Join Aberdeen & North East Shore Group

If you live in the North East of Scotland we hope you will join our Support Group and get involved with our main aim ; to ensure that North East youngsters have the opportunity to take part in the adventure. We are also an informal network of volunteers providing help and support to each other- most of us sail with the trust.

For meeting dates please click here

What We Are

We are a group of individuals who actively promote the work of the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland (A Registered Educational Charity – who take young people aged 12-25 on adventure sailing trips around Scotland and occasionally further afield on sailing vessels of 70 and 72 ft.  The group forms part of a Network of support groups located around the major cities in Scotland.

Who We Are

We come from all walks of life.  We are all volunteers who give our time freely.  Members of the group include Engineers, Teachers, youth workers, doctors, scientists, police, social workers, and self-employed, with a wide age range.

What We Do

We would like to ensure that each year the largest number of young people can experience a voyage on one of the two boats currently operated by the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Nearly 1000 young people sail with the trust each year.  To do this we:

  • Publicise the work of the Trust
  • Fund raise
  • Recruit and train volunteer sea staff to sail with the Trust
  • Many of us sail with the Trust is staff berths covering from skippers to bosuns.
  • Provide financial assistance to local people wanting to sail with the trust
  • Assist in Vessel support when the boats are in the North East
  • Help  keep the boats in good condition at the winter refit sessions

If you are a young person you can book on voyages for individuals or if part of a group can book a whole voyage. These bookings will be done through contacting the Trust in Greenock directly but please see our page on how the North East group can help with grants, talks and advice. ???link here

Where and when do we meet?

There are meetings approximately 6 times a year in Aberdeen and around the North East. We are holding some meetings in pubs and others in members houses. See the main North East page Here on this website for the next meeting dates and locations. There are other events throughout the year where we publicise the Trust- e.g. we have a stand at the Portsoy Traditional boat festival and we go into sailing club open days.

Does it cost anything to join the group?

No joining the group is free. Although members of the group mostly join Ocean Youth Trust Scotland as members when they get more involved.

Do you need volunteers to sail the boats?

YES. The Trust runs 2 yachts (18 berths each) and 6 adult staff are required to show the young people how to run them; from sailing through cooking, cleaning etc.  Each boat does 30 voyages a year and as most of the sea staff are volunteers, we need a lot of people. As a volunteer you get your own “adventure under sail”.

We also need volunteers to help with the local group, see below.

What is involved in sailing as a volunteer?

Sailing as a volunteer is both rewarding and challenging. The boats work using a number of sea staff (made up of professional and volunteers). The normal complement is:-

  • Skipper
  • 1st Mate
  • 2nd Mate
  • 3rd Mate
  • Watchleader
  • Bosun

We have a mix of professional and volunteer Skippers and First Mates.  The 2nd mates onwards are volunteers.  You can be a Bosun from 16 and any of the other positions from 18. Volunteers do not pay for the voyage, all costs being borne by the Trust in return for your work.

You can join Ocean Youth Trust with no knowledge of sailing or qualifications and we will train you up from bosun to skipper depending on your keenness and aptitude. All at low cost.

The young people make up the crew. The voyages have real hardships and real dangers. This is the additional dimension as the staff have to ensure a successful voyage for the young people, imparting knowledge and encouraging them to learn about themselves including teamwork and tolerance from being in a confined space in the boat. Priorities are safety and enjoyment; the Trust has an excellent safety record and puts a lot of effort in to keep it that way.

Normally the 2nd and 3rd mates are watch leaders (with the Watchleader being a training position) and work with the young people to sail the boat, prepare meals, play games, clean up etc.

To sail as a volunteer you will need to have a disclosure check carried out, performed after an induction voyage.  There are adult induction weekends over the course of the year, which allows potential volunteers to find out how OYTScotland works, and to provide some familiarisation of OYTScotland systems that are in place to ensure the welfare of the young people. Volunteers would normally initially sail on a “familiarisation” voyage with young people and would be given responsibility depending on the skills and experience of the volunteer.

The RYA qualifications of the sea staff are as follows

  • Skipper – Yachtmaster Offshore with Comercial.Endorsement; Yachtmaster Instructor, Ship Capt Medical
  • First Mate – Yachtmaster Offshore with Comercial.Endorsement, Sea Survival & Medical
  • Second Mate- Coastal Skipper Practical
  • Third Mate- Day Skipper Practical
  • Watchleader- Competent Crew
  • Bosun – Competent Crew, Diesel Engine

In addition to RYA qualifications, sea staff need to attend OYTScotland modules addressing youth work, and should gain experience in sailing with the trust.

We can offer the following RYA courses in the North East:

  • First Aid at Sea
  • Shore based Day Skipper, Yachtmaster and Coastal Skipper
  • International Certificate of Competence
  • Diesel engine maintenance
  • VHF (Short Range Certificate)
  • To do a course you must be a member of the Trust or you can join for £35 p.a.

To book on a course please get in touch with us for more detail (email address below).

Want to become involved?

Just email to join our mailing list or to ask a question.

Vessel Tracking

find out our current position

Click here to find out where our vessels are currently sailing.


Get involved in one of our events – take part, fundraise, enjoy


Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA15 1HD
Tel: +44 (0) 1475 722 722

Registered Charity, No. SC029531