Cruise With Us

The “Introduction to Cruising” Experience

 What is it?

A chance to experience all aspects of the cruising life aboard a 72-foot Nordhavn motor vessel.  This is a hands-on experience in which you will participate in all aspects of cruising, from trip planning to passage making to care and maintenance of the vessel. You will also have the chance to explore and have fun at the destination location, meet other cruisers, and enjoy cocktails on the flybridge. You are not “guests” nor are you “crew”. You won’t be waited on or made any more comfortable than anyone else on board. You also won’t be asked to do menial tasks except as part of the team. Our aim is to expose you to all the realities of the cruising life and to help you decide if this is the life for you.

 You should consider this if:

1. You think you want to cruise on a boat but have never done it for an extended period of time.

2. You know you want to cruise on a boat but your partner needs some convincing

3. You love sailing and want to know what it’s like to be on a trawler

4. You’re dreaming of buying a Nordhavn and want to experience one first hand

5. You are going to build a boat and want some real-time live aboard experience to help you make design decisions

6. You want to gain experience and sea time


As part of the experience, you will participate in many of the following activities, depending on dates selected, destination, and weather.

  • Trip planning – planning routes, departure times, tides, etc.
  • Meal planning and preparation – developing menus and meal plans for passage and at anchor, cooking, menu planning to make use of most perishable items first
  • Provisioning – shopping and storing of provisions
  • Preparation for departure – review routes, gets weather forecasts, ensure readiness for rough seas, and bring up electronics and engines
  • Electronics – use of radar, charting software, sonar/depth, AIS, autopilot, VHF radio
  • Safety – fire safety, man overboard, engine room checks, abandon ship procedures
  • Standing watches, including engine room checks – Rules of the road, what to look for on watch, hourly logs and engine room checks
  • Power management (generators and batteries) – review of boat’s power systems, use of generator, hydraulic alternators, and/or shore power
  • Anchoring  – selecting an anchorage, anchoring procedures
  • Boat care (washing and maintenance) – washing boat after passages, daily boat care, bottom care
  • Inventory management – how to store and find critical items onboard
  • Engine care and maintenance – oil changes and other maintenance
  • Weather forecasts – various sources for weather information
  • Customs/immigration – How to check into and out of the US and other countries
  • Tender – launching, operation
  • Fishing – underway
  • Snorkeling, diving, spearfishing  – if in appropriate location

Your Partners

Bradley Rosenberg (RYA Yachtmaster 200-ton offshore license) and Kathy Clark, (USCG 100-ton Master license) welcome you aboard Shear Madness and will do our best to make this a fun and educational experience. Married in 1999, our first boat, also called Shear Madness, was a 56-foot Oyster sailboat. We cruised her for seven years in and around Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu. We sold her in 2007 and in 2010 made the switch to a trawler with the purchase of the current Shear Madness, a 72-foot Nordhavn. Now retired for good, we plan to cruise all over the world and look forward to introducing you to the cruising lifestyle.

What is included

Your experience includes accommodations for two (in a shared or separate guest cabins), all food and non-alcoholic drinks, introduction to all aspects of cruising and boat maintenance, the ability to ask any questions you want, some hard work, and plenty of fun. We provide some beer and wine and other drinks, but drinking is strictly prohibited when underway and very limited when at anchor. This is not a booze cruise!

You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the boat.  


Please contact us for rates.


We are a non-smoking and drug-free boat.  Current or recent smokers cannot be accommodated. We will also do a pre-screening to determine any compatibility issues. Living together on a boat requires a certain amount of patience and tolerance and we reserve the right to refuse anyone who we believe would not be comfortable with our approach or compatible with us.

Boat handling and docking in close quarters is not included. While we may enter or exit a marina, you will not have the opportunity to drive the boat during that time. There will be time for driving in open water situations.

This is not a structured class – it is an “experience” which can be customized based on your situation. We are willing to share our knowledge with you and help you have a real cruising experience. We do not guarantee anything beyond that.

You must have a valid passport and proof of medical insurance/coverage.

  1. #1 by Christine and Joe on April 7, 2016 - 1:32 pm

    My wife and I are interested in your introduction to cruising experience, this summer if possible. Look forward to hearing from you.


  2. #2 by Tom Pearce on November 29, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    Good day. Now is the time to go down to the sea in ships.

    This coming December 9 we are taking a closer look at a Nordhavn 72. ‘Sprit of Ulysses’ and a Nordhaven 63 ‘Sweet Hope’ both in Southampton England with maybe a purchase next spring.

    Your ‘hands on experience’ cruise sound like best practice for relative novice sailors like my wife and I.

    As a first step would you be kind enough to give us a few pointers as to critical items in a Nordhaven we should look out for on our first visit to these two cruisers bearing in mind we have a goodly mob of a greater family just bitting at the bit to join us.

    At this time our plan is, following a week or two familiarisation short day trips on our own, taking on a teaching captain for a few weeks to pilot us across the English Channel, around Gibralter into the Mediterainian then north along the Spanish coast to collect the first batch of a growing impatient family. We are then intending to make Malta our home from home – home port to explore the Mediterainian for ???? Months.

    Would you consider a two or three week ‘experience’ cruise with you followed by the Teaching captain holding our hands sufficient to go off into the wide blue yonder on our own?

    Tom and June.


  3. #3 by Richard Gilson on November 27, 2015 - 6:01 pm

    Wow saw the boat at national harbor. I told my girl friend what it was etc. I grew up on the bay & my parents had a 43 gulf star trawler.
    We think we may want a boat to spend extended periods of time I as retirement is getting very close.
    How she has had extremely limited time on the water & boat.
    So yes be interesting to see what
    It’s all about.
    Neither of us some or drink anymore so that’s great.
    So I’m. Interested esp. Perhaps while your in the area. I live in Bethesda but she lives in NW. DC.
    Well thanks for your time. Even just a tour or a day run if your planning any would work.
    Thanks again.

    Richard Gilson.


  4. #4 by Duane Rodgers on January 2, 2015 - 12:40 am

    Hi Kathy, we meet at the cocktail party in Fort Lauderdale back in march this year. Michelle and I are dreamers and have been stalking the brand for 4 years. Know Dan fairly well considering we live in Melbourne, Australia. Also know Jeff Merrill pretty well. I have watched your videos and followed shear madness over the years, and like your teaching style. I yacht race thru the pacific and we have our own 36ft boat, but we would love to keep touch and progress to a potential paid trip with you. Michelle is 54 and I am 51.
    I was reading a recent article about Steve’s trip north into the ice areas and noted you were also there. Love to catch up when we are back in the USA. I am there quite regularly, so let me let’s keep in touch and see if we catch up for a cup of coffee.

    All the best
    Duane Rodgers
    +61409 024 911


  5. #5 by Mike & Claiborne Ryan on March 2, 2014 - 6:48 pm

    Greetings from Charleston! We saw your beautiful boat on the Wando river this afternoon (I can spot a Norhavn from a long way according to my wife). We were the couple (28′ Edgewater “Karma”) who tried to keep a respectable distance on a quick circle while you were returning in your rib. Would love to do what you are doing… Anyway Welcome to Charleston, if you need anything while here feel free to ask. Mike & Claiborne Ryan


  6. #6 by Rob Bailey on February 17, 2014 - 3:22 am

    Good morning ,would like to know more details re cruising on your Nordhavn,as within a year or so will be buying and cruising.


  7. #7 by Jacob Robinson on October 15, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Hey there it’s Jacob again. I see that you are headed south again. If you are stopping in the Beaufort NC area, my wife and I would love to visit and tour Shear Madness. I am a huge Nordhavn fan and would love to cruise full time one day. Please contact me when you can. Thank You.


  8. #8 by Farley F. Shane on October 15, 2013 - 3:33 pm

    I saw your section on cruising with you and thought that I would check on the possibilities. My wife and I are going on a 3 week cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary, but I have always longed for a Nordhavn experience. We live near Monterey in California. Are you considering more than one couple/group at a time? BTW, only one stateroom for us would be necessary. If you have additional information on cost, logistics, schedule, etc. I would sure be interested! Cheers!


  9. #9 by Marc Anthony on October 3, 2013 - 12:02 pm

    Could you please email as I am having troubles sending emails to you.
    Thanks, Marc Anthony


  10. #10 by Anonymous on July 30, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    My wife and I are interested in cruising with you. I have been following your blog for quite a while now and I am a die hard nordhavn fan. We would like to get some information from you regarding a cruise, and prices. I was thinking that next time that you are our way that we can arrange something. We live near Beaufort NC. My name is Jacob, she is Teresa. Thanks for your consideration


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