Pictured (from left): Oscar Press, Jose Luis Sastre and BIA’s Neil Patchett

Apprentice boat builder Oscar Press of Sydney’s Northern Beaches is to use a Global Footprint Scholarship to gain invaluable ‘intern’ experience with Sasga Yachts based in Menorca, part of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

Oscar, 21, is in his fourth year and apprenticed with BIA member Rowell Marine situated in the heart of Sydney’s Pittwater. He won the grant last year to travel overseas in 2024 to expand his experience as a boat builder and set his mind on honing his skills interning with a quality builder in Europe. 

BIA has since worked with Oscar to help identify potential employers across the Europe. Thanks to BIA’s good relations and networks stemming from its work with ICOMIA, the Spanish brand Sasga Yachts rose to the top following investigations ranging from Britain to Turkey, and Scandinavia to Italy.

BIA was able to arrange an in-person introduction this week for Oscar with Sasga Yachts General Manager Jose Luis Sastre at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, in Sydney.

Sasga Yachts was established in the 1970s and is now a second-generation family business led by Jose Luis who is an accomplished sailor and boatbuilder, and is passionate about the history and elegance of the boats they are building ranging from 10 to 21 metres in length.

Sasga’s boatbuilding journey has spanned the decades evolving into an outstanding range of semi-displacement motor yachts which retain echoes of Menorca’s traditional and classic fishing boats known as llaüts (small single-sail fishing boats).

Oscar is looking forward to working with Sasga Yachts, building upon his skill set, learning Spanish and soaking up the rich Spanish culture amidst the picturesque Balearic Islands.

The Australian-based Global Footprints Scholarship is a self-directed career development opportunity for young Australians in agriculture, trades and horticulture. Successful applicants receive a grant to travel overseas for industry experience, professional development workshops, networking opportunities and mentoring.

BIA wholly supports Oscar in his internship which will provide him with an extraordinary learning opportunity as he becomes a role model for other young people to realise the value and opportunities arising from a career in the boating industry. He is certain to return to Australia a well-rounded young boat builder.

More detail on Sasga Yachts at sasgayachts.com