Captain Wendy Umla - Senior instructor at Seven Seas Preparatory Academy We recently caught up with Captain Wendy Umla, senior instructor at Seven Seas Prep to discuss the first-ever Intro to Yachting X-Training course.

What is your current job role and where are you based? 

I’m the lead instructor at Seven Sea Preparatory Academy and I’m based in Connecticut, USA and Fort Lauderdale. I’ve also been a Superyacht Captain for quite some time now (Without putting a date to it… I’m on my 5th renewal).

What drove you to become a Senior instructor at Seven Seas Preparatory academy after yachting?

So, going back to before the pandemic, Marcus Cheeseman, the founder of Seven Seas Prep needed someone to help him with a yachting class and it just so happened that I was available at the time. However, while teaching a class in FL, I realized that the students were all flying in from the NE and Midwest. And that was in the middle of Covid. From that, I suggested to Marcus about starting a yacht training class in Connecticut, US instead. And so we did that, which turned out to be successful, and we went on to begin our stcw courses. Yet again, this also turned to be a huge success. And because of this, we now run them all year round in Connecticut.

At current, these are the courses we’re running at Seven Seas Prep Academy:

Tell us a bit more about the latest Seven Seas Prep Intro to Yachting X-Training course:

Because of the great success of Seven Seas Prep stcw and yacht training courses, we’re now introducing the first Intro to Yachting X-Training course. This has been developed since I was finding that the industry is quickly evolving and more often that not, we’ll now have males participating in the interior courses, and females on the deckhand courses.

This incredibly extensive introductory course begins with the fundamentals and then moves into the things that will help make you a more complete team player. It touches on topics such as basic protocols that every yachtie should know. But also teaches rudimentary seamanship tools like essential knots and imperative requirements such as service etiquette and galley must haves. And it will even explain some basic engineering needs!

All in all, it’s an amazing opportunity for Seven Seas Prep to be able to offer a course that covers a much broader curriculum, that  will help junior/entry crew to determine which direction they’d like to go in their career. 

What are the key benefits of crew registering for the Intro to Yachting X-Training course? 

As a captain, I’m a firm believer in working as a team. When I ran the boat, I would make sure that my deck team would always know what the interior team did, so they could help out and visa versa. Not only that, I would always make sure that whoever worked on my boat would also know how to drive my boat, regardless of whether you’re a stew, a deckhand or an engineer.

The key benefits of the Intro to Yachting X-Training course is that crew will gain a more in depth knowledge of different areas in yachting, that will then help encourage them to be able to go and apply for a deck/interior position, and not hesitate to do so. The reality is that there’s roles in the industry which are stereotyped to a specific gender. But, things are changing and the crew roles are now more diverse.

Seven Seas Prep - Maritime Training in the US

How can applicants apply for the course?

The first 3 day course will take place in May, with following courses being run during June, July and September. To apply, crew can sign up for the waiting list by clicking here, or contact Seven Sea Prep here 

For the latest on Superyacht Content Career and training, click here. 

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