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For Immediate Release

Katie McAteer

(410) 990-4460, x30

[email protected]

Contact: Caroline Chetelat at ABYC

(410) 990-4460, x22

[email protected]



Distance Learning School Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology

Announces Successful “Mystic Meet”

Westlawn faculty and students interact off-line


August 10, 2006, Annapolis, MD:  The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology held its first “Mystic Meet” July 21-23, 2006 at Mystic Seaport in historic Mystic, Connecticut.  At the “Mystic Meet” there were 32 students and guests in all at the event with five countries being represented: Canada, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and the USA.  This meeting was the first time students and teachers were able to interact face-to-face at the Westlawn Mystic Seaport office and will continue to be an annual event.


Ship’s Plans librarian, Maria Bernier (lower right) guiding the crew

through one of many aisles of the 100,000-plus-plan collection


The students were thrilled to see their teachers and explore Westlawn’s Connecticut home office at the historic Mystic Seaport, where the event was held.  Students also got the chance to tour the museum and its many attractions; to include the historic ships plans library, shipyard in a behind the scenes tour of Mystic Seaport. 


Westlawn director, Dave Gerr, pointing out some

details on drawings in the Ships Plans Library


Westlawn students can currently communicate to one another online by posting comments on the Westlawn Forum.  One student replied on the forum after attending the event, “Mystic Seaport provided for me an inspiration to arrange for future research of Master Designers of the past.   This trip has certainly sparked an interest in spending time studying this area to compliment my regular Westlawn curriculum.”


Shipyard director, Quentin Snediker (yellow slicker)

gave a detailed tour of the shipyard


The students who attended the event also benefited from the face-to-face interaction with teachers.  Another student replied, “It was a great opportunity to meet and work with everyone especially working with Stu on the drafting board.  It was good to see how Stu works with all the drawings to make sure things are done right.  Being able to visit in person was extremely beneficial and we will be back next year.”  Stu Waring is a Westlawn Instructor who grades lessons in the first portion of the course.


This is the wooden side trawler (called a “dragger” in this size)

which the shipyard is currently rebuilding


Dave Gerr, Westlawn’s Director said, “The Mystic Meet was a great success.  Not only did the students really enjoy this, but they went out of their way to insist that it be a regular event and to ask us to try and get more students to participate.  Perhaps most important was how clearly you could see the ‘light’ going off in our students minds.  They were suddenly and inescapably aware of the breadth, depth, and richness of the history of design and how important it is.  It will be a transformational experience for the students who made it to the Mystic Meet, and the importance of this can’t be overstated.”



Mystic Seaport – The Museum of America and the Sea – is the nation’s leading maritime museum presenting the American experience from a maritime perspective. Located along the banks of the historic Mystic River in Mystic, Connecticut, the Museum houses extensive collections representing the material culture of maritime America and offers educational programs from preschool to post-graduate. For more information, call (888) 973-2767 or visit www.mysticseaport.org.


Founded in 1930, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is the only nationally accredited and state certified distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States. As the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat and Yacht Council, The mission of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is threefold:

■ To provide our students with the skills knowledge required to build a rewarding career in the profession of yacht and small-craft naval architecture.

■ To support continued growth of the recreational and small-craft marine community through the development of well-trained, safety oriented, boat designers developing better products for the benefit of the boating public.

■ To provide continuing education to marine industry professionals.

To learn more about Westlawn, please call (860) 572-7900 or visit the Westlawn website at www.westlawn.edu.