Editors’ Picks: Top Gear
Fall is not only the occasion for haulouts but also the time for marine-industry trade shows. The next season will begin soon, with the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) in Louisville, Kentucky, Sept. 15–17, followed by the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam, on Nov. 17–19. For ProBoat editors, that means producing and moderating the technical seminars at IBEX, and also searching the aisles to find new gear and materials we think would interest our readers. As we get ready for IBEX 2015, here are some of our top finds from shows over the past 12 months.
IBEX Preview: Training Days
In major cities around the country, training centers for software developers have sprung up to meet the tech industry’s demand for skilled workers. Schools with names like Dev Bootcamp, Startup Institute, Codecademy Labs, and Anyone Can Learn to Code are steadily churning out a workforce of new web developers, promised a quick and fruitful job search, after as little as 12 weeks of training.
While boatbuilding’s scale of employment can’t compare to the surge of new tech jockeys, its story is similar. Skilled workers are critical, but may not be readily available. Filling the skills gap must be done in increasingly creative ways. Those endeavors will be addressed at the upcoming International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) in Louisville, Kentucky, where three educational sessions will focus on workforce needs for the industry. Learn what your company can do to attract and keep the next-generation’s best and brightest, who—fortunately—would rather work in a boatyard than an office park.
IBEX Preview: Why Boats Sink
Simply put, the failure to keep water outside the hull is the essential reason boats sink, but there’s more to it than that, as marine investigator Daniel K. Rutherford has discovered in more than 30 years of field examinations and legal cases.
IBEX Preview: ‘Question Everything’
Like anyone else, Rob Kaidy likes a good night’s sleep. Yet the moral issues that have cropped up over the years in the career he loves—that of a naval architect designing everything from 950’ (290m) ships for the U.S. Navy to a 12’ (3.7m) fishing Micro Skiff—have certainly kept him awake and compelled him to promote sound and safe yacht design.
“My job is to be a naval architect, and my ethical burden is to execute that responsibility,” he says. “Standing up for safety against strong customer demands can be very difficult. However, it’s exactly at the moment when it is most difficult to stand before your customer that it is most needed. This is moral, ethical behavior. This is bravery in the context of being a naval architect.”