A few years after graduating from Flying Fish aged 20, Phil is now Captain of a 156 ft superyacht with a crew of seven in the United States.
Before joining Flying Fish he had crewed on dinghies for 10 years.
Phil wanted to travel and try something new so he signed up for the Flying Fish Yachtmaster Pro Traineeship.
The good life
His verdict on Flying Fish?
Do the course, have fun, learn heaps and welcome to the good life!
Doing the course has changed my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined. I sold up all I had in the UK to do it and have no regrets at all.
My favourite memories of the Fish course are being in Oz for the first time and sailing around Sydney Harbour. The fact that the course was in Oz was a big selling point.
My worst memory?! Having my head in the bilge fixing a fuel problem trying not to chuck, the only time I've ever felt a bit sea sick!
The most valuable things I gained from the course were leadership skills, being happy to do ANYTHING, becoming a real team player and helping out wherever required.
I finished the course and went straight into a job up in the Whitsundays as a deckie on a charter yacht.
Next stop Greece
Next stop was Greece to work for Moorings as a base engineer, before becoming a delivery skipper. I ran sailing yachts up to 88 ft then switched to engineering for four years.
My advice is this - experience counts but everyone has to start at the bottom. Don't think that you'll jump to the top immediately. Stick at it and opportunities always open up for people who are dedicated and committed.
And the good news is that there is a real shortage of deckhands in the superyacht industry at present and this is set to get worse with all the boats currently in build. So jump in and get qualified, the industry needs you .....