Our Story

At The Helm Training was born out of necessity. A necessity observed by a professional USCG Master Mariner who over a 40-year period discerned that boats were getting bigger, more complex, and powerful with an increasing number of operators having little experience and understanding of safe operational procedures of THEIR vessel.  

The idea came from a martial arts class, that is right, a martial arts class. While participating in a class from a world-renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training family, that only did one-on-one training.

We noticed that whether we participated in a class in California or Florida they both had the lesson syllabus written on the wall. Those lessons contained the same techniques, taught in a tried-and-true sequence that formed an automatic response. At that moment we thought why not apply the same idea for a marine safety training course for boat owners on THEIR boat.

Each vessel is unique, but the basic understanding of safe vessel operations and seamanship can be adapted to any boat with our proven syllabus. At The Helm Training provides a personalized learning experience by a professional Captain or Trainer to teach a new or experienced boat owner, who wants to improve upon their skills.

You do not need a boating license to operate a boat in the majority of the United States, but many states require a general safety course. At The Helm Training course provides a curriculum taught from a system developed with over 40 years of experience of what works and what does not. 

We discovered in our experiences of working with people with the resources to own a 30-to-60-foot yacht, that they do not have the time, necessity or desire to go to a Captain school. Additionally, the courses offered by publicly funded organizations lack the hands on training specific to the boat they will operate. At The Helm Training system addresses these shortcomings.

Meet the Team 

Captain John Dial

At the Helm Training: Captain John Dial

During the 40 years of his boating industry career, John started as a mate on a yacht graduating to 8 issues of USCG Master Licenses. The first issue was in 1980. He has logged sea time of hundreds of thousands of miles on the sea, intercostal and inland rivers in the USA and internationally. This has been on yachts and sport fishing boats from 70ft to 120ft.  John has been involved with almost every aspect of the yachting industry throughout his yachting career including; “A Yacht Management Co” which managed larger yachts, “Lima yacht Sales” a yacht brokerage company, and “Broadbill Enterprises” whose primary role is a service company for yacht projects.Through a myriad of experiences in the industry over 40 years, John realized the glaring need for “At The Helm Training” was undeniable. With a deeply rooted enthusiasm to create a safer boating environment for everyone, the copywritten approved training course is designed for boat owners to familiarize themselves with their boat systems and operations. John has always thought his role in the industry was one of education, to both him and his clients. He has always viewed his career as his passion.


Captain Gary Badzinski

At the helm training: Captain Gary

An interventional cardiologist for 35 years, Gary has the experience afforded through years of his own private practice in cardiology, as well as numerous organizational, leadership and university affiliated professorships. He has been honored with election to the status of ‘Fellow’ by both the American College of Osteopathic Internists and the American College of Cardiology. His passion for safety and quality has placed him as a leader and innovator in the delivery of health care.  He previously authored a recurring newspaper column combining nautical and cardiology concepts to educate readers and make both disciplines fun and understandable. A 2017 MBA graduate of Kenan-Flagler Business School, Gary brings a lifelong love affair with boating and an entrepreneurial spirit to his position as Quality Control Officer with At the Helm Training®.


- At The Helm Captains -

Captain Mathew Artrip
Captain Tony Fergusson
Captain Shane Demmer
Captain Odel Dow
Captain Craig Babb
Captain Roy Taft
Captain John Ryan
Captain Prescott Brown
Captain Lloyd Reinhold
Captain Andre Sean Moore
Captain Alec Cunningham
Captain Allan Bloom
Captain Ryan Heard
Captain Gary Parisi
Captain Justin Rodriguez
Captain Charles J. McLaughlin
Captain Randy Boatright
Captain Reese L. Singleton III
Captain Jim Castengera
Captain Justin Goodlett
Captain Edward Palermo
Captain Zacharay Gallagher
Captain Normand Fougere
Captain Christopher Boland
Captain Douglas Caldwell
Captain Brooke Scott DeRoy
Captain Jonathan Parmet
Captain Christine Stewart
Captain Erek T. Sanchez
Captain Rafael Tarnawiecki
Captain Douglas Brian Michel
Captain Darrin Trapani