Explore your options

Boating is big business in New Zealand, and production is expected to double over the next 15 years. Study marine engineering at Unitec and you could be part of the action as a boatbuilder, marine engine technician, power boat engineer or marine craft designer.

You’ll learn how to design a variety of vessles using AutoCAD and you’ll practice construction techniques in the workshop using specialist machinery and hand crafting techniques.

Study marine engineering systems and you’ll learn how to assess the condition of a boat engine and to dismantle, repair and assemble engines. Choose the Bachelor programme and you’ll look at yacht design and learn how to set up your own business. You’ll also take on a major industry project where you can make valuable contacts for your career.

Whichever programme you choose you’ll learn from staff who’ve worked on high-profile projects like the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race boats. They know how to build winning boats and create powerful marine engines.

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
Certificate in Applied Technology (Boatbuilding)4Full-time for one year or part-time (day) options availableApprentice boatbuilder, Apprentice boat refit and repair technician
Certificate in Applied Technology (Marine Engineering Systems)4Full-time for one yearApprentice diesel engine technician, Apprentice marine inboard/outboard technician, Apprentice power boat engineer, Small engine technician
Bachelor of Applied Technology - Marine7Full-time for three years or part-time (day) options availableMarine designer or draftsperson, Project manager

Industry connections

Study marine engineering at Unitec and you'll benefit from our close industry ties: we work with the New Zealand Marine Industry Association and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. That’s why all courses incorporate the latest industry trends. There’s also the opportunity for work experience and visits to local employers. 

The Certificate in Applied Technology (Boatbuilding) and the Certificate in Applied Technology (Marine Engineering Systems) are endorsed by the New Zealand Marine Industry Training Organisation.


How do I get into an apprenticeship?

To become a qualified boatbuilder you need to complete approximately four years of theory and practical work experience. Most employers prefer you to have studied before you start an apprenticeship and the Certificate in Applied Technology (Boatbuilding) is a good starting point. You’ll need to attend classes three days a week for one year after which you'll have the skills to start working as an apprentice boatbuilder. You can then complete the on-the-job training and study towards your apprenticeship while you work.

Can I get cross-credits towards my apprenticeship?

Yes, once you've completed the Certificate in Applied Technology (Boatbuilding) you can apply to the NZQA for cross-credits towards a selection of unit standards from the National Certificate in Boatbuilding Industry. As an apprentice boatbuilder you'll work alongside an employer for approximately three more years to complete the rest of the unit standards. After this you’ll be eligible to apply for the National Certificate in Boatbuilding Industry qualification.