A great deal of industry goes on at the IYRS campus, but when you
walk into Restoration Hall, you won’t smell toxic chemicals
or resins. You’ll smell cedar shavings and see shipwrights-in-training
learning their craft as they restore wooden boats by hand—the
same way these watercraft were originally built decades ago, in coastal
regions where boatbuilding was a way of life.
Located at 449 Thames Street on a 2.5-acre waterfront campus, IYRS
is a non-profit educational institution that teaches the skills,
history, art and science of building, restoring and maintaining
boats and their systems. The school offers two full-time certificate
programs to train people for careers in the marine industry–a two-year
program in yacht restoration and a one-year program in marine systems.
IYRS also offers a Continuing Education program with evening and
weekend courses in woodworking, marine systems, welding and marine
The campus is open year-round and it is free to visitors. Every
fall, the boats to be restored by the students are placed inside
Restoration Hall, a 1903 electric generating plan now serving as
the student workshop. The boats are all historically important watercrafts
donated to the school—and they are all broken and derelict.
Students learn their trade while restoring these classics, learning
to build boats the way they were once built, before the days of mass
The IYRS mission is not only to preserve the
skills of restoring classic boats, but also to safeguard the school’s
historic sites. In addition to Restoration Hall, the campus includes
an 1831 mill building, one of two surviving mills in Newport, now
slated for restoration for much needed school space. You can also
see the 1885 schooner yacht Coronet that is being restored on the
campus. Launched during the Gilded Age as a private yacht for American
industrialist Rufus T. Bush, the 133' Coronet is the last remaining
grand yacht of her size, time and degree of originality. Set up
of the workshop and equipment in the Coronet building is slated
to begin in July 2007 and work on the hull to begin soon after.
There is also a collection of historic boats situated around the
property and a marina with several historically important yachts
tied up at the docks.
To learn more about IYRS, visit our campus at 449
Thames Street or online at: www.iyrs.org
© 2007 Newport Harbor
Guide. All rights reserved.