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Captain John Martino

Founder and President Captain John Martino holds a 500 Gross Ton, All-Oceans Master Mariner’s license from the US Coast Guard. He is an experienced professional captain with a 20-year background in marine training, as well as more than 2000 sea days upon waters of the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans, Caribbean Sea, Great Lakes and Inland waterways of the United States from as far north as Alaska to the Panama Canal. John has served as captain on ocean-going vessels up to 105 feet, and has done extensive yacht delivery work.

As founder and president of Annapolis School of Seamanship, he produces and leads courses ranging from basic navigation and seamanship for recreational boaters to professional mariner training for licensed captains up to 200 gross tons. John is also an owner and CEO of Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

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Vice President Captain Matt Benhoff holds a USCG Master 100 gross tons, Near Coastal license. He has been a full-time professional mariner for over ten years and is a lifelong boater.

In 2006 Matt joined the U.S. Coast Guard and became a Boatswain Mate. Stationed in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, he served as a boarding officer and commanded a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and 25-foot RBS. As a USCG coxswain he was responsible for leading law enforcement as well as search and rescue missions.

After leaving the Coast Guard Matt joined the team at Annapolis School of Seamanship as an instructor captain. Captain Benhoff now serves as Vice President of the school and is responsible for overseeing instructors, performing training and curriculum development for recreational boaters, professional mariners, and military personnel.

As an instructor for Annapolis School of Seamanship, Captain Benhoff has served on training passages and yacht deliveries in the Chesapeake Bay, ICW, Pacific Northwest, Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Matt also heads up the Professional Mariner Credentialing program at Annapolis School of Seamanship.

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Captain Mark Talbott

Operations Manager Captain Mark Talbott has sailed on vessels from 10 to 100 feet on waters from Maine to Antigua. Mark began his maritime career at a local boat dealership commissioning and delivering new vessels as well as instructing new owners on board. Mark then moved on to working aboard larger craft, namely, Annapolis’ own Schooner Woodwind. During his time aboard the Woodwind, Mark met his wife and earned his USCG Captain’s license.

The next several years were spent indoors working at a local boating magazine before taking time off from work to stay home with his newborn son. Mark joined the Annapolis School of Seamanship team in early 2014 and is now involved with everything from class registrations to network wiring.

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Before moving to the Chesapeake in 2016, Karl Richter spent seven summers leading waterfront programs at a YMCA camp in upstate New York while studying safety standards and procedures in school. Subsequently, he spent two years teaching students and training staff at a local sailing school in safe power and sailboat operations while managing and maintaining the school’s fleet of sailboats, powerboats, yachts, and facilities.

Richter came to the Annapolis School of Seamanship to study and obtain his USCG Captain’s License and he stayed to join our full-time staff. Now, he leads our new Junior Captain’s Power Boat Training Course, and he helps maintain the school’s training boats and works to enhance the school’s safety standards.


Captain Stephen Vigilante

Stephen was on the varsity sailing team in high school, and served as team captain in charge of 18 student sailors. After high school, he continued to coach the team, travelling to over 25 varsity regattas. In addition to operating a successful landscaping company, he was a US Sailing instructor, and he has logged many hours on all kinds of vessels from 12’ - 65’.

Stephen came to Annapolis School of Seamanship through the MTAM summer internship program in 2016. He quickly became in indispensable member of the team, earning his Captain’s License, and handling on-water training, boat deliveries, vessel maintenance, and more.



Growing up on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, Devin has been around boats and the maritime industry for as long as she can remember. After many summers spent on the waters of the Chesapeake and working on the docks of Ocean City and Annapolis area marinas, Devin began her career as a professional mariner on a fleet of boats in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina that included the 1987 America’s Cup sailboat Stars & Stripes. Devin came to the Annapolis School of Seamanship in the summer of 2018 as an intern, assisting with the Junior Captain’s program while also earning her captain’s license. After graduating college in August of 2018, Devin became a full-time member of the Annapolis School of Seamanship team where she continues to handle various on-water training programs, maintains the training vessels, and helps to develop new programs geared toward female boaters.