Meet Our Staff and Captains

Chris Jester

Chris Jester

ASA Affiliate School Managing Director, US Coast Guard Captain & ASA Sailing Instructor

Chris is the President the Newport Beach Sailing School. He is also the Base Owner for SailTime Orange County and a Beneteau dealer for South Coast Yachts. Chris has an MBA from UC Irvine and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. He grew up in Orange County and learned to sail as a teenager. He is married, with two children, and enjoys sailing with his family.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Base Manager

Tom is the Manager for the Newport Beach Sailing School. He is also the Manager for the Newport Beach Sailing Charters, and Base Manager for SailTime Orange County. Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Carroll College in Helena, MT. He grew up in Orange County and learned to sail as a young child. Tom has been actively sailing throughout his entire life. He is married and enjoys sailing with his family.

Roger Philips

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Roger Philips earned the esteemed recognition of “Outstanding Instructor for 2008 & 2009” by the American Sailing Association.

Captain Roger Philips is a US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor. He is also a former Vessel Assist rescue boat captain. For over thirty years, Captain Roger has been dedicated to the pursuit of sailing, while owning several sailboats. Roger has done extensive sailing in the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, and the East Coast, as well as in the Caribbean and Bermuda. He also teaches part time at Concordia University in Irvine, CA. He and his wife, Antoinette, enjoy sailing locally in Southern California and hosting flotillas in the San Juan Islands.

“Only praise for Roger Philips. His deep knowledge is based on even deeper experience. He is patient, determined and focused. Not much down time with him. He was there probing, teaching and demonstrating. Though he is always close by, he is also hands-off. You set the sails. You do the daily boat checks. You do the cooking and cleanup. You navigate. You pick up the mooring. You get the idea. He explained his plan for four days but was flexible as wind, weather and our own preferences suggested changes. It was like sailing with our own nautical Wikipedia. He has learned a lot during his years of boat ownership, boat rescue work in the San Juans, living aboard and teaching. Not to mention his engineering background with degrees from Princeton and UC Berkeley. I took some joy in listening to Roger and my son, also a mechanical engineer, talk nerd to one another. So yes, it was a grand experience for us both despite Mother Nature’s high seas ripping off the only access point to Santa Barbara Island leaving us unable to explore. But we sailed in all sorts of wind conditions and found places to moor and anchor despite the Labor Day crush. Mostly we practiced skills that will serve us well during our own time on the water. Cherish Roger. His laid back teaching intensity is only matched by his mastery of the material and his deep love of the sea.”

-Ken B.


“Thank you for the follow up.  I had a absolutely wonderful experience during ASA 104.  Captain Roger is a fantastic instructor.  Captain Roger is a gifted teacher, he was very patient with my learning, and his sailing skills and experience are impressive!  My overall experience with Newport Beach Sailing School is outstanding.  I’ll  make sure to get my feedback to ASA.” -Richard A.

Mike Kohl

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Mike Kohl earned the esteemed recognition of “Outstanding Instructor for 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 by the American Sailing Association. Mike has logged thousands of hours on the water, cruising extensively throughout Southern California, the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. He is also a former Sea Tow rescue boat captain as well as an experienced charter captain.  Mike’s passion for and enjoyment of sailing is evident, as attested to by  the hundreds of happy students he has taught.
“Kent and I had an amazing time!  Captain Mike was great!  Very patient, engaging and encouraging…he made the experience a lot of fun!  Kent and I hope to continue with Captain Mike for ASA 103 – when we pass our ASA 101 test of course.” – Crystal C.

“Mike was a great instructor, very patient and knowledgeable.” – Victor V.

Capt. Rick

Capt. Rick

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Rick is a Southern California Local, who has outstanding professional customer service. His goal is to make sure the time you spend sailing will be fun, entertaining, educational, relaxing and overall a great experience. Captain Rick is current with all U.S. Coast Guard regulations as a certified captain. Rick has experience sailing in various countries all over the world. Rick also has been an instructor with the American Sailing Association for several years teaching people of all ages how to sail. His passions include, being a father of two kids, sailing, ocean wildlife, big wave surfing, free diving, great white cage diving and bringing new people out on the water to enjoy the magnificent Southern California waters.
Great boat, great captain and the weather and wind could not have been better. See you for the next one.

-John T.


We had a great time, everything was punctual and as expected. Rick was phenomenal.

-Raffaele C.


Rick was amazing!  Very professional and really knowledgeable.  My dad had a great time –as did we all-we were all so happy with the boat-my parents were especially pleased!

-Stephanie M.

As part of a week long trip in Newport, we did a sunset cruise with Captain Rick!! We had a wonderful time as he took as out on a 38 foot sailboat. He shared with us his knowledge of the area and even allowed me to sail the boat!

Our family visits the Newport Coast Area every summer. We always try to do something new and this year we purchased a 3 hour sunset cruise with Newport Beach Sailing Charters. We could not have been happier with our decision. Captain Rick was awesome. He is very knowledgeable and friendly in addition to being a great captain. The boat was absolutely beautiful, clean, and well maintained. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who is ready to graduate from the electric boats in the harbor.

Had a great time. We did the 3 hr sunset cruise. Captain Rick was fantastic and the boat was beautiful, we choose the Hunter 40. A perfect evening!

Capt. Dan Simonsen

Capt. Dan Simonsen

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Dan Simonsen is a US Coast Guard Captain and an ASA Sailing Instructor who began his sailing career over 30 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It’s often said that if you learned to sail in San Francisco, you can sail almost anywhere in the world and if you have the pleasure of hearing one of his many sailing adventure stories you’ll discover the reason why.  Along with sailing, his true passion, Captain Dan was also a public school teacher for two decades. These two fundamentals bring a unique perspective and approach to the way he shares his love for sailing with his students and clients.  Captain Dan has the experience and knowledge to take you on an adventurous sail or a leisure cruise and the patience and background to share with you and teach you the true art of sailing.

Trip was great. Dan was excellent – very relaxed and easy-going, which is perfect. Penny seemed to love it. The boat was exactly what we wanted. -Evan C.

Everything was great. Thank you so much and Dan is a keeper  -Ernie B.

Everything was great. Captain Dan was very knowledgeable and courteous.  —Martín M

“Everything went great!! The scheduling was easy. The boat was perfect for our needs. Dan was exceptional!  Could not ask for a better captain! Knew right off that he and I were going to get along, when we both showed up with U of Oregon caps. I’m an alum of U of O and Dan’s girls both went to Oregon.  He’s also very knowledgeable of local history and we were able to see many whales on the cruise. We were very pleased with the entire experience and would recommend Sail Newport to any of our friends that might be thinking about charting a boat” -Rick P

Capt. Alan Barr

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Capt. Alan has been an avid boater and sailor since a young boy and grew up in Newport Harbor.  He is a USCG Certified 100 Ton Master, with Advanced Radar, Towing, and Sailing endorsements, as well as a certified American Sailing Assoc. and NauticEd Sailing Instructor, American Power Boating Assoc. certified Powerboat Instructor, 10+ year decorated AUXOP member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and is also a retired Chiropractor, with specialties in sports injuries.   He has sailed nearly the entire California coastline and part of Europe, and was a stand-by crew member/ crew physician for the 1997 Transpacific Yacht Race (TRANSPAC) to Honolulu from Long Beach.   Capt. Alan is a long-time certified SCUBA diver and avid surfer, and loves to share his passion of the sea on his hosted Adventure Charters – with a flock of repeat business from year to year, and has devised many clever techniques in making learning to sail fun and easier to grasp, and is extremely proud to be a part of this group of elite professionals with our state of the art sailing vessels in one of So. California’s most prestigious small boat harbors and it’s beautiful coastline.

scott mcdonald

Capt. Scott McDonald

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Scott McDonald is a US Coast Guard licensed Captain with sailing and towing endorsements, an ASA Certified Sailing Instructor having provided  thousands of hours sailing instruction, and an experienced delivery Captain. Scott has been involved in sailing since he was 16 years old when he purchased and sailed his first of many boats. Scott has sailed up and down the Pacific West Coast as well as throughout Mexican waters.  His passion is introducing people to the boating community and helping them build their boating skills.  He and his wife, Donna, enjoy sailing locally in Southern California and participating in local yacht club cruises and events.

“Thank you so much for teaching me how to sail!!  I really enjoyed our lessons and had a great time on the water.  I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor.  Can’t wait to keep sailing.  –Allison P.

“Just wanted to say thank you and express our appreciation for your efforts and patience as Cindy and I completed the sailing course.  We thoroughly enjoyed the classes and found your teaching style to be clear and thorough.” –Wayne and Cindy W.