YDS Students or Grads Speak Up!

Discussion in 'Education' started by BGWard, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. dgerr
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    dgerr Senior Member

    When posting some of the new developments at Westlawn to boatdesign.net, I happened to come across the following comment from “kenalgan,” that needs correction. He says:

    “I read through the catalogs and forums. I started to see a little bit of grudge comming from Westlawn to YDS as if some kind of hate for some reason.”

    Kenalgan is mistaken. In no place on Westlawn’s website or in any of Westlawn’s literature or material, does Westlawn make any reference directly or indirectly to any other school or institution unless we have some joint program with that school, such as we have with SUNY Maritime, see the post at:

    http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16857

    or with ABYC (the American Boat & Yacht Council), of which Westlawn is an educational affiliate, or the Landing School, which works with Westlawn and Mystic Seaport on the North American Boat Designers Hall of Fame, or with Mystic Seaport, where Westlawn’s office is located.

    Westlawn also has acquired the intellectual property to the old Yacht Design Institute, see:

    http://www.westlawn.edu/news/index.asp?displayfile=YDI.htm

    and have had both Ted Brewer and Bob Wallstrom come aboard as adjunct instructors. This is a wonderful development for the continuity of the strong tradition of YDI, which—with the help of Ted and Bob—Westlawn is continuing, along with its own tradition.

    These are the only references to other schools or institutions on the Westlawn website.

    There is no reference of any sort, positive or negative, about any other school in any Westlawn material anywhere—period.

    Dave Gerr
    Director
    Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology
    www.westlawn.edu
     
  2. Proteus
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Proteus Junior Member

    I wonder if this so called grudge is a result of YDS Director, panning Dave Gerr's scantling book by this statement:

    I'd imagine that would piss off some Westlawn students. Nevertheless, he pans several books by different authors for the simlar reasons I noticed, like Teale and Larson to name another two. :mad:
     
  3. kenalgan
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    kenalgan Senior Member

    Dave Gerr

    “I read through the catalogs and forums. I started to see a little bit of grudge comming from Westlawn to YDS as if some kind of hate for some reason.”

    As it says above catalogs and forums.... Westlawn doesn't have a forum on their web site that only students or members as so to speak.

    So the forums i have read are on third party resources. As is this web site and as the director of Westlawn is a regular poster in this forum i would say this site is also a good resource for Westlawn as well...

    Just an idea...
     
  4. westlawn5554X
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    westlawn5554X STUDENT

    Westlawn have a forum and a chat box but the aura is serious for study and it seem this very good forum become a usual neutral meeting ground for any student and institution alike... that's why boat design forum is good and widely acceptable in the boat design arena... because we can see many first hand design from senior and junior alike.

    I dont think Westlawn student and alumi hate other institution or teaching class of boat design because their market is more diversify and more modern in a sense... and their tradition strech over 75 years... and that is a livin proof.

    I dont say westlawn edu is the best in the market fighting thousands of NA school abroad but... it is best option for long distance learning so far.

    I am a student and I dont get paid for saying this stuff... I just know a good thing if I see one ok. :)
     
  5. kenalgan
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    kenalgan Senior Member

    I completely agree with you. An instituion which has stood up for such a long time proves it self as you have told.
    Accredition is an important point for someone whom chooses a school like Westlawn.
    For the same reason i think the time to complete the course is limited.
    Thats why i chose another course. More relaxed time management to learn NA.
    If i had enough time i would have done both.

    The best point i believe in the NA field is you can't know or learn enough.
     
  6. CaptScot
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    CaptScot Junior Member

    I am equally undecided about YDS or Westlawn. I've known about Westlawn for some time had always wanted to enroll. One day I stopped in at the New York firm of Sparkman & Stevens. There I spoke with the head designer and asked about yacht design as a career and Westlawn. He said its a very good school, yet that S&S didn't take graduates right out of school. They preferred someone with a prior specialty in another field like mechanical engineering or worked some place else first. Seems they aren't about to begin teaching a new guy CAD. So much for starting at a big firm.

    Recently, finding the YDS site reading it thoroughly I liked what they offer. Its not a theory of yacht design only, but a nuts and bolts education covering realistically what will be needed to get a job or set up a shop and find clients. Separately they also teach CAD/Rhino. Learning to design on a computer these days is essential and I need to learn it.

    Westlawn has been around since the 1930's, is a recognized school, but their curriculum doesn't teach CAD of any kind or where to learn it. Like the rest of you I would appreciate graduating from a known school, but in reality getting out and earning money as a yacht designer is the bottom line. Just being proud of a diploma doesn't pay the bills.

    A few years ago in the journal for the Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers (these guys design ships and graduate from places like Webb Institute; true engineers) that the Society was thinking about requiring legislation to require yacht designers to past an exam or be licensed. There was an uproar from top old-time experienced designers because many of the YD greats like Olin Stevens never had a formal YD education and apprenticed their way to greatness. If required, they too would have to pass a test to stay in business. Later I believe the issue was dropped.

    Since yacht design is still an apprentice type career and its truly one's own motivation to learn what you need to succeed then YDS is the choice. They offer internships for students to get experience, build a portfolio and get a job or solo practice. I'm not yet sold on the YDS, but Westlawn while having a good name, appears to only teach theory. I graduated law school years ago and now just hate the field. Law schools believe me teach theory and students graduate knowing zilch. They then learn on the job, take continuing education classes and hire paralegals who know what papers to file, draft, etc. People hire lawyers every day and never ask "where did you go to school", but they do ask what kind of work have you done.

    Westlawn does have some damn good credentials and graduates, yet I don't want to spent $10K, four years and graduate not being up to speed for a job or a solo practice of my own. This is solely why I have held off for a few years from pursuing my dream. I may love to design yachts, but earning a living is the bottom line.

    YDS school, on their website, says that the state of Maine has never had a distance education school before therefore Maine has yet to ever issue YDS an approval for a distance education. Westlawn on the other hand in Connecticut does have an approval for a distance education school. Lacking this academic credential does leave mixed feelings about choosing YDS.

    Lastly, if only YDS used the name MacNaughton School of Yacht Design and put that on their diplomas then I think I'd feel a little better knowing that I'm not going to frequently hear from colleagues "you graduated from where?" YDS just sounds like and unfinished sentence like "what time is it". I would really be proud to earn a diploma of a yacht design school bearing Tom MacNaughton's name in it. I do like his overall philosophy on design, education, and his background. His name would be a big vote of confidence for those of us sitting on the fence.

    Tracking down a YDS graduate, if any exist, is a good idea. Otherwise I can't decide either.
     
  7. Proteus
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Proteus Junior Member

    The Grudge

    Well, I'm surprised Dave Gerr didn't respond to the criticism of his book "Elements of Boat Stength". In any event that's not good. I guess, I'll just have to imagine he never saw it.
     
  8. RANCHI OTTO
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    RANCHI OTTO Naval Architect

    Because Dave Gerr is a GENTLEMAN and everybody has the permission to write what he think....not for this reason the writer is right!
     
  9. Proteus
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    Proteus Junior Member

    Well, put it this way, would your argument fly if he was presenting it as his doctoral thesis before a board of discerning phd's?

    Probably not, but it's a good start. :rolleyes:
     
  10. sailaweigh
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    sailaweigh Junior Member

    It is too bad that Mr. Macnaughton won't address this issue, giving his reasons with factual backup, in a public forum. I know he has been asked about this before and has always been very vague. He has his own set of scantlings that he sells, but I understand there is no explanation in them of the "engineering" he uses to come up with them. He also disses "Principles of Yacht Design" By Larsson and Eliasson. My feeling is that if someone is going to badmouth something publicly, they ought to back up what they are saying. Perhaps, in the end, it is just some form of jealousy. But we'll never know, because he won't address this forum.
     
  11. Proteus
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    Proteus Junior Member

    In any event, I asked Tom recently on his forum to provide some examples, we shall see how he replies. I doubt his reasons have anything to do with emotions as he already stated his reason why. At the moment I'm more interested in the how. So far, it seems either or has yet to address that part.

    Personally, I hav'nt read Dave's "Elements of Boat Strength", but I have read some from his book "Nature of Boats" ,and it's pretty impressive thus far from my layman's perspective.

    Furthermore, from what I understand, Tom has addressed this forum several times in the past, and I can't say I've seen anything here where he has adressed this question in particular. It's also my understanding that Tom feels he's attacked here from what I read on his forum, which is really too bad. Personally, it wouldn't surprise me if it isn't directly or atleast partially a result of what I'm trying to get to the bottom of here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2007
  12. CaptScot
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    CaptScot Junior Member

    I emailed Tom MacNaughton via the YDS website yesterday saying that first I am seriously leaning toward and considering enrolling at YDS instead of Westlawn. I really do like his philosphy of yacht design, but had a few questions since there were some issues recently raised on boatdesign.com. Maybe he gets YDS vs. Westlawn comparison questions all the time, but feedback from the school by anyone would be appreciated. I have not emailed, but do read frequent posts here by Dave Gerr of Westlawn all the time. After all those seeking to be yacht designers are rare and we're just weighing both programs before making a commitment. Perhaps the school is closed these past 2-3 days with the Northeast storm passing through. We've had a rough time of it here in New Jersey, its likely worse in Maine.

    Cheers, Scott
     
  13. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    SNAME is not at all trying to mandate licensure, not that it could anyway, especially for yacht designers, since designers are legally not engineers. What happened is that some people needed licenses, mostly for reasons unrelated to the state laws that govern engineering services (like complying to NVIC 10-92, or for some military positions).
    They asked SNAME and NCESS to produce an exam specific to NAME, SNAME did, and that's all that happened.
     
  14. dgerr
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    dgerr Senior Member

    Correcting a couple of errors posted about Westlawn:

    Westlawn does have time limits to complete each Module or course, but further extensions are available as needed. Some students have completed the full Westlawn design program in as little as 2 years. Average time is 4 to 5 years. Some—due to constraints of family or work—have taken much longer. Westlawn is specifically set up to be flexible about this. It’s part of normal operation.

    We have basic time limits because there is a great deal of work. It takes real dedication and commitment to make progress. One way to help students stay motivated to really “get it done” is to have a set time frame, but—again—extensions are available as needed and some students use several.

    If you are interested in trying Westlawn, you could enroll in the Yacht Design Lite (YDL) program. This is much shorter than the full program. It can be finished in 6 months of part-time study, with a full year allowed to complete (and with further extensions available if needed). When you complete YDL, you will be a YDL graduate. You can then elect continue on to Module 2 in the full program. There is no more cost or time than if you started with the full Westlawn design program at Module 1 instead of YDL.

    Read about YDL at:

    http://www.westlawn.edu/course_info/YDLiteOverview.asp
    and
    http://www.westlawn.edu/course_info/subject_description.asp

    Westlawn also offers an assortment of even shorter continuing-education courses on a range of subjects, in a joint program with SUNY Maritime college and with ABYC. See the post at:

    http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16857

    These short courses are an even lower-cost and lower-commitment way to experience first hand what Westlawn is about and to acquire some highly useful knowledge at the same time.

    Westlawn does teach CAD as part of the full Westlawn program. There is a systematic method for progressing through CAD from Module 1 (all manual drafting, but starting to learn CAD) through Modules 2 and 3. In fact, every student in the full program is required to master CAD, and the Westlawn final exam (in fact all of Module 4) must be done entirely in CAD.

    Dave Gerr
    Director
    Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology
    www.westlawn.edu
     

  15. CaptScot
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    CaptScot Junior Member

    David Gerr,

    Thank you so much for your reply here and the information provided. I was so concerned about whether Westlawn taught CAD or how a YD student should deal with finding a way to learn CAD that I planned on calling or emailing you soon about it. For me it was the final obsticle to what otherwise would have been a clear cut choice and decision I long wanted to make. Look forward to being in touch and enrolling.

    Your forthrightness to answer questions for those of us trying to make an important decision is refreshing. I can see why you are the man at the helm.

    Thanks again, Scott Johnkins
     
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