The refit tent comes down!


OYT South bulletin 14th March 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* OYT South AGM 2008
The official notice and agenda for OYT South's Annual General Meeting on Friday 4th April at 1900hrs, in the Gosport office, is at the foot of this newsletter.

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* Candidates standing for election to the Board of Trustees
According to the rules, a third of our Trustees have to stand down each year, in rotation, but can stand for re-election. This year it is the turn of Andy Royse and Caroline White to stand down; and Martin Skipper, who was co-opted during the year, also needs to resign and be formally elected. All three have confirmed that they wish to stand again.

In addition, OYT South has so far received notice of three people intending to stand for election to the Board of Trustees at the AGM.

There is no formal upper limit to the number of Trustees which OYT South can have. Members are free to vote for as many or as few of the candidates as they wish.

The three new candidates have each submitted a short statement for the benefit of members intending to vote:

Fiona Pankhurst
“International Marketing Communications Manager at Raymarine for the last 6 years, following a 6 year stint with Beneteau as their UK Operations Manager. An interesting spell before that saw business admin with a sailmaker, yacht broker, and rigger, and as sailing secretary running a large Winter event - I also had a couple of years or so running a pub and bistro. Other experience includes working in the charity world with the National Trust, Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Marie Curie Cancer Care; setting up a distribution centre, opening the first tranche of shops, and starting up a mail-order catalogue for them - this is when I really appreciated how volunteers can galvanise a cause. I love the freedom of sailing and the sea, now own a small 1970's vintage sailing cruiser with my husband and, as an ex-World Champion dinghy crew, still get pathetically competitive when passed by faster vessels (which happens a lot). I have seen the positive difference that learning to sail, becoming part of a team, and exposure to a completely different environment can make to young people and hope to play a useful part by bringing my business skills, contacts and knowledge to bear for the benefit of OYT South and the young people themselves.”

Fred Cole
“Currently UK Manager of the Yacht Division of International Paint, previously Sales Manager for International’s Commercial Marine Division. Trained as a Chemist, having worked for Unilever and Morgan Crucible plc in fields as diverse as cosmetics, emulsion chemistry and industrial lubricants.  Has experience in marketing, sales, project management, PR, sponsorships, business strategy, employee relations and general management. Outside of the workplace have been involved in local politics, voluntary organizations and supporting local schools. Have some experience of both cruising and racing sailing, but nowadays spend most of my leisure time in the world of historic military vehicles.”

Jeremy Burnett Rae
“While supposed to be working as a Legal and Compliance Director for Investment Managers, Jeremy Burnett Rae helps on charity Trustee Boards including a School Society, a Citizens Advice Bureau and a Ugandan Children’s Choir. He is an active member of the Little Ship Club, where he seems surprisingly close to a dubious retired seafaring character, Brown Gordon, who sometimes keeps an even more dubious tavern for the children: Jeremy says he just advises the drunken old pirate on Child Protection and Health & Safety Policies. He is a passive member at the Bar Yacht Club, with a Yachtmaster certificate so old that it included Morse Code. Living in Oxfordshire far from the sea and without a boat, he mostly sails small yachts but has tried everything from a scuba tow to a barquentine, which he says only sank later. Caz pretends that he volunteered for the refit on the only day when it was impossible to work, but booked him in to sail in September. While taking his radio certificate at OYT South, Martin and Caz steered him into doing legal work on OYT South’s formalities.”

Anyone else wishing to stand for election at this AGM should submit information as requested in the formal AGM notice at the foot of this newsletter, by close of play on Friday 21st March. We will then circulate information about all potential new Trustees to members before the meeting.

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* Refit news - John Laing launched! And only 9 days till the first proper voyage.
An eventful week at refit, with the weather making life as difficult as possible, and the only consolation being that we weren’t actually supposed to be at sea during the worst of it!

The tent was scheduled to come down on Monday; but with high winds forecast, the only way to get it down under any sort of control was to do it on Sunday instead. This proved just as well, since Monday proved even more dramatic than predicted, as high tide and gales brought the River Hamble into the yard, which flooded right up to the second rung of John Laing’s ladder and provided the first test of our antifoul. Cars on the front were flooded (luckily our van had been moved); all the sheds were flooded, and our second shed in Gosport was flooded too. Luckily most of our kit was either on the boat, or well off the ground in the sheds, or waterproof! All in all, it could have been much worse, as the boats in the yard didn’t start falling over and causing real damage; and the floods didn’t break up the ground too much for the heavy yard crane to move. So the scaffolding came down on Tuesday as planned; John Laing was launched on a very windy Wednesday; the masts went in on Thursday, and she was moved back round to her usual berth in Ocean Village yesterday evening. Wolf had to wear his oilskins throughout the move from Hamble to Southampton, and still got thoroughly wet – hopefully not an omen for the season!

The launch was not only tense because of the wind, but because there were seven places which – because of new skin fittings, pipes, welding etc., or because things like the rudder and prop shaft had come out during refit – might possibly have leaked. The good news is that none of them actually did! However, if we didn’t have water inside the boat, the stuff outside still gave us plenty of trouble. One of our volunteers (you nearly got away without being named and shamed, Karen) decided that it was not sufficient to have both our sheds underwater, so she dropped the refit van keys into the Hamble. Our magnet was brought out to hunt for the keys – and promptly got dropped as well. At which point, as so often, Chris the engineer saved the day, producing another magnet and successfully rescuing everything.

In between all this, the team continued with all the jobs. More kit has been loaded back onto the boat; the deck and cockpit have had their final paint; the lighting in the saloon is done (and looks great); Chris has done lots of work on the engine; we now have temperature monitors on the fridge and freezer; and Andy Royse has been hard at work correcting all the charts. Wolf’s heads are even more finished than all the other times I’ve reported in this newsletter that they were finished. I’m just afraid now that I will be asked to report in detail on their ceremonial First Use!

Many thanks to all those who have helped us through all this: Wolf, Liz, Max, Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine, Andy Viney, Lisa Davies, John “Cuddles” Snowden, Cubie and friend, Denise Moore, Richard and Matt (thanks to Cathy Lacey), Eddie Harper, Karen Harris, Sam Revell, Annie Holt and Andy Royse. Extra thanks to Matt Bland, who is in the merchant navy and devoted most of his leave to our refit – he went back to sea very early this morning.

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* Refit help needed
There really is LOTS still to do, and only six days left to do it in before the shakedown voyage! We have very few volunteers booked on over the next few days and we really need you, over the weekend and through next week. Don't forget that our paid staff, Wolf and Liz, have to go straight from refit into the sailing season, and we really need them not to be working excessively long hours to finish the refit, and then starting the season exhausted. So PLEASE come and take a bit of the load off them!

Call 07771 771864 if you can do anything between today and March 21st, when the shakedown voyage starts. Do leave a message if Wolf doesn't answer, as he'll always call you back. Don’t forget we are in Ocean Village, Southampton, now, and not in the Hamble!

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* Refit house cleaning and moving out
Next Thursday and Friday (March 20th and 21st) are the days when we have to move out of the refit house and restore it to pristine condition so that we get our deposit back and keep our good reputation with the landlord and letting agents, so that we don’t give ourselves problems when we try to rent a refit house next winter.

We desperately need a good team of people to get the house into immaculate condition, so PLEASE come and help. Anyone with strong domestic skills and high standards of cleanliness will be particularly welcome.

Call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can help on either day.

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* Storage urgently needed
Quite apart from the flooding of the sheds in Gosport and Hamble this week, it is becoming increasingly urgent for OYT South to find some new storage space for equipment used during the refit, and spares for the sailing season. We really need a 20-foot container, or similar, preferably in the Hamble or Southampton area if at all possible – can anyone help?

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* OYT South General Manager recruitment
The deadline for applications for the post of General Manager is today (Friday 14th March). Thank you very much to all those who have applied for the post. We will be completing the shortlisting process over the next few days and hope to be issuing invitations to interview very shortly.

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* 2008 bookings - including short notice vacancies
Owing to a group cancellation, we now have a full voyage available for 12 people: 21-24 April, starting and finishing in Southampton. We are very anxious to get this voyage filled again, otherwise it risks cancellation - please help! It's only £185 per person; but bursaries may be available if people cannot afford even this much. Please contact the office NOW if you or anyone you know might be interested. We could sell this as an adult voyage if we cannot fill it with under-25s.
Complete vacancies list:

16-20 April: Southampton, £255, 1 place available.
21-24 April: Southampton, £185, 12 places left tbc (we have had a group booking enquiry, not yet confirmed).
5-9 May: Poole to Southampton, £255, 5 places left.
20-22 June (weekend): Southampton, £150, 6 places left (over-18s only).
13-20 July: Falmouth to Liverpool, £420. At least 1 and possibly 5 places left, depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed.
11-22 August: Bergen to Den Helder, £660, 1 place left for Tall Ships Race 2.
8-13 Sept: Southampton, £315, 12 places left.
15-19 September: Southampton, £275, 12 places available.

If you can't find what you want on this availability list, do please keep checking the voyage programme as new vacancies keep coming up as provisional reservations aren't confirmed.

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
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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2009 sailing programme

We are just in the process of preparing our 2009 sailing programme. If you have any very specific requirements for a voyage in 2009 - for example, a school might want a voyage to fit into a scheduled Activities Week - do let us know as soon as possible, and we'll try to write something suitable into the programme.

Just to get you excited in advance for summer 2009: we are hoping to take part in another Tall Ships race series in the Baltic. This will involve a number of voyages in June designed to get us to the start in Poland in early July (crew changeover ports still to be decided). We will then race from Gdynia to St Petersburg, in Russia, followed by a cruise to Turku, Finland, and then another race to Klaipeda, Lithuania, arriving in early August. We will then have a series of voyages in August to bring John Laing back to the UK (again, crew changeover ports still to be decided, though we are tempted by Copenhagen at some point…).

If you might be interested in taking part in any of this - and especially if you might want to make a full group booking - do talk to us now about options. We are also considering making one of the voyages in June, on the way to Poland, an adult voyage - worth considering for over-25s who don't normally get this sort of chance to sail to more exciting places with us!

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Gerald Micklem Charitable Trust for a donation of £2,000.

Although the refit is almost over, the bills will keep coming in for some time yet, so the fundraising task goes on. 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) - which has recently been updated.

Once the refit bills are paid, three fundraising priorities remain: bursary funding to help young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; the New Boat Project; and we’ll need to start fundraising for refit 2008-9!

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* Tom Sage retirement
Readers who have been involved with OYT South for several years may remember Tom Sage, formerly one of our relief skippers. Recently Tom has been doing most of his sailing with OYT Scotland; but he has now decided that, at the age of 65, it is time to give up sailing with the Ocean Youth Trust.

Tom wrote to say that, having been involved since 1973, he has probably spent more time sailing in the OYT South area than anywhere else, and would like to thank everyone he knows in the area for their friendship, help and support over the years.

Many thanks to Tom for all his efforts in the last 35 years, and we wish him a long and happy retirement!

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Volunteer sea staff training (on board John Laing)
The April and May sea staff training and induction voyages are now FULL. I'll advertise places here if anyone drops out.

We do have 5 or 6 spaces left for the September staff training voyage: 19-21 Sept (£150). Email me for bookings.

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“Working with young people” course
Brian Eyres and Steve Lacey are offering a FREE pilot course on “Working with young people”, on Saturday 12th April in the Gosport office, 11am to 4pm, open to all OYT South sea staff. Email, or call 01929 401696 (evenings only) if you are interested.

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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.

Andy Brown and David Shannon are making progress with plans for a Plymouth / SW support group: between them they have significant experience, but both work away from home quite a bit and are now looking for someone else, who may be around a bit more, to help them pull things together. If others in the area would like to get involved, email Andy
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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Core refit team - long-term volunteers needed
One of the key factors in this year's refit has been the presence of volunteers who have been able to give us several weeks or months - in one case, almost the whole refit - providing vital continuity and developing experience on board. We shall be recruiting at least two full-time volunteers for the next refit, November 2008 to March 2009, so if you are considering a gap year or career break, why not think about joining the team next year?

See here for details. Email me to express an interest and for more information.

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people - or make new friends
See here for online opportunities to meet other John Laing enthusiasts.

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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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Website updates
There is an Updates page on this website, so you can see at a glance everything that has recently changed on the site.

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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 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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The Directors of Ocean Youth Trust South
hereby give formal notice that the
Ocean Youth Trust South
Annual General Meeting
will take place on

Friday 4 April 2008 at 19.00 hrs

At OYT South Office, 8, North Meadow,
Weevil Lane, Gosport PO12 1BP


1.                  Welcome

2                   Apologies of absence received

3                   Minutes of last meeting 18 February 2007

4                   Chairman's Report

5                   Treasurer's Report, presentation of accounts for year ending 31 October                      2007

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. You may become a member on the night by appropriate application and payment.

Nominations for election to the board of Trustees must be received at the office at 8 North Meadow, Weevil Lane, Gosport PO12 1BP by close of play on Friday 21st March. This should include a brief outline of the nominee’s background and what they would bring to the benefit of the Trust, which will be circulated to members before the meeting, as well as a formal, signed, statement of the nominee’s willingness to stand for election.

Light refreshments will be available before the commencement of the meeting.

Any item you wish to be raised at the AGM must be forwarded in writing 7 days prior to meeting.
Please advise the office (Tel: 0845 365 6781 or e-mail if you will be able to attend as this will allow us to make appropriate arrangements.

Thank you.

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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