After 12 years of stewardship of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, the American Boat and Yacht Council is looking to private investors to fund the 84-year-old institution as it shifts to an online school.
"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," ABYC president John Adey said in a statement. "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," Smyth said.
The institution has a new board of directors from the yachting and academic worlds. An immediate change was accreditation by the Royal Institute of Naval Architecture.
"This is the most appropriate accreditation entity out there for Westlawn," Smyth said. "The association with RINA really puts the school in the business of yacht design."
The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology trains students in yacht and small-craft design.