Boat Repair School: Degree Program Information and Options

Community colleges offer certificate, diploma and associate degree programs in boat repair and design. In these programs, students learn about boat construction, marine woodworking, boat materials and common industry tools.

How to Choose a Boat Repair School

Boat repair programs are offered by community colleges and technical schools. Students can also learn boat repair through courses offered by professional organizations, such as the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Hands-on experience opportunities
  • Certification requirements
  • Breadth of training

Hands-On Experience Opportunities

When selecting a boat repair school, students may want to consider whether the school provides hands-on laboratories for student use. In these labs, students usually construct vessels and test their operation. This hands-on experience may better prepare students to work in the field.

Certification Requirements

Students should also investigate whether a program's curriculum accords with the certification standards set by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC). Completing a curriculum based on ABYC standards may make it easier to become certified after graduation. Although not required to work as a boat repairer, certification may increase employment opportunities.

Breadth of Training

Finally, students may want to determine the breadth of the program's training. Some programs provide instruction in using and repairing multiple types of boat materials, such as wood and composite materials, or about maintaining fuel powered or wind powered boats. These programs may better prepare graduates to work with a variety of materials after graduation. Additionally, having a breath of knowledge may increase employment opportunities after graduation.

Boat Repair Program Overviews

Certificate Programs

Lasting approximately one year, certificate programs focus on the core concepts of boat construction. Students in these programs learn about:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Construction materials
  • Industry tools

Diploma Programs

A diploma program typically requires completion of about 35-credit-hours of study. Their curriculum includes general education and boat repair-specific courses. Classes related to boat repair cover topics like:

  • Production moldmaking
  • Interior cabinetry
  • Joinery

Associate of Applied Science Programs

Associate's degree programs in boat repair often allow students to specialize in an area like wooden boat building or composite boat building. In these programs, students learn about boatyard operations and how to assess materials in the engineering of marine systems. They also complete classes in subjects like:

  • Carvel planking techniques
  • Advanced woodworking
  • Joinery
  • Finishing
  • Spray painting

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