FAQs by Young People

Frequently asked questions By Young People

I don’t know anything about sailing, in fact I think I’m scared of the water can I still come on one of the voyages?

You don’t need to know anything about sailing to be part of the adventure. You just need to be enthusiastic, open to new ideas and have a willingness to learn. Many people feel a little apprehensive at first, but after a few days of ship-board routine they grow very fond of life at sea! For some people the experience of being with others is as important as the sailing!

Who will I be sailing with?

You will be sailing with eleven other young people, of a similar age to yourself and up to six of our sea staff. The shared experience creates strong bonds of friendship, and whether you know anyone else at the start or not, you will end the voyage knowing a lot more about yourself and your fellow crew members

Is it like a cruise?

No. It will be hard work – it is an adventurous team activity, during which participants will be expected to become fully involved in every aspect of life. The reason that sail training is s successful is that it needs the full input of everyone aboard to ensure a successful voyage.

What will I actually be doing?

You are important members of the ship’s crew – you will be putting up sails, steering the boat, navigating the boat and plotting our position, cooking and cleaning, travelling though an amazing environment, having a truly unique shared experience – and having fun!
On-board the crew are split in to two watches, so that there is always an on-duty watch and the work can be split equally. Sometimes you might be on watch for 3 or 4 hours and then off watch for an equal period of time.

What do the sea staff do?

They are there to keep you safe and show you everything works. The Skipper is in command of the boat, and he is helped by the First Mate. You will work in watches of 6 people, and these watches are looked after by the 2nd and 3rd mates, and Watchleaders.

Will I get seasick?

Possibly – Lord Nelson did but it didn’t stop him from going sailing. Seasickness can happen to anyone even the most experienced of us. It will generally pass within a few hours as you find your sea legs. If anyone is sick the rest of the crew does what they can to watch over them and help them recover as quickly as possible.

If you know that you suffer from seasickness or travel sickness please bring your usual anti-travel sickness medication with you. If you are worried about sea-sickness visit your pharmacist for advice there are several remedies that are available to combat the effects of sea-sickness.

Where will we go?

It is not possible to say before your trip where you will sail to. This is decided at the start of each trip by the Skipper, taking account of the strength of the group and of available weather forecasts.

Can I keep in touch with my family and friends at home?

Part of the fun of our voyages is that we are removed from our normal daily life. Living without Facebook, texting, and instant phone communication is not a disaster and helps us appreciate what we are doing on board.

Our sailing area also covers parts of Scotland that do not have mobile phone reception and it’s worth telling people at home that they may not hear from you for several days at a time (if at all). For urgent communications we are able to make shoreside contact, and parents or guardians can make contact with us at all times via our 24 hour Duty Manager.

Will we go ashore?

We cannot predict or guarantee the itinerary of any voyage, however, we try to be ashore at least once or twice throughout a 7 day voyage to allow the crew access to showers and to allow some ‘shore leave’. At other times we are sometimes able to go ashore for a barbecue, to play some beach games, or to take a walk.

Do I need to bring money with me?

You do not need much money, however, you may wish to bring a small amount to spend if we do manage to go ashore somewhere that has shops!  It’s always best to bring some pound coins. most marinas have showers but they tend to charge a small fee to use them.

Where do we sleep?

You will sleep on board in communal sleeping areas each night. During which time the boat will either be at anchor, tied up alongside a pier, or sailing through the night.

What will I get out of it?

More than you put in – but generally, the harder you work and the more open you are to experiencing ‘adventure under sail’ and being inspired by the experience then the more you will get out – it can be a voyage of personal discovery.

Can I get help paying for my voyage?

Approximately half of the young people sailing with the Trust receive some form of financial assistance with their berth fees. Contact our office to see if you are able to receive assistance. Alternatively you could earn money through fundraising initiatives. Our Fundraising Manger is able to provide ideas to get you started.

Are there any rules?

Yes there are and they strongly upheld by the Skipper and sea staff to ensure the smooth running of each voyage and to avoid disruption to the enjoyment of other crew members.
You are expected to involve yourself in the running of the vessel as directed by the Skipper and other sea staff. If you fail to do so, or engage in behavior that is disruptive or offensive then you will be dismissed from the voyage.

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Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA15 1HD
Tel: +44 (0) 1475 722 722
Email: office@oytscotland.org.uk

Registered Charity, No. SC029531