|About Peter Pisciotta and SeaSkills
|Peter Pisciotta - 100 Ton US
Coat Guard Licensed Captain,
Writer, Presenter. And
owner/operator of SeaSkills
Personal School of
|On a long delivery, a client once told me "Peter, you are as much a coach and mentor as you are a teacher." Developing
seamanship skills is serious business, but it has to be fun for everyone. That means laughing and learning from mistakes,
responding to and recovering from errors, and developing judgement and anticipation skills. In a nutshell, it's
seamanship skills. As you may have guessed, my leadership role model isn't a "drill instructor" even though that's
common among delivery captains. It's an easy path to take, but I don't think it's a good leadership model, and it's even
worse teaching technique. "Mentoring" takes time and patience, but it's extremely effective, especially for adult
In 2004 alone, I was captain aboard a couple dozen yachts covering 18,000 miles at sea, at an average of about 7 knots.
That's over 2500 hours, more than a full time job! I spent about 70 nights at sea and had 7 or 8 non-stop passages of
1000 miles or longer, mostly to weather along the rugged Pacific Coast. I am particularly proud of my safety record: no
injuries, no insurance claims, and I think I successfully exceeded my client's expectations.
But the highlight of the year was transiting the Panama Canal. It was the fastest trip I know of - we departed
Southern California on February 10th, and arrived in Ft Lauderdale almost exactly 25 days later. We made 2 stops of
about 36 hours each (Acapulco for fuel, Balboa, Panama for the Canal transit). That's 4500 miles in 25 days, or an
average of 8-3/4 knots. For those who followed the voyage through my daily e-mail updates, it really was as much fun as
it sounded. Dennis, his friend Rick, and the owner's brother and son were aboard. We had a great time and I can't wait
to return and slowly visit places I bypassed.
I had a lot help through the year. The folks at Nordhavn were very kind with their recommendations, as were the Rose's
and Bruckel's at Trawler Fest. I was very lucky to consistently find good crew - my good friend Brian always seemed to
find time to help me out (kind of reminded me of Sherlock Holmes' confident Dr. Watson in that regard). .
I met some wonderful people. There's something about a midnight watch that sparks good conversation. All were unique,
all had wonderful perspectives. And, as you might imagine from folks who can afford a sumptuous yacht, all had great life
stories to share. But at their core, all were just curious individuals looking for something new and interesting - people
who refused to accept a simple path. Boating seems to breed a sense of self reliance and accountability that is in short
supply these days. I learned a lot in 2004.
I also began writing for Power Cruising Magazine (I began writing for DIY Marine Magazine in 2003). This is an
exceptional honor for me as I admire World Publications periodical like Cruising World. I was stunned when the editor
suggested I write a seamanship skills column called "Sea Skills." I enjoy writing and am very proud to see my work in
print, but I am also humbled when I read the work of other writers. I have a lot of work ahead of me honing the craft of
writing. Let me know if you have an idea for a column!
I hope you will call or e-mail and tell me a little about how I can help you achieve your dreams. Whether it's a two-day
docking instruction, a sea trial and yacht outfitting consulting engagement, or a trans-Pacific delivery and training
session, you'll receive my very best thinking, focus, and effort.