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
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.”
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.
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