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Engineering Career in Sailing


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I'm a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and I have been sailing for as long as I can remember.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to further my sailing career but I'm not sure how.  What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections.  That leads me to the question that's been plaguing me.

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

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By career opportunities in "Engineering Sailboats" I am guessing you mean "Marine Architecture". In almost all cases you are looking at serving under someone making wages/salary that may pay of the education in a decade or so, or going on your own which means you may starve to death before your name goes on the short list of go-to yacht designers.

A lot of Marine Architects who had dreams of designing fast sailboats spend their time calculating displacements and power requirements for commercial barges or oil tankers or some such ilk.

PaulK has a good idea or to generalize it a bit: specialize.

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By saying "Engineering Sailboats" I was trying to leave it open ended.  Sailboats are obviously complex engineering challenges and I can't imagine it being one person who engineers every single component.  Even starting doing simple engineering for simple components would be interesting.

I appreciate the recommendation to specialize.  That is something I hadn't considered much of yet specifically in foiling.

 

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  1. Generalize under someone else.
  2. Specialize under someone else -or- Generalize under your own name.
  3. Get known for a type of boat or set of conditions or specific part of design.

This progression certainly does not happen overnight. Not unless you are one of the elite who really does have a distinct breakthrough. The kind of breakthrough that happens once every 20 years or so.

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5 minutes ago, CalebG said:

By saying "Engineering Sailboats" I was trying to leave it open ended.  Sailboats are obviously complex engineering challenges and I can't imagine it being one person who engineers every single component.  Even starting doing simple engineering for simple components would be interesting.

I appreciate the recommendation to specialize.  That is something I hadn't considered much of yet specifically in foiling.

 

Look to hardware manufacturers (Harken, Lewmar, etc.) for Mech Eng positions. Spar/rigging mfrs too. Shipyards and Mega Yacht builders (mostly in Europe though) as well. Probably more positions available in those niches of the indiustry than in Jason Ker's design office, etc.

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4 hours ago, CalebG said:

I want to further my sailing career

It's ambiguous what you mean by this, and it makes all the difference.

If you mean you want to further your 'career' as a sailor - to find more opportunities to race or crew or whatever, more opportunities to run with the big dogs and sail the fanciest boats and pull the fanciest ropes - I'd say you probably don't need to orient your work around this axis to make that happen. 

That is what I'm pretty sure you meant - you said "I have gathered from my racing experience... that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry... in order to develop those networked connections."

That makes it sound as though you are considering working in the sailing industry just to make connections that will help your sailing. But I don't think many people sitting in Annapolis pick their racing crew from the random fleet of engineers working for Harken in some New Jersey office park. I don't know quite how they do pick them (maybe looks and dumb luck, based in who happens to be hanging around the yacht club bar?) but I'm pretty sure that's not it. My hunch is You could fetch beers and carry clubs (or crunch numbers and put together spreadsheets) for a decade for the guy who runs the vednee globe and it would never cross his mind, 'gee, maybe Billy the numbers chap would like a turn on the grinders on my kajillion dollar space-foil.'

Instead, my impression is that all the fanciest race boats are run by rich assholes. And it's a well-known fact that rich assholes love younger women, are hated by their kids, and know their willies are the only thing about themselves they can't pay to enhance.

If you want them to beg you to race on their superyachts, get a six pack and a model girlfriend for them to covet, and then use those engineer brains to design a ray gun that will give them back their youth, super-size their johnsons, and fix their relationships with their kids all at once. Or something.

I should qualify this by saying that although I'm halfway serious, I have no idea what I'm talking about. Good luck!

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Cal,

Talkle to Bob Perry,  hese kinda famouse aronde hearre,  verrey nice, and mabey willing to talkle to niew guyes.  If annbodey hase a fingere on the pulse of sailboat desine/builde ist hime.  Goode luck.

Snaggs                                  :)

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5 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Cal,

Talkle to Bob Perry,  hese kinda famouse aronde hearre,  verrey nice, and mabey willing to talkle to niew guyes.  If annbodey hase a fingere on the pulse of sailboat desine/builde ist hime.  Goode luck.

Snaggs                                  :)

Yes this is much better advice than anything I said earlier, ignore that.

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6 hours ago, CalebG said:

What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections

 

6 hours ago, CalebG said:

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

This is a bit confusing because I would say there are entirely different pathways depending on whether you want to head down the professional/race boat crew or secure a job with naval architects/yacht builders. 

Industry position; I would suggest that is just about applying for any openings and highlighting your sailing background. I'm on the wrong side of the pond to really help any further with this aspect but perhaps other posters can offer some introductions to people already in a naval architecture/engineering companies? 

I'm also assuming you'll need to specialise in a more particular field of mech-eng? This choice will obviously influence which areas of the marine industry will be more suitable for employment; sail, rig and foil design/interaction is a huge area of growth, composite engineering (particularly using sustainable materials). @Greenflash is the perfect person to offer advice about this but he has a fair bit on right now so may not be able to jump in for a while (but I'm going to drop this on him anyway....)

For race crew/shore crews with pro-teams or on superyachts (some of the performance superyachts have very high level optimisation programs that match those of a TP or Maxi72 so the engineer is far more involved with designers and manufacturers than they are with oil changes and air-con filters) then this is much more about who you know to get a foot in the door. On the plus side a lot of the teams do have highly skilled shore crews who cross-over onto a sailing role. Being in the right place also helps - Newport, RI is still the hub for high level race teams in the US and there's been a recent 'homecoming' as teams such as 11th Hour, Deep Blue and Bella Mente have all returned to the US because of the travel disruption of Covid. Also look at the Michigan area (largest TP52 fleet in the US at the moment) and also to the West coast pockets. 

There is definitely some cross over with shore based roles leading to on-board positions - sail makers, riggers, spar and rigging designers, hydraulics etc. For many this is the 'holy-grail' situation but there's no real guarantee of achieving this mix unless you already have a spot onboard a boat before you start an industry role...

If you want to focus on the sailing and try to join a race team then it's about starting at the bottom and putting the work in to earn your stripes - you'll be the nipper and be expected to fill ice boxes, clean containers and other highly non-engineering related tasks but effort is rewarded and people will recognise your skill set. I can point you in the direction of some teams and small businesses in the Newport area who would be worth contacting - let me know and I can DM you some contact info. 

 

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21 minutes ago, NZK said:

this is much more about who you know to get a foot in the door. [...] Being in the right place also helps - Newport, RI  [...]Also look at the Michigan area[...] and also to the West coast pockets. 

Like I said, fashionable hair, hot girlfriend, yacht club bar, ray gun.

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9 hours ago, CalebG said:

I'm a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and I have been sailing for as long as I can remember.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to further my sailing career but I'm not sure how.  What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections.  That leads me to the question that's been plaguing me.

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

You should try remote controlled yachts, they're as mad/competitive as full size boats and you have much more chance at engineering something without breaking the bank. 

 

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59 minutes ago, shaggybaxter said:

You should try remote controlled yachts, they're as mad/competitive as full size boats and you have much more chance at engineering something without breaking the bank. 

 

After you spend a quarter million plus plus on tools that is...

FKT

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12 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

After you spend a quarter million plus plus on tools that is...

FKT

:) there is that. I was thinking more along the lines of a next gen servo, or rudder /masts, not the boat. Chatting to a gent that makes sails for them, I was impressed at the level of detail and effort that went into just the sails.

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Small yards like structures often have a few mechanical engineers who do all kind of design work, big yards have some too, I had a uni mate who ended up working for Bénéteau as their specialist for teak decks, I lost contact but I imagine that he ended up taking more responsibilities. He had no entries in the industry was from a completely different background and was barely able to sail a boat but he came to their attention because 10 of us made a racing 30 footer in the uni workshop!!!  Big racing teams also have in house engineers, and on long distance races where being able to repair MacGyver style matters they sometimes get a ride (the most known and successful example is probably Kevin Escoffier who got to do the volvo partly for his engineering skills).

If you know nobody in the industry, I guess that your best bet is to go to a boatshow with lot of CVs in your bag and try to get in contact with technical directors and beg for a "summer or gap year work experience" while you are still a student, that will give you a head-start. If you can speak French there are networking events organised by "Tip & Shaft", that's a bit far away but may be there is a US equivalent.

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8 hours ago, NZK said:

Nowadays it's probably more protein bar than yacht club bar.... 

Whatever the specifics, I'm guessing the salient fact is that, like becoming a millionaire instagram influencer or an editor at the New York Times or a secret shopper for Gucci, when it comes to the tippy-top race teams there are more applicants than positions, and in reality a significant part of getting through the door is being in the right place at the right time.

Or, to put it another way: as far as the plebes are concerned, skills are required to qualify, but I'm guessing quite a bit more is necessary to be selected.

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If you want to make money at anything, consider:

  • it's often easier to sell a large number of less-expensive things than a small number of very expensive things; and
  • who has money that is being spent, what they are spending it on, and how frequently; and
  • the supply and demand of expertise.

Putting that all together, I expect that getting into hull design or manufacturing is probably a bad idea, because a relatively small number of well-known designers can produce a large number of boats across a large number of manufacturers. On the other hand, getting into consumables, such as sail, foil (e.g. rudder), or electronics system design or manufacturing is probably a much better bet, as these things are replaced relatively frequently on most boats. 

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17 hours ago, CalebG said:

I'm a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and I have been sailing for as long as I can remember.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to further my sailing career but I'm not sure how.  What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections.  That leads me to the question that's been plaguing me.

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

I'm not entirely clear what you are asking or what your end goal is, so I'll make some assumptions for my answer.  I'm a Naval Architect, working on commercial  boat design, but also a sailor.

First off - as was pointed out above, the number of Naval Architects / Marine Engineers who actually make a career out of designing sailboats is extremely small, and number of people who make a living as a professional sailor is probably even smaller.  BUT, the number of Naval Architects who are sailors is pretty significant, and the knowledge you gain from being a NA can be quite useful in your sailing "career".

While commercial marine is not sailboats, it is close enough that you still get the satisfaction of working in an industry that is very closely related to your passion that work is less like "work".

For your school work, take courses related to NA/ME. If there is not a Naval Architecture department, or option within the Mechanical Engineering department, then at the very least take the courses that are closely related (Fluid Dynamics, Mechanical design, etc).  Whenever you get a chance to choose a topic for a project, pick one that is related to Naval Architecture / Marine Engineering.  I was involved in a human powered submarine project which was the source of most of my projects for courses.

Outside of school, try to find a (low level) job in the industry.  I worked at a sail loft while taking my degree.  I started sweeping the floor, and moved up from there.  At the same time, I was working with the owner of the loft to develop new software.  Working at a loft is a great way to make contacts!  If there isn't a sail loft nearby, try any other marine store, shipyards, repair yards, etc.  You don't need to be working in a sailing-specific environment to pick up a ton of knowledge that is directly applicable, and to make the right contacts.

 

 

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18 hours ago, CalebG said:

I'm a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and I have been sailing for as long as I can remember.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to further my sailing career but I'm not sure how.  What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections.  That leads me to the question that's been plaguing me.

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

I'm a Mechanical Engineer. I had an offer from Harken after college but then paid about 20% below other industries. That gap will only widen over your career. Don't go into that industry as there isn't much money. Pick a more lucrative industry and buy your own boat! 

Same thing applies to engineers as Harley Davidson. They trade passion for salary...

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Just now, Fah Kiew Tu said:
36 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Wiche ist a badde practise.......                     :)

As long as the salary is enough, sure.

FKT

Fasteste waye to burne oute ist to macke you passione repetatieve, predictieve, ande source of reveniewe................   juste sayeng.                   :)

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1 minute ago, Snaggletooth said:

Fasteste waye to burne oute ist to macke you passione repetatieve, predictieve, ande source of reveniewe................   juste sayeng.                   :)

Agree. Trick is to know when to walk away. In my personal cases it was always shortly after I was promoted into management. Fuck that.

FKT

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1 minute ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:
4 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Fasteste waye to burne oute ist to macke you passione repetatieve, predictieve, ande source of reveniewe................   juste sayeng.                   :)

Agree. Trick is to know when to walk away. In my personal cases it was always shortly after I was promoted into management. Fuck that.

FKT

I thick I licke that quiote, "Fuck that".  Multilpulle applicationes.                                 :)

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My 1/2 cent:

Had an old friend turned naval architect that did make a living, but it wasn't in fast sailboats. His thoughts on designing race boats: it's a very, very small market and unless you are a 'pro athlete' level NA - you will be designing powerboats, ships and systems for other people - cause that pays the bills for normally talented people, or 99% of the population.

Regardless, follow the dream and enjoy the ride where ever it takes you!

(Psst: It's not about the money!)

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26 minutes ago, Liquid said:

My 1/2 cent:

Had an old friend turned naval architect that did make a living, but it wasn't in fast sailboats. His thoughts on designing race boats: it's a very, very small market and unless you are a 'pro athlete' level NA - you will be designing powerboats, ships and systems for other people - cause that pays the bills for normally talented people, or 99% of the population.

Regardless, follow the dream and enjoy the ride where ever it takes you!

(Psst: It's not about the money!)

Some of the most interesting problems are in the commercial world, anyway. I've designed a number of firsts. I really have to pinch myself sometimes, remember my younger self, wondering if I would ever get anything like that to happen.

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4 minutes ago, fastyacht said:
1 hour ago, Snaggletooth said:

Wiche ist a badde practise.......                     :)

Some of us have no control over this. We have a magnetic attraction to the bright lights.

Ime am theire to.....................              :)

 

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1 minute ago, Sail4beer said:
12 hours ago, Panoramix said:

 "Tip & Shaft”

I remember watching that movie!

The copey machine repaireman withe a slitte case of VD?  That oune?                                                     :)

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I would move over to composite engineering. At the very least do a masters in it. Straight mechanical will be almost entirely based on metal. Other than a few bits of hardware, most boats are entirely composite. 
 

Composite engineering is a growing field. Aerospace and things like submarines have more and more composites.

Mechanical engineers are a dime a dozen. I would assume that you may never have a job in the sailboat industry. Covid has crushed it for years to come. 

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1 hour ago, Snaggletooth said:

Fasteste waye to burne oute ist to macke you passione repetatieve, predictieve, ande source of reveniewe................   juste sayeng.                   :)

It’s been feeling that way lately. The money is only getting better and I usually love slapping the goop, splinters and paint around a boat, but...people are a little edgy this year and I can only care so much. A few boat deliveries both on the water and over the road are giving me the change of scenery I need to come back fresh to a job.

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7 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

The copey machine repaireman withe a slitte case of VD?  That oune?                                                     :)

You think that was slight?

An entire village was lost as a result if you remember the sequel. It started out nice until the jungle music started and the Patchuli oil girls arrived. Never thought that kind of movie could make me cry!

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3 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

You think that was slight?

An entire village was lost as a result if you remember the sequel. It started out nice until the jungle music started and the Patchuli oil girls arrived. Never thought that kind of movie could make me cry!

I forgotte abote Patchoolie Girlle.  She wase a definitte red herreng.

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:17 PM, CalebG said:

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

Depends on where you live and what skills you have.

I grew up sailing and love boats(sail). Last year of college and I did the final internship at a Seeport museum in Philadelphia helping to build wooden boats. After that, I decided to open a boat repair shop when I had enough money. I had to wait a few because I was young and broke- 2 things older folks with boats are trying to forget about. Now my second shop is closed and I do mobile repairs and refits- hands on stuff- since I’m not an engineer by any measure if you include math or science skills. 
 

If you aren’t very hands on, parts designers use a variety of computer programs to develop their products and there are many companies out there engineering new composite materials all the time to make boats better and easier on the environment. 
 

You can try looking at websites that have Naval Architects forums and speak to some of them as to what they might think of if they were the young guy. If there are yards around that actually manufacture boats you can always ask to volunteer in a few different areas of the shop to see what really goes into the manufacture of a big piece of plastic. Your skills will be noted by the right people and rewarded with work or direction to where you need to be. 
 

At the end of the day, there is a seat for every ass and one day you will get your seat. Have fun and have fun!

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Or the jet ski world. There’s gold and then fool’s gold and they are the latter and much more abundant, yet so costly to buy. They change the designs like baby diapers to keep selling new ones and occasional hull mods and electronic gizmos upgrades keep ‘em coming back for more.

Hell, just learn how to fix them and you’d make more money than all your brains could earn you! I’m not kidding. Between them all having to be winterized, shrink wrapped, stored, unshrink wrapped, oils changed, new battery, etc, my neighbor probably makes $350,000 a year as the JetMedic guy. The jet ski rental guy on the beach is never around in the winter, he’s enjoying the money he made in the summer aboard his big yacht in the islands(not this year).

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1 hour ago, Monkey said:

Do what I did. Use your engineering talent in the powerboat world. It pays better. Then use powerboaters’ money to enjoy sailing. 

Ditto, lots more jobs in powerboats as well......

but now in aerospace where the pay is better

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I'm a mechanical engineer working for a company that produces textiles and plastic films.  I occasionally work on new (exotic) components for sail manufacturers.  There's a TON of tech in sailmaking - structural analysis, aeromechanics, SAILING. 

We are also involved in composites for aerospace.  I was able to apply some of the 3Di flexible composite (sail) concepts to a project we did for a project making process components for composite wings at Airbus. 

Both structural (rigid) composites and flexible composites (sails) are very complex with lots of progress to be made.

Structural composites is an awesome field of engineering, although epoxy/fiberglass for consumer boats is already well understood and practiced so unless you get to work on exotics its all just plug and play.

Roll back my career a few decades and I'd be knocking on some of the sail cloth or sail makers doors.....

YMMV - good luck and keep us informed!

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When I was young and looking at schools and trying to figure out what to do.  I talk to a number of people in different parts of the industry.  One person told me the difference between owning your own boat and working on others will be in the path you choose. If you chose to work on recreational boat you will not be able to own one.  I choose to work commercial and have owned my own boats most of life and cruised and plan on continue on doing so. Choose wisely.

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On 8/28/2020 at 7:15 AM, Renegade-27 said:

consumer boats is already well understood and practiced so unless you get to work on exotics its all just plug and play.

 

Treating a material with zero ductility as simple plug and play is one reason the same stupid mistakes are made over and over...

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:17 PM, CalebG said:

I'm a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and I have been sailing for as long as I can remember.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to further my sailing career but I'm not sure how.  What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections.  That leads me to the question that's been plaguing me.

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

Be very careful mixing sailing and business.. that said .. good luck it is possible 

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Clearly some enthusiastic sailor/engineers have made a go of it so there are exceptions but the generalization still applies:

Avocations and Vocations Don't Mix.

You should try while you're young and have little to lose. You can then also look back without regret  and say you tried.

As a reflective footnote, also gives me pause to think how great it is in this country that  you have so many varied opportunities. Yeah, I know you're probably white and not poor , but still.....

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:17 PM, CalebG said:

I'm a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and I have been sailing for as long as I can remember.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to further my sailing career but I'm not sure how.  What I have gathered from my racing experience is that sailing at the highest levels is all about networking.  I've recently begun considering working in the sailing industry as an engineer in order to develop those networked connections.  That leads me to the question that's been plaguing me.

How does one get in contact/make connections with boat designers and manufacturers to look into a career in engineering Sailboats?

 

In the new world all yachts crew need licenses

As a sailor , with an engineers ticket in hand you have very many opportunities  in the marine industry

get the ticket now 

British MCA is the gold standard 

For tickets I’ve used Gravesend, London

... https://www.northkent.ac.uk/commercial-courses/national-maritime-training-centre.aspx

several other choices 

gravesend caters to industry 

ypu may be able to secure this ticket in the USA

google and ask 

 

 

 

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Being an engineer that owns a small business I go through a lot of resumes from engineers just out of school.  There are going to be some critical skills that employers are going to want to see on a resume.  Do some research into the industry and find out what are the typical design programs that are being used and try to learn those or at least show exposure to those.  Fluid dynamics and hydraulics would be a likely set of classes to take.  Also try to get exposure to utilizing programs that utilize 3d modeling and rendering.   Try to find an internship in the industry.  I am not a navel architect/engineer but become very competent in AutoCAD and I guarantee there will be job opportunities at least to earn $$$ and but maybe not design boats.  Usually as a student you can get a copy cheap.  Good luck, work hard,  do not whine, and read the room in your work place and you will advance and opportunities will find you.  Avoid HVAC boring as shit.

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9 hours ago, redboat said:

You should try while you're young and have little to lose. You can then also look back without regret  and say you tried.

Not an engineer but, this.

Getting to be the guy who test drives the Ferraris has a lot to do with having things break your way fairly early. And after your first break, it tends to come a little easier. Conversely, if you miss getting an early break, it tends to be much, much harder to catch one later.

So if you are thinking about something, try it now, while you're young. Your Opportunity costs are the lowest they'll ever be, and the potential for long-term compounded gain (catching another break, then another) will never be better. If it doesn't work out, you can always do something else.

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On 8/26/2020 at 5:04 PM, Liquid said:

Had an old friend turned naval architect that did make a living, but it wasn't in fast sailboats. His thoughts on designing race boats: it's a very, very small market and unless you are a 'pro athlete' level NA - you will be designing powerboats, ships and systems for other people - cause that pays the bills for normally talented people, or 99% of the population

This. More so, than in the past too. 40 years ago during the glory (?) days of the IOR there were lots of designers churning out custom race boats for lots of owners. Repeat customers every year or so as the rule changed. This happens a lot less now. There are probably a dozen or so yacht designers making a decent living at it. In the world. That is excepting those who have been hired by AC programs I guess.

I think there is more money in designing >40m superyachts, both sailing and power these days.

For a consistent paycheque, commercial NA's do better in most cases.

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7 hours ago, Bob Perry said:

"Avocations and Vocations Don't Mix."

Sometimes they do.

Yes indeed, and kudos for doing so. Being an old bastard I've been around for awhile and followed you and your work since way too long ago. You've always been able to self promote, get ink in various sailing publications (pre and post internet) and skillfully carved a niche for yourself in the sailing world. Very few are able to do that. It's not just the NA side and sailing about on your glorious creations. You  I'm certain would agree that the business side is the tough bit and where most brilliant designers are weakest.

But feel free to comment. I'll gladly defer to your personal experience.

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8 hours ago, Bob Perry said:

"Avocations and Vocations Don't Mix."

Sometimes they do.

Yes but there is that thing about having some tangential or even non-sequitur interest along with the (a)vocation merge---examples would be you, and also me, and Bruce Kirby, haha. I don't know if C.A. Marchaj thought about *anything* other than boats, ever, so he is kind of special. (Maybe I'm wrong! Maybe he had an advanced degree in Polish Literature or something).

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8 hours ago, B dock said:

  Avoid HVAC boring as shit.

Perfect! New England and the Pacific NW are great places to sail and do not have a large base of installed ac systems. In 10 years there will be much demand as the climate trends warmer. You could have your own biz with someone else doing the dull parts by then. 

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36 minutes ago, Slim said:

Perfect! New England and the Pacific NW are great places to sail and do not have a large base of installed ac systems. In 10 years there will be much demand as the climate trends warmer. You could have your own biz with someone else doing the dull parts by then. 

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1 hour ago, fastyacht said:

Yes but there is that thing about having some tangential or even non-sequitur interest along with the (a)vocation merge---examples would be you, and also me, and Bruce Kirby, haha. I don't know if C.A. Marchaj thought about *anything* other than boats, ever, so he is kind of special. (Maybe I'm wrong! Maybe he had an advanced degree in Polish Literature or something).

lol 

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On 8/26/2020 at 12:09 PM, stayoutofthemiddle said:

I'm a Mechanical Engineer. I had an offer from Harken after college but then paid about 20% below other industries. That gap will only widen over your career. Don't go into that industry as there isn't much money. Pick a more lucrative industry and buy your own boat! 

Same thing applies to engineers as Harley Davidson. They trade passion for salary...

And as a Harley engineer, still cannot design to one's passion.  It is and always will be a v-twin, air cooled, low reving machine.  Look at the marketing going from chain to belt.  You would think the world had come to an end.  Good thing is that as the white-gotteed crowd are dying off that they have some great electric units on the horizon.  But that will be once a large portion of the old guard die off or sell their old units and flood the market.  The new generation have been shown to not be lovers of present H-D motive product.

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