Dropping the rudder - and a late entry for "rear of the year"!


OYT South bulletin 30th November 2007

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Refit news - help desperately needed!
Things have slowed up drastically with our much-needed supply of refit volunteers, and we really are desperate for some more people to come and give us a hand before Christmas, otherwise the jobs just pile up and we'll face really hard times in the new year. At present, we have almost no-one booked to help after 11th December! By 3 December last year, we'd had 26 people helping; by 30 Nov this year, we were on just 18, though some of those have given more time. So please do come and help for a day or two if you can. Just call Wolf on 07771 771864 to book yourself in. For those of you thinking of coming along during your Christmas break, please note that the last working day before the holiday will be 21st December, and the first day back will be January 3rd.

Having said that, huge thanks to all this week's team: Wolf, Laura, Paul, Chris, Stuart, Phoebe, Matt Bushby, Geoff Lewis, John Snowden and Caz.

The boat is now partially tented - the sides are done, and the frame for the roof is up - but completing the tenting has been held up by the rain. This is unfortunate because of course the more it rains, the more we wish we had a tent! However, the team have now got half the antifouling off; the centre water tank has been cleaned, varnished and finished; the fuel tanks have been done; the beautiful new saloon head lining has been done (and anyone who puts paint / grease / varnish on it over the winter will be in big trouble); the chart table drawers have been sorted and tidied; and the team has now started sanding the interior.

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.

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* Refit equipment appeal
Could anyone donate some sets of overalls - the cloth sort, rather than disposables?

We're also looking for donations of bits and pieces that we need for the refit: miles of masking tape, billions of binbags, waves of white spirit, crowds of cable ties, oodles of overalls, gallons of gloves, sacks of sandpaper, reams of rollers…just a few of the small items that are essential to keep the refit going.

You may not be in a position to donate hundreds or even thousands of pounds to the main refit fund, but all these small items really add up. If you are coming to refit, could you bring one or two things with you? If you can't make it to refit, could you buy a few bits and pieces instead?

There's a more detailed list here of things we need, so please take a look. But do check with skipper Wolf (07771 771864) before you buy anything - it would be a shame if you bought the wrong size or variety, or something which has just been bought by someone else!

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* 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. To see the sorts of things that a small donation (anything from £1 upwards) would buy, see here. For larger donations (up to £50,000!) see here (pdf).  

There is also a new way of making a donation to our refit appeal which I am sure will be very attractive to quite a few people - see People News below!

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* People News
Former staff bosun Julian "Dinghy Boy" Watkins has been told that, in order to get the new job he's applied for, he'll have to shave off his beard. This beard has been a source of concern to many of his friends for some time. You can get an idea by looking at the "before and after" photos at the top of the newsletter which marked his leaving John Laing; but the beard is much bushier now. Anyway, Dings has kindly agreed to shave it off for charity, to contribute to our refit appeal. If you want to see Dings looking less like an escaped member of the band ZZ Top, the easiest way to contribute to his shaving fund is to call the office on 0845 365 6781 with a credit card handy; otherwise please send cheques to the office at PO Box 203, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 9AZ.

On another note, anyone who met or sailed with Tor Stimson this season might like to know that the BBC documentary which features her - and might include a scene filmed on board John Laing - will be screened on BBC 3 on December 11th at 10.30pm.

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* Bosun update
Thank you to everyone who has applied for the job of Staff Bosun. We are now in the process of shortlisting and arranging interviews.

Meanwhile, Laura has less than a month left in the job and we are collecting for her leaving present. If you would like to contribute something in recognition of all Laura's hard work, the easiest way is to call the office on 0845 365 6781 with a credit card handy; otherwise please send cheques to the office at PO Box 203, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 9AZ.

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2008 bookings

Possible Easter holiday vacancies: at least four berths available 11-15 April 2008, and two left for 16-20 April (both £255). There aren't many voyages left for people who can't sail in term time and don't want to do Tall Ships races in the summer, so please look at these dates before it's too late and they all get booked by someone else!

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 which defintiely have spaces still available; and there are just 14 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

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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.

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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.

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* 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 couple of places.

* Sea Survival (Sat 2 Feb, Universal Marina, near Southampton) - £70. This is a really fascinating course which involves the use of flares and a practice session with a liferaft in a swimming pool. I hope none of you ever needs to use most of the things you learn on this course; but if you do need it, this course could save your life and those of other crew members. Thoroughly recommended for all sea staff at all levels. (Already booked: Di Roberts, Paul Barber, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Phil Runchman, Devon B-B, Lisa Davis, John Snowden, Amanda Smith, AN Other tbc, Ben Martin, Dave Blogg, 8 places still available).

* First aid (Gosport) - £40 - 2 courses available. The RYA one-day certificate needs renewing every three years and is COMPULSORY for second mates and above. You cannot sail as 2M without an in-date certificate. Sat 2 Feb: Jo Brooks, Geoff Eddy, Will Ramsay, Stuart Raynsford, Colin Stevens, John Parkin, Andy Shuttleworth, Nick Shuttleworth, Colin Sanderson, Dyfrig Harries; either Sat or Sun tbc: Erfaan Sharif, John Smith, ?Andy Royse tbc.). We have up to 11 places still available, either day possible but there are far more spaces on the Sunday.

* Food hygiene (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £40. This qualification is important for anyone handling food - i.e. all OYT South sea staff. It will eventually become compulsory, but does not need regular updating, so come and get your certificate now! (Caz White, Hugh Myers, Paul Barber, Lindsey Gilbert, John Parkin, Penny Sykes, Mark Boggis, Martin Skipper, Colin Stevens, 6 places still available).

* GMDSS (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £50 + £22 exam fee. The updated radio licence. (Jo Brooks, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Devon B-B, Will Ramsay, Tristan Caudrey, Sarah "Tee Hee" Tredinnick, 1 place still available).

* Radar (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £50. (Di Roberts, Geoff Eddy, Richie Butler, John Snowden, Pete French, Stuart Raynsford, Dyfrig Harries, Ben Martin, 1 place 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).

* * Do check your first aid certificate: you need an update every three years; second mates and above can't sail without it * *

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.

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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!

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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.  

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 http://www.oytsouth.org/? And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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

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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.

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