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ABYC Instructors

Kevin Ritz

Kevin Ritz is ABYC's Senior Certification Instructor. He is a 20 year veteran of marine electrical systems design and implementation. He is an ABYC Certified Master Marine Technician, holding six ABYC certifications. In 2005, after gaining his ABYC Corrosion Certification, Kevin started working with Electro-Guard Inc, a top-rated marine corrosion control company. In 2010 he became a member of the Board of Electro-Guard, and Vice-President of Sales in 2011. Besides his work and family, Kevin's passion is boating and marine safety. Corrosion consulting and technical support involve him nationally and are part of his daily routine. To that end he makes technical and educational presentations across the country for the U.S. Coast Guard, law enforcement agencies, first responder groups, marine surveyor organizations, as well as recreational boat enthusiasts. Due to personal circumstances, Kevin is also President of the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association started in 2011.

Ed Sherman

Ed Sherman serves as Vice President and Education Director for the American Boat & Yacht Council. In this capacity, he has helped develop the marine industry's most highly regarded certifications for marine surveyors, service technicians and boat builders. Ed's training and certification programs are used by the US Navy, US and Canadian Coast Guards, NOAA, and Transport Canada to ensure that their small boat fleets are built and maintained to ABYC Standards. He is a marine industry insider with 40 years of diverse experience as a technician, service manager, business owner and educator. Ed lectures internationally on marine technical topics, is an annual speaker at IBEX, and has delivered technical and educational seminars for the Marine Equipment Trade Show and American Boat Builders and Repairers Association for many years.

Publications: 12-Volt Bible 2nd edition,2003; Outboard Engines 2nd edition, 2009;Power Boater's Guide to Electricity 2nd edition, 2007; Advanced Marine Electrics and Electronics Troubleshooting, 2007; Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology, 2012 ABYC published

  • 15-year Chairman of the Marine Technology Department at New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, RI
  • Past President of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association
  • Past President of the International Sailing Institute
  • Contributor, Former Electronics Editor for Cruising World and Sailing World
  • Contributor, Boating Magazine, Yachting, Boat US Magazine, Soundings
  • Contributor to Professional BoatBuilder
  • Blogger at www.EdsBoatTips.com

Ed lives in Rhode Island with his wife and son. He is an avid sailor and sport fisherman who is known for "disappearing" with a fly rod in his hands from time to time.

Denis Bonneau

Denis Bonneau is an independent inspector for the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association located in Chicago, IL, a CE inspector for the International Marine Certification Institute in Brussels, Belgium, and has been teaching Standards and Systems certification for the ABYC since 2009.  Denis also contracts with several builders assisting with ABYC standards and CE compliance.  Recently, he has been assisting the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regarding in the water shock investigations. Denis has spoken at IBEX and is a frequent presenter at the annual NMMA certification seminar.

Prior to becoming an inspector, Denis was amarine surveyor with Davis and Company, Denis also worked for Sea Ray Boats at the Sykes Creek yacht manufacturing facility and Product development and Engineering Divisions in Merritt Island, Florida. During his tenure, he worked as an assembly supervisor, manufacturing engineering technician, prototype development technician, and ABYC & USCG compliance specialist.

He has also worked in marine repair along the south central Maine coast between his time in product development and his return to manufacturing.  He held several positions including yard foreman, marine mechanic, sailboat rigger, electrical and electronic installations and trouble shooting; FRP repair, bright work, and top coat spray refinisher. 

Clyde Head

Clyde Head is not only a certification instructor with the American Boat and Yacht Council, but also serves on the ABYC Technical Board and is a member of the Electrical Project Technical Committee. He is an ABYC Master Technician with three certifications. Clyde received his BE in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University. He then became a part of the Navy Nuclear Power Program, and returned to Vanderbilt for his MS In business management. As part of a graduate seminar project, his group had to evaluate theprocess of buying a small manufacturing company. During his graduate work, Ed ended up buying a houseboat and became part owner of Boating Corporation of America. Clyde was instrumental in originating the Harbor Master band as well as some USCG certified boats, and a Lloyds of London certified boat. Clyde started CE Marine Services, Inc. in 2000, offering technical consulting services to boat builders and boat owners. He is also an NMMA Certification Compliance Instructor, and an inspector for the International Marine Certification Institute of Brussels where he evaluates boats built in the US for delivery to the European market and bearing the CE mark.

Clyde and his wife Elaine celebrate 47 years of marriage, have two children, five grandchildren, and live in Tennessee.

Scott Lewit

Scott M. Lewit, President of Structural Composites, Inc. and COMPSYS, Inc., and a founding partner, is acertification instructor with the American Boat & Yacht Council. He was also the Managing Director for the Navy CCT Marine Composites Technology Center, which was co-managed by Structural Composites and housed in its R&D headquarters facility. Scott has served on the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Advisory Board and on the Technical Advisory Committee, CCT Steering Committee and Magazine Steering Committee of the Composite Fabricators Association.

He was the 2002 Chairman of the Executive Steering Committee for the Navy Center for Composites Technology and is currently serving on the committee. Lewit also currently serves on the board of the Space Coast Energy Consortium and the Brevard County EDC Industry advisory council.

He was the winner of the best presentation award for composites at the 2002 Defense Manufacturers Conference, has served on the EPA's marine manufacturing MACT stakeholders committee for closed molding, and also as co-chair for materials in the Navy's high-speed sealift initiative. He was the recipient of the 2010 Perseverance award from the SBA. Scott earned his Master of Science degree in ocean engineering in 1985 from the Florida Institute of Technology. He earned his Certified Composite Technician (CCT) status and CCT Instructorcertification in 2001. In 2003, he was a principal in developing the composites training program for ABYC.

He is a co-inventor of the resin recirculation molding process and the patented PRISMA preform technology. Scott is a frequent session chair and speaker at composites industry conferences and seminars such as ACMA, IBEX, METS, SME and SAMPE.

John McDevitt

John McDevitt, has been in and around the boating industry for 30 years.  He still enjoys the Chesapeake Bay in his two boats which he keeps on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has been a member of the ABYC for a number of years holding eight ABYC Marine Certifications and an ABYC Master Technician rating. 

John has performed a wide range of activities supporting the interests of boating industry manufacturers, dealers, service organizations and consumers. His factory training includes Caterpillar, MAN and MTU/Detroit Diesel as well as many visits to boat builders here and abroad.

John is passionate about boating safety and is the chairman for the NFPA 302 Watercraft Standard.  He is also a committee member for NFPA 303 Marinas and Boatyards and NFPA 1925 Fire Fighting Vessels. He is an Accredited Marine Surveyor with the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and frequently performs electrical surveys aboard boats. Holding a 100 Ton USCG Masters License, John has frequently traveled most waters east of in including the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the Inland Rivers.  John blends years of boating experience and technical knowledge with a professional business demeanor that satisfies a wide range of needs and interests. 

John also participates in sales and service for Bluewater Yacht Sales in Grasonville, MD.

Capt. David Rifkin

Capt. David Rifkin is a certification instructor with the American Boat & Yacht Council. He specializes in the electrical and corrosion areas, and has taught with ABYC for morethan 10 years. Rifkin has a great deal of experience in the marine electrical and corrosion areas where he has consulted with hundreds of manufacturers, engineers, and boat owners. David is nationally known for, and was instrumental in the completion of a large USCG Safety Study entitled "In-Water Shock Hazard Mitigation Strategies". The findings of this study resulted in significant safety enhancements to both the ABYC standards and the National Electric Code. He has also provided expert witness services in a number of electric shock drowning and corrosion cases. David also writes for technical publications, and speaks publically on topics including marine corrosion, marine electrical, and marina electrical safety. David is also an Accredited Marine Surveyor (AMS) for the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) where he provides technical advice to boat owners and fellow surveyors alike. David holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of South Florida. He served 24 years in the United States Navy, retiring as a Captain in 2000. During his career he served on 5 nuclear powered submarines, including assignments as Engineering Officer, Navigator, Executive Officer, and Commanding Officer. Following retirement he worked for a worldwide corrosion control company and then started his own marine surveying/consulting business. His business focuses on marine corrosion detection, prevention, and training, as well as consulting work in the marine/marina electrical areas. David resides in Jacksonville, FL with his wife and 2 cats. His daughter (meteorologist) lives in MA, and his son (HVAC Tech) lives in FL.


Ray Toth

After spending 23 years in the Canadian Army and Air Force with experience as a flight instructor and flight safety investigator, Raymond left the military and started his own marine consulting company, now named Swiftsure Vessel Solutions, Ltd.  For the past 13 years, Raymond’s company has provided inspections, surveys, consultations, education and design services to the marine industry.    He has been involved with several major workboat projects as well, including work as the 3rd party independent inspector for the Port of Houston Authority, Kuwait, Rio de Janeiro and Fire Department of New York.  He is also the Canadian Responsible Officer and importer for several US boat builders providing Transport Canada Declarations of Conformity to US boat builders so that they may sell to the Canadian market.

Raymond is a Certified Marine Surveyor (CMS) with the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS), a National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Standards Compliance Specialist, a Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) Associate and a Master Marine Technician (MMT) with ABYC, holding certifications in Standards, Systems, Electrical and Corrosion.  He is also a student with the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology and holds certificates in Rhino, and AutoCad.

While work keeps them travelling internationally, Raymond currently resides in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada with his wife and son where you can sometimes find them cruising the Great Lakes on their ketch, or racing in both PHRF and One-Design classes.

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