Take The Wheel

October 13-15 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show.

Registration is now open.  After you purchase your tuition package for Take the Wheel, you will receive an email asking you to pick your top 3 sea trail choices.  Your tuition purchase includes classroom instruction with Behan & Jamie Gifford, breakfast and lunch, two sea trials in the afternoon on the Chesapeake Bay, as well as entry into all days of the Annapolis Sailboat Show!

Register Here

If you have questions regarding the Take the Wheel program, please email Tara Flanagan 

2023 Take The Wheel Course

Find the Sailboat of Your Dreams
Sponsored by Jeanneau & Sail Away Catamarans

This is an opportunity to demo two sailboats of your choice, compare one against the other, fast track your boat buying knowledge, and narrow the search for your new boat.

Take the Wheel is an on-and-off water learning experience. The morning session covers sailboat design, how to maximize your boating pleasure, and budget. In the afternoon you’ll sail aboard your choice of two out of eight yachts and have a chance to get a stem to stern look with wind in the sails. Find the best boat for your personal sailing needs. Demo various sizes and styles of sailboats. Choose from monohulls and catamarans. Experts will be on board to answer your specific questions.

Regardless of whether you plan to day sail on the Chesapeake Bay, cruise close to home, or to fulfill a dream to sail off into the sunset, Take the Wheel is a worthy launch site.

Register as a couple and save.

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The Take the Wheel Workshop is $450 per person or $750 per couple

Workshop Includes:
• Morning instruction by renowned experts, Behan & Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem
• Afternoon on-the-water sailing experience
• Opportunity to sea-trial two catamarans or monohulls of your choice
• Continental breakfast and lunch
• Choice of dates: Friday, October 13th, Saturday, October 14th, and Sunday, October 15th
• Multi-day admission ticket to Annapolis Sailboat Show – $115 Value
• Complimentary one year basic BoatU.S. membership – $30 Value

If you need hotel accommodation, The Historic Inns of Annapolis provides a discount room rate to all students.  You can either book your hotel room online (Fall 2023 Cruisers University Hotel Block) or call the hotel directly at 410-263-2641 to reserve your hotel room with the Group Code 10562F.


Jamie & Behan Gifford
Sailing Totem

Jamie Gifford  is a recovering racing sailor. His therapy was a 10-year circumnavigation with his wife and three children on Totem, their Stevens 47. As a sail designer, he was behind sails for winners in the Americas Cup, Vendee Globe Challenge/BOC, Whitbread, and numerous other regattas; in recent years, Jamie’s focused on cruising sails, rigging, and systems for offshore and regional sailors. Experience from professional life and that gained in 100,000+ miles sailing gives him rich perspective on cruising topics.

Behan Gifford sailed south from the Pacific Northwest in 2008 with her husband and three children aboard their Stevens 47, Totem. Sabbatical plans morphed into an open-ended adventure, with 48 countries/territories visited while putting over 65,000 miles under the keel – so far! She is a co-author of Voyaging with Kids, the de facto guide to cruising with children, and passionate about sharing her experiences to inspire others to chase the blue horizon. Learn more about Behan and the cruising coaching service she and husband, Jamie, offer at www.sailingtotem.com.

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This is the monohull boat selection for the 2023 Take the Wheel program presented by Jeanneau.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Boasting a powerful hull inspired by the world of sailboat racing, the Sun Odyssey 410 offers an exceptional quality of life on board, "just like home," in interior living spaces just as in the cockpit and on deck. LOA - 40' 6" Beam - 13' 1" Draft - 7' Cabins - 2/3

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440

The Sun Odyssey 440 is a cruising sailboat designed for off-shore sailing. Its resistance, stability, and secure cockpit make it a faithful companion on longer crossings. Careful attention has been paid to fit and finish and to the level of comfort on board – with integrated ventilation, sound insulation, a well-equipped galley, careful selection of materials, an exterior sundeck, etc. – to create living spaces dedicated to the enjoyment of life's simple pleasures and the voyage, itself. LOA - 42' 8" Beam - 14' 1" Draft - 7' 2" Cabins - 2/3/4


The following catamarans will be available to choose from for the sea trial portion of the 2023 Take the Wheel program presented by SailAway Catamarans.

2023 Seawind 1160 Lite
2023 Seawind 1160 Lite

LOA - 38' Beam - 21' 4" Draft - 3' 6"

2022 Seawind 1260
2022 Seawind 1260

LOA - 41' Beam - 22' 3" Draft - 3' 8"

2021 Fountaine Pajot Saba 50
2021 Fountaine Pajot Saba 50

LOA - 49.15' Beam - 26.21' Draft - 4.1' Cabins - 4

2019 Lagoon 42
2019 Lagoon 42

LOA - 42' Beam - 25' 3" Draft - 4' 1"