Our Captains

Seattle Seafaring Institute is a Pacific Northwest based boat training organization dedicated to making our clients masters of their own boats. We offer a range of one-on-one training sessions, classes and insurance certificate programs to meet any need.

Our Approach

Our approach is what sets us apart. We offer straightforward, step by step, no-nonsense instruction with an emphasis on reducing anxiety. We understand that mastering your new boat, with all its complex systems and options, may seem daunting at first. We instill confidence by sharing tried and tested techniques in bite size pieces – after all, it’s only the unknown that creates hesitation. We can help you overcome your hesitancy and feel truly empowered to command your yacht on your own, and provide you tools to handle any situation safely and calmly.

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One-on-one sessions

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On your boat or ours

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Only 2 hour minimum

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Easy payment options

Commanding Your Boat

Setting expectations and clear communication between captain and crew are key to practicing good seamanship. We start by learning how you want to run your boat – among other questions, we’ll want to know who will primarily act as the captain? It’s ok to share those duties, but there can only be one captain at a time. And does the crew know what to do, and what to expect? We help you set up clear communication so everyone is on the same page. Every vessel and captain/crew dynamic are different – we know how to set you up for success.

Stay calm. Everything is easier when you feel calm and confident.

Both partners in a marriage should know how to navigate the boat.

Captain Trevor MacLachlan

Trevor MacLachlan founded Seattle Seafaring in 2012. He holds a USCG 100 Ton Master’s license and has over 35 years sailing experience sailing in the Pacific Northwest and worldwide. Having literally spent his entire life sailing, Trevor is competent on virtually any sailing or power vessel from tiny sailing dinghies to over 85′ yachts. He spent two years cruising from Seattle through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean with his young family on the Taswell 43 “Lea Scotia”, the original yacht in his fleet. Trevor provides professional training, consulting and yacht deliveries worldwide. 

Captain Brian Raikes

Captain Brian Raikes has 10+ years of worldwide yacht delivery and instruction experience. After retiring from his career as an airline pilot his lifelong passion for boating and the sea has developed into a second career as a yacht captain. With years of professional aviation training and experience in navigation and meteorology the transition to yachts was seamless. 

Captain Brian’s first priority is always safety. Which shows up in his careful pre-departure planning and attention to detail. Followed secondly by  camaraderie and fun the real reason we all get into boating in the first place.

Captain Brian lives in Tacoma, WA.

Captain John Price

Capt. JP has 25 years of boating the Northwest. When he’s not working on and restoring his 1953 Navy-built wooden trawler, he’s racing sailboats up and down the West Coast and beyond. Having ditched his desk job in tech, he’s now focused solely on boating consulting, instruction… and telling bad jokes. “I like to think I’ve helped save a lot of marriages… well, most of ’em”.

Captain Mark Rinker

Captain Mark Rinker has 20 years of recreational power boating experience and holds a USCG 50-ton license. Born to an Iowa farm family, Capt. Mark’s knowledge of heavy equipment operation and maintaining diesel systems began early in childhood.

Capt Mark’s boating experiences range from inland Iowa and Minnesota lakes to the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes (Michigan, Huron, and Superior) and most recently, 8 years in the PNW as a Yacht Broker, selling and training over 80 new power boat clients ranging from 30′ to 60′ LOA. Mark and his wife Marti own a 42 Sabre named “Osprey” and cruise with the Bellevue Yacht Club, averaging 100 nights aboard annually. Capt Mark is knowledgeable of recreational cruising, anchoring, and many destinations about the Puget Sound.

Captain Chris Howard

Chris has extensive marine operations and captain experience from over 23 years working in several different sectors of the marine industry and ocean research. He has operated power and sail vessels ranging from 10ft dinghies to the 104’ King County Ferry vessels. He’s called the Pacific Northwest his home waters for the past eight years after many years running yachts and research craft in both Hawaii and Alaska. Easygoing and detailed, Chris can put just about any new skipper and crew at ease.

Captain Matt Abraham

Matt began his professional maritime career when he moved to the US Virgin Islands on a whim in October 1999. He landed his first job as mate on a parasail boat and quickly fell in love with life on the water. In 2007, with 200 Ton Masters license in hand, he left the Virgin Islands to begin a career on ships. Starting out aboard NOAA research vessels he continued to build his sea time, gaining experience on offshore supply vessels and cable-layers before ending up at his current home away from home, a 750ft car carrier.

He holds USCG 1600 Ton Master and Unlimited Chief Mate licenses and when he’s not at sea you can find him on his paddle-board somewhere around Bainbridge Island.

Captain Ken Tennefoss

Ken Tennefoss is a longtime boat owner who holds a US Coast Guard 100 ton Master Merchant Mariner license w/Assistance towing endorsement. In the past ten years, Ken has made many private yacht deliveries and charters to coastal points from Mexico to Desolation Sound in Canada. Ken works with the Oregon State Marine Board and has served on rules committees and the WUG team. Ken owns an Ocean Alexander and is a member of Portland Yacht Club, NOTS Boating Club and Tacoma Yacht Club and is a past Commodore of NOTS Boating Club. 

Ken and his wife have lived on the water for the past nine years and have been lifestyle coaches, sharing their experience with many other couples wanting a similar lifestyle.