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Sailing Stories: Captain Bob

Captain Bob Quote: “You can see it in the way they respond, talk or give commands to the other students on the boat. A lot of times they’ll say ‘I finally get what you are talking about!’”

Captain Bob may be new to Montana but he’s no stranger to sailing. 

Captain Bob Quote: “You can see it in the way they respond, talk or give commands to the other students on the boat. A lot of times they’ll say ‘I finally get what you are talking about!’”

2023 Outstanding American Sailing Instructor!

“I grew up on a lake in the summertime. All the cousins would get together and everyone had a boat,” Captain Bob recalled about his childhood in the Midwest. 

He remembers wanting his own boat so much that he saved up all his paper route money and bought a kit to build his own Sailfish. However, by the time he entered his late teenage years, he was ready to size up.

“Once I was able to drive I got a Hobie 16. It was the latest fashion to come out of sailboats,” Captain Bob explained. “I got very involved in the Hobie 16 circuit. I got my racing experience on the Hobies!”

For many years, Captain Bob’s life revolved around racing sailboats. 

“I would take off on Thursday, practice Friday, races Saturday and Sunday, packing up the boat on Monday, traveling home on Tuesday, and working on Wednesday,” he said. “Work one day a week and sail 6 — there is no problem with that!”

Over the years he visited a number of sailing destinations but always loved the warm climates best. 

“If you are going to sail in water it might as well be warm water,” he laughed. 

With that mantra, it’s no surprise that Captain Bob found himself living in Phoenix most of the year. However, the summer months in Arizona are a bit too hot– even for this warm weather sailor! 

“Being that it’s 110 for 4 months in a row in Phoenix, I like to get away in the summer so I was looking for an opportunity to teach people where the weather isn’t that hot but still nice enough to get out and enjoy it,” he said. So naturally, Captain Bob found Flathead Lake and Go Sail Montana.

Captain Bob is an experienced ASA instructor and looks forward to bringing his expertise to Go Sail. 

“People have usually always read the book so I usually start out with ‘I’m big on visuals and like playing,’” he explained. 

Captain Bob brings props, models, and physical examples to the classroom before setting students loose on the boat— where he waits for his favorite part of every ASA class: a student’s “aha” moment. 

“Now what they read about and saw in images— they are seeing it live,” Bob explained. “You can see it in the way they respond, talk or give commands to the other students on the boat. A lot of times they’ll say ‘I finally get what you are talking about!’

Moments like these are what Captain Bob is most looking forward to in teaching with Go Sail this summer. Think you’re ready to have your own sailing “aha” moment? Join Captain Bob in an ASA course this year on Flathead Lake