Greenwood and IYRS, A Personal and Virtual Connection

Caryl Frankenberger and Ted Backes took two Greenwood students to Newport, Rhode Island for an adventure combining education and fun. The day started at an open house at IYRS, School of Technology and Trades located on Newport’s historic waterfront, followed by a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.



Caryl wasn’t able to bring the full Newport experience back to Putney, but thanks to technology, she did arrange a live virtual tour with IYRS, in Greenwood’s World Tapestry Community Meeting. “We so much enjoyed the IYRS program, we thought it was important to share more details with everyone here at school.”

The name IYRS, or International Yacht Restoration School, doesn’t tell the whole story. In our live on-screen walking tour and Q&A, administrators Nora and Natalie showed us works-in-progress across IYRS’s four specialized advanced educational programs. The skills learned have applications in many industries, offering a great stylistic fit for many Greenwood students.

Nora shared, “Anyone who comes to IYRS wants to make 3 dimensional objects. They want to understand and interpret design.” Although IYRS was founded on teaching the craft of wooden boat building and restoration, the school has expanded. One recent alum is employing his newly acquired skills helping build multi million dollar supercars. He’s also an entrepreneur, using composite technology to design and fabricate his own line of branded skim boards.

When you think composite technology, think fiberglass, plastics, and almost anything you use in recreational sports, high tech biomedical, aerospace and aviation products. The modern yacht relies on composite technology as did the cars in the movie “Fast & Furious,” outfitted with carbon fiber hoods.

IYRS’s most advanced technological program entails digital modeling and fabrication. Students first learn manual skills in foundational drawing and drafting, and then move on to work with composite aided 3d printers, CNC lathes and drills.

The program called “Marine Systems” has a broader application than one would think, as many of the stand alone and integrated systems in boat building also apply to other mobile dwellings including Tiny Homes and RVs. In a combination of classroom instruction and hands on learning, IYRS students are taught to install, troubleshoot, maintain and repair a broad range of systems from electrical to refrigeration to fuel.

Students enrolled in IYRS traditional boat building and restoration program learn the fine art of building and restoring wooden yachts. Working alone or on a team, they learn about craftsmanship as well as project management. They can apply their skills to land or sea, on classic wooden yachts, fine furniture or home construction.

Interacting with Nora and Natalie in person and online, students recognized the synergy between Greenwood’s Makers of Vermont program and IYRS’s advanced design, manufacturing and hands on learning education. We plan on returning to Newport, Rhode Island in a follow-up trip to IYRS, and hopefully another dip in the ocean.
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    • A dip in the ocean following our visit to IYRS School of Technology and Trades in Newport, RI.

    • Taking in the view in front of Beavertail Lighthouse.