The smell of Restoration Hall...

Tucker Ainslie, Boatbuilding & Restoration Student Ambassador

Meet Tucker Ainslie!  He is one of our new Student Ambassadors in the Boatbuilding & Restoration Program!

Hey all, it’s a bit odd for me to write an introduction of myself and I wish it was possible to do this face to face instead! That being said, my name is Tucker Ainslie and I have just started in the Boatbuilding and Restoration program.

I grew up sailing, swimming and scuba diving on Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, NY. Spending summers on (and in) the lake gave me a deep love of the water and boats that I could never shake. I never considered a career path that would allow me to be so heavily involved in boating, but I am glad I discovered it was a viable option.

While in my final year of undergrad, studying mechanical engineering, I was unsure of my next steps in life and finally decided on continuing my education and pursuing a path towards Naval Architecture. Initially I was applying to graduate programs, which would have landed me in lecture halls and labs for another two years, which was not ideal. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine, thank you Bryan, told me about this trade school he had done a public tour of in Newport that I knew what to do. It took looking at the school online, its programs, and an hour visit to know where I would next call home.

My visit with Danielle in admissions told me everything I needed to hear. Hands-on learning, a big project to complete and group work was all it took to convince me, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the campus and surrounding area are gorgeous. As odd as it may sound, the smell of Restoration Hall was what convinced me. The mix of wood, sawdust and the steam box running stuck with me. When I left my visit to start the drive back home to New York, I told Danielle that I was going to look at grad schools still before committing to making a decision. That lasted all of an hour until I told my parents about the visit and said that IYRS is where I want to be.

Now that I am here and getting into the first month or so of the program, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Despite the challenges of running a hands-on program during a time of social distancing and regulations it has been spectacular. The first taste of the work we are going to do has me very excited to continue on with the restoration of our Beetle Cats, and writing blogs as we carry forward through the year!