OYT South bulletin 24th July 2015

Ocean Youth Trust South introduces our new sail training vessel!

In this Bulletin

Introducing Prolific, OYT South’s new boat
OYT South is absolutely delighted to announce that our New Boat Appeal, designed to secure a long-term replacement for John Laing, has been successful and, following a survey completed yesterday, we have agreed the purchase of Prolific - a stunning vessel with real beauty and genuine character!

You can find a brand-new webpage with PHOTOS, VIDEOS and MORE INFORMATION about Prolific here. But essentially, she is a modern fibreglass vessel, built in 2005; she was designed for sail training with young people; she has a fantastic spacious saloon with room for all the work we like to do together round a table; and she meets all our requirements in terms of accommodation, with a cabin for group leaders plus the ability to separate boys and girls if required.

Most recently Prolific has been used for sail training with young people in Norway; but we are now planning to bring her to the UK in August. She will then need some refit work and modifications, plus new kit including a complete suit of sails and potentially a new rig - depending on a specialist rig survey. The New Boat Appeal raised enough to cover the vessel’s purchase price and will go a long way towards covering the work that needs doing; and we are today launching a Prolific Appeal just to bring in the last few thousand pounds required. The intention is to have her in service for the start of the 2016 sailing season.

OYT South would like to extend huge thanks to all the donors and sponsors who have made this purchase possible.

Prolific Appeal
If 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:

Get involved
As you might imagine, things are moving quickly at the moment and there is a huge amount to do and a lot of things still to be decided. There will be plenty more to tell you in due course: we will be planning events so that people can come and see Prolific, but we’ll also want as many people as possible to get involved with her refit, and we’ll want to run some staff and volunteer training before the start of next season so that we can all learn how to get the best out of her. Keep an eye on future editions of this newsletter for more news as soon as we have it.

Farewell to John Laing?
We’ll also be arranging some sort of farewell for John Laing, which has been a fantastic boat for the charity over the last 25 years. An initial idea is that we have one remaining completely unsold John Laing voyage this year and if there is sufficient interest, we could run 19-23 October as an adult voyage aimed at people who would like one last sail in John Laing. If you’d like to do this, do let us know a.s.a.p. as we will only make it an adult voyage if we are confident there is sufficient interest. Please email if you would like to be part of a farewell adult cruise for John Laing. The basic voyage price is £350 per person but anyone who can pay more and contribute to the Prolific Appeal fund will be especially welcome.

Forthcoming voyages
If you have already booked a voyage before the end of 2015, you will be sailing in John Laing. Group organisers who have already spoken to us about a 2016 voyage will be sailing in Prolific and we will be in touch shortly to confirm your voyage details, and as soon as we can we’ll publish a programme of available Prolific voyages built around our regular group bookings.

Prolific and the future!
OYT South is thrilled to be able to bring this unique boat to the UK, where she can play a major part for many years to come in helping young people to develop the skills to succeed in life. The purchase of Prolific not merely allows us to plan the charity’s future well beyond what would have been John Laing’s life expectancy; it means we can move forward with all our attention focussed on what really matters: running great voyages, attracting clients, continually improving how we work and what we offer, raising funds to allow more disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals to sail with us, and above all, making a real and lasting difference to young people. That’s why OYT South exists and Prolific will help us to do that for many years to come.

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Voyage news
Last weekend we ran two day sails out of Plymouth for donors and potential clients - huge thanks to Andy Brown and especially Sue Carlyon from our West Country Support Group for a lot of hard work in putting together a really good guest list. The two days went really well and it was great to meet so many people who may be involved with the charity in future. Big thanks to MDL Marinas in QAB, Plymouth, for their help, and also to the sea staff who were on board over the weekend: Andy V, Andy B, Harri, Carrie, Lucinda, Hannah, Sally, Naomi and Matt.

On Monday we were joined by a new crew, half from Bloxham School (a new client) and half organised by Stephen Parker who has sent young people regularly for many years. After briefings they sailed to Cawsand Bay and anchored for the night before an 0630 start. A quick man overboard recovery drill and then they headed for Guernsey and averaged almost 8 knots all the way across, arriving in the late evening. Next day they had time for shore leave and showers and didn’t set off again until the afternoon when they made their way to St Cast - a nice place though not much room for John Laing! - and spent the night there. The following morning they had shore leave and left just before lunch to head for St Malo where they arrived last night. The voyage will end in Jersey tomorrow. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Emma, Matt, Juan and Harri.

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Sea staff bookings 2015 - vacancies
Email NOW if you are interested in any of these:

8 Sept, Southampton - one more watchleader possibly needed for client day sail
9-12 Sept, Southampton - one more qualified watchleader, ideally a 2M or experienced 3M
13 Sept, Southampton - one more experienced watchleader for day sail with donors, clients etc.
14-18 Sept, Southampton - 2M (NB the second mate originally booked for this voyage would like to swap to a different date if possible, owing to his daughter visiting from the Far East this week! - Is there a 2M booked for a different voyage who would like to do a swap?)
5-10 Oct, Southampton - 2M
19-23 Oct, Southampton - 1M and 2M

If you are interested in any of these dates please email me now.

Don't forget that any qualified or new trainee mates are also eligible to sail as bosun, and this can be a great way of getting to know the boat and how things work. New volunteers please note that your DBS and Child Protection training must be completed before you can sail in any capacity.

Please send bids or questions to

If you are aged 25 or under, please also look at the berths available for young people - we have just a few spaces still available and young volunteers can be treated as an extra member of staff and get training and experience by sailing in a crew berth. Funding help is often available for young people who have been recommended as volunteers and would benefit from the experience so a crew berth may not cost you anything.

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Berths available in 2015 for young people
Please spread the word and help us find people who might like to come sailing this year! Bursary funding MAY be available on application for people who can't afford the full voyage fee.

26-31 July, Jersey to Jersey - 5 nights - 3 berths available - age 12-25 - £440pp.
13-20 August - Poole to London - 7 nights - 1 berth possibly available tbc - age 12-25 - £575pp. Sail up the Thames and moor near Tower Bridge! Passports required.
9-12 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 3 nights - 6 berths available - £265pp. The bookings already taken for this voyage are for individuals aged 16-20 so we are looking for others who will fit in with them.
5-10 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 5 nights - 11 berths possibly available tbc - age 12-25 - £435pp
19-23 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available -age 12-25 OR possible adult voyage tbc - £350pp.
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - up to 4 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp - half-term voyage.

For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here.

Email with bookings or enquiries.

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John Laing in London (August)
John Laing is going to be in London and available for visits on

Friday 21st August 1000-1900
Saturday 22nd August 1400-1700

Friends, volunteers and supporters are all welcome to come and see us; but please also let us know of anyone else based in or around London who might like to come and find out what we do - especially potential donors, or anyone (such as teachers, youth workers etc) who might like to organise a group booking in future.

John Laing will be moored by HMS President but it is important to note that there are two HMS Presidents on the Thames: one is a ship on the Embankment (we won’t be there) and the other is a shore establishment which is where we will be: just downstream of Tower Bridge, overlooking the entrance to St Katharine Docks.

Visits will need to be arranged in advance - not least to ensure we don’t have everyone turning up at once - but please email to arrange a visit, or to suggest other people whom we ought to invite.

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Core refit team for next 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)? There is also the possibility of some Prolific refit work available in September and October for core refit volunteers able to start sooner. 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, details and an “expression of interest” form to complete are available here. At this stage, we’re really thinking about the full-time team - if you want to come for a few days or the odd weekend then we’d love to see you but we will sort this out nearer the time, after we have the core team in place.

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Financial appeal

The biggest possible thanks this week to everyone who contributed to the New Boat Appeal!

And for new donations this week, many thanks to Martyn Powe for sending the money he raised with his daughter Katie from the Nightrider Event last month. They cycled a 64-mile route around London at night, starting and finishing at the Olympic Park at Stratford. They travelled via Alexandra Palace and Hampstead Heath and ended up in Piccadilly Circus at about one in the morning. Martyn says: “Imagine the scene: nice warm night, pubs and clubs spilling over onto Piccadilly and Shaftsbury Avenue, traffic gridlocked and slowly losing its temper - now add 2,500 cyclists - absolute chaos, it was brilliant! We then crossed and re-crossed the River Thames via Trafalgar Square (more chaos) before heading off to Crystal Palace for a bacon butty. Then off to Tower Bridge for about five in the morning on a beautiful bright blue Sunday morning and eventually back to Stratford for breakfast (another bacon butty with a crepe as well). Total time eight hours, slowed down mostly by the London traffic lights - there are thousands of them and all on red even at three in the morning!” Well done both, and very many thanks for using the event to raise money for OYT South.

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