NEWPORT, R.I. — On Saturday, June 4, students at the International Yacht Restoration School will launch and showcase the boats they spent the past year building and restoring as part of their graduation ceremony, the school reported in a recent statement.
The public is welcome to join “Launch Day” festivities and see the fine craftsmanship produced by IYRS students in the school’s three programs in Boatbuilding & Restoration, Marine Systems, and Composites Technology.
This is the first graduating class for the new composites program, and the final project for these students was the tooling and construction of Moths—diminutive single-handed hydrofoils that measure around 11 feet and are one of the fastest sailboats on the planet. The Boatbuilding & Restoration students restored a fleet of Beetle Cats, a Columbia Lifeboat, a Herreshoff 12 ½, and an elegant Starling Burgess–designed R-Class sloop.
Graduation ceremonies begin at the IYRS Newport campus (449 Thames Street) at 10:00 am inside Restoration Hall. After the inside portion of the ceremony, the crowd will migrate outside to the IYRS docks to inspect students’ work and witness the launching of the fleet.
Yacht designer Ted Fontaine, head of the Fontaine Design Group (Portsmouth, R.I.), will give the graduation address. A well-known figure in the super-yacht industry and formerly chief designer of the Ted Hood Design Group, Fontaine was born in Massachusetts and spent his early career working in local boatyards and builders before going to school to study traditional boatbuilding. He has since designed sailing yachts ranging from 40 to 160 feet in length.
The largest group of students in IYRS history will take part in this year’s Launch Day festivities. Students in the school’s three full-time programs moved from locations throughout the United States as well as France, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the Grand Cayman Islands to study at IYRS.