Sailing School Staff

Erol Bayar

Erol has been an avid sailor since childhood. As a teen he learned from Captain Jean Lacombe on Long Island Sound who was among the first to enter in the single handed trans-Atlantic race on his 24’ cruiser, along with Francis Chichester in 1960, and Eric Tabarly in 1964.

Erol has sailed on oceans from the Aegean, North Sea, Bay of Biscay, to Maine’s beautiful Down East coast and has logged over 20,000 nautical miles. He holds a US Coast Guard Master's Captain License with Sailing endorsement. When not sailing Erol runs a CAD/CAM software consulting business in Vermont.

Nancy DeVries

For the last 9 years Nancy has taught new Beneteau owners and Basic Sailing classes for Great Hudson. She has a USCG Master 100 ton license, and is also a nationally certified Emergency Medical Technician. During the last 25 years she has owned four sailboats which she has cruised and raced extensively in waters between New York City and Nantucket. She has more than 40,000 blue water miles including offshore racing to Bermuda, Cuba, and Mexico.

Nancy has sailed three trans-atlantics, the coasts of Sweden and Norway, the Mediterranean, and Australia. From 2000-2004 she was a part-time coach for NY Maritime College offshore sailing team.

Peter Kane

Peter Is an experienced boater with over forty years on the waters of the Hudson River, Long Island Sound, offshore and the Virgin Islands.

He is a retired college professor and owner of Osprey Marine Ltd. Peter holds a 100 Ton MMC for both power and sail vessels, has taught boating safety classes for New York State and instructed boaters in small vessel handling. His new sailing vessel, Osprey, is a 40' Beneteau offering all the amenities for his customers and will be operating in conjunction with Great Hudson Sailing Center as a sailing charter and more.

Douglas Maass

This will be my 51st year of sailing, having started as a camper on Cape Cod sailing Turnabout prams and Mercury sloops. I have owned eight sailboats, ranging from a Mini-fish to a 31-footer, and currently sail a Pacific Seacraft Dana out of Ossining.

I've done deliveries on a J-42, crewed on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and taught sailing and seamanship on the 42-foot gaff tops'l sloop Sojourner Truth for 13 years. I spout Hudson River geography, history, lore and legend at the drop of a hat. This will be my fourth season teaching Basic Sailing for Great Hudson.

Bill Sneddon

"Fair tides and always the wind at your back!" Captain William Sneddon first learned to sail on a neighbor's Sunfish on Lake Erie. The first boat of his own was a trailer-sailor San Juan '21, "Grande Pause", sailing the shifting winds of the lakes in Tennessee. He moved to his current Pearson 28 "Wind Dream", after moving to New York City.

Bill qualified for his USCG Captain's License in 1991 and became an American Sailing Association certified instructor in 1997 through the Bare Boat Chartering & Coastal Navigation levels. In addition to teaching ASA sailing lessons & running charters for Great Hudson Sailing Center, he has skippered or crewed for boat deliveries along the Atlantic coast from Woods Hole to Travis McGee's slip in Ft. Lauderdale. Bill enjoys sailing the Hudson River, New York Harbor, and Long Island Sound with his first mate, Margaret

Tom Steffons

Tom has instructor certifications from the American Sailing Association In Basic Keelboat Sailing, and advanced certifications in Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering and Coastal Navigation as well as a Coast Guard Captain’s License. He particularly enjoys teaching Basic Keelboat sailing as the foundation fundamentals of sailing constitute this course. Also, Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering in the beautiful British Virgin Islands where he not only teaches the technical aspects of sailing but also appreciation of the beauty of sailing and nature.

Tom has literally sailed the Seven Seas. The deep blue waters of the South Pacific sailing past Diamond Head into Honolulu. In the Mediterranean sailing around Cap d'Antibes into Cannes, St. Tropez and Monaco. The Caribbean's beautiful Virgin Islands and the Grenadines. The Atlantic Ocean sailing from Newport to Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island.

He has even sailed through 0 Gravity during a research stint at NASA. Listen to him tell you about all the worlds that sailing opens to you.