naval architect schools

Discussion in 'Education' started by sheldoncustom, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. sheldoncustom
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    Location: beaufort, sc

    sheldoncustom New Member

    I am currenlty trying to find a good school where I can learn naval architecture. Ive already talked to the Landing School, Florida Institue for Technology, and some Florida art institute. Im looking to do more of boat design and not necessairly engineering. Any comment or ideas? I am from SC and none of these schools are anywhere near here and i Just want to make sure i make the right decision.
  2. Kevin H.
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Montreal

    Kevin H. Junior Member

  3. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    My advice is always to go for the college degree if you can afford it. Most colleges that offer naval architecture do concentrate on ship design, but the engineering background you gain is invaluable. Everything you learn at college applies directly to yacht design, so it is well worth while.

    The other thing to consider is that yacht design is becoming more restrictive. What with the engineering calculations that are involved, and the growing field of national and international design and construction standards, licenses are becoming required in an ever growing number of states and other countries--that is, Professional Engineer licenses. Because of the advent of the PE exam for naval architects and marine engineers in the US, the states are starting to require PE licenses for naval architects and marine engineers. To get a PE license, you first must have a college degree. Then on graduation you have to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (8 hours long, open book), and about 4 years later you have to take the Principles and Practices Exam (8 hours long, open book). And this is only for the state where you live. If you follow all the rules, you will likely be able to transfer the license from one state to another with little trouble, but this is not always the case.

    Here in Florida, we are working with the Florida Board of Professional Engineers to ease up on the restrictions of PE licensing. This is because so many very prominent and well known designers are neither degreed nor licensed, and they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a PE license.

    Many of us believe that yacht design is a mix of art and engineering, and to require the PE licenses necessarily negates the art aspect entirely. Remember, too, that the Ark was designed and built by an amateur, and the Titanic was designed and built by engineers. We also don't want to put good people out of work. Therefore, we are searching for ways to make this happen. In the state of Maine, the state passed an exemption that anyone working on boats less than 200' long (design and construction wise) need not have a PE license. The 200' limit has ties to international construction and other regulatory standards. But every state is different, interpreting the law in its own way. Cover yourself and go for the degree and license, you will be much, much better off in the future. Available colleges offering naval architecture and marine engineering are:

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (my alma mater)
    University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
    Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, Glen Cove, NY (tuition is free if you get accepted)
    The Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.
    The Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT.
    The Merchant Marine Academy, Ft. Schuyler, NY
    Stevens Institute, Hoboken, NJ
    Cal Tech at Berkely (graduate only)
    MIT, Cambridge, MA (graduate only)
    University of Southampton, Southampton, England, has a nice yacht and small craft program leading to a bachelors degree.

    That about sums it up. Good luck.

  4. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    I'm not sure why the P.E. negates the art part.

    And frankly, most states probably don't give a flaming ... about ships, even, much less yachts. They are 99.9% concerned about stuff they have to get stamped, and I sure hope boatbuilders aren't going to their county office for permits - it would take a while.

  5. RAB

    RAB Guest

    Just to modify Eric's post a little.
    Both Southanpton University and Southampton Institute have degree programs. The Institute has the Small Craft Program which has had many famous grads (Dubois, Rogers, numerous French) The university has a more 'conventional' program which is also well known and respected in the industry but is not targeted to small craft
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