Refit 2006-7: volunteers needed (accommodation available)
Thanks to all this week’s helpers: Wolf, Dings, Chris Morris, Laura Brayshaw, Craig Dickerson, Geoff Eddy, Stuart Raynsford, John Snowden, Tom Price, Michelle Erkiert, and Jacki Tapley – plus Mark Boggis, who was unfortunately left off last week’s list. Thanks also to Trevor Hewson, who dropped off some refit equipment.
The boat is now completely scaffolded and tented, so it is possible to work in any weather. There is even a heater – a great improvement on the bad old days when it was sometimes hard to tell whether paint, filler etc. had gone off properly or just frozen.
The antifoul has all been sanded, the lettering is off the hull, the fuel tanks have been cleaned, the grey water tank has been completely cleaned, and the team have been setting up lighting rigs, dehumidifiers etc., as well as lots of tidying and preparation for major jobs.
Key tasks for the coming week include sanding the hull and getting off bits of the deck which need replacing.
The team's "weekend" this week, when the boat will be shut, will be Thursday 7th and Friday 8th December. Otherwise, Wolf is still looking for help - most days for those who don't need accommodation, and whenever there is space in the refit house, for everyone else. Call him on 07771 771864 to discuss when you can come along.
For more information on how the refit works, who can come and what volunteers can do, see here.
Lots of good news on the fundraising front this week. We’ve had two exceptionally generous donations, one from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, the other from the Patrick Frost Foundation – many thanks to John Boldero for helping to arrange this.
We also had a letter from International Paint which includes the following: "We at International Paint understand that Sail Training provides an excellent platform to demonstrate the value of teamwork, courtesy and self-discipline. These core values are especially beneficial to young adults. We believe that Sail Training should embrace able-bodied and disadvantaged people in society. We recognise that your organisation fulfills all these demands and are pleased to inform you that International Paint will supply free of charge all coatings required for the maintenance of yachts owned and operated by Ocean Youth Trust South for a set period. This will commence from the 2006-7 refit period and continue for the next five years up to refit 2010-11." This is a fantastic and valuable gesture from a company whose products have performed well on John Laing for many seasons.
All of this has helped to take us a good way towards our refit appeal target, but there is still some distance to go. If you haven't already made a contribution, PLEASE help us if you can. It is a very expensive job to keep John Laing in good condition, as well as keeping voyage prices down at a level which our crew members can afford - especially those from deserving or disadvantaged backgrounds.
If everyone who reads this newsletter could afford £25, we would hit our target. Realistically, some readers are as young as 12 while others are students, or otherwise on limited incomes, so we would like to ask those of you with proper jobs to dig a little deeper if you can!
All those who will be paying your 2007 membership fee of £30 and sailing fee (sea staff only) of £70: don’t forget that it would be hugely helpful if you could pay now, while we need the money for refit! And also don't forget that our mates fees have not been increased for many years; if you can afford more, please think about increasing your contribution.
Please see here for information on making a donation to OYT South - or call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252 with your credit card handy.
Farewell Dinghy Boy
Our staff bosun, Dinghy Boy, has completed his last official day’s work for us – though he is staying on for another three days as a volunteer. Many thanks to Dings for all his efforts over the last year as a member of staff, as well as for all his volunteering time before that. Apart from a great deal of work, Dings has a contributed some original and distinctive beard growth, a taste for what Wolf calls “teenage angst death mutilation music”, an impressive collection of work-related knives and a constant pressure to paint the boat black, inside and out. In the process he has lost several stones in weight and gained a girlfriend and an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate. I’m sure we all wish him the very best for the future.
Survey - tell us what you think about our voyages
Thanks to those of you who have filled in the new web-based survey - we are getting some interesting answers already but it would be good to get a lot more responses - from young crew members, sea staff, parents, group leaders or anyone who has sailed with the Ocean Youth Club or Ocean Youth Trust in any capacity since 1960. It's a very easy and quick survey to complete so please give it a go!
There are still a few people who have put their names down for courses but haven't confirmed they can do February 17th - please let me know so I can tell how many spaces I still have left!
I think there should still be spaces on most courses, but I'll set up reserve lists and we can look at additional dates if there is sufficient demand.
Courses on 17th February will be:
* RYA Sea Survival (recommended for all - this is the course on which you can practise setting off flares, and try using a liferaft in a swimming pool)
* GMDSS / VHF radio (recommended for all; compulsory for second mates and above)
* First aid (recommended for all; compulsory for second mates and above. NB certificates only valid for three years - will yours expire in the next year?)
* Radar (recommended for 2M and above)
* Food hygiene (recommended for all)
Apart from the Sea Survival course, the others should be held at the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport. They are all full-day courses so you can only choose one!
Powerboat level 2, which is a two-day courses, will not be run over the same weekend, but I hope to be able to offer a choice of other dates for the course fairly soon.
OYT South's 2007 AGM will take place on Sunday 18th February (the day after the training courses), also in the Sea Cadet Unit, Gosport. Details to follow but please put the date in your diary!
We've had a little bit of interest from people thinking of standing for election to the Board of Trustees at the AGM, but we are still keen to hear from anyone else who thinks they might have something to offer and would be interested in helping to run the charity. Contact the office at for more information. We are keen to attract people with skills or experience which may be useful in developing the charity and improving our work. In addition, we would like to consider having at least one youth member (aged under 25) standing for election to the Board.
2007 voyage programme
Available here. Hundreds of exciting sailing opportunities, from local trips to adventures overseas, including the 2007 Tall Ships race series in the Baltic. Weekends up to 2-week trips; voyages for young people (12-25) or adults (16+); training voyages for prospective volunteer sea staff; opportunities for individuals and groups. Some voyages have already been sold, so don't leave it too long or your chosen dates may be fully-booked by others!
At the moment we are particularly looking to sell the first two voyages of the season, which are still empty:
19-23 March, Southampton, £230
24-29 March, Southampton, £310
Anyone interested, please contact the office.
Tall Ships 2007
Having been to the Sail Training International conference, we are really getting excited about the 2007 Tall Ships Race series in the Baltic, which has some beautiful sailing areas. We have spaces still available on three voyages which are official Tall Ships trips:
7-20 July: Race 1, Arhus, Denmark, to Kotka, Finland (£845)
20-29 July: Cruise in company, Kotka, Finland, to Stockholm, Sweden (£585)
29 July - 7 Aug: Race 2, Stockholm, Sweden, to Szczecin, Poland (£585)
You can find more information about the host ports here.
For Tall Ships voyages, we can take up to four crew members aged 15, and the rest must be aged 16-25.
We also have some exciting voyages to get us to Denmark at the start, and back from Poland at the end (a few of which are open to younger crew members) - please look at the voyage programme for details.
Small Ships 2007
ASTO (Association of Sea Training Organisations) Small Ships races are for sailing vessels up to 120 feet in length and with at least half the crew being aged 15-25. John Laing will be taking part in two Small Ships races in 2007:
27 May – 1 June: Torquay to Guernsey, £350
2-7 October: Solent race (starting and finishing in Southampton), £325
The Torquay to Guernsey race has the same age restrictions as Tall Ships (four 15-year olds, all the rest 16-24), but the Solent race is open to anyone aged 12-25. The Solent race itself takes place on Saturday 6th October, but the full voyage allows time to get everyone familiar with the boat and do some race training. Contact the office if you want to take part in either race.
OYT South is also keen to secure sponsorship so that places on both Tall Ships and Small Ships races can be offered to deserving young people who would never normally be able to take part in these special events. If you would like to help fund a berth for one of these races, please email me.
Voyages for sea staff and new prospective sea staff
For those of you who are new to the organisation, or who have only recently been recommended for sea staff, dates for adult training voyages next season are:
30 Mar-1 April (£150) - 2 places left
17-22 April (£275) - 7 places
7-9 Sept (£150) - 12 places
10-14 Sept (£275) - 12 places
Prices include £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing fee - which means that any other voyages you do in 2007 would be free! Anyone new to the organisation who wants to get to know the boat, see how we work and find out whether you would enjoy being a member of volunteer sea staff should book on one of these trips - email me to book.
All these training voyages are also open to current qualified sea staff who are looking to make progress, brush up on a few skills or practice something they don't often get a chance to do - as well as helping us introduce the new people to John Laing and OYT South. Email me to reserve a place.
Prospective sea staff who are hoping to sail next season: please note that to sail with young people, you must complete an OYT South application form, providing references, and have clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau. If you aren't familiar with this system, it is perfectly straightforward but it can take weeks or even a few months for the CRB to deal with your form, so it's well worth starting the process before the end of this year to ensure that you are ready to take up any opportunities to sail from the start of next season. Email Brian Eyres for more information, or download an application form here.
I'll start taking sea staff bookings for voyages with young people next season once the refit is well under way.
We are interested in receiving enquiries from anyone interested in adults-only voyages other than the mates training and familiarisation voyages for prospective sea staff. Please contact the office if you (and a group of friends or family, a club, or a workplace teambuilding group) would like to do a fun, adventurous trip in 2007. We will also consider applications for group voyages from disadvantaged or deserving adults.
Adult voyages will only take place at times of year when we have no bookings from young people, and cannot take place during school holidays. Please note that our published voyage prices are subsidised for young people aged 12-25. Adult voyage prices can be negotiated with the office but are likely to be higher.
New readers’ section
If you are reading the OYT South newsletter for the first time, I hope you will find it useful and interesting, and filled with opportunities for things you will want to get involved in. Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities - nothing here is restricted to longstanding members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!
If you feel that you don't yet know much about OYT South, you will learn more by keeping a regular eye on these newsletters; but for a lot of background information, take a look around the rest of this website.
If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here.
Adults interested in joining our volunteer sea staff can check here.
To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please look here.
To help with the winter refit, see here.
And if you have any questions, please email me - or contact the office on 0870 241 2252.
Don't forget the OYT South link to Amazon - click on the Amazon logo here and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you! Make this your Amazon link on your favourites list – otherwise it’s too easy to forget to use it.