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Today's boat builders combine centuries-old traditional skills with some of the most cutting-edge technologies of the future. It's an industry that's full of opportunity and you can be a part of it. As a boat builder you can use your skills in fields like math, drafting, electronics, woodworking and chemistry to build a lucrative and rewarding career.

You can also be involved in the exciting field of composite technology. Approximately 90% of Maine boat builders utilize composite technologies in their work today. Not only that, the skills you learn in composite technology are in high demand around the world. Today, composites are being used in the aerospace industry, in designing race cars, for body armor in the military, in surfboards and skateboards and in the building of houses that can withstand hurricane force winds.

To learn more about how you can learn the skills to be part of today's boat building industry, contact one of the organizations below. There's a world of opportunity waiting for you.
Level 1 Photo
Level 1
Level 1 jobs require little or no previous experience; high school diploma is preferred
  • Dock Hand
  • Deck Hand
  • Yard Crew
  • Assistant Technician
  • Apprentice
Men Working Dock Hand
Dock hands are marina employees that assist customers with docking, securing boats, mooring, transportation, fueling, and other marina services. Often involves outside, seasonal work.

Deck Hand
A deck hand is the entry level for almost all professional crew jobs on yachts. They will be expected to do a variety of jobs and experience in the following can only be an asset; painting, sanding, varnishing, carpentry, buffing, polishing and finishing. Deckhands do not have to have sailing qualifications but having them is an asset.

Yard Crew
Jack-of-all trades who works on a variety of general jobs vital to running a successful marine facility. Often involves outside work, helping move boats to and from storage.

Assistant Technician
Works under the supervision of an experienced or master technician in any marine related technical field.

Apprentice
Works under the supervision of an experienced technician or journeyman in any marine related technical field. Pre-apprenticeship is available for juniors and seniors in high school.

Suggested High School Courses:
For all level 1-5 jobs it is suggested that you earn a high school diploma or GED that includes many of the following courses:

English/Language Arts Courses
All jobs require the ability to communicate with customers and co-workers through words and writing. Taking four years of English/Language Arts in high school will help give you necessary -writing and interpersonal skills needed to:
  • assist customers -written and verbally
  • read instructions
  • keep logs of daily work, fill out work orders
  • estimating and sales
  • managing other workers
Center for Technical Education Courses
Learning how to work with tools and fix problems will help you in any marine or composite related positions. It can be beneficial to take any courses that involve the use hand tools and require reading and understanding of plans or blue prints. Examples of these classes are:
  • technical drawing
  • drafting
  • computer aided design
  • automotive or marine mechanics
  • electrical training
  • basic carpentry and/or composites
  • engineering
  • machining and welding
Math & Computer Courses
Taking algebra, geometry, and trigonometry in high school are important for any job. Math classes will help you develop strong problem-solving skills.
  • accurate measurements (lengths and widths of boats, materials needed for a job)
  • how to mix chemicals in proper ratios
  • creating orders or estimates
  • computer skills for design work or job communications
  • computer skills to research parts or service instructions
  • reading blueprints or technical drawings
  • converting measurements to metric
  • understanding budgets and accounting basics
Science Courses
Taking Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in high school will also help you develop strong problem solving skills through the hands-on projects you will have to do in these courses. Science knowledge and skills become increasingly important if you want to move to higher level marine and composite jobs.

Principles of physics are predominant in the marine world where technicians must understand:
  • buoyancy
  • material strength
  • effects of pressure and friction
  • mechanical advantages of gears, blocks and winches
Also strongly suggested:
  • electrical theory
  • mechanical theory
  • chemical/material corrosion
  • floatation

History, Social Studies, Economics Courses
Why these courses? History will help you better understand people from different backgrounds and cultures. You could be working with customers from all over the world and the better you understand the experiences of others through history, will give you the "life" skills required of any job. There and laws and regulations that govern the marine industry, so knowing how our government makes and enforces rules will help you too. If you ever want to move into a business role, understanding economics will help you a great deal.
Further Education and Training
High School Diploma or GED is preferred. Some of these jobs are suitable for high school or college students part time or seasonally while enrolled in school.

Usually training is available on-the-job and may only take a few days to several months.
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