School of Business & Technology
About This Program
North Central Arkansas has a rich heritage in the manufacture of fiberglass boats dating back to the 1960s. There are an estimated 2,000 boat manufacturing jobs in the 120-mile radius around Mountain Home, Arkansas. Demand for skilled employees in this industry is 31% higher than the national average for an area this size. The financial impact of these employers is vital to the region and adequate training is necessary to retain and employ current and future workers.
Arkansas State University Mountain Home has responded to this need with the launch of its Marine Manufacturing program. This one-of-its-kind program addresses the needs of local industry by integrating basic tools, electrical, gel coat application, masking, and open and closed molded lamination into the manufacturing of boats and other composite based products. The skills taught in this program also apply to automotive, aviation, and other industries.
MASKING Introduces the methods of masking molds. Different types of masking (pin stripe tape, fill in tape, cover tape) and how they are applied is presented. Safety practices incorporating OSHA standards is emphasized.
GEL COATING Introduces gel coating, what it is, and how to apply it in the workplace. Also includes how to handle, set up, and maintain gel coat equipment. The difference in poly flake and solid gel coat finishes are introduced. Skills in spraying Gel Coat on molds to meet quality standards are practiced.
CLOSED MOLDING LAMINATION Introduces hand laying and properly tucking fiberglass on a gel coated mold for resin infusion. Students also learn how to properly apply bag to mold to infuse resin into fiberglass to build a quality part. Different types of fluid pumps (Injection Machine and Resin Pumps) are introduced.
OPEN MOLDING LAMINATION Introduces different methods of lamination such as hand lay, wet out, and chopping. The student practices operating and maintaining chopping gun and wet out systems. The fundamentals of chopping and spray patterns used in applying materials are presented.
In addition to the skills listed above, the industry is also a leading employer of welders. ASU-Mountain Home’s existing welding program covers the basics of MIG, TIG and Stick welding. Welding on various metals is practiced but emphasis is placed on welding aluminum to meet the needs of the marine manufacturing employers. For more information on welding at ASUMH, see the Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology.
Not ready to commit to a two-year degree?
We offer a technical certificate and certificate of proficiency in marine manufacturing that can be completed in one year or less.
Mr. Brian Bigelow
Gel coat equipment set up, operation and maintenance
Hand laying, wet out, and chopping methods of lamination
Maintenance of Lamination equipment
Job Opportunities In
Chopper Gun Operator
Tuition Per Credit Hour
Classes You'll Take
Basic Hand Tools/Safety
Closed Molding Lamination
Open Molding Lamination
Related Degree Options
Transferable Degrees & Stackable Credentials
Transferrable degrees are programs of study that allow students to complete general education courses. Many students who intend to transfer to another college/university complete these degree programs.
Stackable Credentials are Technical Certificates that might be “stacked” to meet requirements for a higher-level certificate or degree program like an associate's degree.
> Any student who earns the Associate of Applied Science at ASUMH may be admitted to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Supervision at ASUJ in either the on-campus or A-State Online program with full junior classification, subject to completing the admission requirement for ASUJ.
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