Alaska Trawler Training Inside Passage Training

Mt Edgecumb

Home Shore is powered by a Caterpillar 343 diesel engine, rated at 365 HP, giving her a cruising speed of 9 knots. Range exceeds 1,000 miles.

"Continual maintenance and upgrades have left this vessel in excellent and seaworthy condition throughout."

~ Marine Insurance Survey Report

Intriguing side trip Intriguing side trip Intriguing side trip Intriguing side trip Intriguing side trip

"The truth of the wooden boat, Jon Wilson wrote, is the integrity we sense beneath the beauty. It all (comes) down to . . .those curves, . . . those tantalizing, never-ending, just -beyond-the-horizon curves. . ."
~ from Wooden Boat
by Michael Ruhlman

Click here to visit "Our Vessel" page and learn more about Home Shore.

Breaching humpback whale Breaching humpback whale Breaching humpback whale Breaching humpback whale

Humpback whale feeding

Inside Passage Navigation School for Boat Captain Alaska Trawler Navigation Training Schools

Alaska Inside Passage Training Cruise Brochure
Bob Duke and Captain Kyle on Inside Passage Training cruise

"I can think of no better investment in a successful Inside Passage cruise than a training voyage with Captain Kyle."
~ Bob Duke

Informal Instruction and Hands-on Boating Experience

"Published articles and hearsay about the Inside Passage made cruising there a daunting prospect for me when I had no Northwest boating experience. Months of searching for a seasoned skipper to accompany on a voyage north were in vain. When Capt. Jim Kyle offered me passage aboard Home Shore, I not only saw the Inside Passage with my own eyes, but also received the benefit of Kyle's tutelage and 40 years of expertise. I am now far better prepared and more capable of enjoyably cruising the Inside Passage and southeast Alaska than I would have been with a lifetime of armchair preparation."
Bob Duke
Author of Cruising to Alaska:
Tips & Tactics from 20 Skippers

Published 2004

Bob Duke has cruised in Southern California, Mexico,
Costa Rica, Panama, Australia, Tonga and Cook Islands.
He has chartered world wide, delivered yachts coastwise and from Hawaii.


You can bet Cape Caution got its name for a good reason. But without local knowledge or previous experience, it's just another place-name on a chart. Until, that is, it's on your starboard beam as you cross Queen Charlotte Sound off the coast of British Columbia.

After sheltered days in the Inside Passage, northbound from Puget Sound, the cape's stiff northwesterly breeze and dish-rattling head seas are unwelcome changes. Will the going get tougher? Is there a more sheltered route? Maybe you should anchor, but where?

Capt. Jim Kyle, skipper of the 62-foot salmon seiner Home Shore, has traveled these waters for over four decades. Annually, Kyle has journeyed from Puget Sound to Sitka, Alaska, with his family as crew, to fish commercially for salmon.

Eventually, Kyle started voyaging north weeks before the salmon season to cruise the Inside Passage for his own pleasure. "It's a chance for me to be there without the pressure to fish, so I can enjoy the country and share its wonders with others," he says.


During Home Shore's passages between Sitka, Alaska, and Bellingham, Washington, Kyle offers to share his local knowledge and years of experience with recreational skippers. Each year since 2001 Kyle has offered this unique Training Cruise for boaters planning to cruise their own boat or charter in the Inside Passage.

Captain Kyle instructs two Florida guests about NOAA charts and navigation software in Home Shore's pilothouse in Alaska's Inside Passage trawler training

Besides the approximately 100 hours underway to Sitka, each passage allows for side trips and nightly anchoring or harbor visit. There are also opportunities for photographing humpback whales, bald eagles, sea otters and bears; exploring ghost towns and experiencing native culture and Alaskan lore.

During north and south passages, Home Shore transits the American San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands, Strait of Georgia, Queen Charlotte Sound, and inland channels of northern British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, connecting Prince Rupert, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Sitka.

  Training Topics

En route, Capt. Kyle provides informal instruction and hands-on experience. Instruction in basic seamanship and navigation, as provided by the U.S. Power Squadron and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, is not covered. Instead, the practical everyday methods used by commercial and recreational boaters are emphasized. Participants receive a letter attesting to their experience. Instruction includes:

            Nobletec electronic chart navigation
            Conventional piloting and seamanship
            Passage making at night
            Vessel preparation and provisioning
            Using radar, GPS, depth finder
            Interpreting weather and wind/water conditions
            Observing traffic and evaluating circumstances
            Route planning and management
            Boat handling and maneuvering
            Vessel traffic identification and recognition
            Emergency preparedness and contingencies, including crew overboard drill

  Training Facilities

The pilothouse is where guests have access to the boat's controls and where Capt. Kyle provides over-the-shoulder instruction. The main deck lounge provides a classroom setting guests have dubbed the "Navitorium." While the mate stands watch, Capt. Kyle conducts instruction sessions where guests can work with a navigation computer and printed material.

  Gear and Equipment

Outfitted for safe, self-sufficient commercial fishing under all conditions, Home Shore has the following equipment available for use and training:

            2 Radars - Furuno 36 mile and Raytheon R21X.
            2 Depthfinders - Furuno FCV667, color video and Ross 600 flasher.
            Marine VHF Radios - Standard Horizon Maxi and Voyager.
            Single Sideband - SEA 222.
            GPS - Furuno Navigator.
            Autopilot - NavCom.
            Compass - Wagner Binnacle.
            Satellite phone
            2 Notebook computers with flat panel monitors
            Charts and numerous navigation reference publications
            Navigation Software - Nobeltec 8.1

  Your Ship

Click to read Nor'Westing Article on Navigation Training Home Shore is a classic 62-ft. commercial fishing vessel. Traditionally constructed of wood in 1944, she has worked as a trawler, long-liner, and purse seiner.

Reminiscent of yesteryear's adventure travel aboard James Michener copra schooners, Home Shore offers guests the authentic experience of a working commercial vessel. Purchased by Capt. Kyle in 1984, Home Shore has been lovingly restored for chartering. She has a 360-degree-view wheelhouse, lounge, galley with dinette, and accommodations for six guests plus crew.

  Guest Accommodations

Six guests are accommodated in three double-occupancy private staterooms, all on the main deck with daylight, views, and fresh air. Four guests are berthed in two luxurious staterooms on the aft deck, each with double and single bunks, individually controlled heat, and a sitting area with view windows. The two aft staterooms share a head with water closet and shower. The third stateroom with two single berths and a second head, with water closet and shower, is in the main cabin.

Accessible guest areas include the pilothouse and adjoining deck, large main deck lounge, covered fantail deck, foredeck and galley. Choose your mix of camaraderie and privacy with ever-present spectacular views.

  Your Shipmates

Home Shore charters with a crew of two men and a woman. Capt. Kyle, who has been a commercial salmon fisher since 1962, who has an MA and once taught public school, holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Passenger License, is fully insured and has an unblemished safety record.

An Inside Passage veteran fills the mate position with the skills needed to stand watch and help instruct guests in navigational arts.


The chef / hostess provides hospitality and produce cuisine that is the delight of the cruise.

Click here for Availability, Rates, and Schedule >>>

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Inside Passage Training Cruise - navigating

Alaska on the Home Shore© All Rights Reserved
Except for the main homepage graphic, no image contains objects that have been digitally manipulated. All photographs were taken during Home Shore tours and trawler training, how to navigate, navigating the Inside Passage with contributions from professionals Gary Luhm, Suzanne Steel, Heath Cowart, & Ben Kyle.
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