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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 2 Photo
Level 2
Level 2 jobs require some previous experience or training
  • Equipment Operator
  • Composite Technician
  • CNC Machinist
  • Carpenter/Joiner/Shipwright
  • Electronics Technician
  • Facilities Manager
  • Parts Manager
  • Marine Electrician
  • Marine Systems Technician
  • HVAC Technician
  • Mechanic (Gas & Diesel)
  • Welder/Fabricator/Machinist
  • Propeller Specialist
  • Rigger
  • Outboard Technician
  • Marine or Composite Finisher
Men Working Equipment Operator
Different marine facilities use different types of equipment such as marine hoists, forklifts, trucks, trailers, and cranes. Equipment operators should be trained and certified. Operators are responsible for tasks such as, but not limited to: pulling boats from dry storage and putting them in the water, hauling boats in and out of the water and moving them for service.

Composite Technician
Composite Technicians are specialists that understand the use and application of fiber reinforced laminates. Technicians are responsible for overseeing the construction of parts and the operation of fabrication processes and in some cases can be called upon to repair laminates.

CNC Machinist
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine operators are needed in many types of marine and composite manufacturing jobs where parts are cut using these precision, computerized cutting tools.

Carpenter/Joiner/Shipwright
Boat Carpenters, or Joiners, are woodworkers that build boats from the keel up or are employed solely for the purpose of installing interior wood work on any type of boat.

Electronics Technician
Electronics Technicians specialize in the installation, integration, and repair of electronic equipment used in navigation, systems monitoring and entertainment.

Facilities Manager
Facilities managers are responsible for the maintenance and functionality of physical company assets and property which may include equipment, interior and exterior of buildings, exterior/waterfront areas, and docks.

Parts Manager
Parts Managers are members of the Service Department team that are responsible for managing parts inventories, ordering, and disposition of parts to jobs. A strong working knowledge of boat systems and components is preferred

Marine Electrician
Marine Electricians install, maintain, and repair both DC and AC electrical systems and components.

Marine Systems Technician
A Marine Systems Technician is a jack-of-all trades when it comes to system installations, maintenance and repair of boat systems. They generally have a working knowledge and practical skill sets that apply to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in addition to others.

HVAC Technician
HVAC Technicians are EPA Certified installers of Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems contained on boats. They operate all standard machine tools, read drawings, use precision measuring instruments and use hand tools.

Mechanic (Gas & Diesel)
A marine mechanic installs, maintains, or repairs mechanical systems on vessels. Mechanical systems may include engine sets, steering systems, pumps, generators, etc.

Welder/Fabricator/Machinist
Marine Welders construct or repair metal products by joining parts either manually (using a variety of welding methods including electric arc, MIG and TIG welding or oxy-acetylene welding) or by machine. These parts are used to complete structures and/or equipment.

Propeller Specialist
A Propeller Specialist is skilled in the service and repair of all types of marine propellers. This includes estimating and cost analysis before beginning a repair, welding straightening, re-pitching, balancing, polishing, painting, etc.

Rigger, Sail
Sailboat riggers install, adjust, and modify sailboat standing and running rigging and assemble and dress masts and spars.

Rigger, Power
Outboard-motorboat rigger installs accessories in outboard or inboard motorboats: drills holes, attaches brackets, and installs accessories, such as lights, batteries, ignition switches, fuel tanks, and guide pulleys, using hand tools and power tools. May change propellers and adjust motors to obtain maximum performance. Riggers may install outboard and inboard motors and controls, using hand tools. May load boats on trailers and make deliveries to customers.

Outboard Technician
An Outboard Engine Technician performs maintenance and repair of all outboard motor systems. These systems include Ignition, Electrical, Oil Injection, Fuel Injection, Carburetion, Hydraulic, Engine Mechanical and Drive Train. May also be called upon to perform the functions of a Rigger, Power.

Marine or Composite Finisher
Finishers are responsible for applying finish coats (paint, special coatings or varnish) to vessels or composite parts. Finishes may be applied by brush or sprayed.

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. Post secondary education or technical training degree/certificate is a plus.

Usually training is available on-the-job and may only take a few months to a year of working with experienced workers. Certain jobs will require previous vocational training and specific certifications. Mechanics and outboard technicians often get trained and certified from specific engine or component manufacturers.

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