Student-built boats to launch in public ceremony

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Students at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, R.I., will take part June 4 in the school’s unique graduation rite at the IYRS docks. Instead of picking up diplomas that prove hours of learning, students will launch and showcase the boats they spent the last year building and restoring.

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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 and restoration students restored a fleet of Beetle Cats, a Columbia Lifeboat, a Herreshoff 12-1/2, and an elegant Starling Burgess–designed R-Class sloop.

Graduation ceremonies begin at the IYRS Newport campus (449 Thames Street) at 10 a.m. 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.