Cadet Emma Scott shared her experiences of being on the boats during refit;
“Sailing on a boat you only know what it looks like as a finished piece, surprisingly this makes life onboard a lot harder. At refit, everything is in pieces and the boats become shells. You discover so much and learn quite literally the nuts and bolts of the whole boat.
Last year, after 4 years with OYT, I came across for the first time another bilge compartment. Hidden behind Alba Explorer’s freezer and accessible only via the heads or mates cabin, it is one only the budding bilge ferrets will have the pleasure of enjoying! It is things like this you will only find out if you visit refit. Agreed, it is far from appealing the thought of heading to a boat yard at 8am on a dark, brisk winter’s morning but rest assured, it is no colder than being at sea on a typical Scottish summer’s day!
For someone like me who has been involved with boats since I could walk and been around OYT for 5 years now, turning up to refit is very useful for the skippers because they have someone who understands boats and how things work. Nonetheless, turning up with with no idea about boats but can operate a paintbrush is okay too! If you are a budding handyman then those skills will be put to great use. I am a sailor not a builder, but these past 3 days I found myself removing bilge pumps, taking them apart and putting them back together and even painting.
If you spare a moment or two and want to get to know these amazing boats then head down to Fairlie. It is a very satisfying way to spend any free time, be it an afternoon, a day or a week. Anytime spent at the yard you will certainly feel the reward, especially later in the season when you find yourself relying on that simple bit of inner knowledge you gained.”