A Dartford student has been awarded funding to train for a career working on luxury superyachts. David Stafford, 21 is currently on phase one of the Superyacht Cadetship.

david stafford

David began his training in October after being selected for a coveted bursary worth approximately £14,000 by Trinity House. As a real alternative to university, the course combines study sessions and sea phase training at UKSA, with work as deckhands on superyachts. The course also includes a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science delivered in conjunction with Falmouth Marine School and validated by the University of Plymouth. While working, students can typically earn €2,000 a month tax free (not including tips), and while once onboard a vessel almost all their living costs are covered by the yacht too. If sensible, students can graduate debt free and sail into a lucrative career.

David doesn’t have a sailing background himself, but his dad and granddad were captains and master mariners in the Merchant Navy. He didn’t feel this was an option he wanted to pursue, but his attention was brought to an article about UKSA in The Times, about routes into the superyacht industry, and he decided to find out more about the industry. The article mentioned the bursaries that are available through UKSA towards superyacht training, so David applied to go through the selection process.

David said: “I could not afford this course and I could never ask my family for this sort of money, so applying for the funding was an opportunity I could not throw away. I’m really grateful for the opportunity. UKSA is great although it’s really full on. I’m learning a lot as you come straight off the sea phases and you’re straight back into the classroom, then you’re back out mile-building – you have to just crack on with it. The rest of my crew were all dinghy instructors but I had never sailed so it’s been a big learning curve.”

If funding for a career on superyacht appeals to you, take a look at the new SYCB Bursary.