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Boat Design:

Conventional University Training:

Unfortunately conventional 4-year universities have never spent a great deal of time worrying about or courting folks intent on breaking into the yacht or boat design trade. I guess they simply thought of it too much as a "trade". The emphasis has always been, and to a large extent still is the world of big ships.

That has mitigated a small bit starting about 10-years ago as the big ship builders around the US began to close their doors. At almost that same instant small boats and the designers that create them looked a lot more attractive. So now small boats are supposedly more of a focus of the big universities. Well, at the risk of sounding cynical, I'm not so sure. It is hard to detect from their curriculum.

Below is a list of schools of Naval Architecture or those offering the now more environmentally correct curriculum "Ocean Engineering" At least these are the ones I'm familiar with. I'm not presenting a wealth of contact information only because they are not hard to find with a simple web search.

University of Michigan
Webb University
University of New Orleans
Virginia Tech
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Other Full Time Schools:

Schools which teach the requirements of the design trade as part of a multi-year discipline.

Landings School -

The Landing School is a full-time post secondary vocational school specializing in education for careers in the marine industry. It provides educational programs for students seeking career opportunities as designers, builders, or systems technicians of both recreational and commercial watercraft.

The Landing School
PO Box 1490
Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Tel: 207-985-7976
Fax: 207-985-7942

Correspondence Training:

For decades one of the most respected avenue for learning the skills necessary to become a small craft designer has been through distance learning. If you question that fact, you need only to look at the long list of experienced and in some cases legendary designers who began their careers studying at home.

Westlawn institute of Marine Technology -

Founded in 1930, Westlawn is the only nationally accredited and state approved distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States. It also has the most respected list of designers among its alumnus. A degree from Westlawn can provide the specific skills necessary to do the job.  If you couple that small craft specific training with additional engineering study or better still an engineering degree, you'll have the best of all the options. But that's just my opinion.

Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology
c/o Mystic Seaport
PO Box 6000
75 Greenmanville Avenue
Mystic CT 06355
Tel: (860) 572-7900
Fax: (860) 572-7939

More to Come -


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