Refit helpers do it in confined spaces


OYT South bulletin 25th January 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Last few chances to sail on Tall Ships races
Assuming all provisional bookings are confirmed, there are just FOUR places left for any crew members (aged 15-25) still hoping to sail in the Tall Ships race series this summer (see here for more information). If you are hoping to come, book soon or risk missing out!

Race 1: Liverpool to Måløy (Norway), £840, 20 July to 3 Aug - 2 places left
Cruise in company: Måløy to Bergen - FULL
Race 2: Bergen (Norway) to Den Helder (Netherlands), £660, 11-22 Aug - 2 places left

Contact the office to book.  

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* Training weekend 2/3 Feb - places available
We started with 79 places available on training courses and, despite some recent cancellations, we have sold 71. Can anyone help us fill the last 8? I’m happy to open them to non-OYT South people, so please feel free to spread the word.

Courses left are:

RYA one-day First Aid: Sat 2 Feb, Gosport, £40 – one place left
RYA Basic Sea Survival: Sat 2 Feb, Universal Marina, £70 – one place left
RYA one-day GMDSS (radio licence): Sun 3 Feb, Gosport, £50 and £22 exam fee – one place left
RYA one-day Radar: Sun 3 Feb, Gosport, £50 – two places left
Basic Food Hygiene: Sun 3 Feb, Gosport, £40 – three places left

Contact me to book and for full joining instructions.  

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* Training weekend 2/3 Feb - please pay for courses and order meals - URGENT ACTION NEEDED
If you have booked on any of the training courses, you should now have received your joining instructions - please email me now if you haven't got them!

Everyone except those on the GMDSS course MUST pay in advance (phone the office with a credit card: 0845 365 6781). GMDSS people must pay on the day.

Anyone wanting to come to the meal on Saturday night who hasn’t already booked should phone Martin Skipper on 01305 761993 after 4pm or at weekends.
Everyone except the Sea Survival group (because they are in a different location) needs to have let Martin or me know whether you want the cheap lunch provided by the Sea Cadet Unit, Gosport (something like jacket potatoes with various fillings for around £4).  

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* Refit news
Many thanks to this week’s refit team: Wolf, Liz, Paul, Max Parsonson (who has become our second full-time volunteer and will be with us until the end of the refit while he waits to join the Navy in April), John Parkin, Craig, Rob Harwood, Matt Bland, Phil Runchman, and Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine.

Jobs done this week: the team is painting the mast cabin; the keel is now all filled where needed; the cockpit locker is finished; the heads bilges and centre bilge have had a first coat of paint; the mates’ and bosun’s cabin bilges have been primed, as has the workshop bilge; all the filling under the capping rail has been done; the dorade boxes have been painted; the workshop floor has been painted; the propeller shaft is back on; Chris has nearly finished his work on the generator; and Paul put the stern platform back together after wheeling all the bits down from the house in a marina trolley as practice for his next career as a rag-and-bone man.  

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* Refit help needed!
We do need lots of people over the next few weeks – there are very few people this weekend; we also need a lot more people for 9/10 Feb; and there are very few days at all between now and the end of refit when the boat has anything like its maximum number of volunteers.

Lots of people have been mentioning that they are planning to come and help, but haven't booked themselves in yet - please do so as soon as possible. There are lots of jobs that MUST be done before around 12 March, when we go back into the water. Last year, a number of people wanted to come to refit (to qualify for priority sea staff booking) but left it till the last minute, only to find themselves turned away because the boat did eventually get too full of people - while we had been desperate for more help a couple of weeks earlier. So please DON’T LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE!

Please call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can come, and do leave a message if he doesn't answer, as he'll always call you back. We really need you!
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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* Financial appeal
Thanks this week to TMI for a timely donation to enable us to take advantage of a special one-off clearance price for new crew oilskins.

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).   

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* 2008 bookings
Berths currently available:

11-15 April: Southampton, £255, 1 or 2 places left.
16-20 April: Southampton, £255, 2 places left.
5-9 May, Poole to Southampton, £255, 5 places left.
20-22 June (weekend), Southampton, £150, 4 places left (over-18s only).
20 July to 3 Aug, Liverpool to Måløy (Norway), £840, 2 places left (Tall Ships Race 1)
11-22 Aug: Bergen (Norway) to Den Helder (Netherlands), £660, 2 places left (Tall Ships Race 2)
5-7 Sept (weekend): Southampton, £145, 12 places left.
8-13 Sept: Southampton, £315, places left tbc.
12-16 Oct: Southampton, £250, 12 places left.
17-19 Oct (weekend): Southampton, £115, 12 places left.
20-24 Oct: Southampton, £250, places tbc.

If you can't find what you want, do please keep checking the voyage programme as new vacancies keep coming up as we adjust the programme to meet clients' needs, or because 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
Small Ships race
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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Sea staff bookings and assessments 2008 - REPLIES NEEDED
Qualified sea staff: please email me any dates when you would like to sail in 2008, as I've started putting the mates' sailing list together. I’ll be seeing a lot of people at the training weekend in February so if you aren’t going to be there, let me know what you want a.s.a.p. or you may find I’ve allocated voyages to other people.

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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Volunteer sea staff training (on board John Laing)
We’re back at the stage of both of the first two training voyages for new and existing sea staff being potentially full (the weekend 25-27 April 2008 (£150) and a longer voyage, 29 April - 4 May (£275)), depending on whether or not the last few provisional bookings are confirmed. I have a waiting list for both, but I’ll let people know if there are any spaces left after I’ve heard back from the people I have been chasing.

People confirmed on either of these voyages should be paying a deposit now.

We do have some spaces left for the September staff training voyage: 19-21 Sept (£150).

Email me to book or confirm on any of these voyages.

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* Chris Ellis award winners 2007
This is a prize created by the founder of the Ocean Youth Club, which offers our crew members the chance to win money towards the cost of another voyage by entering a piece of written work or artwork based on sailing with us.

Judging has just taken place for the award based on accounts of voyages in 2007, and the OYT South prize was split between two people, with Flossy Elford taking the major prize and Helier Heath the runner-up. Many congratulations to both of them and we look forward to sailing with them again.

Anyone booked to sail in 2008 might like to start thinking about how they could enter for the next Chris Ellis Award!  

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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 is interested in helping to set up a Plymouth / SW support group if others in the area would like to get involved - email Andy if you might be interested.
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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Job advertisement: OYT South General Manager

See here to find out more about plans for this job, and how to make enquiries or an initial expression of interest. A formal job advertisement will be published shortly.

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* Core refit team - long-term volunteers needed
We now have our two full-time volunteers in place until the end of the refit; but we are still keen to meet people who can come and help for longer than a few days at a time – it’s always good to have people who can really settle into a job and follow it through from start to finish, and it certainly saves time. If you are not working over the winter and might be interested in a longer stint at 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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Trustees needed
OYT South is run by a Board of Directors consisting of a number of unpaid Trustees. The Trustees are responsible for setting the charity's strategy and priorities, overseeing the management of the Trust, and ensuring good governance. The Charity Commission website has some good guidance on the duties and responsibilities of Trustees.

Trustees are elected by members at OYT South's AGM - the next one is Friday 4th April, 7 for 7.30pm, to be followed by a glass of wine in the new Gosport office.

The Trust is actively seeking to strengthen the Board by adding a number of new Trustees at this AGM. The present Trustees bring considerable expertise in terms of sailing, sail training and youth work; but as we entering a period of significant change and growth, we urgently need people with experience of business, management, finance, strategic development, marketing and PR. Anyone interested should email the chairman, Martin Skipper.

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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 now 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