Lecture Offerings Testimonials


Marlene (and our dog) Audrey also attended the Cruisers Workshop. Marlene was skeptical about attending (felt I was wasting my money, etc.) She really didn’t see herself fixing the engine, etc. The mark of a good class is when Marlene gives it two thumbs up. Steve and Ralph gave insightful talks. I think Ralph’s weather talk was the best I have heard. Like Park and Carol, our to do list got longer. The course was well worth the cost. We highly recommend it. It was a pleasure meeting Steve and Ralph (and Steve’s daughter Katie.) The NW Exploration facilities were first rate too. Good food, stayed on time, and great info. Well worth it.

Brian Lewis

Egret N4674

Carol and I (and Maddy our dog) attended the two-day Cruisers Workshop put on by Steve D’Antonio and Ralph Naranjo last weekend in Bellingham. The Workshop included classroom and hands-on instruction. We found it to be very worthwhile, providing detailed insights on engines and other systems, as well as weather, navigation and cruising.

We also engaged Steve to do his Ready For Sea Inspection on Akeeva. He spent the entire day yesterday aboard, ending the day with a brief sea trial in Guemes Channel. He walked us through all of our major systems, pointing out deficiencies and concerns. We learned a tremendous amount about proper installations, components, wiring, etc. Steve also helped us sort out many of our unknowns – unlabeled levers, switches, thru-hull hoses, etc. As many of you know, Steve is a very patient teacher with a great temperament. No question too dumb!

We highly recommend both the Cruisers Workshop and the Ready For Sea Inspection. Needless to say, our To Do list has lengthened considerably.

Park and Carol Cann
aboard Akeeva (N5010)

Hi Steve:

Let me say that you are, without a doubt, the most knowledgeable “marine systems” person I have ever met and I enjoyed your course immensely!!

Also, but no rush, could you send me your link to the “multi meter and infra red pyrometer” that you recommend and if possible your “brand” recommendations.


Robert E. Lee


Dear Steve,

I cannot put in words how invaluable I found the information you provided during your seminar at Trawler Fest in Ft. Lauderdale. You really opened many doors into the complications of owning a cruising boat. Even though I own and read the 3rd edition of Nigel Calder’s excellent book on mechanical and electrical systems for boats, I am looking forward with much anticipation to the release of your upcoming book. No doubt, you will comprehensively cover every aspect of all the systemic issues of boat ownership with the most up-to-date information. Please put me on your mailing list when you announce the book’s release.

You mentioned in your seminar that you had some handouts you would be willing to email (or snail mail) pertaining to use of a multi-meter and pyrometer. I would be most appreciative if you would send those to me along with your recommendations of brands and sources. Any additional information that you usually distribute would also be welcomed with open arms.

I particularly appreciate your clear, unvarnished, straight-up, substantiated information and your way of delivering that information. You, your writings, and seminars are really valuable assets to every boat owner who will listen and read. Thank you for your expertise and your willingness to communicate and share your knowledge.

Kind regards,

Elwood Williams


Hello Steve,

It was a pleasure, a tremendous opportunity and an education meeting you and attending your course, seminar and engine room visit.  While Julie and I have quite different levels of knowledge and experience what we got out of your course exceeded our expectations in all sorts of ways.  I think that Julie has a new title for the course:  “All the lethal things that can go wrong on a boat” which is testament to that!  More seriously, Julie has learnt and retained far more than she expected.

At the same time I have learnt a lot more and it is an important foundation for the two of us to have in our quest for a boat to live and cruise extensively on.  An immediate result is that we now peruse engine rooms together and Julie has learnt first hand the benefit of a stand up engine room.  Our level of awareness means we can ask important and key questions not only in the buying process but in the longer term for maintenance and repairs. Thank you very much.

Following up on one topic from the course do you mind sharing details on the specific diagnostic tools you have found to be indispensable.  Two specifically that I remember are the infrared pyrometer and the other was the electrical diagnostic tool.

We look forward to our next encounter with you and appreciate your efforts on a personal level and for what you are doing for the industry overall.

Thank you again,

Richard and Julie Brewer


“Last week I attended a technical training seminar run by noted industry guru Steve D’Antonio.

Steve has owned and managed marine engineering companies, written numerous technical articles and is a marine engineering consultant. The course was held aboard a very impressive near-new Nordhavn 68, Karajas, berthed in the stunning Akuna Bay Marina within the Ku-ring-gai National Park about an hour’s drive north of downtown Sydney, Australia. Attendance was limited to 13, both to maximize interaction and to make full use of Karajas’s impressively large full-headroom engine room for some hands-on instruction.

There was some interesting discussion on why buyers of many brands of new boats seem to suffer an unreasonably long time before “teething problems” are resolved. Although there was no conclusion on this, Steve noted that compared for example with cars, production numbers of each type of boat are very low, no two boats are the same (as owners specify so many different options), and many trades people involved in their building don’t have the knowledge or take the care they should. Add to this the salt water and air environment and Murphy’s Law!

Boat owners in general vary in both their technical aptitude and desire to undertake maintenance work from doing nearly everything themselves to doing nothing at all, but Steve emphasized that as a minimum an owner should understand the function of installed equipment; have all switches, breakers, fuses, and controls clearly labeled; and be able to change primary and secondary fuel filters, vee belts and pump impellers.

The general theme of the seminar was that paying attention to detail will pay huge dividends in reducing operating problems. This not only applies to owners undertaking work themselves but also to ensuring contractors undertake work correctly, something which Steve says is sometimes sadly lacking due to one of or a combination of attitude, lack of knowledge and experience or ingrained poor practice (“what’s wrong … we’ve always done it that way”).

During a very full day we covered topics such as using multimeters for fault finding (particularly engine starting), using infrared pyrometers for bench marking and preventative maintenance, electrical connections, electrical safety, AGM battery security and charging, water and fuel plumbing systems, hydraulic steering systems, filter cartridge changes, prop shaft cooling, engine mounts, engine room fire suppression, aluminum corrosion protection and correct selection and use of fastenings.

Within the context of these broad subjects numerous other interesting points emerged, many of which will be of practical benefit to myself and other attendees. See our next posting for some useful tips.”

Laurie Cranfield


“I was one of the fortunate 26 people who attended Steve’s workshop in April of this year. As soon as the registration opened up in December, I signed up my husband, John, and myself, hoping to add to our boating knowledge base, grow our dream together, and learn from the best. I was not disappointed. In fact, I was extremely pleased to know this investment of time and money was well worth it.

One of the most unusual aspects of this workshop was that Steve approached the experience from the perspective of the participants. He, Katie, and her team made sure we were comfortable, had the materials and info we needed, and provided us with delicious food throughout the weekend (including REAL cream for our coffee, not powder!).

The setting was as close to reality and boat maintenance as you can get—inside the expansive wood shop at the Deltaville Boat Yard with a huge opening to the boat yard itself. Afternoon presentations were in a nice climate-controlled classroom setting. The facilities at this marina/boat yard were wonderful and the staff was friendly and helpful.

Keith Ruse, an ABYC Master Technician, and Steve (well…we all know his qualifications) tag-teamed as they shared their vast experience about maintenance, insider tip and tricks, hands-on how-to’s, systems, and ways to decrease the costs and increase the pleasure of boating. They kept me intrigued and interested throughout the day. No question went unanswered. In fact, they were encouraged.

Both Jeff Merrill and Ralph Naranjo, legends in their fields, gave presentations that were engaging, (dare I say) entertaining, and filled with exactly what I came for: Learning from the best about subjects that will help John and I realize our dream of being on the water sooner and safer.

If you’re wondering, “Is it worth it?” I answer a resounding “YES!” Learning from people who have a passion for their work and the integrity to stand behind it, was meaningful and a very special time for me. Being around other doers and dreamers, sharing the world of boating, and learning from their mistakes and triumphs, made my weekend at Deltaville one of the best investments in our dream to date.

I’m hoping there will be a Workshop Weekend Part 2 coming soon!”

Patti DiMiceli


“Last month we attended a maintenance workshop for Nordhavns with Steve D Antonio. It was well worth the trip across Australia to spend the day with such a knowledgeable and practical person. I wrote a book of notes of things to check on our boat and Peter learnt how to properly use our circuit tester. I now also have a list of links to further information about the various topics that were covered and am working on a plan for ongoing maintenance checks. Steve was a veritable library of information and practical tips, and is very personable to boot. We were a small group of like-minded people trying to learn as much as we can about caring for our boats and Steve treated every question (great and small) with equal thought and seriousness; it was very reassuring that no question was considered silly. It was great to meet other Nordhavn owners and speak with them about their boats and experiences. Reading Di and Laurie’s (Envoy) articles in Passagemaker magazines was how Peter first convinced me that his dream of going off in a boat wasn’t a completely barmy idea – and they were there! Our hosts Bob and Pam (Karajas) let us roam all over their beautiful boat checking things out – fortunately their engine room was large enough for us all to fit into, as we spent the afternoon down there.
This workshop was a most useful, practical and enjoyable experience – and if you get the chance to go to something similar don’t hesitate. The Nordhavn owners site is a great source of information, but you can’t beat face to face contact with an expert or other owners if the chance arises.”

Susan and Peter Beilby