Some guidance, please...Question about Westlawn School of Yacht Design.

Discussion in 'Education' started by Keycube, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Keycube
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Keycube Junior Member

    Hi folks;

    New to the site, and a 20 year casual observor of sailing...

    A little bit about myself; I've been a draftsman since my first job out of High School, covering about every discipline imaginable from electrical drafting - to mechanical - to civil/structural - but I've always had a desire to "create". To impose some aesthetic "will" into my work.

    I've watched the America's Cup since '83 with an utter fascination that I can't explain. I pick up sailing periodicals from time, and study the jargon and idiosyncracies of this "black art". I love the technical aspects of automobile racing, and sailboats strike me as this perfect compromise between technology and art; for all the wind tunnels in the world that help to craft a F1 car, there still seems to be this Holy Grail of hydrodynamic efficiency that is still yet to be breached.

    I have never been sailing (though I plan to this summer), am not a strong swimmer, and even have a bit of fear of water; I think that is part of the allure of sailing to me - there's a certain mysteriousness to it...its attempt to harness nature, and second guess its unpredictability, all the while being at its whim.

    I ordered a Westlawn brochure about 15 years ago...didn't think it was practical, couldn't afford it, yada yada yada...but I've never forgotten about it. In fact, I just downloaded another brochure...

    I'm 33 now, and I'd hate to let an inner passion of mine come and go without ever knowing if it truly was a calling of sorts.

    And so, some Westlawn the way to find out if sailing (or, more specifically - yacht design) is for me?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. Polarity
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Polarity Senior Member

    Hi Robert
    Welcome first of all!
    If you go to the search button on the top right hand menu, and search for "Westlawn" you will see there is a mine of information, mostly from the education forum.

    PS A lot of the best sailors can't swim...!
  3. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Jeff Moderator

    < Thread Moved to the Education Forum >

    Welcome to the forums Robert,

    As Paul says, we have a number of great people around the forums here who are currently in the Westlawn course or have graduated from Westlawn. Here are some previous threads about Westlawn from the forum search.

    I think Westlawn could be a good way to find out if yacht design is for you. Many many people get a 4 year or even a Masters degree and then decide to do something else for a career not directly related to their degree. Since you obviously have an interest in yacht design, I don't think what you learn from the Westlawn course would be wasted no matter what.

    I suppose it depends on the value of money and how you like to pick things up. To be more cost conscious (since you can't do the Westlawn course incrementally and it costs more than the YDS for example) you could also spend some time sailing and try and experience as many types of sailing as possible, then spend some time on your own reading all the text and yacht design books you can get your hands on. Concurrently you could spend some time sketching some concept boats and post them on the web on sites and forums like this one for feedback. That way you’ll know for sure whether it’s what you want to do and you’ll get a better sense of the qualifications you’ll need to get to do the type of design work you want. But with all that said, the Westlawn course is probably a good way to do the same, and at the end wind up with a degree.
  4. Jeff
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    Jeff Moderator

  5. yipster
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    yipster designer

    Jeff, very good initiative, thank YOU, MIT, BBC. is one more place you can find me, but oe-argh, that isnt easy math!:rolleyes:y
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest


    I too had been looking at Westlawn for years and finally decided to make the leap a few months ago (I got a little encouragement when I found out that the education program through work would pay the tuition because of their accrditation). The course is taken and paid for in 4 chunks, each lasting from 6 months to a year depending on the amount of time you have to spend. I also looked at YDS and while the course cost was less (and payments were more incremental) you are required to purchase significantly more material outside. Also, I felt that Westlawn would be more structured (more likely to keep my part time studies on track). I am having a great time so far. I do concur with an earlier post to do some homework first. Collect some of the beginning design books and spend the time to see if it will hold your interest more than a month or two.

    Good Luck


  7. samar
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: lebanon

    samar New Member

    Need some help please

    hello, im looking for boat design school in europe and cant choose one
    so, if you could give me few suggestions i would be grateful cause i really want to attend one and wa wondering if i really have to be exellent in mathematics.please mind my english cause im french educated.
    Hope to hear of u soon.

    best regards
    thank u in advance.
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