Relief skipper Dave helping with a winch - third mate Julia relaxing

Sea staff

Training and Qualifications

Formal courses and certificates
OYT South produces a Sea Staff handbook which is available to all existing sea staff as well as to people who are interested in joining – copies available from the office . This handbook lists compulsory and additional recommended qualifications required by OYT South sea staff at every level. If you need to do any courses in order to sail with OYT South or to make progress as a member of our sea staff, we do run occasional shore-based training weekends when a variety of courses are offered. If you let the office know when there is a particular course you want to do, we can see if we can get a group of OYT people together and set up a course for them. If we cannot offer a particular course on a date which suits you, we can recommend training establishments – just apply to the office.

Online safeguarding, youthwork and food hygiene qualifications
OYT South is now able to offer a range of online courses for our volunteers, including Safeguarding, which is compulsory for all sea staff, plus a range of other youthwork courses and a few other important things such as food hygiene. These can all be done online, in your own time: you can save a course at any point and come back later to where you left off. They are all recognised courses and you will get a certificate for each one you complete successfully. OYT South volunteers will pay a bargain price of just £10 for access to this system - that single payment allows you to do up to ten different courses, though you can choose just to do one or two.

Online navigation training
OYT South can offer online navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course. This is an introductory-level course and is ideal for new sea staff or anyone who has done a little navigation but is a bit rusty; for young people looking to make the step up into volunteering; for young crew members who really want to stay involved with sailing and would like to build up their skills; and for those who have done several voyages and want to stretch themselves a little and understand more next time they come on board. It's a proper qualification, it takes around six hours to complete online but you can do it in your own time as it suits you, with the support of online course tutor Brian Eyres, a former ocean Yoyuth Trust skipper. The course costs £100 (including course pack) to non-members but only £75 to members, including anyone who has paid for a voyage with OYT South this year.

Training on board Prolific
Mates training weekend voyages are normally offered twice a year on board Prolific. These are primarily designed for currently active volunteers, though we might occasionally take a new volunteer if there is space.

We also run slightly longer familiarisation voyages which are designed for new prospective sea staff, but are equally open to existing sea staff who want to refamiliarise themselves with the vessel and her routines without the added pressure of having to organise a watch of novices at the same time.

Check the voyage programme for dates and prices of forthcoming training and familiarisation voyages.

If you are booked on a normal voyage as sea staff, but there is something you particularly want training in, please let us know in advance of the voyage if possible, or tell the skipper when you join.

To refresh yourself about on-board practices and routines on board Prolific, see the members-only section of this website.











“Learned a lot about sailing, but also about myself and the importance of teamwork.” Clemente, 24