School of Boatbuilding & Restoration: Carve Wood...and a Career Path
This blog was written by Josh Singer
Yes, IYRS School of Boatbuilding & Restoration is a school for advanced woodworking. And yes it is widely regarded as the highest level of industry training for wooden boat restoration. But make no mistake, by no means do students in the School of Boatbuilding & Restoration just hang around the shop planing wood all day.
When a student commits to the two-year Boatbuilding & Restoration program, s/he commits to much more than learning the hand and power tools of woodworking. Here are five career skills you’ll learn at IYRS School of Boatbuilding & Restoration that go beyond woodworking:
1. Surveying & Labor Estimating
First off, what is marine surveying?
Basically, marine surveying is the process by which an individual or team performs a detailed inspection of a vessel, often prior to a purchase/sale; after an accident; or to determine repairs necessary for safety or to meet regulations.
As with most academic institutions, boatbuilding students come to IYRS with different objectives and goals. And thus, they may go through their professional life never having to survey a boat. But do you know who does have to survey a boat? Your co-worker or the boss of a boat yard or boat repair shop. The more you have an understanding how they make a profit, the more you will be appreciated and acknowledged as competent boatbuilder, even if you just specialize in mast repair.
Many of our students seek to open their own business or work independently, at which point surveying and labor estimating becomes critical to ensuring you are paid properly for your time and work.
2. Project Management
Quite similar in it’s value to the point above, project management is a relevant career skill in the majority of job functions within the marine industry and of course well beyond. Being able to zoom out and look at a project scope and determine it’s goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines is a valuable skill across many job functions.
When you consider the intricacies of essentially taking an old broken down wooden boat apart then restoring it to brand new, a process which takes almost 9-months, IYRS Boatbuilding students are able to boast this project management skill proudly and truthfully on their resume and in their portfolio. Speaking of resumes…
3. Resume & Interview Prep
Most students do not come to IYRS directly from a degree program in English or creative writing. Many have varying levels of resume writing skills and interview skills, and that is totally fine. No matter the skill level, a core student service we offer is helping students enhance their job prospects through developing or improving their resume, as well as improving interview skills and use of recruiting & hiring technology.
You can check out the student services we offer as well as a sample calendar of student services offered by clicking here.
4. Portfolio & Documentation of Work
An artist has a portfolio of work. An asset manager has a portfolio of investments. A journalist has a portfolio of their writing. Documenting your work along the way is just a good habit to get into. And that is something we encourage and assist with at IYRS. In fact, you have to do it. A boatbuilders portfolio is a little bit different than an asset manager as yours will include physical items that you have actually made along with photographs.
Portfolio items completed by the end of the program will include several small tools, a toolbox, a lines drawing, a half-model, and photo documentation of restoration projects.
We do not just want to help you get a job. We want to help you get the job. The job you really want. And a portfolio of your work will impress the bosses and likely help you get there.
Before you dismiss this bullet point as “fluff” or “another marketing bullet point,” hear me out.
Steve Jobs aside, a common trend of successful professionals is possessing the ability to collaborate, learn from others, work with others and be part of a team. A pick-up truck with only 3 wheels is not going to take you very far. Perhaps this would be better explained by Chris Hoctor:
In a student’s first year in the IYRS Boatbuilding program, s/he will work in a team of three on the restoration of a Beetle Cat, a 12 foot wooden sailboat. For their second year, a student works on the restoration of a larger wooden boat typically in teams of 6-8.
> Read More About Our Boats
Bonus Skill: Learning Rhino 3D Computer-Aided Design Software
A new development and addition on to the Boatbuilding & restoration program is computer-aided-design software training. The academic team at IYRS is in the process of including this in the curriculum for the incoming boatbuilding class in September 2015. This is a very exciting addition of teaching students to utilize technology as part of the drafting and lofting process.
There you have it — six skills that you gain in the School of Boatbuilding & Restoration that go beyond woodworking. Every day is an new adventure and a new challenge and rarely will you go through a day without learning something new. If you want to dive deeper into our curriculum, check out the boatbuilding curriculum or schedule a visit to Restoration Hall in Newport, RI.
IYRS offers the most immersive and in-depth wooden boatbuilding program in the United States. We enroll the absolute best craftspeople ready for a new challenge September of each year.
A CNC Machine, Carbon Fiber Bicycle & Fiberglass Surfboard Walk Into a Bar…
Items and structures built using composite materials are new and exciting, challenging but rewarding, light but strong. The manufacturing sector is still wide open as to how much and what can be made using these materials. Enter, IYRS School of Composites Technology.
There is always an interesting project being drawn, dreamed, or done in the IYRS Composites Technology facilities. Let’s dive deep and check out all the things you can make at IYRS…
Current Student Projects in Progress
Student project: a 3D-printed prototype of a 14 foot light-weight conference room table.
Student project: a computer-aided-design software drawing of a lightweight bicycle.
Student project: replacing the bumper of an Infiniti G37x with a custom fit light-weight carbon fiber bumper.
Outdoor / Sport
An IYRS student works on grinding and shaping a light-weight snowboard.
An IYRS student performing a vacuum infusion on a canoe mold.
A CAD rendering of ski boots, a 2014 student project.
An IYRS student working on a carbon fiber surfboard.
Students applying clear coat to carbon fiber surfboard.
Automobiles / Vehicles
IYRS and Steven’s Institute of Technology collaborated on the build of a car to be entered into the Shell Eco-marathon, a contest which challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra energy-efficient vehicles.
IYRS assisted Northeastern Baja SAE, a student-team of engineers at Northeastern University in Boston, MA who build custom off-road vehicles for the Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series.
This beautiful bass guitar was an IYRS Composites Technology student’s personal project in 2013.
The mold for an acoustic guitar.
Carbon Fiber Cello manufactured by Clear Carbon & Components, Inc. in Bristol, RI (yes, it sounds great!)
The carbon fiber bowl is an introductory project for incoming Composites Technology students. The lightest and most durable (and probably most expensive) salad bowl you’ll ever see.
So…what do you want to make? The 6-month School of Composites Technology program enrolls in March and September.