Case studies

Nina Cann

“UKSA has had a huge impact on my life. I made friends for life, with whom I share so many brilliant memories.”

After finishing her A-levels in the summer of 2021, 19-year-old Nina from Faversham in Kent, was unsure whether she wanted to continue on to higher education. She didn’t want the debt associated with university and wasn’t sure what she wanted to study.

“One of my close friends had done the Cadetship with UKSA, and since she graduated, I’d followed her journey via social media and watched her travel to some incredible places. The Cadetship seemed like a good option for me too as it was so structured, and I had always wanted to travel. Plus, there would be no big debts when I graduated.”

“It’s not easy to find a high paying job at this age to support all the things I want to do and so many degrees are not used by graduates in their careers.”

One of Nina’s best memories from training at UKSA was passing her Yachtmaster exam.

“My exam crew and I sailed back from Hamble to Cowes and had celebratory bacon sandwiches on the way! When we were back on the pontoon at UKSA it was pure joy to see all the other relieved cadets from other exam crews that has also passed”

“UKSA has had a huge impact on my life. I made friends for life, with whom I share so many brilliant memories, I hope I keep bumping into these people as we all sail around the world. Furthermore, I not only learnt a lot about sailing but also about myself.”

Nina graduated in February 2023 and flew out to her first job in the Mediterranean in April working as a Deckhand on a 90m+ sailing yacht.

“I absolutely love working on deck, and the team I work with are always so keen to teach me new things – we have a really good laugh together too!”

Nina says that the best thing about working on a superyacht is the places and the people.

“I have seen some stunning places and I’ve been lucky enough to see them with people who are now some of my closest friends.”

So, anything you don’t like about being on board?  

“Being away from home for six months at a time is hard and takes some getting used to but both of my Captains are incredible;  I couldn’t ask for better. They are both incredibly personable and approachable, they have a genuine interest in each and every crew member, their welfare, their ambitions, and their role on board. I hope everyone gets a chance to work for captains like mine.”

We caught up with Nina this autumn when she came back to UKSA to do her EDH course, and asked what was next for her in terms of progressing her career.

“In the near future I hope to start progressing through the rest of my OOW modules, however currently I am trying to complete some more vocational tickets that I believe are sought after in the industry and will make me more employable, for example my Yoga Instructor (100 hours) qualification.”

“I want to see and explore as much of the world as I can whilst also gradually working towards my officers’ ticket.”

We asked Nina to give us her advice to anyone thinking of a career working on superyachts.

“Enjoy the moment! Yachting is a fast paced and intense lifestyle, sometimes you forget to slow down and appreciate what you have.”

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