New investors pledge support to Westlawn Institute

After 12 years of dedicated stewardship of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) was faced with a tough decision to ensure the venerable institution’s survival. Thanks to a group of private investors, the 84-year-old school’s future looks bright.

“In order to be an attractive choice for today’s students seeking this type of niche education, it became clear that another group would need to invest some capital to take Westlawn into the 21st century,” said John Adey, ABYC president. “We’re pleased and thankful that a group of investors led by David Smyth stepped up to the plate to take on this significant and worthy challenge.”

Smyth is now Westlawn’s director, president, and vice chancellor. “In the coming months, we will transition Westlawn from a traditional correspondence school to a state-of-the-art online learning system,” said Smyth. With a new board of directors from the yachting and academic worlds, the exchange has been virtually seamless.

An immediate change was the accreditation by the Royal Institute of Naval Architecture (RINA). “This is the most appropriate accreditation entity out there for Westlawn,” said Smyth. “The association with RINA really puts the school in the business of yacht design.”

The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology trains students in the profession of yacht and small-craft design. Its website is

Since 1954, the non-profit American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has developed safety standards for boat design, construction, equipage, repair and maintenance. The essential global source of marine industry technical information, ABYC’s product safety standards, credentialing, education, training, and other tools help members make boating safer.

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