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November 30, 2023

President of Arundel-based boatbuilding school will step down at year's end

File photo / Tim Greenway Sean Fawcett, outgoing president of the Landing School in Arundel, has been instrumental in establishing partnerships between the trade school and manufacturers, including boatbuilders.

The Arundel-based Landing School, which offers training for boatbuilders and designers, said Wednesday its president of two years will step down at the end of December.

Sean Fawcett, who had been a yacht-design instructor before taking over from Richard Downs-Honey in June 2021, said in a letter to stakeholders he had mixed emotions about stepping down. 

"After more than 10 years at the school, this is not a decision that I have made lightly but it is important for me professionally and for the ongoing growth of the school. I believe at this time, the school needs a leader who is less steeped in what is, or what was, and has a new vision for what could be," Fawcett wrote.

"Since my first days as a yacht-design instructor, my experience at the Landing School has been exceptionally rewarding. I am grateful for the life-long relationships I have built and for being part of an institution which has changed lives and formed the genesis of some very rewarding careers. I still have students from my first year of teaching who will call for career advice or just to chat... that is the magic of the Landing School."

Fawcett said his last day will be Dec. 29.

He will remain available to the school and the board of trustees to help with the transition.

"I am confident that the search process will yield a strong new leader and I am looking forward to watching the school thrive well into the future," Fawcett said. 


The Landing School, which was founded in 1978, offers concentrations in yacht design, wooden boat building, composite boat building and marine systems. It offers a one-year diploma in two academic semesters. Students can also receive an associates degree with a two-year program that includes independent study.

To help students land jobs after graduation, Fawcett has been instrument in setting up partnerships with boatbuilding companies.

One such partnership was with Southwest Harbor-based Hinckley Yachts, which was hiring trained carpenters, electricians and mechanics to help meet the demand for its high-end watercraft. 

As an incentive, the yacht builder launched the Hinckley Yachts Student Loan Assistance Program, as Mainebiz reported a year ago. It is working with the Landing School, which offered a good fit to train future Hinckley employees. 

Other graduates have gotten hired by Maine boatbuilders, but also production companies like Bayliss Boatworks in Wanchese, N.C., and Catalina Yachts, which is based in Largo, Fla. A number have been hired by Maine Yacht Center in Portland and Portland Yacht Services. Graduates have worked on America’s Cup American Magic team.

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