Case studies

Áine Perry

Trinity House is respected in the industry and to be able to wear their badge is a huge honour.

The UKSA Superyacht Cadetship offers an exciting alternative to university and could result in a long-term career which includes travelling all over the world. The Cadetship is designed to send graduates onto yachts with a realistic understanding of the yachting industry and our cadets are currently employed in all areas of the sector, from racing superyachts to the most high-profile motor vessels. Superyacht Cadet student Áine Perry shares her experience whilst training at UKSA.

What were you doing before you came to UKSA?

Before I came to UKSA, I used to live aboard in the Mediterranean, preparing myself for my A-Level exams.

How did you hear about UKSA and what made you do your Cadetship with us?

I found out about the Superyacht Cadetship via word of mouth and hearing about UKSA’s reputation within the superyacht industry. The various opportunities and qualifications available within the course really drew me in, not to mention how much of a great challenge it would be. Since taking part in the course, the array of knowledge passed onto us from their experienced instructors is second to none.

Did you receive funding for the Cadetship, if so who from?

I would not have been able to complete the Cadetship without assisted career funding as it gave me a huge stepping stone into the industry. Trinity House is respected in the industry and to be able to wear their badge is a huge honour.

Before joining the cadetship, had you already gained any sailing experience or qualifications?

I had already gained a significant amount of experience prior to joining the course. I was a ‘liveaboard’ for the last 7 years, and have grown up on or around yachts.

Describe your typical day at UKSA

Busy! Early mornings and late nights, but I love the pace of it. Its very communal and there are always friendly faces, you never feel lonely. Most days you’re out on the water or making preparations for your next sea phase. One of the highlights of the course is that you’re constantly learning from extremely experienced instructors, either in classrooms or workshops. It really feels like the hub of yachting knowledge.

Describe your 3 highlights

I thoroughly enjoyed fire fighting. I wanted to go straight back into the fire after we came out. The Farr trip was also incredible and being able to sail on a yacht like that is an experience I will never forget. The day I achieved my Professional Yachtmaster Offshore was also the proudest I think I’ve ever felt in my life.

Describe your first sea phase

I was really quite nervous about our first sea phase as our crew were all strangers to one another, but who doesn’t enjoy sailing around in the sun in the Solent? It was the beginning of some life-long friendships.

What would you like your first job to be?

As long as I’m sailing I don’t mind. Any position on a sailing yacht would be great but I am currently applying for deckhand and deck/engineer roles.

What are your future career aspirations upon graduation?

After completing my Officer of the Watch modules and gaining enough industry experience, I am aiming towards becoming a Captain of a superyacht.

What advice would you offer someone studying at UKSA and considering our Cadetship?

Its really not a 9 to 5. You get so much out of the cadetship and come out of it with some really impressive qualifications. You can be jumping into the Solent off the back of the boat one minute and then doing engine theory the next, it really is the best mix, and makes learning immersive and enjoyable. Undertaking the Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science alongside the cadetship also adds to the challenge if you feel you are more academically inclined. Bringing along a good coffee cup and investing in an almanac was the best thing I did.

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