Refit 2006-7: volunteers needed
Nine weeks to go! We are planning to get John Laing lifted back into the water on March 7th, with the compass swing booked for March 14th and the coding inspection (vital to allow us to sail with young people this year) booked for March 15th. Lots and lots of help still needed - phone Wolf as soon as possible on 07771 771864 to arrange when you can come. Don't leave it to the last minute!
A busy week on the boat since the last newsletter, with Wolf and Laura (back from holiday) joined by Andrew Viney, Rob Harwood, Ben Martin, Mark Boggis, Martin Skipper, Becca Causer, Dan Godfrey, Chris & Tristan from Contact Marine, Liz Key, Phil Runchman and Caz, plus a great team from the Wheatsheaf Trust: Mark, Kieran, Jack, Luke, John and Ali.
Major jobs have included filling and fairing the hull and deck; finishing the anchor and rope lockers; painting all the metal in the crew quarters (and getting ready to paint the wood in the coming week); cleaning, sanding and applying fertan in the cockpit and gas lockers; sanding and fertanning the fore and mid hatches; putting the water and fuel tank lids back (just the starboard water tank to do now). The toilet bilges are prepped and ready to paint; the dorade vents have been started; the port mates' cabin has been started; the steering gear has been dropped out ready to be serviced; the Contact Marine team has done lots of work towards replacing the exhaust system; and Becca has been painting the heads doors (with art, not white gloss!).
Some of this work took place while high winds swept the south coast and conditions in the boat yard became really wild. The wind shrieked and the tent surrounding John Laing writhed, but to the enormous credit of tent-makers IMS Shrinkwrap, the whole structure held firm - a very impressive performance in those conditions.
Meanwhile, Mondays and Tuesdays continue to be the refit "weekend", and last Monday some of the team had a good day out at the London Boat Show, where we met Chris Lane and friends; Fraser Old; Nick Crawford; Yvonne and Keith Taylor; John "Cuddles" Snowden; Rob Harwood; and lots of our suppliers and supporters, notably at International Paints and Raymarine.
For more information on how the refit works, who can come and what volunteers can do, see here.
If you haven't already made a contribution to the refit appeal, 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. See below for how to pay.
Special thanks to Richard Bonham Christie for £1,000 this week.
To see how refit donations are spent, you can now see a pdf of the Appeal leaflet on this website. It's already out of date as so many more donations have come in since it was written, but it will certainly give you an idea of how refit funding works!
Paying for voyages, subscriptions and donations
OYT South has a PayPal account which allows you to make secure payments via our website. You can also pay by credit card over the phone, or by sending a cheque, or we can invoice you. See here for details of how you can pay.
Please do not pay for a voyage without checking first with the office (0845 365 6781) that there is a suitable space for you. We might have sold a few berths since the list was last updated, and in any case the office can give you other useful information - for example, you might prefer not to book on a voyage where you are 22 and everyone else is 12, or the other way round.
Unwanted Christmas presents?
Third mate Dave "Tigger" Heffer is organising a dinner in his local area in aid of OYT South and is looking for raffle prizes. If you have anything - unwanted Christmas presents or otherwise - which you would like to donate, please email Dave by Friday 19th January.
The GMDSS radio course now has TWO spare spaces. These will cost £50 (+ £22 exam fee).
The Radar course is FULL. For those who have booked, this will cost £50 including £10 for RYA course notes.
The First Aid course has TWO spare places. Remember these certificates only last three years, so PLEASE check if yours is going out of date this year. This course costs £40 per head.
The Sea Survival course has UP TO FOUR spare places. This will cost £70 (which includes the cost of the swimming pool for your life raft practice). You will need to bring clean oilskins or other suitable outer gear which you can wear in the swimming pool.
The Basic Food Hygiene course NEEDS just one or two more people, though there is space for up to seven more. We pay £400 for the instructor and split the cost between participants. So if we can get one or two more people (which takes us to 9), it will cost £45, which seems reasonable compared to the cost of other courses. If we could get to 15 people, it would bring the cost right down. But at the moment we have either 7 or 8 people, which puts the cost around £50 - 60, which I suspect is more than people will expect to be paying. I really hope to get one or two more people so we don't have to consider cancelling.
Email me to book – and please feel free to recommend these courses to non-OYT friends. OYT South people will get first preference but we are happy to include others where there is space.
The Sea Survival course will be held at KTY Yachts, Universal Marina (Sarisbury Green, Southampton), the others will be held at the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport. They are all full-day courses so you can only choose one! The Sea Survival group can bring packed lunches or use the marina café; for the Gosport courses, you can choose between packed lunches or a cheap meal at the Sea Cadet unit (please email me if you want the Sea Cadet unit lunch).
There will be a social gathering (drinks and a meal in a pub) in Gosport after the courses end. I'll need to know numbers (especially for the meal) so please email me if you will be staying on for part or all of the evening.
Sea staff bookings
Qualified sea staff and those who have already been recommended for an assessment - please email me with dates when you would like to sail this year. It helps if you can give me as many options as possible, so I can fit people around each other. If your availability is limited (e.g. university holidays only), then the sooner you contact me, the better.
Please note that most people should have paid their annual membership (£30) and annual sailing fee (£70) before you can book, though special consideration is possible for the unwaged and others who really can't afford this - just let us know.
New sea staff and those doing assessments this year MUST have completed an application form and a Criminal Records Bureau background check before you can sail - details here.
And those over 65 must also now have an ENG1 medical before you can sail - let me know if you need advice or information about arranging this.
There is one space on the adult training voyage 17-22 April (£275) - email me to book.
The next training voyages for prospective sea staff will be in September:
7-9 Sept (£150) - 12 places
10-14 Sept (£275) - 11 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 practise 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 this 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 at for more information, or download an application form here.
Website – members-only section
If you are a paid-up member of OYT South sea staff, you should have password access to the members-only section of this website, which includes sea staff assessment forms and the Voyage Handbook (baboon file). If you don't have your password, please email me. Paid-up members who are not sea staff or prospective sea staff are welcome to a password if you would like one, though at the moment this section is probably less relevant to you. I can of course add things to this part of the site if anyone has something to suggest.
2007 AGM and Trustee vacancies
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. Don't forget we are still keen to hear from anyone else interested in standing for election to the Board of Trustees. Contact the office 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
Vacancies in the first half of the season currently include:
19-23 March, Southampton, £230 - full boat available (12 spaces)
24-29 March, Southampton, £310 - full boat available (12 spaces)
2-5 April, Southampton, £190 - 1 space
8-11 May, Southampton, £180 - full boat available (12 spaces)
21-25 May, Southampton to Torquay, £250 - 8 spaces
27 May – 1 June, Torquay to Guernsey, £350 - 11 spaces (ASTO Small Ships Race – see below)
2-7 June, Guernsey to Poole, £290 - 11 spaces
8-11 June, Poole to Southampton, £190 - full boat available (12 spaces)
12-18 June, Southampton to Ipswich, £350 - full boat available (12 spaces)
We really need some help in filling the empty voyages - please use all your contacts and think whether you know anyone, groups or individuals, who might like to sail. If we get no bookings from young people (aged 12-25) for any particular voyage, we may offer it adult groups; but please note that our published voyage prices are subsidised for young people. Adult voyage prices can be negotiated with the office but are likely to be higher.
Anyone interested in any voyage, please contact the office.
21-28 June: Delivery voyage, Ipswich to the Kiel Canal (port to be confirmed), £470 - full boat available (12 spaces)
29 June-7 July: Delivery voyage, Kiel Canal (port to be confirmed) to Arhus, Denmark, £575 - full boat available (12 spaces)
7-20 July: Race 1, Arhus, Denmark, to Kotka, Finland (£845) - 8 spaces
20-29 July: Cruise in company, Kotka, Finland, to Stockholm, Sweden (£585) - 6 spaces
9-16 Aug: Delivery voyage, Szczecin, Poland to Kiel Canal (port to be confirmed), £505 - 12 spaces
Race 2, Stockholm to Szczecin, is now FULL.
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.
Small Ships 2007 - new availability for Torquay race
ASTO - the Association of Sea Training Organisations - Small Ships races are for sailing vessels up to 120 feet in length. John Laing will be taking part in two Small Ships races in 2007:
27 May - 1 June: Torquay to Guernsey, £350 - 11 spaces
2-7 October: Solent race (starting and finishing in Southampton), £325 - 12 spaces
The Solent race is open to anyone aged 12-25, and is only a one-day race (Saturday 6th October), but the full voyage allows time to get everyone familiar with the boat and do some race training.
There is a new rule affecting the Torquay race, which initially had a minimum age of 15. The organisers have now decided to accept 12-14 year olds under certain circumstances - essentially, you can apply but OYT South will make a decision based on sailing experience and other relevant factors, including the wish not to have too many very young crew members on this trip. But we would welcome a limited number of keen younger crew members.
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.
Any other photos from last season or the refit are always welcome, and I'll use the best on this website.
People News – Nick Power
Some of you will know former OYC / OYT skipper, Nick Power (or you may know his father, Kit, who has been involved with the charity for many years). Nick left the sea in order to pursue a career as an artist. He will be having his first London exhibition in late February / early March. You can find details and examples of his work on his website.
Survey - tell us what you think
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!
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 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.