Comprehensive Career Boat Building

Comprehensive Career Boat Building Program


Program Objective

The Comprehensive Career Boatbuilding Program teaches the necessary skills required to provide a well-rounded and adaptable knowledge of the wooden boat industry. Curriculum is focused on preparing students to have the confidence, knowledge, and skill to enter the workforce in the areas of wooden boat building, restoration, and service. The program is structured to provide a comfortable yet organized environment designed to prepare students for placement in the marine industry.

Program Description

The Comprehensive Career Boat Building program consists of 1413 total clock hours of combined lecture and shop education over three equal semesters of 14 weeks each in a 12- month period. At the completion of the program, students will receive a diploma and have the option to test for ABYC certifications.

In the first semester of the Comprehensive Career Boatbuilding Program, students learn the necessary skills and approaches to build in multiple construction styles and solve real-world boat shop problems. Starting with the fundamentals of woodworking, shop safety, and traditional boatbuilding concepts, students quickly advance to more complex projects. Having the opportunity to work on lapstrake, carvel, and more modern techniques utilizing the wood and epoxy composite methods provide the base of knowledge required to move into the restoration phase of the program.

In the restoration semester, students learn how to survey a hull and determine which pieces need to be replaced, as well as methods of hull reconstruction, finishing, and reassembly. Through observation and historical records, students learn the process for ensuring that a restored boat is as close as possible to its original shape and is outfitted as originally intended. The process for mechanical, finish, and interior work is covered with a mix of class and lab time.

The final semester is focused on the mechanical and electrical aspects of boats, with an eye toward how these systems interact specifically with wooden hulls. Fundamentals of engine operation is covered in class and lab, where students learn the concepts of how engines function and the differences between Diesel and gasoline-powered boats. Students learn inboard engine drivetrain, shaft and bearing placement and installation, as well as routine engine maintenance and seasonal service. Other learning includes marine electrical systems and their installation, wiring techniques, shopping for and creating lists of required parts, and how to choose and install boat systems in accordance with ABYC and USCG standards.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

To view our Comprehensive Career Boat Building Gainful Employment Disclosure, please click here.

Course Descriptions

Semester I                             Introduction to Boat Building

In the first semester, students learn the fundamental concepts of hull shapes and the structure required to bring those shapes to life. Focus is on building skill in the layout, woodworking, and fastening procedures required to shape and hold parts together properly. Methods of construction covered are traditional lapstrake, and carvel, before moving into wood and epoxy composite boats utilizing the lamination capabilities of epoxy and the reinforcing characteristics of fiberglass.

Prerequisites:               None
Clock hours: 471
Course Completion:   14 Weeks

Semester II                          Restoration  

Restoration builds on the skills gained in the Introduction to Board Building to correctly approach a restoration or repair to a wooden boat. Students will learn the process of researching the historical data of a boats’ past to find clues as to its original form and fitting, and then applying those clues to the reconstruction of a classic boat. Hull survey, replacing the structure, re-planking, decking, mechanical and interior are all covered. Students will learn finishing techniques for both old and new boats using paint, varnish, and stain, as well as detailing and maintenance techniques to get the most out of a finish.

Prerequisites:               Introduction to Boat Building
Clock hours: 471
Course Completion:   14 Week

Semester III                         Marine Services

Marine Services introduces a student to the mechanical and electrical systems required to make boats operate, as well as gain exposure to proper boatyard skills such as loading and moving boats, seasonal maintenance, and repair. Starting at the beginning, engine operation is covered in depth to gain an understanding of how the boat’s systems interact, and the differences between gasoline and Diesel boats. Engine and drivetrain installation, maintenance, and common repairs are covered. Students learn how to install boat electrical and plumbing systems in accordance with ABYC, USCG and NFPA standards, and proper safety techniques for working around these systems and environments.

Prerequisites:               Introduction to Boat Building
Clock hours: 471
Course Completion:   14 Weeks

What People Say

Thank you so much for doing such a beautiful job on the
Marilyn Jean. Everyone loves her!

Wayne B., Commissioned Boat Client July 14, 2017

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