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FYI: March 0305 Page 2

FYI — March 2005
By Brad Dunn
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: A Weighty Issue, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Capt. Thomas Windsor, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

A Word With... Thomas Windsor
Thomas (Tim) Windsor, who celebrates his 93rd birthday this month, was surfing the Web last year when he discovered the site of his alma mater, Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology located in Edgewater, Maryland. The native New Zealander got in touch with the school and learned he was not only its oldest living graduate, but also the sole remaining member of the school’s inaugural class. After his graduation from Westlawn, Windsor went on to design boats for the Allied Powers in World War II and then launched a lifelong career in naval architecture for both sail- and powerboats. PMY recently chatted with him about a few of his fondest memories.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement in boating?
A: My proudest moment, of course, was gaining the diploma in Advanced Yacht Design from Westlawn in 1939 after nine years of study. I would say the second is winning third place in a competition held by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for my design of a 36-foot keel yacht in 1944.

Q: How did your degree from Westlawn affect the course of your life?
A: Well, it so happened that I received my diploma almost on the date that WWII began. I had already designed some boats that Shipbuilders [of Auckland, New Zealand] had constructed, so at the onset of war I was seconded into essential industry as the company’s designer draftsman.

Q: What do you remember the most from WWII, when you were designing boats for both the New Zealand and U.S. navies?
A: There are many, but when the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy placed an order for 114-foot Powered Lighters in 1944, I was greatly involved with the initial design and the general arrangement of these ships. I also designed an 18-foot sailboat for the American R&R rest base somewhere in the Pacific, and four of these boats were built for this purpose.

Q: With a lifetime of design experience under your belt, what advice would you give a Westlawn student today?
A: You must be prepared to devote many hours of dedicated study. Not only do you have to learn all about how to design a boat, but you also must have the ability to be a good draftsman and to be able to do good lettering on a plan. Actually, I still have a letter that I’m rather proud of, dated June 25, 1939, from the director of Westlawn on the completion of my studies: “I’m going to ask one favor of you, and that is that I be allowed to keep your blueprints, for I am really so pleased with them that I want to have them on file here to show students exactly the class of work that can be turned out if they apply themselves to the instructions. Cordially yours, Gerald T. White, Director.”

High Seas
More licensed captains are flunking drug tests than members of any other transportation industry, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The agency reports that more than two percent of mariners tested positive for drug use in 2003, the most recent year with complete statistics. As a result, the Coast Guard requires employers to randomly test 50 percent of all marine captains in “safety-sensitive” jobs in 2005, while employers in other industries are allowed to test only 25 percent of their personnel.

The move reflects the marine industry’s failure to get positive results on drug tests below one percent. In fact, according to the Coast Guard, although the rate of failed drug tests has fallen in almost every other transportation sector over the last five years, licensed captains are actually testing positive more often.

Got an interesting boating story for this column? Write to FYI, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: eileen.mansfield@primedia.com. No phone calls please.

Previous page > A Weighty Issue, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the February 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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