New member - work experience in Italy, the UK and Kenya?

Discussion in 'Education' started by spray1895, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. spray1895
    Joined: Mar 2011
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 13
    Location: UK/Italy

    spray1895 New Member

    Hi everybody,

    I've been reading these forums for a while now and think they're a fantastic resource! I am a young sailor and prospective student of boat design from Wales. I'm writing to ask for advice specifically on yacht designers and builders in Italy (I'm currently in Rome) as I'm looking for work experience opportunities here before heading out to Kenya in October this year.

    My area of interest is in small boat and traditional sailing craft design. I am 24 and a recent graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, which helped prompt my interest in traditional building techniques and the communities that maintain them. Although this theoretical training has been very rewarding, I intend to spend my life working with boats and the people who build and sail them.

    As a sailor my longest passage to date was between Hawaii and California on a 38” Island Packet. I have a RYA ‘Coastal Skipper’ and am working towards a Yachtmasters certificate. I lived and worked for a period on a Maurice Griffiths designed ‘Golden Hind’ yacht in Hawaii, and recently traveled to the west coast of India where there is an unbroken centuries-old tradition of wooden boat building.

    I am currently based in Italy where I’m acquiring work experience with boat designers and builders. In October this year I will travel to the east coast of Kenya to learn traditional construction techniques from a some Massai craftsmen there. My aim is to research and learn the skills of diverse boatbuilding traditions as a trained yacht designer, both for conservation and for the design of contemporary yachts.

    I'm aware that the route I'm trying to carve is a circumspect one and (just so I don't appear too naive :) ) it is worth mentioning that for me these are the first moves towards an area that I am very hopeful will be right for me.

    The next step for me is likely to be formal education, unless I can maneuver myself into a great on-the-job training/apprenticeship situation. Study in the UK - Southampton - is unfortunately no longer feasible following the recent rise in tuition fees (added to which the flexibility of distance learning is attractive for me in the next few years). I therefore intend to study with Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, Eastport, U.S.A., beginning in August this year. To this end I have been attempting to raise sponsorship towards the costs of the course and would warmly welcome any advice anybody could give me regarding this, such as charitable trusts or patrons of sailing, maritime history or crafts.

    So this is what I am trying to do, but first things first :). I would be very grateful for any information and advice that anyone can give towards finding productive and useful work experience here in Italy over the next few months.

    Thanks everyone.

    Warm Regards,

    Jonny
     
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  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I dont know Italy...Ive only worked in Spain, Netherlands and Germany. See if you can chat up a superyacht project manager. Manytimes they need a young guy whom they must only feed peanuts, to lend a hand.

    Working on the finest yachts, built in the finest shipyards, is Good place to learn your trade , study Westlawn and figure out how to make a buck around the water in future...not easy to make a buck..

    And since all modern yachts will soon be composite you might want to stay in contact with Composite Engineering rather than a Westlawn type small craft study.

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/compositescentre
     
  3. spray1895
    Joined: Mar 2011
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 13
    Location: UK/Italy

    spray1895 New Member

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for replying, and thanks for the link, they have the option of short courses which is very interesting.

    It would be possible to spend a couple of weeks or a month in Spain this summer (at the moment my work is very flexible), though the limiting factor would of course be my very weak Spanish.

    Can you suggest anywhere to look in Spain?

    Thank You

    Jonny
     

  4. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Best place to look for work is in your own country. 25 percent unemployment rate among young people in Spain, aside from the fact that you will be working in a different languge. I wouldnt recomend it.

    The way the world works is that first you establish your reputaion and qualifications in your home contry...then spread your wings and follow the projects and clients from shipyard to shipyard .
     
    1 person likes this.
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