Saints crew at sea!


OYT South bulletin 2nd October 2015

In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Prolific maintenance - help needed - another big week next week!

Big thanks to everyone who has been helping on board Prolific this week - the booms came off, the running rigging is off, washed and stored, the new batteries have been commissioned and the battery display fitted, the mattresses have gone to the office, and the standing rigging has been prepped for the masts to come down. Big thanks to Chris R, Chris W, John Niven, Jo Coomber, Juley Simmonds, Marcus Hardiman, Martin Lampard, Di Roberts, Steve Lacey and Tim Bayley for hard work this week.

Lots more help needed next week and in the weeks to come - please let us know if you can spare any time on weekdays! The current plan is to go down to Hamble Point on Tuesday, get the masts out on Wednesday and secure them on deck before heading back to Ocean Village that evening; then spend Thursday and Friday taking kit off the boat before lifting Prolific out of the water on 9th October or as soon as possible after that.

The refit continues once the boat is out of the water so if you have any weekday availability over the next few months, please email including your phone number and any details of when you are available. Please also let us know if you have any technical skills or boat maintenance experience - these will obviously be useful but not essential as there will also be days when the help needed is more about things like moving gear around! Please note that we cannot have under-18s involved at refit (except for an official trainee bosun weekend which will be planned over the winter, when we can ensure there is adequate supervision and safety for 16 and 17-year olds).

As well as casual helpers, we'll also still be looking tor a core refit team for the winter. Are you planning a gap year, or not working over the autumn and winter for any other reason? Would you like to join our core refit team between November and March (ideally the full four and half months, but otherwise for at least a month during that time - and with a possibility of starting earlier if appropriate)? Food and accommodation provided as well as valuable experience in boat maintenance which in previous years has helped many people move into paid sailing work. If you think you might be interested in a full;-time role, details and an “expression of interest” form to complete are available here. There will be opportunities for effective members of the core refit team to sail on board next season.

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* Refit accommodation needed
Once Prolific is out of the water, we need somewhere for staff and volunteers to live while working on her - does anyone own or know of a three- or four-bedroom house that might be available to us for an affordable rent in the Southampton area? Email

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John Laing voyage news
Last weekend was the annual voyage for Parkside School, one of the youngest crews each year but who traditionally cover more miles in a short voyage than any other group! They joined on Saturday and after briefings they set off, sailed through the night and arrived in Le Havre at lunchtime on Sunday. They spent the afternoon visiting the beach, playing games etc., and were back on board to cook and eat fajitas for dinner. On Monday they were up before dawn to enjoy watching the moon set and the sun rise at the same time. Then they raced back across the Channel at speeds of up to 12 knots and were in the Solent in time for supper. The wind died on the last stretch and they ghosted uo Southampton Water and back to Ocean Village. Next day they cleaned the boat and went back to school probably exhausted but having achieved a huge amount in a short time! Big thanks to sea staff Nic, Rooby, Jon, Hamish, Harri and Sara.

This week’s voyage, starting on Wednesday, involves young people organised through the Saints Foundation at Southampton Football Club - nine young people from local schools plus two excellent staff. They went from Southampton to Gosport on the first night, ending the evening under an amazing moon, and moored alongside what appeared to be a pirate ship. Yesterday they had a fantastic sail to Poole with a good following breeze, arriving in time for a late dinner and a round of extreme washing up. This morning they had some shore leave before setting off again. They are due in Cowes this afternoon along with a lot of other sail training vessels crewed by young people, and tomorrow they will be taking part in the ASTO Small Ships Race in the Solent. Unfortunately the forecast for the race is currently for no wind...and fog... Big thanks to this week’s sea staff: Mark, Clare, Emily, Stuart and Harri - as well as Jack who is joining to help with the race!

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* Sea staff needed for November day sails
2 and 3 November - experienced John Laing sea staff needed for day sails - preference given to people who can do both days but we're happy to hear from people who can do one or the other. As in previous years, we are offering these days through the RYA to Cruising Instructors and Yachtmaster Instructors who are interested in a day's experience in a larger vessel than many of them normally sail. We'll also be hoping to recruit some skilled and experienced new volunteers who would like to sail in Prolific! So we need a strong team of sea staff to help us run these day sails.

If you can help, please email

RYA instructors who have applied for places on these days - we've had a huge amount of interest and will be getting back to you all next week so let you know who has a place on one of these day sails. We hope that all those we can't fit in may be able to get involved with us in other ways!

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* Berths available in 2015 for young people
The last few places still available in John Laing this year:

19-23 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 5 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 1 or 2 berths possibly available -age 12-25 - £350pp - half term voyage.

For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here - or here for 2016!

Email with bookings or enquiries.

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OYT South AGM 7th November - and curry - book now!

OYT South's 2015 AGM will take place on Saturday 7th November at The Southampton Seafarers Centre, 12-14 Queens Terrace, Southampton SO14 3BP. The official AGM mailing will go out to paid-up members on or around 12th October but in the meantime you can find more details here, including a link to book and pay for the curry evening after the meeting, in a local restaurant - BOOK NOW!

If anyone might be interested in standing for election to the Board of Trustees (including Youth Trustees aged 25 or under), please email and we can arrange for an informal chat about what might be required. Please note that the Board's primary role is about governance, not active day-to-day management of the charity; but new Trustees with strong links to major donors, for example, might be welcome! If you are thinking of standing for election, we'll need you to return a formal proposal by 9th October in order to include you in the mailing to members. If you are interested in shorebased support for the charity outside the governance role - e.g. helping us attract new clients, improving what we offer to young people etc. - then we certainly welcome your involvement but being on the Board may not be the best way to do this unless in a specific role such as Youth Trustee - please get in touch and we can discuss what might be possible!

Please keep the AGM date free! Only members can vote at the AGM - join now.

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* February 2016 training weekend
The traditional OYT South winter shorebased training weekend will take place on 20 and 21 February 2016 in the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport. We’re looking at offering RYA First Aid (Saturday though we may be able to run a second course on Sunday if there’s a lot of interest); RYA Diesel (could be either day, or both); RYA Radar (could be either day but not both); GMDSS assessments (this is a practical session following an online course which you can do at home) (assessments could be either day); chart corrections (Saturday - maybe Sunday as well tbc); and a Fire Marshall course covering things such as fire prevention and use of extinguishers etc. We could also look at offering some kind of youthwork course if there are enough people not involved in other courses.

In most cases, we need to make sure there will be enough interest before we can confirm the instructor bookings, so do let me know which course(s) you want to do. First Aid, Radar and Diesel cost in the range £70-£75, youthwork if we run anything should be cheaper, and chart corrections is free; GMDSS cost £100 last year, including online course, radio licence and exam fee; and Fire depends on the number of participants but is likely to be around £100.

There will be the usual very cheap and basic accommodation (boat mattresses on the floor in the Sea Cadet Unit) for those who want, food, and a great social evening on the Saturday.

Email and let us know what you’d like to do.

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Huge thanks once again to everyone who has been contributing to the Prolific Appeal to ensure that we can do all the work needed to bring our new boat Prolific into service. It has been incredibly heartwarming to see so many people giving what they can afford - some really generous donors making very significant contributions but also some people who genuinely don't have much money putting in £5, £10 or £20 just so they can feel part of the project. If you haven't yet contributed, PLEASE help us now! The new boat project has been going for so long but the end is really in sight, we are so nearly there, and your contribution could just get us over the line.

Itextf you were thinking of donating to OYT South's New Boat Appeal but thought that your contribution couldn't make enough difference to the overall total, or you planned to donate as we came closer to completing, NOW is the moment when we need you to help us complete the work on Prolific. Your contribution, however large or small, is really needed so PLEASE give us whatever you can afford! Prolific needs items ranging from sails at a few thousand pounds each, down to small things costing under a hundred pounds. If you are ever going to make a donation, NOW is the time to do so. If you'd like to see Prolific sailing with an Ocean Youth Trust South crew and be able to feel that you were part of the project, please do give something, however large or small. £1,000, £100, £50 or even £10 will mean that you had a hand in making this work, and even young crew members can be involved! The Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust has 55 years' history as a charity to which hundreds and even thousands of individuals have a lasting commitment and an emotional connection. Prolific will be joining this fine tradition so please become a part of it, take your share in the project and welcome Prolific to the OYT family by contributing to the appeal. If you are part of OYT South, Prolific will be YOUR boat so please help us to get her ready! Anything you can give really will make a difference. See here for how to donate, or click below to donate online:

Please donate NOW while you are thinking about it - don’t be left regretting that you weren’t involved in getting this lovely boat working with us!

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2016 DRAFT sailing programme
There is a draft sailing programme for Prolific in 2016. It is not too late to try and alter some of the dates, durations and ports to suit you, as long as it doesn't clash with the needs of other clients. If you are thinking of making a booking for 2016, or you would like to discuss ideas and options, please contact Please also let us know if you spot any mistakes on the draft programme!

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Help us fill berths in Prolific next season

If you know anyone who either works directly with young people (teachers, youthworkers, social workers, charity staff, club organisers etc), or who is involved with an organisation which supports young people such as a local council, please print out a copy of this leaflet for them, and encourage them to think about whether they know anyone who would benefit from sailing in Prolific - and then get in touch with us!

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John Laing’s final maintenance day - please help

John Laing's final planned maintenance day is:

Sunday 11 October - Southampton (Ocean Village).

Call the boat phone 07990 518915 a few days beforehand so the skipper can plan jobs and buy food for everyone who is coming. All over-18s welcome - skilled and unskilled, there are jobs for everyone. If you are aged 16 or 17, then check with the skipper - we'll generally have you at maintenance days if we can but it slightly depends on who is there and what needs doing. PLEASE put the date in your diary and come and help if you possibly can! Maintenance days run from 9am to 5pm and it is usually possible to offer accommodation on board for the night before or after.

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Harri’s leaving present
You may know that in recent years we have offered a Staff Bosun role on a two-year contract to allow people to develop skills and experience in both sailing and vessel maintenance before hopefully moving on to more senior roles elsewhere. This means that Harri is approaching the end of her two years with us. In recognition of all her hard work, we have opened a fund for her leaving present - see here for how to contribute. Please give generously!

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New Staff Engineer!
A big welcome to Josh Caudery who will be joining us in November as Prolific’s Staff Engineer! Many of you will know Josh, a qualified marine engineer who became involved with John Laing’s refits during his apprenticeship and has also done a number of voyages as relief bosun and more recently completed a third mate assessment. We are delighted that Josh has decided to join us full-time and he will be a great addition to the team.

As Prolific is larger and more technically complex than John Laing, it was agreed that the Staff Bosun role should give way to someone with more engineering and electrical skills, and as previously noted in this bulletin we will be looking for volunteer relief engineers to cover when Josh is not on board (our staff work on a pattern of approximately four weeks on and two off). If you have a strong technical background, experience in marine engineering and, in particular, electrical skills (qualifications such as a BTEC or City & Guilds in electrical engineering, for example) and you would be interested in sailing for a few weeks in 2016, please email Ideally we'll be looking to get potential relief engineers involved in Prolific's refit over the coming months so Josh can build a good team who all have some familiarity with the boat.

For all those young people who have qualified or been recommended as relief bosuns this season, don’t worry - we still need you! The plan is to get you sailing as bosun’s mates - supporting Josh and his team but also helping the other mates and developing your skills. Some of you may be more technically minded and will be interested in working up towards the relief engineer role; others may be less into engineering and electrical stuff and will want to learn more on the sailing side with the aim of becoming watchleaders. But the bosun’s mate role will continue to be the entry-level position for those aged 16 and upwards who have earned a recommendation to join our volunteers. As Prolific has more berths than John Laing, there should actually be more opportunities for young volunteers and trainee sea staff in future!

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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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Powerboat Level 2 course
Does anyone want a Powerboat Level 2 qualification (needed to drive John Laing’s dinghy with an outboard engine)? One of our volunteers who is a Powerboat instructor has offered to put together a course just for us but it needs three participants available for a 2-day course. Let me know if you might be interested and I will put you in contact with each other in the hope that you can sort out suitable dates between you.

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OYT South branded clothing

T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here - do have a look!

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Child Protection and Food Hygiene ttraining

All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training (updated every three years) before booking any voyage.

If you have done a course in the last three years, please email us with the name of the course, the awarding body, and the date of the training, and we'll add that to your records.

If you still need training, we recommend Child Protection in Sport and Active Leisure which you can do very cheaply online and in your own time. It's not complicated or time-consuming - you should be able to complete it in a couple of hours and some people are getting through it much faster.

The online training page not only gives OYT South members access to child protection training at the bargain price of £10: that single one-off payment gives you access to a range of recommended courses. This includes Food Hygiene: we are moving towards making this a compulsory qualification for all sea staff so we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that people get on and do it NOW! If you already have a food hygiene certificate that we don't know about, please email a copy to the office and we will add it to your records.

The system for these online courses is very straightforward - each course is broken into a number of short modules and you just have to read each module and then answer some questions about it. You can save a course at any point and come back later to where you left off. They are all recognised courses and you will get a certificate for each one you complete successfully. We can see at a glance who has signed up and who has completed a course.

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Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
Raise And Sail is a section of this website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.

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Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - do have a look and sign up if you want the qualification.

For those of you who want something a little more advanced, one of our relief skippers, Simon Jinks, is offering online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. Simon is a great sailor and a top instructor so this is very highly recommended. Details here. He is also offering a one-day Weather for Sailors course. Please note that Simon's website also includes Essential Navigation and the PPI course, both of which OYT South can offer in-house.

With our own courses and Simon's we now have navigation courses to suit everyone from total beginners right up to the most advanced level - please give it a go and do ask for advice if you are not sure which course is right for you.

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people
Many of you are already friends with John Laing on Facebook ( but we now have a new page: - please do give us a Like! At the moment we are mainly putting posts on both pages but in the long run we will be using the OYT South page more so it would be great if more people started using that page.

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.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

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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 - sometimes 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. And there is a video here, made by a crew from the Prince's Trust, to give you an idea of what a voyage might be like!

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