John Laing


Staff Bosun 2013-15

This is an exciting opportunity for two years' paid work with a highly successful sail training charity, incorporating training and extensive experience as well as the opportunity to earn a wide range of qualifications. It is an ideal entry point for someone hoping for a career in sail training. Previous OYT South staff bosuns have gone on to jobs as mates and ultimately as skippers.

Ocean Youth Trust South is a charity which offers personal development and adventure under sail to young people aged 12-25 from a wide range of backgrounds.

The staff bosun’s key role involves boat maintenance under the supervision of the staff skipper. From November to March, the bosun will work on John Laing’s annual refit. During the sailing season, the bosun sails on board John Laing on a working pattern of approximately four weeks on and two weeks off. Our home port is Southampton but some voyages will go further afield, including Tall Ships races.

The successful applicant will be aged 18+ and will have an interest in and empathy for working with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The bosun will also be required to work with volunteer watch leaders and other OYT South supporters, including the marine engineer.

A more detailed job description is available here (pdf).

An enthusiasm and proven ability for making and fixing things will be essential. Applicants will ideally have some experience of boat maintenance, sail training and sailing generally, and prior experience as a bosun, volunteer bosun or refit volunteer is desirable.

We will expect the bosun to qualify as a watch leader fairly quickly and be competent to lead a watch of young people on an occasional basis. RYA cruising qualifications (Competent Crew and above) will be an advantage but not essential. The bosun will be supported through further training while in post, up to RYA Yachtmaster and OYT South first mate, depending on ability.

Applicants must be interested in staying in the post for two years.

Salary is likely to be in the range £10,000 – £12,500 depending on age and experience. The position includes additional benefits, including accommodation and food during the winter refit and while working on board during the sailing season.

A satisfactory background check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (the replacement for the Criminal Records Bureau) will be required.

A clean driving licence and the ability to drive a small van is essential.

The successful candidate will need to pass an ENG1 medical, which covers medical fitness for seafarers, including eyesight standards and red/green colour vision. [Eyesight standards: applicants must be able to read 6/6 on the Snellen Chart at six metres distance in at least one eye with glasses or contact lenses if necessary, and 6/60 in at least one eye without any visual aid - if in doubt please check with your optician before applying.]

The bosun will be required to keep maintenance records and must therefore have basic numeracy and literacy skills.

Energy, enthusiasm, a sense of humour and a can-do attitude will all be real advantages in a demanding and responsible role.

Applicants who have not previously sailed with OYT South are actively encouraged to come and sail with us and find out more about what the role involves. Currently available dates are listed here though other dates may be possible by arrangement. Voyage fees can be covered by OYT South for shortlisted candidates.

Apply with CV and covering letter, including contact details for at least 2 referees, covering professional/educational and personal experience over the last 5 years to:, but otherwise by post to Ocean Youth Trust South, 8 North Meadow, Weevil Lane, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 1BP. Closing date for applications Friday 30th August 2013. Interview date for shortlisted candidates is likely to be 7th October, in Gosport.. Applicants should be available to start work in November 2013.


“I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and there was never a bad point. The sea staff were brilliant.” Nick, aged 17