Meet Our Crew

Tricia - Owner

Tricia comes from an education background having spent over twenty years teaching in a Montessori classroom before moving to administration. Montessori education supports hands-on learning, which is the approach delivered at Erie Islands Sailing School. We believe hands-on learning is the best method for teaching.  Our classes are designed to maximize time on the water learning the basic skills of each course.  

Boating on Lake Erie began years ago with power boating followed by sail. Tricia took her ASA classes under founder Tim McKenna years before. Upon approaching Tim at a boat show inquiring about a boat, resulted in purchasing Erie Islands Sailing School. We are excited to build on the teaching started over ten years ago by Tim. 

Captain Kent

Captain Kent, husband and part owner of Erie Islands Sailing School with Tricia has lived on Lake Erie his entire life. Kent first worked day and night on his parents boats at the Port Clinton Yacht Club and then moved to working at the CIC club for many years.  Kent sailed as a youth at PCYC and then moved to power boating with his family.  The opportunity with Tim presented a chance to get back into sailing, chartering, and a plan to retire on the water.

Kent has his USCG License and hosts sunset sails and charters on their new boat “The Black Pearl”.  Kent and Tricia are excited to continue with the school and add some additional adventures to the program.

Kerim - First Mate

Our first mate Kerim, is the son of Tricia and Kent.  Kerim is an integral part of the school as he can fit in small spaces.  But seriously, Kerim is the helping hand when boats need to be moved or cleaned and very helpful when repairs are needed. 

Kerim has been sailing for many years as well.  His experience began with a sail camp at North Cape Yacht Club.  Shortly he was welcomed onto the NCYC Junior Race Team and has raced in many regattas sailing Opti’s.  He is anxious to move up to lasers and/or 420’s but his first love for sailing will always be…”The Black Pearl”. Just ask him!

Tim - Founder

Tim McKenna is the founder of Erie Islands Sailing School. He began sailing as a child on Lake Erie and, as they say, the rest is sort of history. Tim has competed in most of the Lake Erie races as well as more than a dozen Port Huron – Mackinac races. Although a life long Great Lakes sailor, Tim has also enjoyed the opportunities to do some extensive “Blue Water” sailing in the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean. He has done multiple deliveries to and from the Caribbean from New England and the Chesapeake, sailed to the Azores and even had a trip from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. Tim has sailed through or around most of the Islands in the Caribbean and even managed to live on his sailboat for two winters in the Bahamas.

Having taught sailing at schools on Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Florida, California and the Virgin Islands he decided to put together a sailing school where it all started for him – the beautiful waters of Lake Erie. He enjoys sharing stories of many sailing adventures, the people met and some fantastic boats on which he has sailed.

Captain Dana

Captain Dana Ash has been an instructor with Erie Islands Sailing School since its inception and is one of the school’s top rated instructors. In addition to holding the USCG100-Ton Masters Near Coastal License including Sail and Towing Endorsements, she has been certified by the American Sailing Association to teach all levels from the Basic Keelboat (ASA 101) through the Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA 106).

Growing up on the New Jersey shore, Dana spent summers sailing mostly small boats on the Atlantic Ocean and in the small bays and coves of the area. In addition to Lake Erie and the Great Lakes she has sailed along the US East Coast, the Chesapeake, Caribbean, Bahamas and Costa Rica. Prior to becoming certified by the ASA she taught non-certification sailing skills courses. 

When not teaching and introducing other s to the cruising lifestyle, Dana loves spending long weekends living, working and sailing on her own Sabre 34, “Mar y Sol”.

Captain Mike

Captain Mike was first introduced to sailing when his Dad brought home a 13 ft  homemade wooden sailboat that he purchased  from a friend.  Since that first experience on a little lake in Iowa, Capt Mike has called the Great Lakes and Lake Erie in particular  his home base for the last 40+ years.  

Captain Mike has owned and sailed various monohull sailboats over the years ranging from 38 – 50 ft  and in recent years has expanded his experience onto catamarans. 

A licensed USCG Masters Captain, he has considerable coastal and offshore experience having sailed all The Great Lakes,the Florida coast, Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean.  

Captain Mike has a passion to share his experiences  on the water  with people who want  to learn how to sail and begin the process of creating their own story! Captain Mike began teaching with Erie Islands Sailing School in 2022 and is certified to teach classes from Basic Keelboat (ASA101) through Bareboat Cruising (ASA 104),  Cruising Catamaran (ASA114) and Docking (ASA118).

Captain Alan

Captain Alan Jensen says that he grew up as a water rat…there is just no other way to say it.  He loves being on, in or under the water.  He grew up near the Chesapeake Bay and vacationed with his family on Cape Cod where he taught himself to sail off the beach on Nantucket Sound at age eight.  He has owned some kind or other of a boat since then.

Alan has sailed (and powered) boats along the US East Coast, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, ICW and the Chesapeake Bay.  He currently holds a USCG 100-ton Masters license with sailing and towing endorsements and  is also a certified sailing instructor with the American Sailing Association.  He has taught for Erie Islands Sailing School since  2014 and is certified to teach classes from Basic Keelboat (ASA101) through Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA 106), Cruising Catamaran (ASA114), and Docking (ASA118).  Alan enjoys sharing his experiences and love of sailing and the water with just about everyone he meets.

Captain Rick

Captain Rick started sailing when he found a 14’ Pintail and joined Mohican Sailing Club in Mifflin, Ohio. He sailed with the club for 2-3 years and has been enjoying the sailing life ever since.

With the need to sail somewhere else, Rick bought a 25’ Catalina and moved to Safe Harbor Sandusky to sail on Lake Erie. While taking more ASA classes as vacations to places like the BVI, Lake Superior, and Washington state around the San Juan Islands Rick was adding to his sailing experiences.

Rick received his Captain’s license in 2008 and has ASA instructor’s certifications of ASA 101-106. 

Rick bought his current boat, PaPa’s Passion, a 31’ Irwin, in 2010 and set it up for single handed sailing. Rick has been enjoying sailing ever since while sharing his passion of sailing with students from Erie Islands Sailing School.

Captain Robert

Robert’s passion for the outdoors and travel is the driving force behind his success as a captain.

Robert was first introduced to sailing as a kid during a family vacation to Lake Wallenpaupack and immediately took to the sport.  As an adult he moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio.  He found himself living on an old rock quarry, that was now a lake, and bought his first boat; a daysailer sloop that he avidly sailed in his spare time.  That sparked his drive to combine sailing and his love of travel; soon finding himself sailing The Great Lakes.

During the sailing season in the midwest Robert focuses on teaching sailing, charters, and boat deliveries on The Great Lakes.  He also likes to spend his free time sailing the waters of Lake Erie aboard his 29’ sloop, Christina.  Robert is also an avid competitor and can often be found participating in sailing regattas around the midwest and beyond.  Most recently that has turned into international competition where he crewed the vessel Lunasea for the 2019 Conch Republic Cup, an international 3 race regatta where crews compete in both the U.S. and Cuban waters.

When the midwest is out of season Robert can be found in Saint Petersburg, FL working as a charter captain and sailing instructor. He also does the occasional boat delivery on the waters around Florida and The Bahamas.

Capt. Robert has logged more than 20,000 nm at sea. Robert has USCG 25-ton Masters with Sailing Endorsement.