Meet the Instructors


Fred Hoelscher has been a life long sailor beginning at Camp Seagull, where he learned to sail prams and Sunfish. He has sailed competitively on E Scows, C Scows and Y Flyers. He is a graduate of the Annapolis Sailing School’s cruising course, and has owned several cruising sailboats, the last being a Catalina 30.

An avid boat builder Fred has built a number of boats and has competed in the Georgetown Wood Boat Building Challenge many times with his son Sean. Fred is a recent graduate of the US Sailing Association’s Level 1 Instructors course, and is a registered Level 1 Small Boat sailing instructor. He was a volunteer instructor during last year’s sailing camp and is the lead instructor for this year’s teaching team.


Dave Lowe learned to sail in 1984 in Murrells Inlet on a Sunfish, which gave him a quick and lasting appreciation for current, tide and wind conditions. In the thirty years since, he has owned and sailed small cruising sailboats up and down the coast from Beaufort, NC to Beaufort, SC, sailing offshore as well as “inside” on the waterway. He has had many great adventures exploring and camping along the way.

Dave has participated in many races with Southport Sailing. His favorite is the “no motor” race held each summer. Racers must row to their moored sailboats, then sail a ten-mile course on the Cape Fear River (with it’s ferocious tide/ current) without ever starting their motors, return to their moorings, then row ashore and ring the bell to officially finish . Dave has never won this race, but has placed, and received two pennants. Just to finish on time (4 hrs) is a worthy accomplishment.

Dave was hired to captain a 33-footer in a race against a New Zealand team in the Marlborough Sound of South Island. His team lost by only a meter on both heats. He has for many years chartered and captained large yachts in the BVI’s with up to ten passengers, never losing a one!

Dave has over 35 years experience teaching children in public, private, alternative and home school settings, and he has taught guitar technique to adults through Coastal Carolina University. Last summer Dave had a great time teaching kids to sail Opti’s at the SC Maritime Museum’s first ever sailing camp.


Mary McAlister learned to sail on her father’s Sailfish and Sunfish in Long Island Sound in the 1950’s. She and her husband, Mac, raced small boats on Lake Murray in the 1970’s. While she was an art teacher at Winyah Academy in 1976, she and Mac took their three young sons out of school and lived aboard an old wooden sailboat in the Bahamas for six months. In the 1980’s, she conducted a Sunfish instruction course in Charleston, called the Crab Bank Ladies Sailing Society.

Mary was the first mate on family sailing cruises along the East Coast, including a one-year adventure in the Caribbean and Venezuela. In 1991, she and her family crossed the Atlantic on their 38-foot cutter and cruised in Europe for three years. After their Transatlantic return to South Carolina in 1994, Mary and Mac bought a converted Dutch sailing barge and cruised the canals of France for twelve summers.

In 2009, she and Mac bought a classic wooden cutter and sailed from Long Island Sound to Georgetown, where EXODUS still participates each year in the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show. In 2013, Mary was an instructor at the South Carolina Maritime Museum’s first year of teaching kids to sail Optimist Prams.