Coastal [email protected] for Women


$225 — US Sailing members / $235 — non members 

Sponsored by Northwest Maritime Center
431 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368


A full-day women’s workshop of hands-on training and discussion. Led by Sheila McCurdy of US Sailing, the workshop designed for women will enhance US Sailing’s online Coastal Safety at Sea course (to be completed prior to the workshop). Topics and exercises are: assisting others, knowing your personal safety gear, preventing crew overboard, preparing for an effective recovery, aiding in search and rescue, and initiating clear emergency communications.

You will become more familiar with safety protocols and gear while you build confidence in your safety skills. Participants will gain invaluable coached in-water practice in a pool.

The US Sailing online Coastal Safety at Sea course is included in the cost of the women’s workshop. The online content takes about five hours to complete, including testing. It may be divided into shorter sessions to be completed over time before the workshop.

The course will include all instruction including; access to the US Sailing online Coastal Safety at Sea course, testing and certification, a light breakfast, lunch and a 2019 NWSA membership for non-members.



Sheila McCurdy

US Sailing moderator

2018 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award recipient Sheila McCurdy

Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award recipient for 2018, Sheila McCurdy.

Sheila McCurdy has earned the label of “Superwoman of Sailing.” In 1973 she won the North American Women’s Sailing Championship for the Adams Cup, crewing for Timmy Larr. In the late ‘80s, she ran the Museum of Yachting. As a professional captain, she holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton license. She has served as the first female commodore of the Cruising Club of America, a prestigious honor for anyone in the sailing world. She is a trustee of Mystic Seaport and former trustee of the New York Yacht Club. She has advised the U.S. Naval Academy sailing program for twenty years, served on the Board of Directors for US Sailing. Sheila has completed 18 Newport Bermuda Races – finishing second overall twice as skipper and navigator – among many other races. She has sailed over 100,000 miles in a variety of boats, and has moderated Safety at Sea Seminars across the country.

Nancy Erley, Captain of Two World Circumnavigations

Nancy Erley led two voyages from Seattle around the world aboard her Orca 38 sailboat, Tethys. “As the skipper of an all-woman crew, Nancy fashioned a circumnavigation that should go down in the record books as one of the soundest, most seamanlike journeys in the modern cruising era.  Like all competent voyages, Tethys circumnavigation was notable for its lack of disasters.” George Day, publisher Blue Water Sailing magazine.

In 2006 Nancy was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Awardsponsored by BoatUS and the National Women’s Sailing Association. The award honors a male or female who has built a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

Nancy holds her USCG 100-ton Master of Ocean license, is an Instructor Evaluator-Ocean for the International Sail and Power Association, a HAM radio operator KI7DP, and an advanced scuba diver and delivery skipper. Women learn with Nancy as crew aboard Tethys in the Pacific Northwest


The mission of the Northwest Maritime Center is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery. We’re many things, and at our core we are a campus that uses powerful maritime experiences to educate, inspire people to adventure, and celebrate our maritime culture. We do it for our own love of boats, in service to the local community and maritime industry, but mostly because regardless of the subject, the sea is the most powerful teacher we know.


The United States Sailing Association is the national governing body for sailing in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Bristol, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team.