A Chinese college in Chengdu, China’s Sichuan Province found an interesting way to provide students with a realistic place to conduct tests onboard a boat – by building an actual boat in the middle of campus, according to China News Service.
The replica boat was built by The Sichuan Vocational and Technical College of Communications and placed in the campus’ pond, giving students the opportunity to work on a sea faring vessel to gain naval experience without ever having to go out to sea.
Xiong Zhenghua, deputy director of the college’s Aviation Engineering Department, said the college invested 7 million yuan (roughly $1.1 million) in the construction of the boat in 2014. He said it was created to function like a normal boat for students who want to practice shipping technology and navigation techniques.
Xiong said all the equipment in the replica can be found onboard real operational boats to give students a realistic workspace.
The teaching boat is an imitation of a real boat named “The Yu Fu” and is 50 meters long and 14 meters wide. The replica’s interior has four floors with a cab and tea room. According to the report, the only different between this replica boat and a real boat is the lack of a working engine.
The boat also has another unintended use – being used as a background in many of its student’s graduation photos.
Jing Zhao, a shipping technology freshman, said students are required to complete weekly training sessions on the boat and that its provides students with real-world experience.
“The school provided us with practical training opportunities by using a simulated teaching boat,” Jing said. “Much of the onboard instruments and equipment can provide rich knowledge that cannot be studied in books. The teaching boat helps us greatly and adds more opportunities for students in future career markets.”