To round off our 20th anniversary year, during which we have run competitions, completed challenges, BBQ’d and other exciting events, we wanted to showcase one of our success stories, a student of whom we are extremely proud:

Matt Pownall-Jones came to us 20 years ago, when he was just 16 years old and not really sure what to do with himself. He is now Captain of a new build 62m Dutch motor yacht, due to launch in early 2018. We posed some questions to him, which we thought may help anyone who is interested in getting involved in the yachting industry.

What drove your decision to enter the yachting industry?

After leaving school at 16, I decided to gain some sailing experience, so I joined a crewing agency. Not expecting to make a career out of it, I did some crossings on sail boats and found that I loved it.


How long had you been working on yachts when you decided to work towards your OOW, and did you plan a long-term career in yachting?

I had been working on a large motor yacht as a deckhand for a while, and was given the role of watch keeper. I quickly realised this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my career, so I started my OOW courses soon after.


How has the industry, in particular the training and education required, changed since you first joined? 

When I joined yachting, there was no real yacht certification in place. You could pack a bag and fly to Antibes, then find yourself on a yacht within a couple of days. This was before the ISM & ISPS codes were brought into force, and few people knew what a superyacht was. There were far fewer yachts, and it was a relatively small community.


Do you think recent changes to yacht training and education have made any improvement in the industry?

Yacht certification is much more respected than it used to be, to the extent that sea time on yachts is now accepted by the MCA for approved service on the unlimited certificate route. This is a huge break through and shows how the industry has moved forward. 


What’s the biggest challenge you have faced throughout your training, and how did you overcome it?

I completed my Master modules while on a build in Italy, so worked most weekends to get the time off to complete my courses. It was a struggle, but once I received my Master <3000 COC I realised it was well worth the pain!


What’s been your favourite moment in your career, so far? 

The first time I was in command on an Atlantic crossing, John Percival was also underway to Gibraltar on a delivery trip. We spoke via email and discussed our plans, as the weather forecast wasn’t good. I found myself on a level playing field with my mentor, looking for the best course to take for both vessels. I was a few hours ahead of John, and giving him advice where I could. Fortunately we both got into Gibraltar before the weather decreased beyond reasonable conditions. 


What advice would you give to someone starting out with their training?

Invest in yourself! Research the route you need to take and do a course or two in your time off. It may seem like you are missing a lot when you are training, but with the qualifications and better pay you will soon enjoy your free time more.


If Matt’s story has inspired you to undertake your first course, call or email us quoting the code JPMA20 to receive a 20% discount on an Efficient Deckhand course (EDH) or Approved Engine Course (AEC) until 16th February 2018.


The MCA have recently formalised an arrangement with the PYA and Nautilus for them to verify all sea service before it is submitted with an NoE application.

You do not need to be a member of either organisation to have your service verified, but there may be a charge for this service for non-members.

MIN 543 details the requirements, but failure to have your service verified by one of these organisations prior to applying for your NoE will cause severe processing delays of around 160 days.


The service requirements are relevant to all routes laid out in:

MSN 1858 - Deck Officers on Large Yachts;

MSN 1859 - Engineer Officers on Large Yachts;

MIN 524 - Small Vessel Engineer Officers (Yacht applicants only);

MSN 1861 - Revalidating CoCs.

We are looking for part-time/sessional Deck and Engineering instructors to work at our Hoylake office.
The roles entail delivering lectures and oral preparation to a range of candidates taking SQA and MCA exams.

Essential requirement for Engineers is at least an STCW OOW (E) or Y4 (Yachts) CoC and for Deck is at least STCW OOW (Unlimited), OOW (Yachts) <3000gt or Master (Yachts) <500gt 
Desirable qualities include previous experience as a trainer or lecturer, experience of the small craft sector (particularly Superyachts and/or Workboats) and an ability to deliver training to a student base covering a wide range of abilities.

The post would suit serving officers seeking employment during leave or those who have taken early retirement, seeking sessional or part-time employment

Start Date: ASAP
Please email for more details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We're celebrating 20 years!

During 2017 JPMA will be running monthly competitions and offers to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

We are kicking off Autumn with a delightful September discount that's not to be missed!

From 12th September to 6th October we are offering a 20% discount off our Autumn/Winter course fees. Please quote our code JPMA20 to receive your discount.


This is applicable to all courses at JPMA/HSS, but excludes all courses booked through JPMA/HSS at other schools/colleges. 
Also excludes all MCA/SQA/RYA exam fees. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount offered by JPMA, nor can it be offered retrospectively.

for further details please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 




2017 Winner Announced:

We were very proud to once again announce the winner of this years John Percival Leadership Award at the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show.

Paul Jones was the worthy winner following his nomination by ex-colleague Christian Greenwood, who began working with Paul in 2011. Christian told us:

"Paul is an ex-fisherman, so had an old school method about doing things, but they were always done with safety being the priority. He would figure things out on the spot better than anyone I have ever worked with. I had the pleasure of working with him on many trips and I could see how he had developed into who I'd class as the best Master I would ever have the chance to work for. He would spend as much time needed to go through things with the crew to make sure they knew what was happening or was going to happen. I think I learned more with him than anyone else I worked with. For me, there is no greater leader. As far as I am aware, he has moved on from being a Master to become a Superintendent and even though I no longer work for that company, I know Paul will be looking after the boys."

Once again, this year we received some very strong entries for this prestigious award and would like to thank all of those people who invested time in making a nomination, and recognising the hard work of their fellow crew.


Paul, on board.


"Commitment to Training, Commitment to Crew"

Captain John Percival was an ambassador for on-board training and encouraging investment in a yacht's crew.

JPMA, the yacht training centre he founded, aims to promote high standards in all levels of crew, in all departments, inspiring students to return to their vessel emboldened and ready to nurture junior crew. 

In his memory, the John Percival Leadership Award was created, to reward crew members, at all levels, who personify that ideal. The award is now in its fourth year.


Calling all crew - do you have a true leader on board?


Does your Bosun guide you in your career decisions, sharing knowledge and recommending courses?




 Does your Engineer explain what goes on within the engine room, letting you shadow engine room checks?



Does your Chef share tips and techniques, encouraging crew to expand their culinary knowledge and abilities?




If so - tell us! 


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. explaining why a member of your crew (past or present) deserves to be the recipient of the 2017 John Percival Leadership Award.

The award will be presented during the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show, so please send your nomination by Friday 29th September.




 Photos courtesy of Edward Windeler-Bennett