The new crusing chute!

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 3rd November 2017

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


*
Voyage news
Last week’s bulletin left ten members of an Air Cadet squadron, plus a couple of individual bookings, just leaving Dartmouth and heading for Weymouth. They hoisted main, mizzen and three headsails: jib, staysail and ORC, and had a cracking sail across Lyme Bay until the last stage when the wind died and they had to motor. That evening they did more training towards their RYA qualifications and got ashore for showers. Saturday was a big day as we have a new cruising chute (very generously sponsored by the Whirlwind Charitable Trust) - a light wind headsail which is 300 square metres (for comparison, a tennis court is 260 sq m) - and finally we had a day with winds of the right strength and direction to fly it. With main, mizzen, cruising chute and staysail they averaged over 10 knots the whole way, occasionally touching 13 knots. They dropped the mizzen staysail before the Needles but kept the cruising chute for as long as possible, ending the day in Cowes. Next day they got up and the young people took charge of passage planning so they could get the boat back to Southampton. There they had an end-of-season party and everyone on board earned their RYA Competent Crew certificates. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Peta, Andrew, Glyn, Allen, Josh, Shernice, Jake and Hannah.

Although our last youth voyage of the year is over, Prolific hasn’t stopped working. On Tuesday we had a meeting on board with the charity’s Patron, Lord Iliffe, and a couple of our vice-patrons, Michael Campbell and Nick Bonham. All three have played a huge part in the success of the charity in recent years (along with other vice-patrons who were unable to attend), in particular through enormous support through the process of working towards OYT South getting a new boat and eventually buying and refitting Prolific. So it was fantastic to be able to show them just how much the charity has achieved this season and in particular all the advantages that Prolific has brought us.

On Wednesday we had a day sail for staff of MDL Marinas, our major sponsor - a great day on the water in lovely weather, with a group of people who were all keen to join in with the sailing, so it was a day filled with fun and enthusiasm. All in all a good way to say thank you to an organisation which has done so much to support us over many years. In particular, we would not have Prolific without MDL, who were involved in raising the money, providing a refit location and also giving us a home berth in Ocean Village - as well as giving us a guaranteed friendly welcome in other MDL marinas when we visit. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Andrew, Mark, Peta, Josh, Mollie, Nick, Fred and Caz - and to all the other sea staff who have sailed with us this season!

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* A few statistics from the 2017 season
- We sold (or allocated, using bursary funding) every berth but one across the whole season. (This doesn’t quite mean that we were full on every voyage - we had the occasional last-minute cancellation, and we also have some clients who book the whole boat but bring fewer than 12 people).

- Including sea staff, crew members and group leaders, we actually filled 767 berths in 2017.

- Prolific sailed 6,838 miles this season (excluding the training voyages at the start of the year).

There are plenty more statistics available but we will save some of them for other publications such as the Annual Report!

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* OYT South AGM 4th November - TOMORROW!

OYT South's AGM will take place TOMORROW, Saturday 4th November.

The AGM itself is at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, 1 Channel Way, Ocean Village, Southampton, SO14 3QF - drinks at the bar from 1730, with the meeting itself at 1800. There will then be a review of the year before a curry night.

All welcome at the AGM (you do not need to be a member to attend, although only members can vote) but bookings have now closed for the curry night.

Prolific will be in Ocean Village this weekend and we can offer accommodation on board to people who are staying for the curry. There are just a few places left but please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you need somewhere to stay and we will see if we can fit you in.

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* Branded clothing - NOW AVAILABLE
Some of you may be aware that we used to have a supplier of OYT South branded clothing but they encountered some problems and the website was no longer available. We have now changed suppliers and 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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Staff and volunteer training in November

There might be spaces for a few more sea staff if anyone wants to get involved in one of the training voyages next week - please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you are interested.

The timetable from now on is as follows:

Sat 4th Nov: AGM and curry night - no additional volunteers needed on board
Sun 5th Nov:  
no additional volunteers needed on board.
Mon 6th - Tues 7th Nov
:  training voyage A - volunteers needed.
Wed 8th -Fri 10th Nov:  training voyage B - volunteers needed.
Sat 11th-Sun 12th Nov:  free weekend
Mon 13th Nov:  refit starts. Volunteers needed on weekdays from now until early April (apart from a Christmas and New Year break 23 Dec - 1 Jan).
Sat 25th -Sun 26th Nov: refit weekend - volunteers needed. See below for details of other refit volunteer weekends through the winter.

Training voyages A and B start at 0900 on the first day and end at 1700 on the last day. People can join the night before - just let us know by calling the boat phone 07990 518915.

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Refit plans

The refit will start on Monday 13th November.

We had expected to have to move out of Ocean Village at the start of November as the marina is being rebuilt, but it has now been agreed that we can stay until the end of the month. We’ll let you have details about what happens after that as soon as we know more, but we may be moving to the Hamble.

If you haven ’t previously helped with a vessel refit, there is some general information here.

We will mainly be looking for volunteer help on weekdays from 13th November to 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 expected to be 25-26 November, 9-10 December (a change from the previous suggested date of 16-17 December which will now NOT be a refit weekend), 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. Food and accommodation available on board for refit helpers.

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2018 shorebased training weekend - more details on youthwork training

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. We are also considering other options such as bridge team management training.

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 we are offering, if we can get enough takers, 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.
We'll advise on suitability for any other courses once we have more details.

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

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* Volunteer sea staff bookings for 2018
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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* Music section - Police Dog Hogan and Oysterband
Some of you will know that our newest Trustee, Ed Bishop (who will hopefully be formally elected at the AGM tomorrow!), 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 great musicians and their shows are a lot of fun so get your tickets now!

The other band with a connection and longstanding friendship with OYT South is Oysterband, who are about to embark on their 40th anniversary UK tour (starting next week). They are playing in all sorts of places from Exeter to Edinburgh - if they are playing anywhere near you, do come along - OYT South’s Business manager Caz is working on the tour so please say hello! (NB these bulletins may be less frequent in November while Caz is away).

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* Royal Cruising Club
There was a great OYT South turnout at the Royal Cruising Club last night, where Kit Power, who has been involved with the charity since the 1960s, delivered a fascinating talk about the quest to find the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, followed up by one of our first mates Andrew Wilkes, who has actually completed the voyage. The early explorers were usually turned back by the ice and although Andrew still saw plenty, in these days of global warming it is now a little easier to get through! Big thanks to all at the Royal Cruising Club, who have supported us in several ways including sponsoring a voyage this year, and special thanks to Bobby Lawes.

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Andy's leaving present - please give generously!
Now that we have appointed Andy’s successor as Staff Skipper, it’s time to focus on raising some money for his leaving present. He’s given us five years, which involved our final seasons with John Laing, plus a major refit and the first season with Prolific. No other Staff Skipper for OYT South has been asked to run a full sailing season in one boat at the same time as managing the biggest refit we have ever done, on another boat, so we really do need to show Andy how much we appreciate all his efforts. Please give generously! There is a webpage here with a paypal link and details of other ways of contributing.

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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 two 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, Up to 4 berths available.
21-27 August 2018, 6 nights, starting and finishing Brixham, age range 12-25, price £550 per person, 10 berths available.

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
We have two adult (18+) training weekends 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.

There will also be a longer adult voyage at some stage but the date will be decided when we see which voyage is not required for a youth group.

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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James and Clare’s sailing adventures
Many of you will know that James Boyce and Clare Thorpe (former staff skipper, and volunteer first mate) have done some fantastic sailing adventures in the years since James stopped working for us. They have now been asked to give a talk about their exploits at the Manchester Cruising Association on November 9th, and they will be donating their fee to OYT South. Obviously Manchester may not be that convenient for many of our members and supporters but if you do happen to be in the area or you know anyone who could be encouraged to go along, details are here.

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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 Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundation and to another donor who prefers to remain anonymous, both of whom have made very generous donations towards bursary funding for young people who would not otherwise be able to afford to sail in 2018.

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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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 enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again next year (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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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!

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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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