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.”