Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a Superyacht Captain? To do so, it requires a combination of education, experience, and certifications across numerous years. In this article, we hear from Will Satterly, Head of Careers at UKSA, about how to become a Superyacht Captain.

How to become a Superyacht Captain
Image sourced from UKSA

Which Tasks Does A Superyacht Captain Carry Out?

As Captain, specialising in commanding and managing luxury yachts over 24 metres in length, you’ll be responsible for a crew and the safety of passengers. As well as this, you answer to the yacht’s owner about the decisions you make. Effective communication and leadership are crucial. Will elaborates:

“The Captain is responsible for the safety of the vessel and crew/passengers. Building an effective culture and maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and safety whist complying to all regulatory requirements. Managing expectations of owners and other stakeholders such as management companies, is another key part of being a successful captain.”

The smaller the yacht, the more hands-on the Captain must be. Yet they will have hold more administrative duties if the yacht is larger.

How Long Does It Take?

Naturally, depending on the candidate, this will vary. However, Will remarks that “6+ years is realistic to gain the necessary experience, sea time, and modules.”

The Qualifications & Traits You Need

As Captain, you will need:

  • Great communication skills (to deal with owners, contractors, crew, and guests alike)
  • Personnel management skills
  • Excellent seafaring knowledge
  • An understanding of accounting
  • IT and administration skills

The UKSA pathway for MCA Deck Office certification outlines a series of steps you can take:

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