OYT South bulletin 31st January 2020

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

* Refit news - and help needed, especially THIS weekend 18-19 January
No newsletter last week as the team were all at the (fantastic) Association of Sail Training Organisations Annual Conference. So big thanks to all who have helped at refit in the last fortnight, including the January volunteers' weekend: Peta, Josh, Georgia, Oran, Jake, Ian Sillett, Roy Hughes, Jon Mills, Adam MacNeil, Philip Loutsis, Lis Gray, Bill Newton, Halima Mehmood, Willoughby Matthews, Dawn Fletcher-Park, Alex Charters, Ollie Navin, Charlie Randall, Isa Mozzoni and Rob Jelley.

There has been loads of painting and priming - hull, bulwarks, other areas on deck including the shed, and also below decks. Meanwhile the work in the heads is almost completed and the team has started servicing winches:




We really need all the help we can get, on weekdays and also on the one remaining volunteer weekend (these weekends are planned especially because we know that plenty of you aren't able to help with refit on weekdays):

7-8 March

The January refit weekend had some excellent help but we had to cancel the December weekend because not enough people offered to come along - so it is MASSIVELY important that we get lots of people in March and get through loads of jobs. (There isn't a February refit weekend as we have the shorebased training weekend instead).

The core refit team has a rented house and other volunteers can always ask us about accommodation - it just depends what space we have available at the time. Refit volunteers should generally be aged 18+. Sadly it's often hard to include 16 and 17 year olds who have sailed with us and earned bosun recommendations - by all means ask but it depends who is around and what supervision is available. It is not generally possible to have under-16s at refit at all. No particular skills are required (though skilled help is always welcome) - we can find work for anyone who is enthusiastic, reliable and prepared to muck in.

Please email or call the boat phone 07990 518915 to book yourself in to help.

Prolific will be on her usual berth in Ocean Village. Refit helpers can call the boat phone 07990 518915 on the day of your arrival to sort out parking permits and gate codes. The postcode for the marina is officially SO14 3TG but that is likely to lead you to the area around the marina office on the north side of the marina. In practice, Prolific’s usual berth is here, on the south side of the entrance to Ocean Village marina (NB there is usually no parking on this side):


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2020 shorebased training weekend 15-16 February -- anyone else for youthwork/environment day or mental health training?
Two weeks to go to our training weekend - if you have a booked a course and can't remember all the details, timing etc., you should find all the information here, though the final joining instructions for the first aid course still have to be added and we will put them on the page as soon as possible. If you need parking at the first aid course, please email us with your registration number now.

There is still room on some courses so please email now if you are interested - and you can also join us for a meal on the Saturday night whether or not you are doing a course!

We're offering:

a) The RYA one-day first aid course. Recommended for ALL sea staff, and compulsory for second mates and above, with updates required every three years. Price £80. The course on Saturday 15th February is provisionally full though we can take names for a reserve list - and if we can get up to as many as seven or eight reserves it may be possible to add an extra course on the Sunday.

b) A fantastic one-day course on mental health run by Sue Cheshire. Many of our volunteers will have encountered individuals on board with anxiety, depression and other issues and this course is designed to equip us all to understand and support them as best we can. Recommended for all volunteers. Price £35. Course on Sunday 16th February. This is provisionally full but it's well worth still asking if you want to come - Sue may be able to increase the numbers a little.

c) GMDSS (to get your radio licence) - this is mainly an online course which MUST be completed in advance, with a short practical session and an exam on the day. Recommended for third mates, required for second mates and above. You must be aged 16+ to do the assessment. There is a course fee of £40 for OYT South but the RYA charges an additional exam fee - last year this was £60.

d) A youthwork day incorporating several different sessions of interest to volunteers, including one on engaging young people with environmental issues at sea, and another on delivering coaching and feedback on board. Recommended for all volunteers who want to improve their skills in working with young people! Price £35. Course on Saturday 15th February.

Please email, stating:

1) Which of the courses above would interest you (in order of preference if you like)?
2) Would it ONLY be possible for you to attend if OYT South could offer accommodation on Saturday night?
3) Would you want to join the usual big group meal on Saturday night, catered by Nix as in previous years?

More details here including timing and locations and a booking link. PLEASE don't book a course without emailing first so we can confirm whether or not there is space for you; but you are welcome to use the booking link for Saturday dinner without emailing first as there is no limit on numbers for the meal.

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* 2020 sailing programme - voyages for young people AVAILABLE NOW
Places still available on 2020 voyages have been divided into three types:

Voyages in blue: ideal for 11-17 year olds and potentially suitable for those needing a gentler introduction to sailing. Open to older and more confident crew members as long as they understand the nature of the group and are happy to join in - and maybe support others.

Voyages in green: ideal for age 15 - 25, DofE gold residentials and others looking for an exciting, adventurous voyage. Younger crew members can be included if they would fit with this sort of group.

Voyages in red: currently open for group bookings (max 15 places) rather than individuals. These voyages may be released for individual bookings later on if they are not booked by a school, youth group, charity etc.

Places currently available:

NEW: Fri 10 April to Tues 14 April, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 12-25. This voyage was originally £405 per person but following the sadly unavoidable cancellation of a longstanding group booking, we can now offer it at £305 per person. Please contact for more information.

Mon 6 July – Sun 12 July, Poole to Brixham, 6 nights, £595. Passports required. Up to 10 places left.
Tues 14 July – Mon 20 July, Brixham, 6 nights, £595. We have a possible enquiry for a group booking here but not confirmed so places are still potentially available - please ask.
Tues 21 July – Sat 25 July, Brixham, 4 nights, £405

Sun 26 July – Fri 31 July, Brixham, 5 nights, £505 - this voyage has been booked for some Explorer Scouts but they won't quite fill all the places and would welcome enquiries for 12-17 year olds who would like to join them. It will include Explorers from two different groups so they won't all know each other.
Sat 1 Aug – Fri 7 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £595. Passports required. 9 places left.
Sat 8 Aug – Fri 14 Aug, Brixham to Southampton, 6 nights, £595. Passports required. 9 places left.

Sat 22 Aug – Thurs 27 Aug, Dartmouth to Poole, 5 nights, £505. Passports required. Up to 7 places left.
Fri 28 Aug – Weds 2 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £505. Passports required. Up to 9 places left.

Mon 12 Oct – Sat 17 Oct, Southampton, 5 nights, £505
Fri 23 Oct – Tues 27 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £390 (Friday evening start to allow for people who are at school during the day). Up to 8 places left.

To make a booking for any of these voyages now, please email

See here for the full 2020 programme.

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Do you know a young person living on the Isle of Wight who deserves a funded voyage place? LAST DAY TO NOMINATE!
Thanks to kind supporters on the Isle of Wight and the fundraising efforts of Ocean Youth Trust South's Island Support group, we are delighted to offer up to ten young people from the Isle of Wight the opportunity to join a fully-funded voyage EITHER from 15th - 19th April 2020 OR 23rd - 27th October 2020 (this one starts on the Friday evening at the beginning of half-term). If you know anyone living on the Isle of Wight aged 12-18 who would benefit from taking part in a voyage and cannot afford to book on one of our standard voyages, please do nominate them!

Details and a nomination form are available here. Deadline 31st January.

Isle of Wight

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Do you know a young person in Dartmouth who deserves a funded voyage place?
Dartmouth is one of the twelve towns participating in the National Mayflower Partnership and throughout the twelve months from Thanksgiving November 2019 will be commemorating the 400-year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to the New World, with a series of exciting events and projects, some of which will leave a lasting legacy well beyond 2020.

Prolific will be visiting Dartmouth in August 2020, taking part in a race from Southampton to Dartmouth with a visually impaired crew. The next voyage, Dartmouth to Poole, 22-27 August 2020, is open to individual bookings but Dartmouth Mayflower 400 has reserved four places which will be awarded FREE to deserving young people aged 12-18 living in or attending school in Dartmouth. It might be someone who has never previously had the chance to sail – perhaps someone who has had limited opportunities for holidays or adventure. It might be someone who has struggled or been through hard times and needs a confidence boost. Perhaps someone is a young carer, or has shown an incredible act of courage. Perhaps you are concerned about a young person and want to give them a chance of a positive activity. Please think about whether you know anyone you could nominate - and PLEASE share this with anyone who has family, friends or other connections in the Dartmouth area, or contacts in schools, youth groups, clubs, charities etc. in Dartmouth. Or just spread the word on social media!

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* ASTO International Exchanges - win a place to sail in Canada or Australia
The Association of Sail Training Organisations has extended the application deadline for this year's international exchanges to 7th February (interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on 20th February in London).

Full details on how to win place on one of these very exciting exchanges can be found here, but the basic criteria are:

  • Must be aged between 18 and 25 years (at the date of voyage - likely to be in the summer).
  • Must have participated in more than one voyage on a UK Sail Training vessel within the last two years.
  • Must be a British citizen.
  • Must produce an illustrated report of about 400 words, upon your return, of your exchange experience, suitable for publication by ASTO.
  • Must be prepared to speak about your experience at an ASTO or ASTO-member function.
  • Your application must be supported by an ASTO member organisation.

Please email us first if you want to ask Ocean Youth Trust South to support your application. From past experience, we suggest that good applicants should have a record of genuine commitment to sail training - for example volunteer sea staff or others who have gone above and beyond in their involvement with the charity. OYT South will support applications where we feel able to give someone a strong reference and believe that your participation in an ASTO exchange would bring credit to UK sail training in general and also to OYT South!

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Prolific's Amazon wishlist!
Prolific has an Amazon wishlist - in case anyone can be tempted to buy a present for the boat! The list is full of small items which we need over the winter, and if you would like to buy something for us before the staff have to order them, we really would be incredibly grateful.

This year's refit is involving a LOT of painting, so things like sandpaper, brushes and gloves would be particularly appreciated!

Also, don't forget that if you order anything at all through Amazon, whether for the boat or anyone else, OYT South is now registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop - Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, just go to and pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity. Then use that link every time you shop - all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

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2020 adult voyages - including training for current and potential volunteers
Our 2020 programme includes two adult weekend voyages and one longer voyage.

The weekends are as follows::

27-29 March 2020 (this one is possibly full, depending on provisional bookings being confirmed, but we can add names to a waiting list if required)
9-11 October 2020 (places available)

Both these voyages start and finish in Southampton and run from 8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday. Cost is £205 per person and they are open to anyone aged 18+ but particularly suited to volunteers who want a chance to practise your skills without having to supervise young people at the same time - including current volunteers but also adults who are interested in getting involved and want to find out more.

The longer adult voyage is this:

7-12 June 2020, Southampton to Poole, 5 nights, age range 18+, £505 per person, ideal for training current and potential volunteers but also suitable for other adults.

Email to reserve a place.

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Events needing volunteers - dates for your diary!
Prolific is booked for two boat shows this year when we will be open to the public and needing volunteers to show visitors around.

The first is the South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village on 16-17 May.

The second is the Poole Harbour Boat Show on the weekend of 13-14 June. 

These will both be great events and we will need plenty of volunteers to get lots of people on board Prolific and talk to them about how we work. Ideally this will include volunteers of all ages and with different levels of experience but we will certainly want to make sure we have some young people on board.

For now, please just put these dates in your diary; but a bit nearer the time we will start organising details and asking volunteers to let us know when you are available.

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RYA Day Skipper courses available

Mark has two RYA Day Skipper practical courses running this year:

9-14 Feb - 1 space possibly available tbc
7-12 April - 1 space definitely available

Cost £340 per person.

This course would be ideal for second mates who so far only have the RYA Watchleader certificate, as well as third mates and bosuns and maybe some new volunteers with reasonable sailing experience. The pre-course requirement is 5 days, 100 miles and 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht so most people who have done a voyage with us should have covered this; but you should also have some knowledge of navigation - ideally to the level of Day Skipper theory. If you are interested, email

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to Andrew Wilkes and Emma Burrows for very kind donations!

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 (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

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Online fundraising - are you helping us raise funds?

We've been mentioning Easyfundraising in this newsletter for a while but we know a lot of our supporters haven't tried it, so we just wanted to highlight how easy it is! All it takes is to go to Easyfundraising and sign up (which is extremely quick and simple). If you want (it's entirely up to you) then you can even install a donation reminder on your web browser so that whenever you do a search for online shopping, you'll see whether each seller offers donations and how much (it's still up to you whether to make a donation for any particular transaction) - and it won't cost you a penny. If, instead of doing a search, you go direct to a seller's website, you may get a popup showing that donations are available.

There are really significant donations available for some larger purchases such as flights and hotels, and it still doesn't cost you anything. Some charities are making substantial amounts of money through easyfundraising, so please try it if you can.

There's no cost to you, and all it does is remind you of donations available so you can't forget it when you shop online - you can still opt out any time you like.

OYT South is also registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop - Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look - once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using, you don't need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

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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 Lauren Mackenzie, aged 19. Lauren first sailed with us for her gold DofE and quickly started volunteering with us, qualifying as a watchleader as soon as she was old enough and then being upgraded to second mate last September. She is currently at university, studying maths at Oxford.

Lauren 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 Lauren. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Lauren. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Lauren can point you in the right direction. You can email her at

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RYA courses with SeaRegs

Occasional OYT South relief skipper Simon Jinks's company SeaRegs is now offering RYA practical coursers on a regular basis. This year they have a monthly programme of both Sail and Power Yachtmaster weeks and Day Skipper weeks, as well as both classroom based and online theory courses. A 10% discount is available for booking both a theory course and a practical course.

Contact Vicky Jinks if you are interested - please DON'T reply to the OYT South staff via the bulletin for this one!

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available - please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South's logo!

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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 - please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page ( please do move to the new page now.

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

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

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, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it - perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newsletter 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. 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.

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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Receiving this newsletter by email
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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