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Program Offers Hands-on Training by Professional Instructors for Boaters of All Levels

Newport Exhibition Group, owners and producers of the Newport International Boat Show, announced today the 2015 At The Helm program for this year’s Boat Show. Developed by Confident Captain/Ocean Pros and offered exclusively at the Newport International Boat Show, At The Helm provides sailors and powerboaters of all experience levels the opportunity to take to the water. Participants receive hands-on instruction from U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains and US Powerboating and American Sailing Association certified instructors. Additionally, At The Helm will feature new shore-based courses held in the Confident Captain/Safe-Sea Mobile Seamanship Lab at the show site. At The Helm gives showgoers the tools to become confident boaters and enjoy life on the water to the fullest.

“By partnering with Confident Captain/Ocean Pros we are able to offer individuals and families the opportunity to learn or improve their boating skills while at the show,” said Nancy Piffard, Show Director of Newport Exhibition Group. “Last year, 150 individuals signed-up for on-water instruction, indicating they felt ‘rusty’ or were taking their very first course. These are the people that represent the future growth of the boating industry. And this year, At The Helm’s shore-based instruction will add a new dimension to the course offerings.”

“Attendees really enjoy the world-class venue of the Newport Boat Show and it is a perfect setting for hands-on training and skills development,” said Capt. Kent Dresser, president and founder, Confident Captain. “Our expanded program for 2015, coupled with the great staff at the show sets the stage for a truly one-of-a-kind experience for new and seasoned boaters alike. It will be a sell-out for sure!”

The At The Helm program enhances maneuvering, safety, navigational, powerboating, and sailing skills with custom-tailored instruction based on individual needs and interest. There are three courses each for powerboat and sailing, as well as two shore-based courses. Each class can be customized based on the experience level of the individuals in the session. At The Helm: Powerboat Docking and Maneuvering (90 minutes) provides hands-on docking experience including collision avoidance and how to handle emergencies in close quarters, as well as stopping, turning and keeping control of a boat – even in windy conditions. At The Helm: Advanced & Twin Engine Powerboat – Docking and Maneuvering (90 minutes) allows the confident boat-handler to master skills with advanced techniques. Instruction is focused on using lines and engine control, as well as forces such as prop walk, prop wash, wind and currents to overcome potentially tense situations in close quarters operations, and in upwind, downwind and crosswind scenarios. At The Helm: Become a Power Boater (3 hours) helps new boaters learn how to become a knowledgeable and skilled power boater. This hands-on course will focus on getting underway safely, onboard systems and equipment, safe navigation, the “Rules of the Road”, safe handling of emergencies underway, VHF radio use, and local, state and federal regulations.

For sailors, At The Helm: Sailboat Docking and Close Quarters Maneuvering (2 hours) is designed to demonstrate the different forces acting on sailboats while maneuvering under power and how they respond to prop walk and wind, as well as docking strategies incorporating factors such as weather, line handling and crew participation. At The Helm: Advanced Sailboat Handling and Sail Trim (3 hours) provides sailors with the opportunity to improve sailing speed and efficiency. Topics covered in this course include: balance in the sail plan, maneuvering under sail, matching sail trim to conditions, as well as spinnaker sets, gybes and douses. At The Helm: Sailboat Crew/First-Mate Skills (3 hours) covers the basics of how to be a safe and more confident crewmember on almost any vessel. Sailors will learn proper winch use, understanding equipment loads, wind awareness, basic steering and situational awareness.

New this year, At The Helm will be offering two shore-based courses. At The Helm: iPad Navigation (3 hours) will review some of the most helpful apps for boaters. This informative course will demonstrate how to use mobile devices for weather and tide prediction, maintenance management, navigation, as well as how to use safety, resource and convenience apps. At The Helm: Boat Systems (3 hours) will cover everything from batteries to bilges, including: engine basics, helm, fuel, plumbing, ventilation systems, as well as anchoring and tackle.

Each session requires advanced booking online at At The Helm headquarters will be located near the Show’s Commercial Wharf entrance, and all training courses will depart from and return to the docks near the Show grounds.

The Newport International Boat Show will take place September 17-20, 2015 on the Newport Waterfront along America’s Cup Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. One of the largest in-water boat shows in the country and the kick-off to the boat show season, the event will host exhibitors from around the world with an exceptional assortment of boats of every type and style, and a wide variety of accessories, equipment, electronics, gear and services for boaters. For more information on the 45th Annual Newport International Boat Show and to purchase tickets, please visit


Show Dates & Hours:

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, September 17th, 18th, and 19th: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, September 20th: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Admission Prices:

       Thursday, September 17th, VIP Day: Tickets are $35*. If tickets are purchased by Wednesday, September 16th - each order includes a reserved parking space at Easton’s Beach ($16 value, one parking space per transaction). Shuttle bus service from Easton’s Beach to the show entrance is included with the parking space.

       Friday, Saturday or Sunday, September 18th, 19th or 20th: Tickets are $15* through Thursday, September 17th and $19 if purchased on September 18th through the 20th.

       Two-day discounted ticket packages are also available.

       Children under 12 are admitted free all days when accompanied by an adult.

       Friday, September 18th only, visitors with a valid Military or Newport County Resident ID pay $12 admission at the ticket booth (This discount cannot be combined with any other discount offer).


*Ticket prices are subject to additional processing fees.


For more information or to purchase tickets, visit



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