John Laing's refit tent (photo: IMS Shrinkwrap)


OYT South bulletin 5th January 2007

In this Bulletin

Happy New Year!
Good sailing to you all for 2007.

Refit 2006-7: volunteers needed

Ten weeks to go! We are hoping to get John Laing lifted back into the water on March 7th.

We had a good group of helpers in the last week before Christmas: alongside Wolf and Laura, we had Rob Harwood (who has now joined the team as a full-time volunteer), Ian Heath, Tim Deverson, Kate Whiffing (thanks for ace mince pies), James Littlejohn, Victor Kellett, Karen Harris, Gizmo and John Snowden. Since New Year, Laura has been on holiday, and the team has been just Wolf, Rob and Ben Martin. Lots more helpers needed – please call Wolf on 07771 771864 and book yourself in. We currently have only one volunteer tomorrow (Saturday 6th) and two on Sunday 7th so please come along if you can.

Jobs done since the last bulletin: oilskins and sail covers are now back, thanks to Susan and Peter Hughes. Fraser Old emailed to say that he is working hard on the floorboards and other bits of wood. Gizmo did the port water tank. More fuel tank lids have been painted. The stern platform has had its final coat. A first coat is now being put on the rope and anchor locker. The deck has been filled, and there has been some more filling below the water line. Most unfortunately, Wolf is now having to re-fill part of the hull above the water line, where the first attempt fell victim to the pre-Christmas cold snap and the filler failed to go off. It’s a long job to get it out and fill it all over again, and the only thing that could possibly console him is to get lots of extra volunteers to help make up for the lost time.

Wolf is hoping to make his “weekends”, when the refit is closed, more regular, so for the next few weeks we expect the boat to be shut on Mondays and Tuesdays, and we’ll be looking for help from Wednesdays to Sundays.

We are still looking for special help from some small, wriggly people who can boldly paint where no-one has painted before…Laura has been going to yoga but however flexible she becomes, she is still too tall. There will be a special prize to anyone who will fit in the bilge under the engine. Even more special prize to anyone who can get in, do some work, and get out again. It is permissible to grease yourself up like a cross-Channel swimmer before trying, especially if you use up some of last season’s excess supplies of rice pudding and mayonnaise to do so!

Other jobs still to come (including some suitable for non-contortionists): painting the crew cabin and bilges; painting the engine room; dropping the steering gear; prepping and painting the cockpit locker and gas locker.

Thanks also to the mystery man from the anonymous Swan 60 who was emptying his shed out at the boat yard and gave us a lot of things he no longer needed – a bimini, a wheel cover, a man overboard Kim strop, lots of rope, and containers for spare fuel.

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

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Financial appeal
To see how refit donations are spent, you can now see a pdf of the Appeal leaflet here. It's already going out of date as more donations have come in since it was written, but it will certainly give you an idea of how refit funding works!

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. See below for how to pay.

Thanks to the Vokins Trust for £500, and also to individuals for other donations which have come in over the Christmas period. (NB I don’t normally thank individuals by name in this newsletter as some people prefer not to make their donations or amounts public, but it is all very much appreciated nonetheless!)

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Paying for voyages, subscriptions and donations
OYT South now 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 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.

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Shorebased training
Thanks to all those of you who have booked places on February 17th. Here’s the latest on the various courses:

The GMDSS course may be full, though I am still waiting for one last provisional booking to be confirmed. This will cost £50 (+ £22 exam fee).

The Radar course is also waiting for one confirmation, so has either one or two places left. This will cost £50 including £10 for RYA course notes.

The First Aid course is awaiting two confirmations and has either four or six places spare, so we could do with a few more bookings. Remembers 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 is full enough to run though we could squeeze in a few more people if there is any demand. 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 really needs a few more people to be viable. We pay £400 for the instructor and split the cost between participants. So if we can get up to 9 people, it will cost £45, which seems reasonable compared to the cost of other courses. We can take up to 15 people, which would bring the cost right down. But at the moment we have either 6 or 7 people, which puts the cost around £60, which I suspect is more than people will expect to be paying. If I can’t get two or three more, we’ll 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; others can choose between packed lunches or a cheap meal at the Sea Cadet unit.

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 to let me know if you will be staying on for part or all of the evening.

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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 email me, the better.

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Sea staff age restrictions
Until this season, first mates and skippers could only sail up to the age of 65, after which they could choose to retire, or drop down to second mate. We are looking at changing this policy so that ALL sea staff over the age of 65 could carry on sailing at any level for which they are qualified, subject to having an ENG1 medical (the same medical our professional sea staff have). The drawback is that there is a cost to getting an ENG1, which can be up to £60. I have been consulting sea staff who would be affected by this rule change (if it affects you and you haven’t been consulted, maybe you look a lot younger than you are….) If anyone has any problems with this rule change, please email to let me know.

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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 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.

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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.

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London Boat Show 2007
Wolf and others will be at the London Boat Show on Monday 8th January. If anyone would like to meet up at the show, Wolf suggests 2pm at the Guinness Stand.

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2007 voyage programme
Available here

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 – 2 spaces
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.

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Tall Ships 2007
Latest availability:

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.

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Small Ships 2007 – new availability for Torquay race
ASTO (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.

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Training voyages for sea staff and new prospective sea staff
The mates training weekend, 30 March to 1 April, may be full, subject to one confirmation, but I can set up a reserve list in case anyone drops out.

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 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.

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Photos needed
Still short of a few photos for the sea staff profiles page on the website - if you can supply a picture of any of the following people, I'd be very grateful:

Andrew Viney
Ben Martin
Yvonne Taylor
Phil Runchman
Dave Blogg
Vikki Maxwell
Martin Skipper
John Parkin

Any other photos from last season or the refit are always welcome, and I’ll use the best on the website. Thanks this week to IMS Shrinkwrap, who built the tent that covers John Laing during refit and sent some good photos.

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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!

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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 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.

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

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