Personal coaching: take YOUR family cruising

UPDATE FOR MARCH 24, 2020: It’s nearly three  weeks since I posted about dialing back our coaching services, saying when we’d start up again is as certain as a cruiser’s route plan – “written in sand, at low tide!” At the time, I expected that would be Samoa or Fiji, around August or September. And then… the world changed, as Corona virus exploded. Totem will remain in Mexico for the time being; safe, well-supplied, and readily self-isolated. It’s also well connected, and so coaching services are ON again!

Does the freedom of cruising call you? We wonder how to realize the dream, choose the boat, prepare (without going broke!), stay safe, or just better understand what it’s really like? We’re mentoring people to answer those questions, whether they’d like to explore a familiar coastline or sail around the world.

reading on passage

What can we help you with?

We draw from depth and breadth of cruising and professional experience to offer thoughtful guidance unique to individual circumstances. These are ten common areas:

  1. Choosing the right boat
  2. Right-sizing a boat purchase and “all in” budget
  3. Budget planning for active cruising (including all our expenditure details)
  4. Skills building, such as weather, routing, piloting, and more
  5. Avoiding common pitfalls to end cruising lifestyle prematurely
  6. Transition from land life to cruising
  7. Safety and security concerns
  8. Avoiding refit woe – spending to much money and on the wrong things
  9. 24/7 family togetherness and being happy about it!
  10. What it’s like living overseas: healthcare, banking, staying in touch, and eating

How does it work?

Monthly engagement starts with a call (up to 90 minutes); it typically includes at least one more call via Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, or other services, based on your needs. You are encouraged to email questions we can respond to between calls.

Calls can be 8am – 8pm our time (we’re between Mountain and Pacific until late this year); weekends or weekdays.

Coaching clients are invited to a closed Facebook group that includes additional resources, training tools, and discussion of real-time concerns.

To get started, this brief intake form (Word, PDF) to informs us about your experience, goals, and questions. Contact us for availability.  Submit payment via PayPal, then we’ll find a time for our first session.

Scouting fur seal colonies on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast


Remote coaching

  • Concierge consulting: $50 per 30 minute increment
  • Three month retainer: $300
  • Annual retainer: $1000
  • Karma pricing: pay as you see fit. Thin in the wallet? We get it. Tell us what you need, we’ll help! Feeling flush? Our rates are absurdly low. We appreciate clients who can afford to pay the “real world” rate for our consulting service; it better enables us to support those that can’t.

Onsite Guidance

There is no substitute for instructed learning on your own boat. Fundamental skills of cruising often have unexpected challenges or happen out of range of professional help. From learning stress-less anchoring to teaching you how to inspect your rigging, we can help you start cruising with better skills and more confidence.

Hands-on learning topics  we help cruisers with include:

  • Pre- and post- purchase boat evaluation
  • Rigging and sails inspection
  • Sail trim and sail handling
  • Anchoring techniques
  • Navigation and piloting
  • Managed and electrical and water resources
  • Weather routing guidance
  • Debriefing experiences to improve sailing smarts

Rate: $50/work-hour plus travel expenses. A fee may apply if extended downtime is required for travel.


In their own words: how working with us has helped clients reach their cruising goals.

About Behan & Jamie

Jamie was previously a professional sailor and sailmaker with extensive racing experience. Behan is a former tech marketer and author of Voyaging with Kids. Together they sailed thousands of miles with babies aboard in Puget Sound, then tens of thousands of miles more while cruising around the world with their family. In April 2008 they completed a circumnavigation, and continue cruising today.

Whether setting off on a sailing sabbatical or open-ended cruising lifestyle, we can help guide you along this unscripted course.  

kids on boom

Salty Insta