John Laing


OYT South bulletin 9th November 2007

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

Staff bosun news
Staff bosun Laura Aldrich-Blake has decided that the time has come for her to move on. She’s planning to take some time off before hopefully looking for work as a first mate.

Laura has been with us since December 2006, and has completed a whole winter refit and a full sailing season with us. We would like to thank her for all her hard work and enthusiasm over the last year, and wish her all the best for the future.

She will be with us till Christmas, so anyone who wants to see her before she goes can book in for a day or two at refit!

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Job advertisement: OYT South staff bosun

OYT South is seeking applications for the role of Staff Bosun.

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 depending on age and experience, 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.

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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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2008 bookings - URGENT, please read!

There are currently just five UK-based voyages for crew aged 12-25 with places for which no-one has made even a tentative enquiry or a provisional reservation; and there are just 18 places left for the Tall Ships race series to Norway and the Netherlands. Obviously not all these enquiries will turn into confirmed bookings, so other places may well become available; but this should at least give you some idea of the pressure for berths in 2008.

We are aware that lots of you (especially individual rather than group bookings) may be used to not having to think about when you want to sail until much nearer the time. 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 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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Staff skipper back at work

Our staff skipper, Mark "Wolf" Todd, is back in the UK and back on his work phone number, 07771 771864 if you need to call him – e.g. to volunteer to help with the refit!

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Refit news

We’ve made a good start to the refit, thanks to this week’s helpers: Laura, Paul Barber (one of this year’s full-time volunteers, who started work this week), John Snowden, Julian "Dings" Watkins and Liz Key. Between them they have organised the Gosport shed, emptied virtually all the moveable kit off the boat and stored it in the shed or the refit house, taken the sails off and done a rig check.

We are now looking for volunteers to come along to help in Hamble on dates from November 24th through to Christmas (though we can also take bookings for helpers in January, February and March as well!). Call Laura on 07990 518915 or Wolf on 07771 771864 to book yourself in. We do need to know in advance who wants to come on which days as there is limited space in the refit house and we need to make sure we have suitable jobs planned for everyone who comes.

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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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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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.

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Shorebased training (RYA and other courses) – details now available

Having now taken a number of provisional bookings for courses on the training weekend 2-3 February 2008, it is becoming clear which arrangement of courses on which days provokes the fewest clashes and allows the greatest number of people to do the courses they want. We’ll now be trying to book instructors for courses according to the following list. I have included the names of people I think are already booked on courses – please can you email to confirm your places, or let me know if you want something different?

Saturday 2 February
* Sea Survival (Universal Marina, near Southampton) - £70. (Di Roberts, Paul Barber, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Phil Runchman, Devon B-B, Lisa Davis, 5 places still available).
* Diesel (location tbc) - £60. (Penny Sykes, Steve Maslin, Richie Butler, Caz White, Phoebe, 1 place still available).
* First aid (Gosport) - £40. (Jo Brooks, Andy Shuttleworth, Geoff Eddy, John Parkin, Erfaan Sharif, 7 places still available).

Sunday 3 February
* GMDSS (Gosport) - £50 + £22 exam fee. (Jo Brooks, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Devon B-B, 4 places still available).
* Food hygiene (Gosport) - £40. (Caz White, Hugh Myers, Paul Barber, Sue Bird, Lindsey Gilbert, John Parkin, Penny Sykes, 8 places still available).
* Radar (Gosport) - £50. (Di Roberts, Geoff Eddy, Richie Butler, John Snowden, 5 places still available).

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.

All the above is subject to confirming instructors as needed but if there have to be any changes I’ll let you know as soon as I can. All courses and prices are subject to getting enough takers – those with lots of spaces still left may not run if we don’t get enough people.

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.
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 soon.

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OYT South AGM 2008

Now that we are no longer linking the OYT South AGM to the February training weekend, I can give 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 s
ea 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)
6-10 October (£275).

For both existing sea staff and new potential volunteers: if you have the option of taking time off during the week, I would strongly recommend the longer voyages if you can manage it. You'll certainly learn more, partly because each exercise or manoeuvre (such as a sail hoist or a gybe) obviously happens more often on a longer trip, which gives far more people the chance to practise and to have a go at running the exercise in the watch leader role; and partly because we can just cover far more topics on a longer voyage -­ for example, we can work on how each of you as watch leaders could best teach all the elements of the five-day RYA Competent Crew syllabus. In addition, the longer voyage potentially allows us to go somewhere more interesting: weather permitting, France is usually an option. 

Email me to book on any of these voyages.

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OYT South leaflet

The publicity leaflet produced for this year’s Southampton Boat Show proved so popular that we ran out by the end of the show. However, Dave “Tigger” Heffer, who produced the leaflet, has kindly allowed us to have a copy on the website, so that you can download and print it, to give out to people or stick on noticeboards etc. It is designed to be double-sided and folded, and 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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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.

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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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Volunteer press officer news
Don't forget to contact Lizzie Fiddaman, our volunteer press officer, 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: you can email Lizzie. You can also contact her if you want to get involved in getting positive press coverage for us in your local area - the more help she has, the more coverage we might get! Local press coverage will help more people to hear about OYT South - which can mean more crew members and even more donations - so it's well worth helping Lizzie to get us mentioned.

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Passwords to members-only website section
Most sea staff who are sailing this year should now have working passwords to the members-only section of the website. Anyone who hasn't received a password and would still like one should email me and I can add you quite easily.

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

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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