Sail Martha’s Vineyard, the Island’s nonprofit community sailing program, named a new executive director Tuesday to replace Brock Callen, who is retiring after leading the organization since 2009.

The new executive director is John Kettlewell, currently the communications manager for Saratoga PLAN, a land conservancy organization in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Mr. Kettlewell, 62, has an extensive sailing background, and is very familiar with Martha’s Vineyard.

“My wife and I have been visiting the Island since the 1980s,” Mr. Kettlewell said in a phone interview from his office in upstate New York. “We used to live in Newport back then, and we started sailing over there. We had so much fun. We had kids, and we brought them there every summer.”

Mr. Kettlewell called the new position with Sail MV a dream job.

“This fits really well with my varied background, which includes both nonprofit work and the marine industry,” Mr. Kettlewell said. “I look at it as the culmination of my career, being able to work with such a great organization.”

Dan Pesch, vice-president of Sail MV board of directors, said the new executive director has experience in fundraising and communications for nonprofit organizations, skills that will serve him well in carrying on the mission previously in the hands of Mr. Callen.

“Brock was Sail MV,” Mr. Pesch said. “We have this bridge to get across, from an organization that Brock really moved along, to the next step, where regardless of who is there, our mission is going to continue with good governance, and good board leadership. John has that experience.”

Mr. Kettlewell said he has already met Sail MV staffers Andrew Nutton, director of waterfront programs, and Kimberly Ulmer, director of sustainability.

“I was super-impressed meeting them, how much they knew about their craft, and their passion for what they do,” Mr. Kettlewell said. “That all attracted me.”

Mr. Kettlewell is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles on sailing and the marine industry, and has sailed with his family extensively from Canada to the Caribbean.

He said he is looking forward to getting started in his new job and will concentrate at first on the things he is most familiar with.

“I think I can bring some of my nonprofit experience to formalizing some systems, making sure that everything behind the scenes works great,” Mr. Kettlewell said. “I think the programs are fantastic. I think where I can first make an impact is behind the scenes a little bit more, in terms of fundraising operations, general office operations.

Mr. Kettlewell is scheduled to begin his new position as executive director of Sail MV on Jan. 1.