Small Vessel Fabrication and Repair

Student working on boat maintenance

Program Status

There is currently no new intake for MARR.

Program Mission

The Small Vessel Fabrication & Repair program's mission is to serve the community as a learningcentered, open door program providing technical training to meet the demands of companies within the small vessel fabrication and repair industry as well as the needs of the individual. An open-exit option allows students to identify their career objectives and participate in program exploration.

Program Description

The Small Vessel Fabrication & Repair program is a two-year Associate in Applied Science program whose main goal is to prepare individuals for employment in the boat maintenance, repair, and manufacturing industries. Students work on a variety of "real world" repair, service and construction projects. Hands-on instruction is provided in composite boat construction and repair, marine woodworking and joinery, lofting, plug and mold construction and marine spray painting systems. Boat yard operation skills are practiced year round including marine straddle-lift operation, crane operation, forklift and hydraulic trailer operation. There are also courses that focus on the rigging, mechanical, plumbing, propulsion, and electrical systems of boats.

The Small Vessel Fabrication and Repair program has just been granted inclusion as one of American Boat and Yacht Council's (ABYC) Marine League Schools, one of less than ten schools in the United States. This very prestigious designation will allow the program to grant ABYC Certificates to students who fulfill the requirements of the courses.

The majority of instruction for the program is held at the Marine Education and Training Center (METC) located on Sand Island, Keehi Lagoon, which is a state-of-the-art training facility. The METC ranks as one of the premier training facilities in the United States featuring four large work bays to allow work on vessels up to 45 feet, a concrete pier equipped with two cranes to allow work on vessels in the water, finger piers for removing vessels from the water employing a marine straddle-lift, as well as classroom, laboratory, and office space.

For enrollment in the program, students must be able to climb a twelve-foot ladder onto a vessel's deck, get on the deck, walk around the cabin and descend to the ground in a time period of not more than twice the time it takes the instructor to perform these tasks. The students must be able to jump onto the deck of a boat that is 18 inches below pier level, work in a crouching or standing position for hours at a time, lift 40 pounds from the floor onto a 34 inch high table top, and be physically fit to wear an organic respirator.

Each student will be required to obtain a note from a physician stating that the student is capable of wearing an organic respirator. There are many physical demands and hazards in the boat maintenance and repair industry and the program. These include, but are not limited to, occasional heavy lifting, bending, crouching, and working in a cramped position. There will be exposure to woodworking saw blades and cutters, rapidly moving parts, and live electrical circuits. There will also be exposure to resins, solvents, fuel, paints, exhaust fumes, and dust. Students may get cuts, abrasions, burns, aches, and pains.

Program Prerequisites

  • Recommended Prep: IS 20
  • Note: Respirator Use Clearance Also Required

Degrees That Can Be Earned

  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  • Certificate of Achievement (CA)

Cost of Textbooks/Supplies

  • Tuition based on total number of credits taken.
  • Books/tools/supplies approximately $2,200 for the two-year program.
  • Mandatory student membership in the American Boat and Yacht (ABYC) - Marine League of Schools is $69.95 annually.

Upon successful completion of the Small Vessel Fabrication and Repair/MARR program, students will be able to:

  • Perform tasks in accordance with American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) Standards and best practices.
  • Secure vessels, safely operate machinery and perform operations associated with dry-docking operations.
  • Operate and maintain standard woodshop stationary and portable tools; sharpen, tune, and use standard woodworking hand tools; true wood stock accurately, safely, and efficiently; construct shop fixtures and jigs; and, read, interpret and create blueprints.
  • Identify a variety of composite materials, formulate laminate schedules and demonstrate proficiency in laminating techniques, perform standard composite quality control tests, practice quality assurance and safety, and utilize the practical principals of composite-resin chemistry.
  • Present a systematic approach to surveying damaged composite vessels and be able to execute marine-quality composite repairs.
  • Perform pre-paint preparation and procedures, understand air compressor requirements, utilize common coating application systems, techniques and equipment, and understand and employ multi-component paint systems.
  • Fabricate components necessary to build a boat hull from a lofting, practice principals of attaining quality molds, apply spray and manual mold release systems, and calibrate and operate a plural component "chopper gun".
  • State the basic operational principals and maintenance of common marine propulsion systems, and perform basic service and troubleshooting of marine engines.
  • Perform trouble-shooting and testing of marine circuits, perform installation of electrical components commonly found on a vessel, perform marine battery service, recharging and installation, and understand and employ corrosion control systems.
  • Understand State and Federal wastewater discharge regulations and perform installation and maintenance of plumbing components commonly found on a vessel.
  • Survey a sailboat's rig including running and standing rigging and perform installation and maintenance of systems commonly found on sailboats rigs.

Our program technical standards have been developed to help students understand the minimum essential mental, physical, and behavioral skills necessary for participation in and completion of all core aspects of our curriculum.

Thinking Skills


Apply proper materials and procedures to achieve seaworthy construction and repair of boats and their component systems.


  • Read textbooks, handouts, and Material Safety Data Sheets.
  • Recognize terminology related to vessel fabrication, repair and maintenance.
  • Read blueprints, working drawings, and boat plans.
  • Interpret spatial relationships.
  • Extract information from a set of construction drawings.
  • Take accurate measurements using metric and imperial measurement systems.
  • Interpret readings on meters, gauges and scales.
  • Use proper procedures for tools and machinery, fabrication, joinery, and repairs.
  • Calculate efficient amounts of materials needed for a project.
  • Assess the quality of materials and construction.
  • Conduct maintenance and service routines on boat engines.
  • Troubleshoot a boat’s electrical and other operating systems.
  • Perform installations of plumbing and other components and systems.

Sensory/Observation Skills


Make independent observations and assessments to produce quality work.


  • Read devices such as tape measures, framing and adjustable squares, and levels, meters and gauges.
  • Survey and select proper tools and materials for specific purposes.
  • Use sensory cues to assess quality of constructing, installing, and finishing work.

Motor Skills


Possess sufficient physical strength, flexibility, and dexterity to do boat yard work.


  • Wear an organic respirator.
  • Operate necessary tools and equipment safely including blades, cutters and rapidly moving parts.
  • Maneuver a forklift, crane, straddle lift and hydraulic trailer.
  • Work at varying heights.
  • Climb ladders.
  • Jump onto a deck that can be up to 18-inches below pier level.
  • Maneuver in confined spaces.
  • Lift and transport necessary equipment and materials.

Communication Skills


Communicate effectively to gather and convey information.


  • Obtain necessary information from oral and written sources.
  • Express information coherently.
  • Document work and procedures accurately.

Behavioral Skills


Behave appropriately and safely in a shared learning environment.


  • Work independently with periodic supervision.
  • Work cooperatively with partners and groups.
  • Follow through with individual and shared responsibilities.
  • Exercise good judgement.
  • Follow safety procedures.

Environmental Tolerance


Function safely in a boat yard and shop environment.


  • Work for prolonged periods exposed to: Extreme noise, Extreme heat, Sharp tools and materials, Electrical equipment, Chemicals and toxins, Dust and fumes, Machinery with moving parts, Moving objects and vehicles, Slippery or uneven surfaces, Variations in lighting