Mariners 936

About Mariners

SCST | Mariners Jr. | Mariners 936

The South Coast Sailing Team (“SCST”) is a volunteer led 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization created to foster youth sailing. SCST operates two sailing and marine education programs from Dana Point Harbor, California, the Mariners Jr. sailing program for tweens aged 12-13 and the Mariners 936 Sea Scout  sailing program for teens aged 14-18.  Through SCST and our predecessor organizations we have been providing Southern California teens and tweens a sailing and marine based education for over 40 years.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower and inspire tweens and teens through sailing, fostering confidence, teamwork, leadership and a love for the sea.  We provide access to sailing education, creating opportunities for personal growth and lifelong connections with the marine environment.  By instilling a sense of adventure, respect, and environmental stewardship, we aim to cultivate the next generation of skilled sailors and passionate ocean advocates.  Together, we navigate the waves, shaping young lives and empowering them to navigate the challenges of the future with resilience and purpose. 

Our Members

The Mariner and Mariners Jr. programs boast an exceptionally diverse membership, bringing together youth from different backgrounds and experiences, with the vast majority of our youth having their first experience with boating through our programs. Together, we strive to create unforgettable sailing adventures while building lasting friendships that transcend boundaries.  By nurturing an inclusive community, we equip our Mariners with valuable skills, such as effective communication, teamwork and cultural competence.  This not only enhances their sailing experiences but also prepares them for future endeavors in a globalized world, where the ability to collaborate and appreciate diverse perspectives is highly valued. 

Our Impactful Programs

Our Mariner programs provide tweens and teens with valuable life skills that extend far beyond sailing.  The confidence Mariner youth develop as they learn to navigate the ocean independently on our single handed Lasers, to the teamwork required to successfully race our J24s and to compete as a team at twice per year national seamanship competitions, to the navigation and planning skills needed to crew our 33-40 foot fleet on a week-long circumnavigation of Catalina Island, to the leadership opportunities afforded our more senior members as they teach sailing and seamanship skills to our younger members, the skills learned in the Mariner programs translate into every other area of our member’s lives, empowering them to take on challenges and pursue their dreams with determination.

Our Graduates

Nearly 450 teens and tweens have been members of SCST’s Mariner Jr. and Mariner 936 programs.  While most of our graduates take a traditional path to college and land based careers, many have also fallen in love with life at sea, continuing their adventures on the waves as students at our nation’s maritime academies, as members of the United States Coast Guard, as United States Marines, as graduates of oceanography and marine environmental programs, as private Captains of ships large and small and as Captains of their own sailing vessels.

Our History

The Mariner sailing programs were launched over forty years ago by ‘Spirit of Dana Point’ and Mission Viejo High School math and science teach, Jim “Skip” Wehan.  From a humble beginning with a handful of donated boats and a small group of Mission Viejo High School students who wanted to continue their sailing experience after taking a high school sailing class, over the last forty plus years the Mariner program has grown to boast over 200 graduates, a current fleet of over 25 boats, and over 50 active adult volunteers.

Our Nonprofit Corporate Structure

In 1998, the South Coast Sailing Team (“SCST”), a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, was created to serve as the chartering organization for the Mariner sailing programs and as the legal title holder to our fleet of approximately 40 vessels.  SCST is qualified as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service and donations to SCST are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. We are governed by our California Articles of Incorporation and our Bylaws. We are also required to make an annual federal tax filing with the Internal Revenue Service, IRS Form 990.

Our SCST Board of Directors & Executive Officers

SCST is governed by a five person volunteer Board of Directors that are elected annually.  None of our Board members receives remuneration of any kind for their service on the Board.  The Chairman of the Board and President of SCST, Jim Wehan, has served the organization since he founded the Mariner programs over 40 years ago and the majority of our other Board members have been long contributing volunteers to our programs. The Board elects annually a slate of executive officers to conduct the day to day affairs of SCST.  These executives are also volunteers and receive no remuneration of any kind for their service as SCST officers.  Please click on the links below for the biographies of the members of our Board of Directors and our Executive Officers.  

Jim “Skip” Wehan
Chairman of the Board of Directors and President

Chris Fox
Member of the Board of Directors and Vice President

Mary Jane Johnson
Member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer

Jeff Johnson
Ship Commodore

Bob Russell 

VP Office Staff

Jeff DeLaurie & Christopher Hewett
Vice President of Sailing Program

Arlene Kiani
Vice President of Community Outreach

John Murray
Vice President of Equipment

Derek Dillahunty
Vice President Ship Committee

Steve Swanson
Vice President Team Competition

Emily Cofield
Vice President of Swabby

Shannon McMorran
Vice President Recruitment & Communications

John Fellner
Mariners Skipper

Bob Sherwood
Mariners Junior Skipper