How to sail with us
Crew members who enjoy sailing with us can stay in touch with Ocean Youth Trust South in a number of different ways.
1) Sail again!
Plenty of people sail with us year after year. Some people first sail as part of a group booking but later come back on their own. Others might do their first trip as an individual, but later persuade their school, college, youth club or simply a group of friends to book all twelve to fifteen places for a group voyage. Some people start with a short local trip and come back the next year to do a race or a long passage. Others come back to build their experience and sailing qualifications. Whatever you want to do, if you’ve had a good voyage we’d like you to come again.
2) Become sea staff
Many of our sea staff first started sailing as young crew members. Keen and competent people aged 16 or over can be invited back to sail as bosun, with responsibility for boat maintenance. Those aged 18 or over can train as watchleaders. We are always looking for reliable, enthusiastic people who want to join our volunteer sea staff and will be good at working with younger, less experienced sailors. If this appeals to you, discuss it with your watchleader and see if the skipper will recommend you. Sea staff volunteers sail very cheaply so this is a good way to keep sailing at minimal cost.
3) Come to refit
It takes a lot of work to keep Prolific in good condition, meeting all the necessary safety standards. Every year we have a winter refit and maintenance period lasting from mid-November to mid-March. There are plenty of jobs, both skilled and unskilled, and we need a lot of volunteers. We can normally find places for refit volunteers to stay if you want to come for several days, and we will also feed you. Most refit volunteers should be aged 18+ but it is sometimes possible for 16 and 17 year olds to come along at the skipper’s discretion. This is an excellent way to learn more about how things work on the boat, and attending refit is very strongly recommended for anyone who wants to be a bosun in the following season.
4) Stay in touch by email
OYT South issues a weekly email newsletter which goes to anyone who wants it. If you aren’t already on the mailing list, just contact us and get yourself on the list. You can write for the bulletin as well as read it – crew members are encouraged to write things about their voyages, and you can send in other news which you might want circulated to the people you sailed with. The bulletin will also include details of short notice sailing opportunities, special offers and other OYT South activities.
5) Attend other events
OYT South often has a stand at Boat Shows and festivals and we need volunteers to come along and help. There is no minimum age limit for this – if you are a former crew member at the younger end of our age range, you might be better than anyone else at persuading a 12-year old that they would enjoy a voyage. Details of events where volunteers are needed are published in the weekly email newsletter.
6) The Chris Ellis Fund
A chance to win a discount off the price of a second voyage!
Chris Ellis was one of the founders of the Ocean Youth Club in 1960. There is a prize fund in his memory to help young people who have enjoyed a voyage with us and really want to come again, but who might not easily be able to afford another trip.
To enter for this award, simply produce a piece of work based on any OYT South voyage. This could be a logbook, a diary, a picture, a story, a poem – whatever you like!
Entries for each season must be sent in by Christmas and the judging takes place in January. At least one winner and sometimes two or three entrants will win up to £500 towards a future voyage.
7) Local shore support
Can you encourage your friends, school, college or club to book voyages on board Prolific? Or could you help to organise a fundraising event for us – either to pay for your own next voyage, or to buy a piece of equipment for the boat, or to offer a sailing opportunity to a deserving and disadvantaged young crew member who would never otherwise have a chance to do anything like this? If so, contact the office
Would you like to write something about your voyage for this website? Or do you have some good photographs which you would like to see included on the site? Email contributions to the webmaster.