Palma, Cannes & Monaco Yacht Shows 2024

If you’ve attended yacht shows before, you will have received our usual marketing & promotional material on board. In 2022 we took the decision to cut down on paper & printing and reduce our carbon footprint by not transporting large amounts of material by air.

Instead, this page gives you all of the usual information that we would be handing out in our Autumn Yacht Show Newsletter (SV Engineering info, course dates, updates from the MCA etc.). JPMA’s presence at the shows is still the same, but one little QR code is helping us do our bit for the environment!

About us…

John Percival Marine Associates (JPMA – part of Hoylake Sailing School Ltd) are a group of experienced marine professionals and small craft practitioners, most of whom are Master Mariners or Chief Engineers who hold, or have held, senior positions within the Marine Industry. Our training centre is located in Hoylake, on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool.

We offer training and tuition to Superyacht, Workboat and Merchant Navy professionals to all levels. Our specialty is preparation for MCA Oral exams for both Deck and Engineering, with a high pass rate on first attempt. We offer most of the written modules for Deck up to OOW <3000gt/Master <3000gt and Engineering up to SV Chief Engineer.

Read on for info about:

Where you can find us at Palma, Cannes & Monaco Yacht Shows in 2024;

Training & Courses we offer (Home of the Original Oral Preparation Course!);

The John Percival Leadership & Student Star Awards;

Association of Women in Yachting;

Small Vessel Engineering CoCs Update;

Electronic Notice of Eligibility (NoE) Applications and Online Oral Exams;

Course Dates;

Our Concierge Service;

JPMA’s 25th Anniversary;

Our Partnerships – Nautilus & SeaCertify;

Changes to Yacht Sea Service Verification Process;

Alternative RYA Yachtmaster Pathway for OOW Yacht Candidates;

Master (Workboat) <500gt CoCs;

Updating-Refresher Training Requirements;

Revalidation of MCA STCW CoCs.

Palma, Cannes & Monaco Yacht Shows in 2024

Palma Superyacht Village-

Catherine Lucas and Kayleigh Chatten from our Admin team will be at Palma Superyacht Village on Friday 26th & Saturday 27th April.

They will be out and about each day, visiting yachts and crew, giving advice on training, regulation changes, NoE applications etc.

If you’re busy on board, and would like them to visit you, please call or WhatsApp Kayleigh on +44 (0)7387861900 or email us to arrange an appointment.

Cannes & Monaco-

We’ll be at Cannes Yachting Festival in September and, as usual, we will be part of the Monaco Yacht Show SuperyachtUK pavilion, within the Darse Sud tent, on the British Marine stand DS37.

Visit us for advice on training, regulation changes, NoE applications and much more. We will be out and about each day, visiting yachts and crew, and our MD, Anna Percival-Harris, will be on the stand each day from 1300 to 1500 to see you.

If you’re busy on board, and would like us to visit you, please call or WhatsApp Anna on +44 (0)7740 866096 or email us to arrange an appointment.

Stand DS37 is near the entrance to the Darse Sud tent next to the T Jetty

Home of the Original Oral Preparation Course

JPMA are renowned for our meticulously crafted Deck and Engineering MCA oral exam preparation courses and pre-course prep packs, set up by the late Captain John Percival, which have seen thousands of successful candidates since the late 90’s.

Despite John’s passing in 2014, our dedicated instructors have seamlessly continued his legacy, consistently achieving high pass rates on the first attempt.

We offer MCA oral prep courses for the following UK CoCs:

We pride ourselves on being the premier, and original, destination for Deck & Engineering crew seeking a top-notch, timetabled, oral prep course. Our courses are expertly designed to provide a structured and immersive learning experience, instilling a deep understanding of maritime principles and practices.

Our commitment goes beyond merely preparing you to pass your oral exam – we aim to shape our students into stronger, more knowledgeable seafarers. While achieving a successful exam result is important, our primary goal is to cultivate a more educated and skilled individual.

ONLINE ORAL PREP STUDY SESSIONS FOR MCA DECK EXAMS – we understand that seafarers preparing for MCA Deck oral exams may not know where to focus their studies, or encounter challenges in specific subjects. That’s why we’ve added to our famous oral preparation services, to provide targeted assistance through our online, student-led, hourly sessions.

The John Percival Oral Prep (Deck) Bundle

is a unique package combining the advantages of our online flexible study sessions with the focused intensity of our acclaimed 5-day Yacht Deck oral prep courses for OOW <3000, Master <500 & <3000, ensuring that individuals find the approach that best suits their learning style and exam readiness. (This is in addition to our standard MCA oral prep courses)

click here for more info

Click here for more information on our Deck and Engineering MCA oral exam preparation courses



The John Percival Leadership & Student Star Awards 

“Commitment to training, commitment to crew”

Captain John Percival & his daughter Anna Percival-Harris at the 2013 Monaco Yacht Show

Established in remembrance of Captain John Percival, a visionary advocate for onboard training and crew development, the John Percival Leadership Award recognises individuals who embody his ideals of mentorship, crew development, and dedication to excellence.

The JPMA Student Star Award celebrates individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their studies, regardless of challenges faced. As an RYA and MCA training centre it is our aim to provide advice, training and guidance to all students we meet. Whilst our instructors are here to deliver education and training, they also emotionally support students throughout their studies, whether they’re attending a 1 day or 3 week course.
Every year we ask our instructors to nominate students who they have taught during the year, who they feel have shown commitment and dedication to their studies, regardless of outcomes. Those people who, despite working on a busy charter yacht, had put in hours of pre-course study, students who had battled dyslexia or overcome adversity, and students who just knuckled down and tried their best.

Read about the 2023 winners of the JPMA awards here

Voting is open for the 2024 John Percival Leadership Award.
Do you have a true leader on board? If so – tell us! Find out more about the award, and how to nominate here

Association of Women in Yachting

Until recently, the Yachting industry has been one of the only areas of commerce without a specific female only network/support mechanism in place. Because of this, JPMA founded the Association of Women in Yachting in 2018.

The AWY provides a resource for professional women in the yachting industry to network and surround themselves with like-minded female industry leaders, through online resources and networking events.

We held our inaugural networking event at the Palma Superyacht Show in April 2019. Since then we’ve held events at Monaco, Antigua, Fort Lauderdale and Cannes yacht shows, plus online forums during the pandemic.

Our event at MYS, in partnership with She of the Sea, ‘The Shore Future Forum and AWY Networking Session’, was a great success.

The Shore Future Forum provided current and ex yacht crew with an opportunity to hear from other women who have come ashore, and how they’ve found employment or started their own business.
They shared their journeys, alongside panellists who offered advice on what large yachting companies are looking for in ex-yacht crew as potential employees.

The panel session was followed by our usual networking event, for professional shorebased women to network and connect with each other, on the roof terrace of the IHO building, with fabulous views of Monaco port.


Our next networking event is taking place at Palma Superyacht Village, on Friday 26th April, at the Yachting Pages stand – we hope to see you there!


For more information, or to request membership of the organisation please contact Anna Percival-Harris on

Small Vessel Engineering CoCs

We are proud to have been the first training provider accredited by the MCA to run the written modules for the new Small Vessel Engineering CoCs

A number of years ago, a new Engineering qualification route was introduced by the MCA for Engineers working on ‘Small Vessels’, i.e. any vessel <3000gt: Yachts; Workboats; Fishing Vessels; Tugs; Standby; Seismic Survey; Oceanographic Research Vessels and Government Patrol Vessels. This means the Standard CoCs gained through this route will be transferable between the above industries.

The CoCs available are:

SV Marine Engine Operator Licence (MEOL(SV)) (similar to MEOL(Y))

SV EOOW <3000GT & <9000kW CoC (Limited to Yachts) (formerly known as SV 2nd Engineer, similar to Y4)

SV EOOW <3000GT & <9000kW CoC (formerly known as SV 2nd Engineer, similar to Y4)

SV Chief Engineer <500GT & <3000kW CoC (similar to Y3/2)

SV Chief Engineer <3000GT & <9000kW CoC (similar to Y1)

Please click here for more specific detail on these CoCs.

There are CoCs within the SV route that are ‘limited to yachts’, designed specifically to provide a pathway for experienced engineers working within the Yacht sector to progress through the SV Engineering structure, without having to obtain the large amount of actual sea service required for the initial SV EOOW CoC. These CoCs can only be used on yachts, but can be upgraded to the standard CoC by obtaining further sea service.

Please be aware that the Yacht CoCs were phased out on 31st December 2022. NoEs have a 5 year validity, so you may do your Yacht oral exam at any point up to its expiry date, but be aware that the written pass certificates expire after 3 years, and they must be in date when your CoC is issued.

We can help with NoE applications, guidance on how to apply for exemptions and many other common questions.

Electronic Notice of Eligibility (NoE) Applications and Online Oral Exams

The MCA have recently published MIN 690, which details the updated application process to allow for applications to be made online using the submission of electronic documents, as well as the new online booking process for online oral exams. We have covered a few pertinent points here: 


An NoE application will take the MCA at least 28 days to process. Please remember that the NoE department processes all MCA NoE applications, including those for merchant, fishing, workboats, yachts etc. You are advised to apply for your NoE in good time, as the MCA cannot guarantee how long it will take to issue.

Revised NoE Application Process

If you are applying for your first UK CoC, your NoE application must be accompanied by original documents and certificates, which you must post to the MCA (details of what is needed for each CoC can be found on each CoC route page found on this page of our website). However, as candidates will need to keep their passports with them for travel and identification reasons, the MCA have agreed that a photocopy of the passport, signed, dated and stamped by the Captain of the vessel, along with his/her CoC number, will be accepted. You can also send your birth certificate as a form of ID.

If you already hold a UK CoC, the MCA now accepts subsequent applications, electronically, via email. The application form must be completed and emailed to the relevant team with the required documentation. 

Training Record Books

Under the new electronic application system, if your CoC requires the completion of a TRB the original physical TRB will need to be submitted to the MCA, but you must retain scanned copies of the overview signature pages from the TRB. These will be required for your oral exam.

The Small Vessel EOOW TRB must be obtained from a registered training provider, after you have completed the prescribed amount of service and training. Further service is then required whilst completing the TRB. If you purchased your TRB direct from Witherbys (the publisher of the TRB) you will need to contact the MCA before proceeding, as your pre-requisites will not have been checked by a training provider.

The OOW Deck TRB is required if you have less than 36 months actual sea service and must be completed over a period of at least 6 months.

Sea Service – OOW <3000gt

MSN 1858 clearly defines types of sea service: actual sea service (when the yacht has actually been at sea); yard service (maximum of 90 days); standby service, when the yacht is ready to proceed to sea and awaiting the arrival of guests (maximum of 14 consecutive days at one time, must not be longer than the last voyage. Your total standby service cannot exceed your actual sea service). 

Watch Keeping Service – Master <500/<3000gt

A day of watch keeping service is defined in MSN 1858 as a day when you have spent more than 4 hours on bridge watches within 24 hours. Watch keeping time is only counted from the date printed on your OOW CoC. Time at anchor can only be counted towards watch keeping service if it is part of a passage. 

Engineering Sea Service

Engineering service is detailed in MSN 1904 for SV CoCs. Clarification of service definitions is available on each CoC route page listed here, including the variation of service required for Yacht candidates doing the SV CoCs.

Testimonials and Certificates of Discharge

All yacht, sea and watch keeping service must be recorded on a testimonial. This must be accompanied by either a Certificate of Discharge, Discharge Book, PYA Service Record Book or IYT Service Record Book. Testimonials can be found as annexes of MSN 1858 & 1859. Note that this service must now be independently verified by the PYA or Nautilus, as detailed later on this info page.

If you meet all of the above requirements, an NOE will be issued. Currently this is done through email and you will receive an electronic NOE. Only after you have received your NOE can you book an oral exam though the central team.

MCA Oral Exams

The way in which you can book your oral exam has changed. The MCA have rolled out a new system from April 2022 where you will be able to book your oral exam using the Online Booking Service.  You will need to send your electronic NOE, scanned Government ID and scanned Discharge Book to the MCA via email. Once received, the Online Oral Exams team will check the details and send you a link to the Online Booking Service which will enable you to book your oral. The oral exam is delivered through Microsoft Teams.


Due to technical issues with the MCA online booking system, they have now established a process for manual booking of oral exams, which will negate the candidate platform of the existing booking app.

Candidates who currently have an NOE (Notice of Eligibility) with the booking link, will be contacted by the MCA from Thursday 04 April 2024 to book their oral examination. We will be taking a phased approach to the manual booking process to ensure it is accurate, efficient and fair, with the aim of contacting all candidates who currently have an NOE by 1700 on Friday 12 April 2024.

Until further notice, they will be unable to accept requests for cancellations and rescheduling of oral examination bookings. A valid reason will only be considered where written evidence is provided for any cancellation, such as doctor’s letter for medical reasons.

Once all candidates who currently have an NOE have been contacted, any new NOEs that are issued will also follow the manual booking process.

The next update was due by Monday 15 April, detailing the ongoing process for new NOEs, once all candidates who currently have an NOE have been contacted, but we have yet to receive any further information.

Existing Bookings: Candidates who have already booked their oral examinations will still be able to access them using the Teams link they have been provided.

Course Dates

Click here to see our 2024 course dates for RYA Shorebased courses, HELM, MCA written modules, Oral Prep and more. Click into the individual course pages for prices.

Concierge Service

We recognise that making the journey to us here in the UK can be stressful, so we have always done our best to lighten the load. As a complimentary part of your booking process, we can help with travel arrangements, taxi bookings, accommodation (off-site) etc.

JPMA’s 25th Anniversary

In 2022, John Percival Marine Associates celebrated our 25th anniversary.

Hoylake Sailing School Ltd was established in 1996, to run RYA shorebased courses, and very shortly afterwards the Principal, Captain John Percival, was approached to run oral preparation for MCA Deck oral exams.

JPMA was then formed in 1997, to deal solely with the Superyacht sector and since then the company has gone from strength to strength, providing Deck & Engineering training across a wide range of industries including Workboat and Merchant Navy.

Over the last 25 years we have sadly lost our founder, John, and several instructors, who we miss terribly. We have overcome flooding in our French premises, fire in Hoylake, a global pandemic, and we continue to weather the storm. We are so proud to still be training Superyacht, Workboat and Merchant crew after all these years, and we plan to still be doing so in another 25 years!

Our Partnerships – Nautilus & SeaCertify

John Percival Marine Associates works in partnership with the following training providers and organisations:

Nautilus International (The Seafaring Trade Union)

SEACertify (Marine Electronics Training Provider)

These partnerships, with prestigious Wirral based companies, were all announced in 2022, our 25th anniversary year. 

JPMA has always aimed to provide crew with a diverse portfolio of services, and with these new partnerships, we can expand our offering once more. Find out more here.

Changes to Yacht Sea Service Verification Process

In 2017 the MCA formalised an arrangement with the PYA and Nautilus for them to verify all yacht sea service before it is submitted with an NoE application.

Any service gained on yachts must be verified before applying for an NoE. You do not have 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 here.

Alternative RYA Yachtmaster Pathway for OOW Yacht Candidates

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:

“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.” 

Click here to read the whole story.

Master (Workboat) <500gt CoCs

Many Yacht crew ask us about how they can move into the Workboat industry. For Engineers, that is now very simple, with the advent of the Small Vessel Engineering CoC route, but Deck officers will need to do additional training to gain a CoC valid for use on Workboats.

Alongside the MCA and the National Workboat Association, the late Captain John Percival (founder of JPMA) worked tirelessly over a number of years to develop the Master (Workboats <500gt) CoC.

There are several entry routes into this CoC – if you have any of the below CoCs you may begin the relevant courses to achieve the Master (Workboats) <500gt CoC:

  • Master (Code Vessels) <200gt;
  • OOW Unlimited;
  • OOW (Yachts) <3000gt;
  • Master (Yachts) <3000gt;
  • Fishing Class 1 (UK).

Many of the routes include seatime onboard a workboat, and a requirement to undertake several Yacht written modules for OOW/Chief Mate/Master. JPMA offer most of these courses, including the Workboat Operations module.

The Workboat Operations module provides students with the expert knowledge and tailored workboat experience necessary to gain this Workboat specific CoC. 

JPMA are proud to have been the first training provider to gain MCA accreditation to offer the Workboat Operations course, from our training center in Hoylake, Wirral. 

The world’s first course took place at JPMA in April 2016, and was a huge success. JPMA continues to offer this course, with outstanding pass rates on first attempt.

Click here for all the details of this Workboat Master CoC.

Updating-Refresher Training Requirements 

The 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code mean new requirements for anyone who holds any of the following certificatesfrom 1st January 2017:

  • Personal Survival Techniques; 
  • Basic Fire Fighting; 
  • PSC & RB; 
  • Advanced Fire Fighting;
  • Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats. 

Many people are still confused by this, but it is very simple – if you are working on-board, or applying for/revalidating a CoC, and you did the courses more than 5 years ago, you’ll need to enrol on a refresher course for each of the certificates you hold

Port State Control can detain your vessel if your paperwork is not correct.

If you hold the Advanced Sea Survival for Yachtsmen Certificate, you can refresh this too. You can enrol on a refresher course either for the Advanced Sea Survival, or at a school that runs the PSC&RB refresher, but with the latter you will still have a limitation on the certificate (Not valid for use on vessels with lifeboats launched by davits).

In the same vein, if you hold the PSC&RB, and you can’t get to a school that runs the refresher course, you can enrol with a school that runs Advanced Sea Survival, but your PSC&RB will have the negative endorsement applied to it. This can be removed by doing the PSC&RB course at a later date.

Revalidation of MCA STCW CoCs

All MCA STCW CoCs must be revalidated every 5 years. This is an administrative process which requires you to download a form from the MCA website and submit your CoC, a valid ENG1 medical certificate, testimonials and certificates of discharge showing at least 12 months sea service in the past 5 years (only 6 months service is required if you are revalidating a Code Vessel CoC).

The MCA updated the revalidation process following the Covid-19 pandemic, to make it easier for seafareres to keep their documents up to date. There is now an electronic application process, which is detailed on this very helpful page of the MCA website.

All service used for applying for revalidation of a CoC must be recorded on a testimonial. This must be accompanied by either a Certificate of Discharge or Discharge Book. Testimonials can be found as annexes of all M Notices mentioned above.

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