Skip to main content

Friday 3 October 2014

There has been a significant shift in large yacht training patterns during 2014, according to Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Superyacht Academy (WSA).

Maritime experts from WSA, the world’s leading superyacht training provider, are attributing this shift to three key elements: the Manila Amendments to the STCW Code (also known as STCW 2010) – the biggest change to the international regulatory framework that governs maritime training since 1995; an increase in demand for officers with unlimited certification, due to growing numbers of yachts larger than 3,000GT and capable of carrying up to 36 guests; and an increase in yacht crew enrolling on non-mandatory courses as part of continued professional development.

Commenting at the start of the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show, Lars Lippuner, WSA Business Development Manager:

“The new training requirements caused by the Manila Amendments to the STCW Code put a lot of additional strain on yacht crew, but completion is necessary.

“At the same time the gap between the simplified yacht route and the route leading to full unlimited certification has further decreased and many junior crews would be well advised to explore their options accordingly,” he added.


The Manila Amendments to the SCTW Code, demand additional courses for crew progressing to deck or engineering officers. These include: an Efficient Deck Hand course; the Human Element; Leadership and Management (HELM); Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) courses; and the introduction of a set of new security courses for all crew working on ISPS compliant yachts.

The next important change will come into effect in January 2017 when all crew will need to update their STCW fire-fighting, rescue craft and sea survival courses every five years.

“We were the first yacht training provider to roll out these courses during 2014 and while updating training won’t be required for another two and a bit years, yacht crew are well advised to start planning ahead as mariners worldwide will be wanting to complete their updating training by that date,” advises Lippuner.


Reflecting the rise in trend of yachts built above 3,000GT, a key training achievement for the academy has been the first cohort of yacht students successfully completing the Officer of the Watch (Unlimited) certificate in May this year. The 27-week intensive programme is a career milestone for yacht personnel, and gives them the ability to progress to Master Mariner (Unlimited).

Andrew Hair, Director of WSA says, “Deck officers with unlimited certification and yacht experience are in very high demand and the course has been immensely successful with candidates achieving outstanding results. They are now back at work with an unlimited certificate of competency in their pocket.”

The academy has also seen an increase in yacht officers on non-mandatory courses, such as ISM familiarisation and ISM internal auditor – a clear indication of yacht crew wanting to further their professional knowledge.

Significant milestones that have been met by WSA during the past 12 months include:

• The roll-out of MCA-approved ‘updating’ training courses according to STCW 2010; updated Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques, Updated Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Updated Proficiency in Advanced Fire Fighting, Updated Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats and Updated Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats

• The expansion of the Warsash app to include Android, following the iPad launch in 2013. WSA was the first superyacht teaching institution to develop a mobile learning platform, enabling superyacht crew who are enrolled on WSA yacht deck and engineering courses to access course notes and teaching aids remotely.

• In collaboration with its reputable training partners (MedAire, Regs4yachts, Interior Yacht Services, Da Gama Maritime and Marine Matters), WSA has further increased the offering of on board training, providing solutions tailored to match the yacht’s needs tailored solutions to the yacht’s needs.

Warsash Superyacht Academy launched at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2012 and is a unique collaboration between Warsash Maritime Academy, Southampton Solent University and a distinctive group of established superyacht training and service providers. The academy is the world leader in superyacht training for deck, engineering and interior departments, offering 138 courses accredited by the MCA, RYA and PYA, and other bespoke services in collaboration with its reputable partners.

Warsash Maritime Academy, the commercial maritime arm of Southampton Solent University, has provided first class education, training, consultancy and research services to the international maritime industry for nearly 70 years. The training facilities are unmatched worldwide and include state-of-the-art bridge and engine room simulators, engineering workshops, a 20-acre ship handling centre and extensive safety training facilities. The teaching faculty includes over 120 expert maritime lecturers.

For further information contact the media office on 023 8201 3040 or