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The Cruising Club of America (CCA) is proud to announce that Ralph J. Naranjo, of Annapolis, Maryland, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious Richard S. Nye Award for 2023 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Club and the international sailing community.

The Richard S. Nye Award, established in honor of the late CCA Commodore, is presented annually to an individual who has “brought distinction to the Club by meritorious service, outstanding seamanship, outstanding performance in long distance cruising or racing, or statesmanship in affairs of international yachting…”

Ralph Naranjo

Naranjo is well known in the yachting community for his safety-at-sea and seamanship knowledge, his instruction, and his leadership. He earned his credentials in a variety of ways including sailing around the world (and writing a book about it, Wind Shadow West), managing a full-service boatyard (another book titled Boatyards & Marinas followed), and testing sailboats for Cruising World and other magazines. Naranjo’s best-known book, The Art of Seamanship, was published in 2014 and is a go-to reference on the collective skills required of bluewater sailors.

Naranjo was the Vanderstar Chair, supervising the sailing program for the US Naval Academy midshipmen for a decade. He is also past chair of US Sailing’s Safety and Seamanship Committee and has led countless safety-at-sea seminars teaching sailors about safety and a seamanlike approach to the sailor’s way of life afloat.

On behalf of the CCA, Naranjo has contributed to efforts to enhance offshore seamanship through participation in the Club’s Safety at Sea seminars, both as a topic presenter and as a moderator. He played an active role in the Newport Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, reviewing and helping draft safety regulations. He’s currently a member of the Club's Safety and Seamanship Committee and places strong emphasis on the importance of crew practice and familiarization with safety gear.

CCA Commodore Chris Otorowski said, “Ralph has been the front man for seamanship and safety for as long as we can remember, and this award is a fitting acknowledgement of his outstanding contributions.”

On learning of his award, Naranjo said, “I am proud to have been proposed for CCA membership in the club by Ed Greeff, Nye Trophy recipient in 1980, and seconded by Rod Stephens. The two set an unerring example of fine seamanship that left a lasting impression.” 

Naranjo continues his work as editor at large for Practical Sailor and writes for a variety of marine publications while teaching weather and celestial navigation courses at The Annapolis School of Seamanship.

The CCA will present the 2023 Richard S. Nye Award to Naranjo at its annual awards event on March 1, 2024 in New York City.

Recipient Name
Ralph Naranjo