Case studies

Katie Sewell

Katie embarks on a life-changing experience during Phase 1 of the Superyacht Cadetship

UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship is a four-year programme training future officers of the superyacht industry. Cadets are aged between 18 and 25. Many of them have achieved success in the Sea Cadets, Scouts or the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Whatever their background, all UKSA cadets have the determination to forge a successful career in an elite industry.

“When I found out I was the only girl doing the Cadetship …

… I was concerned, but then I realised it would be my chance to make an impression without competition or comparison.

One of the first courses I did on the Cadetship …

… was STCW, where we practised sea survival. This included getting in and out of a life raft in the pool, first aid and my personal favourite, firefighting. Then we were issued our uniforms which was a big thing for us as it made the fact that we were superyacht cadets very real.

When we moved onto the sea phases …

… we sailed all around the Solent. We learned how to cook, work winches, helm the yachts and we saw some amazing sights. We then went on the Farr 65 which is with ten crew members instead of five; this is where we were introduced to the watch system. Despite having less sleep than usual we all had an enjoyable week and made it to the coast of France.

I even went up the mast to check the rigging, which was terrifying. Sometimes you think, this is why I’m doing this course.

The sunsets and sunrises were amazing, and the beautiful views made late nights and early mornings worthwhile. I also loved it when all the crew were together for dinner eating good home-cooked food. And of course, when we’re out in the Med all the bad weather, cold winters and minimal space will have been worth it!

I hate being defeated by things I can’t do …

… but practicing them has hopefully built my confidence. Also, confrontation with crew members gets me down but you have to learn how to resolve it and move on. I’m very nervous about my Yachtmaster exam; I know I have to revise very hard and put lots of effort in. Hopefully I’ll get the result I want.

I passed all my shore-based lessons and exams …

… including Advanced Engine Course, Radar, Deck Work, Day Skipper Theory and my Yachtmaster Theory, which was the biggest achievement yet. I’m really looking forward to the coming months and the interviews for a job in the superyacht industry can’t come too soon.

I would like to thank my sponsor, Seafarers UK and Whirlwind Charitable Trust, for giving me the opportunity to reach heights I didn’t know I was capable of, and to find things about myself that I never knew.”

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