The Landing School launches new “Boatyard Management” program

The Landing School

June 1, 2023

The Landing School is pleased to announce the launch of a new academic program which will have a significant impact on the Marine Industry. Starting this fall, The Landing School will offer Boatyard Management, a program focused on management in the Marine Industry.

This program extends The Landing School’s “learn by doing” philosophy for students who have completed one of the other four programs. Boatyard Management is a second-year program in which students will learn management principles by actually managing the work of a simulated boatyard.

“This new program is the first of its kind, making the Landing School uniquely qualified to provide the Marine Industry with managers in training, essentially graduating a workforce that is ready to mentor other employees,” said school president Sean Fawcett.

To prepare for the new program, the Landing School has expanded its boatyard capabilities with the purchase of a Hostar hydraulic trailer, a one-ton pickup truck, and a forklift. The generosity of significant donors has made these purchases possible.

“As our Marine Systems program has evolved to provide students with practical, hands-on experience through meaningful project boat work, the school is looking more and more like a functioning boatyard” said Sean Fawcett. “We will leverage this environment to teach business and project management principles by having students manage the work of a boatyard.”

About the Boatyard Management Program

The Boatyard Management program is open to students who have completed one of the other programs, including Wooden Boat Building, Composite Boat Building, Marine Systems, or Yacht Design. The objective is to teach the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective manager in the Marine Industry. Through course work and hands-on management of projects taking place on campus, Boatyard Management students will gain first-hand experience managing all aspects of a project, from start to finish. This includes planning, estimating, executing, ordering parts, invoicing, and personnel management.

Jeff Stack of Maine Yacht Center said, “…the new Boatyard Management program will work to instill confidence in technicians as they rise through their boatyard careers, as well as bring structure to the many complexities unique to marine management.”

During the first semester of the Boatyard Management program, students will take courses in safety and compliance, planning and estimating, ABYC standards, and service management. These courses will provide foundational tools and knowledge that students will need to become effective managers. In the late winter, students will participate in a full-time, three-week externship where they will shadow an established leader or manager in the marine industry. This will enable students to see the management principles they have learned put into practice, and expose them to a career as a leader in the industry.

During the second semester, project management takes a front seat. The majority of the Boatyard Management students’ time will be spent managing small teams of Marine Systems students who are working on “project boats.” In addition to this direct experience managing real projects and teams, the Boatyard Management students will be introduced to financial management, marina management, and organizational behavior.

“My technicians are constantly managing projects and customer communications,” said Stephanie Makoujy of Portland Yacht Services. “Having a technician who is capable of understanding the customer’s needs and expectations throughout a repair or refit is critical to the overall success of the team. I think anyone participating in the Boatyard Management program will have the framework necessary to ensure this customer/technician relationship can flourish.”

Career Options for Graduates
The Boatyard Management curriculum prepares graduates to find employment as entry level department leads, project managers, service managers, or yard managers in the marine industry. Equally important, it prepares students to enter the workforce as trusted mentors for junior employees.

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