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For Immediate Release

Contact: Caroline Chetelat at ABYC

(410) 990-4460, x22

[email protected]



Westlawn Announces Acquisition of Yacht Design Institute Schools Material

Addition of Valuable Course Material and

Expertise to Further Enhance Westlawn Curriculum


January 25, 2007, Annapolis, MD: The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is pleased to announce that it has acquired the rights to the course material of the former Yacht Design Institute Schools (YDI). Founded in 1969, YDI taught small-craft naval architecture via distance learning using a similar model as Westlawn. Under the guidance of co-founder, world-renowned designer and author Ted Brewer and YDI president Bob Wallstrom, YDI pioneered many innovations and improvements in teaching small-craft design until it ceased operations in 1988.


“As director of Westlawn, I’ve always felt that YDI had an excellent curriculum, with course authors such as C.W. (Chuck) Paine, John Pazereskis, PhD, John Guzzwell, Robert L. Watkins, Steve Callahan, Ted Brewer, and Bob Wallstrom, to name but a few,” said Dave Gerr. “Both Westlawn and YDI have excellent course curricula, materials and fine histories. Since it’s close, YDI’s rich course materials that were so carefully prepared have been languishing unused. It was clear to me that elements of YDI’s program could be employed to further enhance Westlawn’s program.”


As part of the acquisition of all YDI material and intellectual property, Westlawn is also taking on YDI graduates under its umbrella. YDI graduates will remain YDI graduates, but Westlawn will support them by providing them with an active institution to confirm graduation, as well as the same technical support and opportunity to purchase up-to-date Westlawn text books that Westlawn graduates have. Westlawn director, Dave Gerr said, “I’d like to welcome all YDI graduates to the Westlawn family. They are welcome to contact us at any time for technical support and also to join us at all ABYC and Westlawn functions.”


Since Yacht Design Institute Schools was also a Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) accredited institution, Westlawn will be happy to consider enrolling YDI students who did not graduate but wish to continue their studies. Westlawn will evaluate their standing when they left YDI and arrange appropriate placement in Westlawn with advanced credit for work successfully completed at YDI.


In addition to the acquisition of the YDI material, both YDI’s distinguished co-founder, Ted Brewer and YDI’s former president, Bob Wallstrom, are coming aboard as adjunct Westlawn instructors to further enrich the Westlawn faculty.



Edward S. "Ted" Brewer

 A graduate of Westlawn, Ted Brewer began his career in the boating industry in 1957 working for George Cuthbertson, who later founded C&C Yachts. In 1960, Brewer moved to Connecticut to work as assistant designer to A.E. "Bill" Luders Jr. There, he worked on everything from 5.5. meter sloops to 12-meter America's-Cup racers, ocean racing yachts, production yachts and power boats. Brewer assisted in the modifications to Weatherly for the successful 1962 Cup defense, did the drawings for the Bill Luders-designed 12-meter American Eagle and supervised her construction.


In 1967, Brewer moved to Brooklin, Maine to open his own design office, and in 1969, Bob Wallstrom joined him in a partnership. Together, they produced almost 100 custom and production designs, from 18-foot catboats to the popular Whitby 42 and the exquisite teak 62-ft. ketch Traveller III.


In 1969, Brewer joined with Jim Betts to found the Yacht Design Institute, which taught boat design via distance learning. Brewer became the Educational Director of YDI, where he wrote and illustrated much of the course material and graded nearly of all the student submissions. In the mid '70s, Brewer pioneered the, widely copied, radius-bilge method of building metal hulls and, over the years, has designed dozens of steel and aluminum yachts from 30 to 100 feet.


In 1979, Brewer moved to Washington State where, over the next 20 years, he produced 150 more designs, including the beautiful Whitby 55, the handsome 45' schooner Sophia Christina and the powerful 70-ft. schooner Tree of Life, winner of the 2000 Antigua Race Week. In addition to completing over 270 designs, Brewer has written three books and scores of magazine articles. One of the books, Understanding Boat Design, is in its 4th edition and has been a popular design primer for 30 years.



Robert E. “Bob” Wallstrom

Bob Wallstrom has 43 years of experience in the small-craft naval architecture field working in the design offices of Luders Marine Construction Co., Philip L. Rhodes, Inc., and Atkin & Co. (PT), before establishing the partnership of Brewer, Wallstrom & Associates, Inc. with Ted Brewer in 1969. In addition to the drawing-board work, Wallstrom also lofted several Brewer & Wallstrom designs and eventually purchased YDI co-founder Jim Betts’ share of Yacht Design Institute.


In 1979 Wallstrom formed the firm Small Craft Design & Survey, Inc. which then became Wallstrom, Watkins & Associates, Inc., and in 1986 became Delta Marine Small Craft Design & Survey, Inc. Design work encompassed sail and power, commercial and pleasure in wood, steel, aluminum and fiberglass on vessels ranging from 18 to 123 feet overall.


After Ted Brewer’s departure from YDI in the early 1980s, Wallstrom became President and Bob Watkins became the Educational Director. Under Wallstrom and Watkins direction, YDI developed the first accredited degree-level course in small-craft naval architecture available by distance learning or on campus. The first graduates completed their on-campus program in 1987 and were awarded an Associates degree in Applied Science in Small Craft Naval Architecture.


A member of SNAME since 1967 and NAMS since 1972, Wallstrom has written numerous articles on small-craft design, marine surveying and maritime history that have been published, as well as many of the YDI School’s various lesson texts. Wallstrom also wrote Surveying Small Craft in North America, a companion piece and translation from the original UK edition of Ian Nicholson's Surveying Small Craft.



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 and 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.