Customer Reviews and Feedback

Thanks, Vicki

I had a great time sailing, I think we had a good crew, and I feel I have learned a tremendous amount from the drills and going through the motions of different situations that may arise sailing under varying conditions. A lot of material for thought and further practice (getting it down to a 'science' :-) You are an excellent instructor and I feel fortunate having had the opportunity to take these classes with you.

See you in the British Virgin Islands if you happen to be there this winter.
Take care,

(Regarding BVI Family & Friends Vacation Course)
Thanks, Thom. You're the best.


On behalf of Ann, Cameron, and Steve, I want to tell you once again what a fabulous time we had on our Apostle Islands flotilla. Everything was simply beautiful.
Thank you. Give our best to Michelle.
May the wind be at your back,

Dodie, Peoria, IL

I recently completed your Basic Keelboat class with Jack Masterson which was fantastic!

Thank you,

- Kirk K.

(Regarding Northern Breezes' Youth Camp)
I, as a parent, felt very good that she felt so confident, feeling that "I can sail." Not a lot of camps do that.

We were in good hands. The school was very quick to respond to things... the school was very accommodating.

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to send my daughter yo your camp.

We felt great with the equipment. Very great, very safe equipment. It was very new. I looked at some other schools and their boats just looked... old. They didn't look very safe to me. Your boats looked very safe.

See an article from Plymouth magazine here!


Thanks for the opportunity to crew on Adagio.  It was a lot of fun and a workout!

Ron Q

Dear Thom:

We really wanted to say a huge thank you for the wonderful week that we spent with you learning to sail around the BVIs. From booking to our (very reluctant!) departure, we really couldn't have asked for any more. We both had an awesome time learning lots of new skills in a beautiful part of the world.

Thank you very much for all your effort, advice, instruction - and being such good company...

Laura and Jonathan

Dear Thom, Tony, Perry and Sue.

Sorry it's taken so long to write to you. Unfortunately back in England the Caribbean seems a long way away.

We are writing to thank you again for our great sailing holiday. We had a fabulous time sailing and certainly learnt a lot. We also had a lot of fun spending the holiday with all of you. Thank you for showing us around the beautiful islands and for looking after us so well.

We haven't yet mixed up some painkillers but can't wait to do so as soon as the sun comes out!

Please pass on our thanks to everyone as we only have this central email.

We have attached some pictures of us all enjoying ourselves.

Thanks again. We hope to do it all again one day!

Best wishes.
Rich and Naomi H
East Yorkshire

Dear Captain Burns:

I am writing after completing a recent Northern Breezes sailing course in Bayfield, Wisconsin (August 5-8, 2010). Along with a friend, I sailed on Aerie from Pike's Bay Marina and completed ASA 101 (test out) as well as ASA 103 and 104.

It's fair to say that, based on your website and ASA information, I had high expectations for the courses. By the end of the course on Sunday, those expectations were exceeded - by a long shot.

In particular, I want to commend our instructor, Tony Green. Tony called me in advance to verify my sailing experience as well as dietary needs and other requirements. He told us what to expect as we arrived at Pike's Bay and how the course would unfold, including contingencies for weather and our skill set. When we arrived on Wednesday evening, we got settled in and then went right to work on our boat orientation and 101 test.

Throughout the course, Tony was very professional and through, with a good knowledge of local sailing conditions. He taught to our level of ability and was very flexible as we proceeded through the curriculum to accommodate a non-life-threatening medical emergency during our first full day of lessons. Tony was swift in his reaction and ensures the safe transfer of the injured crew to local EMS care, which he arranged for via radio as we were making passage back to the marina. He kept in touch with us the remainder of the day and made sure that we were prepared to continue the course on our return to the marina later that evening.

In summary, I enjoyed the course tremendously and learned a great deal. I will recommend Northern Breezes (and Tony) to our sailing friends. We look forward to taking additional courses and chartering with you in the near future.

Thanks for a great experience.

David E., Madison, WI

Just wanted to say thanks for the opportunity to crew for Tony Green on Aerie this past weekend. I had a great time!

Craig R., St. Paul, MN

Dear Thom,

Artha and I just completed the ASA 101, 103, and 104 courses with Tom. After completing the coursework we had the opportunty to charter a boat and practice the skills we were taught the previous week. I want to thanStudents recieving sailing instructionk you for suggesting that we do that charter right after the class, it really helped.

Also I want to tell you how much we appreciated the professionalism and teaching style of Tom. His experiencial style of teaching worked particularly well for Artha and I and helped make our introduction to sailing the very best possible. Joy's sailing experience and insight was a nice addition as well and was particularly helpful for Artha.

We look forward to sailing with Northern Breezes in the future. Artha and I are already checking the calendar for an opportunity to do the ACC class with Thom down in the Caribbean.


John D. (Alaska)

Greetings Thom,


I have been meaning to send you an email on the sailing trip to the BVI. I'm finally catching up now that Navigation classes are completed.

I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the sailing classes in the BVI with Tom E. He was very professional in his duties as our instructor, treated everyone with respect even though we had a couple that didn't pass. They really did enjoy the sailing experience for the whole week. They were fun to be around, and I learned from Bob some of the navigation experiences he has had on other trips. Mark and I were more agile and could do lots of the necessary things to prepare the boat and perform many of the required tasks, so that helped us gain more confidence by doing things. Tom gave us directions to complete the necessary tasks, and with his experience he could relate some of the things that could go wrong if we did not perform them correctly. His experience was a valuable tool for our understanding how to handle the boat in different situations. He had a calm demeanor when things needed an explaination a second time, only in a different way, so we could understand what was expected.


Joyce was very organized in her way of keeping the galley stocked and clean.

Meals were great, and always prepared with speed.


My compliments to you on your choice of leaders/instructors for our sailing and learning experience.


I would love to sail with Northern Breezes again in the future as I learn more about the total sailing experience.


Mark and I sat in the BVI Yacht Club after the trip, and we both talked about our next trip.

Thanks again, It was a great experience and I am spreading the word in this area about my great memories and experiences.

Hope you enjoy the pictures on the CD from my trip.

I just found out on Saturday, a friend of mine will be putting his 21 ft Hunter on a lift in front of my place on Lake Kampeska this summer, so I will be able to practice my skills.


A fellow sailor,


Cal (North Dakota)

Hi Thom,

Thanks again for making the best of some unfavorable weather conditions to make the class enjoyable.  I learned a lot from you and hopefully our paths will cross again. 

Thanks again for everything,

Jeremy (Appleton, Wisconsin) 

Captain Thom –

Kim and I have immensely enjoyed our sailing experiences on our Wind Rider on Lake Minnewashta this summer.  We are out sailing on any day that there is wind and hope to continue sailing into the fall as weather permits.

Best regards,

John Parkhurst

Hi Thom,


My wife Tammy and I took the Basic Keelboat 101 from Terrence on Lake Minnetonka.


We then did your Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering classes up in Bayfield. Rusty was our instructor.


We truly enjoyed both sailing experiences and thought your instructors were superb.


You can mail the Log Book to our home address as follows:


Thank You,


Mark (Excelsior, Minnesota)




I just wanted to say thanks for your help!  I requested that you help me obtain a stamp for a class from ASA and you did when the school where I took the course blew me off.  I have it and am gratefull for your efforts.

Thank you, 

Rick (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Hey Thom,

Wow, what a trip to Isle Royale!  Never a boring moment!

Steve is awesome!

(St. Cloud, Minnesota)

Thom Burns and a group of studentsDear Jenny, 

This is just a short note to say thank you for being so patient while teaching me the fundamentals of Cruising. You are superior!

Dick (Minneapolis, MN)

Dear Thom

Many thanks for a great weekend of instruction. I learned a lot and look forward to taking more courses.

Best Regards,

Dick H. (Minneapolis, MN)


 I wanted to thank you for the great experience last week in sailing class!  It was great fun --you made it a low-pressure and enjoyable, but high-learning experience.  I've taught at levels ranging from Pre-K through undergraduate students and know that feat isn't easy -- and not everybody can do it so you have a gift! Thanks again for the great class.

 All best,

 Paula R. (Excelsior, MN)

Dear Captain Thom,

I completed my basic keelboat tonight. Vicki was a great instructor. I give her my highest marks!

Thanks Much!

Jon C. (St. Cloud, MN)