Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore sailing seminars and boat purchase consultation.

Mahina Expeditions, Offshore Cruising Training Offshore Cruising Seminars

2016 Seminars


7:45  Registration

8:30  Introduction

9:00 Boat Selection: Design and Construction Criteria - what makes a boat safe and comfortable for offshore voyaging

9:40  Getting Started in the Cruising Life: Understanding your partner

10:20  Break

10:35  Priority Equipment:  Outfitting with the gear you REALLY need

11:30  Engines: Spares and Maintenance

11:40  Galley Essentials:  We’re not talking about camping out!

12:00  Lunch Break

1:00  Anchors and Anchoring:  Five anchoring techniques

1:15  Seamanship: Self reliance, awareness and responsibility

1:36  Storm Survival Tactics: Details of ten specific tactics

2:05  Optional Equipment:  Outfitting with the cool gear that makes cruising more comfortable

2:45  Break

2:55  Rigging and Sails: Keeping the mast up and sails set

 3:15  Medical: Common problems, preventions and treatment



To register online our full day Offshore Cruising Seminars, use the links below:

Vancouver Registration Click Here

Seattle Registration Click Here

Pre-registration is necessary as seminars often sell out

Registration is at 7:45

For our Free Seminars, Click Here

offshore cruising seminar

3:35  Communications: Realities of staying in touch

3:50  Psychological:  The nuts and bolts of keeping the balance

4:05  Break

4:10  Cost of Cruising: How much will this cost? Working while cruising.

4:15  Managing Your Escape: Piracy, firearms and security issues, insurance, pets, keeping a home base

4:40  Clearing into a Foreign Port: Procedures and courtesies

4:50  Leaving your boat in a Foreign Port

5:00  Worldwide Cruise Scenarios

5:30  Graduation Certificate: Questions and answers

6:45  Optional No-host Dinner: Wear your wildest, brightest tropical attire!

sponsored by:

west marine


Six months a year John and Amanda conduct sail-training expeditions worldwide aboard thier Hallberg-Rassy 46. This seminar incorporates the knowledge gained from their combined 622,000 sea miles and 70 years experience.

John & Amanda

John and AmandaJohn Neal was born on the banks of Africa's Blue Nile River. At the age of 22 his love of adventure and travel fueled a desire to sail to the South Pacific from Seattle aboard his 27' sloop. Log of Mahina chronicled his voyage and adventures and became a best seller. To answer the question he was frequently asked, “How can I do what you did?” he conducted his first of now 153 Offshore Cruising Seminars in 1976. In 1990, to meet the demand for hands-on offshore instruction, John established Mahina Expeditions with the goal of sharing his knowledge of ocean voyaging in a safe and supportive environment. John has conducted 164 sail-training expeditions aboard his Hallbery-Rassy 42, Mahina Tiare II & his Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III, sailing 332,000 miles in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Patagonia, Antarctica, Atlantic, Scandinavia and the Arctic. John holds a USCG 100 ton Master’s License.

Amanda Swan Neal grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and sailed to Vancouver as a teenager aboard a 38’ sloop she helped her parents build. Upon returning to New Zealand, she became a sailmaker for Hoods and transferred professions to rigging with Noake’s Rigging in Sydney, Australia then Southern Spars in NZ. In 1990 she completed The Whitbread Around the World Race (now The Volvo Race) as rigger aboard Maiden, the first all-women Whitbread boat. Amanda’s 290,000 miles of international sailing include two Sydney-Hobart Races, numerous international regattas and seven Cape Horn roundings intermixed with a ten year involvement in tall ship sail-training. Upon meeting John in 1994 she joined Mahina Tiare for the Cape Horn and Antarctic expeditions. She is author of The Essential Galley Companion and since 2005 has written the monthly Galley Essentials column in 48 North magazine. Amanda enjoys introducing women to the joys of the cruising lifestyle and her personal interests include Celtic step dancing, photography, triathlon training and sewing. She holds a NZ Commercial Launchmaster’s license.

Amanda and John spend seven months at sea annually. When not at sea, they enjoy winter kayaking from their island home near Victoria.

Magazines Contributed to: Blue Water Sailing, Australian Yachting, Cruising World, Yachting World (UK),Cruising Helmsman (Australia), 48 North, Latitude 38, SAIL and Practical Sailor.

Books Authored: The Essential Galley Companion (Amanda), Log of the Mahina, Mahina Tiare, Pacific Passages (John), Offshore Cruising Companion, Offshore Expedition Companion, Storm Survival Tactics (John and Amanda)

Books Contributed to: World Voyage Planner, World Cruising Survey by Jimmy Cornell, Surviving the Storm by Steve Dashew, Voyager’s Handbook by Beth A. Leonard, Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die by Chris Santella.

Areas of Experience: Caribbean, Mexico, Atlantic including Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Cape Horn (six roundings), Antarctica, Brazil, Uruguay, Pacific including Galapagos, Easter, Pitcairn, Fr. Polynesia, Cooks, Samoa, Tonga, Wallis, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Alaska, British Columbia. Europe including the Med, Ireland, England, Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Spitsbergen, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Teresa CareyTeresa Carey is an experienced sail-trainer, delivery captain, cruiser, filmaker and TED speaker. She previously co-presented in one of our Oakland seminars and joins us this year for our Chicago seminar.





petePete McGonagle is a marine engineer and certified processional yacht broker. He holds a USCG Unlimited Master's license and has logged over one million miles on merchant ships and 39,000 ocean miles cruising, racing and delivering sailing yachts.

A yacht broker since 1999, he founded Swiftsure Yachts in 2002 where he's assisted hundreds of sailors purchase and sell offshore-capable yachts. Pete recently completed a two year cruise of the East Coast and Caribbean waters with his wife and young son aboard Charlotte, their Perry 51 steel sloop.



$179 per person · $299 per couple (Seattle's Boat Show University prices are $195 per person)

Includes one 265 page Offshore Companion Book per single participant or couple.

Lunch is available nearby in Chicago and Oakland and is included in Seattle.


Seminars run from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday.

Accommodations are available in hotels where seminars are held. Hotel reservation information and map are included with your receipt.

Many of the venues have airport shuttle service and discount room rates for attendees.


Offshore Cruising Companion

Offshore Cruising Companion
by John Neal & Amanda Swan Neal

An indispensible guide for preparing yourself and your sailboat for a safe offshore adventure. If you aren't able to take the weekend Offshore Cruising Seminar, now you can purchase the course handbook directly from Mahina Expeditions.

259 pp, 2014 $50.00 plus $4 shipping


Refund, less $35 booking fee, for cancellations received in writing more than seven days prior to seminar. Later cancellations may reschedule to a future seminar without charge.

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