Students in the Skagit Valley College Marine Technology Program to get an experiential education in re-fitting an offshore quality sailboat.  

Starting this fall, Skagit Valley College (SVC) in Anacortes will be adding another aspect to their programs — students will be refitting a recently purchased offshore sailboat. With a shortage in qualified mechanical, electrical and systems technicians in the marine industry, their program (now in its 25th year) will help try to keep up with this demand by immersing students in a full range of systems removal and replacement.

The project boat? A Bob Perry designed Westsail 39. 

Through the SVC Foundation, the Marine Technology team received financial donations for purchasing this offshore quality sailboat that is sound and seaworthy but needs a complete systems refit. On the list for the students for this next academic year will be new wiring, new engine, new tanks, new refrigeration, plumbing, rigging, and much more. 

Students will also be filming and explaining what part of the project they are working on, products they are using, industry best practices, ABYC standards, and how many hours they spend on each project. With a YouTube channel showcasing Tech Tips, Boat Projects, Day & Life of Students, Course Overviews, and more, SVC hopes you will join in on the project too.  

The SVC Marine Technology program has received tremendous support and encouragement for this project from local business and further throughout the Pacific Northwest. John Neal from Mahina Expeditions helped decide this was a good first vessel, Pacific Marine Center hauled, washed, and moved the boat to the school. And a special thanks is given to designer Bob Perry for providing a set of construction plans and talking through the plans with the instructors.  

The project boat will be sold in the spring and though it will not be a ‘turn key’ boat, it will be ready for new owners who want to finish the project. SVC will not doing sails, canvas or electronics, as those are normally done by a new owner when purchasing an older vessel. Further details will be available starting in September including a cost spreadsheet, blog, wish list, and sponsors section.

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