Marine Weather Presentations & Seminars
Comments From Seminar Attendees

In this day and age of computers and mobile devices, the daunting challenge in teaching weather and forecasting is to (i) explain the fundamentals of weather dynamics (how weather systems develop and move), (ii) sort through and interpret the bewildering array of readily available professional weather data, text and graphics and (iii) offer practical tips for those going out on the water. In the Great Lakes Cruising Club's Weather Savvy Mariner webinar series, Mark Thornton managed to do all this in a seamless and exemplary fashion – a testament to his years both in the classroom and behind the helm.

Ronald
March 2016


Whether cruising, racing, or puttering, the Weather Savvy Mariner series is well-tailored to boating and very useful for making  go/no-go decisions that may just save your life.

Tina
March 2016


Best weather seminar ever!!! My husband is a licensed captain and has attended several as well as basics in his classes and testing and in the 60 years he's been sailing.... He said it was, by far, the best weather seminar he has ever attended. 

Lisa
May 2015


I just wish I had half the knowledge Mark does! He's incredibly well-versed in both the topics of weather AND sailing, and I really enjoyed listening to him, not to mention I learned quite a bit as well!

March 2015


You did a great job of making an overwhelming topic manageable for beginners.

January 2015


I thought the Great Lakes Wind Forecasting: A Workshop for Sailors was a great in-depth look at weather and forecasting, some of it was review, but so much of the program gave me a greater understanding of the elements of a forecast that I'm looking at. It was great!

January 2015


You have a passion for meteorology that is contagious and a gift for communicating a complex subject.

Steve H.
Cruisers University, Annapolis, MD - April 2014


I took your Great Lakes course at the Sandusky Sailing Club probably five years ago and still draw on the knowledge I learned there - you are a very good teacher of a complex topic.  We now live on our sailboat full time and cruise the Atlantic coast from the Bahamas to Maine.

Prue P.
April 2014


I have attended many workshops and I can say yours ranks at the top. The material covered and your way of presenting it made for a great day.

Rich B.
April 2014


Great class! Your exercises and methodology in maintaining class involvement throughout the learning process, and especially the closing exercise, gave me the confidence to be able to discern what sources will be most beneficial for planning my time on the water. I also appreciated the simple way each concept was explained and graphically portrayed. Bring it back to SCC and I'll be there again!

Brian F.
April 2014


Mark, thanks for crafting and presenting a half-day Basic Marine Seminar  for Grand River Sailing Club. Our event was a success - well attended by water enthusiasts of all types. The high quality of the program enhanced the club's position as a water safety and education advocate, and helped us build community. Feedback was uniformly positive. Among the comments we heard:  "Excellent," "Very informative," and "The speaker was very knowledgeable." We hope to have you return to Lake County in the future!

Sandy Woodthorpe, Commodore, Grand River Sailing Club
March 2013


What a great seminar on weather and wind forecasting at the BCYC. Mark did such a good job helping me plan our day on the water. If you are new to sailing/boating or an old salt this will benefit your sailing experience. I'll certainly be at the next seminar! Thanks.

Eric M. - Bay City Yacht Club, Bay City, MI
March 2013


Mark is an excellent presenter and his one day weather seminar is perfect for yachtsmen. I found his knowledge of the material to be outstanding and his ability to explain detailed weather concepts in realistic terms rewarding.

Dave Mead, Rear Commodore, Catawba Island Club
April 2012


I received the following comments from member of the Grand River Sailing Club in response to my April 14, 2012 presentation of my summary of the 2011 Chicago-Mac storm:

Mark presented the information on a level I could understand. There were many good safety reminders. The graphics were easy to read & understand. Informative & entertaining.

My two sons and I enjoyed your presentation.  You did a super job.   We have been to two Safety-at-Sea seminars and you commanded every bit the same level of attention. 


On behalf of the Bay City Yacht Club Sailing Committee I would like to thank you for your presentation and seminar this past weekend. One element of our BCYC mission statement is “To foster and stimulate interest in all forms of boating activity and associated functions”. Your visit last weekend left us feeling quite fulfilled.

The Friday Dinner presentation on the storm that overtook the Chicago to Mackinaw races in July 2011 was of particular interest to club members given the loss of life involved 2 sailors who were regulars at BCYC as well as survivors who you had a chance to meet. Your delivery was exceptional and perfectly complimented the dinner event. Not too long, not too short, not overly technical, but clearly a step up from the 5pm TV news weather.

Saturday’s Weather Seminar exceeded our expectations. Planning and scheduling was an absolute pleasure, your materials are top notch, but most importantly, everyone was impacted and left the club feeling significantly more skilled. There is no shortage of weather information available to today’s sailor/boater/racer. Putting this information together in a logical, cogent, compelling structure that informs as to what you should do is often missing. You filled that gap for us that day.

We look forward to having you back. Thanks again Mark for an excellent experience that clearly contributed to the brand of BCYC. Well done.

Regards Greg Horvath, Past Commodore, Membership Chair, Bay City Yacht Club (March 2012)


On behalf of the Bay City Yacht Club, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the excellent job you did presenting the Great Lakes Weather Seminar! Your communication leading up the the event was timely, you brought your own top-notch gear & materials, you and your presentation were very organized, and best of all it was engaging and enlightening. If anyone out there is thinking about hosting your seminar, I urge them to stop thinking about it and do it, they will not be disappointed! We are already talking about having you back in a few years!

Thanks again,

John M. Johnson - March 2012


I have been racing and long distance cruising for the better part of 45 years and have a fairly good knowledge of Great Lakes weather systems and basic forecasting. At least I thought I had things in hand until I attended Mark's one-day weather seminar.

The information he presents, the forecasting exercises and follow-up resources available on his website and other online sources substantially increased my weather knowledge, understanding and future safety on the water. The session is only enhanced by Mark’s outstanding presentation skills. Whether you’re an old hand, just starting out or simply interested in learning more about Great Lakes weather, I highly recommend signing up for the next session.

Dave H. - March 2011


Thank you again for a great day on Saturday.  Your Great Lakes Marine Weather Seminar was phenomenal.  Both Mike and I enjoyed it tremendously.  We definitely walked away more knowledgeable sailors than when we walked in.  Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. And by the way, we are both interested in any future seminar/classes that you may have.

Tammy B. - March 2011


I was not sure what to expect when attending your seminar on Basic Marine Forecasting. The presentation was excellent. The information you provided over the weekend was invaluable.

If only I had this knowledge when I was racing on Lake Erie. Having the ability to better understand all the forces that effect weather patterns, highs, lows & fronts would have produced better results.

The information and websites provided by Mark will help when cruising, racing or just planning an outing. The Seminar helps you better understand the general forecasts. It provides timing and windows in the forecasts.

I would encourage all boaters, sail and power, to attend one of his seminars. The information provided will help for a more safe and enjoyable experience when boating.


Chip S. - March 2010


I'm a cruiser who has raced and done Race Committee in the past. I've attended both Mark's short presentation and his two-day seminar. Both were well organized and informative. I acquired knowledge at his seminars that would have been useful in racing and in the duties of a primary race officer. This knowledge will be useful in getting "there and back" safely and comfortably.

Pete E. - April 2010


Comments From Previous Presentations