Don't take our word for it..... read what some past students have said
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Chris Anco - PST Course
Hamble School of Yachting Professional Sail Training (PST) student Chris, from Canada, has enjoyed a varied career spanning aviation, renewable energy systems, healthcare and even the design and construction industry.
Why did you decide to seek out a career in yachting?
I would rather consider this starting a new chapter in my book rather than a career change. Too many years behind a desk had me thinking about getting back outdoors where my passion lies. In the early 80s my best friend and I planned on buying a sailboat and travelling the world once we retired. As typically happens, life gets in the way, careers, family and the need to make compromises along the way which sometimes takes you in unexpected directions. The timing is such that I am now able to commit to the training I wanted and I look eagerly forward to fulfilling the dream I had as a much younger man.
While I had not originally intended to seek employment in the sailing industry, my experiences at Hamble School of Yachting were so enjoyable that I now continue to keep all of my options open.
Choosing the right school for my training was of paramount importance and I did a considerable amount of research on a number of professional RYA schools around the world. I had set a number of criteria for myself and, in the end, Hamble School of Yachting met all of them.
I cannot speak highly enough about the experience over the 17 weeks of the fast track PST programme, not only were the instructors outstanding but so was every single member of the organisation from top to bottom. The entire organisation is dedicated in the care and commitment to the students and the instructors consistently and enthusiastically apply their professional knowledge and experience to promote student learning. Combining the great instruction with the tides and traffic of the Solent and English Channel and throw in a little “challenging” weather now and then and you have one of the best learning environments you can possibly experience.
What you do now?
I consider myself “semi-retired” at this point in my life but still doing consulting work with renewable energy. I am currently working on finishing up my RYA Yachtmaster Ocean qualification and upgrading my first aid in the very near future. Further down the road I’m considering completing the General Radio Operators Certificate. In the meantime, I’m keeping my eyes open for just the right boat and remain open to working within the sailing industry.
A chance sail across the Atlantic ignited Fiona’s sailing ambitions. After returning and leaving her corporate job, a career change was on the cards.
A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to have the chance to sail across the Atlantic despite the fact I didn’t know how to sail. I absolutely loved it out there but found it frustrating that I didn’t know more and felt that I couldn’t contribute as much as I would have liked to. I love being on boats and I love the camaraderie of sailing. After quitting my corporate job it seemed the perfect time to learn and see whether sailing commercially could be part of the plan.
WHY HAMBLE SCHOOL OF YACHTING?
The reputation spoke volumes and two things particularly stood out for me. Having been out at sea, the thought of doing a course that didn’t cover yacht maintenance didn’t make any sense. Understanding the principles of the engine, electrics and sail maintenance should be an integral part of any Yachtmaster course, and is included in the PST programme. The other thing was the distance self-sail. The opportunity to take a yacht, without the safety net of an instructor, was the best experience ever. It consolidated everything we had learned and was great for building confidence.
HOW DID YOU FIND HAMBLE SCHOOL OF YACHTING’S PST COURSE?
The course was a fantastic experience and a brilliant way to get fully immersed. It was intense and it was by no means a walk in the park, but a brilliant foundation to build from.
Rhiannon Massey - PST Course
Rhiannon has been dinghy sailing since the age of seven, has represented Great Britain at International Olympic class level and been a member of the RYA Podium Potential Squad.
I wanted to do my RYA Yachtmaster as stepping stone into the yachting industry. I really wanted to continue to sail and it’s a qualification that so many professional sailing jobs require you to have.
WHY HAMBLE SCHOOL OF YACHTING?
I chose to study at Hamble School of Yachting as it has one of the best reputations and has better flexibility in the delivery of training to gain the RYA Yachtmaster qualification.
HOW DID YOU FIND HAMBLE SCHOOL OF YACHTING’S PST COURSE?
I really enjoyed the course, we had a range of instructors all of whom were hugely knowledgeable and excellent at teaching. They really helped my gain a huge amount of confidence in my own ability.
WHAT WAS THE BEST BIT ABOUT THE TRAINING?
The best bits were the small group sizes whilst sailing and tailored training to help you develop your weakest elements of the programme. Also being based in the Solent gives so many options for training, pilotage, and all manor of training exercises.
WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO?
I’d recommend Hamble School of Yachting to everyone, at whatever stage in their sailing they are in. From those who have never sailed before to those who just want to become more knowledgeable about all aspects of sailing.
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
Since graduating I’ve gone on to complete my RYA Cruising Instructor qualification and teach up to Day Skipper level. I am now racing around the world as the First Mate/ AQP on the Qingdao team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Will Martin - PST Course
I couldn’t recommend Hamble School of Yachting enough to anybody looking to learn to sail. I completed the PST course and at the end obtainalted my Yachtmaster Offshore certificate. The instructors are all extremely experienced and taught me skills above and beyond what I thought I would achieve. Over the duration of the course they really increased my confidence levels and allowed me to make decisions and learn from my mistakes. The best part was being given the yacht and they say “ok, see you in two weeks”. You and the crew get to go explore the amazing waters of the English Channel with no instructor and really consolidate the skills you have been taught. Overall my time at the Hamble was more like a holiday than being at school. Everybody associated with the school from the instructors to the shore staff made the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable.
My aim after completing the course was to obtain a job in the Super Yacht industry which I have been doing now for a little over a year and currently work as 3rd Engineer on M/Y Alfa Nero. I have also completed sail yacht deliveries, explored sailing grounds in the Med and Caribbean and I’m currently planning a trip to sail around Indonesia. Completing the PST course at Hamble really opened up new opportunities for me and I would highly recommend anyone to do the same.
Pauline Errey - PST Course
A sabbatical from my corporate job opened up a new world of personal growth that was addictive & life changing. No limitations were placed on me as a more mature, female student. I was coached, challenged & developed to my full ability by the HSY instructors, whose enthusiasm was infectious. Their adaptability & patience allowed me to learn & enjoy doing so. A vast & never ending array of opportunities were experienced – theory, skills & drills & the adventures of distance sailing. Achievements were celebrated & the odd ugly moment recounted in humour. Now I’m a commercial Skipper & Sailing Instructor. Not what I planned or expected! I hope I can work the same magic on the students I have the pleasure of instructing.
Nigeal Jopling - PST Course
I took early retirement last year and finally had the time to get around to getting some sailing qualifications. I have sailed for several years but only had a VHF licence and having also recently acquired a boat, I wanted to learn practical sailing skills and navigation, radar and sea survival along with anything else that was available to me. I found the course I wanted with the Hamble School of Yachting, who offered a 17 week Professional Sail Training course.
I was a little apprehensive choosing the course, as I didn’t want the qualifications for work, but I was assured that the PST course was suited to all, whether the qualifications were wanted for work or for leisure. I signed up for the February to June course and subsequently set sail in a snowstorm early in February with the other students from all over Europe. Having now sailed through the coldest spring on the Solent for 50 years, I and the other students successfully completed the course and gained our Yachtmaster offshore certificates. I now have the knowledge and confidence to sail anywhere and deal with strong tides and adverse conditions and feel that I will be able to cope when things don’t quite go according to plan.
I can thoroughly recommend the PST course to anyone. Age and ability doesn’t matter, we had from 21 to 58 and some who had never sailed before. I can also recommend the Hamble School of Yachting to anyone looking for any sort of sailing qualifications, on the water or shore – based or wanted for leisure or work. During my course I found all the staff at the school to be very dedicated and helpful and the instructors to be highly professional and deeply committed to the difficult task of turning me, and the others into proficient sailors and skippers. I wanted a complete package and that is exactly what I got. Many thanks to all at HSY.
Following a successful career as an officer in the British Army Guy Miller decided to follow a life long ambition to learn to sail, buy a yacht and undertake some serious blue water sailing. Guy started the Professional Sail Training Programme in February 2008 and successfully graduated on 8th June 2008 along with all 6 of his fellow students. Below Guy tells us a little about how he found life at Hamble School of Yachting, the training and how it equipped him for his future plans.
Before joining the course, the principal question in my mind was “am I going receive the quality and level of instruction required to become a good Yachtmaster”? Having now completed the training, I can unequivocally state that the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, the sheer talent and personality present throughout the training staff cannot help but rub off onto you!
Excellence pervades through the school almost as if it were ingrained.
At times the PST can be both physically and mentally draining and you can find yourself asking why such fatigue is necessary. However, it soon becomes apparent that these times are intentionally designed to help mould you into a professional Yachtmaster, able to handle arduous situations for longer and with more skill than many others. Perversely, I found this element of the course to be just as enjoyable as the other aspects.
It has long been an ambition of mine to buy a boat and sail it across the Atlantic to explore the sea around the Caribbean and South America. Thanks to the knowledge and preparation passed onto me by HSY, this dream is being realised later this year, just four months after passing my exam.
Kirsten Hunter - PST Course
Kirsten joinedImage the PST course in November 2008 to fullfill a lifelong ambition to gain her Yachtmaster and increase her skills and abilities. Having allready done some sailing she joined at module 2 and worked her way through to succesfully pass her Yachtmaster on 7th February 2009.
I wanted to write to thank you both and everyone else involved with Hamble. I still can't quite believe that the whole experience is over but what an experience it was!
Seriously the PST course was brilliant. All aspects were so well organised and that says volumes for the organisation within Hamble. On top of that the quality of instructors was exceptional. Given we had several different people you would have expected to have the odd one that you maybe didn't get on so well with but all were absolutely brilliant and I would be delighted if you could pass my thanks to each of them.
Each instructor, whilst different made a significant contribution to my learning and I am grateful to each one of them from Terry who had the excitement of my power handling in the first week and still didn't lose his cool, to Richard ( those turns in Gosport and that slide), Tom (you finally got the headsail or mainsail approach through to me), Mark (why stay longer than an hour anywhere?) , Seb (bringing a great French style to enjoying sailing) , Matt (MOB are not just an exercise and I will never forget anchoring in the O in Osborne bay), Caroline (that sail back from Dartmouth to Poole was brilliant) , not least James who is beyond exceptional and of course you giving us a mock exam on Thursday - oh that RYA fog!
There is no doubt I found the distance sails the most challenging but somehow Mark and James managed to help us keep laughing as they set us the next challenge and reduced the breaks between each sail!! Tom and James even managed to keep a fun aspect to the 'gruelling' coastal skipper 'tests' in the last week before Christmas. Tom was a brilliant actor with his broken leg and I will never forget getting ready to abandon ship and relieved that I now know I can lift a life raft.
Thank you also to Alison for getting the theory into us before we set sail and her book which is my bible now. It was good to see her just before our final week - and thanks for her weather warning which of course was so accurate. I never envisaged snow ball fights on a boat!!.
I know there are other people behind the scenes that help make things work that I didn't get to meet properly but I would still wish to say thank you to them. I know only too well how everyone in the team contributes and makes things happen and so how important everyone in the team is.
I would certainly recommend Hamble to anyone who was wanting to learn/improve their sailing and am so glad I chose Hamble myself. Hamble seems to be a prefect size - big enough to have stature/quality/professionalism but small enough to have a family and personal feel. The team work is also superb. Overall very professional
Really seriously - thank you very much for such a great course. It was much much more than course - a real challenge and change in way of life. Who knows where it will take me but it is certainly an experience I will treasure and remember."