Alex DeShazer Sailing Instructor

Meet Sailing Instructor Alex DeShazer

My passion for sailing extends beyond my professional career. I am committed to making sailing accessible to the wider community and enjoy taking my Moody sailboat to fun and unique locations with my family.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Newport Beach, CA and developed a love for sailing at a young age while helping family friends cruise their boats around the southern Pacific waters, especially Catalina. Over the past three decades, I have been continuously learning and improving my skills as a sailor. Currently, I hold a US Coast Guard 100 Ton Captains license with a sailing endorsement, an American National Standards NauticEd Instructor certification, an ASA instructor certification, and a NAUI scuba instructor certification.

As a marine professional based in Southern California, I have had a diverse career in the sailing industry. I have served as the VP of Instruction for the South Coast Sailing Team in Dana Point, CA, where I was responsible for overseeing the instructors, courses, and overall sailing program. Additionally, I have been a Sailing Instructor and owner/operator of OC Boat Charter, Captain of a 60’ luxury catamaran sailing yacht based in Long Beach, CA, whale watching Captain on a 55’ sailing Catamaran, and owner/operator of American Dive Institute on the East Coast.

My passion for sailing extends beyond my professional career. I am committed to making sailing accessible to the wider community and enjoy taking my Moody sailboat to fun and unique locations with my family. I also like to stay active in the great outdoors by backpacking, paddle boarding, kayaking, and undertaking boat restoration projects.

Keelboats -or- Catamarans?


Local Sailing -or- Coastal/Charter Vacations -or- Deep Blue?

Coastal / Excursions

What’s your “Style” of sailing?

Adventure (new destinations & experiences)

What got you into sailing?

When I was fifteen years old, I had a strong desire to own a sailboat of my own. So, I attended the Sea Scout boat auction where I was able to purchase a 15-foot Snipe. I learned how to rig, repair, sail, and even race the boat. Owning a vessel at such a young age fueled my passion for sailing and motivated me to make it a part of my life.

What does sailing do (or has done) for you?

Sailing is an enjoyable activity that I love to do in my free time, alongside my work. It provides me with a chance to have a calming vacation with my family, mingle with friends, or have some serene time alone on the water. I can decide on where to go, and what to do while also receiving various health benefits.

Most memorable sailing experience?

One of my most memorable sailing experiences was when I took my entire family to Catalina Island, a place I often visit. I realized that something I had taken for granted was truly magical to new visitors. My wife and I have been married for 25 years, but she had never been able to join me on my sailing trips due to her seasickness. However, she finally found a solution that allowed her to come along with our children. Seeing her excitement during this trip was an unforgettable memory.

What are a couple of your favorite sailing spots?

I love sailing around the Channel Islands. These five remarkable islands preserve unique animals, plants, and archaeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. Visitors can experience coastal Southern California just as it was in the past.

What’s your favorite part about teaching sailors?

Imagine the water surrounding your boat as your school. Your boat is your classroom, and you are the captain. You spend many hours preparing for your lessons, but as your students arrive on your boat, the adventure begins. The boat helps your students grow and develop their skills. Every day, my students bring their unique talents, love, and support into the classroom.

What advice would you give a new student about sailing?  An experienced sailor?

If you’re new to sailing, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience. First and foremost, always try to have fun and be open to meeting new people. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get familiar with the boat and safety equipment on board. Lastly, keep an open mind and be willing to learn new things. Even if you’re an experienced sailor, it’s important to stay open-minded and be willing to learn something new.

What is a random fact about yourself?

I am the proud father of twin 18-year-olds who have grown up to be amazing individuals. However, as if life wasn’t exciting enough, the pandemic brought an unexpected surprise into my life. I now have a 2-year-old who has brought so much joy. It has been an interesting journey adjusting to having a little one again, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What’s on your sailing ‘bucket list’?

Sailing across the Pacific in the Transpac race has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Sailing three thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean would be a truly enlightening experience.


Learn more about Alex DeShazer ›

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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
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Last updated on December 30th, 2023