Sea Sense Press

Boating_Picture_A“Welcome to the boating news section of Sea Sense Sailing and Powerboating School Web Site.  Browse through these exciting articles written about Sea Sense by a variety of writers.”

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Lakeland Boating
April 2019
written by Heather Steinbeger
Women in Boating

Excerpted portion below – full article here

Aboard a floating classroom

If you spend enough time with folks in the boating business, you’ll hear “fun” a lot.  You’ll also hear “empowerment,” especially when it comes to women in boating. And two women in particular have dedicated their lives to making sure women not only have fun on their boats, but are also empowered to handle those boats themselves.

Patti Moore and Carol Cuddyer own and operate Sea Sense, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Founded in 1990, this boating school offers hands-on sailing and powerboating courses, private instruction, teaching deliveries and much more.

Moore grew up in central Georgia. Like Carney and Keegan, she was not part of a boating family; she didn’t set foot on a boat until her mid-20s.  “A friend built a sailboat on Lake Lanier, outside Atlanta,” she recalls. “He asked me if I wanted to go sailing. I think my response was, ‘What’s that?’”  Moore later married a sailor. The couple moved to Florida, built a 39-foot sailboat and moved aboard. She earned her captain’s license and started doing boat deliveries and charters.

“The more I learned, the more I wanted to share the knowledge that I learned the hard way — particularly with other women,”  Moore says. “I taught for different sailing schools, and that’s how I met Carol.”

Cuddyer has been a boater all her life, starting at age three on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. She married a charter fisherman, and together they sailed Northeastern cruising grounds such as Long Island Sound and Block Island.

“My husband convinced me to get my captain’s license,” the former ER nurse remembers. “He said, ‘You know everything anyway.’ I took my test in New York City and wondered what I could do with this;  I didn’t know any women captains. In the 1980s, women were either making sandwiches or holding on for dear life. I felt it was important to change that.”

Then her path crossed with Moores’.

“I talked her into working a charter with me here in Florida, and we talked about a school,” Moore says. “She wanted to have one in New England in the summer. I lived in Florida — perfect for winter sailing! We both had powerboating experience and wanted to teach that as well. That’s how Sea Sense began.”

The school had an 85 percent sail, 15 percent power ratio in 1990, but those numbers have reversed in the last three decades.  And although Sea Sense started out teaching women, most of its customers today are couples who want to go cruising together — especially the Great Loop.

“The sail-power ratio has changed to 85 percent power, 15 percent sail, and we’re definitely seeing more couples,” Cuddyer confirms. “The Boomers are retiring, and we’re helping them work together. You need two people who are qualified to do everything onboard.  That’s for safety reasons. It’s also empowering, and it should be fun.”

That still means engaging women, and Moore says that is essential for their sense of accomplishment, their feeling of competence and their safety. “All three increase the amount of fun they have,” she observes, “and it’s the woman’s boat too.”

Cuddyer adds, “More women are buying their own boats now, and convincing their husbands to go!”

Sea Sense can teach private courses aboard the owners’ own boat or charter one for private instruction. If owners find the boat of their dreams at the Fort Lauderdale or Miami boat show, instructors also can do a teaching delivery en route to the new home port. Along the way, they are changing lives.

“Lots of former students call us when they’ve done something fabulous, which is so cool,” Cuddyer says. “Being a positive influence in people’s lives, going places I never thought I’d go — I just love what I do.”

“My love for sharing my knowledge and experience on boats is still strong, and we’ve been privileged to meet the most wonderful people over the years,” Moore reflects. “I don’t think I’ll ever lose my love of teaching boating.”

Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2019 Lakeland Boating

puddle-duck-potterCapt. Patti joins Ken & Jean for The Voyage of The Puddle Duck, their Ranger 29 on a journey from Toronto, Canada to Stuart, Florida.

In the fall of 2012, Ken and Jean made an incredible voyage in their new boat, The Puddle Duck, which is a Ranger 29 trailerable tug. Their dream was to bring their boat from Toronto, Canada to Stuart, Florida on her own bottom. Part of what made it notable was their limited boating experience. Ken had done lake boating in Canada – 40 years ago – and Jean had never been on anything much smaller than cruise ships in her life. Enter Sea Sense to help! Click here to read full article

From ” Scuttlebutt,” the letter of the Corinthian Yacht Club, Stuart, FL

Written by Fleet Captain Chuck McLeran

The normally quiet weather of November in South Florida was certainly no friend to the cruisers at SCYC. Our Weekend in Delray, planned for boaters and land cruisers alike was very much affected by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy. As the storm passed off shore some 150 to 200 miles it still brought strong winds that made even navigating the Intracoastal a challenge we chose not to take up. The alternate was however, just about as much fun. Once again, the spirit of our members overcame the weather and had a great Delray Weekend.

Finally, the “Sea Sense for Women” safe boating course on November 16th started off with bright skies but strong winds out of the North or Northeast. Even the normally placid waters of Manatee Pocket gave Captains Patti Moore and Carol Cuddyer some difficulty when trying to show our stalwart female Captains-to be maneuvering techniques using a piling instead of a dock. The purpose was to emphasize the value of understanding relative motion and keeping the boat under control at all times by making correction to change the relative motion.

After each of the twelve trainees on the two boats worked in the wind and gave their best to remember each tip the instructors provided, it was realized that hunger and a need for energy took precedence. Tuition Free, provided by Bob and Judy Knapp and Lynndale, provided by Barbara Coyle, proceeded to the McLeran docks about 12:30 p.m. to take a much needed break for lunch. SCYC’s own, Carla O’Donnell, provided the bag lunches and some time was spent discussing the morning activities in anticipation of the afternoon schedule. This was not to be! By 2:00 p.m. heavy rain and wind engulfed the Treasure Coast and visibility on the Pocket was severely diminished. Not to worry; Sea Sense came equipped to carry on the training with drills inside. How to throw a line, how to receive a line, clove hitches, bowlines and a myriad of other details usually learned over a period of years came to the fore. Suddenly they found they had experts in their midst that could not only tie a bowline but teach others as well. Once again, our members simply made the most of a sometimes difficult situation and had a great time doing it.

The group headed to SCYC to enjoy “Friday with Ken” and the stories continued.

We have a waiting list of nine more ladies who we hope to schedule for a like event in January or February. If you’re interested let the Fleet Captain know.


This is the worst weather we’ve ever had for this,” Capt. Carol Cuddyer said at the beginning of our two-day “Women-Only Boat Handling” class at Trawler Fest University. So gale-force winds and sheeting rain are not common to picturesque Anacortes, Washington, in May?

It was 8:30 a.m. on the first morning of the class, and 16 of us were tucked indoors at the W.T. Preston Snagboat Heritage Center in Cap Sante Boat Haven, sipping Starbucks and introducing ourselves. The students hailed from California, Oregon, and Washington. Instructors Patti Moore and Carol Cuddyer of Sea Sense, a women’s boating school based in St. Petersburg, Florida, had traveled the farthest to get here.

Our stories were vastly different, but our reasons for being here were the same—to blossom from competent crew to confident captains. We were looking for a maritime makeover.

Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2011 PassageMaker Magazine (888.487.2953)

Learn to Love Boating Together
By Kim Kavin

Gates Richards describes his wife, Margy, as “5-foot-2, if I’m being generous.” He’s not sure whether it was her size, her gender, or a combination of the two that shocked a boater who gawked, eyes bulging, as Margy stood at the helm of a 42-foot Grand Banks trawler yacht and navigated it flawlessly into a marina slip.

passagemakerPassagemaker Magazine
May/June 2009
written by Sally Bee Brown
Congrats, Sea Sense, On Your 20th Anniversary!

Twenty years ago, Carol Cuddyer and Patti Moore, cofounders of Sea Sense, launched their sailing and power boating school by entering the first women-only sailing team in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club’s Florida-to-Mexico regatta. That event earned them second place in their cruising class, and many more achievements have followed. Continued

XX_Games Sail_MagazineXX Games
Take Her Sailing and She’ll Get a Great Tan; Teach Her to Sail and the Ocean’s the Limit
By Rebecca Waters

Betsy waves me over as I jump off the stern of “La Mouette”, our chartered Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 453, into the warm waters of Cooper Island’s Manchioneel Bay. My mask and fins are already on. Betsy has found an octopus hiding against a rock shelf; it pulls an empty conch shell over itself when I get too close. I follow a couple of stingrays over to a reef where I spy a school of sergeant majors, Christmas tree worms of every color, and a variety of sea fans. The snorkeling is excellent, but I’m not here for the scenery. It’s the second day of Sea Sense’s week-long sailing course for women, and the British Virgin Islands, with their guaranteed February sunshine, steady 15-knot trade winds, and blissful 80-degree temperatures, is the perfect classroom.


Sail Magazine

For sailors at various levels Sail covers such topics as hull and sail design, rigging, sail trim, and wind and water conditions. The magazine’s well-informed writers and columnists dispense practical advice on choosing and owning sailboats, gear, and equipment.

Sea Sense & Sensibility
At Sea Sense, women- and some men- learn to enjoy powerboating.
By Jay Winchester

There is a pull to the ocean that goes beyond its tides. It speaks to the hearts of some people in an almost mystical siren’s call, drawing them from land out on to the vast waters that make up 75% of this planet’s surface. While there is something incredibly romantic, in the old world sense of that word, about being out on the sea in a boat, it really isn’t a place for the average landlubber. However, for those who believe they’d find themselves lost at sea, Captains Patti Moore and Carol Cuddyer can help.

The two ladies are partners in Sea Sense, a sailing and powerboating school for women- and occasionally men- headquartered in St. Petersburg. However, Moore and Cuddyer are not land-locked ladies in any sense of the word. They are both experienced ship’s captains with a combined 50 years on the water, and both hold Masters licenses from the U.S. Coast Guard. They know their way around a ship, and they know their way around the seas.

Power_and_Motoryacht_MagazineMove Over, Men!
A women’s boating class that taught this writer about more than just boating.
Story and Photos by Eileen Mansfield

No way is he going to go for this,” I thought as I went to pitch a story about a women’s boating school to my boss. You see, our core readership is 95 percent male, so my idea for a story about a boating school founded and taught by women, for women, didn’t seem like a great fit.

“On the contrary,” was his reply. “Just because the name on the address label is male doesn’t mean his wife or girlfriend isn’t reading the magazine, too.” He added that although boating is indeed a male-dominated activity, most men welcome the idea of sharing their love of the water with their partner, and plenty of women are interested in learning the ropes.

But sometimes those ropes are best taught by a person you do not live with.

Published: POWER AND MOTORYACHT Magazine, January 2004

Aye Aye Captain Laura
POWER AND MOTORYACHT Magazine’s October 2006 issue has a wonderful article by Senior Editor Captain Bill Pike, called “Aye Aye Captain Laura”. Bill writes about his observations and insights while acting as a line handler during an On Your Own Boat© course for his wife, taught by SEA SENSE instructor Captain Laura.

Power & Motoryacht Magazine

Power & Motoryacht’s editorial focuses solely on power boats 24 feet and larger, plus engines, electronics, gear, accessories, and tests on these boats. The magazine consistently runs stories on activities of interest to active boaters such as: destination sports fishing; cruising and chartering; personalities; and mega yachts and their owners. Special features include issues covering the world’s 100 largest yachts; the 200 largest owned yachts; sport fishing digests; and an international Powerboat Buyer’s Guide including directories of builders, suppliers and gear.

PassageMaker_MagazineWhat Women Want
By Natalie Friton

Recently, I was invited to participate in a new course being offered by Sea Sense, the women’s sailing and powerboating school. The organization has offered introductory and advanced sailing courses for 15 years and beginner powerboating courses just as long. Recently, however, it introduced an advanced powerboating course to expand on its experience-based training. When PMM was invited to send someone to fill a last-minute vacancy, I jumped at the chance to experience the trawler lifestyle.

I have been sailing all my life but have no practical experience on a powerboat, particularly one capable of long-distance cruising. So, although I was not at all intimidated by the thought of spending a week on a trawler, I had no idea what to expect. I already had all the basic boating skills and knowledge of handling sails at sea, but my time at the helm of a twin-engine boat was zero.

Published: PassageMaker Magazine, February 2005

What A Week of Sea(wo)manship Training Can Do
by Sally Bee Brown
Learn about SeaSense in the April 2002 edtion of “PassageMaker”. Reprinted with permission. PassageMaker Magazine 2002.

Power_Cruising_MagazineWomen’s Week
Learning Powerboat Handling among Peers, not Jeers
By Christine Bruce

Christine participated in a five day SeaSense live aboard powerboating course in Florida.

It Was the moment of truth. With a brisk crosswind blowing, and a half-dozen onlookers standing by, I was about to make my first attempt at backing someone else’s 42-foot, quarter-million-dollar boat into a slip that offered no margins for error.

Power Cruising Magazine, Published: September / October 2006

Power Cruising Magazine

Power Cruising Magazine is essential reading for power boating enthusiasts of all kinds. Regular columns include Logbook, in which readers share their true-life adventures; On the Horizon, which reviews the hottest new boats on the market, Ship Shape, featuring technical know-how from powerboat experts, and Sea Skills, which includes useful voyaging tips in every issue. Power Cruising is the magazine for all who cruise under power!

Sea Sense Student Articles

Boating through the Backyards of France
By Betsy Haggerty
Although the French Canals were high on my fantasy list for years, two things prevented me from organizing a trip — my pathetic high-school French and a fear of locks. Thus, when I was invited to join a group of American, Canadian and French journalists on a cruise through the Canal du Midi in Southwest France last May, I leaped at the chance. I knew I would have translators and, surely, someone else would handle the boat in the locks. I expected an experience I could cross off my “do-someday” list.

Jill MCCarthy, her boat “Car Lei VI”, and Hurricane Katrina
In November of 2004, SeaSense was invited to do three days of instruction “On Your Own Boat©” with Jill MCCarthy aboard her boat “Car Lei VI”.  The boat is a 60 foot steel hull, custom built, twin engine Trawler located at a marina on Bayou Caddy near Bay St Louis, MS. Jill wanted to learn how to dock her boat. While her husband went to work, Jill, with her parents Margaret and Larry as crew, and I, set out to make her the Captain!