Confident Captain/Ocean Pros ranks among the best when it comes to providing training, instruction, education and consultation for mariners of all skill levels worldwide. Our instructors come from a variety of maritime backgrounds and are respected professionals who work diligently to ensure that their students receive quality training. The real world experience possessed by our instructors will translate into the best learning experience for our students and more success for them throughout their tenure as a Captain!

For more information about Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, our courses, or training facility, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Capt. Kent Dresser

Owner/ Operator

Capt. Erica Bartos

Captain Instructor, MA

Capt. Scott Sinclair

Captain Instructor, VA

Capt. Pete Alarie

RYA Instructor, RI

Capt. Andy Hammond

Captain Instructor, RI

Capt. Tony Bessingler

Captain Instructor, RI

Kate Wilson

Web & Marketing , RI

Gretchen Thor

Office Manager




"The boat might be small but the job is big!" Professional development, interesting conversations and a few sea stories for the small boat Captain!



Get In Touch


344 Aquidneck Avenue Middletown, RI 02840


9 AM to 5 PM


(401) 735-0100

Captain Kent Dresser

 "Captain Kent was born and raised on Narragansett Bay, where he first cut his teeth in boating as a dispatcher and deckhand for Safe/Sea at the age of 14. He would continue a 28-year relationship with Safe/Sea after becoming one of the youngest licensed captains in the United States at the age of 18.

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A. in Marine Affairs in 1998, he began working as Able-Seaman and Bosun aboard the Zachery Reinauer in addition to covering multiple tugs as a relief crew before his entrepreneurial drive led him from New York Harbor tugs back to Narragansett Bay.

In 2003 he founded Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, successfully fulfilling a training gap for professional mariners and recreational boaters. To date, he has trained more than 3,000 professional mariners. Through Confident Captain, Kent has launched and implemented several training programs, while offering a variety of training presentations.

In April of 2012, Kent began serving as Executive Director for the board of Clean The Bay, Inc. (Clean Bays). Pledging to help make Narragansett Bay “one of the Cleanest Shorelines in America,” Kent has overseen funding and removal of more than 500 tons of heavy debris from the Rhode Island shoreline.

Most recently, Kent launched the Professional Captain’s Association, an innovative trade organization and support network. The association offers opportunities for professional development, support, and advocacy for captains nationwide.

Kent, and his wife now live in Saunderstown, RI with their two young boys.When he is not working, he enjoys boating and sailing on either of his two family boats, skiing, powerlifting (where he added 100 pounds to his deadlift in 2017), and martial arts. Kent is a First Degree Black Belt in Oki Ryu Kenpo Karate, an active participant in the Michael Hyatt “Leaderbox Program.”

Captain Erica Bartos

Capt. Erica grew up in Connecticut “messing about on boats,” flipping canoes, playing Huck Finn, and turtling the Sunfish. Since then, Erica has continued messing about on a variety of ships in New England and the Carribean.

Erica studied Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, while continuing to work within the maritime industry. While in college, she coxed for the Men’s Varsity Crew team, also learning to teach on a tall ship and the Nantucket Lightship. During her search for full time employment in the marine industry, she “stumbled into” a teaching career.

For the past thirteen years, Erica has been teaching middle and high school science and math. She has coached sailing, rowing, and baseball, all while serving as a Wilderness First Responder and Lifeguard.

Erica continues teaching during the summer, serving as a sailing instructor for Sail Carribean. Spending her summers aboard boats, she additionally works salvage and towing through Safe/Sea, as well as shuttling with Rowes Wharf Water Taxi.

A passionate teacher and leader, Erica enjoys sharing her love for the sea with people who want to learn. When she's not on or in the water, she's adventuring with her dog, doing a woodworking project, or exploring outside.

Capt. Scott Sinclair

Captain Scott comes to Confident Captain with over 30 years of maritime experience. Scott always knew that he wanted to be a part of the US Navy; Born and raised in Ohio to a family that included several veterans, he was inspired to join in 1989 and began his naval career.

Scott would go on to serve as Leading Navigation Supervisor, Master Helmsman, and stood Underway Quartermaster of the watch. He has written training programs for the department of Navy, and served as a leader and supervisor.

In 2005, Scott got his USCG 100 ton license through Confident Captain and his Bachelor of Science from Ohio University. After leaving Ohio University, he would become the Captain of a NOAA Scientific Research Vessel in 2012, which he still captains today.

Passionate about being a trendsetter and leader within the industry, Scott is excited to start his next chapter at Confident Captain. Scott is also the small business owner of both “On Course Maritime Services,” and “Atlantic Ocean Charters.” During his off time, he enjoys hunting and fishing throughout the US, most recently taking trips to Texas and Southeastern Ohio.

Captain Pete Alarie

Capt. Peter Alarie took his first sailing lesson in 1979, an early beginning to a long career on the water. Sailing and racing at the highest levels for nearly 30 years, Capt. Alarie has won numerous national and international championships in a wide variety of sailing craft. He also has extensive time operating power vessels of all sizes, holds a USCG 50 Ton Master's license for Motor or Sailing Vessels, a 200 Ton Yachtmaster Certification with commercial endorsement, and has 25 years experience with on the water instruction.

Capt. Alarie is a well-traveled mariner, with time logged up and down both coasts of the USA, European and Mediterranean waters, as well as Bermuda, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Capt. Alarie is currently a professional sailor working around the globe, as well as a local, licensed fishing guide and budding outdoor photographer.

Captain Andy Hammond

Capt. Andy Hammond was the Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard Regional Examination Center (REC) in Boston from 1998 until September 2006. During these crucial transitional years, REC Boston was one of the most efficient and mariner-friendly RECs in the nation. Andy's background in the US Merchant Marine and current position as the executive director of the Boston Harbor Pilot Association make him an excellent instructor with lots of firsthand knowledge.

Captain Tony Bessinger

Tony has been an instructor for Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, teaching professional and amateur skippers 100-Ton, OUPV, AB Seaman and STCW courses for over seven years. In addition to being an instructor for CC/OP, Tony is employed as a captain for Rhode Island Fast Ferry/Atlantic Wind Transfers, where he has been working since 2012. He holds a 100-Ton USCG Near Coastal Master's License, with endorsements for Auxiliary Sail, Commercial Tow, and Radar Observer Unlimited, and is a US Powerboating-certified instructor.

In addition to his experience in the commercial maritime sector, Tony was for many years an offshore delivery captain and a professional and amateur sailboat racer, both as crew and navigator.

Kate Wilson Somers

Kate Wilson Somers is a designer, educator, media specialist, and technology enthusiast with a passion for learning, sailing, and helping others. With a wide range of skills in web development, graphic design, marketing, and communications, Kate brings a tool box of skills to her projects.

Kate has worked with professional sailing teams from Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Team Alvimedica, and Oracle Team USA to help with their marketing and communications needs.

A passionate sailor, Kate has coached the local high school teams for years and designed a summer program that focused on both sailing and environmental education for elementary and middle school students earning her RIMTA’s Boater of the Year 2016.

She has an undergraduate degree in architecture and mathematics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Master’s degree in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University. When not helping companies, she can be found with her husband and their dog, Scruffy cruising onboard their C&C 24 in the New England waters. (Follow their adventures at .)

Gretchen Thor

Gretchen Thor grew up sailing on Lake Ontario and cruising the Thousand Islands in the Summers. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising Photography.  In 2007 Gretchen moved to Newport for a job with a local nautical photographer, Billy Black, combining her two passions photography and sailing.  

After four years of assisting she then moved on and worked for various marine companies and assisting local businesses with their customer service and marketing needs.Gretchen joined Confident Captain’s crew in August as the virtual front desk manager.  When she’s not behind her desk she runs her own dog walking business and enjoys spending time outside.