Prolific, lifted!


OYT South bulletin 23rd October 2015

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

* Last two berths available in 2015 for young people - funding available!
The last two places still available in John Laing this year. Funding help is available so if you would like to sail but can’t afford it, please email NOW!

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

See here for 2016 voyage opportunities.

Email with bookings or enquiries.

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* OYT South AGM 7th November - and curry - one week left to book!

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 has gone out to members (email if you think you are a paid-up member but haven’t had this email). Non-members are also welcome though you can't vote at the AGM - but you can become a member!

You can find details of the event here, including a link to book and pay for the curry evening after the meeting, in a local restaurant - BOOK NOW! We need to give the restaurant an idea of numbers next Friday so please book and pay by the end of Thursday 29th October. Bookings after that date will only be accepted if the restaurant can fit you in!

See below for details of help needed with refit over the AGM weekend. If anyone needs accommodation after the curry night, priority will be given to people who also come and spend some time working on the boat!

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Refit weekend 7-8 November - volunteers needed
There will be a refit weekend for Prolific on 7th and 8th November - please come and help! We need lots of support and it’s also a great way for our volunteers to start to get to know the boat. Email if you can come and lend a hand. See above for AGM and curry on the Saturday night.

Through the winter, we will normally be looking for volunteer help on weekdays; but we’ll also arrange a number of these special volunteer weekends when people can come and help who wouldn’t otherwise be available. More dates to be announced shortly.

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* Prolific maintenance - help needed!

Big thanks to everyone who has been helping on board Prolific since the last newsletter. A lot of kit including all the galley stuff, saloon tables and benches were moved to the store last week, and this week Prolific was lifted out of the water on Monday - huge thanks to MDL and Saxon Wharf! The masts and booms have been lifted off and the mast has been surveyed, the floor has been taken up, six 250 kilo bottles for the firefighting system have been lifted off, the fuel has been pumped into storage, and the team are preparing all the tanks under the floor (water, fuel and grey water) to be lifted out. All this is so that we can check the keel bolts, normally inaccessible but an important one-off job that we need to do this year! Thanks to Chris R, Chris W, John Niven, Joe McGregor, Paul Buxton, Mark O’Prey, Andre Van Zyl, Billy Roberts, Nic Crawford, Di Roberts, Dave Heffer, Josh Caudrey and Marcus Hardiman!

We still need plenty of help over the next few months, on weekdays and on a few special volunteer weekends, starting with 7-8 November. If you can come and help for a day, a weekend, a week or more, 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 for 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? 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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John Laing voyage news
Lots to report as there was no bulletin last week. 10th October was a sea staff training day, and this was followed by a maintenance day - big thanks to Andy, Rooby, Matt, John, Val and James for their help!

Monday 12th October was the start of a new voyage organised for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, including young people who have been working as apprentices with local charities. There was also one individual booking doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. Everyone joined the boat on Monday and after introductions, safety briefings and familiarisation, they sailed to Cowes on a clear, chilly evening. Next morning everyone got going really quickly and set sail for Weymouth - a fast passage with the wind behind them. On approaching Weymouth they met another sail training vessel, Lord Nelson, which greeted them with a hail of water bombs! Lord Nelson is bigger and, crucially, higher than John Laing, which gives them an unfair advantage in this sort of battle...The crew then had games and activities in harbour and some shore leave next morning, before setting off towards Poole on Wednesday. On this passage they were going so fast that clearly they would have arrived in Poole far too early. So they went into Chapman’s Pool and anchored for lunch. This is a lovely place and everyone went ashore for a walk and some successful fossil-hunting, and they also had rowing practice. Back on board they had cake and then resumed the passage to Poole, arriving after dark and taking part in some intricate navigation as they went up the harbour to Town Quay. In Poole they had shore leave and showers before setting off on Thursday for Yarmouth, arriving in mid-afternoon and going ashore for ice-cream. The young people then got together to plan the passage back to Southampton, which meant they took charge of the vessel and navigation, really showing how much they had learned during the week. They got safely back to Ocean Village that night, and next morning everyone helped to clean the vessel and there were debriefs before they left. All of this group earned Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting certificates. Big thanks to sea staff James, Andrew, Di, Val, Matt and Mollie.

That evening we were joined by another crew from the Vyne School, now becoming a regular and welcome client. They played some games before bed and on Saturday came off the berth backwards under sail and went down to Yarmouth, sailing back on Sunday. Another good group who put a lot of effort into the trip. Big thanks to sea staff James, Andrew, Jack, Mark, Rooby and Harri - as well as Mary, the teacher who arranged the weekend!

This week has been a mixed crew of individuals - some doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Residential, some interested in volunteering or training as watchleaders and others just keen to sail. They went to Cowes on Monday and then had a 5am start on Tuesday to catch the tide down to Weymouth. On Wednesday they sailed back to an anchorage in Swanage and from there the crew took charge of navigation and sailing to get the boat into Poole - in 28 tacks, all the way up the harbour! Yesterday they called into Cowes for ice-cream and the crew took charge of a night navigation exercise back to Ocean Village. Five crew members earned RYA Start yachting certificates (the others had the qualification already). Big thanks to sea staff James, Graeme, Matt, Laura, Sophie - and special congratulations to Andy Gissing and our staff bosun Harri Smith. Andy was signed off as a third mate on his first voyage with us, with a warm recommendation that he should sail more and climb higher within OYT South. But the best news of all is that Harri has successfully completed her first mate’s assessment. This is a major achievement as the first mate has to show that they can take over managing the vessel and crew if the skipper is ill or injured. It’s a lot of responsibility and therefore a demanding assessment, and it’s a brilliant way for Harri to crown her two years as Staff Bosun before she moves on. See below for details of how to contribute to her leaving present - which is now also a 1M congratulation present!

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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 and her achievement in reaching first mate standard, see here for how to contribute to her leaving present: Please give generously!

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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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Prolific appeal
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 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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* Financial appeal

Big thanks over the last couple of weeks for a number of generous donations, including Parkside School, which raised a fantastic contribution towards Prolific; the Angus Allnatt Foundation, which has made a great donation towards 2016 bursaries; the Isle of Wight Support Group, for a grant to help with Prolific; and a number of individuals who may prefer to remain anonymous but in some cases have made incredibly generous donations.

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 training

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