Quick question for anyone currently, or recently, on the MacNaughton course

Discussion in 'Education' started by JonH, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. JonH
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    JonH Junior Member

    From a prospective student*
    Are/were all your pieces of coursework marked in a reasonably timely manner ? I have read a complaint in a previous thread of slow response, which I always found very demotivating at university, but it was neither confirmed nor rebuffed by anyone else in that thread.

    *I'm a graduate engineer (although in Elec.Eng, rather than anything useful) with a growing enthusiasm for powerboat design+build, having been troubleshooting the build of a Bruce Roberts kit, and I am looking to further my knowledge, in all likelihood remaining an amateur.
     
  2. nicotgr
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    nicotgr Junior Member

     
  3. JonH
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    JonH Junior Member

    This thread was that to which I refer.

    I notice that there was a positive comment about turn round times (I confess I had missed the further pages of the thread :eek: ) but, as that thread was over a year ago, I'm very greatful for your comments, Nicholas :)

    Mr MacNaughton was also very quick to respond to a concern, which I won't rehash here, I recently addressed to him, which was gratifying.
     
  4. Figgy
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    Figgy Senior Member

    Has anyone compleated this course, and if so, was it worth the time and effort. I'm interested in taking it, but I'm curious what some grads are doing now. Thanks!
     
  5. sailaweigh
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    sailaweigh Junior Member

    Figgy,
    It appears the silence is deafening, and perhaps telling. If I were you I would call them and get some hard facts. Let us know!
     
  6. sailaweigh
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    sailaweigh Junior Member

    Not to beat a dead horse here...BUT...has anyone out there completed the MacNaughton course? John - what do you know that is relevant here? Figgy - did you find out anything? There has to someone in the thousands of readers here who can help address this.
     
  7. JonH
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    JonH Junior Member

    No idea, I'm afraid.

    Slightly o/t:
    If you're considering the course, I urge you to not order anything online - as their ordering system is dangerously insecure. Actually, it's not even that, it's lacking any form of security for your credit card details whatsoever (almost unthinkable, in this day and age.)
     
  8. Roly
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    Roly Senior Member

    MacNaughtongroup

    Fax them half your Cr cd details & email the other half.
    They have been punctual with all my purchases and questions.
    Tom has dealt with them himself.
    (scantlings,calcs,enquiries)
    Roly
     
  9. JonH
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    JonH Junior Member

    Have you had the same conversation ? They'll also take them over the phone :)

    Tom has been extremely punctual in responding to my queries, despite my not having started the course yet (still debating Westlawn.)
     
  10. Figgy
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    Figgy Senior Member

    I have not talked to them yet, but the credit card security issue is a moot point. What i want to know how people pay that card off when there done with the course. The lack of response is very telling, and in my opinion not a good sign.
     
  11. sailaweigh
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    sailaweigh Junior Member

    What i want to know how people pay that card off when there done with the course.
     
  12. sailaweigh
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    sailaweigh Junior Member

    What folllows is my reply that somehow got lost in space, (like me!)
    Figgy's question could actually be two questions: 1) What kind of job can a graduate of YDS expect to get. 2) Does anyone actually graduate from YDS? On the MacNaughton web site Mr. MacNaughton speaks of 3 "competing" schools - Westlawn, Landing School and Southampton Institute. We all know from advertising (truthful I hope) about the graduates of Westlawn. Landing school is a residential school and so graduates students every year. Ditto Southampton. What about YDS?
     
  13. Figgy
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    Figgy Senior Member

    You got it Sailaweigh! Anyone can whip up a certificate/diploma, but four grand is alot of money for something that isn't respected in the design community. I'm shocked, personally, that out of all the people on this forum, no one has graduated YDS. I'm just going to check out the other schools a little more. I think I'd like the classroom time more anyways.
     
  14. DavidJ
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    The MacNaughton website also says many of their students get jobs before finishing the program. I believe this is probably true as I have heard that many(perhaps most) of the people listed as Westlawn graduates actually never finished the program. I heard this from an actual Westlawn graduate and practicing designer who took 8 years to finish the program. He found out about the low graduation rate from the school when he was researching the topic.

    One thing I can say is when I am looking for jobs, nobody on the west coast of Canada has ever heard of MacNaughton, but they all know Westlawn. They ask what is MacNaughton Yacht design school and I say it is like Westlawn and they go oh okay.

    Well I think I will just tell you guys about my experiences and hope it helps you. I have been a lifelong model builder. I had built and run radio controlled model boats for years and I through some failed designs I started having a greater interest in design. At some point I decided to make boats my career and I signed up for the MacNaughton course a little after I took a boat building and repair pre-employment program. So while I had a love of boats, some knowledge of their design, and a strong desire to learn more, I knew almost nothing about boats. ie; no sailing experience.

    When I say I am doing the MacNaugthton course, I mean that I started it almost 3 years ago and have only passed in the first section. It took me about 6 months to finish the first assignment and bits of the next 2 years to finish the next one(I've finished the second one I just haven't submitted it yet).

    Why am I so slow? First of all doing any program through coorespondence is very difficult. It is hard to find motivation, it is frustrating when you can't figure something out, and it is easy to put it off for long periods of time. I've been very busy during that time span, starting a new job, getting laid off, starting another new job, getting married, having a kid, and going back to school. Mostly though I have found the program difficult to understand what is wanted. The notes don't have any pictures and like I said I wasn't a knowledgable boat guy, so when they refer to a Cape Cod catboat or a Friendship Sloop I have no idea what they are talking about. The first question of the first assignment asked me to draw a midsection with hollowed garboards and it took me months to figure out what the heck garboards were. This is actually more my fault than the school, as I could have phoned them or written an email at any time, but I didn't. Instead I got frustrated.

    For me I was still very interested in learning about design and I still spend all my free time reading boat design books, but I just wasn't doing much drawing. I was still working in the marine repair industry and while doing my apprenticeship we did a portion in boat design. It was during this short period with an actual instuctor that I realised that coorespondence wasn't for me. In only a couple of evenings and one Saturday I had drawn an entire lines plan. Everytime I had the slightest hesitation as to what to do next I just asked the instructor and I was right back at it. It tooks me many frustrating months to make a drawing on my own and less than 12 hours with an intructor. It was then that I decided to go to school fulltime to studying Naval Architecture. So I packed up my young family and drove 5000 miles to the only school of Naval Architecture in Canada. I am nearing the end of my first year and I believe it was totally worth it. I learn so much faster in a class room environment. While commercial drafting isn't my main interest it is comforting to know that apparently there is tons of work out there and contract draftsmen can make 6 figure a year salaries working on oil rig refits.

    At this time I still plan to do more of the MacNaughton courses because they fill in more of my knowledge specific to yachts; however, I have been considering Westlawn, self study, or other schools after graduation.

    I hope this helps and isn't too long winded.

    David
     

  15. DavidJ
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    Summary

    For those of you who won't bother to read that big article I wrote:

    1) correspondence is hard

    2) classroom environment(other students, teachers, etc) is better

    3) Many people don't graduate from Westlawn either

    4) MacNaughton course not really suited to complete newbie. It expects a certain amount of boat knowledge. Much higher chance of success if you are a "boat guy". If talking about luffs, gaff rigs, transoms, sheers, sheets, lines, jibs, rabbets, sailing to windward, and tacking are all second nature you will do much better.

    5) Many more high paying jobs in commercial boat design, which "yacht schools" don't prepare you for
     
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