Welcome to the What's New page and archive

09/29/2017 - Blue Horizons 30, one of our favorite newer designs, is now on the website.  This liveaboard, pilothouse, voyaging, twin keeled yacht for up to four people and with a single sail Chinese rig is the first in what we hope may be a new series of twin keel designs between 24' and 36'.  By using twin keels we have a vessel you can beach upright for routine bottom cleaning and painting, which saves an enormous amount is boat yard charges.  Another aspect to this is that in some areas where harbors are crowded a vessel which sits upright, if there isn't enough water to float her at low tide, can open up space to anchor which can really help.  Twin keels are exceptionally good to windward in moderate to heavy winds, though you have to plan for a little more sail area in light winds.  Though of more moderate displacement than many single keel voyaging yachts Blue Horizons 30 is very good at performing well at a variety of loading conditions without a performance penalty.  Choosing twin keels works well for an offshore yacht because the unusual dynamic characteristics of twin keel yachts will give her a level of comfort hard to achieve even in the most efficiently designed single keel voyaging yacht.  A modest part of this is just that she will have good steering characteristics, responsive, but steady on the helm.  Of much greater importance is the resistance to rolling and rapid roll dampening of twin keels both at sea and in port.  This is because the spreading of the ballast out to the sides greatly increases the roll moment of inertia and also because the twin keels entrain a much larger mass of water which must to a great extent be moved with the boat if it is to roll.  The remarkably steady feel you get at sea under conditions that otherwise would be very fatiguing makes long passages more enjoyable.  Rolls from powerboat wakes inshore and in harbor become much less of a concern as well.  When we did this design we fully lofted it and did patterns for the building jig and every part of the vessel it made sense to pre-cut.  These can be used either to layout the pieces by hand on the materials, or can used to computer cut all these parts.  Computer cutting the building jig and various parts saves an enormous amount of time and effort.  Done this way custom designed and built vessels can be no more expensive than an equally well built stock boat.  We are now in an era which encourages development of much more individual designs.  On vessels of any significant size it no longer makes sense for the experienced sailor not to choose a design really close to their heart.

06/09/2017 - I'm glad to report that last fall's enormous surge in number of Yacht Design School students signing up seems to be back to a more normal number.  This means for quite awhile our lesson corrections have been able to go out in a much more timely fashion.  We are also pleased that our lesson revisions are coming along very well.  We note that much of what we are adding to the curriculum lately goes beyond what most designers have learned.  We are teaching this subject in more depth than has ever been attempted before.  Achieving yacht design excellence is not a difficult learning process, but, done right, it is a deep one.  I suppose this is one of the reasons it becomes a life long fascination for so many of us in the field. .... I want to mention here again the tremendous work done by our student Seth Colby on his extremely careful lines and offsets restoration of N. G. Herreshoff's IAlerion III.  He went far beyond what we expected.  He worked not only from our previous work and the drawings and offsets supplied by Mystic Seaport and the Hart Collection at the MIT Museum, but also from examining the Alerion herself at Mystic Seaport and discussions at the Herreshoff Museum at Bristol Rhode Island.  I was particularly interested that he found the existing offsets and lines taken off at Mystic appeared to have an area aft which appeared to be un-fair.  This was subtle, and in consultation we came to believe that probably the original vessel has changed shape very slightly over time as she has set out of water in a cradle for many years.  This would be quite normal, but the most interesting thing to me was that when this area was carefully re-faired, working to quite small fractions of an inch by Mr. Colby to the type of water flow lines implied by Herreshoff's methods and the remainder of the vessel, the area sort of snapped into focus for me and I felt that Seth had tapped in to what Herreshoff had intended better than I could myself.  Even though the revisions were generally small fractions of an inch, I feel Seth has given us the best representation of Herreshoff's intent, and the original vessel as built, that we have had to date.  We are discussing going on to create more drawings to fill in all the missing elements of the design with detailed drawings.  Of course it is important to remember that the rights to this design remain entirely with the Hart Collection at MIT and anyone wanting to use our supplemental drawings for wood/epoxy construction as well as these lines will always need to get their permission to build an Alerion and pay them their royalty for their drawings before we can supply them with our drawings.

04/01/2017 - From the time since our last update of this page, you can see how terribly busy we have been.  We are still working on major revisions to our YDS Lessons 12 & 13, have just finished some revisions and additions to YDS Lesson 10, and are also working on revisions to YDS Lesson 4A.  One of our students, Seth Colby, is working on some additions to our material on the Herreshoff "Alerion".  He's doing a great job and out of respect for a great designer has gone deeper into this than most people would have.  He's visited the original vessel at Mystic Seaport and has visited the model room at the Herreshoff Museum. .... We're pretty much caught up on lesson corrections for the main curriculum.  Due to the large number of lessons coming in to be corrected and to the large number of students signing up, which looks like a record surge, we got quite behind on lesson corrections for awhile.  Another factor which has become more significant in recent years and causes corrections to take longer is that more students are submitting files for assistance and reassurance before sending in the final batch of files for correction.  It does look like we are beginning to get back to our goal of not taking longer than two weeks to get a corrected lesson back to a student. .... I hope, now that we are caught up with lesson corrections, we'll be able to add some of our more recent custom designs to our stock plans.  There are at least 6 new designs we should add, plus some photos that have come in on our designs, and some partial designs we've been working on.

09/08/2016 -  In our brokerage section, take a look at the Westsail 32 Elsa.  She might be a good boat for a young couple or small family wanting a boat that they can buy inexpensively and polish up to have a fine vessel suitable for extensive cruising, living aboard, and voyaging.  An older couple might view her as a good bet for a retirement home, on which they need not spend their life savings.  Invest what you've accumulated in a good indexed mutual fund from Vanguard and live on the return you get after deducting for inflation.  Take a look.  She might very well be a good deal for you.  As always remember we haven't seen this vessel and you should get someone very familiar with restoring fiberglass vessels to survey her for you.

07/11/2016 - This year we are devoting more time than usual to adding more material from our research and from material suggested by other design firms, including our alumni.  These are mostly revisions in our later lessons, but we still do add material to the earlier lessons as well.  When we were getting our own formal education in yacht and small craft naval architecture, there was nowhere near the amount of knowledge accumulated that we have today.  We are so grateful to the the great designers and researchers who've shared the advances of recent decades with us.  Our own advances in adding to the knowledge base we can teach are only possible because we are building on the work of these extremely bright people who've taught us so much.  It is a great pleasure to be able to be of service to the profession of yacht and small craft naval architecture and particularly to our individual students.

01/08/2016 - We are revising our YDS Lesson 3b on developed surface hulls again.  This important lesson is sometimes one that people require a lot of help on and we've revised it over time to be more complete and easier to learn.  Now with the help of the comments of several students we think we have found a way to use two simple exercises to make it easier for students to get comfortable with the basic concepts.  This knowledge isn't being taught elsewhere which means that for anyone wishing to design in metal or plywood, our students have a tremendous advantage.  The knowledge in this lesson allows designing vessels rapidly in which all the hull panels can be "un-rolled" into flat sheets without distortion.  The means that the panels can all be CNC cut and will be able to be wrapped around the hull easily without having to work with heat, impact, cutting, and welding to make it fit into shape.  Only the final welding to the rest of the vessel need be done.  This enormously reduces the cost of constructing the hull.  Our students who've taken this lesson are profiting from being among the few designers who can do this type of work in an era in which it makes a huge difference.  .... We are also pleased to announce that we now have a client who is having us do up our Ha' Penny 20 design.  This is another small vessel in our Coin Collection series.  She is best described as a flush deck with pilot house, Chinese rigged, heavy displacement voyaging yacht.  Where the smaller 15' Farthing is described as a minimum voyaging yacht for one person, Ha' Penny is best described as a live aboard voyaging yacht for one or a minimum voyaging yacht for two.  So far she looks like a real gem.

12/24/2015 - For many of us tomorrow is a special family day when we all get together and have a very good time.  Today we also are thinking of how much we hope that everyone will think in terms of including people of all backgrounds in their good wishes.  Today we see too many people who define others, whom they do not see as like them, as somehow less deserving of our compassion and acceptance.  For those who seek to exclude others because they are perceived as different we hope with all our heart that they will find it in themselves to change.  If they cannot change, and they continue to preach hate, exclusion, and regard others as not worthy of being treated as fully human, we hope that people will turn away from their messages of hate and exclusion and find ways to reach out to others.  In the coming year we hope, and believe, we will see a renewed spirit of embracing each other as neighbors and friends for whom we wish the very best. - Tom & Nannette

12/07/2015 - This is the time of year when many of your relatives may be bewildered about what you would like for a gift.  If they ask, why not mention that you could use the next Lesson in the YDS course?  For those relatives on a tighter budget think about one of the books we recommend and sell.  If your family is ready for a bigger move such as having a custom vessel designed for you, consider having us do a Custom Design Quote and the family can underwrite the Concept Design drawings, normally 10% of the design cost.   On the other hand you may know a young person who has expressed an interest in yacht design.  It is common for young people in the mid to late teenage years to decide they would be interested in a yacht design career.  Maybe you can get them started in our Yacht Design School through YDS Lesson One if they already have CAD experience from school, or our CAD Course, if they are totally new to on screen design.  In any case we hope you are all looking forward to good times with your family and friends in this holiday season.

11/26/2015 - For many of our students, clients and friends this is the US Thanksgiving holiday.  We are having a pretty big get together here with a lot of family.  Nannette has cooked two turkeys, so there should be plenty for all.  We will be thinking of all of you out there today and hope everyone will have a wonderful Thankgiving.

11/04/2015 - We finally got a few minutes to put some pictures on the site of a couple of boats built from our stock plans.  There are some construction and sailing photos of our Lake Sailor 4m car top canoe yawl.  She's a great little vessel for modest adventures.  We've gotten massive numbers of pictures finally of one of our Farthing 15 minimum voyaging yachts.  The photos aren't really professional quality but we picked out a few interesting ones for the Farthing page.  Though these boats aren't too far from being the same length they couldn't be much more different.  One is a very light vessel for daysailing and beach camping type cruising in semi-protected to protected waters.  The other is a heavy displacement small voyaging yacht with which you could go around the world if you wanted.

11/03/2015 –  For the first time since about 2005 we are caught up enough on our custom design work to say we can easily take on two more projects for the coming months.  Usually we are so overloaded we are worried about taking on more jobs.  It is quite a relief to have this loosen up a bit.  This reduced pressure on the business means lower costs for our drafting work and therefore we can quote a bit lower than we’ve been able to for some time.  If you want a custom design now is the time to ask for a quote on a contract price to do a custom design.  Look through our stock plans and our idea designs for ideas on what types most appeal to you, but remember these represent only the more popular stock plans.  If you wanted a large super light sail boat for coastal cruising with “starship” styling we are perfectly happy to design one for you.  Conversely if you want a really nice 30’ heavy displacement ultimate liveaboard motorsailer we’d dearly love to design one of those as well.  We mention that for a reason.  Above all our other idea designs we'd love to do up our Claymore 30 idea design.  Take a look at the description.  We'd love to do her up so the quote would be especially tempting. …. We now seem to be able to correct our Yacht Design School lessons much faster than we’ve been able to in the past.  We’ve always tried to correct lessons within two weeks, even given students with massive amounts of questions and needing a lot of help.  We notice that lately we’ve been getting lessons corrected much faster even though actual time per lesson seems to be going up as people get more used to using email to pose a lot more questions.

10/08/2015 - You will find our Silver Penny 25 design added to the Stock Plans in the Design Section of this web site.  This aluminum version of our Penny 25 is built using CNC cut transverse frames and hull and deck plating.  In addition all the interior plywood panels which form the joinerwork have been CNC cut as well.  This has enormously speeded up the construction of the first boat.  ....  We've caught up on our Yacht Design School lesson correcting, which got behind while we were on our boat for a month.  We should be able to correct lessons more promptly the rest of this year.  ....  As many of our advanced students know we've been doing a lot of revision to some of the later lessons in the Yacht Design School main curriculum.  It is good to see that even after 26 years we can find new material to add and better ways to teach.  We have gotten a lot of help from other professionals in constantly upgrading the curriculum and some times when I read through these lessons I marvel at how much knowledge we present and how much of it simply isn't available anywhere else in a form accessible to students of yacht and small craft naval architecture.  We are very proud of our students.  We have seen some extraordinary work done by them.  When you see a set of student drawings that you know are not only good but truly excellent and favorably comparable to the work of truly great designers, it really makes running this school very gratifying.  ....  The huge expansion of YDS over the last 12 months has been gratifying, but for a time has made it difficult to take on as many new custom design projects as we normally have.  We're hoping that this will even out a bit and we can take on more new projects soon.

09/03/2015 -  Well, we are back in our offices in Eastport, after one of the toughest cruises we've ever had.  Most of the problems and stresses being due to Tom's arthritis proving to be worse than anticipated.  We've been out of touch with all of our clients and students for so long that I fear apologies are in order to many of you.  We had a rosy picture of stopping every few days somewhere we could access the Internet easily and keeping up with things that way.  It didn't work that way in practice.  I should have realized that much of the Maine coast is still too remote to allow easy access.  I'm sure we will find that we have some problems to work out and we'll get to them absolutely as fast as possible.  We should be in touch with everyone within a couple of days.  Again our apologies for all inconveniences.  I doubt we'll be going on any long cruises again so this shouldn't be a problem in the future.  Our abject apologies to Nathan Shawl our CAD Course instructor who had to field questions while we were gone.  We put much more on him than we intended and without giving him some of the tools to make things easier on him.

07/25/2015 - Tom and Nannette will be taking a few weeks in August to bring our double ended pilothouse sloop "Dunnechtan" back up the coast to Eastport.  While we'll be taking our computers, some Wifi gear, and our cell phone with us, there will inevitably on this remote coastline be extende periods of time when we are unlikely to be able to send orders, answer emails, or be reached by phone.  If you email us, order lessons, or order plans you may have quite a wait.  Don't worry we will get to everything as fast as we can, but by modern standards responses will be very slow.  For those who haven't cruised this coast it is stunningly beautiful, often remote and wild, yet with amazing small harbors and sheltered passages as well as open passages in which you suddenly are essentially offshore.  There is a great deal of really beautiful wild life.  In some places the deer see so little of human beings that they will stand and watch you as you walk by just a few feet away.  There are eagles and ospreys in the air, seals, porpoise, and whales about you in the water.  In many a remote harbor you hear coyotes in the night.  All of this is in settings of wild beauty punctuated occasionally by tidy little harbor towns where the local families have lived there for many generations and history is deep.

07/13/2015 - Our Yacht Design School tuition fees are all updated and should be good for awhile.  We will review them again late in the year to make sure we've properly balanced the fees so that the increase in the size of the school, which has cut into our design time, won't result in a loss in income due to having to take on less design work to have plenty of time available for the larger number of students.  ....  Tom and Nannette are hoping to be able to take some time in August to bring our boat back up the coast to her home port.  That should be great fun and since it has been three years since we took more than a day off at a time we probably need it.  Of course, as many of you, who know us personally, can imagine we will be taking our lesson revision projects with us and in every port where we can connect with WiFi we'll be answering email and filling orders.  We'll let you know more as the time approaches.

07/06/2015 – We are happy to report that our students have reacted positively to our rise in Yacht Design School tuition, which we put into effect over the last couple of weeks.  We are still by far the lowest cost school of yacht and small craft naval architecture and probably always will be, simply because we have the leanest most efficient business structure.  Because we have the deepest curriculum we attract plenty of students by referral by design firms and by students.  We do not need to advertise, which also keeps costs down.  …. We have also carefully analyzed the fee for our elective CAD Course as well.  Our great instructor for this course, Nathan Shawl has urged keeping the fee down as long as we could so it has been quite a few years since we raised this fee.  We’ve been concentrating instead on trying to revise the lessons to make things as clear and easy to learn as we can, in hopes of reducing the correction times to save money that way.  While that has helped and we are continuing this process, we finally had to agree that we had reached the point where at least a moderate rise had to be made.  If you haven’t signed up for the CAD Course yet, next weekend we will be raising the cost to $1,099.  This gives you a week to order before the fee goes up and pay at the lower price.

06/10/2015:  We’re sorry to have been so long between news updates, but we’ve been extraordinarily busy.  In the last 3/4s of a year Yacht Design School, which has grown steadily for 27 years, and has been the largest school of yacht and small craft naval architecture since about 2002, has taken a huge jump in size. 

This meant that we’ve had to cut back on the design work we take in to have plenty of time for our students.  Some of that reduction in design income isn’t made up by the increase in students paying tuition, because we haven’t kept our tuition fees current with the level of what we charge per hour for design work.  While we certainly shouldn’t worry about raising our rates given a comparison with those of our competition, as shown below, students who’ve been with us awhile know we are reluctant to raise their costs.  However, while we’ve always considered ourselves primarily a design firm which used some time to run a school, these days we are obviously more a school which has time for its instructors to do a modest amount of design work.

            It has taken a few months to sort out the results of the large jump in the school’s size and be sure what to do.  One of our best sources of ideas on how to improve our curriculum comes from student questions.  We have put a lot of time into analyzing where in the curriculum students have the most concerns and are adding explanatory material and illustrations to reduce the support hours needed.  While this helps minimize the tuition needed, it can’t do the whole job.  We still need a 15% increase in the school’s tuition rates.  Then we will work on further lesson revisions to keep down support time, without putting limits on any student’s time with us.  If a further rise is needed, we will do it late in the year.  Aside from rises we might need to cover inflation, that should do it for a while.

            Even though our major competition has a different business model and has to charge more than we do, it is also prudent to check what they are doing.  We find that while they were charging about 54% more than we do, they just raised their rates by another 67%.  They are now charging 156% more than we do.  We hasten to add that given their business model with a lot of advertising expenses, etc.  we’re sure they are not over charging, and they genuinely needed this rise to be on a sound financial footing. 

Given that ours is the more in depth curriculum, that we have no monthly fees student’s need to pay for support, and that we have a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee on any lessons acquired that we haven’t corrected at least once, while they have a “no refunds” policy, it is obvious there is no competitive reason to restrict our charges.  Leaving them as low as they have been is then pointless if it makes income too tight.  After all the disparity in rates is great enough so that in some cases it may actually be a negative, in that people may worry we are charging too little!  Also most of the potential students out there are already signing up with us.  It is hard to believe a modest rise will lose us any students given the cost of the competition’s program.

            We are announcing this small rate rise in advance so everyone will have a few days to order some lessons ahead at the old rates if they wish.  In the past we’ve found that so few people felt the rise to be significant that few folks take advantage of this, but it seems a decent gesture anyway.

            We will update the YDS Brochure first, then the later lessons where there are fewer students at a time, and finally the earlier lessons where the highest concentrations of students are.

 

04/17/2015 - I'm pleased to say we were finally able to locate and talk to the new President of Westlawn, David Smyth and can report that Westlawn is now on a sound financial footing and should be able to work their way back to being a worthy competitor.  I want to talk about that here as I have been afraid that in answering inquiries from potential students about what was going on my confusion about what was happening might have been unfairly interpreted to indicate a negative view of their future.  While naturally we are very proud of our school and obviously feel we are the best school, or we wouldn't be running Yacht Design School, we do recognize that no one school will be a good "fit" for everyone.  We feel it is good for the industry to have two competing major schools, rather than just ours.  While we have always felt we were more competing with ourselves to keep bettering our curriculum rather than competing with Westlawn, a horse always runs faster if there is someone to race against.  At present Westlawn retains the same staff, though I suppose that will change, and we are sure the new owners will push hard to improve the school.

02/25/2015 - This is a tough winter here in Eastport.  We've had about a "blizzard" a week for some time now and the city is hunkered down and working hard just to move enough snow away to have room to put the new snow.  It's cold enough in the office despite two wood stoves so we've had to move into two downstairs rooms much of the time.  I suppose what with the cold, snow and wood moving, feeding the stoves and so forth our work time is cut into a lot but we sure don't have anything else to do in the winter here but work.  Since our major competitor in yacht design instruction faltered, was sold to some folks on the West Coast who apparently are putting in a new crew and reviving the school, we've had a vast increase in the number of students enrolling in our Yacht Design School.  This is definitely overloading us heavily and we are working hard on ways to speed up lesson correction and still keep expanding our offerings.  In any case I think our students are having a good time and learning a lot.  Jobs are out there waiting for them so ultimately everything should work out well.

12/27/2014 - A philosophical type recently said that what people most want to know about a company or school is not "what" they do or "how" they do it, but WHY they do it:  Therefore Tom has done up a little essay "Why We Run Yacht Design School".  There will be other links to it on the site.  It probably will tell you a lot about what makes us tick.  Do have fun reading it.

12/24/2014 – Dear clients, students, and friends we do hope that everyone, whether celebrating tomorrow’s holiday, or not, has had a good year.  We are thinking of so many of you this season and have been very happy to work with you over the course of the year.  This has been a big year for us.  With the the advice of Nathan Shawl, our “CAD Course” instructor, we’ve been slowly revising the CAD Course trying to find as many ways to improve our student’s experience as possible.  Andrei Rochian is working hard on helping us develop a curriculum for the Scan&Solve finite element analysis plug-in for the Rhino CAD program.  Tom is working in the bits of time he can spare from other work on finishing up a book on materials properties to help students have an easier time judging what to use where.  He is also working hard on a major revision of Lessons 12 and 13 on materials science and structural analysis to make them less dependent upon a series of thick expensive engineering textbooks and still cover the material of use in our field in more depth.  ….  Yacht Design School has had a substantial increase in students this year beyond the usual moderate increase.  Moreover, this fall the number of inquiries and students signing up increased to landslide proportions.  This has caused a pile up of work and some students have had to wait longer than usual for lesson corrections.  Design clients have had some confusion as we tried to keep their projects going well, but still keep up with the School inquiries and lessons.  This landslide of inquiries and new students was initially inexplicable as we do not advertise, beyond this web site.  However a few weeks ago our contacts in the industry advised us that a competing school is attempting to find another parent body to take it over.  We went to them and offered to acquire their school to make sure that their students were not without a way to complete their curriculum.  So far there has not been much enthusiasm for our offer.  We welcome their students who are coming to us.  Without rights to the other curriculum we cannot offer the option of continuing the program they started.  All we can do is start them over in our curriculum, but we will do our very best to help them adapt and learn rapidly.  We hope they take some comfort in that our school has a different cost structure and therefore lower tuition.

11/26/2014 - We've completed the pricing update.  We were quite interested that the response seemed to be essentially that it was "probably about time".  We thank you for your support.  We are pleased with the way the school is going.  We are working on a new and exciting additional curriculum which we hope to introduce in a few months teaching some advanced computer aided design methods not previously available to yacht designers.  We continue to revise and extend our main curriculum lessons 12 and 13 on materials science and structural analysis.  Right now we are working on a companion text for Lessons 12 and 13 to summarize materials characteristics normally used in yacht and commercial craft.

11/23/2014 - We've modestly updated the pricing on Yacht Design School lessons 12 through 20, as described below.  Students and potential students will have a few more days before we go back into the system to update the earlier lesson's pricing.  Tom wants students to have an opportunity to order additional lessons at the earlier slightly lower price. .... 2014 has been a good year for YDS, we continue to revise all lessons to add more information, better explanations, and the results of research.  YDS remains the most up to date, in depth, curriculum in yacht and small craft naval architecture on the planet.  This is because of steady year in and year out study on our part, the continuing probing questions of our students, which helps us improve the lessons, and the assistance of great yacht designers who have generously shared their research and trade secrets with us.

11/20/2014 - Your Christmas List?  Nannette informs us that we need to raise the fees modestly at Yacht Design School.  While we are at the moment charging about 1/2 what our closest "competition" is charging, we do regret any increases.  You can still order lessons at the current pricing.  The new pricing will be $50 more per lesson.  This is really less than we should charge but this will get us by for now.  Tom will start working on updates to the web site including these price changes sometime this afternoon.  First we will work on the YDS Brochure, then the old, pretty much obsolete, enrollment form.  Then we will start on the later lessons in the curriculum and work our way down to the earlier lessons in the PayPal based shopping cart system.  This will take awhile to complete and you should have time to order lessons or suggest to your family that they surprise you by acquiring a few lessons ahead at the old price.  Really our lesson fees were getting ridiculously low, but we still do wish we weren't forced to raise pricing.  It has been a long time since we did so.

11/20/2014 - We've been extraordinarily busy this fall as our Yacht Design School enrollment has increased suddenly and dramatically.  Inquiries have suggested concerns about one of our "competitors" which we want to reassure people about. We do want to say that in all fairness we feel they will continue and survive and will be acquired by some good parent organization which will keep the program going.  We have offered to help, if our help should be wanted, so ultimately we feel no one need fear lost educational continuity despite some email we have been getting from concerned folks.  We want students to choose our school because of our curriculum depth and reputation for teaching theory, practice, and judgment.  We do not want to win students because of concerns about a competitor, which we believe will come to nothing.

08/16/2014 - We seem to have our Internet service reasonably sorted out now.  We are catching up on our work with everyone reasonably well now. .... We now have one of our students, Jay Majors, helping us with some of our lesson revision work by taking lists of illustrations and other revisions we need to do up and proposing implementations for our consideration.  This should free up more time for Tom to work on the more technical revisions covering advanced structural concepts and various aerodynamic and hydrodynamic concepts which we want to cover.

20140728 – For those of you waiting to hear from us on email lesson corrections and drafting projects:  We lost a whole week instead of a day when moving from the temporary Otis office back to our main office in Eastport.  Having been assured that the phone and Internet service were hooked up and working we transferred our personal offices to Eastport only to find that, while folks could get to us via telephone OK, we couldn’t get on the Internet to get our email.  Unfortunately we then wasted the rest of the work week trying to work through the Fairpoint communications company’s low level tech support.  Who kept assuring us that it would be working within 24 hours … everyday.  Since this wasn’t happening and we weren’t getting firm answers, on the second day we asked that we be referred up the line to someone who could give us more definite information.   These folks would not refer us to a supervisor, a manager, and eventually refused to connect us to a vice president, the president, or at least the president’s assistant.   Now if you will forgive a short business management lecture, it should be obvious that one of your greatest resources, as a business, is your dissatisfied customer.  They are the ones who can teach you the most about how you can improve your company.  Also the most loyal customer is one who had a problem and had it solved with sympathy and attention from people in authority as soon as possible.  The last thing you want is to keep people from talking to management about problems.  The latest news is that we’ve been told a service technician will come around on August 4th!  In the meantime we can go down to the town library for two or three hours in the middle of the day and answer email, collect orders, send out lesson corrections and update the site.  So from your point of view there should be no more than minor delays in response time and we should be nearly up to normal speed from now on, though drafting time will suffer a bit until we get better service.  Once the communications are all worked out we should be able to work straight along very nicely.  We are very sorry for any delays.  If anyone out there knows numbers we can call to get to the President or other higher ups at Fairpoint, let us know.  Investigation shows that they lost $32 million last year.  I bet they could take a big bite out of that loss, if I could get through to them that their telephone representatives are blocking them from ever hearing about dissatisfied customers.  I’m sure they would like to know that and as a courtesy I would like to get through to someone.

07/20/2014 - While we still have some stuff which will have to be moved later, we should be back in our main office and operational there by late Tuesday the 22nd.  In the meantime you can expect it to be spotty getting in touch with us.  It will be great to be back in Eastport, which is one of the greatest places to live on Earth.  In a tiny city of about 1,640 people we have an amazing little world.  Eastport is on an island between Passamaquoddy and Cobscook Bays.  The large tide range stirs up the water so that in winter warmer water is brought to the surface, making Eastport about 10 degrees warmer than inland.  In the summer the same churning brings cooler water to the surface and keeps the city about 10 degrees cooler than towns inland from us.  This gives us the most moderate micro-climate in Maine.  In this little city we have a beautiful restored Victorian brick downtown right on the water, an airport capable to handling aircraft up to corporate jet size, and a deep water port deeper than any port on the East Coast other than the Port of New York.  Salmon farming is a big industry and can be quite fascinating to learn about.  Wildlife on land and in the water abounds.  On the water we see whales frequently and it is common for people to go out and watch them in the summer.  There are also seals, a wide variety of fish, plus ospreys and many eagles.  On the south end of town friends have seen as many as 14 eagles simultaneously.  There is no hunting anywhere on the island, which means that the wildlife has established its own balance.  You will see foxes, and rabbits, and hear coyotes.  The relationship between these three is very important as none get out of balance and all are very healthy looking.  Especially impressive are the deer, which have lost enough of their fear of people through lack of hunting that they will come right into town in the evenings and do no more than move away a bit and watch you when you pass by.  These deer are far more healthy looking than the average with very rich color. Some have gotten quite interested in people and Tom has seen a fellow out jogging with a fascinated deer "jogging" along after him about 100 feet back.  When we go down the path to the cove where we keep our boat we often see the deer who simply move aside a bit and watch us with interest.  About once a year a moose will wander into town and amble down main street looking in the shop windows.  This is a friendly little city where people help each other and where if you are interested it is very easy to participate in city government to any extent you want.  Also Eastport hosts The Boat School one of the oldest schools training people for professional boat building in the United States and of course our Yacht Design School, which seems to be the largest in the world now.

07/07/2014 - We are finally moving back into our main office in Eastport, Maine.  Our personal offices have been in Otis, Maine for several years while we worked on a boat project in the central Maine coast.  We will be happy to get back to our main office as the bulk of our library is there, along with our shop, etc.  This will be happening over the next week so please excuse any interruptions in response.  As always email will be the best way for most of you to communicate with us but there may be delays in answering.  The telephone number on the home page is will remain active for awhile but there will soon be no one there.  The new number is 207-853-0071.  There may or may not be someone there until we get everything transferred.  Email is the best for a good solid detailed reply that you can keep and re-read as much as you want, but we do understand that sometimes you really just want to talk to a friendly voice.  We apologize for any delays in communication over the next week.

05/09/2014 - We've had a couple of people call with problems getting on to our web site.  This wasn't a problem at our end.  As near as we can tell somebody put a spam site on the same server farm which hosts our web site.  Of course as soon as a spam site is detected the server farm is automatically "blacklisted" until they remove it.  Once it is removed it takes awhile for the servers around the world to update their lists.  This usually happens in a few hours but it can take longer.  So one spammer in effects causes interruptions for hundreds of completely innocent web sites, not to mention causing problems for the people running the server farm.  In this case our site was among the ones whose access was cut off temporarily.  By the time you read this probably in most areas the problem will be over with.  While there was no way we could prevent this, we are deeply sorry for inconvenience it has caused our clients and students.

04/23/2014 - We've added some additional information to the Yacht Design School page on international Rhino software orders.  Of course there is no problem with us selling our own Lessons and Courses direct anywhere in the world.  We sell Rhino and its plug-ins direct to you if you are in the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, otherwise it is best to have us send you ordering information for your particular region.  Let's face it the present distributorship system has some bugs in it.  We can direct you through the system better if we send you direct to a seller in your area. Simply email us your request to direct you to the seller in your region and we will direct you to them and we will send them confirmation that you are a YDS student. 

03/05/2014 - We have just finished up work on two custom designs which we will make available for stock plans sales soon.  The first of these is an aluminum version of the "Penny 25", which we call the "Silver Penny".  This multichine vessel is quite a rugged looking Chinese rigged voyaging yacht for a couple or a small family.  The second is the "Blue Horizons 30" a twin keel Chinese rig pilothouse voyaging yacht.

01/03/2014 - We are on the edge of another big winter storm.  Since this is not an icing event it should not have the impact that the previous entry describes.  Nevertheless we are just getting caught up from that and there is the possibility that we may lose power again at times.  Just email us as usual and we will get back to you.  We apologize if anyone experiences any further weather related delays.

12/28/2013 -  For everyone who has been trying to communicate with us since before Christmas.  Maine had a tremendous ice storm which has had us without power, phone, and Internet service for over a week.  We are back on at the moment but we can't be sure yet that the power is going to stay on.  We'll get back to all of you just as soon as we can.  Tom hasn't been able to get the furnace going, but even though it is night the fellow is coming out to see if he can get us going.  The first few days after the storm everybody went out and tried to clear the roads enough so that when the power trucks got to us they could get through.  Even Tom, bad as his back is, was helping as best he could.  Aside from a couple of guys with four wheel drives and plows the only traffic we  had by our place for quite a while was a few adventurous rabbits and the occasional dog sled.  Things are still a little precarious.  We were using the gas stove to keep the pipes from freezing and just ran out of gas, so we've pretty much got to get that furnace going tonight.  Wish us luck.  Those waiting to hear from us should start getting responses tomorrow.  Maybe our Christmas visits from family members will still happen and we can open our presents!

12/13/2013 - As we get close to Christmas people who want to get you something you want may start panicking about getting something in time.  Remember the CAD Course, our main Yacht Design School lessons, the Scan&Solve finite element analysis (FEA) software, both commercial and educational licenses, plus of course the Rhino CAD software and plug-ins can all be ordered right up to the last minute and we can send them out via email attachments, and downloads.  Even when, as in the case of Rhino software, where the disks themselves may not reach you by Christmas we should be able to get you the "keys" that allow you to download them directly to your computer on Christmas day.  This may save you from receiving a desperate last minute gift that the giver is unhappy with and you really don't need.

11/17/2013 - As we enter the holiday season, don't forget that one of the best gifts you can get a loved one or a loved one can get for you is that stock plan they've been wanting to buy or more lessons and books for their Yacht Design School studies.  For one thing our clients and students get a lot more pleasure out of these things than they will more generic gifts.  A Yacht Design School lesson provides hours of fascinating exploration of a person's favorite subject as do our books and plans.

11/16/2013 -  We've gone over the site and made sure that all the PayPal buttons on the pages listing products are working properly.  Going into the holiday season this is especially important.  I hope nobody suffered any annoyance with the buttons that weren't working.  Probably most of you have clicked on the buttons on the individual pages anyway and all of those have been working just fine.

11/11/2013 - Our thanks to our fellow yacht designer Geoffrey Dickes who, when ordering one of our technical publications, noted that some of the PayPal buttons on some of the pages with "lists" of products were not sending customers to the right location.  If you find a button which doesn't work, just click on the name of the product such as a book title which will take you to an individual page on that product.  The PayPal button on the individual product pages always works.  The buttons that aren't working don't do anything bad they just send you to a generic PayPal page and don't record the order.  You can always place the order correctly from the individual product page.  We will fix this oddity over the next few days. .... Another thing we are working on is a more streamlined system for handling overseas shipping.  We have worried so much about not overcharging for overseas shipping that we have charged shipping separately on each order.  However we now feel that figuring a general shipping rate for each country will be quite close to optimum.  Then where we can find a less expensive way to ship a particular order we can simply use the same PayPal system to credit the customer for any balance over our actual cost.  That will be faster and simpler for everyone.  Of course our school texts and many publications are normally sent as PDF files anyway so most orders related to Yacht Design School lessons have no shipping anyway.  This saves a lot for overseas customers.

10/22/2013 - We have recently revised Yacht Design School Lesson 6b to give a better explanation of the figuring of roll moment of inertia and the figuring of mass in the British measurement system and the metric system.  The explanations for both systems were not clear enough for some students.  We thank our student John Hanks for bringing this to our attention.  If you have acquired Lesson 6b at any time before this date, you should email us and we will send you an updated copy in PDF format at no charge.

10/18/2013 - As many of our students know we have recently revised our YDS Lesson 4c to include the results of our research into interference drag.   So far as I know we are the first school to expand the knowledge base of yacht and small craft naval architecture into this area, which can significantly improve the performance of sailing yachts. We have found a few inconsistencies in the text which we have revised today.  Everyone who has a copy of YDS Lesson 4c revised to a date earlier than today should request an update. ....  The other day a student mentioned that we occasionally talked about our on going research and asked what we were researching.  In case there are others who would like to know what areas we are focusing on at the moment, we thought we might list them here:  We have been researching in materials science and structural analysis for many years. Lately we've been doing a lot of investigation into the mathematics of laminate design and the practical uses of Finite Element Analysis, as embodied in the Scan&Solve program, plus many more mundane questions.  We are also pursuing a study in the custom design of foils for particular types of performance.  Until recently we have not found any fluid dynamics results that seemed to indicate any demonstrable superior foils that would be better for general design than the NACA 4 digit foil series.  We now have indications that we may be able to improve on these foils significantly with the aid of newer software and the assistance of people who've made a life's study of this one subject.  This is an on-going study and it may be sometime before we can describe superior foils with confidence.  When we can, this will be yet another area where our students should have a leg up on their competition.

10/04/2013 - To all our students and friends over the last 24 years:  We've just been contacted by Jim Ford who is seeking someone to manage the construction of tugs and barges, etc. at a construction and maintenance operation on the Gulf Coast of the United States.  This could be a good opportunity for some of you.  Here is the information supplied to us to put on the site:
"Upper Gulf Coast ship building client seeks General Manager for their shipyard.  Preferred candidates will have a background managing a commercial ship building operation with P&L responsibility, from customer development to fabrication management.  Company is experiencing rising tide economic climate in the Gulf Coast region from expanded oil & gas activity, industrial processing and Panama Canal expansion.  Very attractive compensation package. 20+ years of experience."  Interested candidates can send their resumes to Jim Ford, jrford@leyendecker.com

10/02/2013 - Those students who have acquired the Yacht Design School Lesson 4c in the past should email us to send a PDF of the latest version. There is no charge for this.  Recently significant research has become available to us which demonstrates how large reductions in interference drag can be achieved.  Our students have found that the material we teach makes it possible to start right out in their careers drawing better lines than the designers of the majority of the boats one sees today, however this additional information will allow a significant reduction in drag in many cases beyond what we've already been teaching.  Since this modifies what we've been teaching in the past we strongly encourage getting a copy of this revision. .... It is important to take another lesson from this:  We are constantly revising the Yacht Design School lessons.  Of course the most frequent revisions are clarifications in response to student questions, where we feel we can make things clearer.  However it is amazing how much that we teach comes from either trade secrets passed to us by various firms for us to teach, which we are the first ones to make available to the public, or research which has been done and verified but has not yet made its way to the average design firm or to other schools.

09/27/2013 - For some time the information in our Yacht Design School curriculum on developing hull lines has been the most advanced material on doing excellent hull lines available, but we are proud to say that we are just adding more information that has only recently become available to us from fluid dynamic drag studies that will allow those trained by us to substantially reduce drag when designing short keels, rudder skegs, and other appendages. Given the number of vessels we've seen that we can now be sure have much higher drag than necessary, this will be a major advantage for our students in their careers. .... An interesting point came up recently.  For the first time in the 45 years that I've been designing professionally, a gentleman expressed dissatisfaction with our Study Plans, because he couldn't build a boat from them.  I must confess it had never occurred to me that anyone would think that the Study Plans were anything other than a way to decide, with the aid of further conversations with us, whether you liked the design enough to buy the Complete Plans.  We've very carefully expanded the information on this.  An additional point on this is that once I had a client show the Study Plans to a builder and was upset that the builder could only give a rough estimate of cost to build without the Complete Plans.  To be very clear, to build a boat or get a contract price to have one built you really do need the complete plans.  .... 

09/15/2013 - We are finally getting our design projects back under control. ....  We are making quite a bit of progress on our evening work doing major revisions to Lessons 12 & 13 of the main Yacht Design School curriculum. ....  Nathan has found some areas of the "CAD Course" which need some revision as well to accommodate Rhino version 5.0 better, and we are working on those. ....  A new member of the team interviewed with us last week and was taken on almost immediately.  As many of you know our dearly loved office cat Junior died last year and we vowed never to get another cat.  However we are living in a remote area of exactly the sort where people whose eventual fate is the deepest circles of hell drop off cats that they don't want.  Neighbors tell us that this little striped fellow has been hanging around all summer trying desperately to re-enter the only world he knew, where people loved and took care of a kitty.  When we returned from the boat it didn't take him long to discover Nannette.  He immediately recognized her as a "mother thing" and made extravagant gestures of hope and affection.  This first resulted in Nannette telling me I could feed him but he must stay outside.  However within hours she invited him in and his absolute joy and happiness was very touching.  He is extremely affectionate, very respectful, and in everyway a great member of the team.  We hope he'll be with us for a long time.

09/06/2013 - We think we should offer all our design clients and students a big apology for the inefficiencies of this past summer.  It would have been better to have just said we were going to take the summer off or something!  We didn't think were were, but trying to work on the boat to make it a suitable office in the hopes of designing and lesson correcting from the boat while traveling took an incredible amount of time and ultimately didn't work out well at all.  I thought everything could be installed by the end of June at the latest and we would then have the advantage of being able to sail and design while living on the boat, at least for the summer, and perhaps even travel south for the winter.  At every stage it didn't seem possible that the remaining work would take more than a few more days and we were sure once we got in the water our new communications gear would allow us to work efficiently and make up for the lost time.  As it worked out it was the end of August before we could launch and when we did we found that neither of our two ways of connecting to the Internet was sufficient to operate from the boat as yet.  So while we've got some "cool stuff" on the boat which may allow minimal communications some for short vacations, we are back at our office in Otis, Maine for this winter and just today got our telephone and Internet access working again.  How can you be sure that we are going to be working hard and catching up on everything?  Simply put there is not really anything else to do but work here.  We have a few human neighbors, and they are very nice, but most of our neighbors are rabbits, foxes, a few bob cats, deer, and at least one very large but rather shy and polite bear.  All of these are very entertaining and Nannette had a nice game of hide and seek with a rabbit, who delighted in popping up on one side of our car and then the other.  However all and all they don't provide much of a social life.  So it is you, our design clients, students, and friends on whom we concentrate our interest, our concerns, and, if I may say so, our affection.  We anticipate a lovely winter designing, teaching, painting, and doing more research for improvements to our curricula and designs.  Having said all that if anyone feels truly neglected or ill served, as a result of our inefficiencies over the summer we will do anything it takes to make it up to you.  Just let us know.

06/14/2013 - A good illustration of why we recommend people be cautious about the amount of electronics that they put aboard is that when we moved back aboard for the summer we had trouble getting our WiFi Booster working.  When we finally got it running it worked for several days and then it failed.  As near as we can tell because it just isn't made to keep the water out as well as it should be.  We've got another one and are storing it inside in bad weather and when we are not using it.  Also we managed for the first time in a number of years to get some water through an open port onto a keyboard.  Even though this type of keyboard is pretty resistant to small amount of water we lost letters "b, x, and z"!  The lesson here is not to avoid electronics but to remember that every electronic device adds to the time you spend maintaining things, which is time you can't be sailing.  Keep it simple.  ....  We've done some really lovely designs lately and have a couple of more pretty great projects coming up.  Yacht design is a great profession, if you've got a passion for it.  ....  We're not in the water yet.  I'm working on a solar panel installation and communications gear and Nannette is refinishing the teak and doing other cosmetic work, as she does so beautifully.  Soon we'll hopefully be working on the engine which we do together and Nan will be putting new seats in our big old dinghy.  There's a lot of great people in the yard, working on their boats, and they've been very kind to us.  If you like to work on your own boat Knight's Marine Service in Rockland, Maine www.knightmarineservice.com  is quite welcoming and friendly.  We've had a good time here.

06/04/2013 - Today we have added PayPal buttons to the rest of the site.  We started with the publishing section and everyone seems happy with that, so we hope that you'll like what we've done with the rest of the site.  While the PayPal system is tried and true, very safe, and well respected, we are aware that we can make an error creating a button, and we apologize for anything that may not work quite right.  Just let us know and we'll fix it.  ....  As we were putting in these buttons we did add the small price rise for YDS Lessons.  I hope everyone took advantage of ordering a lesson or two.  We work hard to keep costs down and are proud that we can not only be the most technically and artistically advanced school in our field but also, by avoiding advertising, fancy offices, and other expenses that don't directly benefit our students, we remain by far the most economical school to attend when studying to be a naval architect specializing in yacht and small craft design. .... From where I sit at my office in the wheelhouse I can look out over the bow at the wonderful work Nannette is doing on the teak.  As usual she'll have the boat looking brand new by the time we go back in the water.  All around us other people are also getting their boats ready to go in.  It makes a nice community.  The other day I met a young lady working with her Dad on their boat and heard about her plans to be a large ship naval architect.  I was happy to be able to say that her top choice of schools was one which I had worked with on student projects that involved small craft, and that she'd made an excellent choice.

05/27/2013 - Most students and clients find communication by email most efficient, but we do understand that sometimes you want to hear a human voice.  That's why there's a telephone number on the "Home" page.  However we are working from our offices on the boat at the moment.  We can do email and other Internet work from the boat but telephone service would be very expensive.  If you really want to talk to us you can email us with a request and we can arrange either a brief phone call from shore or for longer conversations perhaps a Skype call, though we haven't done that yet.

05/11/2013 - Some time over the next few weeks we will be raising the tuition on the Yacht Design School main curriculum lessons, a small amountOrdering lessons in advance will therefore be a bit to our student's advantage.  It has been several years since we have raised tuition and it is just time.  We would teach this for free if we could.  Since we can't, we take comfort that our business model keeps the expenses down enough so that we will still be charging only slightly more than 1/2 what our main "competitor" charges for tuition.  This modest tuition rise will go into effect once we've created the PayPal buttons for the lessons and put those in place.  That's the next phase in putting in place a complete PayPal shopping cart system for the whole site.

04/26/2013 - We've just added a very nice quote from Evert Jan Boot, now running his own design firm in The Netherlands, to the Yacht Design School main page.  We don't fill our site with a lot of quotes from clients and students, but I was especially touched by this one.

04/21/2013 - We've just put up a whole new Pen and Anchor Publications section to the web site, which allows you to use PayPal to order our publications using your credit card, or a debit card.  You don't have to have an account with PayPal, though if you do you can pay with that as well.  This system has been described as the best loved system of collecting very secure payments over the Internet.  Most people are familiar with it and it allows a true shopping cart experience without having to fill out various order forms on our site.  For long time customers our form based publications order system will remain in place as long as there is significant demand for it.  We will be expanding this order system to our Yacht Design School section of the site just as soon as possible.  Then we will add the Study Plans and Stock Plans sales to the system as well.  We hope this will make working with us that much more pleasant for everyone.

11/22/2012 - The last few Rhino and Rhino bundle orders have included Rhino Version 5.0.  Bundle with plug-ins now include the Flamingo nXt, and Penguin 2.0 as well.  There was a bit of a delay on supplying the Penguin 2.0, but they started arriving this week and we are shipping to the four patient people whom we unfortunately had to give "back order" status.  Rhino Version 5.0 as always includes enough improvements so that everyone will eventually want to upgrade to it.  However Version 4.0 is a good stable environment so you can keep both on your computer to be sure you can communicate files to those with Version 4.0.  For those who are in the middle of our various curricula you can upgrade your educational license to Rhino Version 5.0 for $95.  To upgrade your Flamingo educational license to Flamingo nXt will cost $95.  Similarly to upgrade to Penguin 2.0, which will be necessary to use it with Rhino Version 5.0, will cost $95.  For those who have completed their education with Yacht Design School you can upgrade your Rhino educational license to Version 5.0 and to a commercial license for $345.  In our industry Rhino is the best software available for yacht and small craft naval architecture.  This is why it has come to dominate the industry.  .... Remember also that you can now get, through us, the Scan&Solve(tm) finite element analysis (FEA) plug-in for Rhino which brings capabilities in structural modeling that were unheard of in our industry outside of a few extremely expensive "gran prix" racing projects with huge budgets.  See the information below and on the YDS enrollment form and publications page.

11/13/2012 - We seem to be keeping everyone's custom design projects going well at the moment.  We've gotten a bit behind on Yacht Design School lesson corrections, but are catching up.  This is because we haven't been able, until this week, to do our regular correcting of at least one lesson every morning.  This was because although this year has been a good, and even a great, year for us as far as overall income goes, the political candidates who kept persistently running down the economy would periodically make people so worried that they'd just stop ordering.  Then we'd get some good economic news and orders would come in a flood.  This made it extremely difficult to plan work so that everything got done in a reasonable time frame.  Now that the election is over we expect things to settle down and it should be easier to keep things running smoothly.  There is new pricing on the Scan&Solve finite element analysis software.  They did have to raise their prices a bit, which we expected they would.  After all the Academic license gives our students access to software that until the advent of Scan&Solve would have cost several tens of thousands of dollars, yet only pay $295 Commercial licenses are only $995.  This tremendous advance in cost effectiveness appears to be due to their patented new approach which does not require an fancy mesh to interpret the surface.  This makes the whole process much more straightforward and less prone to errors, but also a lot less expensive to produce the software.  Now every design firm can afford to model stresses in models in a way that used to be reserved for huge aerospace companies.

10/01/2012 -  Good news for those waiting hopefully for drawings that Tom is working on:  We are packing up and moving back to our winter shore office in Otis this week.  By the end of the week we should be back to the hourly schedule that we're all used to where Tom works from 5:00am to 9:00am on email and lesson corrections, does drafting from 9:00 am to 5:00pm, and then works on Yacht Design School lesson revisions and research from supper time to 8:00pm.  This is a lot more hours available for work.  Also those of you who want to telephone us will be able to reach us at our regular number in Otis.  We're looking forward to a great fall, finishing up several designs.  Early next year, as soon as the current crop of designs are done, we'll be starting on a really fascinating high speed sportfisherman design.  Keep an eye out for her, she'll be really something.

09/13/2012 -  Well we thought 3 to 5 days sounded reasonable, but as it turned out we realized rapidly that with a week or so of work on the offices and communications we could work from the boat for awhile this fall.  We did that but unfortunately that has put us behind on lesson corrections and design projects.  We have been improving the communications installation and getting more range and power out of it, which is now speeding up work.  Nannette has been working on accounting and customer service about half the day and working on the boat the rest of the time.  Tom has been working most days on catching up.  Also there has been a big surge in business and inquiries to deal with.  This has meant that Tom has had about all he can do to answer email and catch up with lesson corrections with less time than desirable for drafting.  This has delayed some of the drafting work which is really painful as I know our clients are waiting for drawings very eagerly.  However today Tom hopes to correct the last of the overdue lessons that accumulated and get back onto a large number of hours of design work every day with evenings used to correct lessons and answer correspondence.  Hopefully we'll be able to keep everybody happy.  When the weather gets cold enough so that our Shipmate stove is going a lot of the time we'll get back to the Otis office.  I'm sorry we don't have an alternative to the Otis telephone number, but since our cell phone is on "roaming" 100% of the time the charges to use that for business would be prohibitive.  Bear with us on that until the cold weather drives us back to our Otis office.

08/19/2012 - It has been a crazy summer with a lot going on.  We've all been very pleased with the design work we've done on the three custom design projects active at the moment, and we've got some exciting work lined up for next year.  .... For the next 3 to 5 days we will be working on upgrading the office areas on our boat.  Communications are likely to be quite intermittent until early next week.  We do apologize for that.  We'll do our best to answer as much correspondence as we can, but please bear with us.

06/14/2012 - Deb McCall from Ted Hood Yachts has just contacted us about finding a Yacht Designer to work with Mr. Hood.  If you are one of our advanced students, or a student already working in the field, this could be a good opportunity for you.  I've also posted this in the YDS section of the website but here is the complete "ad" which they sent:

Ted Hood Yacht Design - Portsmouth, RI.
Looking for Yacht Designer specializing in New Ideas.
Responsible for creation of both computer generated and hand drawn renderings of Power, Sail yachts and Cats
Please send Resume to:
tedhood@tedhoodyachts.com
Or call direct at (401) 682-2146
Main Office:
Deb McCall at administrative@tedhoodyachts.com or (401) 682-1712
 

06/12/2012 - We are working hard on three designs at the moment.  The "Silver Penny 25", which is an aluminum version of our "Penny 25" voyaging yacht, the "Blue Horizons 30", which is a 30' twin keel voyaging yacht specially tailored for the clients in all respects, and the "Sagittarius 30", a replica of the Colin Archer redningsskoites or "rescue craft", a much better size for a couple than some of the slightly larger versions that have been done.  ... We have also, with regret, finally removed our manual drafting tools recommendations and order form.  The demand finally got so low that it was impossible to interest any manufacturer to continue to make ship's curves, spline weights, and drafting machines.  At the same time the Rhino CAD program academic license is so low priced that there is no way that it would make sense for anyone to use manual drafting equipment any more.  The manual equipment is just wildly more expensive even if you can get it.  All this has effectively completely killed both supply and demand.  So an era ends.

05/20/2012 - Before republishing this site after some hosting problems we updated all the Lesson Summaries linked to the YDS main page.  If you've saved copies of these in the past, this will give a good idea of how much new and revised material there is added to these lessons over time.  Questions from our students lead us to text revisions quite frequently and quite often suggest additional research so our material is constantly being revised and added to.  If you have purchased lessons in the past and see that we have revised them since, we encourage you to ask us to email you updates

05/19/2012 - All YDS students who've ordered Lesson 4c should email us for the latest revision, which has significant new information on filleting appendages to the hull.  This is the result of our continuing research into fluid dynamics and has resulted in a significant change in our knowledge of proper filleting in certain situations. ... We apologize for interruptions in the web site service  the support software on our hosting server got quite cranky this past week.  By the time you read this we hope to have this solved.  As long as we have had problems anyway we are taking the opportunity to add PayPal as a primary purchasing option.  This should be added over the course of the next week one section of the site at a time.  At the same time we are adding a number of items to the site, which we haven't had time to promote yet.  The first of these is a brand new DVD from Lin and Larry Pardey titled Cost Control While You Cruise.  As with everything the Pardey's produce we highly recommend it.  Although we've been selling them for some time we have also written reviews for the Pardey's other DVDs Get Ready to Cross Oceans, Get Ready to Cruise, and Storm Tactics.  We have also finally added a review of the Pardey's books Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew and Self Sufficient Sailor.

05/07/2012 - We are now shipping Flamingo nXt.  This is an even more advanced photorealistic renderer for Rhino than the previous Flamingo 2.0.  Our students get this for $195.  You can't beat that.  This is the perfect rendering engine for anything where the primary purpose is presentation of a beautiful brand new boat or other object or scene is desired.  It is extremely useful in presenting design customers of larger yachts with alternate color schemes, interior decor options, etc.  It is well worth getting this if you are a designer or builder of just about anything!  .... We've also modified some of our order forms to provide a space for Comments and Special Requests and to make clearer which address you wish us to ship to.

04/06/2012 - This morning I finally got a chance to add our Clarsach 20 cruising canoe yawl concept design to the idea designs page.  I'll add a bit more on her another day, but I wanted to mention that here is a design that is already partially drawn up and is therefore a bargain to finish off if she suits you.  Take a look, we'd love to finish this design.

04/05/2012 - Dear Friends:  We are very happy to announce that we now are able to provide students with copies of an academic license for a full working copy of Scan&Solve(tm), a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) "plug-in" for the Rhino CAD Package.  This academic license costs $195.  While we expect to be selling primarily to students, if you are already a practicing yacht designer we can get you a commercial license for $695.  If you run a firm where several designers or draftsman may need access to Scan&Solve, but  not simultaneously, you may want to acquire floating licenses, which cost $895 each.  What does FEA capability do for you?  Put in its most basic terms it allows you to design an object of structural significance, which could be anything from a tang or chain plate on up to parts of mechanical systems and then specify where the various loads are acting on it.  Scan&Solve then computes the stresses on all parts of the object revealing whether it will carry the loads, what the stress and strains are, and how much and in what areas it deforms.  It will also show the distribution of stresses along with any stress concentration points which cause problems or weaken the part.  This makes analyzing stresses and optimizing parts for the longest possible life much easier and more accurate than any hand method could manage.  Of course if you work for NASA, Scan&Solve may not the ultimate FEA tool , but after years of researching FEA at great expense, we have at last found a suitable package for the average yacht design office priced affordably for this industry.  This program is in fact amazingly powerful.  One of the examples that they use in their literature is especially fascinating:  As an experiment they took a scan of the Michaelangelo's famous statue "David" and made it into a Rhino model.  They then used Scan&Solve to apply the force of gravity to the statue and analyzed the stresses.  They found stress concentration points.  On examining extreme close ups of the statue that found that it showed cracking at these points predicted by their program.  If you can do that, trust me, anything you are likely to do in yacht design is going to be a snap if you approach problems with a reasonable, careful evaluation of modeling real world loads. .... At the same time that we are expanding our offerings in CAD, we find that it is harder and harder to provide manual drafting equipment to the decreasing number of folks willing to spend more money to not use "on screen" design.  Drafting machines are essentially hand assembled on an individual basis these days by one outfit.  We don't have at the moment a supplier for good lead drafting weights.  Recently we got word that our supplier of sets of Copenhagen Ship's Curves has stopped making them.  Should any small outfit be interested in continuing to make drafting machines, drafting weights, and Ship's Curves, there will always be a very small demand and we'd like to hear from you.  However we have reached the point where we no longer recommend manual drafting as an alternative to the Rhino based "on screen" computer assisted design (CAD).  CAD is now less expensive and in the hands of a skilled draftsman produces better results.  For a long time virtually all students have chosen to use CAD but it is sad to have to close the door on the manual option.  Our Chief Designer grew up with the manual drafting and though he eagerly embraced CAD as soon as it became available for yacht and small craft naval architecture, he does have a certain nostalgia for what is now "the old days". 

08/05/2011 - Contrary to the belief of many aspiring students the math involved in yacht and small craft naval architecture is not very complex.  Most people will probably need more help in learning to be careful with their calculations and check their work, than actually needing much math instruction.  Of course we are always here to teach anything you didn't get in school at no addtional charge and our "Basic Math Primer" can be emailed to you free.  However for those who want to learn math from the simplest of addition problems up through quite advanced subjects, we recommend the Khan Academy www.khanacademy.org  This fully endowed distance learning institution is absolutely free and amazingly good at teaching from the simplest concept to the most advanced.  Though they started with math they are well on their way to providing a complete university education without charging you a cent.  We sure wish we could build an endowment like that to pay our instructors so we could teach for free!

06/12/2011 - Here is a picture from our daughter's wedding to Rob Campos on June 4th.  We've created another page with more photographs of the wedding.  These are just a sample of hundreds.  The team of professional wedding photographers is called Pasion and their web site is www.pasionphotography.com  Once you see their website you will have a feel for how lucky anyone would be to have them do their wedding and I'm sure you better book your dates early.  We were fortunate in that we had an inside track with them because Pasion is run by Rob's brother Eddy and sister-in-law Jennifer with assistance, at least for this wedding, of their daughter Mekaela.  We never could have gotten a June 4th date with such a top wedding photographer without family "pull" I'm sure!  The wedding reception was at Clewley Farm Restaurant www.clewleyfarm.com  They did a great job with the meal and really got into the occasion. .... We've just gotten another design project for our Order Book.  This will be a 30' cutter on Colin Archer Redningsskoite lines rigged for single handed sailing and laid out below for a couple to live aboard.  Of course we've got several designs we have to finish up before we can get to her, but we are looking forward to this project. .... We want to say a special word of thanks to our custom design clients.  For well over a decade and a half now we have had more work offered to us than we can handle.  This is not the usual situation for design firms and I'm afraid we were slow to realize that we had to be much more careful not to take on too much work.  This has meant that our Order Book has gotten to the point where clients have to be quite patient waiting for us to complete their designs.  We have been very appreciative of their understanding that to produce extremely high quality of work on each design just plain takes time.  We continue to train the very best draftsmen we can find, but we cannot train enough people fast enough to keep up with demand.  We assure you we are trying hard to be realistic on the time we will need to complete these designs and therefore when we can start work on any new project.  We are catching up and we believe that we'll have all projects currently in the Order Book completed by the end of next year.  We will try very hard not to get more than a year to a year and a half's worth of work in the Order Book from now on.

 

05/31/2011 - All the buttons are done for our new PayPal based shopping cart system.  We will be adding them to the site as rapidly as possible over the next week or so.  Of course our current order forms based system will remain operational for those who prefer it for the foreseeable future.  Presumably it may be phased out eventually if you, dear readers, do prefer the shopping cart system. .... On our YDS Enrollment Form you will now see that our students can order the quite fabulous Brazil photorealistic rendering plug-in educational license for Rhino.  For most yacht design work the Flamingo photorealistic rendering engine is just fine.  After all there you primarily want to produce beautiful pictures of immaculate yachts.  However if you wanted to do some images or videos in hyper-realism to portray a yacht entering port travel stained, with worn spots in the varnish, streaks of stain from a fitting, etc. and set the scene as though taken from a battered dock with rusty steel drums, etc. in some tropic port, you might well prefer Brazil.  This is rendering for the full time professional who might want to produce movie sequences to fill in views for a DVD of a voyage that show a scene from a perspective the actual sailors could not film and have it indistinguishable from the rest of the film.

04/29/2011 - Some might be interested in this picture of Tom in his formal attire.  Nannette says since most people only see Tom in work clothes we should post a picture here and another in Tom's biography page.  We promised our daughter Heather that he would be decently attired to walk her down the isle for her wedding in early June.  For those with Scottish heritage you might be interested in Tom's tailors Rocky Roeger and Kelly Stewart-Roeger of www.usakilts.com .  They are very kind and careful and did a good job of tailoring the kilt to make Tom look presentable.  We recommend them very highly for Scottish attire from the most casual to the most formal.  Nannette's dress for the wedding is almost as much a secret as the bride's.  In early June look for a picture of Nannette as well and hopefully a few pictures of the wedding. .... Tom did do a practice run for the Windsor & Middleton wedding this morning! .... Every day Tom is creating about ten more "buttons" for our new shopping cart system, which should be up and running soon. .... We are working on incorporating Finite Element Analysis (FEA) into the latter part of our curriculum so that our students will be able to do detailed stress and strain analyses as another check on structural parts in addition to normal structural calculations and materials testing.  This is of enormous benefit in making sure that parts do not have stress concentration points or unanticipated areas of higher stress in certain conditions.  In the past FEA has been so high priced and complex to operate as to only be cost effective for "grand prix" racing boats.  We are now entering an era when modest yacht design offices can afford to use FEA and it is cost effective for structures on even the smallest yacht.   This has been a long time coming, we've paid a massive amount for FEA software in the past only to find we could not recommend it and had to drop the idea of teaching it.  We are very pleased to see a new era in which FEA is now cost effective in our industry.  As soon as we are thoroughly conversant with this software, you will hear more about it. .... Many of you have been asking about our live aboard voyaging home & personal office "Dunnechtan" and what our plans are this year.  As many of you know we worked hard last summer to get her ready to go south in the fall.  However what with Nannette having to virtually rebuild our fiberglass dinghy and having to do several repairs to the glass on "Dunnechtan", Tom having to build a new rudder, and both of us with the kind aid of our friend Kent having to work to install an entire new exhaust system we found ourselves into the latter part of September.  We decided to start south anyway in hopes of having really good fall weather even though we knew we should have been underway for some time at that point.  Unfortunately we lost the weather, as a number of other late starters did, and decided that discretion was the better part of valor.  So we stopped part way down the Maine coast where we could lay up the boat at the very nice Knight's Marine in Rockland, and winter over with our daughter.  This trip was enough time to give us a good perspective on what we needed to do to for improved office functionality.  This winter Tom designed a new dinghy to store better on the cabin overhead and a series of shelves and lockers for our office gear and computers.  We'll be trying to get as much of this done before mid-summer as possible, but then we will start South again.  Our shore office will handle plans printing and shipping of products, but everything else will be handled from our home/boat office and the home offices of other staff members.  These days that all works so well that most people will never know we aren't all in one office.

04/01/2011 - In the interests of making buying decisions easier for our Stock Plans and to save many customers money on shipping we have changed the way we handle selling Complete Plans and Study Plans.  Because we like to keep our Stock Plans affordable, we've always priced them just to cover the costs of printing and and packaging, plus a built in amount to cover shipping, and the estimated average support time.  As general costs of the business have risen we found two things.  We needed to increase what we charged for the plans if we were going to continue our policy of unlimited advice and explanatory sketches for plans holders.  Also there was now enough disparity between shipping costs to different parts of the world that if we charged enough to cover anywhere in the world it would mean overcharging domestic customers and some international customers.  Even if we took an average it seemed that some people would still be overcharged in relation to actual shipping costs by enough to not make sense.  Therefore we have divided the shipping out and as we implement our new shopping cart system, developed in partnership with widely trusted PayPal, shipping is being divided into a "domestic" region and several international regions to make sure that everyone pays as close as possible to the actual shipping cost and still get a firm figure in advance before confirming the order.  The same will be done for the rest of our products.  At the same time we found that, since more and more people were requesting that publications be sent as email attachments, that it made sense to switch to selling Study Books instead of Study Plans.  These are priced almost entirely by sending time and support time as Study Books are very quick to send but usually result in lots of questions.  Using Study Books instead of Study Plans will vastly reduce what the customer pays to get a package of information on the design and consultation time with the designer.  We are doing PDFs of the drawings normally set with Study Plans and will include them with the "design article" which has always been part of the Study Plans package.  So you will be getting exactly the same information at a lot lower cost and much faster.  These are not just readable or your computer or e-book reader.  They are also printable so you can put them on your bed side table and dream for a few minutes before you go to sleep.  Because our costs are reduced we'll be likely to make about as much money as we did on the more expensive Study Plans.  A win for everyone.  We are also adopting a policy of taking all the questions asked about a given design and our answers and collecting them to add them either to the body of the Study Book or to an evolving appendix of Frequently Asked Questions.  So the questions you ask will end up helping others who didn't think to ask them and each Study Book will evolve to be more and more tailored to the needs of the customers for that particular design, instead of being in plain "magazine article" form.  There will be a transitional period.  We've made PDFs of a lot of drawings but will need to do some more.  All the articles have been written but we will be looking for ways to improve them.  Anyway it looks good to us here.

02/21/2011 - We are happy to say that YDS is running more efficiently than ever and we are working on major revisions to various lessons which add fascinating material that often has not been available to naval architecture students before.  We are finally catching up on our custom design work, and thank our clients for their extreme patience.  We will try not to get so overloaded again.  ....  Many of you will remember that awhile back we mentioned that we would have to raise YDS Lesson pricing again.  We've kept these very low, but still we hoped that our increased staff and more efficient organizational structure would allow us to delay increases further.  However even students were beginning to suggest raising the lesson fees and we have to admit that we do need to go up a bit.  Because we hate raising rates in the middle of the process for students we are limiting this to a $25 rise at this time, effective today.  Thus the new lesson pricing will be $225, except for the lower cost introductory lesson and the higher last lesson, as described in the Yacht Design School Brochure.  We held this down by switching to a system of normally sending lessons as email attachments which saves a lot of money.  Shortly we will be introducing a shopping cart system which should make us even more efficient and we will not contemplate any further rises until we've had a good shot at seeing how well that will do at keeping costs down.  Nevertheless we do want to say that we expect that sometime later this year we will have to raise the lesson costs another small amount.  Many of you, realizing how much less expensive it is to study with us than with our competitors, will no doubt kid us about our caution in raising rates.  We've gotten some clever emails along those lines.  However you must remember than in some developing countries ambitious young people very badly want to study with us, but cannot afford to.  This breaks our hearts as we believe a good education is important to everyone and especially to the yacht and small craft design field.  We will always keep the cost of this school just as low as we can.

01/08/2011 - We've got a lot to tell you about our adventures and that will be added to the site at some point.  At present we are in winter quarters and are working furiously to make sure everybody gets lesson corrections and design work done as fast as possible. ... We've updated a few things on the school portion of the site to make sure that people understand that, while most students these days are finding it most efficient and least expensive to take our CAD Course first and then proceed with the main curriculum, the "CAD Course" is not a formal prerequisite to the Main Curriculum.  If, for instance, you have reason to believe you already are skilled in the Rhino CAD software, or are so skilled in other CAD programs that you are sure you can learn Rhino on your own efficiently, we would not want you to feel you had to take it just to get to the Main Curriculum. ...  Dan is working hard on developing the new version of this web site, which will have a lot of marvelous capabilities which we will all enjoy. ... This coming year should be a very exciting one.

09/16/2010 - We are just about to set off south in our 30' double ended pilothouse sloop which now contains Tom and Nan's personal offices.  Our shore office is now run by Tom's brother Dan whom many of you have already been working with for some time.  This change has allowed us to reduce our costs quite a lot which should hold down price rises for a while.  It should also provide more people to answer questions that need not be answered by Tom.  This will hopefully mean faster design work and faster correction times on lessons, which has been a problem as the school has grown.  .... We now want to give a special thanks to our design clients and students who have been very kind and understanding when this transfer, which was originally supposed to be complete in May ran on through the summer resulting in unconscionable delays in getting work out and lesson corrections.  They have understood that this move should ultimately be to the benefit of all of us and that we have been working as hard as we can.  Unfortunately Tom's estimates of how long it would take to rebuild the rudder and the sudden discovery that the entire exhaust system really needed rebuilding to be safe took way longer than we anticipated due to Tom's poor estimating of how much his heavy duty arthritis would slow down this work.  Indeed all fiberglass repair work, and the exhaust system rebuild became largely the province of Nannette working under Tom's rather annoying supervision. ... Thank you all for your support.  We also thank a wonderful gentleman named Kent who has a larger version of our vessel and helped out a great deal when tricky jobs needed a lot of strength or work in confined spaces.  Our great friend, former student, and head of another design firm in town, Sven Oftedal and his wife Pat also showed up frequently to offer assistance and encouragement. ...  We will keep you all posted on our progress down the East Coast.  Tom will be using his off watches, which amount to full time hours, and in port days to catch up on work, so you should all be seeing advancement on your projects and lessons soon.

06/02/2010 - Tom and Nan have received their cast iron Shipmate 211 stove, which has bronze trim, a bronze deck iron, and a stainless steel Liverpool type smoke head.  The second shipment containing the heat shielding for the stove recess plus the stainless steel stove pipe should arrive soon.  We will put some photos of the unpacking, set up and final installation on the site as we proceed.  Then we will report on how we use the stove and any little hints and recommendations we have.  We are very enthusiastic about having these fine solid fuel stoves back on the market.  We used to specify these stoves in many of our designs and were very disappointed in the early 90s when we could no longer obtain them.  The “Shipmate” stoves have been known for lasting for many decades.  60 years of use was not uncommon before needing replacement parts.  It has been well known for a long time that the secret to being happy on a cruising boat is to always be able to get warm and dry and have good food.  With the “Shipmate’s” easily regulated radiant heat the first two are taken care of very neatly.  With a sizable cooking surface and an oven for cakes, bread, cookies, et cetera the “Shipmate 211” is a prime element in keeping the crew well fed.  These stoves are the key to comfort in temperate to cold climates.  Even in the tropics you can need a little heat at times and we’ll be giving some hints on how the old timers were able to cook without excessive heat on these stoves even in the hottest areas of the world.

04/29/2010 – Students will note that we’ve finally had to raise our prices on the Yacht Design School main curriculum by $25 per lesson.  Rising costs and the troubled economy have just made it impossible to hold the line any longer.  In actual fact a cold analysis would suggest we should have raised the prices more, but we don’t want to raise prices much for people in the middle of the curriculum.  Naturally we still compare favorably with tuition at other schools.  We left this a little long.  Even some students were suggesting that they felt we should raise rates!

04/28/2010 – Many of you who have been interested in Tom and Nannette’s new home/office, the double ended 30’ pilothouse sloop Dunnechtan, may be interested to hear that the rugged and reliable Shipmate solid fuel heating and cooking stoves and ranges are back in production.  We are ordering one of their “211” ranges with a nice oven just right for baking bread, biscuits, cakes, and chocolate chip cookies.  Not to mention cherry pies, shepard’s pie and everything else that Tom is mesmerized by and Nan likes to cook.  You will very likely see a lot about these stoves on our site, fairly soon as we have had many people ask for good heating and cooking stoves of traditional model and we want to be able to supply them with reliable stoves and good advice on how to install them and use them.  These stoves sure bring back memories.  There is nothing so cozy as a cabin heated by a “Shipmate” stove.  It is the boat with a “Shipmate” that everyone wants to gather in for a gam in the evenings.  There will be more on the site on these stoves soon.  …. All of us are working hard to work down the back log of custom design work.  Also we are training another instructor to take over some of the lesson correction work on the earlier lessons to speed things up for students and give Tom more time for research and lesson revision.  As we continue moving Tom and Nan’s personal offices afloat again, with Tom’s brother Dan handling more of the routine work at our shore office, we hope to have much more time to work on drafting, research, and writing.

02/25/2010 - On the publishing order form in the section Cruising, Living Aboard, & Voyaging we've added Frank Mulville's very insightful book Single Handed Sailing.  No other book so perfectly communicates what single handed sailing is like.  You don't have want to single hand to make this an important book to read.  Much of what Mr. Mulville has to say applies very well on the family yacht where one person is on watch alone for a number of hours and must in some senses think like a single hander.

02/22/2010 -  See the publishing order form for a new article by Dan MacNaughton about a practical sliding galley stove device you can easily build yourself. This is nicest system we’ve seen for small boat galleys when you need a one or two burner stove to slide out of the way when not in use.

02/17/2010 - We've finally gotten a brief biography of our new Associate Designer Cliff W. Estes linked to our Designs page.  We are just finishing up the first project on which he has worked with us and are very impressed with his the set of drawings he has worked up.  With the addition of his help we have great hopes we finally can keep up with the demand for our work.

02/16/2010 -  We have added the latest edition of Lin & Larry Pardey's brilliant Storm Tactics Handbook to our marine publishing order form.  Be sure to read Dan's review on this book.  This is without doubt the best book on handling all types of sailing yachts in heavy weather.  All serious cruising sailors will want this book. .... Tom and Nan are working weekends on the 30' double ended pilot house sloop they are restoring as a home and office.  This will allow them to have their personal offices afloat again as they used to and with the help of today's improved communications they will be able to do design work, writing, YDS lesson correction, and management functions from the boat, with the rest of the functions of the business handled by the shore office.  Nannette will be able to do her painting from the vessel as well.  We have always felt that the more time a designer spends on the water, the better their designs will be.  Probably our previous 17 years of living aboard has a lot to do with the success of our designs.

01/06/2010 - We are happy to announce that the well known West Coast designer and Rhino expert Cliff Estes is now working with us as an Associate Designer.  This will help us speed up our progress for the very patient clients with projects in our Order Book.  We will be adding a biography for Cliff shortly.  This is wonderful as in the past year we have been  badly overloaded. Instead of having to tell people that it will be months before we can get to their project, we should be able to start working on Concepts as soon as we get deposits.

12/10/2009 - We've just added Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats to our Fore and Aft Publications section of the web site.  All reviews are linked to the name of the publication on the publishing order form.  Everyone interested in a new or used fiberglass boat should learn everything they can about surveying them, even though this would be no substitute for a professional survey when a boat is eventually selected for purchase.

12/07/2009 - This week Fore and Aft Publications, our new division, is pleased to announce three new titles in our selection of books for sale. The first is Sailing the Big Flush, by Eileen Beaver, an account of a fascinating cruise around the head of the Bay of Fundy to the Minas Basin, in a small boat equipped to take the ground at low water--a necessity in an area with a 50’ tidal range! The second is Trekka Round the World, by John Guzzwell, a classic account of the author’s circumnavigation in what was then the smallest boat (20’) to have done so. It is a great story of a well executed voyage. The third is Dinghy Cruising, by Margaret Dye, an informative How-To book about cruising in very small boats. Full of technical detail and interspersed with cruising anecdotes, it is the best book we know of, on the subject, and a fascinating read. Fore and Aft manager Dan MacNaughton reviews each of these books in detail—just click the link appearing with each title. ....  Also reviewed this week is Phil Bolger’s book, Boats With an Open Mind, a collection of fascinating designs and design commentary by one of the designers we admire most.

10/18/2009 - For a little over a week starting Monday October 19th, you will have trouble communicating with us as the office will be only intermittently manned.  This is because Tom and Nannette are going to survey a vessel which they hope to purchase as a home and office to allow a more mobile business environment again.  For 17 years we ran our business from one of our previous boats.  This will hopefully allow us to visit more of our students and people building our designs.  Our draftsmen will continue to work from their own home offices as they do now.  …. This year has been tough with the death of Tom and Dan’s mother, the on-going very time consuming problem of re-working this web site to be more modern, and a great deal more design work than we’ve been able to handle as efficiently as we’d like.  ….  However with Dan handling Publishing and most fulfillment work, Nathan Shawl teaching our CAD Course and doing more and more drafting for us, and other draftsmen being trained to expand our custom design capacity we are headed toward a time when we’ll be able to do everything more efficiently.

07/06/2009 - We are in the final stages of preparing a new macnaughtongroup.com website using more up-to-date software which will enable us to more easily maintain and update the site. While the appearance of the new site will be slightly different, there is only one major change to our business: the new site will include our new and revitalized publishing division, to be known as Fore and Aft Publications. The new division will be managed by Tom's brother, Dan MacNaughton, a widely-known writer on yachting subjects with considerable professional experience in the use, maintenance, and repair of boats. Fore and Aft will continue to emphasize cruising, voyaging, and living aboard, as well as technical information of all types, and will include a shopping cart system so as to make your ordering easier. Until the new site is up and running you will still be able to order books at Eastport Marine Press, the page you will reach by clicking the "publishing" button above.
    To follow up on the previous entry, our mother, Naida MacNaughton, did pass away a few days after that entry was written. A brilliant, humor-filled woman of staunch integrity, she was an expert sailor and navigator who contributed greatly to Tom's and Dan's colorful and exciting childhood with boats. Those of you who enjoy this website owe her a little bit of thanks. She, and our father Donald MacNaughton, are the foundation upon which we stand.

02/19/2009 -  Tom's mother, who is 94, appears to be in her last illness.  Nannette, with the help of others, is with her 24 hours per day.  Tom is working about 12-1/2 hours per day trying to keep up with our clients and students requests but finds he is falling behind.  We apologize for this.  Every indication is that this is not a long term situation, but for the moment there will be delays in responding to lesson questions on the main curriculum, custom design inquiries, etc.  Do keep sending your questions, lessons for corrections, etc. as we are dealing with everything as far as possible by date, which means that delaying communication will just delay a response further.  Thank you for the support that has been expressed to us by so many of you whom we've talked to during this troubled time.

01/24/2009 - We've added another nice quote from a client to our MacNaughton Yacht Designs page. ....  We've been working weekends on finishing up our book "Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions".  We've sold quite a few drafts of this book and are pleased with how helpful people have found it to be.  We found that people wanted a section on specific designs we can recommend.  Most of this is done.  The last major thing to do is a set of drawings of our own small voyaging yacht Charis.  She is number 4 of the famous J. Laurent Giles Vertue class.  The Vertues aren't very big vessels but they have proven to be excellent small liveaboard voyaging yachts.  A great many of them have made extensive voyages and circumnavigations.  Hopefully we'll get this book published in hard cover this spring.

01/12/2009 - We're a little behind on posting to the Idea Designs page.  We've got one concept design that Nathan Shawl did up, which we really must post but remains on the list.  Today we have posted an idea for a 33' version for the Sovereign 30.  This would give good choice for people who want a bit bigger vessel in the Coin Collection without going all the way to the Crown Jewel 36We've also added an idea on doing various sized aluminum and steel versions of the general Coin Collection concept. ... We're now well into custom designing a very nice 20' canoe yawl named Clarsach, which is the Gaelic word for the Celtic harp.  She will be great for anything from day sailing through coastal cruising and is ideal for a young couple, older couple, or a young family with up to to two small children.  The client will be building them in series and we expect they will be quite a good seller.  ... Once Clarsach 20 is done we will speed up the work on our Shining Moon 36 which David Buckley and I are working on.  David is also doing a very good job of lofting our Farthing 15 design and producing patterns for the building jig and all the parts.  Eventually people will be able to order kits for this little design because of his work.

12/03/2008 - As you can see from the infrequency of posts, we are very busy.  We are particularly pleased with the latest enhanced version of our Sovereign 30 design.  With the financial support of a gentleman on the West Coast who is building a very nice version of Sovereign we added a highly developed pilothouse and a subtly redesigned interior which manages to take a very functional interior and improve it an amazing amount by playing with inches here and there so that the great cabin aft now has dedicated function settees with pilot berths outboard.  The pilothouse is very roomy and has two super comfortable easy chairs for the watch or for just sitting and reading in ultimate comfort.  The galley and the navigation office have been subtly reworked so that both are much improved.  The head is now usable without closing off the passage to the forward cabin and is generally very comfortable.  The double berth forward is slightly bigger.  The forward office is both simpler and more efficient and we have added a sitzbath forward in the small storage cabin so that showers ashore are no longer anything you would look forward to.  This is Nannette and Tom's favorite design.  We hope that someday someone will set up a shop to build these boats as we believe that there will always be a steady demand for a modest number of these boats, each built for specific owners.  She is ideal for living aboard and voyaging for a couple or a family with up to two children.  We know of no other 30 foot voyaging yacht which combines uncompromised ocean sailing capabilities with the extraordinary amount of room we have fit into Sovereign.

09/17/2008 -  The baddies continue to go to some lengths to post nasty stuff to our discussion group.  As an emergency measure we've finally put in a password or validation code that you can't work out from the site.  If you want to post to the discussion group, email your message to us and we'll post it.  If we are confident you are OK we may get you a password so you can post directly.  Whenever the baddies figure out the password we'll change it and update everyone.

09/16/2008 - It has been pointed out that the Lesson One Summary linked to the school page still showed only a list of manual drafting tools and did not show the CAD option.  We've corrected that.  Now may be a good time to mention that these days the best single option is the all CAD route starting with taking our CAD Course and then taking the YDS Main Curriculum using CAD.  Ultimately it is also the least expensive option.

08/22/2008 - On the Design page you will see a link to David Buckley's biography.  David is a very talented gentleman who has worked for several design firms.  We are fortunate to have him working with us.  It makes our work load easier to have him doing drafting for us.  These days with virtually all our work being done in the computer our draftsmen can work from about anywhere.  Mr. Buckley is no exception.  He and his wife Kristen live aboard their 38' boat and travel, working on drafting for us as they go and transmitting files to us over the Internet. .... To attempt to make YDS Lesson Two a little easier for some students we have added some more material to the second half and divided the Lesson into Lesson 2a and Lesson 2b.  We hope that will make things easier for students by making this material clearer and easier to excel at.

05/23/2008 - Important: When emailing us try to always use the email address supplied by clicking on the email button on the navigation bar at the top of this page.  Some of you have gotten emails from us with a return address at "hypernet.com".  Please don't use this any more as it is no longer operating.  You can use the regular address.  Also if you get mail from us using a email address at midmaine.com you can safely reply to that.  However it is always safest to use our primary email address as that should never change.

05/01/2008 - We have added an illustrated biography of Nathan Shawl who is now acting as our principle CAD Course instructor and doing some work for us as a Yacht Draftsman and on some smaller projects as an Associate Designer

04/22/2008 -  We are slowly catching up on a back log of YDS main curriculum lessons, thanks to the help we are getting through having the CAD Course lessons corrected by Nathan Shawl.  Despite rewriting the tests for Lesson Two earlier this year and adding material to help the students make the lesson quicker to correct we find that this lesson is still a bottle neck both for students in the amount of time it takes them and in the great many hours it often takes to get one lesson totally corrected and graded, especially when some students are making several submissions before we find they have gotten everything correct.  We are therefore going to do further modifications to the test and possibly divide the lesson into two lessons to make things go quicker for the student. ....  A British gentleman has kindly written us to provide expanded information on the lengths of locks which has caused us to modify our material on narrowboats and other canal cruisers in the Idea Designs page.  We thank him very much.  .... Our Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions publication is now up to 260 pages.  We have also incorporated our Living Aboard - Figuring the Costs article as an appendix so that you can order only the single publication.  The next major enhancement of this very popular work will be adding more information on more examples of suitable designs for family living aboard and voyaging.  We will have to raise the price of this publication soon or find a way to print and bind it more economically.  Probably we'll have to do both.

02/25/2008 - We are pleased to announce that we have enlisted Nathan Shawl, a CAD expert, who is also one of our advanced Yacht Design School students, to work with us on teaching the CAD Course.  Nathan has been working with us over the last 5 months going over the CAD Course and making many valuable suggestions for improvements to the curriculum.  These have been incorporated as we have agreed on them and I'm sure many of you are already benefiting from them greatly.  Dividing the teaching burdens should help speed lesson correction times for all students a great deal.  We are always trying to have the best possible experience for our students and we are sure that Nathan will be a big component in that this year. .... In other news our draft of Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions has now been frozen at 240 pages in 8-1/2 x 11 format and we are now editing it and refining it to produce a regular 6 x9 edition that can be sold through book stores as well as through our site as the evolving draft has been.  ....  Our work on the Miss Congeniality 38 Sportfisherman Cruiser is proceeding well.  We are getting close to a complete Concept Design on our Clarsach 20 canoe yawl.  We are looking forward to completing our Shining Moon 36 Chinese style liveaboard and voyaging yacht, which should start soon.  Our plywood construction drawing for the Osprey 30 cruising tug is looking very good and we hope will be done shortly.  All this would go faster if we had more draftsmen, but with the industry in desperate need of additional design personnel it is getting harder to find enough staff to take on all the work we could get.

01/24/2008 - We have been tremendously busy in both the design area and at Yacht Design School.  All last year we were way behind on design projects.  That now seems to be under control and we hope will remain so.  Growth has been the norm for Yacht Design School but I'm afraid last year growth was too fast.  The normally required lesson correction times have not allowed us to keep lesson corrections as timely as we want.  We are re-writing "bottle neck" lessons that take many hours to correct, such as Lesson Two, to allow more rapid corrections.  This is a long process, especially when added to our efforts to make major revisions to lessons and train additional instructors.  I hope that those for whom lesson corrections have been slow will forgive us.  We simply failed to anticipate that the school could grow as fast as it has.  As of now it looks like we should be able to get an additional instructor on line within the next week or so and will have the test process more standardized for Lesson Two to speed correction times within another week.  From there on we have great hopes that for the foreseeable future we should be able to eliminate delays.  I would like to personally thank all the design firms, boat builders, students, and many others who have sent students to us.  We have always tried to be a very personal very high quality school.  We have made sure the schools was "scalable" so that it made money whether small or large.  We never aimed to be the largest school that taught yacht and small craft naval architecture.  It is your insistence that potential students should come to us which has made us one of the two schools with the most students.  This is both nice to know and a challenge!

10/21/2007 - We are still adding to our publication Living Aboard -Frequently Asked Questions.  We now have 180 pages in 8-1/2 x 11 format.  We've been adding to this in order of the most frequently asked questions and the most complex ones to answer.  As soon as it looks like we've got a reasonably stable publication which we don't need to add much too we'll typeset it for publication and get a hard bound edition printed up.  This still looks like it will be awhile, but perhaps by the end of this year we'll be ready.

10/08/2007 - We would like to acknowledge the generous gift of a large number of marine books to our Yacht Design School library by Larry and Verna Heimbinder.  Most of these books will provide more research materials for students and others working in our library.  Some which duplicate works of which we already have sufficient copies, will be donated to the library at The Boat School, the oldest operating school of professional boat building in the nation, which is here in Eastport.  Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Heimbinder.

08/25/2007 -  We've added another question and answer to the CAD Course FAQ.  We were spending a great deal of time each week explaining that the RhinoMarine plug-ins and add-ons were not produced by the folks who produced Rhino and were not necessary to use Rhino in marine design, nor desirable in taking our CAD Course.  Hence this long detailed standardized explanation. 

06/04/2007 - We've updated our Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions publication again and note that it is now 155 pages.  We have a fair amount more material to add but sometime this year we hope to come out with a hard bound version.

05/25/2007 - We've updated our Yacht Design School Frequently Asked Questions to cover our latest thinking on the relative importance of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) versus manual drafting.  As you might expect CAD continues to become more important and an increasingly good idea to learn early on.  We've also found that occasionally people ask us to let them acquire the YDS lessons without out taking the tests.  Sometimes they even ask to buy the lessons and a diploma!  As you can imagine we won't do this, as it would not be right, and we hope that saying so in the FAQ will make it less necessary to try to come up with polite ways to refuse these requests.

05/03/2007 -  The addition of our daughter Heather to the team as an Administrative Assistant is helping a lot.  She has taken much of the routine communications off Tom's shoulders and is doing most of the fulfillment work that Nannette has been doing.  In Tom's case this has about doubled the amount of productive design work and YDS lesson correction and revision work that Tom can do.  This will make a big difference over last year, when we were disastrously overloaded with design work.  We should be able to move projects along much faster now. .... We've accumulated quite a lot of interesting questions that students have had on drafting techniques when they are just starting out and are working on adding a number of illustrations to the lessons, especially lesson one, which should be helpful both to new students and to those further along in our curriculum.

04/20/2007 - We have added some nice photographs of the Blue Moon yawl in the brokerage page. ...Happy Birthday Luke!

03/30/2007 - We have added card identification numbers boxes to all the order forms.  CIDs are the three or four digit numbers printed after the card number on the back of your credit card.  By getting those we ensure that the person placing the order has physical possession of the card and thus help protect your credit card account.  I should mention that this is precautionary.  We do not believe anyone in the last 18 years has actually used a card that they were not entitled to use.  However it doesn't hurt to be careful.

03/23/2007 - A number of potential students have asked us to put summaries of the contents of the later YDS Lessons on the web site.  Even though we are still revising the later lessons in the course frequently, people seem to prefer to have summaries of the lesson contents on the site even if they may be outdated by revisions frequently.

03/15/2007 - We have just been revising the YDS Frequently Asked Questions and the CAD Course Frequently Asked Questions which touch on learning Computer Assisted Design (CAD) and whether you should learn CAD exclusively, manual drafting first, or both CAD and manual drafting.  We notice that every time we revise this material we seem to put a bit more emphasis on the benefits of CAD.  Tom still has a manual drafting table next to his CAD workstation and probably always will, given that we have a large number of stock plans that were originally manually drawn and will always need some manual updating.  Still we notice that in planning offices for our own boat we no longer make provision for drafting tables but only for a CAD workstation. .... We have also revised the main YDS page to more fully explain the character of the later lessons which seems to confuse people.

03/05/2007 - We are now supplying Rhino Version 4.0 to all students (educational license) and professionals (commercial license).  We have been very happy with the previous version of Rhino and could do all the necessary functions of yacht design and drafting perfectly well in it.  We did make some suggestions to speed certain drafting functions which would make the actual drawing time quicker.  We are very happy to report that every single one of our suggestions were incorporated.  While we aren't so egotistical as to feel that this was done solely at our suggestion, it does mean that we are extremely happy with Version 4.0.  All the pricing for the educational licenses available to our students are on the YDS Enrollment formCommercial licenses may be purchased through our Marine Publishing Order Form.

03/02/2007 - We often get students from other schools asking if it is alright to ask us questions.  We've added a question and answer to the Yacht Design School Frequently Asked Questions page describing what kinds of questions we can answer and what kinds we can't.  We want to assure our "competitors" that we don't use these contacts to try to recruit students.  We do our best to help them but we have plenty of students and while we will take people who want to transfer from other schools it is not something we are trying to do. ...

02/14/2007 – We finally had to admit that we could not stop the automated posting by spammers on our Discussion Group.  We shut it down, deleted it, and built another one with a “gimmick” which should keep the automated postings out at least for awhile and gives us a mechanism for altering the way people post slightly every time the spammers figure out how to by-pass it.  Human beings should be able to post to it just fine, but computers should have a harder time.  We hope this works! .... We have made some changes on the Yacht Design School main page and in the Yacht Design School Brochure to make it clearer that most students take our course on a distance learning basis, though we usually have had a few residential students as well. .... We have also noted that an increasing number of students, especially those outside of North America, are first taking the Computer Assisted Design Course in using Rhino as your primary design tool and then taking our main curriculum using Rhino without using any manual drafting.  While this may not be as good as learning both manual and CAD techniques, today it is certainly a viable approach.

02/02/2007 - On the Farthing page we've added some great pictures of a model of the vessel being built by Eric Crossen in Alaska.  I hope that Eric will send us many more pictures both of his model and of his full sized boat.  This is one person "backpacker" style voyaging yacht is the smallest of our Coin Collection ultimate voyaging yachts of various sizes.  They are very popular vessels which are always being built all over the world.

01/30/2007 -  Our Careers page has been modified a bit to give more information on the skills that we wish people to have who are working with us.  This page has a huge list of job functions.  Remember if you'd like to work with us it is perfectly permissible to combine several of these jobs until they get so big and time consuming that you have to split some of them off for others to do.  We feel that this allows everyone to eventually focus on what they like to do and are the best at.  This page makes it look like we are a huge outfit.  Actually we are not but these are the areas in which we could use more people or in which we see opportunity for others to develop profit centers for themselves by working with us.

01/27/2007 - For those of you interested in custom designs, we've added an interesting page defining what we mean by various styling types.  This is linked to the Custom Design Quotation Form.  You may find it a useful insight into how we think about these things as we develop at style choosing between form follows function, traditional styling, classic styling, or "starship" styling.

01/25/2007 -  We've added another page with the equipment list, some comments and lots of pictures on the Ampibicon on the brokerage page.  She really looks nice. .... Also we've added a much better profile view of our Crown Jewel design to the site.  You can now see what she looks like a lot better.  This is one of our favorite designs.

01/19/2007 - In the Brokerage section you will find a new listing for one of the really nice 25' trailerable Amphibicon sloops.  These are great boats for a couple or small family for anything up to coastwise living aboard.  .... We also have added an Equipment List for the 23' Blue Moon cutter posted in the Brokerage section last time.  Watch for pictures of her and more information on her soon. .... Our publication Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions is now 96 pages and we are still adding more pages.  These are 8-1/2 x 11 pages and it is getting to be far more expensive to print these on nice paper, comb bind them and send them out than it would be to have them printed and bound.  The problem is that we are still adding to them all the time.  We will have to come up with a solution that reduces printing costs and raises the price a bit. This will be some sort of printed and bound edition with updates available until the next edition comes out.  We are trying to find the best solution for you.

01/05/2007 - In the Brokerage section you will find a new listing for a nice little gaff rigged liveaboard cutter.  This has been the home of Tom and Nan's daughter Heather for the last decade.  This is a chance to acquire a fabulous liveaboard yacht in essentially new condition for a fraction of the cost of a new vessel.  This modest investment will allow you to try living aboard and doing anything from a little coastal sailing to a circumnavigation with confidence. ...  By next Friday we hope to add a really nice small coastal cruiser to the site as well.  Look for more then.

12/05/2006 - Our publication Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions is now up to 95 pages.  We've added information on the basic principle behind seamanship, evaluating how comfortable you will be at sea, attitudes toward living aboard, and avoiding the need to exert a lot of effort in handling your vessel. ... We've added two more of our favorite books to the marine publishing order form.  Both of them are by Hervey Garrett Smith.  One is The Arts of the Sailor in which each chapter instructs you in something done with line plus sometimes canvas work or a bit of wood working.  The other is The Marlinspike Sailor in which each chapter is a useful project using line or making something nautical, useful, and fun out of wood.  I've used these two books in the past to do all sorts of useful things for our boats, and have also found that many of the projects and techniques in them can be used to make very interesting gifts.  Get someone to give you these inexpensive books for Christmas and then next Christmas give your whole family useful gifts with a nautical theme which they will love.

12/04/2006 - Joseph Delgado cadcam7@hotmail.com has again asked us to let our CAD Course students know that he is looking for two (2) additional graduates of our Computer Assisted Design Course in the use of Rhino for yacht and small craft design. Naturally the most desirable candidates will be graduates of both our CAD Course and the main Yacht Design School curriculum, and the second most desirable would be those CAD Course graduates part way through the main curriculum, but even those who have done substantial work on the CAD Course may be able to get a job as there is a great shortage of Rhino operators for the marine industry.  Ideally candidates would be willing to relocate to Louisiana but telecommuting may be possible if your skills are sufficient. The firm he represents will pay well in proportion to your knowledge.

11/25/2006 - Our Living Aboard - Freqently Asked Questions publication is now up to 90 pages.  We just added some basic material on boat and medical insurance. .... We are gradually building up our team of people to handle the tremendous increase in business in 2006 in both our MacNaughton Yacht Designs work and our Yacht Design School, which we had not anticipated.  Training is the thing that takes the time.  I think we will be able to get work out to people much faster in 2007.

10/22/2006 - Our publication Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions, which is available through our publishing order form, continues to grow.  We thank the large number of people who are buying copies for helping us make this a better publication all the time.  We just added quite a lot of material on anchoring.  The total number of pages just hit 75 today [80 as of 10/30/2006].  We are pleased to be able to provide this help for people wishing to learn more and turn their dreams into a real way of life.

09/28/2006 -  Our deep apologies for being out of the office for three weeks without providing someone to keep things running for you!  We felt it would take us 6 days or a little longer to bring a small cruising sailboat up the coast.  Unfortunately it took nearly a week just to get her launched and reasonably safe to sail.  Then combinations of amazingly light and fluky winds for this time of year, unusual amounts of fog for September, etc. slowed us down.  Even so we had to leave the boat about two harbors down the coast because Tom cracked a rib helping with the anchor, which he really shouldn't have been doing, and needed to come back and heal up where he could get work done!  We'll have to prevail on family members or friends to take her the rest of the way.  This trip was a example of why we have always said that on a boat you should, "Never have a schedule, and never travel anywhere outside of the ideal season."  .... Important points:  If you've placed orders with us, you can be sure that we haven't charged your credit card on anything that hasn't been shipped.  We are downloading our mail as we type this and note that there are 2,380 emails waiting to be dealt with.  We will get to them just as fast as we can.  Also there are lesson corrections, and custom design work that has been delayed.  I assure you that we will be getting to these just as soon as we possibly can.  We will put a log of our little trip on the web site as soon as possible so that our readers and customers will get at least some good out of these delays! .... Next summer we'll be using this boat a lot but by then hope to be able to do lesson corrections, writing, and concept design work on the boat.  Then a few weekends won't be a problem for customers.  If in future we are off sailing for a week or more we promise we'll have the office better manned or arrange to at least answer email from the boat.

09/05/2006 - We will be leaving today to deliver a boat up the coast, which should take somewhere around 6 days. During that time there will only be minimal and intermittent staff in the office. Design quotes, email, order confirmations, etc. will not be attended to in this time frame. It doesn't mean that we don't care! We normally work for you seven days a week, but just at the moment we need these few days. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will be taking existing emails, quotes, etc. with us to work on evenings as we go.

08/23/2006 - We've just added a review for our new publication Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions.  We wrote this review ourselves, which is a little odd but at least gives our thoughts about the publication and its value.  This publication is very popular and obviously there is a big demand for it.  If you've read it, we'd love to have anything from a one sentence comment to a full fledged essay on it to put on the site so people can get some varying opinions.  .... Look for some news and essays on inexpensive living aboard adventures which we hope to be adding to the site periodically through this fall.

07/31/2006 - We notice that our newest publication Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions is proving very popular.  It has the advantage that it will not only probably answer most of your questions about living aboard, but will probably answer questions that you hadn't thought of yet will recognize as important to consider.  As people continue to read this and ask further questions we will keep adding to this publication. .... We've made a couple of minor modifications to the Careers page, which might be interesting if you've been following that page.

07/26/2006 - Important message for CAD Course alumni:  Contact Joseph Delgado cadcam7@hotmail.com if you are a graduate of the our CAD Course in the use of Rhino for yacht and small craft design, or are otherwise qualified in the Rhino 3D design software.  Naturally the most desirable candidates will be graduates of both our CAD Course and the main Yacht Design School curriculum, and the second most desirable would be those CAD Course graduates part way through the main curriculum, but even those who have done substantial work on the CAD Course may be able to get a job as there is a great shortage of Rhino operators for the marine industry.  Mr. Delgado is looking for three people to start work immediately. Ideally candidates would be willing to relocate to Louisiana but telecommuting may be possible if your skills are sufficient.  The firm he represents will pay well in proportion to your knowledge. .... As a general note:  Rhino skills are very highly sought after these days and demand heavily exceeds supply.  If you want a really good job in marine design instantly you need to take our CAD Course.

07/16/2006 - We've updated our Living Aboard page I hope people continue to find it as helpful and inspiring as they have to date. .... We've also added to the YDS Frequently Asked Questions a new policy that we will no longer accept very large "deposits" against future lesson purchases.  We ask that you pay only as you order the lessons and restrict yourself to having no more than two lessons on hand at a time. Given our very liberal refund policies large amounts, which may need to be refunded, can be a financial strain.

07/11/2006 - We've updated our information on Computer Assisted Design (CAD) in both the YDS Frequently Asked Questions and in the CAD Course Frequently Asked Questions.  This reflects the increasing emphasis on CAD in the industry.  We have also added two more questions to both of these which relate to deciding whether you personally will put more emphasis on CAD during the learning process and when you should begin to do this.  This is still an individual choice.  Nannette is down the coast today surveying a boat that we might acquire for something to sail while continuing our restoration of "Charis" our much loved 68 year old voyaging yacht.

07/09/2006 - We've finally added to the marine publishing order form the publication Living Aboard - Frequently Asked Questions.  This was originally intended to be an online FAQ but it just got to be too much information to be practical in that context.  Right at the moment this is 58 pages [95 pages as of 12/07/2006] of thoughts on living aboard.  We kept holding off putting it on the site formally for sale because we kept adding to it as people brought up more questions.  However we finally realized we just had to make it available and just keep adding to it.  We would assume that this publication will continue to evolve.  Whenever the number of pages rises significantly over the version you have I would suggest that you order another copy.  This publication allows us to answer more inquiries, more promptly, and thus help more people to a happier life on the water.

07/05/2006 - Design clients, students, and general readers of this site should be aware that from today through sometime Friday of this week we will not be available to answer questions, though of course email and the answering machine will continue to take messages.  We will still be correcting lessons and collecting orders but nothing will be shipped out until early next week.  We are sorry for this but a minor medical procedure will take up a lot of time this week and we don't have enough staff in the office to keep everything going.  With any luck this will be the only time this year during which we don't have someone available to answer your queries.  We are adding to the staff as fast as we can and hope that such delays won't occur in the future.

06/04/2006 - We  revised the careers page again this week to show that we need more instructors for YDS.  If you are a real solid expert in any of the subjects we teach and are willing to take additional training let us know.  This teaching likely to be part time initially but makes a very rewarding source of both income and a sense of doing something worthwhile.

05/26/2006 - You will note that we have revised the careers page to indicate a heavy demand for yacht designers and draftsman at MacNaughton Yacht Designs.  We want to stress that, provided you are Rhino proficient, you can be located anywhere in the world and work with us using collaborative software over the Internet.  Further if you run a boat building or yacht design firm and periodically have under utilized Rhino proficient design personnel you probably don't need to lay them off.  It is likely that we can put them to work.  We pay you and you pay them.  They get increased job security and you don't permanently lose valuable workers.

05/21/2006 - People often ask whether they should take the Rhino Level One Course before taking the Computer Assisted Design Course, which teaches you how to use Rhino in yacht and small craft naval architecture.  We've added a short explanation on the YDS school page under the Rhino Level One Course training section and another question in the CAD Course FAQ.  If you normally would teach yourself any new program using the manuals and tutorials, it probably will suffice with Rhino to read the manual, do all suggested tutorials, review the Level One and Level Two manuals on the disk and review the command list.  You can then go directly to the Computer Assisted Design Course.  If, however, you would normally go to your local continuing education program, community college, university, or training specialist to learn any new program then you probably should take the Rhino Level One Course before starting on the "CAD Course".

03/25/2006 - We've now added an enormous amount of much more detailed lines development material to Lesson 4 of our Yacht Design School curriculum and divided it into three lessons 4a, 4b, and 4c.  Some of the material in these lessons is not yet available anywhere else in the world.  We are very proud of these new lessons. .... We've updated areas of the site which mention our telephone number to encourage people to call between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday United States "Eastern" time.  It is really helpful if you can call between these hours.  Remember that while our business is highly international, we aren't really in a position to keep a complete staff here 24 hours per day, much as we'd like to make things as convenient for our customers as possible.

03/10/2006 - We have received a number of requests recently for a comparison with another school, which we feel chose the name of a program unfortunately.  This has created an impression that you can attend this school and get an education as what we call a yacht designer or a naval architect specializing in yacht and small craft naval architecture.  Viewed as a program limited to yacht styling and interior decorating the curriculum is impressive but unfortunately our answer in the Yacht Design School section on Frequently Asked Questions as to whether people wishing to be yacht designers should attend their school has had to be in the negative.  It would only take a name change for them to clear up this confusion which we believe would be better for them, their students, and the industry as there is nothing wrong at all in teaching what they are actually teaching.  I hope people will understand that our concern is that students will not be misled into choosing either our school or theirs through a confusion about what the two schools are teaching. ....

02/24/2006 - We have noticed that occasionally people inquiring about Yacht Design School ask why our tuition is lower than the other schools.  The reasons are pretty straight forward and have been added in the YDS Freqently Asked Questions.  I think they make interesting reading. .... We have also answered the frequently asked questions in which practicing designers ask if they can take the course and some potential students have asked if we teach multihulls.  .... We've also added a quotation of a phrase of mine that someone said should be preserved to our page on the individual stock plans. .... Unfortunately volume of work is forcing us to use our weekends to catch up on custom design work and YDS Lesson revisions, so we ask the you bear with us as we postpone answering any email we receive on the weekend until the beginning of the week

02/17/2006 - We've added individual pricing for the educational license plug-ins for the wonderful Rhino CAD package that we use to our YDS enrollment form.  This enables students who have already purchased an educational or commercial license for Rhino to learn these plug-ins without having to buy a bundle which includes Rhino. .... We have also added commercial license pricing for networked office versions of  the various bundles of the Rhino package with plug-ins and the individual package pricing to our publishing form.

02/04/2006 - These days we've been getting some students signing up for our CAD Course, which teaches the use of the Rhinoceros(r) or "Rhino" program in yacht and small craft naval architecture and boat building, who want assurance that they can take the course even though they are students at a school other than our Yacht Design SchoolOf course they can.  It is our job to teach yacht design not to worry about "competing" with another school.  So if you are a student of a school which requires you to use CAD in your studies but does not teach it, you are most welcome to learn from us.  There is no reason for other schools to reinvent the wheel when you can take our CAD Course separately from our main curriculum.  Many large ship naval architects and practicing designers and builders also come to us for the CAD Course. .... Those interested in working with us or who are looking for a location for a new or existing marine business should look at our revised Careers page.  Recently we have found that our business has evolved toward a model that is international in human resources as well as customers.  We find there is now no reason why many of the opportunities with us should not be available to people anywhere in the world.  At the same time Eastport is a wonderful place to locate many types of marine businesses and we have included brief information on some of the businesses that we find are needed for this area and some of the resources you might be interested in. .... In the YDS Frequently Asked Questions and the CAD Course FAQ we have added some questions at the bottom that relate to helping out students at other schools.  If you need help with remedial math, are having trouble learning marine drafting, need to learn the use of Computer Assisted Design using the Rhino as mentioned above, and find the school you are attending expects you to learn this material elsewhere, we want it to be clear that you are welcome to learn these subjects from us without quitting the other school.

12/24/2005 - I write this early on the morning of the Day Before Christmas.  For many all over the world this is a very special time of  year in which we particularly hope for peace and understanding among the world's peoples and the wisdom to see how to promote it.  For our own part we earnestly hope that all of us here at the various businesses that make up macnaughtongroup.com are helping our readers, customers, and students have better lives.  To us life around the water can be the saving of many a person's happiness in life.  .... We are very pleased to announce the addition to the list of books that we supply a most wonderful volume by our friend Lucia del Sol Knight and Tom's brother Daniel Bruce MacNaughton called The Encyclopedia of Yacht Designers.  This is a truly enormous volume of great weight both physically and from the point of view of the scholarship involved, which has been many years in the researching and writing, and has been recently published in a stunningly physically beautiful volume with a quality of photo and drawing reproduction which we have never seen equaled by W.W. Norton.  We are very proud to know Lucia and be related to Dan as we are sure that this book will be considered to be one of the great works in the history of marine publishing.  The Encyclopedia will clearly be a major and essential work for the true marine bibliophile.  We are very pleased to be able to sell copies to you.

11/17/2005 - The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction is back in print with a new 5th edition with a lot of updates and about 20% more material.  If you are interested in wood and epoxy boat building you are definitely going to want to get this one.  See the review linked to the title on our marine publishing order form.  ....

11/11/2005 - We have moved our prediction of when we'll have courses in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as shown on the YDS main page to mid-2006.  Even so this may well be optimistic.  When we'll get time to develop these courses I have no idea. .... Maybe its a little premature but we've made mention on the Brokerage page of our upcoming kits for various designs, which we are working on at present.

11/06/2005 -  It has just been pointed out to us that one place in the information on the CAD Course it refers to version 2.0.  I've corrected that to the current version 3.0.  In any case it would always be the current version that you would get on any software that we sold.  However you should always check frequently to make sure you have the current free service release.

10/28/2005 - A really nice example of one of our Crown Jewel designs has just been launched in Sweden as a "power away" bare hull and deck.  We've put a picture of her on the Crown Jewel page.  I'm counting on these Coin Collection designs to get me into Heaven.  I just love them and they seem to make such a difference in people's lives.  Hence our continuing work to develop kits for them.  Right now we are working on a kit for the Miranda sailing life dinghy which makes a great tender for most of these boats and a great practice project for those who want to do a larger sheathed strip kit.  Next will be Shilling, then Penny, and then probably SovereignSince it looks like these kits of pre-cut, milled, and pre-cast parts with all other materials and gear will save at least half the labor in building and cost about the same amount as the average person would have to pay just to get the raw materials, it should be a pretty good deal.

10/14/2005 - We have added a quote from a traditional song to the Loch Fyne Marine Hardware page. ....  Recently we noticed that we had in one week communicated with clients in so many countries around the world that we put a somewhat cheeky quote at the bottom of the design page. .... We've put another quote in a couple of places [these are the good old days, explain why important], [note on needing listings for various vessels in the brokerage section]

10/05/2005 -  We have added a quote from one of our CAD Course graduates to the course page.  Thank you Ian for permission to use this quote.

10/02/2005 - On the YDS main page you will see that we've divided Lesson 6 "Flotation & Stability" into 6a and 6b.  Thus there is now a separate lesson on Flotation and one on Stability.  As we ran more students through Lesson 6 we found that the most common comment was that the lesson had too much information and took a long time.  Several students have suggested it be divided up.  We also found that we were taking an excessive amount of time correcting this lesson. We finally decided to make things easier on everyone and divide the lesson in two.

09/27/2005 - On the Idea Designs page you will find a new addition with a color rendering, the canal cruiser Eventide, which has been styled after the British narrowboats and European powered canal barges.  Like these vessels the bow and stern sections have all the shape and the center portion of the vessel is completely wall sided.  Therefore you can build them any length you desire or can afford up to 65' and even cut them in half and weld in another section when you get more money.  These vessels have incredible versatility of interior design at very little cost.

08/01/2005 - We have added a web page and information form on The Boat School which is Eastport's school of boatbuilding.  This school grounds the students well in traditional wooden boat building, modern wood and epoxy boatbuilding, fiberglass and other composites, electrical and other marine systems and repair of all these materials and systems.  This school has been here a long time and has been very important to the Maine professional boat building industry.  We expect this school to continue to expand in coming years and will be very likely to continue to have a growing influence, not only in Maine and the Northeast but world wide.  If you want to learn boatbuilding this is a great place to strart.

06/03/2005 - In the left column on the home page you will see a new link called Promotion by Our Friends.  This page on the site describes why our readers, clients and students are vital to making sure that the widest possible number of people find us.  It also suggests ways that you can play a very important role in helping us provide more happiness to as many people's lives as possible.  The benefits to us our obvious, but the benefits to customers and students are that we can continue to expand while avoiding an advertising budget beyond this web site.  This spreads our fixed costs over a larger volume, thus keeping costs down.  It also helps us provide more and better services to everyone and provide more jobs both here in Eastport and for those in supporting businesses, and those working with us collaboratively, around the world.

05/20/2005 - We have made some minor revisions to the YDS Frequently Asked Questions. .... We have updated the Yacht Design School Brochure slightly.

05/13/2005 - Well, dear friends, it has been a tough few weeks.  Our former Internet service provider decided to move our web site to another server, without regard for the fact that the server did not have resources that this site needs to operate properly.  This meant that suddenly many of the advanced features of the site were crippled and we were unable to even update the site ourselves.  We were able to get the forms working on the new server but not the discussion group.  Unfortunately the contents of the discussion group were also lost when the service provider without our permission tried to fool with its functions and get it working again.  Some of the discussion history will be condensed slightly and restored over the next week or so.  Or at least we hope so!  We are now with another service provider who has carefully and patiently set everything up so that it should all work.  At the same time we have had them add some capabilities which should, over the course of the rest of the year allow us to expand the functions of the site greatly so that we can provide you with many more services.  There will be more on this later.  .... I imagine that you will also be interested to hear that over the next two years we expect to be doing a lot more with more fully developed online courses with many more functions to help you in learning and will be bringing in more design experts both to teach and to allow us to take on more of the custom design projects offered to us. Both YDS and MacNaughton Yacht Designs are expected to continue to expand considerably over the next two years. .... We are also very pleased to announce that at the request of Sarah Devlin, who heads up Professional Boatbuilder's online training and with the enthusiastic support of their publisher Carl Cramer, YDS will be developing and teaching a 6 week course entitled "Ensuring Excellence in Hull Lines" which we hope will premier in July.  This will be taught as often as there is demand.

03/18/2005 - This week we've added yet another area of responsibility to our careers page.  Yacht Design School has an educational site license for some very powerful Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software from Algor.  We hope with the help of this software to become the first school of yacht and small craft naval architecture to offer courses in these fields.  However we are very busy these days and expansion seems to be continuing.  This has kept us from developing our FEA/CFD program.  We need a director with a solid technical background to come in, learn the software thoroughly, develop courses  for our own undergraduates, graduates, and for people already in the industry.  They will also head up a research and publishing effort which will conduct studies in marine structures, in aerodynamics, and in hydrodynamics with a goal of developing a series of papers that will contain guidelines and formulas that will allow design firms world wide to design better structures and produce vessels of all types with better performance.  This is a tall order.  However there is someone out there who would like to come, live in a small coastal Maine town, and have a real influence on the future of yacht design. ....  We have updated our Future Plans page.  There's a lot more information that's a lot more up to date. ....

03/13/2005 -  We've added another of Dan's great reviews.  This one on Lin and Larry Pardey's  book The Capable Cruiser.  .... Our advanced student Mark Evans came and visited us for a couple of months just to spend some fun time around the office.  While here he pitched in on a lot of projects that we otherwise probably couldn't have gotten to.  He did a lot of updates on the Silver Gull 19 and the Silver Gull 28 drawings.  He did a complete sheathed strip construction drawing for the Freedom's Song 90 which is described on our idea designs page.  Most interesting and intriguing of all, at least in my book, is that he started the process of putting our Shilling 22 into Rhinoceros(r) format so that we can work toward producing her as the first in a line of very high quality kit boats.  During the process we went out of our way with Mark's help to refine the design for the last fraction of a percent of minimum resistance and maximum performance in a boat which would require the minimum hours from the owner to assemble.  Mark not only did wonderfully with this but contributed several innovations of his own to the lines fairing process, which I'm sure have improved what is already one of our best loved designs.  We all want to thank Mark a lot for visiting and for helping out while he was here.  We are growing so fast that it is hard to find enough people.  I only wish we could have put him on paying work while he was here, but of course the government wouldn't let us pay him because he's from Britain.  We couldn't even have had him work for free if he'd been displacing any US candidate for work  Mark was just learning Rhino, imagine how hard it is to be innovative while working with a CAD Program you haven't taken the course on as yet.  Mark's only about half way through our YDS course but I would have him work with us here in Eastport in a minute if I could.  I imagine the lucky British design firm that gives him an interview and sees his work.  I'm sure he's going to be snapped up by someone pretty quickly.  If you look at the Shilling page you will see some of his basic renderings of the hull. .... On the careers page we have indicated an eventual need for a librarian.  This will be an unusual service for our students, whereby they can look things up in the books in our library both in print and out of print.  This will be available to bona fide students enrolled in any of our Yacht Design School programs.  We believe that this will not only operate exactly as any other library for research purposes but will make it much easier for students to decide for themselves which books are the most urgent for them to acquire.  This is a long term project.  As is true of so much that we want to do, the scarce resource is people.  Top people and top supporting firms and suppliers, who also revolve around the people involved, are always the hardest resource to find enough. ....

02/18/2005 - On the careers page, which you will notice is growing all the time, we have added the job of Virtual Reality Developer to handle very detailed renderings and animations..  We are all getting more into this and all we are really sure is that we need more breadth and depth of expertise in this.  Our whole industry does as well, so I would expect YDS will be adding more courses in this area too eventually.

02/11/2005 -  A number of our students have asked where they can get more experience around boats and practical knowledge about their structures.  Obviously we have a number of standard suggestions on what you should do to acquire knowledge outside the course but many have asked if there is something that they can do to tap our knowledge in these areas.  To help with this we are starting a very informal Boatbuilding and Restoration Internship. Students who wish to participate in this will work with their instructor on one or more of our projects.  Time spent on these projects will generate a credit against the YDS main curriculum tuition. .... On the school page we've added another one of the little quotes from our own teaching which students have told us they really like. .... We've also very slightly changed the layout of the Discussion pages.

02/04/2005 - If you click on the title The Cost Conscious Cruiser on the marine publishing order form, you will now get a good solid review by Daniel B. MacNaughton.  If you plan to live aboard and voyage, you should have this book.  Aside from some remarks that indicate the Pardey's have insufficient understanding of and experience with choosing and using epoxies we agree we virtually everything in this book, which is very rare. ....  We have some favorite quotes and some phrases of ours that people tell us are particularly helpful or give new perspective.  We've started to scatter these throughout the web site as seems appropriate .... We have added a new page explaining a little more about the wonderful Rhinoceros  CAD software which many of our design students use and around which our Rhino Introductory Course and CAD Course are centered.  Our students are very fortunate in that they are allowed to acquire a full working version of this software at a very special educational price.

01/28/2005 - We've added one of our favorite quotes to the lead page for the Live Aboard Catalog, ,,,  We did a major revision of Lesson Three last year adding a large amount of material on developed surface hulls to solve problems that people seemed to be having with perceiving how to do this.  Students who have taken or who have acquired but not yet finished Lesson Three should email us for updated material at no charge.  Since doing this we have found that it makes far too much work for one lesson, as people really need to get some feed back before going too far without seeing our comments.  Therefore we have replaced "3" with two lessons.  For convenience in maintaining the numbering system these have been named "3a" and "3b".  They are now separate lessons, giving at the moment 21 lessons in our complete program in yacht and small craft naval architecture.  There will be other adjustments of this type soon.

01/21/2005 - On the Yacht Design School page you will note that the Rhino Introductory Course pricing has gone up substantially. We have so few people in this course as yet that we cannot be sure whether this is the right pricing or not but we can be reasonably sure that the introductory price was well under what it should be.  In any case it is still a bargain as it is roughly comparable to the cost of three day seminars done by some dealers for Rhino with the advantage that you don't have to pay travel expenses, motel rooms, meals, etc. and you are not "hurried" through the exercises.  You can take your time and ask all the questions you want without worrying about holding anybody else up or running out of time to complete level one. .... We have quite a number of CAD Course students and quite a long track record on the amount of time it is taking on the average to do this instruction.  There we have also had to raise tuition.  We believe the course to still be a bargain in that this is absolutely the most complete course available anywhere for marine use of the Rhino CAD package.  Rhino is the most sought after CAD skill in the field of yacht and small craft naval architecture.  Even large ship naval architecture firms are sending people to us to learn Rhino .... Since these courses are paid for up front students already signed up are not affected by these rate changes.

01/07/2005 - On the marine publishing order form we have indicated that the Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction, one of the most important books on boat building available today is out of print.  How this can happen beats me.  We have been promised that it would be back in print soon for months and have been buying up copies from every source we could find all over the country.  However it is still not in print and we are now forced to find good clean used copies.  Fortunately this is not yet hard to do.  As always we will find you the best price we can and are happy to advise you before you commit to the particular price.  We apologize for this and assure you we have called Gougeon Brothers on this several times. .... You will also find on the publishing form the first of a new series of reviews by Tom's brother Daniel MacNaughton, who is a well known marine writer, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Yacht Design, and a project manager at Rockport Marine. .... We also want to advise you that on the YDS drafting tools order form the price of a set of ship's curves has had to go up by $9.  We try to keep these prices as low as we can.  So far as we know we are the only regular retailer of Copenhagen Ship's Curves in the world which I guess explains why we sell so many, but still it is not enough volume to be able to get the pricing down any further.

12/24/2004 - Today most everybody is out of the office planning for Christmas.  Here in the office, which is also our home, Nannette is spending today largely in cooking for our holiday tomorrow.  Tom will wrap presents, and make cranberry sauce and a salad for Christmas eve dinner at his mother's house just up the road.  Nevertheless in the middle of this we are reflecting on the tremendous increase in all our interconnected businesses this year and the large number of very kind things that people have said to us this year about our work.  We have always said that our ultimate product was always intended to be increased human happiness.  That's what we aim for and you can only hit the target you aim for.  I am gratified that despite our imperfections and occasional missteps it appears that we are delivering that product pretty well.  I want particularly to mention that two of our most advanced students Michael Chudy and Sven Oftedal who also work with us on design projects and advancing the school have done extraordinary things this year both in their studies and working with us on design projects.  Clearly these gentlemen could go anywhere they wished with their drafting skills and we are very gratified that they have chosen to work so closely with us.  To our clients, students, and customers all over the work we wish to say that we thank you for the opportunity to be part of your lives this year and we hope that we may continue to work with you in the coming year.

12/17/2004 - We have added a plate expansions drawing to the Bufflehead 22 tug drawings. ....

12/15/2004 -  We have updated the Rhino Level One Training information to better explain that an Educational or Commercial version of Rhino is necessary to access files used in the course. .... On the CAD Course page we've added some renderings showing the instructor, Michael's, work on our Sagittarius 60 design, and two nice renderings by Lesson 6 CAD Course student Leo Huang of Taiwan. .... We have also changed the Sagittarius 60 rendering on the idea designs page to allow this page to render a little faster.

11/26/2004 -  We have finally added our Maddy 18 to the stock plans.  This was drawn up by Sven Oftedal working from sketches by Tom.  Poor Sven may have been nearly driven to distraction by Tom's insistence that Maddy be just as she had evolved in Tom's head over the 20 years since she was originally sketched up.  Nevertheless she came out to be a nice little pocket power yacht of an older type and Sven retained his sanity while avoiding doubtless strong temptations to stab Tom with a drafting pencil. .... In the idea designs section we have just added information on a partial design for a 90' clipper bowed passenger carrying schooner we call Freedom's Song.  If you have an interest in running a business based around a good practical vessel that most passengers will think of as romantic and traditional, here is an opportunity to save a bit on the development of the design. .... For our Computer Assisted Design Course, which teaches the use of the Rhino, in yacht and small craft naval architecture, we have developed a CD which contains all the lessons, supporting texts, and sample files.  This is now automatically mailed to every student so that they have all the course materials in a permanent form immediately.  Students who are part way through the course and want a copy of this disk should email us.  We will get you one at no charge.

11/11/2004 - We have just enough people helping us right now to allow us to begin to catch up on maintaining and adding to this web site.  While we should be updating the site every week, you can see that months have passed.  We really do want to train enough people so that we can keep this site lively and we apologize that we aren't keeping our friends updated as much as we should. .... This time we have updated the stockplans:  We've addded Lake Sailor, a small car top canoe yawl suitable from modest adventures.  These adventures may be all the better for their modesty.  Do we really need to treat sailing as though it had to be arduous or scary?  To us the art seems to be in leading an adventurous life without danger and fatigue.  Lake Sailor is a good choice for simple happy times.  On the other end of the daysailer scale is Aruna 33 a narrow tandem cockpit light displacement pure daysailing schooner.  Not everyone's cup of tea, but if she's what you want this is about the only place you'll find a boat liker her.  Finally one of our favorite new stock plans is Island Girl 24 a nice simple Bahaman sharpshooter.  This is sort of the "Shaker furniture" of boats.  She is bone simple and very lovable.  The sense of how simple and straight forward life can be that you gain from spending plenty of time on a vessel like this is extremely compelling.  A little vessel like this can change your life.  The working drawings for Island Girl were done up with wonderful care and detail by Michael.... We have also updated the idea designs page.  We have added a nice little 23' twin keel motorsailer called the Anglian 23.  She is actually a partial design intended for your choice of plywood, aluminum, or steel.  Complete Lines & Offsets are available, along with patterns for all the hull, deck and wheelhouse panels.  To complete the design you need only commission a construction and accommodations drawing and a rig.  Our Bumble idea design now has grown to 28' and has a nice color rendering of the vessel with tanbark sails.  In the section on Colin Archer types we have shown a rendering, done by Michael, of the 60' version of this series, which we call the Sagittarius 60.  This is a very large version which we are just finishing up for a very charming Turkish gentleman.  If anybody wanted a nice business they could set up a boatbuilding shop in Eastport and just build various sizes of the Sagittarius.  I think we could supply them with enough people who wanted to have a real Colin Archer type to keep them busy and happy forever   Michael has already done up lines for a nice 32' version.... Finally this time we have updated some pricing on educational CAD software bundles on the YDS enrollment form.  This reflects the addition to the Rhino/Flamingo bundle of the Penguin plug in.  While we do not teach Penguin, and do not find it particularly compelling for our students, this is now the only way the bundle is available to us and it does amount to getting the $95 Penguin plug in free.  We have also added some notes to this form on how orders for software from outside of North America are filled by ordering through the distributor for your area of the world.  .... We now have Pat working fairly regularly on site updates so you should see more interesting stuff soon.

06/12/2004 - Comparing this date with the one below it shows why one of our friends refers to this as the what's new this millenium page!  We have a great many things we want to add to the site and talk about here.  Time is the problem. .... Last year at about this time we raised the rates on the YDS degree program in naval architecture with a specialty in yacht and small craft design.  At that time we warned that we had neglected the pricing for quite awhile and said we would be raising it again the first of the year.  As it happens when the first of the year rolled around your author could not bear to raise them again.  However a review of pricing in late May shows that the increasing number of students on advanced lessons and the larger staff needed for the steadily increasing student body have actually shown that we are losing ground on the tuition fees.  In any case we have had to raise the price of all lessons by $25 per lesson.  Since this puts us at about 38% of the cost of attending the competitor closest to us and even if we raised our rates all the way to the ideal we would be at 58% of our competitor's nominal fees, why are we so reluctant?  The reason is that we have always envisioned ourselves as a school accessible to everyone and have tried to keep our rates down accordingly.  I think it is clear that even if we raised our rates all the way to the ideal rate at one time we would be one of the most affordable educations that anyone in most of the highly industrialized democracies could imagine.  However we have recently had two students in Asia who reluctantly decided that they could not take our course because the cost would be equivalent to having a really nice house built where they lived.  At the present it is obvious that we really must raise the rates again at the end of 2004 by a similar amount.  We promise that we will keep these rates just as low as we possibly can.  .... Having given the bad news above, we are happy to have some really good news as well.  Our Yacht Design School as made an agreement with Algor, one of the leading providors of both Finite Element Analysis software and Computational Fluid Dynamics software to license their packages that are appropriate to naval architecture under a license to teach our advanced students both of these subjects.  They will be supplying us with a curriculum which we will initially use to teach our staff here and will then add to and enhance specifically for naval architecture for the benefit of those Yacht Design School students who want to learn these extremely advanced subjects.  It also allows our advanced students to do research under our direction which will hopefully advance the field of naval architecture as it applies to small sailing and power yachts and allow them to publish papers that will both be good for the school and for their careers.   However our custom design clients should realize that the commercial licenses for these programs are still very expensive.   Until they come down we, like other firms, would only acquire a license and do paying work for a customer for really expensive grand prix yachts where the extra 1% to 3% improvement in performance that we might be able to extract would be worth the large fees that a commercial license would require.   In other words this benefits the school and our students directly but is only indirectly of benefit to our design clients in that studies done under our direction by our students, although they will be made public for all designers to use,   will be available to us earlier and will increase our general knowledge sooner than the rest of the design profession.  The acquistion of this software and the training of our school staff in its use will make us, to our knowledge, the first school of yacht and small craft naval architecture to provide  FEA and CFD training to the industry.  We were also the first school to provide training in the Rhino design program which is now sweeping the industry.   We certainly know we are not perfect and we try very hard to push to be the best, but we are proud that we can be industry leaders in these areas.

02/20/2004 - Custom design work continues to increase. For the first time in about six years it looks like our training of additional people to help us and our acquisition of additional equipment are beginning to actually catch up with the increasing demand. Right now, as well as overseeing all the projects, Tom is working on interior sketches for approval by the clients for which we are designing the Passage 36 steel full power cruising schooner and the Sagittarius 60 Colin Archer style cutter.  Hopefully we'll get something about these designs on the site sometime soon. Michael is dividing his time between some refinements on the Aruna 134 and the great work he is doing on the Sagittarius 60. Both of these are very special projects. The Aruna deserves special mention in that she is designed for people with various accessibility issues up to and including wheelchair use. With two of us having some of these issues ourselves this is close to our hearts. Sven is increasing our collective experience with CAD quite a bit at the moment and doing a very in depth weight study and special ballasting for a particularly good example of our Crown Jewel 36 design which is being built in Sweden by a very nice family .... Kathi is in the process of developing an entirely new accounting system specifically for our design firm and helping with the refinement of this web site. When the accounting package is complete it will be made available to our advanced students and graduates who contemplate running their own firms some day and to other design firms. .... Nannette continues to divide her time between painting, which too often gets neglected due to the press of other business, and continues to run most of the business end of the firm. .... In the idea designs section, you might want to look at the description of the Magic. She is a very shoal centerboard coastal and intracoastal cruiser along the same proportions as Commodore Ralph Munroe's vessels, but taking advantage of our increased knowledge of design and excellent modern construction methods. If you want a 33' cruising sailboat that floats in 2'2" of water you might want to think about Magic. ....Price changes for 2004. We are happy to report that the price for set of Copenhagen Ship's Curves in a wood box has been lowered from $400 to $369. We are also passing along a price reduction in many of our triangles. The price for individual curves has risen by a few cents. .... On the Marine Publishing Order Form you will now find a link in the Cruising, Living Aboard & Voyaging section to a review of Robert P. Beebe's wonderful book Voyaging Under Power.   If you are interested in living aboard powerboats while doing some serious cruising this is the most important single book to read and own.

01/21/2004 - We've added a couple of more reviews to the publishing section. The publishing section is most easily navigated at the moment by going directly to the order form and accessing reviews by clicking on the links there. .... I'd especially note the revised review on "Cruising In Seraffyn" by Lin & Larry Pardey which is now available in a very nice hard cover 25th anniversary edition which now has a lot more photographs including a generous color section and revised material in the back on the financial aspects of affordable living aboard.

01/16/2004 - In the discussion group you will find a thread headed silver gull 24?.  In it a client of ours is asking for people to share the cost of custom designing a Silver Gull in this size range. If anybody's interested respond there. This is already a very low cost project and if it happens to be what you are looking for here's a chance to save some money over one person paying the whole design fee.  We've included some information on this potential design on the Idea Designs page.  .... There are a few minor changes on our Careers page.   .... We've also made some revisions to some of the stock plans pages.

01/01/2004 - We hope that everyone has had a good holiday season.  The office is short handed over the New Year's holiday weekend.  This along with the flood of emails, custom design quote requests, and orders we've been receiving from those with extended vacations since Christmas is delaying responses.  We should be able to catch up by Tuesday.   In the mean time our apologies for delays in replying.  .... You'll note that our little Lake Sailor design has moved out of the idea designs page and into our list of stock plans. If you need an inexpensive little yacht that you can carry to the water and still do some pretty serious coastal exploring in, Lake Sailor may be the one. .... You will find a few changes and updates for our Idea Designs page.   Quite a number of these are becoming reality. .... In our continuing effort to keep costs down and productivity up, we will be acquiring a faster blueprint machine, more CAD workstations, and some software and special CD production equipment to allow us to bring you more publications, more efficiently. This should be in place and working hard for you sometime in early February.

11/28/2003 - We just noticed that we did not have metric hand scales on our Yacht Design School tools order form.  This is pretty stupid considering that we have design students from all over the world.   We have corrected this.  We also want to emphasize to students that we have found two students this year who were not using scale rules.  All our design students should note that they will need scale rules to get very far in the course.  Trying to multiply dimensions lifted by a full sized ruler is just not going to be anywhere near accurate enough.

11/21/2003 - Please note that we have updated all the pricing on stock plans on the site.  You will find that these plans are still very reasonably priced.  We try to keep the costs of these plans down as much as we can.  To this end we will be purchasing a new and faster blueprint machine shortly which should help us hold down printing costs. ....

11/02/2003 - As many of you know there has been increasing demand for quite awhile for us to find and stock all the books we recommend.  As a first step in this direction our publishing order form is now organized much differently with a lot more items added and everything divided into categories.  Those books and article reprints for which we have reviews have links linking to the reviews. We have ordered an initial stock of these items using estimated reorder points.  You may find that until we learn what books are the most popular there may be occasional out of stock situation, especially on the used books.  We are aiming to get to about a 90% fill rate within three months.  However even the in print books which we don't have in stock should be available within 5 working days at worst.

08/21/2003 - You will note that the name of the publishing section of the site has changed to Eastport Marine Press. You will see many more changes here in coming weeks and months. .... One of our plans holders mentioned that there was a typographical error in the web site description of the Silver Gull 19 and the article that comes with the plans that mistated the planking thickness. All hull panels are 5/8" plywood as stated on the plans. We're sorry about any confusion. ....

08/20/2003 - We have added the ability for our students and others to order all the books both in print and out of print that we recommend for the design course through us. Contact Tom or Nannette in our office. You can expect much more on our publishing endeavors shortly. .... The Beetle Cat listed for sale in the Brokerage section has been reduced in price to $8,000. .... We now offer twin keels as an alternate on the Silver Gull 19 and Silver Gull 28 sailing dories. We were able to use the twin keels to get the ballast center of gravity the same as the single keel but with a bit shoaler draft. That gives us the same stability as with the deeper single keel. .... We found that costs dictate that we needed to raise stock plans prices again by a modest amount. We believe we have one of the best combinations of stock plans pricing and support.

07/07/2003 - Over 4th of July weekend along with the Navy ship, the parade, and all the other activities we had a powered parachute fly-in here. The chief designer here would LOVE to have one of these. If anybody would like to trade something like a two seat Six-Chuter powered parachute for all or part of the design work of a boat let us know! This is about as close to a "corporate aircraft as we'll ever get! .... This week we've added some items to the YDS Drafting Tools Order Form and updated some prices. We are one of only two suppliers we know of who are stocking marine drafting equipment these days. The big drafting supply outfits have, sadly, gone from selling complete lines to dropping all the low volume special items. Given the small number of yacht designers in the world all marine drafting equipment is in the low volume catagory. Rest assured with will continue to supply everything for design firms and students. We hope to gradually expand our offerings as well.

07/01/2003 - In the Brokerage section you will note that the Rhodes sloop has sold. Please send us your listings. Our listings keep getting sold. .... Some of you may be aware that a local outfit is building the 90' schooner Halie & Matthew to our design here in Eastport.  She is being built of fiberglass, which was the owner's choice and a tough way to go for a one off vessel.  While we have nothing to do with the building project, we hope they will have a good time and get a great vessel from the process.  .... In about another two weeks you should start to see activity relating to the arrival of our new Publishing staff.  Look for a number of announcements in the coming months.

06/03/2003 - We are happy to be able to say that a gentleman working in the Bahamas has commissioned us to design a 24' Bahaman Sharpshooter style sloop. We are well into this design project at the moment and are finding it enormous fun. She should be a very pretty and, we think, rather fast little vessel. She will be kept very simple and very much in the Bahaman tradition aside from modern wood and epoxy construction and outside ballast. .... Yacht Design School students should note that we have finally, after several years, had to raise tuition a modest amount. We have made this rise absolutely as small as possible, I assure you. We are still, and will remain by a very large margin, the least expensive school of yacht and small craft naval architecture as well as being the best bet for those wanting to work for or start independent design firms. .... On the idea design page you will find we have added a little discussion of what a wonderful set of designs could be done by sticking to the original lines of the Colin Archer "Redningskoites" but scaling them to several sizes from roughly 20' up to the original 47' size. The largest size would be awfully big for a family yacht but would make a good small school ship or a super nice charter vessel. .... In the Brokerage section you will notice that the Amphibicon Lichen has been sold. These are great little coastal family cruising boats. We'll try to find some more to put on the site.

05/10/2003 - I've added some to our brief biography of Philip L. Rhodes, including a reasoably good photograph. .... You will note that the 22' canoe sterned sloop on the Brokerage page has been sold. .... We have also added a nice Concordia built Beetle Cat. .... Do remember that we are always looking for more good listings.

04/22/2003 - In the Brokerage section you will see that Ed has added another classic cruising sailboat, a Rhodes 26. for many years one of these moored near us. I have always felt that they were a true yacht in a modest size. Just right for a small family cruising vessel capable of plenty of fine adventures. .... To avoid inconsistencies in quoted design tools prices we have taken the prices off the recommended tools list on the Yacht Design School page. If you want to know what the most current pricing is that will be on the order form. Of course as always these prices can change. If you order something while we are in the midst of changing prices we will notify you before filling the order.

04/07/2003 - In the frequently asked questions section for the Yacht Design School we have made a slight change in our comparison of YDS to other schools. We feel that if we didn't teach the student to draw boats, they would never get a job. Apparently one of the other schools is now telling students that it is not their business to teach drafting at all. I have seen a letter that they wrote to a student to this effect. This is of course their business, but I want to emphasize that we introduce drafting immediately and keep refining student's drafting abilities throughout the course. .... You will find a new listing in the brokerage section. I fear we have very little information on this little sloop rigged canoe yawl but she looks very pretty. I would bet anyone would be proud to own her.

03/21/2003 - Many frequent visitors to this site will have noticed some intermittent access problems many of which last several hours and for the past several days the forms and discussion group wouldn't work.. This was due to a faulty server at our Internet service provider and the problems attendant to transferring to a new server and getting the server configured properly. . There should be no further interruption in service. If you placed an order, you can be sure the order went through properly as long as you receive the confirmation page which appears automatically when you press the submit button.  These things happen occasionally. .... We've made a couple of additional modifications to the Yacht Design School material. Nothing major. .... On the Idea Designs page we have added two types which we want to design and would love to get some interested clients for. The first of these is the British Narrowboat. These vessels are great canal, river and intracoastal waterway cruisers which have the marvelous advantage that they are basically built by the foot. One design will be enough to build any boat from a very short one to a 70'er. This makes construction extremely inexpensive and opens up the marvelous possibility of building whatever length boat you can afford and then adding a section in the middle later at very low cost if you want more boat. A young couple could start with a 26' version and add cabins as needed for children, offices, workshops, studios, even greenhouses if they wished. You could spend a lifetime having one of these boats shipped to various countries and then going and living aboard and traveling there. A lot of people have asked about this type in recent years. I hope we can do one up for them. The second type is a new Voyager Series. We get frequent requests for marconi rigged (Bermudan rigged) ultimate liveaboard voyaging yachts of various sizes. Our Chinese rigged ultimate voyagers are proportioned to take maximum advantage of the unstayed rig. To gain length for staying and getting more sail area for the given wetted surface it is a good idea for us to use a larger proportion of length to beam for a marconi rigged vessel. Hence the new Voyager Series will be marconi sloops and cutters with flush decks, except for the hatches and a small pilot house. These should be beautiful solid vessels that will take their crews anywhere they wish to go. .... Long time friends of our site will be interested to know that we have recently acquired all the software necessary to do a complete shopping cart system. We also will have the ability to market article reprints, and other publication by down load directly from the site. This may eventually extend to audio and video files as well. Don't expect to see all this too soon as this will be mostly the province of our Publisher who will not be here to start work for about three and one half more months. Once this system is set up you may expect to see us expand our product and service offerings a great deal, which we hope will help fill some of the needs that you have expressed.

03/07/2003 - On the school page our design students will find another firm which asked us to help them find design personnel. Our students should remember that we tend to be looking for people as well fairly frequently. .... Also on the school page we have added some more lesson summaries up to Lesson 7. These are the lessons that we seem to be doing less revision on now. The later lessons are still being revised very frequently, so the contents keep changing. .... On the YDS enrollment form we have made it easier to order lessons and have added the ability to order the Rhino/Flamingo educational license bundle which gives you not only the CAD capabilities of Rhino but photorealistic rendering as well .... We've added several potential designs to the idea designs page. Hopefully at some point we'll start to add some color renderings of what these designs would look like. .... On the Brokerage page you will note that we have added a direct email link to Ed's office. It will speed brokerage queries up slightly if you go directly to that email address. Otherwise we lose a little time relaying to him. .... On the Publishing order form we finally just had to make one change. We were charging postage only on foreign orders and books and trying to build some compensation for postage into the cost of the articles. Unfortunately we find that, when we analyze this, people ordering one article are at present paying less than the cost of mailing them and those ordering many are paying too much. With that and other complications we have decided that it just makes more sense to charge whatever the actual shipping costs are. This is especially true since we calculate that we should be charging nearly twice as much for these articles as we actually are. We are losing money as compared to just concentrating on other things in order to provide these reprints. However we are not raising the prices of the reprints themselves.  Perhaps we might produce a book of these reprints later this year for a low enough price that it will be a good option for people to just buy all of them. Then we can charge what we really should to the occasional person who really only wants one reprint. We might also try to make these available as files that can be just sent to you by email or downloaded at a lower price.  This will all be the province and decision of our Publisher who will be joining us mid-year .... The drafting tools order form was originally intended to simply provide the drafting tools needed by our students. However we have found that naval architectural firms, colleges which teach design, naval departments, aircraft design firms, and government agencies involved in such things as road design all seem to be increasingly relying upon us. Many long time naval architects have occasionally broken a ship's curve or two and need replacements so we have added the ability to order all the curves individually so that people don't have to order complete sets just to get a few curves. To accommodate boat builders, aircraft designers, and others for whom a 36" spline may not be ideal we now show a large selection of splines from 24" to 96". We have also added a much wider range of triangles. In addition we should mention that we have managed to reduce the prices on a few items and are pleased to say that only one item has risen in price recently.

02/26/2003 - Tom won't be available for a couple of days this week to answer email and talk with people on the phone. Though we seem to be caught up from the huge influx in January and early February we still don't have most of our major design projects going as fast as we should. Any good yacht draftsmen looking for work should look into the Careers section of the web site. .... We've made a couple of minor corrections to the publishing order form. .... We've updated the Silver Gull 19 page a bit. .... We have updated various pages of the Yacht Design School material, including the Tools order form.

02/03/2003 - We've made some minor updates in the publishing section. About half way through this year you may expect to see this section expanded considerably.  In the meantime do not hesitate to ask us for help with your book needs. .... We have added another drawing to the Passage Maker 28 set and slightly increased the price. .... You will find some updates to the listing for Lichen in the brokerage section of the site.  .... We also again ask your patience in the matter of email response.  We do answer everyone but press of work and increased email volume is making it very difficult to do this in a truly timely fashion.  We will do everything we can to correct this.   The goal is a response within 24 hours.  At the moment this can slip to several days.

01/16/2003 - We have added a drawing for a small pilot house to the Shilling set. You will see a slight change in the plans pricing to reflect this. This was done for a couple in Slovenia who plan to sail around the world. .... Take a look at our brief biography of our Intern Sven Oftedal. Sven is one of our students who got the first of our newly instituted room and board scholarships that will be awarded to occasional very advanced students. The key to this Intern program is that it allows the Intern to work full time on the course right in our office with special tests designed so that the Intern can work on real world design work to satisfy the requirements of the tests. .... Since the beginning of January email has been increasing at a very rapid  rate.  We find we are not able to respond as promptly as we would wish.  I promise we are trying to catch up as best we can and apologize for not replying within 24 hours which has always been our goal.

01/08/2003 -  On the Careers page you will note that we have filled the position of Publisher.    Sometime in mid-2003 a very fine gentleman will be moving to Eastport to take over and expand the entire publishing end of the business.   He will also do the promotion work for the design end of the business and Yacht Design School.  We are also fortunate in that his wife also has a great deal of really extraordinary experience in publishing.  She will advise, and hopefully at some point join us as well, as the work load increases.  Look for a big announcement mid-year with biographies of these extraordinary individuals. One of the best testimonies that we can give about these folks is that their quite young children are tremendously intelligent and charming.  Who knows maybe someday we can get them to work here as well! .... We've made a few minor changes to the web site. Just cleaning things up a bit. .... We are still waiting for our new Intern, who is here on scholarship, to give us a biography.  When he does we will put it on the web site with a picture of him and some of his design work that he is doing for the course. .... In the brokerage section we have added Ed's phone number at his request. As most of our regulars know we encourage email. With the volume of people contacting us if everybody called we'd never get any work done so we have never made the office phone number too obvious on the web site. Hence this separate number just for brokerage. We can handle several email messages in the time a phone call takes. The criteria here is maximizing customer service any way we can.

2002 What's New entries
2001 What's New entries

2000 What's New entries
1999 What's New entries

1998 What's New entries
1997 What's New entries

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