Offshore Sailing School Graduate Wins New Hunter 15 with Trailer

Grand Rapids, MI, July 03, 2011 --( Brian Kastner of Ada, Michigan is the proud owner of a brand New Hunter 15 with trailer, valued at $7,615. His story and photographs were the winning entry in a contest Offshore Sailing School ran for graduates of its Learn to Sail and Fast Track to Cruising® courses who took a course between November 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011.

Contest entries were judged by SAIL magazine’s Josh Adams (Publisher), Peter Nielsen (Editor-In-Chief), and Sarah Eberspacher (Assistant Editor) - based on how it felt to learn while sailing. “What impresses us is the variety of reasons for taking an Offshore course,” wrote Adams. “Everything from family bonding, to individual development, to being green.”

Kastner took the Fast Track to Cruising course with his 12 year old son in December 2010 in Ft. Myers, Florida. “We arrived like blank slates, a true test of the Offshore method,” he wrote. “For two days, we were tacking, jibing and having fun (on a Colgate 26 daysailer). On day three, we climbed aboard the 46 foot catamaran on which we would learn to bareboat. I can’t describe the thrill of pulling the 13 ton catamaran off of the dock for the first time, or scarier yet, bringing it into the tight marina at Captiva Island. When we were under sail, with sun shining, wind blowing, and Ian (his son) smiling, I was in heaven.”

He passed the tests and received his certifications, “but the real test was yet to come,” he explained. “My goal: to take my wife and four kids to the BVI (British Virgin Islands) for a bareboat cruise.”

Kastner’s story goes on to describe a “complication” that occurred while sailing in 20-25 knot winds on a 42’ catamaran he chartered in February 2011 in the British Virgin Islands. He resolved the issue easily based on what he had learned in the course.

“We ended up having the best family vacation of our lives: togetherness, adventure, challenge, beauty and lots of relaxation. By the end of the trip, Gina was asking if we could someday live on a boat. What a success!” he wrote.

According to Doris Colgate, CEO and President of Offshore Sailing School, all of the stories submitted were “wonderful, warm and inspiring.”

Hunter Marine Corporation – a longtime partner of Offshore Sailing School – provided the sailboat and trailer for this contest. Hunter Marine is a leading manufacturer of sailboats from 15’ to 50’ with distribution through its dealer/distributor network in 43 countries around the world. Located in Alachua, Florida, USA, Hunter Marine which started in 1973 is part of the Luhrs Marine Group made up of Silverton Yachts, Luhrs fishing boats, and Mainship trawlers.

All the contest stories will be posted on Offshore Sailing School’s blog and website. The full text and photos for the winning entry can be found here:

Offshore Sailing School has been teaching people to sail since 1964 when Olympic and America’s Cup sailor, Steve Colgate, started teaching sailing in New York City. The company now has seven locations in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and the British Virgin islands. Over 125,000 graduates have gone through its programs, ranging from Learn to Sail through Offshore Passage Making. For more information, call 800-221-4326, visit or email


Editor's Note: For an image to accompany this article, please contact Mary Orme at 727-733-9332 or
Offshore Sailing School
Doris Colgate
For an image to accompany this release, contact Mary Orme at 727-733-9332 or