John Laing (photo:MAX)

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Duke of Edinburgh's Award voyages

Many people sail with us as part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme - especially for the Gold Award Residential Project. Ocean Youth Trust South is an AAP (Approved Activty Provider) for Residentials.

A voyage with OYT South allows you to complete your Residential Project within a relaxed, informal environment where you will learn a great deal - but you will also have a fantastic time!

Doing your Residential Project on board a voyage with OYT South will give you the opportunity to:

  • meet new people
  • experience an unfamiliar environment
  • build new relationships and show concern for others
  • work as part of a team towards shared goals
  • accept responsibility for yourself and others
  • develop communication skills
  • show initiative
  • enjoy living and working with others
  • earn a recognised RYA sailing qualification

In addition, the most impressive young crew members each year can earn a recommendation to come back and train as a volunteer watchleader or bosun - which means years of free sailing and a chance for a really impressive addition to your CV if you sail on voyages with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

All OYT South voyages lasting at least four nights and five days are suitable for your Residential Project, but most of our Duke of Edinburgh Award participants prefer to choose one of our more ambitious voyages. See the 2022 voyage programme, or email to ask about 2022 availablity - we will publish the 2022 programme as soon as we have allocated replacement bookings for voyages cancelled due to Covid, as these need to take priority before we open up to new bookings.

Don't forget that your Residential MUST take place primarily among people you don't already know. Ideally you should come on a voyage where you don't know anyone else at all; but we can include two or three people who know each other (you are likely to be allocated to different teams or watches). But if you know more than two other people on the voyage then please discuss this with us before booking as it is likely that the voyage will not count as yout Residential and we won't be able to sign you off. .

At the start of the voyage, you should remind the skipper or first mate that you want to use the voyage as your Residential Project. They can then watch your progress during the voyage and ensure that you are given every opportunity to show what you can do to achieve a really positive report in your Record Book at the end of the voyage.

Award guidelines say that you should be assessed on:

  • personal standards
  • relationships with others
  • responsibility
  • initiative
  • development of skills
  • knowledge and general progress

Please note that a Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award is not something you can simply pay for. Very occasionally we have had young people on board who believe that "I have paid for the voyage, therefore you have to sign my residential". OYT South reserves the right not to complete the Record Book for a crew member who does not put in a certain amount of energy, enthusiasm, commitment and co-operation. Any young person who is in danger of falling into this category should receive a debrief midway through the voyage while there is still time to turn things round. Keen Duke of Edinburgh Award participants have nothing to fear - we simply don't wish to devalue your achievement by signing off people who haven't put in anything like as much effort as most participants normally do!

Want to sail but can't afford it? - Further help with funding
How to book a voyage
2022 voyage programme
Raise And Sail - OYT South's website for young people wanting to raise money in order to sail with us.

“Had a fab time, lived up to my expectations and more! ” Rachel, aged 16