Chairman, USSailing Safety at Sea Committee

Chuck Hawley is a lifelong sailor, having sailed approximately 40,000 miles on vessels ranging from ultralight “sleds” to single-handed sailboats to the maxi-catamaran PlayStation. His most noteworthy voyages include two single-handed passages to Hawaii, three crewed trans-Pacific races, and a World Record attempt on the West to East trans-Atlantic record aboard PlayStation.  While enjoying fast passages, he understands the importance of having functional, easily repaired electrical, water, engine and fuel systems so that each voyage can be completed successfully without outside help. 

Chuck is a nationally known speaker on marine safety, and is one of five moderators of the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars, and is also a Powerboat Instructor for US Sailing. He has done extensive research into crew overboard recovery, life raft design, anchor design, and storm tactics. 

Chuck has worked for West Marine for 27 years, and originally wrote many of the West Advisor articles that appear in West Marine’s catalogs and web sites. He is currently responsible for the product content on He lives in Santa Cruz, CA with his wife Susan and five daughters, and currently owns a Megabyte 14 sailboat and a 21’ Zodiac RIB.