The Landing School Appoints New President

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ARUNDEL, MAINE – The Landing School has appointed Richard Downs-Honey of Little Compton, Rhode Island as its President. In announcing the appointment, The Landing School Board Chairman Haven Ladd said, “We are honored to welcome Richard to the School community. Richard’s passion, vision, energy and technical expertise will advance the mission of The Landing School and will make a tremendous impact on our students and on the marine industry that we serve. A highly respected luminary, Richard has spent over 40 years growing the industry through the innovative use of advanced composite engineering and through his personal leadership, humor and humility. We are excited to have Richard lead The Landing School to build on our own 40-year history of educating skilled craftspeople and leaders.”

Richard Downs-Honey, a native of New Zealand, is a graduate of the University of Auckland, holding both Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with special concentration in Fiber Reinforced Plastics in Boatbuilding. He is a former partner and CEO of High Modulus, a Kiwi firm specializing in engineering consulting services and a supplier of composite materials to the marine industry and other industrial clients. During his tenure at High Modulus, Downs-Honey was responsible for business development, engineering services and sales, and was heavily involved in the development of New Zealand’s first Americas Cup contenders. He built High Modulus to over 100 people with offices in Australia, China, France, the UK and the US.

Following the sale of High Modulus to Gurit (NZ), LTD in 2009, Downs-Honey moved to the United States to help guide and build the firm’s developing US market. In 2016, he started RDH Composites, LLC to pursue independent consulting on the cutting-edge application of composites. In 2017, he accepted a position as Director of Engineering at Daedalus Yachts, a new start-up boatbuilding operation in North Carolina, where he has been leading the firm’s development and implementation of tooling and production for zero-emissions composite custom yachts up to 100 feet.

Regarding his appointment as President of The Landing School, Downs-Honey says, “This is a fantastic opportunity to be contributing to the development of the marine workforce at a critical time for the industry. Recent efforts by the industry resulting in the “10 + 1 Strategy” for workforce development highlight the continuing need for The Landing School. I am excited to work with the great team here, insuring we stay relevant in a changing environment, and are a key contributor to the strength of the marine industry.”

Upon learning of Downs-Honey’s appointment, Michael Peters, one of the pre-eminent designers of motor yachts, military patrol vessels and race boats, and someone who has hired a number of recent graduates of The Landing School Yacht Design program, said, “Of all the people I know in the marine industry, I cannot think of a person or personality that is a better fit, or has a better aptitude for leading The Landing School into the future.”


Landing School and Maine Maritime team up on “Green” Lobster Boat (Portland Press Herald)

 Photo Credit: Derek Davis, Portland Press Herald Staff

Photo Credit: Derek Davis, Portland Press Herald Staff

On June 25th, the Portland Press Herald featured the Landing School in article on its participation in the development of a 'greener lobster boat'.  The article covers the inception, R&D, and teamwork required to build the boat and elaborates on the process of collaboration between the Landing School and Maine Maritime Academy. To read the full article, click here

Sustainable Practices in Boat Design (York County Coast Star)

The York County Coast Star made a visit to our campus in Arundel to learn how sustainability practices are helping us shape the future of boat building and design. A prominent feature of the resulting article was our green lobster boat, now being built in collaboration with Maine Maritime Academy thanks to a grant from the Maine Economic Improvement Fund.

“Teaching sustainable practices is a keystone of the school’s recent educational evolution,” said Dr. Richard Schuhmann, President of The Landing School.   

To read the full article, please click here.

Workforce Development in the Marine Industry (Boating Industry)

The “Boating Industry” special report on the workforce crisis featured a contribution from our own Barry Acker, Director of Development. The report is a comprehensive look at how the lack of skilled labor is limiting growth in the boating industry – and how institutions like The Landing School are helping train the next generation of industry professionals.

"Our students go to school Monday through Friday from 7:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon, with an hour for lunch," said Acker. "It's absolutely a full-time job for them and they're not only learning the hands-on piece of building boats – they're learning the theoretical piece of its as well."

To read the full article, please click here.

Landing School Innovation Loft, Designed for Dreamers (Kennebunk Post)

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The Kennebunk Post ran a story about our plans to transform space on our campus into an “Innovation Loft.”

"The Landing School in Arundel has long had a reputation as a place to receive a world-class education in marine technology, but now it’s looking to expand from changing the lives of students to revolutionizing the boatbuilding industry as a whole, by creating a class where the assignments are made up, and the grades don’t matter.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Making Waves with a Low-Carbon Footprint Boat (the pdf should open on another page)

The Fall 2016 issue of "WAVES," an official publication of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, featured an interview and discussion with our own Dr. Richard Schuhmann. The interview was based on a talk Dr. Schuhmann gave at the invitation of the center’s director of innovation.

"I said, 'Why don't we build a boat that people can afford exclusively out of U.S. materials that has as low of a carbon footprint as possible? Why don't we see how low we can go" Schuhmann said. "As a school, we have a lower footprint just by making this change."

To read the full article, please click here and view the PDF.

Aaron Crawford (LS ’93) Promoted to President of Sabre Yachts

Sabre Yachts Corporation announced that Aaron Crawford has been promoted to president, in addition to retaining his responsibilities as chief operations officer. Crawford joined Sabre Yachts in 2010 and brings more than twenty years of manufacturing, design and engineering experience to his new role.

An alumnus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Crawford is also a graduate of The Landing School of Yacht Design in Kennebunkport, Maine. Crawford began his career at Carroll Marine Ltd, where he held various positions during his six years with the company, including head of product development and R&D. Crawford then honed his design skills at Sparkman & Stephens Yacht Design in New York, N.Y., project managing both sail and power yachts ranging in size from 48 to 130 feet.

In 2003 Crawford joined Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I. where he served as general manager and head of engineering. At Outerlimits, Crawford managed the transition of the company from a hand laminated FRP construction process to a post-cured epoxy construction process, as well as overseeing 100 percent growth in sales and throughput over his six-year tenure.

In his seven years as chief operating officer at Sabre Yachts, Crawford has been involved in the development of Sabre’s five most recent powerboat models, including the Sabre 66 Dirigo in Rockland, Maine. His input has spanned the concept, design and production implementation of the new models, as well as improving the manufacturing process of Sabre’s two facilities in Raymond, Maine. He has also been closely involved with Sabre’s sister company, Back Cove Yachts.

Aaron lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and two daughters.

Launching: the Landing School Graduation Event

At the end of the final week of classes at The Landing School, students, families, friends and alumni gathered to launch the final boats of the 2015-16 class!

National Toboggan Championships at Camden Snow Bowl

Saturday, February 6th may have not been cold enough to host the full toboggan chute race, but it was a day full of fun at Camden Snow Bowl! 4 teams from The Landing School competed in the races. See the photos below, or head to The Landing School Facebook page to see a video clip from the event.

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The Landing School will have teams at the National Toboggan Race 2016

The Landing School is proud to announce that teams of students will be competing in this years National Toboggan Race!

Teams will compete at Camden Snow Bowl February 6th, 2016 at 10 AM. The weekend will consist of three days of events and activities. Teams and spectators gather from all over the country to celebrate the tradition of wooden toboggan racing. 

From the official website, "The original toboggan chute dates back to 1937, and in 1991 it was officially dedicated as the Jack R. Williams Toboggan Chute and the first U.S. National Toboggan Championships were held, an event created by then-Camden Parks and Recreation Director Ken Bailey. In 2015, the Toboggan Championships celebrated 25 years...the annual “Toboggan Nationals” boasts a field of 425 teams, nearly 1,300 racers and more than 6,000 spectators."

 Courtesy of camdensnowbowl.com

Courtesy of camdensnowbowl.com

This years theme at the races is for Mardi Gras and spectators and teams are encouraged to wear costumes. The Town of Camden will host a fireworks show, snowplow parade dancing and more.

The weekend runs Friday, February 5th-Sunday February 7th. The Landing School student teams will be competing Saturday, February 6th at 10 AM. 

For more information, please visit the official website: http://www.camdensnowbowl.com/toboggan-championships/

December 2015 Launch

On Friday, December 15th 2015, students, faculty, staff, friends and family gathered at the South Congregational Church in Kennebunkport, Maine to celebrate the finished boats. Students from Composite Boat Building and Wooden Boat Building together launched twelve vessels. 


Students began working on their boats in September and finished these projects just in time for the annual launch. The energy of the day was great and everyone celebrated the beautiful results of just over three months of hard work. 


Scholarship Announcement: Hagerty Education Program at Americas Car Museum

The Landing School is pleased to announce our receipt of scholarship funds for Wooden Boat Building Program students from Hagerty Education Program at Americas Car Museum. Four scholarships will be awarded to incoming students for the 2016/17 academic year. 

Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum (HEP) is an educational grant-making program of LeMay-America’s Car Museum (ACM). HEP is funded by collector vehicle and classic boat enthusiasts to serve youth and young adults on their pathways to careers in automotive/marine restoration & preservation along with the long-term interests of the collector vehicle and classic boat communities. Visit: www.hagertyeducationprogram.org or www.americasmuseum.org for more information.

The Landing School thanks HEP and ACM for their generous support! 

Distinguished Speaker Series: Garth Jensen

Tuesday, October 20

7 PM at The Colony Hotel, Grand Ballroom

As part of the Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design’s Distinguished Speaker series, Garth Jensen, Director for Innovation at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, will discuss: "Citizen Science, Government Crowdsourcing, and a "Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet" (MMOWGLI)“

The event is open to the public and free to attend.