As our latest cohort begin their first steps at UKSA of the Professional Yacht Cadetship, we catch up with Charlie who will be returning to UKSA to complete his training after working as a mate on a 33-metre Hoek Truly Classic superyacht.
“Before I came to UKSA I was studying A-levels at sixth form college. I then joined the Professional Yacht Cadetship (PYC) in October 2014. I was very proud to receive funding from Trinity House, without which I couldn’t have done the course and I wouldn’t be able to do the job that I’m doing now. It has been a remarkable opportunity.
My favourite memory of being at UKSA was getting to spend over sixty days sailing the south coast of the UK and the English Channel aboard the UKSA fleet. Living and training on the likes of Harrier, Inspiration and Falcon with the four other members of my crew was a rollercoaster! Life was often cramped, wet, cold and physically demanding, but it was also one of the most rewarding six months of my life and I formed life-long friendships.
The most important lesson I learnt at UKSA was seeing the various ways in which different skippers run boats differently. The best skippers aren’t just knowledgeable, but are able to deal with difficult situations and solve problems whilst keeping cool, calm and collected. On completion of Phase One of the PYC, I worked as a mate on a 24m sailing yacht, joining the boat in Genoa after a month of dock walking. We participated in the Genoa Yacht Show and spent the rest of the season cruising the eastern Mediterranean. The highlight of my career so far has been taking part in 2017’s St Barth’s Bucket Regatta. It was the first superyacht regatta I’d ever witnessed and was awe struck by the other boats on show and how amazing the atmosphere was.
I would advise anyone about to start their training at UKSA and, in particular to anyone just starting out on the Cadetship, to enjoy Phase One as much as possible and not fret too much about finding work straight away. If by the end of February, you still haven’t secured a job, then dock walking really isn’t the end of the world and can be a really rewarding experience. It’s a great way to network and day-working on few different boats here and there can be a great way of finding out exactly the sort of job you’re looking for.
I’m now heading back to UKSA to complete Phase Five of my training, starting with the GMDSS General Operators Certificate – the highest level in radio communication. I’m really looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting all the new cadets. By this point, it will have been almost a year since I’ve been back home in the UK, so I will be taking some well-earned rest soon after.”
For more information on our Professional Yacht Cadetship, please visit: http://uksa.org/professional-training/deck/superyacht-cadetship/