The Landing School Appoints New President


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.”

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: or 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.