Offficer Yvonne Brandt

Programs and Events

Captain Cheryl Duvall

USCG 100-ton Master Inland with Sailing Endorsement

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From Richmond to Baltimore to Ellicott City, and now Annapolis, I am delighted to claim that I have always lived within a few miles of a Chesapeake Bay tributary. My love of sailing began at the age of eight when my non-sailing dad bought an 11’ Snark from Sears, made of unsinkable ABS polymer. Thirty years later, I bought a Snark for my two young sons to sail near our Hoopers Island vacation home.

As an adult, I learned to sail larger boats by attending several sailing schools, including J World and the Colgate School. I honed my keelboat skills by becoming a member of the Downtown Sailing Center (DSC) in Baltimore. I made several lifelong friends there, including my husband when he and I were set up on a blind date by two DSC friends. In 2010 we bought a Hunter 420 Passage, named her Blind Date, and were married on her by a DSC captain friend.

Four years later, after sailing the Chesapeake and redefining our cruising goals, we bought S/V Belle Bateau, 1997 Gozzard 44, Hull #11 (of just 23). She has taken us on two extended coastal journeys totaling more than 4,000 nautical miles: to Fort Pierce, FL in 2016 and recently to Maine in Summer 2023, Between longer excursions, we sail Belle Bateau within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, seeking quiet gunkholes as well as quaint towns.

I became a licensed captain in 2018 (Master, 50 GRT, Inland Waters) and continued to build my sailing experience with offshore passages, including a delivery from Bermuda to Newport with Captain Tania Aebi ( in 2019. Other blue water sails on both monohulls and catamarans include BVI, Exumas, St Maarten, and USVI. In 2021, after enjoying a few charters in French canals, I took the RYA training course, passed the CEVNI exam, and obtained an RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman’s Certificate (ICC) for barges up to 65 feet. In Spring 2023, I took CAPCA’s license renewal class and submitted sea time as well, which enabled me to upgrade my license to Master 100 GRT.

I’m recently retired from 44 years in the architecture industry and am looking forward to having more time for personal and professional sea adventures.