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Certified Superyacht Academy

Celebrating 6 Years of Superyacht Crew Assistance!

In celebrating Certified Superyacht Academy’s 6 year anniversary, we thought it suitable to share our story and give you a glimpse into our world.


When it started

It all started in 2007, when working on Superyachts was reserved for those in the know, an underground movement if you will. At the time, I was the marketing manager for a well-known adventure tours company and had been so for 2 years. My then friend and now business partner & friend, Richard, owned a thriving internship agency and had been involved for 4 years. Our third business partner at the time was involved in the production industry and ended up assisting us with daily operations whilst we were away.

One fateful day, Richard spoke to his friend whom was a Captain on a yacht at the time. He spoke of exotic locations, incredible luxury yachts, friendships, one of a kind life experiences and of course the ridiculous amount of money he was earning. It all sounded too good to be true, especially when compared to our 9 – 5 lifestyle with it’s restraints, bills & mundane  weekly schedule.

We knew very few people who worked or had worked on the yachts and so we decided to conduct some of our own research over the following year. The more we researched, the more we fell in love with the thought of working on a luxury yacht and of course, the sooner we wanted to leave Cape Town and set off on our adventure to the Mediterranean at the start of April. Everyone we contacted spoke of the amazing travel, experiences and large amounts of money to be earned. The only downside? Working long hours and living in close quarters, which was certainly nothing to discourage us.

Taking the leap

Taking the leap

Taking the leap

After much deliberation, we took the leap. Being an avid waterman myself, it seemed like a natural progression. I handed in my resignation, Richard, sold his shares to his business partner and we proceeded to complete our training, which back then only meant completing our STCW 95 & RYA Powerboat level 2 courses. During training and via general conversation we noticed that more and more South Africans were planning to go overseas and work on the yachts. The more we thought about it, the more it made sense to the average Joe on the street: Make money while you travel, then come back and start a business or invest your money.

Certified Superyacht Academy was conceptualized

We asked ourselves “Could this be the start of a growing industry?” Almost as a bi-product of our exciting training, we began to ponder about how we would create our business. Our goal, to become one of the leaders in Superyacht crew training & assistance and help out others just like us!

At the time, there were mainly sailing schools which focused on the recreational aspect of sailing and yachting and didn’t place much emphasis on Superyacht roles and the required training and knowledge. This is where we thought to position ourselves and offer RELEVANT and SPECIFIC Superyacht training and information in conjunction with carefully selected RYA training partners.

To cut a long story short, we began trading. And in 2008 we left our third business partner at the helm to keep the wheels of the business turning, albeit very slowly, and headed overseas for a couple of seasons before making the decision to come back and dedicate the next couple of years to what has now become our passion and joy.

Our goal

Did we reach our goal? We are most certainly one of the leaders in the industry and are well on our way to realizing our dream of becoming the #1 leader in Superyacht crew assistance in South Africa! As we reach our 6 year milestone, we’d like to thank each and every student for their support in building a brand that has exceeded expectations and has helped thousands of aspiring crew gain employment. To our return customers & future students, we will continue to provide the fastest and most exceptional service in the industry and train & empower you to become the best possible crew member out there.

Why choose Certified Superyacht Academy?

We are officiaCertified Super Yacht Training Academylly recognized & partnered with the best RYA/MCA training provider in South Africa, ensuring the highest quality of Superyacht training and value. We love what we do and have continuously kept abreast of international laws, changes and training requirements. More importantly, we make sure that each and every one of our student’s complete training relevant to their job role on a Superyacht (Motoryacht) and do not base training purely on sail orientation. Increasingly, Captains are looking for entry-level candidates that can actually complete the job at hand and not just wave a certificate around.

Our support structure has become well-known with many students from across the country contacting us for relevant and up to date advice.


Other interesting facts:


– Lowest STCW 95 price in South Africa

– Assisted in training 2500+ successful Superyacht candidates

– Largest Facebook Superyacht community in South Africa:

– Owned & operated by ex-Superyacht crew

– Great support structure & after sales service (CV template, affiliated travel agency, paperwork requirements, wealth management etc)

– Don’t take our word for it, view our Testimonial’s here

About the Author
Conrad Callow is an ex-Superyacht Yachtie, RYA Powerboat Instructor & co-founder of Certified Superyacht Academy whom has been involved in training Superyacht Crew for the last 9 years. Certified is a well known Academy which was instrumental in developing the Superyacht Training Industry in South Africa.

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