Skip to main content

Port Captain Introductions: Dan Kerpelman

Authored by Cindy Badley
December 20, 2022

Our newly appointed Port Captain, Dan Kerpelman, for Rochester, N.Y. (O-6) was introduced to sailing at five years old on his father’s 14-foot wooden dinghy. He was immediately hooked and progressed through many phases of sailing from there. He learned to solo on a Sunfish at seven. Growing up in Switzerland, he crewed on dinghies and catamarans on Lake Geneva and off the west coast of Sweden. He joined the windsurfing craze in his twenties.

Dan’s association with the Great Lakes began later in life when his career in medical imaging took him to Milwaukee, Wis., where he began his interest in keelboats and cruising, and later to Rochester, N.Y. His first boat was a MacGregor 26X (White Wind) on Lake Michigan, replaced some years later by a Hunter 336 (Howler) on Lake Ontario. Dan’s career took him back to Switzerland and Howler was moved to Lake Geneva, where she was eventually sold and replaced by a Dufour 360 GL (Howler II).

Dan and his wife Sandy completed the family “fleet” by acquiring a Beneteau 41.1 (True North), whose home port is the Rochester Yacht Club.

Currently, Dan and Sandy spend the Spring and Fall at their home in Switzerland and cruise Lake Geneva aboard Howler II. They spend the summers cruising Lake Ontario aboard True North, with particular affection for Little Sodus Bay, Sackets Harbor, the 1000 Islands, the Bay of Quinte, Kingston and Toronto.

Dan has a US Coast Guard 100 GRT Master license and was recently certified as a Basic Keelboat instructor by US Sailing. He teaches several classes a year at the Rochester Yacht Club, where he and Sandy are members. He’s also a member of the Société Nautique de Genève, where he serves on the organizing committee of the internationally renowned Bol d’Or Mirabaud regatta. Dan and Sandy have been members of GLCC for several years and have contributed to the Rochester harbor report.

Dan is proud to have been appointed Port Captain for Rochester, N.Y. (O-6), the largest city on the south shore of Lake Ontario. It’s rich with history, including the women’s suffrage movement, the emancipation of slavery and the George Eastman legacy. The surrounding area boasts numerous quaint port towns along the historical Erie Canal.

Dan and Sandy look forward to greeting visiting GLCC members. Please let them know how they can help make your stay more pleasant, whether it’s assistance finding docking, a restaurant recommendation or just to say “ahoy”.