How to Choose a Boat Building School
Vocational, trade and technical schools offer hands-on experience and technical instruction in boat building. For an education in the underlying concepts of naval architecture, marine engineering and boat design, colleges and universities offer bachelor and postgraduate degree programs in boat building.
Boat Building School Selection
An important consideration when choosing a school for boat building is the availability of opportunities for practical experience. Technical and vocational schools and colleges that offer internships, capstone design projects, faculty-guided research opportunities and work-study programs give students a chance to learn additional skills and meet experienced instructors and professionals in the industry.
Aspiring boat building students may want to look for schools associated with organizations such as the American Boat and Yacht Council, the American Boatbuilders Association, the Association of Marine Technicians, the Marine Design Resource Alliance and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Students considering a marine engineering program should look for schools accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Aspiring boat builders may also be directed in choosing a program by the size and type of craft they want to build. Some students will want to work in entry-level positions such as boat and motor rigger, apprentice mechanic, entry-level technician and parts associate after graduating, while others will want extensive training to go immediately to work as self-employed boat builders or for manufacturers design firms.
Boat Building Program Overviews
Diploma in Boat Design
A boat design program is founded on small craft naval architecture and marine engineering. Introductory courses typically cover basic mathematics, marine drafting, stability and, often, a design practicum. Higher-level courses might cover wood and fiberglass boat construction, hull forms, deck geometry, propulsion systems, electrical systems and marine engines. Interior, exterior and multi-hull design courses are also included in the program. In a practicum, students may tool, construct and outfit one or more vessels over the course of the program.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Marine engineering degree programs are founded on physical science and mathematics. Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) and Bachelor of Engineering (BE) students study topics such as fluid mechanics, hull geometry, computer-aided ship design, propulsion, resistance, materials processing and principles of naval architecture. Marine engineering students may choose to concentrate on specialties such as sailing yachts, ship production or high speed craft.
Master's Degree Programs in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Relatively few schools in the United States offer advanced degree programs in naval architecture and marine engineering (NAME). Master's degree programs in NAME might be offered as Master of Engineering, Master of Science or Master of Science in Engineering degrees. Students who hold a BS degree can apply for Master of Science and Master of Science in Engineering programs. Students with BSE degrees can apply for a Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering degree program.
Graduates of master's degree programs in NAME are prepared to design all types of waterborne vehicles, including submarines, and their subsystems. Core courses might include marine design, ship dynamics, form calculations and stability, hull strength and power systems.
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