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All the boats pictured on this site were designed by Westlawn alumni.
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Faculty & Staff



Mark Bowdidge, MRINA
An honors (cum laude) Graduate of The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, Mark Bowdidge began his career in boatbuilding 30 years ago in construction and repair of vessels ranging from 10 to 120 feet. He built his family’s 42-foot catamaran, and then cruised it for eleven years, logging over 40,000 nautical miles in Australian waters and overseas. Based on these real-life cruising experiences, he designed the Oceansky 52 sailing catamaran, which was voted Best Multihull Design by Cruising World magazine.


Mr. Bowdidge worked for Tom Fexas Yacht Design, specializing in the design of luxurious motor yachts for Mikelson Yachts, Kadey Krogen, Morgan Yachts, Choey Lee and more. He has been a naval architect at Aluminum Boat Australia (ABA), where vessels were built from 24 to 38 meters (78 – 124 feet). Bowdidge formed his own design office, Bowdidge Marine Designs, specializing in sportfishing and family cruising boats, with worldwide customers building BMD designs from 10 to 50 feet (3.0m to 15.0m).


Holding a commercial master's license, Mr. Bowdidge is also a member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA). While studying at Westlawn, he was awarded the Owens Scholarship Award, based on academic achievement, creative ability and design presentation excellence. He graduated with the highest grade ever awarded by Westlawn for his final design thesis.


Eric Holohan


Graduating Westlawn in the shortest time of any student in the past decade, Mr. Holohan has spent three years living aboard a 40-foot sailboat, and has 20 years of experience in restoration, construction, and maintenance of small craft. He is a Lloyds certified marine surveyor and an ABYC Marine Master Tech, with ABYC diesel, composite construction, and electrical certificates.


Mr. Holohan has his Yacht Master Offshore and Ocean certificates, with a radar license, and SOLAS certificate. He has been working as an assistant designer to McCurdy & Rhodes, naval architects, and continues to assist in ongoing projects. Holding a U.S. Coast Guard 6-pack license, Mr. Holohan was awarded the Westlawn Hargrave Scholarship.


Mary Ann Gesner
Student Services Coordinator

Mary Ann Gesner has been a Board member and volunteer chair of administration at Midcoast Senior College, where she created course brochures and managed all aspects of the office, including training. She was a risk/compliance manager at Peoples Heritage/TD Bank, where she was responsible for compliance with rules and government regulations for all business products and where she was also the online business banking supervisor responsible for training the case-management sales force and customer services representatives as well as creating training documents. She additionally held several leadership positions in commercial loan servicing and document creation. Mary Ann further brings boatbuilding experience with her, having worked hands on in fiberglass boat construction at Sabre Yachts.


Edward S. “Ted” Brewer

Adjunct Instructor

A graduate of The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, Ted Brewer began his career in the boating industry in 1957 working for George Cuthbertson, who later founded C&C Yachts. In 1960, Brewer moved to Connecticut to work as assistant designer to A.E. “Bill” Luders Jr., where his work included assisting in the modifications to Weatherly for the successful 1962 America’s-Cup defense and doing the drawings and construction supervision for the Luders-designed 12-meter American Eagle.


In 1967, Brewer formed his own design office, in Brooklin, Maine, joined in 1969 by Bob Wallstrom. Together, they produced almost 100 custom and production designs. That year, Brewer and Jim Betts to found the Yacht Design Institute (now integrated into Westlawn), which taught boat design via distance learning. In 1979, Brewer moved to Washington State where he produced 150 more designs. Brewer has written three books and scores of magazine articles. One of the books, Understanding Boat Design, has been a standard design primer for 30 years.


Robert E. “Bob” Wallstrom

Adjunct Instructor

Bob Wallstrom has 43 years of experience in small-craft naval architecture, working in the offices of Luders Marine Construction, Philip L. Rhodes, and Atkin & Co., before establishing Brewer, Wallstrom & Associates with Ted Brewer. In addition, Wallstrom took over YDI co-founder Jim Betts’ share of Yacht Design Institute (now integrated into Westlawn) and eventually became YDI president.


In 1979 Wallstrom formed Small Craft Design & Survey, which became Wallstrom, Watkins & Associates, and in 1986 became Delta Marine Small Craft Design & Survey. Work encompassed sail and power, commercial and pleasure, in wood, steel, aluminum and fiberglass, on vessels from 18 to 123 feet. A member of SNAME and NAMS, Wallstrom has published numerous articles on small-craft design, marine surveying, and maritime history. He also wrote Surveying Small Craft in North America, a companion piece and translation of the original UK edition of Ian Nicholson's Surveying Small Craft.


Bob Turcotte

Adjunct Instructor

Bob has over 30 years of experience in boat building and design including yachts, fishing vessels and commercial passenger boats. He owns Turcotte Yacht Design, LLC and is an adjunct professor at Southern Maine Community College at Brunswick Landing, where he teaches composite manufacturing and non-destructive testing. Previously, Turcotte was the director of The Boat School, in Eastport ME. He is a graduate of Westlawn Institute and is also a graduate of The Boat School, where he concentrated in wooden boatbuilding and design.





Robert H. Perry

Yacht Designer

Robert H. Perry Yacht Designers, Inc.

Bob Perry has brought cruising sailboat design into the realm of performance cruising beginning with the Valiant 40. Primarily a designer of racer/cruiser and long distance cruisers, Mr. Perry reviews requirements pertaining to sailboats.


Pete Melvin

Designer / Engineer / Partner

Morrelli & Melvin Design and Engineering, Inc.

Pete Melvin is certainly one of the world's top multihull yacht designer, with the foiling America's Cup catamarans of Emerites Team New Zealand a notable breakthrough. Pete is working with Westlawn on new course material related to multihull and hydrofoil vessel design.


Randy Smyth

Multihull Champion

Smyth Sails, Inc.

Randy Smyth has won more international, continental, and national sports championships than anyone in history: over 57 and still counting. The first multihull sailor to win the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, a two time Olympic medalist, and the designer and builder of several boats including the innovative trimaran record setter for the Everglades Challenge, Sizzor, Randy will be working with Westlawn on new course material related to multihull, rig, and sail design.


Board of Directors

Tony Lawson, Chairman of the Board, Chancellor
David Smyth, President, Treasurer, Vice Chancellor
James Tangorra, Secretary, Provost