Jim Pauling served an apprenticeship at Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders after he was offered a position there in 1986. He quit his accounting studies to take up the offer of the apprenticeship and became a qualified boat builder. 

Through the boatbuilding apprenticeship he acquired skills in Yacht design, and during that time also completed a yacht design course at Carrington Polytech in Auckland. 

This course spurred him on to further study of naval architecture which paid off in 1998, when he won the Naval Architect Society of New Zealand design competition. Entering as an amateur, he won 1st prize overall, beating professional designers to the top prize and taking home the overall prize of Autoship design software.

After managing LSB for four years, in which time he was involved in projects from designers all over the globe, including single handedly securing a contract with Walt Disney, he made the decision to pursue his own design career.

His range of work includes his own design portfolio as seen here and also hull designs for other designers. This work includes a 75 foot motoryacht built overseas and a 52 foot powercat hull for Bill Upfold. In both these cases Jim Pauling Yacht Design was responsible for the naval architecture. He works extensively with a range of professional boatbuilders both in New Zealand and overseas.

His own boating experience includes offshore sailing, water skiing, jet boating, launches and multihull sailing.