2016 Winner Announced: 

On the final day of the busiest Monaco Yacht Show in many years, we were delighted to announce the winner of the 2016 John Percival Leadership Award.

Cy Wastell was nominated by his Captain, who had the following to say:

"During the last 2 years, I have watched Cy set the highest example to his crew mates and make every effort possible to guide, assist and lead his team in furthering their own knowledge and skills.

Cy has written quizzes, training documents and designed information training for crew members in his own time. He has voluntarily worked alongside lookouts and helped less experienced crew members learn to become sound watch keepers. He is regularly to be found teaching someone how to mix paint, apply varnish, and correct charts or tie knots after the work day is over.

Cy is also learning and has an insatiable appetite for anything I can teach him, and this in turn sets the example that everyone can learn, no matter how experienced they are.

I believe he is one of a relatively small number of modern, young crew members who respect and value the basic true concept of seamanship"

On hearing the news that he had won the award, Cy said:

"Thank you very, very much! John was a good man who I had the chance to meet a handful of times, and I am truly humbled, first of all, to have even been nominated, and then to have been selected to receive the award in memory of John's ambitions and values. It's a real honour."


Cy transiting the Pedro-Miguel lock in the Panama Canal.


"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 third 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 2016 John Percival Leadership Award.

The award will be presented during the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show, so please send your nomination by Friday 30th September.




 Photos courtesy of Edward Windeler-Bennett

The numbers are in for our written and oral exam pass rates from 2015, and we have a lot to smile about.

There has been a significant increase in first attempt passes in most subjects – JPMA has always been known for high pass rates and these results speak for themselves.
Managing Director, Anna Percival-Harris said “Deck and Engineering modules and oral exams are our speciality, and we’re proud to announce our most recent results. We limit class sizes to ensure our student:instructor ratio gives the best possible outcome of exam and student experience.”

Written exams:

Deck OOW & Master modules:
Celestial Navigation
IAMI has just released the worldwide pass rates for all Yacht Deck written exams. We’re thrilled to say that our pass rate for this exam is listed by IAMI as 74%, compared to just 61% worldwide.

Engineering Y4/3/2 modules
New for 2015 was the Y2 General Science I & II
Whilst some students have admitted to finding this module particularly daunting, our first attempt combined pass rate for Y2 General Science I & II is 72%.

Overall, the first attempt pass rate for all engineering written exams at JPMA is 85%.

We are extremely proud of our highly skilled and experienced instructors, who are committed to helping students achieve these fantastic results.

Oral exams:

Deck – JPMA are renowned for their well-designed and highly successful deck oral preparation courses and pre-course prep packs, set up by the late Captain John Percival, which have seen thousands of candidates since the late 90’s.

Since his unfortunate passing, our deck oral prep instructors have continued John’s legacy, resulting in continued high pass rates on first attempt.

Yacht OOW candidates had a pass rate of nearly 80% in 2015 - that’s nearly 8 out of 10 people passing OOW first time at JPMA.

Master <3000gt saw results reaching a fantastic 89% in 2015, compared to 76% in 2014. We are delighted to see such a significant increase for this level of CoC.

We’ve seen hundreds of loyal Deck students who have begun their studies with us at RYA Yachtmaster Offshore level and continued with their studies to the highest level possible. We’re delighted to see these students returning for their oral prep, cementing the knowledge they gained from the modules they have done at JPMA.

Engineering – These results remain at an all-time high, with first attempt Y4 exam passes reaching an astounding 100%. The overall pass rate for 2015 was almost 90%. That’s nearly 9 out of 10 people passing their first Y4, Y3, Y2 or Y1 oral exam attempt at JPMA.

Overall, these results reflect the commitment and determination that not only our students show, but also our instructors, who will continue to help enable seafarers to reach milestones within their Yachting careers.


Candidates for the OOW (Yachts <3000gt) CoC are required to hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore CoC (or IYT Master of Yachts <200gt).

To obtain a YM Offshore CoC, candidates must have undertaken half of their qualifying mileage (1250 miles) on vessels <24 metres. The RYA have identified that this is difficult for some crew, stating:

"Over recent years there has been a growing trend for crew to start their working lives at sea on 60 to 70 metre vessels (or even larger). As a result we have seen more and more crew presenting themselves for the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore exam without sufficient meaningful command experience or mileage to ensure they are ready to pass it. Often this results in an exam fail, not only costing the candidate time and money, but also causing a great deal of angst.

To cater for the changing entry point to the superyacht industry we have worked with the MCA and the Yacht Qualification Panel to create an alternative pathway for crew wishing to progress to MCA Deck Officer qualifications.

Candidates will be able to take an RYA Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper shorebased course, an RYA Coastal Skipper practical course and a Yachtmaster prep week. Those, combined with their superyacht and tender operations experience will provide the necessary pre-requisite experience to sit the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal exam.

The MCA will then accept this towards non-command OOW qualifications.

The existing pathway to the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore exam will remain for those holding the pre-requisite sea time and experience on appropriate vessels, and is indeed still seen as the preferred route. However, this alternative pathway will allow progression for those who do not have adequate command experience in smaller vessels."

More information on the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC is available on this page of the RYA website.


This is good news for those candidates who find themselves struggling to find the mileage for YM Offshore, and now makes the OOW <3000gt an achievable goal. However, for those candidates wishing to move forwards to achieve the Master (Code Vessels <200gt) CoC, they must obtain the YM Offshore, not the YM Coastal.

Candidates moving from OOW to the Chief Mate (Yachts <3000) CoC are required to hold the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean CoC (or IYT Master of Yachts). This is only achievable if you hold the YM Offshore CoC. However, the RYA have designed a 'Certificate of Completion' for those candidates who undertake the YM Coastal, and wish to move on to Chief Mate. Candidates would complete the usual YM Ocean shore based course, qualifying passage and oral exam, but would not be issued the full Ocean CoC if they did not hold YM Offshore. IYT have also designed a similar solution.


2016 sees a new era for John Percival Marine Associates, as several Deck and Engineering Instructors have joined our expanding team. Following on from the recent retirement of 2 long serving instructors, Captains Bill Marr and Keith Cederholm, our new additions bring a wealth of fresh knowledge and experience to the classrooms.

In particular, two of the new additions have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of our yacht students - one of whom has 12 years experience working on superyachts, and holds his OOW (Yachts) <3000gt CoC. The other is currently a rotational yacht Engineer, holding a Y2 CoC.

Each instructor has completed a thorough training programme, bringing them up to date with new regulations and introducing them to our unique and effective teaching styles.

JPMA is set to continue growing, as we are always developing our current list of RYA and MCA courses, which are taught here weekly. We are extremely lucky to have a dynamic team of instructors and office staff who are dedicated to giving students the tools required in order to pass their exams and build their confidence in becoming more able seafarers.



The STCW Convention 1978 has been amended by the 2010 Manila Amendments and contains new requirements for all seafarers. In addition, the MCA have recently made changes to the pre-requisites for UK STCW CoCs.

See all of the changes here:

Changes to Master <200, OOW, Chief Mate, Master & Engineer Yachts Requirements