Introduction for group leaders
With twelve to fifteen crew berths available on every voyage, an organisation can book all the places for a particular group, and the whole voyage can then be tailored to your specific needs.
The alternative is to send a smaller number of young people on an individual voyage to mix with others (but in that case it would generally need to be young people able to sail with just OYT South’s team of staff and volunteers but not with adult leaders from your own organisation – it would be difficult to run a voyage where some people were on board with leaders and others weren’t).
We regularly provide group voyages for a range of schools, youth clubs, charities and other organisations.
Generally the minimum number for an exclusive full-boat booking is 12 places and anyone booking the full boat must pay for at least 12 places. It is difficult to sail the boat effectively and give everyone a good voyage experience with a much smaller group on board.
The standard booking for a mainstream, straightforward group is for 15 places. If any of the young people have physical or learning difficulties, behaviour issues, medical problems or anything else that might require additional support then we may decide to limit the voyage, perhaps to 12 places, in order to have a higher ratio of staff to young people.
In either case, if a client makes a full-boat booking it is up to you whether all the places go to young people, or to a mix of young people and adult leaders.
It is by no means compulsory to bring adult leaders with a group. Some simply don’t need it. Others may even benefit from being in a different environment and working with OYT South sea staff as a change from their familiar youth leaders.
Where young people have complex needs or behavioural problems, however, it is generally appropriate to include adults in the group who have experience of dealing with them; and it is not unusual for some groups (e.g. schools) to require their own staff as part of their risk assessment. It is common to bring one or two adult leaders, but not impossible to bring more. In a very few cases we may sail with young people requiring one-to-one support: we have one regular school group where six young people with multiple physical and learning difficulties sail with six adult carers, in addition to OYT South’s team.
A number of group leaders with a real interest in sailing have gone on to qualify as OYT South sea staff – which can allow them to bring an extra young person on future voyages while they themselves sail in one of the staff berths.
Whether you are a group leader who plans to sail on a voyage, or a non-sailing leader whose role is simply to organise the group, we hope this website will answer all your questions, but if not, please do not hesitate to contact the office to discuss your specific requirements or queries.
Booking forms: Please note that each individual member of the crew, including group leaders who are sailing on the voyage, must complete a booking form which we can send you. If it is really impossible for any members of your group to complete an online form, please contact us.
Sometimes a group booking may not fill all the places on the boat. If you wish to bring ten people, for example, you can ask OYT South to advertise the remaining two places to others, who can then pay for those places, or you may prefer that the boat is restricted only to your own group, in which case you must pay for at least twelve places regardless of how many people you bring.
If you initially book the boat for a full group, but subsequently find that you cannot fill all the places, you can ask OYT South to try to sell the surplus places, in which case any voyage fees from those places will be subtracted from your own fee. However, sometimes it is impossible to fill spare berths at short notice, in which case you will still be liable for twelve to fifteen places as originally booked.
Some groups find it useful to use our Crew Logbook during the voyage so that young people can record their experiences and what they have learned each day, and take it away as a permanent record at the end to show other people what they have achieved. Printed crew logbooks are available on board for any groups or crew members who want to use them.
OYT South’s Safeguarding Policy is available here.
OYT South’s standard risk assessment is kept under constant review. The latest version is available here.