* Lost boat phone!
We seem to have lost the boat phone - if you’ve been at refit lately and have any thoughts on when and where you last saw the boat phone, please do let us know URGENTLY. Did the phone fall into someone’s bag? Did you put it in a pocket or somewhere else safe to keep it away from dust or wet paint? Was someone using it in your car? In the meantime, obviously you can’t contact the refit team on the boat phone number (07990 518915) so please for the time being use Andy’s number 07736 609840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have left a message on the boat phone lately and no-one has got back to you, then many apologies but please assume we never got the message and do try contacting us again by other means.
* Refit news! Volunteer weekend NEXT weekend 12-13 March
Massive thanks this week to Andy, Josh, Josie, Lou, Ben, Mollie, Chris, John Niven and Nic Crawford; and also to Mark Boggis for a donation of batteries. Prolific’s spreaders are finished, as is the touch-up work on the mast, and the patch on the bow - so the hull is now completely painted. The davits, designed by Joe Macgregor and made by Bucklers Hard Fabrications, have arrived. A new anode has been fitted, the winches are done, the engineering team have been hard at work, and we are in the process of clearing the site as much as we can.
Big thanks also to Joe Macgregor for organising a tour of the Oyster Yachts factory for the refit team!
We are just in the process of wrapping up work on Prolific for the time being, and getting the area cleared for the tent and scaffolding to come down. From next Monday 7th March, the refit focus moves over to John Laing. Obviously all this requires as much help as we can get on weekdays, but there is also the volunteers' weekend on 12th and 13th March. There's a huge amount to do on that weekend and we can use all the time anyone can offer; but there will be a particular need for people who are familiar with John Laing's kit, with someone needed in the refit house to make sure that the right kit gets sent to the boat, and people on board able to organise it all to be put in the right places. Email email@example.com or call Andy on 07736 609840 if you can help with any of this. After the volunteers' weekend, we'll again be needing as much weekday help as possible. We'll have some shakedown sailing on 21st and 22nd March with an invited team on board which Andy will organise, but if you are available and would like to be invited, please let Andy know a.s.a.p! The mission on the shakedown is to ensure that everything is working as it should, which means again there's a need for some people who are familiar with how things usually work on board John Laing. NB the shakedown will now start a day earlier than we said last week - thanks to a great effort from Ocean Safety and Nick Trimming for getting the lifejackets serviced so quickly!
The first voyage of the season starts on 26th March - we have three weeks to go!
If you can come and help for a day, a weekend, a week or more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org including your phone number and any details of when you are available; or call 07736 609840. 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! We can usually offer accommodation to helpers, space permitting. See here for more details about our refit.
* 2016 voyage availability for young people
Big thanks to everyone who has already booked voyages or organised groups to sail this year. We've filled a lot of voyages and part-filled others, and here's what's left - if you are aged 12-25 and would like to sail with us, do have a think about whether any of these dates would suit you; and if you are over 25, please think about any young people you know - or any teachers, youth workers, social workers, outdoor activity instructors, parents, grandparents, carers or anyone else who might like to know that these opportunities exist.
25 April - Southampton - day sail - £80pp - 12 berths available. This could be used EITHER for a youth group OR adult clients - individuals, corporate clients, teambuilding or anything else. Please email email@example.com to discuss.
6 May - Southampton - day sail - £80pp - 12 berths available. This could be used EITHER for a youth group OR adult clients - individuals, corporate clients, teambuilding or anything else. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
4-8 June - Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths possibly available - please ask - £355pp.
10-12 June - Southampton to Gosport - 2 nights - £195pp - 12 places available. This could be used EITHER for youth groups OR adult clients - individuals, corporate clients, teambuilding or anything else; and it could be a weekend from 8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday, or two separate day sails on Saturday and Sunday - please email email@example.com to discuss.
25 June - 1 July - Southampton to Poole - 6 nights - £525pp. up to 4 places available. Some berths on this voyage have been reserved by a group of university students - they are happy to mix with others - ideal for people of student age, or a minimum age of at least 15, DofE Gold Residentials etc. Passports definitely needed as the student group will want to try for France or the Channel Islands if the weather allows.
19-24 July - Plymouth - 5 nights - up to 4 berths possibly available tbc - please ask - £440pp.
25-29 July - Plymouth - 4 nights - up to 9 berths available - £360pp.
1-7 August - Plymouth - 6 nights - up to 10 berths available - £525pp.
8-13 August - Plymouth - 5 nights - 1 or 2 berths possibly available tbc - please ask - £445pp. This voyage has been part-booked by a school group aged 15-18 (both boys and girls) and they may well be looking for friendly, enthusiastic people to help them make up a full crew.
26 August - 2 September - Gosport to Southampton - 7 nights - up to 9 berths available - £610pp.
4-8 September - Southampton - 4 nights - 1 berth available - £355pp. Others booked on this voyage are aged around 16-21 and will have significant sailing experience so they are looking for friendly and enthusiastic people to join them!
3-9 October - Southampton - 6 nights - 12 berths available (full-boat booking if required) - £525pp. It might be possible to split this period to create shorter, cheaper voyages (or a voyage plus a day sail) if required - please ask.
17-21 October - Southampton - 4 nights - 8 berths available - £355pp.
26-30 October - Southampton - 4 nights - at least 6 berths available - £365pp. Half term voyage.
There is a sailing programme for 2016 and an updated availability list. If you are thinking of making a booking for 2016, or you would like to discuss ideas and options, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 adult day sails
We have the following day sails set aside for donors and potential future donors, clients and potential clients (e.g. a teacher who is considering booking places for students and wants to know more), sponsors and suppliers, shore volunteers who rarely get a chance to sail, and any other over-18s with an interest in OYT South’s work. If you would like to come along or you can think of anyone we ought to invite, please email email@example.com.
Mon 25 April - Southampton
Fri 6 May - Southampton
Sat 7 May - Southampton
Sun 8 May - Southampton
10-12 June - Southampton - the boat is available from Friday to Sunday and this could be separate day sails or a residential weekend - please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Sat 18 June - Gosport
Sat 30 July - Plymouth
Sun 31 July - Plymouth
Sat 10 Sept - Southampton
Sun 11 Sept - Southampton
Places on adult day sails are usually free for people who are already supporting the charity in various ways, and for potential donors and clients. Other adults are welcome on these day sails if there is space, in exchange for a suitable donation which will help us to keep offering places to more young people!
2016 adult voyages - including training volunteers and selecting potential new volunteers
There are two scheduled adult weekends and one longer adult voyage which can be used for sea staff training, selecting new volunteers - and any other over-18s (no upper limit) who want to find out more about OYT South, or just come for a great sail and some valuable training:
22-24 April (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp (Provisionally full but we can take names for a reserve list in case anyone drops out)
13-17 June (2pm Monday to 12 noon Friday) - Gosport - 4 nights - age 18+. £355pp
16-18 Sept (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp
Please email email@example.com to book.
* Boat maintenance days 2016
Our planned boat maintenance days for 2016 are as follows - PLEASE put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can!
Thursday 5th May - Southampton
Saturday 14th May - Southampton
Sunday 19th June - Gosport or Southampton tbc.
Saturday 2nd July - Poole
Saturday 3rd September - Southampton
Monday 10th October - Southampton
Call Andy on 07736 609840 a few days beforehand so he 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.
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.
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:
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!
OYT South branded clothing
T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here - do have a look!
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.
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.
Keep in touch with other OYT South people
Many of you are already friends with John Laing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing) but we now have a new page: https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - 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!
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!
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 engineer, 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.