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UKSA
Cosreba
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 10:15 PM
Joined: 22/09/2009
Posts: 4


I'm looking into doing some courses at UKSA, do they have a good reputation within the yachting industry?

occupydocks
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 4:04 AM
[Comment deleted by moderator]

Cizealin
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 9:08 AM
Joined: 26/07/2008
Posts: 50


These kind of comments don't add any credability to this forum. But I guess there are internet trolls around. UKSA have a perfectly good reputation, the training is to a high standard with the new crew we have met. These new crew often need further experience though of course, before being fully skilled to work on large yachts. I am sure no American "managers" would commonly wish to employ EU crew anyway for US flagged yachts due to the visa regulations.
Cosreba
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 12:49 PM
Joined: 22/09/2009
Posts: 4


I'm not trolling at all, just wanting to make sure I get the best quality training as deck qualifications don't come cheap! From what I've seen online I'm impressed with the facilities they have to offer, but wanted the thoughts of people who are established in the industry.

Anonymous
Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011 11:09 PM
Sadly, as a ery experinced Yacht Captain I would not employ any Student from UKSA unless they could prove additional life skills such as a degree ...... basically the students have all the qualifications but NO BASIC idea or seamanship ..... I KNOW I USED TO INSTRUCT HERE!

Mike
Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 11:54 AM
Joined: 27/12/2011
Posts: 15


I have attended courses at the UKSA and other training providers throughout Europe and have to say the UKSA training is as good as any. This was a couple of years ago however I do remember the engineering lectures by Paul Bennett to be of a particularly high standard.

I'm not sure what the anonymous poster means by no idea of seamanship. If they mean the training on their yachting/deck courses was poor I cant really comment as I didn't do any there. If however they mean the UKSA didn't prepare their students for working in the industry I would disagree. They do offer industry guidance and I would expect a very experienced yacht captain to know better than to think any training provider can take people with no industry experience and turn them into perfect crew.


J
Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 2:04 PM
Joined: 27/12/2011
Posts: 1


I'm also looking at doing a course at UKSA. I'd like to do the Professional Yacht Engineer course. the course looks/sounds ideal for me and I really want to do a course that is going to teach me through practical hands on methods like this one. the course itself is quite expensive considering its only ten weeks worth of training, its almost 9K and I would be taking out a loan to pay for it. however... I have read a few negative comments here and there about UKSA. questions running through my head are- am I looking at the right course? how far will this course get me? what are my chances of finding work after the course? Ive spoken to UKSA and they really only tell you what you want to hear. I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who can fill me in on some of the above. thanks J
Mike
Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 4:23 PM
Joined: 27/12/2011
Posts: 15


As I said above I like the engineering training given by the UKSA and the training given on the professional yacht engineer course is really quite comprehensive. The problem is that due to sea time requirements the only recognised engineering qualifications you'll walk out with are an AEC and an MNTB Skills test. The former can be gained in a four day short course and the latter isn't really all that useful until you come to do your Y4 three and a half years down the line.


The training you receive will certainly be useful when you eventually get a job and go on to do your MEOL(Y) and Y4 however won't necessarily set your CV apart from someone who just did their day skipper, short range radio, STCW basic safety training, power boat level 2 and AEC as separate courses and saved money in the process.


What happens after the course is mostly down to how much effort you put into looking for work as well as your background and any other experience you might have. You should work on your CV during the course (with help from tutors) and contact a few crew agents online (the UKSA have a list) then after the course finishes go to one of the big yachting hubs (Antibes, Palma, etc.) to meet them in person and make yourself more easily available for interview.


As a first engineering job you could be looking at a dual roll 2nd or 3rd engineer/deckhand or a sole engineer on a smaller superyacht, you could also look at doing flotilla work as an engineer responsible for a number of small boats owned by a charter company. On a superyacht I'd say you should be earning more than 2000 Euros a month and won't have any living expenses so could be looking at paying 9000 GBP back pretty damn quick.


Henning
Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 1:34 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


J wrote:
I'm also looking at doing a course at UKSA. I'd like to do the Professional Yacht Engineer course. the course looks/sounds ideal for me and I really want to do a course that is going to teach me through practical hands on methods like this one. the course itself is quite expensive considering its only ten weeks worth of training, its almost 9K and I would be taking out a loan to pay for it. however... I have read a few negative comments here and there about UKSA. questions running through my head are- am I looking at the right course? how far will this course get me? what are my chances of finding work after the course? Ive spoken to UKSA and they really only tell you what you want to hear. I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who can fill me in on some of the above. thanks J



An engineering course at these schools is just like a captains course, it is limited in scope and capacity. A 10 week course will either teach a bunch of very basic level stuff to a newbie or get an experienced person through their exams for a license. 10 weeks will not make newbie into a competent engineer. I have never heard a positive report back from anyone I know that has taken an "Engineering Course" with the intention of gaining significant engineering knowledge and ability regardless of which school. All of them were disappointed in what they learned. In order to learn everything you need to know to be a beginning competent engineer would be 2-4 years in a school setting.



UKEngineer
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 8:15 PM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 34


Having worked with many guys who completed courses at the UKSA, they seemed competent, Paul Bennett has a particularly good reputation on the engineering side. To be honest the guys from UKSA seemed to have a better engineering grounding than ones from Bluewater. That could have been down to the individual concerned rather than Bluewater and it would not be fair to judge based on my limited personal experience of their students I have worked with. If you plan on the engineering route, you are better off starting out a proper marine school like Falmouth (light vessels) or Warsash (heavy vessels/commercial licences). There is no substitue for workshop experience under the watchful eye of good marine engineers turned lecturers. Take at least a year out of your life for Falmouth and maybe try and gain sponsorship to Warash through that.
JD
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 9:56 PM
Joined: 16/09/2008
Posts: 1



John Proctor
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 10:35 PM
Joined: 06/12/2011
Posts: 4


I did the MYST there in 2003. All good. It gives you a great grounding in yachting but tells you very little about what your job will actually be, definately if you go straight into a skipper job as I did. Also they are very good at taking the fun out of things, function of our blame and claim world I suppose.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 10:59 PM
I did some of my OOW modules there in 2007 and now going back to do Master 3000 modules next month. Nuff said!
murf
Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 10:07 AM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 32


I did the Ocean Graduate course at UKSA a few years ago and went back for some of the OOW modules. I never had any regrets. Very passionate instructors. I do not agree with the comment about UKSA students not having any seamanship. I skippered (under supervision of an instructor) a small yacht across the Solent in a force 8 and then parked it at a mooring buoy under sail. There are only two things I think should be changed about that course: (1) The course is so much focussed on navigation and skippering, students leave UKSA thinking they can apply for jobs as officers on big boats, while they lack basic skills as washing down a boat or varnishing. (2) The GMDSS ROC module is useless. This should be replaced by a GMDSS GOC module.
DaveRobson
Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 11:42 AM
Joined: 24/11/2008
Posts: 20


I did the Professional Yacht Engineer Course at UKSA about 5 years ago and it was a mixed experience. My course, like all the other UKSA courses, are pretty expensive but they do include food and accomodation (which is also pretty mixed!) On the whole I found the instructors to be extremely good both for my course and the other courses, but the running of the courses was let down by the organisation and management. We had several issues with timetabling, finances and other office based stuff which was a real shame as it let the whole place down, and I have heard similar stories from other people who have done course there. I would also agree with the poster who mentioned that UKSA graduates leave expecting the world, we used to call UKSA the 'dream factory' as they are selling dreams to people, they dont push the reality very hard and the yachtmaster graduates usually leave expecting to drive 200 GRT boats immediately. I probably wouldn't choose to go back there for any further training although I would certainly go to Paul Bennett again, he is brilliant. So on the whole, great instructors, generally good facilities, and if you go in aware of the reality of the yachting industry and keep on top of the office side of things then it's not a bad place to go.
Steven.Hall
Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 3:17 PM
Joined: 28/07/2011
Posts: 5


Hi,

I completed the comp crew course in September 2011 although I have a lot of small pleasure yacht experience, i required the basics to work on Super Yachts so did the 6 week course to gain these qualifications. The staff at UKSA are very professional and will expect you to be the same. The way you represent yourself there is the way you would represent yourself on a Super Yacht. Overall very good acadamy and from that i've managed to gain employment on a 64m M/Y as a deckhand


Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:18 AM

 In all fairness I think UKSA are literally having a laugh. After coughing up over 6000 for the competent crew course, I struggled to see where the money went. The instructors were lazy sometimes late for a session and short tempered. There's a lot of negative energy between staff and pupils, and you feel very belittled being new to the industry. The accommodation was so cramped where someone would have to get into bed just so you could open the wardrobe or open the door, this was apparent training for the cramped conditions at sea. I got the instinct feeling that if you complained about the course or anything then you would be flagged and wouldn't put you forward for opportunities, so if you just play ball and keep quiet then they might give you a chance. However for 6 weeks you can't hold your frustration for your  money going down the drain.  It seems like once you've paid in full and a week or 2 into the course they just don't care. I hardly ever write negative reviews but feel compelled to write about uksa and seemed shocked to only find a few negative reviews. After spending 2 years in the yachting industry I've met many first mate/skippers who look down on uksa graduates and refer to it as 'the dream factory'.

I just can't believe I paid the money before looking fully into it, and hope I can save others from the same mistake.


Ben
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:11 AM
Joined: 20/02/2013
Posts: 6


Any RYA course is just a joke. 

The MCA should do something about it . 

BTW training centers in Antibes are not better. 

But 6000 P is really a day light robbery. 

Ben
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 6:25 PM
I did my training in Flying Fish, Cowes..great place, great accomodation and instructors. All the students in my class went on to get great jobs
 
 Average 0.5 out of 5