Refit November 2010


OYT South bulletin 19th November 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Shorebased training February 2011 - details announced
At last we are able to announce some details for our shorebased training weekend on February 5th and 6th 2011, in Gosport. There’s a new web page which will give you dates, prices and details. Basically we hope to run first aid, diesel, lifejacket packing and possibly food hygiene as well on the Saturday (perhaps with an option for people to fit in both food and lifejackets as they are shorter courses - the others are all full-day options). On Sunday there should be radar, possibly GMDSS if we get some more people wanting it, and maybe a second diesel course if we get too many people asking for it on Saturday.

A final option, running on both days, is that we have some very good news on youth work courses: Fairbridge Training (part of the organisation which operates Spirit of Fairbridge as a sail training vessel) can offer properly accredited youthwork courses which are exactly what we need. There is some compulsory pre- and post-course work to get the qualification but they have had very good feedback from people who have done it so far. If we can get enough people, we propose to run two different courses on the Saturday and Sunday, so you can do both if you wish or else just pick the date which doesn’t clash with your other preferred course.

Have a look at the web page and email me to let me know what you want. As soon as we have enough people to guarantee that any course can run, we will send confirmation to the people who have places and ask for payment.

As last year, you will also be able to book lunch on both days, dinner on Saturday, and cheap overnight accommodation (mattresses on the floor) if needed.

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* Vote for OYT Scotland for the People’s Millions!
Our friends in OYT Scotland are on the shortlist to win £50,000 from the People’s Millions, with a project called Sea Change in Young People, next Monday 22nd November - but they need telephone votes to win! This is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and ITV, with different finalists in each ITV region - but you don’t need to live in Scotland in order to vote for OYT Scotland. The phone number will be announced at 9am next Monday 22nd November here. You can vote from 9am till midnight and calls cost 10p from a landline. Please do help OYT Scotland if you can!

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* RYA successes for OYT South!
Skipper James Boyce has been away this week doing some training and assessment from which he has emerged as an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor - huge congratulations to him! At the same time, two of our watch leaders, Clare Thorpe and Andrew Wilkes, also qualified as Cruising Instructors - well done to them too.

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* Refit news
A chilly week at refit - John Laing had to have the deck de-iced on Tuesday before anyone could work. The scaffolding is up but the tent isn’t there yet as it was delayed by the windy weather. Once the vessel is tented it will be possible to get a little more warmth going inside. This is obviously designed so that paint, filler etc. go off - human comfort is merely a useful by-product!

Last weekend Ian Slocombe, who came on the 41 Club voyage last month, very kindly came back to PAT-test all our electrical equipment to make sure it is all safe to use. Top of the list of course was the kettle; but after he had done all the power tools, extension cables etc. he had apparently covered 67 items - all of which passed! Many thanks to him and Kirsten for looking after things on Saturday.

Lots of small jobs this week including plenty of preparation for later major jobs. The headlining has been taken down in the forward area so it can be cleaned underneath; the lettering has been removed from one side of the hull; various areas have been sheeted off to protect them from dust; Ratseys have taken some sails away for cleaning and repair; a few barnacles have been ground off; the skipper’s cabin has been cleared; the seacocks have all been exercised; the fender skirt lines have been spliced; some paint has been delivered by International Paint (another generous donation - thank you very much); the bilge pumps have been serviced; and the team has started some angle grinding in the forward areas. Many thanks to Sparky, Kirsten, Fiona, Audrey, Elizabeth and Peter Brennan. We also had lots of visitors to refit this week, including Wolf, and Drinda plus her team of girls who had done a voyage in September - great to see everyone!

We now need volunteers on weekdays generally, except for the Christmas and New Year period (likely to be around 23 December to 3 January); and also on the following volunteer weekends:

4/5th December
15/16th January
5/6th March

If you are over 18, you are welcome to book yourself in for a weekend, a few days or a week or more. If you are aged 16 or 17, particularly current or prospective relief bosuns, you need to discuss refit bookings with the skipper - we would like to have you along but we need to be able to arrange some supervision while you work. Sadly we cannot have under-16s at refit.

Volunteers all get free food, and accommodation in the refit house, two and a half miles by car from the refit site in Hamble, or a bit less across the common by bike.

Email or call the boat phone on 07990 518915 to book yourself in for a refit weekend or to discuss weekday volunteering. We really hope to see all volunteer sea staff over the winter! Our last major refit saw 55 volunteers give a total of 572 days to the refit - can we beat that this year?

We also need lots of small items for the refit, many costing just a pound or two, such as bin bags! See here for complete list - can you donate something?

See here for more refit details. And see here for a report that was written for one of our key refit donors outlining some of the major work being done, with a provisional budget.

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* Chris Ellis Award - deadline extended!
The deadline for the Chris Ellis award has been extended to Christmas to give us a chance of getting a few more entries. It is very much worth trying as you stand a good chance of winning! Chris Ellis 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 Christmas - either emailed to me, or by post to the office, marked "Chris Ellis award entry".

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* Voyages for young people in 2011
We’ve had a big rush on bookings recently - lots of voyages filling up very fast, especially in school holidays, so do think now if you want to sail next year and haven’t yet booked anything!

See here for the voyage programme, with prices, dates, details and latest availability. You can also look here for our big summer adventure - not only the Tall Ships race series but some exciting voyages either side. Contact the office with enquiries or to make a booking.

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Financial appeal
We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries - please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, 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. Don't forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form we can claim back tax on your donation.

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OYC/T 50th anniversary follow-up
A page has been created on our website following our hugely successful 50th anniversary event. See here to download a copy of the event brochure - including a wonderful to history of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust; or a copy of the leaflet about OYT South’s proposed new sail training vessel, details of which were launched at the event; or to order a 50th anniversary t-shirt; or a copy of the 50th anniversary commemorative print by marine artist Colin Baxter; or copies of event leaflets on how to get involved with us.

We hope to add more information to this page in due course, including copies of speeches, photos (if you were at the event, do please send in any good pictures), and perhaps the chance to buy DVD copies of some of the archive films shown on the night.

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Volunteer training 2011
Volunteers' training voyages for 2011 are:

1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170 - 7 places left
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380 - 8 places left
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 12 places left

Email me to book.

These voyages are suitable for qualified mates who want a bit more practice; for new volunteers who are hoping to join our sea staff; and for any other adults who just want to see how we work and what is involved in sailing with us.

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people
We use a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other. People can swap stories, post photos and more. For some overseas voyages, we will even set up online groups well in advance, restricted only to people who will actually be sailing on that particular voyage, so that people can compare travel plans and arrange to travel together. See here for how to join.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.

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Survey - tell us what you think
If you have recently completed a voyage, please help us by filling in our web-based survey. It really helps - we use the data to keep improving our voyages, and to help us raise funds!

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 New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our e-newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday. It includes a wide range of news from the boat and from the charity, including details of voyages available for young people; adult voyages; opportunities for adult volunteers both ashore and afloat, and much more. We find that while some people read the bulletin almost every week, many others dip in and out, and read it when it's convenient - which is why some items are repeated. The new items are marked with an asterisk * so that if you did read it last week, you can see which sections you can safely skip.

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 need an introduction to the work of OYT South, you should find a lot of useful information on our website. But essentially, we are a registered charity (no. 1079959) which exists to offer adventure under sail as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 12-25, from the widest possible range of backgrounds. A high proportion of our young crew members are disadvantaged or deserving in some way: many of these sail in groups organised by other charities, youth clubs, special schools and so on, and will fill the bulk of our term-time voyages. But those from more fortunate backgrounds are also welcome to sail, either in groups or by coming as individuals on a mixed voyage. Every year we run a variety of shorter local voyages plus longer adventure trips - including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here - and this section is also useful for adults who are thinking of organising a voyage for a young person. Adults planning to organise a full group voyage should also see here. Adults who want to sail themselves should see here.

We have a professional staff skipper and bosun, but our watch leaders are normally all volunteers, who combine sailing skills with an interest in working with young people. You can find more information here - how the system works, how to join, and profiles of existing staff and volunteers.  

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please see here. To help with the vessel's annual refit, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, see here.

It is a very expensive business maintaining a boat, running an office and employing staff. If you want to help us, please become a member of OYT South. Or see here for information on making a donation.

If you have any questions, please do email - or contact the office.

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“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte