Our Vessels

Alba Venturer

Alba Venturer is a Bermudan ketch designed and built by the world class Oyster Marine Ltd in 1998/99, and launched in March 1999. Our Patrons, Curly and Barbara Mills, supported the building of a new vessel as a gift to the young people of Scotland. It has a standard Oyster 70′ hull but fitted to Ocean Youth Trust Scotland’s exact specifications for sail training.

Yacht specifications

Alba Explorer

Alba Explorer was designed by Rob Humphreys and built by Devonport Yachts Ltd in 2000, as part of the 12 strong race fleet of identical Challenge 72 footers. Previously called LG Flatron and Samsung, the Challenge 72 took part in the BT GLOBAL CHALLENGE prior to being purchased for Ocean Youth Trust Scotland by our Patrons, Curly and Barbara Mills, in 2006.

Yacht specifications

Safety and Equipment

Safety is the overriding concern of all of our sailing operations.

Ocean Youth Trust Scotland places the highest priority on the wellbeing of crewmembers and staff sailing aboard its vessels. This is clearly demonstrated by the exceptionally high standards set by the organisation and its exemplary safety record spanning more than 20 years of operation.

The Trust operates its vessels according to regulations laid down by the Department for Transport, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and ‘The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels – Code of Practice’. This code regulates the safety requirements for the vessels and crew of commercial operations. The MCA enforce the code through close monitoring, inspections and investigations.

OYT Scotland vessels are designed, constructed, equipped and maintained to standards over and above those set out by the MCA, and are more than capable of off-shore and worldwide operation.

Each vessel is a self-contained unit, and if need be, is capable of surviving in extreme conditions for extended periods. They are comprehensively equipped to deal with all foreseeable emergency situations.

To ensure continued compliance with the MCA Code of Practice, annual inspections are carried out by an approved independent surveyor.

A comprehensive safety briefing is carried out with each new crew before the vessel leaves port, and a man overboard and fire drill are performed at the start of each voyage.

For every person on the vessel, OYT Scotland provides the following (and carries spares):

  • An automatically inflating lifejacket and safety harness. – Lifejackets are worn at all times on OYT vessels when crews are working on deck, and each crewmember stores their lifejacket by their own bunk for ease of use.
  • Safety harnesses are worn so crewmembers can attach themselves to strong points on the vessel, and these are used whenever conditions are appropriate, the Skipper feels it is necessary, and when crew members themselves feel they wish the reassurance of clipping on.
  • Waterproof Clothing (Oilskins) – Heavy-duty sailing jacket and salopettes to protect from wind and weather. (Salopettes are also worn when on cooking duty in the galley to prevent burns)
  • Thermal Protective Aids – Worn in the life raft in the event of abandonment to prevent hypothermia.

Medical stores are carried in accordance with The Merchant Shipping (Medical Stores) Regulations 1986, SI 1986 No.144 (as amended).

These dictate a comprehensive first aid kit exceeding all land-based requirements of the Health and Safety Executive.

These regulations override any land-based legislation while the vessel is at sea.

Given the potential extended evacuation times from a vessel at sea, the kit includes prescribed drugs, which may be administered by qualified sea staff on board the vessel in accordance with the above regulations.

OYT Scotland Skippers and First mates hold First Aid Certificates and above (equivalent to HSE first aid in the work place, specific to the sea going environment and the first aid kit carried).

The individual area of operation for each voyage varies according to the sailing programme and the current weather conditions. The skipper will plan the overall voyage and each leg of it taking into account the weather forecast and the capabilities of the young people on board. It is not possible to state, in advance, the itinerary of a particular voyage, however, you can use the vessel tracker to see the current location of the vessels.

Vessels are equipped with both ship-to-shore radios and a satellite communication system with worldwide coverage.

These radios provide voice communication to other vessels and shore-based Coastguard agencies. In the event of an emergency, radio procedures are in place to demand priority communication to the Coastguard’s co-ordinating rescue operations.

Approved medical advice is also available by radio if required. In addition to these voice communications each vessel is also equipped with Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons – which identify the vessels and their position anywhere in the world in the event of an emergency and pass that information to search and rescue authorities.

There is also a mobile phone carried on board for routine communication between the OYT Scotland office and the vessel. This phone number is not publicly available for general enquiries. The use of personal mobile phones by the crew- members is only allowed on board with the skipper’s permission, as this can disrupt the routines of on-board life.

For legitimate enquiries regarding safety or urgent messages from next of kin, OYT Scotland has a 24-hour emergency paging service –07623912543. Please remember to leave a name and telephone number to allow OYT Scotland staff to return your call.

Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities are welcome to sail with OYT Scotland providing, if required, they have approval from a certified doctor and are physically able to move around the vessel, respond appropriately to an emergency situation and participate in activities onboard. We regret that our vessels do not have facilities for wheelchairs. We welcome pre-voyage visits to our vessels to allow people to assess their own capabilities onboard.

If you require further information or wish to discuss any aspect of OYT Scotland operations please do not hesitate to contact the office.

Every effort is made to ensure that young people are able to enjoy their experience onboard an OYT Scotland vessel. However, in the event that a young person requests to leave the vessel, or in the situation where the behaviour of the individual is compromising both the safety and the enjoyment of the remaining crew, the following procedure will take place:

The contact for the young person will be called and informed of the reason why they are leaving the vessel. The group leader or next of kin will be accompany the young person home; if over 16, the young person may be allowed to travel on their own.

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