Page 10 - WestlawnMasthead16_Dec.10

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My first career after college was somewhat of a detour. 
Though my degree was in Mechanical Engineering, I 
stumbled into a good connection with a gentleman in 
real estate and spent about ten years with him. It was a 
good experience and I gained a great education in busi‐
ness, but I found myself getting restless and looking for 
a better fit. Taking a year to carefully audit my interests 
and skills, I found two prime motivators: engineering 
and a love for artistic endeavors. With a long family 
background in water sports, I gravitated in that direction 
and found that yacht design appeared to be a great 
blend for me. Nevada was home during that period so correspondence 
training seemed like a logical step and discovering Westlawn soon followed. 
During a visit with family in the Seattle area I called Bob Perry out of the 
blue and talked him into having lunch. I peppered him with questions about 
Yacht Design and specifically about Westlawn. He gave the school high 
marks, warned that they’d work my butt off and graciously answered my 
other miscellaneous questions. I was hooked. 
Two years later I was nearing completion with the Westlawn program. One 
day as I spoke with my instructor, he mentioned that US Marine had an 
opening for a design engineer and encouraged me to contact them. I did. 
They had dreams of someone with experience but over the next couple 
months I wore them down with my persistence and was offered a job. 
That job was the first of a long string of very fortunate events in my career.  
There wasn’t any strategy on my part in seeking that position but looking 
back I can’t think of a better place to begin than with a large production 
boatbuilder. The exposure you get in that environment is amazing. You’re 
surrounded by a large group of talented specialists covering every aspect of 
the industry: sales, marketing, warrantee, industrial design, drive trains, 
electrical, ship’s systems, cabinetry, upholstery, structural analysis, hull de‐
sign, mock‐ups, trailers, you name it and it’s there. In addition, you are up 
front and center for the entire life cycle of the products. Amazing. 
One of the specific good fortunes of being  there at that time was that US 
Marine’s management had had the foresight to recognize the value of CAD 
and invested heavily in the best software available. When I joined them in 
the mid 90’s full sized computer plots were still a luxury, and on my first 
boat project a crazy guy by the name of Janicki approached them with the 
idea of milling plugs on a 5 axis router he had built. They said “yes” as an 
experiment, one of my parts was used, Janicki turned out to be brilliant, and 
within two years the industry was changed. It was an exciting time. 
David Pugh 
Ranger Tug R29
LOA: 33’- 0”
BOA: 10’- 0”
Aspin C-90
LOA: 30’- 9”
BOA: 10’- 0”