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Our Story

We know where you're heading because we have been there ourselves.


YOA Superyacht Training was founded in 2014 and is run by MCA Chief Officer Don McKee, who spent 15 years working on board some of the finest motor and sailing yachts in the business.


Don designed the deckhand course specifically to meet the requirements of today's employers. He is also the co-owner and director of Your Own Agency, an MLC2006 compliant Crew Agency with locations in Cape Town, New Zealand, the US and France. 


We are the only school in South Africa that is directly affiliated with a crew agency and is involved in placing crew world-wide on a daily basis.


Our focus is to provide first hand and current insight into the yachting industry and help new deckhands and stewardesses acquire the skills and techniques necessary to confidently start careers at sea. 

We are located in Cape Town, South Africa and welcome students from around the globe.


One thing, and we do it well.



YOA Deckhand training is run by professionals that understand how to give you the best possible start in the industry. YOA Training offers courses from our Cape Town offices on all the functional areas of the yacht. We also operate from the Cape Town harbor to provide practical experience for all deckhand and stewardess training courses.  


We all start somewhere, but not everyone gets off on the right foot, let us help you find a job and keep it.

Courses we can help with

You will always receive unbiased guidance about which additional courses will give you the most value for your money.

We also offer consultations and career advice so you can get all the facts before you commit to booking courses. Consultations can take place online or in-person at our Cape Town offices in Green Point. 



Don McKee began his career at sea in 1999 as race crew on 1987 America's Cup 12 Meter sailing yachts in the Caribbean, and left the industry in 2014 after having working his way from Deckhand to Chief Officer on yachts up to 90m LOA.

As principal of YOA super yacht training, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge with those intending to enter the yachting industry, and provides ongoing guidance to his students throughout their careers.



We are with you every step of the way, from the day you start your courses, to the day you hang up your gear.


What can we to do for you? :

  • Train you - deckhand, stewardess, and more

  • Help you find a superyacht job via YOA crew agency

  • Advise you on how to save and invest your hard earned money

  • Give you ongoing career advice

  • Transition back to land when the time comes