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Ocean Youth Trust South’s new sail training vessel, Prolific, was re-launched on Monday 24th October 2016 following a 12-month refit at Saxon Wharf, Southampton.
Prolific will further the work of Ocean Youth Trust South, helping young people aged 12-25 – many of them disadvantaged and vulnerable – to develop the skills they need to succeed in life: confidence, team-work, communication, resilience and the ability to cope with unfamiliar experiences. The new sail training vessel, which was bought from Norway in 2015, is the long-term replacement for the Trust’s previous boat, John Laing, which has taken thousands of young people to sea over the last 26 years with the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust South.
The extensive refit was only possible through the support of major sponsors like International Paint, who are responsible for Prolific’s beautiful paintwork, and Marina Developments Limited who, as well as helping to raise money for Prolific’s purchase, provide free berthing and support with the lift-out and storage during the refit.
Dean Smith, Operations & Marketing Director at MDL Marinas said, "We're proud to support OYT South and it has been a pleasure to see Prolific be re-launched as we know she'll make such a difference to so many lives in the years to come".
Sail specialist Andy Cassell from Ratsey and Lapthorn (Cowes) Ltd went on a trial sail in Prolific in order to be able to advise on how to get the best out of the sails for the work that the Trust does. Members of the Owen Clarke Design team also went out in the new vessel to advise on how to optimise Prolific’s rig for sail training, and are involved in the design of a new mizzen mast and other improvements. Other major sponsors include BSI A/S who supplied Prolific’s standing rigging at a special rate; Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, who gave legal advice throughout the purchase; and Spinlock who serviced all the deck hardware.
Post-refit, Prolific, which was built in 2005 and is a hybrid of modern-day construction and an historic design based on 19th-century herring fishing vessels, offers modern accommodation and a low- maintenance design. Crucially the low-maintenance design will allow OYT South to focus on its charitable work allowing the Trust to continue, with Prolific, for the next thirty years.
Over the winter, Prolific has a busy programme of sea trials and staff and volunteer training, as the adults who sail on the charity’s voyages get to grips with working on board a very different boat. From April to November 2017 there is a full programme of youth voyages, including an expedition to the Baltic and back in summer, visiting Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland, taking in some Tall Ships races and festivals. Much of the rest of the year involves local voyages out of Southampton.
Mark Todd, Ocean Youth Trust South’s Chief Executive, says: “There has been huge enthusiasm amongst our existing clients plus a number of organisations such as schools, other charities and youth groups which want to start sailing with us In Prolific – bookings now are busier than they have ever been and we are delighted that our decision to buy Prolific has created such a sense of excitement about her potential to make a lasting difference to young lives.
“Prolific’s refit has been a major project involving modifications to meet the charity’s requirements and the needs of the young people, plus significant amounts of new gear and extensive testing and servicing. Although she is now back in the water she is still awaiting a new mizzen mast and a complete new suit of sails. But we could never have reached this point without the invaluable help of a number of major sponsors. The purchase price and refit have been funded by the incredible generosity of a very large number of donors; but the whole project has been made possible by a number of key sponsors to whom we are enormously grateful.
“OYT South is thrilled to have brought this unique boat to the UK, and we hope that the sailing community in the Solent and around the British coast will welcome Prolific as she starts sailing in her new home waters.”
More details on Prolific can be found at: www.oytsouth.org/prolific.asp. Find the 2017 voyage programme with remaining vacancies for young people here: www.oytsouth.org/2017.asp.
We have great news! If you are a member of our Cruising Club you will now receive complimentary WiFi at all of our UK marinas as part of your membership. We are constantly looking at ways to ensure we are leading the way with both our Freedom Berthing package and Cruising Club and hope you are pleased with the new addition.
To access the complimentary WiFi, simply connect to the MDL WiFi Hotspot and enter your Cruising Club number as the user name (from the back of the card), followed by your home postcode as your password... and that’s it! Simple and easy access to super fast WiFi.
The complimentary WiFi is available right now and is the same high speed connection that our Freedom Berthing members enjoy. If you haven’t signed up to our Cruising Club don’t delay as it’s free to join and not only do you get access to the WiFi but you enjoy every 7th night free when berthing at our 18 UK marinas.
If you have any issues connecting, please contact the WiFi Spark helpdesk on 0344 848 9555.
Whilst we don’t want to talk too much about the coming winter, we do have some fantastic offers that will take the edge off any winter chill and ensure your boats are kept safe and maintained through the winter months, with fantastic savings on essential maintenance and winter berthing packages.
We are offering great value winter offers at our marinas on the south, east and west coasts of the UK, including the chance to enjoy three months berthing at Shamrock Quay or Ocean Village Marina for just £649 including VAT for an 8m boat. Other marinas offering similar packages include Hythe Marina Village, Hamble Point, Northney, Queen Anne’s Battery and Port Hamble. Cobb’s Quay in Poole is also offering a winter dry stack berthing solution for any boat up to 7.5m.
You can also save on winter scrubs and storage ashore at a number of our boatyards with typical savings of up to 40% for Freedom Berthing members. There are also additional packages at selected marinas, including Queen Anne’s Battery, Mercury Yacht Harbour and Hythe Marina Village.
As always we encourage you to book early as these offers are always very popular!
For more information on the offers we have available, and to book, please visit www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/winter-offers.
The long weekend is almost upon us and there’s plenty going on at our sunny marinas. We’d love to see how you are spending your time on the water and it would be great to see you all flying your burgees and sharing your adventures on our social media pages, using #burgeesontour.
We know there’s loads planned at our marinas so whether your burgee is joining you for the Pirates of the Caribbean Cruise at Shamrock Quay, enjoying a tipple on the back of your boat on the Thames or visiting the ice cream boat on Bournemouth Beach, we’d really like to get our social media buzzing with all of your photos in the spectacular weather we’ve been promised!
It’s also a great chance for you to showcase your cruising adventures with other fellow boaters, and us (we will certainly be green with envy)! Why not share your photos and let us know your cruising destination and any new-found gems you’ve uncovered. Just remember to use #burgeesontour.
If you haven’t picked up your burgee yet, please pop into the marina office where yours will be waiting.
Happy Bank Holiday boating!