2018 Offshore Cruising Seminars



Description & Schedule

John Neal and Amanda Swan Neal share their comprehensive offshore cruising experience in this engaging daylong seminar. Topics range from offshore capable boat selection to some of what to expect when cruising.


The Seminar Crew

With a combined experience of 658,000 miles and 81 years, John and Amanda have developed a dynamic hands-on curriculum designed to give you the skills and ability to sail anywhere.

Mahina Tiare III was launched in 1997, and 2017 marks the 28th consecutive year of sail-training expeditions. To date, more than 1,000 students have sailed a total of 277,000 miles during expeditions.


John Neal was born on the banks of Africa’s Blue Nile River. At age 22 his love of adventure and travel fueled a desire to sail to the South Pacific from Seattle aboard his 27-foot sloop. He chronicled his voyage and adventures in the bestselling book, Log of Mahina. To answer the question he was frequently asked, “How can I do what you did?” he conducted his first of now 153 Offshore Cruising Seminars in 1976. In 1990, to meet the demand for hands-on offshore instruction, John established Mahina Expeditions with the goal of sharing his knowledge of ocean voyaging in a safe and supportive environment. John has conducted 170 sail-training expeditions aboard his Hallbery-Rassy 42, Mahina Tiare II & his Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III, sailing 350,000 miles in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Patagonia, Antarctica, Atlantic, Scandinavia and the Arctic. John holds USCG 100 ton Masters and private pilot licenses.

Amanda Swan Neal grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and sailed to Vancouver as a teenager aboard a 38-foot sloop she helped her parents build. Upon returning to New Zealand, she became a sailmaker for Hood and transferred professions to rigging with Noake’s Rigging in Sydney, Australia, then Southern Spars in New Zealand. In 1990 she completed The Whitbread Around the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race) as rigger aboard Maiden, the first all-women Whitbread boat. Amanda’s 308,000 miles of international sailing include two Sydney-Hobart Races, numerous international regattas and seven Cape Horn roundings intermixed with a 10-year involvement in tall ship sail-training. Upon meeting John in 1994, she joined Mahina Tiare for the Cape Horn and Antarctic expeditions. She is author of The Essential Galley Companion and since 2005 has written the monthly Galley Essentials column in 48 North magazine. Amanda enjoys introducing women to the joys of the cruising lifestyle and her personal interests include Celtic step dancing, photography, triathlon training and sewing. She holds a New Zealand Commercial Launchmaster’s license.

Amanda and John spend seven months at sea annually. When not at sea, they enjoy winter kayaking from their island home near Victoria, British Columbia.

Current web pricing:

COST (includes a $25 non-refundable registration fee)

$139 per person

$249 per couple 

Seminar cost includes one 265 page Offshore Companion Book per single participant or couple. Lunch is included in Seattle. Accommodations are available in the hotel where the seminar is held. Pre-registration is necessary, as seminars often sell out.

Silver Cloud Inn (Seattle Stadium – SODO)