John Laing off Cowes (photo: Denise Cronin)


OYT South bulletin 23rd November 2007

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* 2008 bookings - new availability
Owing to cancellations, we now have at least six and possibly eight places available for the voyage 11-15 April 2008, starting and finishing in Southampton, cost £255. This is in the school holidays for many education authorities, so might provide an ideal sailing opportunity for crew members who are still at school – especially those who are too young to do Tall Ships races and therefore haven’t got many opportunities to sail in the holidays next year.

We also have one last place available on 16-20 April 2008, starting and finishing in Southampton, cost £255.

Otherwise, if you want to sail in 2008, please keep checking the voyage programme as new vacancies do keep coming up as we adjust the programme to meet clients' needs, or because reservations aren't confirmed. There are currently just eight UK-based voyages for crew aged 12-25 with any places for which no-one has made even a tentative enquiry or a provisional reservation; and there are just 15 places left for the Tall Ships race series to Norway and the Netherlands. Other places may well become available; but this should at least give you some idea of the pressure for berths in 2008.

PLEASE don't leave it too late - we don't want to find that old friends and keen crew members are missing out! If you want to sail in 2008, at least take a look at the programme now and if things are getting booked up at the time of year you'd like to sail, make a reservation as soon as you can. We can also think about setting up reserve lists in case anyone drops out of booked voyages.

If you want to book a berth, contact the office as soon as possible.

For additional information about voyages:

UK-based voyages
Tall Ships 2008: Liverpool - Måløy (Norway) - Bergen (Norway) - Den Helder (Netherlands)
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Bursary funding
Small Ships race
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK

Back to index

Job advertisement: OYT South staff bosun
OYT South is seeking applications for the role of Staff Bosun, following Laura’s decision to move on.

The staff bosun's role involves boat maintenance under the supervision of the staff skipper. From November to March, the bosun will work on John Laing's annual refit. During the sailing season, the bosun sails on board John Laing on a working pattern of approximately four weeks on and two weeks off.

The successful applicant will be aged 18+ and will have an interest in and empathy for working with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The bosun will also be required to work with volunteer watch leaders and other OYT South supporters, including the marine engineer.

An enthusiasm and proven ability for making and fixing things will be essential. Applicants will ideally have some experience of boat maintenance, sail training and sailing generally, and prior experience as a bosun, volunteer bosun or refit volunteer is desirable; but the job will incorporate substantial training and can be used as an entry point to the sail training industry.

The bosun will also be required to keep maintenance records and must therefore have basic numeracy and literacy skills.

We will expect the bosun to qualify as a watch leader fairly quickly and be competent to lead a watch of young people on an occasional basis. RYA cruising qualifications (Competent Crew and above) will be an advantage but not essential.

Ideally applicants will be interested in staying in the post for at least two years.

Salary is expected to be in the range £9,600 to £11,500, plus additional benefits.

A satisfactory criminal records bureau enhanced check will be required. A clean driving licence is desirable. The successful candidate will need to pass an ENG1 medical, which covers medical fitness for seafarers, including eyesight standards and colour vision.

Energy, enthusiasm and a sense of humour will all be real advantages in a demanding and responsible role.

Apply with CV and covering letter, including contact details for at least 2 referees, covering  professional/educational and personal experience over the last 5 years to: David Salmon, OYT South General Manager, preferably by email to, but otherwise by post to PO Box 203, GOSPORT, PO12 9AZ. Telephone 0845 365 6781 if further information is required.

Closing date for applications 30th November 2007. Applicants should ideally be available to start work in January 2008.

Back to index

Job advertisement: OYT South General Manager
Our General Manager, David Salmon, who has been with us since before OYT South was founded, will be retiring in November 2008. We therefore have a year in which to find a way in which to fill the enormous gap that he will leave in terms of both expertise and commitment.

The Board of OYT South is considering the possibility of appointing someone to our team from around the start of the 2008 sailing season. This creates the opportunity for a long handover, allowing the new person to become thoroughly familiar with the organisation before taking over as General Manager when David leaves; but also giving the Trust a significant period with an extra member of shorebased staff at a senior level, who can undertake project work in key areas.

This will be a full-time shorebased position, based in Gosport. If you think you might have the drive, vision and experience to take a leading role in an exciting period of change and growth for OYT South, and ultimately to take over management of OYT South's shorebased operations, please call the chairman, Martin Skipper, on 01305 761993 for an informal chat.

Back to index

* Refit news
The scaffolding has been going up at the refit and the tenting will go up over this weekend, so that it will be possible to start doing jobs under cover.

In the meantime, the team has been sorting the shed, servicing bilge pumps, dropping the anchors off the boat and taking the lettering off the hull, and they are currently engaged in replacing the head lining in the saloon. Many thanks to this week’s team – Wolf, Laura, Paul, Stuart Raynsford, and Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine.

Volunteer help has been a bit lower over the past few days than we would ideally have liked, so please start thinking about when you might be able to come and give us a hand. Wolf would love to hear from you on 07771 771864.

If you have never been to one of our refits before, you can find more information here. The key thing you need to know is that our refits require an inexhaustible supply of volunteer helpers, both skilled and unskilled. In 2006-7, ninety-five people contributed a total of 381 days of volunteer labour, and we need to match or beat that figure this year.

Back to index

Core refit team - long-term volunteers needed

We have had quite a bit of interest in the remaining full-time volunteer post and will be meeting applicants or getting more information about them over the next few weeks (now the skipper is back!) - but it is not too late to put your name forward if you would like to be considered as well.

If you are not working over the winter and might be interested in a full-time role on the refit and the opportunity to learn more about boat maintenance while doing something of real value for the charity, see here for details. Email me to express an interest and for more information.

Back to index

Financial appeal
The refit is our current fundraising priority, as there is a great deal to do to keep John Laing in good condition. See here for how to make a donation.

Back to index

People News

Many congratulations to former relief bosun Laura Brayshaw on the birth of a baby girl!

Back to index

Shorebased training (RYA and other courses) - please book now!
We now have an option of running two first aid courses on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd February, one on the Saturday and the other on the Sunday, in order to fit in more people: so we have plenty of spaces left for first aid, as well as for food hygiene and sea survival.

However, the diesel course is already full (I am starting a second list of reserves or in case we get sufficient demand to run the course again on another date) and the GMDSS and Radar courses are down to the last few places.

If your name is listed against a course below, please can you email me to confirm your place if you haven’t already done so, or let me know if you want something different?

* Sea Survival (Sat 2 Feb, Universal Marina, near Southampton) - £70. (Di Roberts, Paul Barber, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Phil Runchman, Devon B-B, Lisa Davis, John Snowden, Amanda Smith, AN Other tbc, 10 places still available).
* Diesel (Sat 2 Feb, Gosport) - £60. (Penny Sykes, Richie Butler, Caz White, Phoebe, Andy Royse, Matt Bland - course currently FULL but I am keeping a reserve list in case anyone drops out, or there is sufficient demand for a second course on another date).
* GMDSS (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £50 + £22 exam fee. (Jo Brooks, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Devon B-B, Will Ramsay, Tristan Caudrey, Sarah “Tee Hee” Tredinnick, 1 place still available).
* Food hygiene (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £40. (Caz White, Hugh Myers, Paul Barber, Lindsey Gilbert, John Parkin, Penny Sykes, Mark Boggis, Martin Skipper, Colin Stevens, 6 places still available).
* Radar (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £50. (Di Roberts, Geoff Eddy, Richie Butler, John Snowden, Pete French, Stuart Raynsford, 3 places still available).
* First aid (Gosport) - £40 - 2 courses available. Sat 2 Feb: Jo Brooks, Geoff Eddy, Will Ramsay, Stuart Raynsford, Colin Stevens, John Parkin, Andy Shuttleworth, Andy’s brother, Andy’s brother’s mate; either Sat or Sun tbc: Erfaan Sharif, ?Andy Royse tbc, ?John Smith tbc). We have up to 12 places still available, either day possible but there are far more spaces on the Sunday.

Do check your first aid certificate: you need an update every three years.

If you want to change your preference or you no longer wish to do the course I've got you down for, let me know so I can free up your place for someone else.

If you haven't already booked your course(s), let me know your preferences a.s.a.p.

NB we cannot guarantee to have overnight accommodation available though we will of course help where we can. Priority for staying in the refit house will go to people working on the boat rather than doing courses that weekend. If anyone in the area has a spare bed or sofa and would be willing to offer accommodation to people on training courses, please let me know.
I do have a list of people wanting to do Powerboat Level II, which is a 2-day course, and I'll get back to you all with dates for this as soon as I possibly can. I also have a number of takers for John Snowden's women-only self-defence course and we hope to have a date for this very soon.

Back to index

OYT South AGM 2008

Advance notice of the AGM date: Friday 4th April, 7 for 7.30pm, a short meeting to be followed by a glass of wine in the new office!

Back to index

Volunteer sea staff training (on board John Laing)
2008 training voyages for sea staff and new potential sea staff:

25-27 April 2008 (£150) - potentially full but we are taking names for a reserve list
29 April - 4 May (£275)
19-21 Sept (£150)

Email me to book on any of these voyages.  

Back to index

* Sea staff bookings and assessments 2008
I won’t be confirming many sea staff bookings just yet (because people who give most help at refit get priority), but especially if you have limited availability, there’s no harm in starting to email me your requests now. If you are hoping to do an assessment (including new potential sea staff who have got a skipper’s recommendation to become a third mate), I would definitely like to get your voyage availability pencilled in early.

Back to index

* Photos needed
Please keep sending photos from John Laing voyages, and I'll use the best on the website. Many thanks this week to Denise Cronin from the Isle of Wight who sent in a great picture which is used at the top of the web version of this bulletin. She said “It's a boat I often see in Cowes and know of the charity through friends who are connected – it’s the small world of sailing! You all do an amazing job.  I have been involved with disabled sailing in Cowes and was lucky enough to be the official photographer for the IFDS at the Paralympics in Sydney. So keep up the excellent work that you are doing and glad you like the photo.”

Back to index

OYT South leaflet

There is a pdf copy of the very popular Southampton Boat Show leaflet on the website, so that you can download and print it, to give out to people or stick on noticeboards, etc. You can get the front and back covers here and the inside spread here.

Back to index

John Laing on MySpace and Facebook
John Laing is on both MySpace and Facebook , both brilliant ways for crew members, sea staff and other friends and supporters to keep in touch, contact each other, or spread the word among other people about OYT South voyages. Have a look, and come and be one of John Laing's friends - and tell all YOUR friends about us!

Back to index

Chris Ellis Award
Don't forget to enter for the Chris Ellis Award - you could win up to £200 off the price of your next voyage. This competition is open to any crew members aged 12-25. All you need to do is produce a piece of work based on your last voyage: an essay, diary, logbook, picture, computer art or anything else you like - there are no restrictions as long as your entry gives an idea of what you last voyage meant to you and why you would like to sail again. The closing date for entries is 1 December 2007 but please start sending your entries sooner, while your voyage is fresh in your mind. Electronic entries (preferable) should be emailed to me; hard copies if necessary should be posted to the office: PO Box 203, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 9AZ.

Chris Ellis was one of the founders of the Ocean Youth Club, in 1960. His family is still very interested in seeing any entries.

Back to index

Local support groups
If you live in any of the following areas and would like to help find local young people to come sailing, and raise a bit of money to help them do so, please get involved with one of our local support groups:

London: Rob Dickinson.
Dorset: Martin Skipper.
West Sussex: Chris Lane.
Isle of Wight: Marion Heming.

If you live in any other area and would be interested in helping to set up a local support group, please email me and I’ll try to put you in touch with other people in your area.

Back to index

Volunteer press officer news If you think your voyage should be covered in the local press, or if you have any other good story to tell about OYT South, email our press officer, Lizzie Fiddaman.

Back to index

Passwords to members-only website section
Anyone who hasn't received a password to the members-only section of this website and would like one should email me and I can give access to anyone eligible.

Back to index

Website - links needed
It’s always good to increase the numbers of people visiting our website – do you have any web page where you could add a link to And let me know so that we can link back to you!

Back to index

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

Back to index

New readers’ welcome and introduction
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. The newsletter is sent out virtually every week and contains all you need to know about voyages for young people or adults, becoming a volunteer, OYT South events, etc. 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 at 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 annual refit, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, see here.

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

Back to index

“I have made a bunch of mates that I hope to keep in touch with - would love to come again" Joe, 13