Check anywhere in the Great Lakes and you will not find a better instructor roster than at Bay Breeze. Our sailing school has been named twice to the Outstanding Schools in the country. We have three instructors who’ve been named to the Outstanding Instructors of the Year by ASA.
“Very professional and extremely experienced. Easy to work with and never felt uncomfortable asking questions.”
Bob & Ann
Bob Kruk and Ann Brainard are sailors who are passionate about sailing. As lifetime boaters, each has well over 25 years of individual sailing experience on the Great Lakes, the Virgin Islands, the Florida Keys, and the Atlantic Ocean. Captain Bob and Captain Ann each currently hold a U.S. Coast Guard 50 Ton Masters License with Sailing Endorsement. During the summer they live in Traverse City and captain for Bay Breeze. And when things get cold in Michigan, they live on their 42′ Catalina, “Selah” in the Florida Keys. Visit www.sailthesunset.com for information on Bob and Ann’s Florida charters. They are ASA certified for levels 101,103, 104 and 105.
Dave’s experience in the boat business includes captaining charter yachts, maintaining cruising vessels and managing charter companies in the Caribbean and on the Great Lakes. Currently he’s the chief pencil-pusher, wrench-turner and shop-vac operator at Bay Breeze (all the glamor of owning a charter company). Dave says that teaching sailing is the most rewarding aspect of the boat business and is always trying to get out of his other responsibilities to teach people to sail. Dave has a USCG 100 ton Captain’s License plus ASA instructor certifications 101 thru 105.
Paul Davis moved to Traverse City after graduation from Western Michigan University. In 1982 he met Dan Spyhalski (long time Bay Breeze sailing school instructor) and Dan proclaimed “You need a boat.” He has been sailing and racing on a variety of boats including the Lightning ‘Holeycow!’ ever since. Paul has done numerous deliveries in the Great Lakes as well as a delivery from Manzanillo, Mexico to LA and is a veteran of numerous Port Huron to Mac and Chicago to Mac races. In addition to his two sons, he has a daughter that also enjoys sailing and cruising. When he’s not working, you’ll find Paul and his wife, Kay, sailing on ‘Holeycow!’, or riding his classic motor cycle in Leelanau County. Currently Paul and his two sons crew for Dan on his Cal 40, ‘Spyke’. Paul has a 50 ton USCG Captain’s License and is certified to teach ASA classes 101, 102, 104, and 105.
Keith and the Forton family has been involved in the sailing community of Traverse City for a very long time. A licensed USCG Captain, Keith is a veteran racer with many Chicago-Mac’s under his belt, an avid local racer and just to slow things down a bit, he cruises with his family occasionally. In the real world, Keith’s been teaching High School physics for over 20 years which is why he’s a natural passing on his knowledge in the sailing world.
Doug grew up in Elk Rapids, Michigan, boating and sailing recreationally. He started working in the sailing industry at the age of 17 as crew on a charter catamaran and continued to work summers there until he graduated from Michigan State. Doug then moved to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and worked as a charter captain for 7 years and sailed most islands between Dominica and The Bahamas.
Doug moved back to the mainland in June 2011 to work with Bay Breeze teaching sailing and maintaining the fleet. Doug holds a USCG 100 ton near costal masters license and ASA instructor certification for 101, 103, 104 and 105.
Mike simply likes being on the water. Whether it’s hearing the gurgle of the water on the hull while sailing across Grand Traverse Bay in light winds, racing in brisk winds with the rail in the water, fishing, or even, yes, cruising in a stinkpot, he enjoys the feeling of freedom and the nearness to nature that happens on the water. He has sailed much of the US coasts, the Caribbean, the Sea of Cortez, French Polynesia, the Aegean, the Adriatic and cruised much of the Inside Passage from Seattle to Alaska.
He has introduced hundreds of people to sailing since he started teaching and gets a kick out of watching people who are new to sailing learn and get excited about the same things he likes about the sport. He is certified to teach by the American Sailing Association, and he holds a US Coast Guard license. Mike spends his winters in California where he teaches sailing on San Francisco Bay.
Ken looks at sailing with a physicist’s eye. A retired college professor, there is nothing Ken likes more than sharing his love of sailing with others. Maybe mixed with a little physics here and there. He teaches respect for the water and Mother Nature. Ken once rescued people from a capsized trimaran during the Chicago Mac race, now part of his class syllabus if requested. Licensed USCG Captain.
Bryan has taught at Bay Breeze for over 20 years and has certified more than 500 students and logged thousands of miles on the Great Lakes. He feel’s BBYC winning program is due to sound methods and exceptional instructors. Bryan’s upbeat personality makes him one of the most popular instructors. In the off season, he teaches USCG Captains courses around the Midwest. Licensed USCG Captain. Check out his website and you too can become a Captain. US Captain’s Training
Dan has been sailing for over 30 years, walks the walk and actually lives on his Cal 40 “Spyke” on Grand Traverse Bay – even sometimes in the winter with wood stove heat! The most important lesson he teaches is confidence. A Bay Breeze instructor for 12 years, Dan says northern Lake Michigan offers the BEST sailing in the world…..summers, that is! Dan was named to the “Outstanding Instructors” list for 2006 by ASA. Congratulations Dan! Licensed USCG Captain.
Jessica knew how to sail before she could walk and loves the feeling of freedom it gives her. As instructor of the only Woman’s only classes at Bay Breeze, she finds her students “enthusiastic, easy learners who take the course seriously while having a great time together. Sailing is not just about being physically strong but, more important is being smart”. Licensed USCG Captain.
Dave grew up on Grand Traverse Bay within a half mile of Bay Breeze. If it floated Dave was on it. In 1983, after a few years of racing around the yacht club buoys and cruising Northern Lake Michigan, he decided to give sailing instruction a try. Twenty-eight years later he still finds it gratifying to see the new skills and concepts his students experience all come together as they gain confidence on the water. He says, “Getting students out in all kinds of wind and weather, it’s amazing to see them realize, ‘I can do this and it’s fun!’” As a bonus Dave adds, “Over the years I’ve met the greatest people and made life-long friends through sailing.” Licensed USCG Captain, Dave was also named to the “Outstanding Instructors” list in 2006 by ASA.
Dirk is a native of Illinois and has been working and sailing for Bay Breeze consistently since 1996. Dirk started his maritime career in 1986 when he joined the Navy working as a Boiler Technician onboard the USS Trenton; a ship which was “Haze Grey & Underway” most of the time. From there he worked on the President Riverboat Casino in Davenport, Iowa as a deckhand. He moved to Traverse City after graduating from college, and sailed for the Tall Ship Company aboard the Malabar. He attained his Captains license in 2000, and has been an active ASA sailing instructor & captain for BBYC ever since. Most important lesson he teaches; “Underway Safety and safe harbor handling techniques. Dirk also has a passion for “The Blues” and is a talented musician who attends Bluesfests all over the country.bbyc