Refit in progress


OYT South bulletin 16th February 2007

In this Bulletin

2007 AGM - this Sunday 18th February
The official notice and agenda for OYT South's Annual General Meeting on Sunday 18th February at 1430 is at the foot of this newsletter. Don't forget to tell the office if you are going to come.

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Annual report
OYT South's Annual Report and accounts for 1 Nov 2005 - 31 Oct 2006 is now available here.

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Does anyone have an unwanted radio?
Laura the bosun asks if anyone might have a spare radio which they could donate to the refit team. She says it's because when she’s working at the bow, she can't hear the music from the cockpit speakers; but everyone suspects it's really because she wants to sneak off and listen to Classic FM. Preferably not a battery radio, for cost reasons - we have plenty of extension cables!

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Refit 2006-7: volunteers needed
Four weeks to go until the shakedown voyage - and only 19 days until John Laing has to be back in the water! The launch is on March 7th, with the coding inspection (vital to allow us to sail with young people this year) booked for March 15th.

Lots of help still needed, especially from people who don't need accommodation - phone us as soon as possible on 07771 771864 to arrange when you can come.

Helping Wolf and Laura this week were Matt Bland, Rob Harwood, Julian Jansen van Rensburg, Eddie Harper, Annant Shah and Nikki, Fiona Taylor, Anthony Fawcett, Dave "Tigger" Heffer, Stephanie Thornton (who has again taken on the job of sorting out the medical kit and working out what needs to be ordered) and Mark Boggis, who has taken the locker boards home and has been sanding and painting them.

The engine room has had several more coats of paint and is now almost finished. The deck has been filled, sanded and cleaned and should be getting its first coat of paint later today. The winch base has been prepped, filled, primed and painted. The saloon and oilskin locker have been prepped and had a first coat of paint. The workshop, bosun's cabin and after mid-bilge have been primed. The painting on the coach roof has been finished apart from the black lettering and number. The scuppers have been finished and brought to perfection by Laura. The stern platform is being reassembled.

Meanwhile, Chris the engineer has had a week away from the refit and took Phoebe to the Mediterranean to do a yacht delivery, which was unfortunately foiled by bad weather. On return to the UK, they also had an adventurous voyage in a motor vessel.

For more information on how the refit works, who can come and what volunteers can do, see here.  

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Financial appeal
The refit is drawing to a close and the bills are coming in fast, so 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.

To see how refit donations are spent, you can read a pdf of the Appeal leaflet.

See here for how to make a donation.

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Shorebased training
We are looking forward to seeing 47 people doing courses on tomorrow’s training day, and 35 people attending the meal in the evening!

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West Sussex Support Group
A good and well-attended meeting of the group this week, with a few drinks and supper at Chichester Yacht Club, discussing ideas for filling currently unsold voyages and raising money. The group also talked about how to offer advice and encouragement to people in other areas on how to run a small informal support group, and the kinds of projects these groups can undertake. This will be written up and added to the website in due course. There was also a brief discussion about possibilities for another OYT South annual dinner this year.

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Can you help track down this person?
Some time within the last year or two, second mate Trevor Hewson spoke to someone on board John Laing - possibly the father of another member of sea staff? - who was the ex-chief engineer of a company called Shipton Engineering. Trevor is very keen to track this person down again - can anyone help? Email me if you know who this person is!

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Voyage posters
Now available to download from the website and print out: two posters which you could hand out to people or put on a school, college or club notice board, to encourage young people to come sailing with us.

One is mainly pictures and is primarily designed to get people looking at our website; the other poster has a bit more text. Both can be printed on ordinary A4 paper so I hope you will find it easy to spread them around!

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Voyages still available
We really need people to fill some of the following voyages:

Small Ships races
"Baltic and back" voyages
Tall Ships races

Among standard UK-based voyages the most urgent spaces to fill are:

24 - 29 March: Southampton, £310. Just three spaces left but this voyage is only 5 weeks away so we need to fill it urgently!
21 - 25 May: Southampton to Torquay, £250
2 - 7 June: Guernsey to Poole, £290
12 - 18 June: Southampton to Ipswich, £350

After that there are several vacancies from the end of August onwards.

For Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects, see here

Please book now, or send the links to your friends!

For the full voyage programme, including latest figures on the number of berths available, see here.

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.

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Want to sail but can't afford it?
Two ideas for people hoping to raise money in order to sail in John Laing this year:

The Lewis Winstock Trust is inviting applications from individuals seeking sponsorship for charity-run "character building expeditions" - which describes our voyages perfectly. You will find that they ask for a letter from the charity confirming that you would be accepted on the voyage if you get the funding: email me a copy of the rest of your application, including some details about your background and why you want to do the voyage and, if appropriate, I will write the relevant letter from the charity.

Another option might be the Battisborough Charitable Trust. Applications can be made by individuals (not groups) from Devon and Cornwall only, to: Sonia Donovan, 57 Green Park Road, Plymstock, PL9 9HU. You will need to write a letter explaining a bit about yourself, why you want to sail and why you need help with funding. The Trust looks most favourably on people who have succeeded in raising some of the funds themselves, so you should write about what else you are doing towards paying the voyage fee - they will not normally cover 100% of your costs. And you should enclose a stamped, addressed envelope so they can reply to you.

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Sea staff bookings
I am making good progress with sorting out sea staff berth allocations among all the people who have asked for various dates; and I’ll do more when I see people at the training day this weekend. But at the moment I have no-one who has expressed an interest in filling the following places - can anyone help?

JL07-04, 2-5 April. Third mate needed for a mixed crew at the younger end of our range. Steve Furniss is the skipper.
JL07-05, 6-10 April. First and second mates needed. School group (new client). Steve Furniss is the skipper and there will be a third mate assessment.
JL07-09, 23-27 April. Second mate needed. Another school group from a new client, but this school is for boys with special educational needs. Again, Steve Furniss is the skipper and there will be a third mate on assessment.
JL07-10b, 30 April - 3 May. First mate needed. Voyage booked by the Wheatsheaf Trust but may be divided into two day sails and one overnighter, so several different groups of people can have a "taster". Skipper Wolf.
JL07-14, 14-18 May. First mate needed. This voyage has been reserved by Alfreton Park school - always a very popular group consisting of six pupils with physical and / or learning difficulties plus six adult carers. No very demanding sailing but lots of enthusiasm needed.

There are still plenty of spaces later in the season, but I want to get the early ones filled as soon as I can. Email me if you want to sail.

Please note that you should have paid your annual membership (£30) and annual sailing fee (£70) before you can book.

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.

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Training voyages for sea staff and new prospective sea staff
The mates training weekend, 30 March to 1 April, is full, but there a reserve list in case anyone drops out.

There are two spaces on the adult training voyage 17-22 April (£275) - email me to book. This is the ideal trip for people new to OYT South who want to see how we run our voyages and get used to the boat before committing to training as a watch leader.

After that, there are two adult training voyages in September:

3-7 Sept (£275) - 12 places
7-9 Sept (£150) - 10 places

Prices include £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing fee - which means that any other voyages you do in 2007 would be free! Email me to book.

Please note that as these voyages are for adults only, you cannot do your watch leader assessment on them - to be assessed, we have to see how you deal with leading and teaching young people. The adult training voyages are designed to give you a chance to get used to things before you take on the responsibility of trying to teach others.

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. But please note that filling in your application form and getting your CRB check done just puts you on the list of people eligible for voyages - you MUST contact me about dates if you want to sail this year.

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Website - links needed
With so much work having been done on OYT South's website over recent months, it would be really great if we could increase the numbers of people visiting it. If you have any access to another website - anything from a marine site to a MySpace page - could you include a link to And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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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 the website, which includes sea staff assessment forms and the Voyage Handbook (baboon file). If you don't have your password, please email me.

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Oysterband Big Session Festival
Last year, an OYT South group had a great time at this music festival, and several people are planning to go again this year - it's held in Leicester on June 15-17. Details here.

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People news
News from our lovely Canadian crew members who sailed from Portsmouth to Waterford and Waterford to Cherbourg for Tall Ships 2005: Skye has emailed to say that she and Veronica are now living together in Montreal, still in touch with Liz; and this summer all three of them have deck hand jobs on board the tall ship Unicorn. They send best wishes to the John Laing team.

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Photos needed
Please keep sending photos from John Laing voyages or the refit, and I'll use the best on the website.

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Survey - tell us what you think
Still looking for more responses to the web-based survey - please have a look!

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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 long-standing 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.

And if you have any questions, please email me - or contact the office.

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The Directors of Ocean Youth Trust South

hereby give formal notice that the

Annual General Meeting will take place on

Sunday 18 February 2007 at 14.30 hrs

At TS Hornet Sea Cadet Unit, Royal Clarence Yard, Weevil Lane, Gosport.



1) Welcome

2) Apologies of absence received

3) Minutes of last meeting 19 February 2006 

4) Chairman's Report

5) Treasurer's Report, presentation of accounts for year ending 31 October 2006

6) Resignation of Directors on rotational basis

7) Nominations for Directors/ Trustees

8) Confirmation of appointment of Auditor 

9) Items previous advised with 7 days of AGM for inclusion of meeting 

10) Date and time of next meeting 

11) Close of meeting 

Please note: - Everyone is welcome to attend, but only paid up members may vote on any resolution presented to the members.

Nominations for election to board of Trustees must be received at office at Spur House 14 days prior to the meeting, and must be agreed with nominee before submission.

Light refreshments will be available before commencement of meeting.

Any item you wish to be raised at the AGM must be forwarded in writing 7 days prior to meeting.

Please notify the office if you will be able to attend. Thank you.

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“I had a very good time and I learned a lot – nice to meet you all!” Hollie, aged 15