed the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 118, ASA 119 Marine Weather, Diesel

Jim Spiro

Jim is a lifelong sailor and has been an ASA instructor for 15 years, so he has extensive experience teaching. His gentle personality guides you through the intricacies of sailing. Martha’s Vineyard and Narragansett Bay have been his sailing home forever, and he can give lots of advice of where to go and what to savor in our cruising area! Jim also races at the Bristol Yacht Club on his Pearson 22. Jim has a masters license with the US Coast Guard.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 118

John Bell

ASA Instructor of the year 2016! John is a mild mannered sailor with tremendous experience. He and wife Jil sail their 42 foot J-boat south each winter returning in the spring to teach sailing and enjoy summers in New England. Students love to sail a leg with them on their annual migration. John has extensive offshore and coastal experience, and holds a 100 ton captain’s license.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 118, 114 Multihull, Diesel

Jil Westcott

Captain Jil teaches in the summer and sails south with her husband every winter on their J-42 sailboat. An engineer by profession, there is little about boating, sailing, and cruising that Jil is not familiar with. Jil has sailed extensively in the Caribbean, and has many offshore trips under her belt.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, 114 Multihull

Glenn Miner

Captain Glen was a State Trooper for decades, and now does boat deliveries, sailing classes, and a number of other interesting pursuits. Extensive sailing experience coupled with a quiet intensity he coaches his students to achieve more than they thought they could.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 114, ASA 118

Casey Haugh

Casey is one of our catamaran specialists as he teaches Catamaran skills in the Caribbean in the winter and with us in the summer. He also lives on his boat here at Cove Haven. Casey also has extensive mono hull experience, and is very good with boat systems as he is an ABYC certified marine technician. Mostly Casey has a great demeanor and gets rave reviews from his students with his easy going style.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 114, ASA 118

Dave Pelkey

Dave owns an Island Packet 35, and enjoys sailing around the bay and beyond. Dave is one of those rare instructors that can let a student flounder while learning a new skill, and gently guide them to the correct path before they get frustrated. Very experienced, a gentle soul, and with a crisp mind to zero in on what easy prodding will give the student the most confidence.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 118, Marine Electrical

Ron McBain

Ron lived aboard his boat home schooling his kids and sailing around the Caribbean for several years. Hugely experienced and mild mannered; he owns a 47′ cruising boat. Mostly Ron is simply a great teacher using a “coach like” style that produces good sailors!

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 118

Dirck Westervelt

Dirck grew up on Narragansett Bay. He’s been sailing and fishing all his life. In high school he lived on a sailboat in the summer and day sailed in the fall and spring doing oceanographic research for NOAA and URI. He owns a Sunfish, 16 foot Hobie Cat and 2 Boston Whalers. Dirck is also a fan of kiteboarding. Off-season he teaches World Music and related topics at Western Connecticut State University.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 118

TJ Kowalczyk

TJ started sailing in 2010 on the Charles River and was hooked immediately. Since then he’s gone from learning the ropes aboard dinghies to double-handed offshore racing and everything in between. His “question everything” approach to sailing has turned him into an encyclopedia of sailing trivia and a well informed instructor. These days TJ’s life revolves around sailing 9 months of the year and shares lessons learned from his sailing adventures at SavvySalt.com.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105, ASA 106, ASA 118

Bob Millard

Bob got hooked on sailing as a youngster when his neighbor offered his dad the use of a leaky old Beatle Cat. Narragansett Bay has been his primary sailing home for over 50 years and he’s never grown tired of it. For Bob, sailing with family or friends on a summer day or club racing Wednesday nights is as good as it gets. He never tiers of introducing new people to the joy of the sailing experience and loves to be part of that A-Ha! moment when a student feels the wind, connects the dots and realizes “I can do this!”

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105

Thelma Brooks

Thelma currently sails with her family out of Warwick Rhode Island, cruising Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay on their 35’ Bristol. In the summer of 2007, she fell in love with sailing when the wind filled the sails on her cousin’s sailboat while passing the tall ships in Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia. Soon after, she and her husband were given their first sailboat, a Catalina 22’, and her sailing career began. She enjoys all aspects of sailboat ownership and is always adding to her ever growing knowledge base. Thelma is excited to share the thrill of sailing with others.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105

Geoff Sigman

Geoff is a self-taught able skipper with a passion for all things sailing. One of his great pleasures is introducing people to sailing. It all started over 15 years ago with a Tanzer 22 and a desire to learn how to sail. Now he’s a certified ASA instructor who enjoys daysailing with family and friends and cruising the Islands on his Ericson 29. When not cruising or teaching sailing, Geoff can be found racing as crew in many of the local Narragansett bay regattas year round.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101

Lynn Oliver

Lynn started sailing as an adult and has cruised the Northeast extensively on her J-40 along with racing, deliveries and just “messing around” on boats anywhere she could. She has taught sailing, Navigation, Seamanship, Safety and other courses with her local Sail & Power Squadron. A strong advocate of empowering women, Lynn loves to share her passion for being on the water with others. To prove her point, she will often have students close their eyes and just be in the moment while sailing!

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105

Stanley Wharton

Captain Stan started sailing in 1995 when he started a new job and his cubicle neighbor asked if he wanted to go sailing. His co-worker had a 25′ Cape Dory. They went out one afternoon for about 5 hours and Stan was hooked. Since that time, Stan has owned 30-ft, 33-ft & 40-ft mono-hulls and his last boat was a 36-ft catamaran. Stan found the New England cruising grounds to be a wonderful place to sail and he and his wife have done several trips to Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cuttyhunk. Stan has used his experience to charter boats in the BVI and St. Martin. He is looking to provide other people with the joy of sailing, just as his co-worker did for him in ’95, by teaching students through the ASA program.

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105

Bruce Millard

“I got hooked on sailing around 10 years old. My father wanted a look at the Cup boats off of Newport. We sailed a SunFish out of Barrington and offshore Newport. While keeping pace with another boat, Intrepid sailed by Bus Mosbacher in 1967. My dad hails the Captain simply saying “Hey Bus”, and the Captain simply replied “looking good, Bob”. How could my dad know this important man sailing this incredibly wonderful boat who thought we looked great sailing next to him in a SunFish? I was made!

I went on the teach sailing lessons for the local Y in Sunfish and Widgeons and began racing on a friend’s boat. Shortly after, we began racing as a family in Mercury’s at Bristol Yacht Club. Then we sailed a SeaSprite and now we sail an old Triton left to my brother and me by my dad. Great evening are spent with family and friends, ghosting through the harbor in light breeze or Wednesday night races. Sharing sailing with those interested is a pleasure and so special for me.”

Certified to Teach:
ASA 101, ASA 103

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