4.1 Average rating: Read reviews

UKSA is one of the world's top three providers of MCA yacht certificates, offering a comprehensive range of all-inclusive MCA and STCW approved courses, including Safety, Security and Engineering Training through to MCA Deck Officer and Master training for superyachts and workboats.

Food and accommodation come as standard, you’ll live and eat on our fully equipped site in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Everything you need you’ll find on our vibrant 4-acre waterfront location: accommodation block, canteen, bar, swimming pool, and classrooms are all housed on campus.

We’re also easily accessible from Bournemouth, Southampton, and London airports. With transport links arriving at either Portsmouth or Southampton ferry terminals. Our doors don’t close when classes end. We offer flexibility and extensive scheduling around each course, with access to our classrooms and resources in the evening too.

Run by James Potipher, our instructional team is made up of highly skilled industry experts from the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and superyacht sectors; Authorities that will share their skills and expertise with you as you study. Our doors don’t close when classes end. We offer flexibility and extensive scheduling around each course, with access to our classrooms and resources in the evening too. 

STCW Training Centres

UKSA have their training centre located in Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.

Customer Reviews

UKSA reviews as published on Google:

  • Daniel Hodgkinson

    Daniel Hodgkinson

    Average rating: a week ago

    An amazing place with the best facilities and very helpful staff for career progression. Our son Sam has had the best experience and we have enjoyed watching him flourish. Thank you everyone at UKSA.

  • Ian Chadwick

    Ian Chadwick

    Average rating: 2 weeks ago

    This course is not suitable for those within Autistic Spectrum so those with clearly Autism ADHD Asperger’s Dyslexia or Dyspraxia. They say they will help people on their text/blurb & in open days but that’s just help for Neurotypical’s with help for depression & anxiety etc. So to be clear they do not and cannot actually help people whom are born neurodivergent individuals and always all their lives have complex educational needs at all. They only can help normal people feeling sad from time to time. If you’re on the Spectrum - DO NOT GO TO UKSA - The tutors and lectures will be nice to you. But the other students will be cruel callous and competitive. They will distance themselves from you. You will become increasingly isolated, you will become very sad, very lonely and worse. Please promise me if your Neurodivergent. Do not go here it’s like a prison. It will take your soul and heart and rip it out of you.

  • Chloe MacGregor

    Chloe MacGregor

    Average rating: 2 weeks ago

    The staff were really nice would definitely recommend going here either for a trip or Duke of Edinburgh

  • Martin Walls

    Martin Walls

    Average rating: 3 months ago

    Firstly, I must say the engineering instructors were very knowledgeable and ran a great course. Unfortunately I did not enjoy my time at UKSA for a multitude of reasons. Firstly it is way overpriced compared to others yet the quality does not represent this. You are treated like a number and the staff here are cold and not very professional. The extortionate price for the accommodation, a shared room with bunk beds and prison thickness mattresses that costs more than the local BnB. The food was hit and miss. The bar isn’t really a bar just a fridge where they sell bottles of beer at an extremely marked up rate. They couldn’t have done less for me, with the thousands of pounds I paid for this course, not even a free pen. You even have to pay for a mug to have your coffee in if you didn’t bring your own.
    They had cancelled the last part of my training with short notice and due to this, they made a mistake with my last night’s booking. Whin I tried to get it sorted, they were super aggressive towards me. They did not want to fix their clerical error but demanded I had to pay for an extra night. Thus ending me having to sleep in my car before my return ferry the next day. Very unhappy with this experience and will never be returning.



    Average rating: 4 months ago

    It was very fun, and i loved the food! I got hit on the head a few times by a paddle board, but it was fine! But the place was unclean.

  • boyz tv97

    boyz tv97

    Average rating: 30 October 2023

    I went for a week residential with my school. I was given bad people in my bunk but that’s not their fault. I really enjoyed the water sports except for the start where we were getting used to the water. Paddle boarding was probably my favourite. During that exercise me and my partner were both behind everyone but we got help from a coach. The lunch sandwiches got very repetitive and I didn’t enjoy it. Last thing is our wetsuits were always soggy,

  • Lucky Elshoot

    Lucky Elshoot

    Average rating: 25 October 2023

    I went on a residential trip to the Isle of Wight and did water sports. Due to dietary requirements (gluten and vegetarian) I could barely eat - I didn't eat enough for two full meals over the three days I was there. I was hit on the head during an activity and my instructor did nothing about it - despite me telling her that I was extremely dizzy (I could barely sit up), nauseous, had blurred vision and was seeing two of things. Also as an autistic person I was unable to attend the disco due to the flashing lights and loud music.
    To sum it up I was severely injured and had barely eaten in three days after this trip.
    I did enjoy the paddle boarding but that was the only positive part of the trip and it was greatly overshadowed by the terrible head injury.

  • Max Miller

    Max Miller

    Average rating: 27 August 2023

    Over the month that I stayed; enjoyed some really great facilities and excellent staff.
    BUT - having had some difficulties; overall I had a really negative experience. Now realise that UKSA operate on a two tier system - by which; people with specific and known needs are very well looked after. People who do not fit this category are completely neglected and are simply there to subsidise the former.

  • Katherine Pritchard

    Katherine Pritchard

    Average rating: 23 April 2023

    Went to the open day yesterday and we were all very impressed. Amazing facilities, had a great tour, excellent presentation and lunch laid on. Really helpful 1 to 1 chat, my daughter loved it and hoping to go on the sea.change course next month which I think will help make her decision if she wants to attend from September next year. Thanks for a great day out.

  • Daniel Washington

    Daniel Washington

    Average rating: 3 April 2023

    Fly by night cowboys. Booked a course, booked flights, UKSA cancelled it at 2 days notice. They told half truths about reaching out to the RYA to find a moderator, but in fact had only posted on a forum. Avoid at all costs.(doubling down on the half truths, cowboys)



    Average rating: 23 February 2023

    Completed residential Yachtmasters Dec 22. Really enjoyed my 4 months here. Great professional staff, would highly recommend.

  • Mills Ro

    Mills Ro

    Average rating: 20 February 2023

    I did the 3 week Interior/hospitality stewardess course at the Uksa 7 months ago, which was expensive but I didn’t mind paying to gain the knowledge I thought I would get. Firstly when it came to our start date none of us knew what we was doing or where to go as no one had informed us, which I may also add that the email we all got on what to bring to the course was silly because we all got given completely different emails on what we need to bring for the course! I did enjoy parts of the course, like doing the STCW and meeting new friends. But unfortunately In my opinion it was over priced for the style of lessons we did, the housekeeping, detailing, mixology wine tasting, laundry was terrible, and don’t even get me started with the radio teacher we had, absolutely disgusting!.
    7 months down the line I don’t remember most of it, due to the course not being very hands on, it was just the teachers reading from PowerPoints, and most of us just sat their getting caught yawning, too much information being crammed in at ones while sat their by a table and desk. I wish it was more hands on and more specific to yachts because I know I would have learnt a lot more, I don’t really feel like i came out knowing an awful lot. And I know that a lot of people on my course thought the same.
    I also thought we would get a bit more guidance for landing your first job and a warning that it can take months to get a job onboard. Like I said 7 months since I did my course, trying so hard everyday and not really hearing much. Lastly I find it very difficult to get in touch with them for guidance, as when I email the career advisors most of the time I don’t get a reply. Even though they did say before we left that they would always be there for us to help!
    Unfortunately I would not recommend doing this course at the Uksa, but I would recommend going just for your STCW, and doing further training else where.

  • Svinka Peppa

    Svinka Peppa

    Average rating: 27 August 2022

    5 day long school residential trip to this UKSA cost me £750 per child. Accomodation was spartan, food very British- beans on toast for breakfast and chilli/ curry in the evening; sandwiches and small packets of crisps for packed lunch, no hair driers available for children (in dorms, showers or anywhere), no racks for drying towels.
    Wetsuits were being handed out based on age, not actual size of a child, so my 11yo 161cm high was given wetsuit that didn't fit. When she tried to complain, teachers said that bigger wetsuits are for older kids and recommended to wear t-shirt under the wetsuit. When she has started to get bruising and burn marks on her thighs and shoulders, they said that's fine just pour some clean cold water over it. And still didn't get a larger size.
    My advise if your child is going there on a school trip, consider if you want to get your own wetsuit. They are not that expensive and will save a lot of trouble. Also, check all the details yourself, don't assume that something will be provided, even the smallest things.

  • Catherine Kenny

    Catherine Kenny

    Average rating: 17 July 2022

    Northampton Sailability were lucky to have a charitable charter with the UKSA 11th-16th July 2022. Many thanks to the UKSA for providing 6 adults with disabilities along with the rest of the crew the opportunity to sail on the Solent. We had a great time on yacht Priory.

  • Paulo Aveleira

    Paulo Aveleira

    Average rating: 19 April 2022

    Excelente facilities. Must be the preferred center for RYA and MCA training

  • Bob Think

    Bob Think

    Average rating: 24 March 2022

    Food disaster , accomodation poverty ,teachers - skippers from amateur league , antediluvian . Big business 800 pounds for second examination , on first examinations passing only UK citizens , all other nationality chance to pass firs examination 1 %. This is image of school and teachers . At the end always you can complain , but first you will pay . Select
    any other sailing academy in Spain or Italy . Shame , shame .

  • Daniel Gibson

    Daniel Gibson

    Average rating: 6 January 2022

    The training school itself is very good. Unfortunately the accommodation and food is absolutely shocking! If you're thinking about going to UKSA then get accommodation elsewhere. It was around £52 a night for a stay in a bunk bed with 4 people sharing a room and the mattress barely bares the blow of the bed frame sticking through and into your back. If you're wanting to get a good ight sleep with a fresh head ready to learn everyday than this isn't ideal. The majority of the food provided in the canteen was absolutely horrendous! Fish & chips in a soup of oil. Stir fry in a soup of oil.......

  • Fyah Grizz

    Fyah Grizz

    Average rating: 7 August 2021

    The activities are great and all but the hygiene there was horrible. I was a dormitory room and the beds there wasn't built properly it even felt like it was going to break apart even the carpet was covered in ketchup or something. And oh gosh the food not enough flavour and no halal food like completely very horrible,now on to the activities,the kayak was cool because we rowed very far it was amazing. Activities are the only good thing here, hygiene is horrible

  • Michael Dawson

    Michael Dawson

    Average rating: 6 March 2020

    Staff are great (bar staff included) the knowledge they have is absolutely unreal. No stone is left unturned during the STCW course. An amazing week meeting new people from all walks of life with a common goal to work on the water in one capacity or another. The living areas were well maintained and you are left to your own devices at your days end but there is always staff around just incase. Anyone thinking of doing STCW or any other course will feel welcome and at home I’m no time at all. Thank you to all the staff for their hard work during the week

  • Wolve z

    Wolve z

    Average rating: 23 September 2019

    I would not recommend this because one of the staff was picking on kids so much and was really mean I hope that something could be done about this and it's unclean and the wetsuits stink so much. Thank you I hope someone could do something about this and the member of staff there KJ.

  • Tpharris Harriso

    Tpharris Harriso

    Average rating: 16 August 2019

    Only up the road

  • Siciido Yusuf

    Siciido Yusuf

    Average rating: 9 June 2019

    I loved it. Great dorms, lovely staff and a great experience.

  • George Fay

    George Fay

    Average rating: 12 September 2018

    Super lovely staff. Stated here a number of times and have loved it.

  • Ginger Ninja :3

    Ginger Ninja :3

    Average rating: 13 August 2018

    I went there and immediately regretted it

  • Ferenc Visztra

    Ferenc Visztra

    Average rating: 5 July 2018

    I loved the time I've spent there and sure will return to continue to get skills there!!!

  • Matthias H

    Matthias H

    Average rating: 10 March 2018

    UKSA has a good name and it’s really a great place to do your training. Dorms are somewhat old, but I didn’t mind actually. Great people, great bar.

  • Tyler Russell

    Tyler Russell

    Average rating: 9 September 2017

    Had a pretty good time, some of the activities were a bit rubbish but I think they were designed for younger children. Overall, decent place

  • Benjamin Turner

    Benjamin Turner

    Average rating: 19 January 2016

    Great courses, great teachers, great price, keep me coming back.

  • A Google User

    Average rating: 19 January 2016

    Great courses, great teachers, great price, keep me coming back.

  • Jeff Christie

    Jeff Christie

    Average rating: 14 December 2015

    Great range of courses, I did my PIT residential for three months and had an amazing time. Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and safety boat certified. Staff were always professional and willing to help out and the facilities are world class.

View more reviews Write a review