Capt. Kris Kaminski
Kris began sailing decades ago in Poland at the age of nine. He was born to sail. He is an avid racer and cruiser with over 50,000 miles of solo and crewed racing experience – both offshore and coastal. He has captained many boats, from dinghies to maxi-racers, in Europe, US East Coast, The Great Lakes, the Bahamas, and The Caribbean.
Kris has worked on merchant marine ships, completed many transatlantic voyages, and currently holds his USCG 100T Master License and Yacht-Master Unlimited.
As founder of the Griffin Sailing School, LLC, he is ambitious to share his vast experience with all who want to learn the best of sailing. He is an active instructor, cruiser, and racer that holds an extensive ASA Instructor Certification and Endorsements, from Basic Keelboat to Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA 101 to ASA 106 ), as well as Docking and Cruising Catamaran Endorsements. His experiences, guided by some of the most incredible sailing mentors, have taken him across the world racing and teaching at numerous coastal and offshore sailing schools. He is very passionate about teaching and passing on his knowledge because sailing is fun if all is done correctly and on time.
Sailors gave him the nickname Two Finger Captain as he is an advocate of "Two Finger Sailing," and his quote is: "If anyone has to use more than two fingers to sail, then something is wrong!" Kris is a “salty” fellow and someone who you want on your vessel if you are cruising offshore. He has many full-crewed and short-handed offshore runs under his belt and has a level of knowledge that can only be gained after many decades of serious sailing. His teaching methods are anything but conventional, and he will quickly help anyone become a sailor. You will be lucky to have Kris as your instructor.
He received a Master's Degree in Arts and Culture at the University of Poznan and worked in numerous art and cultural institutions and organizations. However, sailing was always prevailing in his life.
Kris is also an avid ski racer and Coach in upstate New York and Colorado during the winter months.
Capt. Jeff Farber
Jeff's sailing experience runs deep. He learned sailing in his pre-teen years on the New Jersey shore but placed his sailing career on hold during the early portion of his adult life. The duty of raising a family and earning a living required other serious pursuits.
His engineering and material science career still allowed for a vocational study of the physics of sailing and naval science. Now he is fully engaged in sailing. He completed several open ocean voyages in his CSY44 and a master captain’s license. Jeff also operates the Kingston-Rhinecliff Ferry.
During the 2014 season, he operated a successful sailing camp at the Rondout Yacht Basin and taught sailing through private lessons as well. He is a technologist and admitted gearhead who loves installing and repairing everything nautical.
His favorite passion is the teaching of sailing and watching students gain self-reliance through sailing. His endlessly smiling face will make everyone feel as though sailing is not really tricky.
Capt. David McClay
David has been sailing since age 15 when he learned about a Sunfish. He later lived on a 44’ ketch for a year and sailed it from New York to the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. Lately, most of his sailing experience has been in a 34’ C&C racer/cruiser and in a 23’ Pearson Ensign, which he owned for 15 years and raced in the Long Island Sound. As a racer, he began to be interested in running yacht designs.
He was a US Sailing Yacht Measurer for 21 years, which gave him familiarity with the latest in racing designs. He has been working as an Accredited Marine Surveyor with the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors since 1995 and currently holds Master Technician status with the American Boat and Yacht Council. He performs between 150 and 200 surveys per year, with the majority being recreational sailboats. If anyone has problems with a boat, insurance, or race committee, David is the one to help.
Teaching sailing David is relatively new and loves sharing his boat design knowledge and sailing experience with all students. David joined our crew in 2016 to help us provide high-quality expertise.