Captain Clifford Cohen
"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows“
Captain Cliff has been messing about in boats on Long Island Sound and beyond for more than 50 years. In 1974, he discovered there is no better sound than that of a sailboat's engine turning off when it is not needed. Since then, Cliff has logged thousands of hours daysailing, racing and cruising aboard a variety of boats from 14 to 40+ feet.
In addition to being a professional sailing instructor, Cliff is a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Emergency Medical Services Instructor (EMS-I) and Regional Emergency Medical Services Coordinator. When he is not teaching sailing, Cliff can be found either maintaining boats at his home port in Branford, Connecticut or sailing with his wife aboard their Islander 36.
Known and respected for his calm demeanor and commitment to safety, Cliff takes great pride in helping his students to become confident boat handlers and fully capable sailors.
Captain David Metzler
Captain David started out sailing in the 80's and has captained and crewed sailboats from 10' to 50' in a dozen states and countries. His passion is learning everything that can be learned about sailing and sailboats. Captain David has spent the years, crewing, breaking, repairing, building, surveying, cursing, loving, delivering, buying and selling sailboats.
In 2013 David decided it would be fun to share this passion with others and started teaching. He got is USCG captain's license and ASA teaching certifications for 101, 103, 104, 105 and 106.
Captain David has worked with several hundred students, and seeing a new student really start developing the confidence of a real sailor is his greatest joy.
Mark J. Holian, Founder
Mark J. Holian, a native of Southington, Connecticut, spent his childhood vacations along the east coast's shoreline, from Maine to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Mark has been repairing and maintaining homes since he could pick up a hammer, a passion which remains today. With the help of his son he assembled a timberframe as a space to continue expanding their crafts. With his training and education in civil engineering and surveying, sailing continued to intrigue him.
Spending more time on the water was a dream until Mark made it a reality. After obtaining his ASA 101 and ASA 103 certifications, Mark caught the sailing bug and purchased New Dawn, a Hunter 336 to support others in fulfilling their dreams of learning to sail.
In January, 2023, Mark sold East Coast Sailing School to Captain Cliff. Although no longer at the helm, Mark's passion for sailing hasn't waned and you're sure to see him on the water.