This course is part of the College of Science & Technology from the University of the Nations Colleges and Centres.


(Full learning weeks)




Enabling you to serve worldwide with YWAM Ships.

Do you have a heart for adventure and serving the unreached? Do you feel called to be a part of the ever-expanding YWAM ships ministry? The School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS) is designed to help you do just that by giving you a solid foundation of being a godly seafarer to serve on board YWAM ships worldwide.

The aim of the SONS is to help YWAMers become qualified crew in order to serve God and bless the needy through YWAM Ships globally. Our vessels need both qualified seafarers and passionate missionaries to meet the great task before us and embrace the opportunities God has given us in this age. Though this marine training, both these needs can be met and allow blessings to set sail.

The full SONS course (Seamanship and Navigation), combined with an STCW Basic Training and sufficient sea service* will qualify you to become a watch leader on YWAM’s smaller vessels. With further sea-time and studies, a track is available to enable you to go all the way to a qualified Captain, through the UofN Maritime Academy.

For the most up to date information on the SONS school please refer to the Next Wave website here:

   This course is offered in partnership with YWAM NEXT WAVE      


DATE: 8 April – 5 July 2019


Application Fee: £35
All-Inclusive SONS: £2200 + £800 Deposit
All-Inclusive Seamanship: £800 + £200 Deposit
Discount: £300 to those with a valid STCW Basic Training certificate



The first four weeks of the course will focus on seamanship.  We will launch the first week at YWAM Harpenden for team building, then continuing the rest of the course in Lesvos, Greece onboard the YWAM vessel S/Y Next Wave. Students will have the option to end their training after the 4th week of lectures and begin practical service.  These first four weeks will provide you with the basics of being a deckhand on board a YWAM ship, and will be a step in the direction of becoming a certified Able Seafarer. The course will include: vessel familiarization, basic sailing theory, safety, and deck work.                                 


The Seamanship module will be followed by a 9-week intensive Navigational Course that’s designed for those who wish to progress to be a ship’s deck officer. The course will focus on chart work, tidal theory, meteorology, and passage planning. Those who complete this full SONS will sit the RYA Day Skipper theory examination at the end of the lecture phase.


Upon successful completion of the seamanship module, theirs is an optional but highly recommend outreach option. Outreach will be the practical portion of the course putting theory into action in an environment where you are making difference in missions! Outreaches are flexible in time and location. You could serve as trainee crew on any of the YWAM ships whether in here on Next Wave in Greece, Micronesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Australia or Europe! It will be a time of exploring, learning, growing, and serving…all on the high seas!


Captain Brian Sloan: one of the SEM international elders; a Master Mariner (Class 1 – unlimited, the highest marine qualifications possible) with over 40 years’ sea service and has served in YWAM Ship Equipped Ministries (SEM) since 1991.

He will be ably assisted by Boson Matthew Baumgardner, commercially qualified Able Seaman with 20 years’ experience serving with YWAM SEM; Matt Webster, RYA instructor, who has served with YWAM on and off since 1998 (currently running Making Way Marine training) together with other YWAM support staff.


For more information on this school email us at

6 Highfield Oval, Harpenden, AL5 4BX, UK is the official website of Youth With A Mission Harpenden, a ministry of YWAM International and YWAM England. 
Registered charity number 1156783. Company registration number 8807913 in England and Wales.

© 2018 YWAM Harpenden, a ministry of YWAM International

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