A bit about us…
Our flagship Brandaris, a 63’ historic Dutch sailing vessel, shares her name with the northern most lighthouse in Holland. Both the lighthouse, which has operated since the 1500’s, and the Dutch yacht are named for a Dutch sea god. (Read more about Brandaris.)
In 1987, Douglas Somers founded a Wickford, North Kingstown business that owns and operates several U.S. Coast Guard Certified subchapter T passenger vessels. The fleet includes the 63 ft. sailing flagship vessel Brandaris, along with 50 ft. motor vessel Sea Princess, 26 ft. Harbor Launch General, and a small fleet of 26 ft. training vessels. Doug holds a USCG Captain’s License, certified as a 100 Ton Master, with sailing, towing and salvage endorsements.
For over 18 years, Capt. Somers designed and implemented marine-based, experiential educational programs for area colleges, universities, elementary, middle and high schools, municipal recreation departments and many other community and civic groups. As a member of American Sail Training Association, Capt. Somers participated in numerous Tall Ship events with the historic yacht Brandaris. Educational trainings include curriculum links to match, science, language arts, history, and vocational aspects of marine and mechanics trades.
In addition to holding a U. S. Merchant Marine Master's license, his credentials include US Naval Sea Cadets certification as a Leadership Instructor. In 2008, Capt. Somers was a “Distinguished Service Ribbon” National Recipient as “Seamanship Instructor” for his design and implementation of four (4), nationally approved, one-week Naval Sea Cadet Training Courses held at Brandaris Maritime facilities. Topics in the summer camp included seamanship, shipboard safety, first aid, naval history, and team building and leadership. He is currently being certified as a SeaPerch Program Trainer by the Office of Naval Research. This national, underwater ROV program promotes learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with a marine theme.
Brandaris Maritime’s programs emphasize the fun in STEM. From traditional sails and alternative wind generators to underwater robotics and diesel engines, a hands-on approach, allows young people to touch, feel and experience the traditional ways and the innovations of the maritime trades. As an experienced mariner with a passion for the sea, Capt. Doug Somers mixes sea tales, local lore and respect for nature in with his teaching of the nuts ‘n bolts of every part of our vessels.
Brandaris Maritime Staff: Program Developer Liz Marsis, M.A., is a community educator. Liz's formal studies in economics and philosophy emphasizing environmental living and social change, are enhanced with trainings from URI's Home*A*Syst, URI Watershed Watch Council, URI Energy Master program, and US Green Building Council LEED Green Associate Certification. In addition to trainings and talks to all ages on energy efficiency and renewable energy, nature & ecology of Rhode Island, climate change, economics of transition, Liz has been an adjunct professor of philosophy; career and resume advisor, public advocate and lobbyist on environmental and social justice issues.