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Old 07-07-2015, 13:03   #1
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Boat Schools

This is going to be a pretty random un-entertaining post, so feel free to leave now if you want.

I am 17 and don't really know what I would like to do at this point in my life. Boat building and sailing interests me so I figure why not pursue that. My question here is has anyone been to a boat building school and or recommend a boat building school. I found IBTC which looks really good and in-depth and I would possibly be able to pursue a career in the industry if I attended. I also found ApprenticeShop which looks good as well. Does anyone know anything about these schools? Those are kind of the main questions I had, Thank you if you stuck around to read this.

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Old 07-07-2015, 15:11   #2
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Re: Boat Schools

Are you talking about wooden boats? I am guessing you are. Really there is a wide set of skills you need in boat building. For example you need marine engineers and naval architects to design the boats, both of which you study at university. You wills need draftsmen who generally go to college. Welders and fitters often learn through an apprenticeship program at a shipyard.

If you're talking about wooden boats, I'd think they'd be small yards where they specialised in that sort of thing and work your way up understudying an expienced craftsman.

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Old 07-07-2015, 15:13   #3
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Re: Boat Schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Are you talking about wooden boats? I am guessing you are. Really there is a wide set of skills you need in boat building. For example you need marine engineers and naval architects to design the boats, both of which you study at university. You wills need draftsmen who generally go to college. Welders and fitters often learn through an apprenticeship program at a shipyard.

If you're talking about wooden boats, I'd think they'd be small yards where they specialised in that sort of thing and work your way up understudying an expienced craftsman.

One thing you could do is sail for free on a wooden tallship like the Niagara and learn carpentry from the crew.

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Old 07-07-2015, 15:19   #4
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Re: Boat Schools

Thanks FamilyVan, that's a pretty cool program the Niagara has.
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Old 07-07-2015, 16:08   #5
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Re: Boat Schools

Cooper,

I applaud your search for your own direction. If you are seriously interested in marine engineering or other related career paths take a look at Cal Maritime. https://www.csum.edu/web/mycampus/home


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Old 07-07-2015, 21:54   #6
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Re: Boat Schools

G'Day Cooper,
first, welcome to CF. Pursuing y our career thoughts is a great exercise at 17, so good onya, mate.

I note your location is South Africa, which is terra incognito to most of us. This makes specific recommendations difficult, and begs the question: are you able to relocate for your shipwright training? And as others have asked, are you specifically interested in timber boats, yachts vs commercial vessels and so on. the more detail you give us, the better chance of a useful reply emerging.

give us some more to work with...

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Old 08-07-2015, 05:39   #7
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Re: Boat Schools

Thank you guys for asking more in-depth questions and giving me more things to think about, I really need that. I am originally from the U.S. but live in SA now, so moving to a different country wouldn't really be a problem for school and I would actually enjoy it probably. I haven't looked into marine engineering in detail yet because I was looking at more vocational schools. I love timber boats and yachts and that's what I would primarily like to work in, although I wouldn't mind working with glass or metal boats. I have thought about building boats on commission or working at a shipyard as a viable career, but I haven't looked to far yet. The schools that I have been looking at are the Apprenticeshop which is in Rockland maine and is a two year program. IBTC (International Boatbuilding Training College) is located in Lowestoft Suffolk England and is almost a year program. They both look quite in depth, but are more vocational trade schools.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:57   #8
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Re: Boat Schools

Have you considered a trade with transferable skills in case in 10 or 15 years you want to try something else? I'm not discouraging you from wooden boat building but it is a very small and becoming smaller niche market.

Some other vocational type skills in boat building are going to be drafting (autocad), electrical, electronics, welding, fitting, diesel engine mechanics.

So, for example, I have a friend who wanted to install and services marine electronics, particularly RADAR. The Canadian Navy paid for 3 years at a trade school for him in exchange he was required to spend 5 years in the Navy.

In the end he decided to stick with the navy$70+k a year, federal benefits an awesome pension and he's never spent a night at sea!

I did somewhat what you are doing and studied navigation, 20 years later I don't much care for spending time on ships, but luckily for me I picked up enough transferable skills along the way that I am able to work in regulatory over sight and haven't spent a night at sea (aside from on my own boat) since 2011.

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Old 08-07-2015, 06:20   #9
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Re: Boat Schools

FamilyVan I have considered this, and the couple of programs I have looked at have a heavy emphasis on woodworking and furniture joinery, so If I decided building boats wasn't for me I would have an immense amount of woodworking skill that could be transferred to different careers. I enjoy working with my hands and manual labor, so another career with woodwork wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but who knows that far down the road.
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:33   #10
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Re: Boat Schools

Excellent, you are absolutely correct, many many carpenters enjoy a rewarding career. I have never worked in the trades myself, but I believe there is some kind of professional certification you can get. Its called red seal or blue seal or something like that. Any school you go with you should ask if they offer some kind of professional certification.

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Old 08-07-2015, 06:38   #11
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Re: Boat Schools

I did a carpentry and joinery apprenticeship before going on to work for a boat builder for a few years. Building boats was more fun but the apprentice boat builders were very pigeon holed in their careers. After a few years building boats, itching from glass fibres, breath smelling like resin etc, I returned to my healthier trade and built houses. Building boats can be a good career for a few, but if you change your mind it leaves you without many transferable skill sets. You can always find work in the field though in boat maintainance or continue study to yachtmaster etc and expand into crewing, deliveries or captaining. There are quite a few boat builders in SA so it would be worthwhile contacting them for advise. Have a look through this thread as an example of what appears to be a well run small company.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:06   #12
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Re: Boat Schools

Thanks for the advice Monte, I'll check them out.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:55   #13
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Re: Boat Schools

I have attended The Landing School & SCCC Center for Wood Construction (Gompers). LS has programs for naval architecture and boatbuilding. I didn't love it. Gompers is the oldest boatbuilding school on the west coast. It's a full two year program which provides one of the only college degrees in boatbuilding available in the US. Great school. It's in Seattle.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:23   #14
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Re: Boat Schools

I went to the Boat School in Eastport Maine back in the late 90's. At the time it was a 2 year associate degree program. I think they are currently in a transition period due to financial problems and the state no longer owning the school. I hope they make a comeback because at the time they had the most diverse program as far as skills (we even had training running a 60 ton travellift and on water small boat handling)

Today you should also look at the landing school and IYRS (international yacht restoration school) I hear there are some very good programs in New Zealand as well but I don't know any specifics.

As far as transfer of skills if your creative they transfer just fine. As mentioned there is always work for skilled carpenters at least one person I went to school with builds furniture now. But there is much more than that for instance composites is a very hot field right now with cars moving over to Carbon Fiber and Wind farms being set up.

I personally have worked in the following from just a boat building education:
General boat repair
Marina Manager
Fiberglass repair
Marine Mechanic
RV mechanic
Boat electrical design and service
CAD drafting
Boat Equipment sales
Boat sales
Warranty claims
Yacht insurance claims
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:35   #15
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Re: Boat Schools

Wow Colin A that is a lot of jobs just from a boat building education. That's really cool. Thanks for telling me about the different schools, I'll check them out.
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