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T
he Boat School is on schedule to complete its separation from
Husson College in May 2012. The Boat School’s facility, Maine’s
Marine Technology Center, is now wholly owned and operated by the
independent not-for-profit corporation Friends of the Boat School.
Classes are continuing uninterrupted during the transition, and stu-
dents are now being accepted for The Boat School’s 2012-2013 aca-
demic-year programs. Moving forward, The Boat School will continue
to offer its Wooden Boat Building and Composites Boat Building voca-
tional courses, and will add a much-anticipated Marine Mechanics
program beginning in fall of 2013.
This year’s graduating class will be the last under Husson College. The
core of the courses will remain unchanged for the incoming class this
September. Students learn lofting, construction, finishing techniques,
communications and math for business, and basic systems such as
electrical and corrosion. All students also participate in a work co-op
during which they spend eight weeks employed in an approved boat
shop, repair facility or yard. Graduates receive a certificate in either
Wooden Boat Building or Composite Boat Building, and they have the
opportunity to continue into a second-year curriculum in either Wood
or Compositing Boat Building or in Marine Mechanics. Prospective
students should contact The Boat School immediately to secure spots
in the 2012-2013 programs.
“We’re very pleased with how smoothly the transition with Husson has
gone,” says Bret Blanchard, director of Maine’s Marine Technology
Center. “We appreciate Husson’s contribution to our program for the
past few years, and we’re proud to move forward independently. The
basic operations are unchanged, the quality of the curriculum remains
high and the Eastport community is very supportive.”
The Boat School, which has been providing marine vocational educa-
tion since 1969, operates out of its oceanfront facility on nine acres in
Eastport, Maine. The school has a 60-ton Travelift, advanced construc-
tion equipment, and a working waterfront. Ownership of the property
was transferred to Friends of The Boat School in December 2011.
The Friends of The Boat School is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation
that offers guidance and support to the educational institution. Mem-
bers include residents of Eastport and industry professionals. By as-
suming ownership of the school’s facility, the Friends of the Boat
School will ensure that The Boat School’s operations are all of the
highest standards necessary to train a new marine industry workforce.
The Boat School’s partnership with Husson College of Bangor, Maine,
began in 2007. Husson’s support grew the class size to 35 students.
Following the retirement of Husson President William Beardsley, the
private college decided to refocus its efforts on its degree-granting
programs, and announced it would end ties with The Boat School.
In addition to its yearlong intensive programs, The Boat School also
offers continuing education classes for marine industry professionals.
Evening, weekend and seasonal courses provide certifications through
American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA), Ameri-
can Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and American Composite Manu-
facturers Association (ACMA).
New Developments at Westlawn’s Maine Campus
The country’s longest-running boatbuilding program is now accepting studen
for their 2012 construction and 2013 mechanics program.
About The Boat School
The Boat School is the longest-running boat-
building educational institution in the United
States. Located in Eastport, Maine, the
school was established in response to the
marine industry’s need for a well-trained
workforce. The Boat School began in 1969
as a vocational school in Calais, Maine, and
moved first to Lubec, and then to Eastport in
1978. Independently owned by the not-for-
profit corporation, Friends of The Boat
School, the institution currently receives no
public funding, however it welcomes tax-
deductible donations through its website.
One-year courses currently offered include
Wooden Boat Building, Composite Boat
Building. Many students choose to complete
a second year in either of those programs or,
beginning in 2013, in Marine Mechanics.
More information is available online at
Whitehall boats built by Boat School student
Boat School director, Bret Blanchard working
with students
Westlawn’s continuing operation and its ownership by
ABYC is not affected by changes at The Boat School.