John Laing


OYT South bulletin 18th September 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

David Salmon retirement
As most readers will know, David Salmon is retiring this autumn, having been General Manager of OYT South since March 2000, and previously assistant Fleet Manager of the Ocean Youth Club. His last day in the office will be at the end of September; but we will be arranging an opportunity for people to say thank you, goodbye and best wishes to David around the end of the current sailing season. However, if you would like to contribute to David’s leaving present, please send cheques payable to Ocean Youth Trust South c/o Martin Skipper, 44 Chamberlain Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9EY.

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Refit 2008-9
Plans are now developing for the 2008-9 refit which starts on Monday 3 November 2008 and ends on Friday 20 March 2009.

For background information on OYT South refits, see here.

For specific plans for the 2008-9 refit, including the budget, see here (pdf).

As well as major items costing hundred or even thousands of pounds, we also need huge numbers of small refit items, many costing as little as £2 – paintbrushes, tape, gloves, sandpaper and so on. See here for a complete list. Can you donate any of the items on this list? Please think about it NOW – skipper Wolf needs to put in an order before the refit gets underway. Call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can buy an item from the list; or call the office on 0845 365 6781 with your credit card to make a contribution. If everyone reading this bulletin gives just £5, we can buy the whole list. Please also tell us if you know of any sources for discounted items on the list!

We shall be needing the usual volunteers to help at refit – details will be announced nearer the time for those who want to come for days, weekends or short periods; but if you might be available for a longer period of a few weeks or even months, see here for details on the core refit team, and email me now if you might be interested. We have had some excellent applicants already so don’t leave it too late if you want to be considered.

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* Financial appeal
As you will see from the refit project document, we do need substantial funding this winter. Please help if you possibly can: so many people get such a huge amount out of sailing in John Laing, but it really is a tremendously expensive business keeping her going. If you care about keeping John Laing in good condition to go sailing, please make a donation, however large or small. See here for how to make a donation - you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can.

Huge thanks this week to Veryan Ltd and to Peter Kellner for extremely generous donations towards refit, and also to Hampshire County Council for a donation towards bursaries.

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* Fundraising sub-committee
We are setting up a small sub-committee to look at ways of raising our fundraising game. If you think you might like to get involved, or just want to know more, please email me now!

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* Sea staff needed this season
Thanks to people who have helped fill a few of the sea staff vacancies. There are now just 2 or 3 spaces left:

12-16 October: I need a reserve third mate or bosun. The person who has booked this berth can’t be sure she can make it till she has her university timetable at the end of this month, so I really need to have someone lined up in case she really can’t make it.

25 Oct to 2 November: first mate definitely needed.

30 Oct to 2 November: third mate or second mate needed.

Email me if you can help.

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* Corporate, teambuilding or client day sails
Do you, or does anyone you know, work for a company which does team-building, client days, staff activity away days or anything similar? Do you do golf days, go paintballing, take clients to the races? In most cases, the money your company pays for these days simply helps the organisation running the event. But if you do your corporate day with OYT South, the money goes directly towards providing voyages for disadvantaged children.

The next corporate day sails are Tuesday 28 April and/or Wednesday 29 April 2009, starting and finishing in Ocean Village, Southampton. Prices depend on what sort of package you want (a glass of champagne when you arrive on board, or a cup of tea?) but as a guide price, £150 per person or £1,800 for full group of 12. If someone wants to take both days and stay on board overnight, that can also be negotiated. Email me for more information.

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* Everyclick
You can raise money for OYT South just by searching the web, by using Everyclick instead of Google or any other search engine. It doesn’t cost either you or the charity anything at all; but half of the advertising revenue from Everyclick Search goes to charities chosen by you. Go to; click on “search the web”; then click on “start fundraising”. You will have to register, and set “Ocean Youth Trust South” as your chosen charity. It starts off as only a few pence, but if enough of us do it often enough, it could produce enough to buy some of the items on Wolf’s refit list!

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* Trustee(s) needed aged under 25
We have had one expression of interest from a potential Trustee aged under 25 – anyone else want to know more?

In recent years, Ocean Youth Trust South has always tried to ensure that at least one member of our Board of Trustees is under 25, in the same age range as the young people who sail on our voyages. The present under-25 Trustee, Phoebe Swatton, now has a job which makes it almost impossible for her to attend meetings, so she has offered to resign and we are now looking for a replacement.

If you are aged under 25, with a track record of involvement with OYT South, would you be interested in helping to run the charity? You will need to be able to attend evening meetings in the Southampton area. Full Board meetings take place four times a year, but there are also management meetings roughly every six weeks, and you would need to be able to attend a reasonable number of these. Email me for more information.

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* Chris Ellis award – win ££s towards sailing next year!
If you have enjoyed a voyage this year and would like to sail again in 2009, don’t forget the Chris Ellis award. Chris was one of the founders of the OYC in 1960 and he left a fund to be used to encourage crew members to produce a piece of work based on any OYT voyage. This can be a logbook, a diary, a picture, a story, computer art or whatever. OYT South can award up to £200 a year (to one entrant, or split between two or three individuals) in the form of a discount for a future voyage. Entries need to be in by the end of November – either emailed to me, or by post to the office, marked "Chris Ellis award entry".

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* Voyage news
The home education group voyage finished last weekend with a lot of happy and enthusiastic young people on board, and the sea staff still reeling from the effects of all the fantastic cakes they brought!

On Sunday we had a very successful day sail for a collection of people who all wanted to find out more about OYT South for various reasons: potential clients, sponsors, donors and volunteers, and people who have helped us in various ways over recent months or years. It turned out to be a lovely group of interested and enthusiastic people, with the only real drawback being a lack of wind. We did manage a little sailing, but most of the time we were motoring. Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable day, with plenty of people now interested in further involvement with our work. Thanks to sea staff Wolf, Brian Eyres, Mattie, Liz, Caz and especially Amanda Smith who spent all day in the galley!

This week has seen a mixed crew on board: six young people from Dorset, organised by Steve Lacey, plus three individuals, two of whom had sailed on other recent voyages. They went to west Cowes on Monday night and then had a hectic day of sail training in the Solent, practicing a wide range of manoeuvres, before ending up in Yarmouth. Yesterday they had a sunny sail to Weymouth with the wind conveniently on the beam, arriving at 6pm in time for lots of games and activities on board. And today they are heading back towards the Solent, expecting a long day with the wind against them – not what was forecast when they originally set off westwards! The crew are all working hard to complete RYA certificates, and they are all doing well. Thanks to sea staff Brian Eyres, Kerry McMillan, Liz, Steve Lacey and Jon Seddon.

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* Maintenance day Saturday 11th October, Southampton - help needed
Call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can come and help with maintenance on board John Laing.

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* Southampton Boat Show - thanks to all helpers
Thank you to all those people who have been working so hard on our Boat Show stand. The show continues until Sunday so if you haven’t yet been, do go and say hello to the team on the OYT South stand!

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Trinity House Career Development Bursaries for sail training
100% funding available for courses and qualifications ranging from Coastal Skipper to Master 3000tns. You need to be committed to Sail Training and have sailed with an ASTO member organisation (such as OYT South). Interviews to be held on 13th October, in Southampton. Visit ASTO's website or call 02392 503222 for more information.

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* 2009 bookings - crew aged 12-25
See here for details and prices for 2009 voyages.

Voyages are selling very fast, with bookings or enquiries for OVER HALF the places already. If you have reserved a voyage for 2009 and haven’t already confirmed your booking in writing (and either paid your deposit or agreed with our office when it will be paid), you need to do that NOW. We really don’t want to turn away other potential bookings and then find that provisional reservations aren’t confirmed

If you haven’t booked and you want to sail in school holidays (outside the Baltic Tall Ships period in the summer) or at weekends, you really need to look at the programme NOW: There are still hundreds of term time places and plenty of Baltic places available - do talk to us about your requirements. Contact the office.

If you can’t find what you want now, do please keep checking back on the list – additional voyages may become available if provisional reservations aren’t confirmed.

See here for details of Tall Ships 2009 (Poland, Russia, Finland and Lithuania in July and August), or one of the fantastic Baltic Adventure voyages before and after the festivals.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Bursary funding
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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Adult adventure voyages 2009
As you may have seen, we have been advertising some possibilities for very special adventure voyages for adults in 2009. We have now had a firm reservation for one of these voyages from a full group booking: 28 June to 4 July: Kiel to Gdynia (Poland), so unless any of this group drops out, this voyage is no longer available. However, we had received a number of enquiries from individuals interested in an adult voyage, who were waiting to hear if this group was going to confirm or not. Now that this voyage is full, we are looking at offering the previous voyage to adults as an alternative.

If there is sufficient interest, then 21-28 June, Ipswich to Kiel, will be offered to over-18s - please let us know if you would like to join this voyage. Weather permitting, this could be an excellent trip, with the Dutch inland waterways, or the Dutch and German islands - "Riddle of the Sands" country - all possible destinations along the way, plus a gentle cruise through the Kiel Canal.

While our priority is always to offer sailing to young people aged 12-25, this voyage falls during school term time and would generally be hard to sell to school-age crews; but a confirmed booking from a young group, if available, would take priority. Crew members of college or university age would of course be eligible to sail whether these become youth or adult voyages (and would be eligible for the Standard Crew price which applies to anyone aged 25 or under. The subsidy involved in this is not available to over-25s, who will be asked to pay rather more - please contact the office for details).

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Mates' training 2009
Training voyages for existing sea staff in 2009 will be as follows:

24-26 April 2009 (£150): third mates, less experienced second mates, and bosuns' weekend - 5 places left.
18-20 September 2009 (£150): first mates and more experienced second mates' weekend - 9 places left.

Email me to reserve a place on the appropriate weekend.

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2009 familiarisation voyage for new volunteers
19-24 April 2009 (£300): five day voyage for new prospective volunteers.

With only 12 places now available for new people, we will offer berths to those who seem to have the most potential to contribute to OYT South's work - good youth work skills or other relevant experience, as well as sailing skills, and / or a willingness to be involved in vessel maintenance or other activities, and enough free time to be effective volunteers. We would still like to encourage anyone interested to apply for this voyage, but we won't make firm bookings until early next year - which gives interested volunteers a chance to meet us, come to refit etc., before we allocate places.

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Essential information for sea staff - fog navigation and MOB recovery
Skipper Wolf has asked that all sea staff take a look at a recent document produced by the MCA about fog navigation - a really good summary and reminder. You can download a PDF here, or read the same document on the MCA website here.

Also, if you haven't already seen this, John Laing now has a Dacon recovery system as one of the options available for the skipper to use to recover a man overboard. A document describing how to rig and use the Dacon, with photographs showing an exercise on board John Laing, is in the members-only section of this website. This is essential reading for all sea staff as you need to know how this system works before the next time you sail. If you have forgotten your password to the members-only section, please email me now!

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Local support groups – new officers needed for Southampton group
The Southampton Support Group has been dormant for a number of years, though it does still have a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer with a bank account. The individuals involved still support OYT South in their own ways and will continue to do so; but it has been decided that new officers should take over the group and any OYT South member interested (and they do not need to live in Southampton) should contact Peter Hughes (chairman) on 023 80842165 or If there is interest in people taking over the group by mid-September, it is proposed an AGM is called in October to formalise the transfers. If there is no interest the group will be formally closed, with the remaining funds transferred to OYT South.
Other OYT South support groups – always looking for new members – are:

London: Rob Dickinson.
Dorset: Dave “Tigger” Heffer
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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Keep in touch with other John Laing people - or make new friends (and talk to plants)
See here for online opportunities to meet other John Laing enthusiasts. Facebook users please note that John Laing’s plant, Wilt, now has a profile in his own right, under the name Wilt Hangs. Add him as a friend if you like talking to plants.

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