Marine Sys­tems, Boat Build­ing & Yacht Design Training

The landing School Logo

The Land­ing School pro­vides edu­ca­tional pro­grams that effec­tively pre­pare stu­dents for entry-​level careers in the marine indus­try. The Land­ing School was estab­lished in 1978 by John Burgess and Helen Tup­per as a non­profit, post-​secondary insti­tu­tion ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing the high­est qual­ity hands-​on edu­ca­tion in boat­build­ing. The first year was attended by nine stu­dents who used a cow barn as a class­room and built two dories and two 18-​foot sail­boats as the cur­ricu­lum. That pro­gram became the Wooden Boat Build­ing Pro­gram and was even­tu­ally expanded to include both Wood Con­struc­tion and Wood Com­pos­ite Construction.

The School serves the marine indus­try by pro­vid­ing skilled employ­ees who design, build and repair boats with the high­est stan­dards of qual­ity. Accord­ingly, The School receives gen­er­ous sup­port and direc­tion from the indus­try in cur­ricu­lum design and pro­gram imple­men­ta­tion. Noted indus­try lead­ers reg­u­larly lec­ture at The School and eval­u­ate stu­dent work.

The Land­ing School offers five unique edu­ca­tion and train­ing options designed to pre­pare stu­dents for careers in the marine indus­try. Each pro­gram option is a com­pre­hen­sive, full-​time course that lasts runs from Sep­tem­ber to June. Suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of any one pro­gram below cul­mi­nates in a cer­tifi­cate. Stu­dents may choose to com­plete two of the pro­grams over two years and earn an associate’s degree. The edu­ca­tional pro­grams are iden­ti­cal; stu­dents in both the diploma and degree pro­grams study and work together.

landing school workshop

Landing School Programs

Cer­tifi­cate (1 Year) | AS Degree (2 Years)

  • Wooden Boat Build­ing Pro­gram: Wood Con­struc­tion Course (for­merly called Small Boats) - Stu­dents who select the Wood Con­struc­tion con­cen­tra­tion spend one semes­ter con­struct­ing small, tra­di­tional Lap­strake craft using var­i­ous woods and epox­ies and fin­ish­ing them with bronze fas­ten­ers and hard­ware. In the other semes­ter, the build­ing method shifts to Carvel plank­ing on steam-​bent ribs to build a sec­ond boat.
  • Wooden Boat Build­ing Pro­gram: Wood Com­pos­ite Con­struc­tion Course (for­merly called Cruis­ing Boats) - Stu­dents who take the Wood Com­pos­ite Con­struc­tion con­cen­tra­tion learn to use wood in con­junc­tion with var­i­ous com­pos­ite mate­ri­als such as cores and fiber­glass to con­struct a mod­ern boat. Cold mold­ing and vac­uum bag­ging are the pri­mary build­ing meth­ods used for the hull and deck. The project boat is com­plex with an inte­rior, basic elec­tri­cal sys­tems and engine. Stu­dents are divided into teams and spend the entire term on one project from loft­ing to launch.
  • Com­pos­ite Boat Build­ing Pro­gram - Com­pos­ite boats have become the most preva­lent type of recre­ational ves­sel world­wide. The Com­pos­ite Boat Build­ing Pro­gram teaches both the struc­tural the­ory and prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of a wide vari­ety of com­pos­ite mate­ri­als and resins. Stu­dents study con­struc­tion tech­niques such as wet layup, open– and closed-​molding, infu­sion and pre-​preg part­mak­ing. The con­struc­tion of one or more boats dri­ves the cur­ricu­lum from loft­ing through tool­ing, con­struc­tion and out­fit­ting a vessel.
  • Yacht Design Pro­gram - The Yacht Design Pro­gram teaches the fun­da­men­tals of sail– and power­boat design includ­ing hull forms and deck geom­e­try; resis­tance and propul­sion; rig, keel and rud­der design. Struc­tural design in all mate­ri­als is taught to ISO stan­dards. Sys­tems design rounds out the engi­neer­ing aspects. Lay­outs and aes­thet­ics of boats are con­sid­ered in detail. The course makes exten­sive use of computer-​aided design.
  • Marine Sys­tems Pro­gram - The Marine Sys­tems Pro­gram teaches the skills and knowl­edge nec­es­sary to install, main­tain and repair mod­ern boat sys­tems using estab­lished indus­try stan­dards. Stu­dents divide their time between the class­room and the shopfloor as they learn the the­ory behind AC and DC elec­tri­cal sys­tems, engines, plumb­ing, rig­ging, propul­sion and refrig­er­a­tion. Stu­dents have the oppor­tu­nity to earn sev­eral indus­try cer­ti­fi­ca­tions through on-​site testing.
  • Gen­eral Edu­ca­tion Courses - Stu­dents in either of The Land­ing School’s associate’s degree pro­grams must suc­cess­fully com­plete 15 credit hours of gen­eral edu­ca­tion in specifc areas of study. Evening courses are offered on-​site every semes­ter and in the sum­mer months. The accred­ited courses are taught with a focus on marine indus­try careers, but they are also open to the gen­eral public.

LANDING School Features

Edu­ca­tion from The Land­ing School rein­forces and pre­serves tra­di­tional design and con­struc­tion meth­ods while advanc­ing the boat­build­ing art through the inte­gra­tion of mod­ern tech­niques and con­tem­po­rary mate­ri­als. The marine indus­try val­ues this unique train­ing and has lauded The Land­ing School inter­na­tion­ally with a rep­u­ta­tion for grad­u­ates of excep­tional qual­ity. The School is con­sid­ered by many lead­ers in the marine indus­try to be unequaled in its train­ing. The Land­ing School blends mod­ern yacht design, boat­build­ing and marine sys­tems tech­nol­ogy under one roof. The School bridges the gap between the­ory and prac­tice to pro­vide grad­u­ates with the skills and under­stand­ing nec­es­sary for cur­rent employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties and future career growth poten­tial. More features:

  • Cam­pus Loca­tion: Located in rural Arun­del, Maine, The Land­ing School is a spa­cious, 50,000 square feet, con­tem­po­rary build­ing in a res­i­den­tial area. The facil­ity a boat­build­ing shop, design stu­dio, sys­tems lab­o­ra­tory, com­pos­ites shop, class­rooms, library, stu­dent lounge and admin­is­tra­tive offices
  • Accred­i­ta­tion & Mem­ber­ships: The Accred­it­ing Com­mis­sion of Career Schools and Col­leges (ACCSC), Stu­dents at The Land­ing School are eli­gi­ble to become stu­dent mem­bers (depend­ing on the major), of, the Soci­ety of Naval Archi­tects and Marine Engi­neers, the Amer­i­can Boat & Yacht Coun­cil (ABYC), and the Amer­i­can Boat Builders and Repair­ers Asso­ci­a­tion (ABBRA).
  • Cer­tifi­cate Major areas: Wooden Boat Build­ing, Com­pos­ite Boat Build­ing, Marine Sys­tems and Yacht Design
  • Asso­ciate of Applied Sci­ence Degree con­cen­tra­tion areas: Boat Build­ing, Boat Build­ing and Sys­tems, Boat Build­ing and Design & Yacht Design and Systems
  • Part­ner Pro­grams: Credit exchange agree­ments with lead­ing insti­tu­tions in the indus­try - Southamp­ton Solent Uni­ver­sity UK, Col­lege of the Atlantic, Maine and Maine Mar­itime Academy
  • Careers for Grad­u­ates: Grad­u­ates of The Land­ing School’s pro­grams are actively employed in the marine indus­try world­wide as pro­fes­sional design­ers, builders, sys­tems tech­ni­cians, crewmem­bers and repair­ers. Some go into related fields such as sail­mak­ing, spar design, marine sur­vey­ing and yacht sales. Many start their own shops and design offices.
  • Class­room Size: The max­i­mum num­ber of stu­dents enrolled at one time in the Wood Con­struc­tion Course within the Wooden Boat Build­ing Pro­gram is 16.
  • Boat­build­ing Projects: Instruc­tors of The Land­ing School’s Wooden Boat Build­ing Pro­gram select the designs for the project boats based on the depth of infor­ma­tion and skill that stu­dents can gain from their con­struc­tion. Some of the designs built by stu­dents in the past include: Haven Class 12 1/​2, Beach Pea, Catspaw Dinghy and Downeast Peapod

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