Landing School, Northwest, IYRS or another route?

Discussion in 'Education' started by catalyst45, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. catalyst45
    Joined: Feb 2015
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    catalyst45 New Member

    So I am in my mid-30s, have been teaching high school (English) for a decade and am ready for a change. Like many, I am beguiled by the romance of wooden boats and am now considering it as a next career. I grew up sailing and have been a caretaker on a historic vessel so the shift is not entirely earth-shattering though my girlfriend just rolls her eyes when I talk about it.

    I've contacted the Landing School, IRYS and Northwest School of Boatbuilding and they all pretty much have the same thing to say: come to us, we'll train you with the best, and (just about) guarantee employment. The tuition ranges from 25k for Northwest's 9 month program to 40k to IYRS's 2 year program.

    I don't quite know what my vision is for myself aside from working with my hands hopefully restoring wooden vessels. Perhaps I would try to teach at some point but I think I would need to spend years becoming a shipwright first.

    I'm looking for thoughts about if this is worth it. I do have the summers off after all and have thought that maybe this is possible another way: by keeping my teaching career--which I have admittedly soured on but wouldn't kill me to stay in--and getting my training (somewhere?) over the summers.

    Opinions here seem to be mixed on the wisdom of changing careers into wooden boat restoration and I agree it's a hell of a lot of money to shell out for something that might not pan out.

    I live in NYC by the way.
     
  2. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Two other schools:

    Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan http://www.glbbs.org/ Tuition is $12K for 1st year, $11K for 2nd year. Pat Mahon who is the program director/lead instructor previously taught at Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building.

    The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine http://www.apprenticeshop.org/ Tuition is $18K for 1st year, $9K for 2nd year. The Apprenticeshop's program is focused on traditional building, and perhaps less structure than most of the other schools.
     
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Based on recent conversations with representatives of several schools almost all of the graduates who want a job receive at least one job offer, though not that many find work in traditional boat building/repair/restoration. My guess is almost all of the jobs pay significantly less than teaching school, and the best paying jobs may go to the graduates of the systems courses (propulsion/electrical/plumbing/etc) rather than boat building.

    Do you have any experience with boat building or other woodworking? If not consider taking a short course or workshop this summer. The WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine has a very extensive selection of one and two week courses. You'll learn some skills and get at least a hint of whether the reality come close to the romance for you.
     

  4. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

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