Andy

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 1st December 2017

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


* Andy Viney’s last day!

Today is Andy’s last day as Staff Skipper … it’s not really goodbye as he will still be very much involved, including doing some relief skippering next year; but it does seem like an excellent opportunity to try and embarrass him by saying some nice things about him!

We first met Andy in 2006 when he came on an adult familiarisation voyage for potential volunteers. At the time he hadn’t thought a great deal about sail training but was largely interested in developing his own sailing experience and getting involved with a bigger boat. However, during these voyages we occasionally run exercises for trainee watchleaders which involve a bit of role-playing by other adults to replicate some of the experiences a watchleader might face: crew members not listening or not concentrating, feeling seasick or homesick, taking phone calls when they are supposed to be pulling a rope, having a temper tantrum, asking urgently if they can go to the heads halfway through a sail hoist, asking which is your favourite Pokemon just when you are trying to get the reefing sequence clear in your own mind, clipping their harness line onto a halyard, putting a line round the winch the wrong way, letting a line go over the side, putting a line round their own neck … Observing a trainee watchleader handle all this is a great indication of how well they will do on a youth voyage, and unfortunately all recollections of how Andy coped with this as a trainee watchleader are now lost to history; but as a role-playing teenager, Andy was truly outstanding and his connection with the teenage mind was quite superb. Naturally we invited him back and over the next few seasons he rose through the volunteer ranks, becoming a first mate in 2010. Over this time we witnessed something of a transformation: having come to OYT South to further his own sailing ambitions, Andy became dedicated to the youthwork side of the role - inspired by the ability of sail training to make a profound and lasting difference to young people from all backgrounds. When he decided that he wanted to commit to this full-time, we put a skipper training programme in place and he has now completed five years in the post. During this time, he has more than fulfilled the goal of running voyages that have a positive impact on hundreds of young lives; but he also took on a challenge that other Staff Skippers have not previously been asked to face: he had to manage the refit of Prolific and bring her into service at the same time as running John Laing’s final season with the charity. This was an immense task and the fact that he has skippered Prolific through her first hugely successful season with OYT South means that he leaves a lasting legacy which will have an impact on young people, volunteers, clients and staff for many years to come. Andy’s encouragement and support over their season working together has obviously played a big part in Peta taking on the Staff Skipper role and is another way in which his influence will live on.

Andy says: “I’ve had a ball, I feel really privileged! This has been an amazing opportunity and I’ve met some incredible people - volunteers as well as young people. All this started because I wanted to do more sailing for myself, but it soon became all about the young people. But now, looking back, I am struck by how much an adult can get out of being involved with this charity, and how much it has changed me.”

Chief Executive Mark Todd says “I remember skippering Andy’s first familiarisation voyage and - as with so many people who’ve sailed with me - by day two he just wanted to leave… But I’m incredibly glad he stayed and he has made a dynamic impact on the charity for which I am forever grateful.”

We are all incredibly grateful to Andy; we wish him all the best for the future; and we look forward to seeing him on board next season in the role of Elder Statesman and Special Guest Relief Skipper. But a key date for seeing him again is the February training weekend which will double as a leaving party for Andy with our volunteers. If you haven’t yet booked a course at the training weekend, please do so NOW as this will be your chance to have a party with Andy. If you really don’t need any of the courses on offer at the training weekend, you will still be welcome at the Saturday night supper anyway.

Andy’s leaving present fund is still open - there is a webpage here with a paypal link and details of other ways of contributing. Please give generously!

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* Refit news
Big thanks over the last couple of weeks to all who have helped with Prolific’s refit: Peta, Andy, Josh, Georgia, George, Charles, Sookie, Angelika, John Parkin, Mark Baker, Patrick Spencer and Emma-May Millar. Big thanks also to Nick Viney who came to do some diving work and fixed a leaking seacock; to Di Roberts for coding work; and to SO31 who have refurbished all the sails.

The boat has been cleared of loads of kit and protected for the refit - e.g. with boards over the floor. Winches and jammers have been removed so that the pedestals could be sanded - an immense job but they are now ready for priming. The team has been chipping rust on the windlass, working on the taps in the heads, repairing the heating, working on the dinghy, sorting the oilskins and much more.

Another piece of good news: we had expected to have to move out of Ocean Village for much of the winter, while the marina was rebuilt; but MDL have very kindly managed to keep a space for us to stay there - huge thanks!

We now need lots of help to ensure that we can get through lots of work over the winter and start the 2018 season with the boat in an even better condition! We are mainly looking for volunteer help on weekdays from now until early April (apart from a Christmas and New Year break: the last working day will be 22 December and the first day back is 2nd January), but for those of you who can't easily get away from work Mon-Fri, we will have occasional volunteer weekends when we want all the help we can get. Dates are 9-10 December, 13-14 January and 17-18 March. There may not be a February refit weekend as we will have our usual shorebased training weekend instead, with RYA courses etc. on offer - more information below.

The December 9-10 weekend could have a particular focus on junior sea staff and young people who have earned sea staff recommendations recently. We would hope to have a minimum age of 16 for a junior sea staff refit weekend, but we will also need adults (with DBS clearance) to train and supervise junior volunteers at a refit weekend.

Please email refit@oytsouth.org if you are interested in coming along for any of the refit weekends or to help on weekdays. Food and accommodation available on board for refit helpers.If you haven’t previously helped with a vessel refit, there is some general information here.

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* Colin Lewry
Most of you will have read in last week’s special bulletin that Colin Lewry, Ocean Youth Club skipper for 20 years from 1974 to 1994, passed away on December 13th, aged 80 years. His funeral was well attended by old colleagues and ex-trainees who had been inspired all those years ago to remain involved in the world of sail training. Colin started his OYC career sailing Mjojo, a Thames Bawley chartered by OYC to meet demand in Brightlingsea. He then moved to Crusade, which he sailed back across the Atlantic to join the growing OYC fleet. Colin and his wife Penny soon moved up to Scotland to start OYC Scotland with Colin as skipper of Taikoo.

Lucy Aitkenhead , trustee of OYT Scotland, attended Colin’s funeral, representing Nick Fleming, Chief Executive of OYT Scotland. Lucy and her sister sailed with Colin as youngsters in the very early days of Colin’s time in Scotland. Lucy recounted how Colin had an extraordinary ability to enable young people to believe in themselves, and she read some words on behalf of Nick Fleming who had been a Young Skippership trainee of Colin’s in his youth. Nick said simply: “He believed in me.”

Colin and Penny eventually moved south and settled in Gosport, Penny doing the book-keeping for OYC in the office, and Colin skippering Scott Bader from Hamble. Later in his career with OYC, Colin became staff relief skipper, and also ran the new “Skippership Scheme”’, where prospective young sea staff, under Colin’s close guidance, were encouraged to grow their seamanship and skippering skills on board Hunter Duettes, again based at Hamble.

In another tribute to Colin, Jonathan Cheshire, a former director of OYC, spoke of the Skippership Scheme being possibly Colin’s greatest legacy, as it produced numerous skippers who have gone on to work in positions of significance within the wider world of sail training. Jonathan recalled Colin’s excellent seamanship skills, but also his ability as an educator.

Judy Harrison represented David James, former director of OYC, and OYT South was well-represented, including by Emma Ellis, daughter of OYC founder Chris Ellis, and our Operations Assistant, Mollie Crawford, also representing her grandfather David Crawford, former skipper and colleague of Colin’s.

Mourners left the chapel to the sea-shanty “Fiddler’s Green”, and retired to a local hostelry to share happy memories of sailing with Colin, and of the profound influence their voyaging with him had on their later lives. Emma Ellis said it was a great gathering of old friends and Colin would have been very touched to see how many people still think of him.

A Just giving page has been set up in Colin’s memory, to raise money to send a young person on an OYT South voyage: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colinlewry. We already have enough money for two young people but the fund is still open!

Judy Harrison concludes: “May your mizzen be always set, Colin. We’ll see you in Fiddler’s Green!”

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* 2018 shorebased training weekend - please tell us NOW if you would like to do a course so we can book the instructors!
OYT South's usual February shorebased training weekend will take place in Gosport on Sat 17th and Sun 18th February.

We can't formally confirm bookings for any instructors until we know we have enough people to make each course cost-effective, but at the moment we have instructors potentially available for RYA First Aid, RYA diesel, a radar course (NOT the RYA certificated course but a repeat of the excellent course we had last year), GMDSS assessments, chart corrections and youthwork. First aid and youthwork bookings are looking OK but we will definitely need more people if the diesel and radar courses are to go ahead – please tell us NOW if you are interested and don’t wait to find out too late that we have cancelled the course due to lack of interest!

Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you would be interested in any of these courses - it would be great to get some quick answers so we know which instructor bookings we can confirm. If you can only manage one of the days that weekend, let us know which; and if you want to do two courses let us know - then we'll aim to allocate each course to a day so that the maximum number of people can do their chosen courses without a clash. Prices to be confirmed but the GMDSS assessment (to get your radio licence) is generally the most expensive at £100 or a little more - it involves an online course which you have to do in advance, and fixed exam fee payable to the RYA. Other RYA-certificated courses such as First Aid and Diesel tend to come in at around £75, and other things will generally be cheaper. The youthwork course will be cheaper although the exact price will depend on numbers. If the chart corrections workshop happens it will be free - since you will actually be doing a useful job correcting our charts on the day!

The youthwork course will be in two parts of half a day each. One half will be run by Robin Douglas, the head of West Berkshire Virtual School which co-ordinates support for children in care. Robin brought a group to sail in Prolific at the start of the season and has a lot of experience in working with disadvantaged young people. He could run for us a half-day course aimed at increasing understanding of young people who have had a difficult start in life and the impact this might have on their attitudes and behaviour - and what you as a member of sea staff can do in order to achieve the best possible voyage outcomes for these young people. The other half of the day could be a session on "Games with Aims" - lots of ways to have fun but with productive outcomes - and would be run by Robbie Crow, one of our volunteers who arranges the MACS voyage each year for young people with visual impairments.

We can offer very basic accommodation (mattresses on the floor of the Sea Cadet unit) and affordable meals over the weekend.

In case you're not sure which courses are right for you:

RYA First aid is recommended for ALL sea staff, and compulsory for second mates and above, with updates required every three years.
RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate GMDSS assessment - recommended for third mates, required for second mates and above. You must be aged 16+ to do the assessment.
RYA Diesel engines - recommended for bosuns plus second mates and above.
Radar is recommended for any watchleaders or trainee watchleaders but may not be suitable for people with no experience of navigation or collision avoidance.
Chart corrections is recommended people who already have some familiarity with navigation and particularly for those who sail regularly and come to maintenance days where we often need people to do this job. Remember that correcting charts happens in the warm and dry while other people may be working outside in the cold and rain, so it can be a useful skill to have!
Youthwork would be ideal for anyone.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and let us know what you would like to do.

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Volunteer sea staff bookings for 2018 - please send in your bids now!
If you want to sail as a volunteer in 2018, you can now start sending in details of when you are available and how much time you can spare - but please read the rest of this section before doing so!.

If you have NOT yet had a recommendation from our skipper to join our sea staff, then you need to do a training/selection voyage first, and the next step depends on your age. If you are aged 16 or 17 then you need to book on any standard youth voyage and aim to get your recommendation there. If you are aged over 25 you will need to get your recommendation on an adult training voyage - see below: (open to people aged 18+). If you are aged 18-25 you have a choice and you can use either a youth or an adult voyage to try and earn your recommendation.

If you have had a skipper's recommendation (which means that EITHER you have sailed on a youth voyage and been told at the end that you had been recommended to come back for bosun or watchleader training, or you have done an adult voyage and been given a recommendation at the end) but are not yet an assessed and qualified member of sea staff, your next step is to sail on a youth voyage of four nights or more, for further training and assessment. Not all voyages are suitable for this but please send in details of your availability and we'll aim to match you with an appropriate voyage.

Qualified sea staff (anyone who sailed with us as a watchleader, bosun or engineer this year) - ideally please give us voyage numbers of anything you would like to do (see here for voyage numbers); or give me names of any regular clients you'd particularly like to sail with. But if you have really flexible availability, the easiest thing is to tell us the maximum number of days you can offer in 2018.

Please note that we need you to send in details of when you can sail (whether specific voyage numbers, or an idea of the times of year you can or can’t do - e.g. if you can only sail in school/college/uni holidays - in which case do give us exact dates) and/or how much time you can offer - please don’t email to ask what voyage dates are available. The reasons for this are complicated but I will try to explain the process just to help people understand how complex it is for us to get the volunteer bookings organised!

Essentially, it's not simply a question of finding dates that work for individuals and then just booking you. What we have to do is put together a TEAM of staff and volunteers for each voyage, with a skipper, 1M, 2M, 3M, bosun and/or engineer and often but not always a trainee mate or bosun and a sailing support officer, and we can't book anyone until we have at least some idea of who else is going to make up each team. For example, at least one adult on each voyage must be a woman, if there are girls in the crew; and then we have to think about special skills if the group includes people with disabilities or challenging behaviour. We also don't want to end up with a voyage where two or three of the mates are all newly-qualified at their particular level - if the second mate has only just passed his or her assessment then they shouldn't be paired with a brand-new first mate...Then sometimes the client will be a school or charity where a staff member has qualified or wants to qualify as a volunteer, so needs a staff berth. Meanwhile, some client groups are just not suitable for brand-new trainee mates. Plus we have to think about some priority bookings (e.g. people who have been identified as potential first mates or skippers, if we can give them enough time on the boat). And we do promise that people who help the most with other things like refit or raising money or introducing us to new clients will be higher up the list to get their choice of voyages. And on top of all that we want to try to be fair to all our volunteers and make sure everyone gets at least a voyage or two! No point confirming voyages for someone who is really flexible only to find that they have taken the only dates that would have worked for someone else who has limited availability.

I hope that explains things for you - we really need to get bids in from as many people as possible before we can start the allocation process and it can take until January before we can start confirming bookings for every voyage. If you really need an answer more quickly than that then please tell us your deadline and we will do our best for you!

Once the main round of allocations is completed we will advertise any remaining gaps, but you may find there's not a lot of choice at that stage.

Please send bids or questions to webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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* 2018 voyage programme - availability for young people

Please see here for a 2018 sailing programme. We are busy confirming group bookings but there will also be places for individuals - that means voyages where the young people generally don't know each other but want to come sailing and hopefully make new friends. We can accept bookings from people on their own or from two or three friends who know each other; but individual voyages are obviously not open to a school group booking, for example. So far we have confirmed dates for four individual voyages for 2018 but there will be plenty of others in due course! The voyages which have currently been confirmed as open for individual bookings are:

4-9 April 2018, 5 nights, starting and finishing in Southampton, age range 12-25, price £480 per person - provisionally fully-booked but let us know if you would like to be on the reserve list for any cancellations. For anyone else looking for an Easter holiday booking: we should know after 8th December whether or not we have spaces on the voyage 10-15 April but by all means contact us now if you would like to be on the waiting list for this voyage. .
24-30 July 2018, 6 nights, starting and finishing in Brixham, age range 12-25, price £550 per person. 9 berths available. Ideal for crew members who have a passport as it may well be possible to sail cross-Channel, to France or the Channel Islands. Alternatively the Scillies may be possible, or a Devon and Cornwall cruise - it all depends on wind and weather and on what everyone wants to do!
21-27 August 2018, 6 nights, starting and finishing Brixham, age range 12-25, price £550 per person, 11 berths available. Ideal for crew members who have a passport as it may well be possible to sail cross-Channel, to France or the Channel Islands. Alternatively the Scillies may be possible, or a Devon and Cornwall cruise - it all depends on wind and weather and on what everyone wants to do!
28 Aug to 2 Sept 2018, 5 nights, Brixham to Southampton, age range 12-25, £480 per person. 9 berths available. Ideal for crew members who have a passport as it may well be possible to sail cross-Channel.

We also have plenty of voyages which are currently available for group bookings but where places may be opened to individual bookings at a later date,

Contact the office to book, or to enquire about other availablity for individual or group bookings. At this stage it is still potentially possible to amend parts of the 2018 programme to provide voyage dates and durations to suit your group, so please ask! But some periods of the 2018 season are already filling up very fast, so if you are interested in a group or individual voyage next year, do please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and let us know what you want, so that we can see what might be fitted around clients who have already put in their voyage requests.

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* Volunteer training and selection voyages in 2018 - NEW availability for longer voyage

We have two adult (18+) training weekends and one longer adult voyage scheduled for 2018:

20-22 April 2018 (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £200pp.
7-9 Sept 2018 (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £200pp.
10-15 Sept 2018
(2pm Monday to 12 noon Saturday) - Southampton - 5 nights age 18+. £480pp.

Any of these voyages would be ideal for current volunteers who want more experience in Prolific without having to teach and supervise young people at the same time; and they are also designed for other adults who may be new to the charity and would like to get to know us, our boat and the way we work before considering joining our volunteer team. Anyone wanting to sail as a volunteer on our youth voyages must be recommended as suitable by our skipper, and while under-25s can earn their recommendation on a standard youth voyage, these training voyages are the opportunity for adult potential volunteers to decide whether you like what we do and hopefully earn your recommendation! Voyage prices include a year's annual membership so there is no further cost for anyone returning as a volunteer in the subsequent 12 months, See here for more details on joining the team.

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Branded clothing - NOW AVAILABLE
We have a brand-new clothing website up and running, thanks to a lot of hard work from Mollie Crawford. So do have a look - you can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, drill shirts, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South's logo!

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Music section - Police Dog Hogan

Some of you will know that our newest Trustee, Ed Bishop, as well as being a lawyer, also plays fiddle in the band Police Dog Hogan. They have a gig at the Brook in Southampton on Wednesday 31st January and it would be great to get as many OYT South supporters along as we can. Police Dog Hogan are fantastic musicians and their shows are a lot of fun so get your tickets now!

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Colin Baxter prints and postcard of Prolific for sale
We have a limited number of A4 prints and postcards of Prolific by the renowned marine artist Colin Baxter for sale - postcards cost £1 each and prints £6 each, including postage and packaging. Email molliecrawford@oytsouth.org to order.


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Day Skipper practical course
Does anyone want to do an RYA Day Skipper practical qualification this winter? This needs to be completed in a smaller boat than Prolific and we will run one if we can get enough people. The date will depend on when people are available, and the price will depend on numbers on board, but if you might be interested, please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org with any information about your availability, and we’ll put together a mailing list of people who would like to be kept informed as we get closer to being able to firm up any details.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Patrick and Helena Frost Foundation for an extremely generous donation; and also to Jeremy and Sue Ouvry for a donation following our AGM; to Simon Hedger Grace for donations in memory of his mother, and - as mentioned above - to all who have donated in memory of Colin Lewry.

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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* 2018 Gosport Charity Pursuit
Any readers who have - or can charter - their own boat might like to consider entering the 2018 Gosport Charity Pursuit which will take place on Saturday 16th June next year. All the information is on the website and we’d be delighted if anyone wanted to take part to raise money for OYT South!

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Easyfundraising - raise money for OYT South when you shop online
OYT South is now registered with Easyfundraising - you can raise money for the charity when you shop online. Easyfundraising says: “It doesn't cost you a penny extra. When you shop the easyfundraising way with one of our 3,241 shops and sites they give us a commission for your purchase. We turn that into a donation and give it to your good cause. Easy!”

If you ever shop online, do have a look!

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Chris Ellis Award - win £££s off sailing
If you enjoyed a voyage with OYT South in 2017 and want to come again in 2018 (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £200 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org or posted to the office to arrive by Christmas. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder.

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London Boat Show 2018 - special offer

The London Boat Show will run from 10th to 14th January 2018. If you receive the email version of this newsletter, you can see details of a special offer for discounted tickets for OYT South members and supporters, which we can't put on a public website.

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From youth crew to volunteer
Have you just done a voyage as a young crew member, enjoyed it, and been told by the skipper or any of the other sea staff to think about coming back as a volunteer on board? This is how many of our watchleaders and bosuns started, and it’s a great opportunity for getting years of very cheap sailing, plus something impressive to add to your CV, college or job applications. If you start volunteering with us and do well, you could gain invaluable experience in leading and motivating teams, looking after safety issues, taking responsibility and more - especially if you end up volunteering on some of our voyages with highly disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

If you’ve had a recommendation from the skipper, it’s still really up to you to decide whether you are keen and ready to take this step - moving from being a young crew member who can be looked after and supported by the sea staff, into a position of responsibility where you will be looking after other people and responsible for helping to deliver a successful voyage to others, and accepting that this can involve hard work - though we hope our volunteers also have plenty of fun! Junior volunteers will still get support and advice from more experienced sea staff, but you really have to be ready to get stuck in when there are things to do and your effort can help make the difference to keeping the boat working smoothly and ensuring that another group of young people has the best possible experience!

But the next stage is really up to you. There are plenty of young people who impress us on voyages each year, but the ones who get to come back for more voyages, training and qualifications are the ones who show a real interest and make the effort to keep in touch - we simply don’t have the time to chase all of you individually if we don’t hear from you. Reading this weekly newsletter is vital - you will see when we are advertising for trainee mates or bosuns, or offering courses, or asking for help with maintenance or other events. You may also sometimes see that we have a short-notice vacancy for a crew berth - if we can’t fill the place with a paying customer, offering it as a cut-price or even free place to a new potential volunteer whom we know will be an asset to the team is much better than sailing with an empty berth. So if you are keen, PLEASE read the bulletin and don’t be afraid to reply and ask questions - if you’re not sure whether an opportunity is suitable for you or not, or if there might be age restrictions, just ask. We really do want to hear from you!

And one more thing ... if you are mature enough to be thinking about making the step up into volunteering, then you should really be contacting us yourself. It doesn't quite create the same impression if you get your mum to do it ...!

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Small boat training opportunities for sea staff
A while ago we consulted sea staff about the need for a small boat so that people can practise skills which aren’t easily learned in Prolific. While we have concluded, that - for the time being - the cost and workload of having a training boat of our own didn’t make that a good option, there was nevertheless a clear demand for access to a small boat. We have therefore made an arrangement with our good friends at the Discovery Sailing Project for the occasional use of their 34-foot Alexander Fairey. The yacht is currently having work done and will be lifted at the end of January and back in service around mid February. She can be chartered by OYT South sea staff on the following conditions:

The person in charge must have a full Day Skipper qualification and a recommendation from Mark Todd or Andy Viney confirming that you are an active member of OYT South sea staff with an appropriate level of competence; and there must be a second person on board with Day Skipper or suitable experience in case the skipper is incapacitated. Additionally someone must have RYA First Aid (or equivalent) and hold a valid VHF Radio Licence. At the moment the price is £250 for a weekend (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) and £100 per day mid-week. This cost is ‘bare boat’. Cost for gas is included and diesel is charged at an hourly rate, deducted from a £20 cash deposit paid before takeover. The balance will be fully refunded if the vessel is left clean - if not, a deduction will be made for cleaning. Cleaning materials are provided.

Alexander Fairey sleeps a maximum of 8 people so might be suitable for a group of OYT South sea staff to get together and develop boat handling skills and command experience. Anyone interested should contact Clive Fisher at dsp_office@btconnect.com with preferred dates - obviously the boat is used for their own sea staff so the issue will always be about making sure they can fit everyone in.

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Youth Trustee - speaking up for young people

OYT South has a rule that at least one member of the Board of Trustees - which runs the charity - should be in the same age range as the young people who sail with us. The current Youth Trustee is 19-year old student Jack Dignan, who did his first voyage with us a couple of years ago. Jack is in a position to speak up for young crew members, suggest changes in the way the charity operates or to do anything else which will improve the experience of the young people who sail with us. If you are a young person and you have ideas or suggestions for how we can do better, and you want to talk to someone close to your own age, you can contact Jack. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Jack. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Jack can point you in the right direction. You can email him at jackdignan@oytsouth.org.

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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 OYT South people
We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - please do give us a Like! if you were friends with John Laing on our old page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing please do move to the new page now.

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

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 - 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, 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

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