YDS Students or Grads Speak Up!

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

  1. herbyerby1
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    herbyerby1 New Member

    Well I've just read every posting here and I guess the one thing I wish I knew was whether or not someone with no previous design experience has a reasonable shot at getting a job as a designer after the completion of either the Westlawn or the Macnaughton YDS.

    I'm 21 years old and very interested in this line of work but I'm concerned with going with such a specific line of education and whether or not I would be able to make a living out of something like this without any prior knowledge or experience.
  2. 8knots
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    8knots A little on the slow side

    Well here is my opinion.......
    Please note I have not graduated from either course, I am now 37 and faced the very same gut wrenching decision......Have yet to actually make it! I have been in the sign industry for 20 years now and would love to follow my dreams and build/design boats.....Truth is I make good money now with a sterling reputation in my field! To follow the dream would involve a severe pay-cut and starting at the bottom of the ladder so to speak. Not that would be bad "to be the new guy at Delta or Northern marine would be killer in my book" Do be prepared to be the new guy and put in your time in the trenches at any firm......Prove you have "sand" and you will go far!

    Best of luck to you!

    2 people like this.
  3. herbyerby1
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    herbyerby1 New Member

    Thanks for your thoughts 8knots!

    I'm definitely willing to put in the work and start out at the bottom of the ladder. I guess I'm just still worried about getting my foot in the door without having prior experience or education. Would you (or anyone else out there) suggest having some other type of education (perhaps mechanical or marine engineering?)

    Also, if anyone out there knows of a list of design firms that I could look up and contact and talk to them about all of this that would help me out a ton!

  4. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    If you are only 21 then I would suggest going to school and getting a diploma or better yet an engineering degree.

    The benefits of an in classroom education are numerous. You will meet fellow like minded individuals who will be the start of your network of industry colleagues. You will get a job for sure. Even in the "economic downturn" there are still lots of jobs in the marine fields.

    People will tell you that universities don't specialize in small craft. Ignore them. Yes this is partially true. However, the principles that make a super tanker float also make a canoe float. If in the future you feel you want more small craft knowledge you can always sigh up for westlawn after you've got your nice secure high paying job. Many many small craft designers have started with a university education and you will have so much more opportunities with a respected piece of paper under your belt. We did composite design in college. We did lots of small fishing boat stability. We designed a canoe hull. And you can choose any size or style of vessel you want for your final design project. We didn't do any classes on styling or sailing boat design, but you could if you went to the UK.

    This is where I graduated from 2 years ago. http://www.mi.mun.ca/navalarch/ It's a 3 year diploma program in the extreme east of Canada. Tuition is cheap. Looking back on it I'd prefer to have gotten a degree but that has more to do with personal pride than actual work outcomes. Every person who graduated got a job. Everyone still has a job (although a few moved places). Minimum of 50k a year to start. Job locations were varied. Lots of choice.

    I think Eric Sponberg's article on being a boat designer compares the educational options well:
    1 person likes this.
  5. Auvergne54
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Auvergne54 New Member

    Westlawn or YDS???

    I have studied at both. Made good grades at Westlawn and progress but way to expensive for me. YDS in my opinion is high quality education in Yacht Design and alot cheaper. I am presently beginning with YDS and am happy.

    One question for those of you wondering which is best. My research has brought me down a path where upon completion of the YDS program or concurrently as well, I will be studying Engineering and Mathematics. I plan to test for SNAME membership and just wondered if anyone has considered this approach or interested in joining Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

    Reason being...it may look better for you, Engineering and Mathematics will be good for you in the long run, and top the education off with YDS. Tom is a good man in my opinion and will teach you much at MacNaughtonGroup.

    Just wondered if anyone has considered or even feel that is a good idea.:cool:
    Radenpm9 likes this.
  6. herbyerby1
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    herbyerby1 New Member

    Thanks for that article by Eric Sponberg, DavidJ. I guess I have some thinking to do now!
  7. herbyerby1
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Utah

    herbyerby1 New Member

    Oh also, as far as engineering degrees go, it seems a degree in Marine Engineering would be best suited if I eventually want to go into boat/yacht/ship design. But what about Mechanical or even Structural Engineering?

    Thanks again guys. This is helping me out a lot!
  8. Paul Kotzebue

    Paul Kotzebue Previous Member

    The only thing you need to do to join SNAME is fill out an application and send them a check.
  9. Paul Kotzebue

    Paul Kotzebue Previous Member

    Mechanical engineering is closely related to naval architecture and marine engineering. I believe some universities have naval architecture courses within their mechanical engineering departments. You should be qualified to work in the naval architecture field with a mechanical engineering degree. Search the internet for companies that do the type of design work you're interested in and see who they're hiring.
  10. camotero
    Joined: May 2010
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    camotero New Member

    Another graduate

    Kotzebue, aren't you a Grad from YDS, or is YDI different from it?
  11. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Fully concur! Sound advice!
    Therefore quoted in full length.

  12. Paul Kotzebue

    Paul Kotzebue Previous Member

    YDI is different than YDS.
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  13. USRower
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    USRower Junior Member

    Ranchi Otto,

    How was your experience at Westlawn? How long did it take you to complete the course? I myself am interested in learning at Westlawn. What sort of education did you have prior to your enrollment?
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    RANCHI OTTO Naval Architect

    I had my diploma in 2 years sending my work to school from Switzerland (longer mail waiting time)...
    I was working as draftman in an office of Naval Architecture.
    2 people like this.

  15. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Crikey RO - you raced thru yours!
    It took me the best part of 6 years... mainly because I built 2 houses and 2 children at the same time!!:D
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