Mike was raised on the Eastern shore of New Jersey, and taught himself to sail by the time he was 7, reading how-to from the family encyclopedia. As a college student he rowed in “eights” and went undefeated during three years of surfboat rowing competition along the New Jersey shore. After earning a degree in physics, Mike pursued graduate work in marine science. Later, while teaching that subject at a small college, he filled his vacations by designing and building boats at his shop in Tidewater Virginia. He has made his home in Brooklin, Maine for the last several decades.

Mike worked as Associate Editor for Sailor magazine and Technical Editor for Soundings during the 1980s. For twenty years he was Senior Editor for WoodenBoat magazine. His boats (the Six Hour Canoe) and articles have appeared in many publications, including Cruising WorldSmall Boat Journal, and Soundings.  Mike has also been a regular guest lecturer on boat designs, at the WoodenBoat School. 

Currently the Boat Design Editor for WoodenBoat, Mike also wrote and published the book Good Sailboat Designs: 32 Daysailers, Camp-Cruisers, & Weekenders.  That book is a group of favorite designs culled from Boat Design Quarterly magazine, which he published from 1991 to 2019.