All Systems Go!


By Thad Yukna, Student Ambassador for the Marine Systems Program at IYRS

I’m a bit late to the party as we’ve seen some of the other Student Ambassadors file their posts in a timely manner.  The Marine Systems program is off to a great start. 

The first order of business for us in the program was for some of us to get reacquainted with the shop tools and for some others to get a hands on introduction.  Working our way around the new Marine Systems shop, we got the last few things set up and got to it.  As in the Boatbuilding program we started with some basics, making a push stick for the table saw and then a tool tote to reinforce the basic hand and power tool skills.  A little different though was making our Widget, which engaged us in the use of metalworking tools and drove home the differences between wood and steel when it comes to “precision”.  The exercise involved taking two pieces of steel and mating them together along a complex edge(for us) and then locking them together with a third piece that was drilled and tapped for three different sized bolts on each half.  We then had a measure off where the instructors checked the gap between the pieces at designated points on the widget.  Our joinery was great, but our top edge was a bit off, which put us out of content ion for the top prize, an official IYRS tee shirt.

[First day of school, setting up the new desk]

[Nels is holding a piece of marine electrical wire behind the board as Nathan drills through.  The idea is to plan the operation in a way that minimizes damage to things that might be in the way in the event you can’t see the back of the bulkhead.  Nathan barely scratched the wire.]

[A wide shot of the workbench side of the Marine Systems shop in the new Brooks building.]

[Planning and execution, as a Boatbuilding Alum with a bit more experience with the woodshop tools, we had fun with some extracurricular projects like organizing the hole saw sets.]

[My Marine Systems tool tote and bench joint collection as well as my new brass bevel gauge.]

[Step drilling the bolt holes for the widget.]

[Our completed widget.]

[Another tool added to the arsenal, this is a through hull wrench.  It engages the tabs on the inside of a through hull fitting allowing you to tighten it thoroughly.  It’s stepped so it can be used on different sized through hulls.]

[ Some students felt that they may have needed a little “extra help” with their grades 😉 ]

Once the instructors felt we were all safe with the tools, we were on to begin the first big project of the course.  The hands on instruction revolves around a “sim” panel on which we install boat systems in accordance with American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards.  The process helps to solidify the information we get during the morning lecture by having us put it into practice as we move towards the ABYC exam.

It was definitely an advantage here to not only be a Boatbuilding alum, but to be working with one of my boat partners from last year!  It’s no sailing dinghy, but Nathan and I got it together in fairly short order.

From here we’re on to the meat of the course and the Electrical Standards. Stay tuned for the exciting installation of DC and AC electrical systems!

Until next time,