OCC Youth Sponsorship Programme                                                                                        

     June 2016

The aim of the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) Youth Sponsorship Programme is to foster the development of ocean cruising by enabling young people to gain experience as a crew member on a long distance sailing passage. The programme enables the introduction of individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 to experienced ocean sailors. The sponsorship contributes towards the costs of the voyage. The intent is to support a young person to sail on an Ocean Passage in a boat of not more than 70 feet in length, owned by an experienced OCC member and for the voyage preferably to be a 1000nm qualifying passage for OCC full membership.

Complete an On-line Application Form here.

View short video here. 



1. The programme will be called the “Ocean Cruising Club Youth Sponsorship Programme”.


The Applicant

2. A person of any nationality between the ages of 18 to 25 years at the time of application is eligible to apply based on this statement of applicable policies.

3. Applicants are not expected to have experience in long distance sailing but they will be expected to have had practical experience as a crew member. The Applicant will hold a national certificate of basic sailing competence such as the RYA Competent Crew Certificate or equivalent practical experience or qualification.


The Programme

4. The purpose of the sponsorship is to contribute towards the Applicant’s cruise costs, consisting of:

 a) the Applicant’s travel expenses including air fares

 b) their share of expenses when aboard

 c) the cost of personal equipment such as foul weather gear and other cruise costs, and

 d) to pay the Applicant’s first year subscription as a Young Adult  Associate Member of the OCC.  Such members are not required to pay a joining fee.

5. The sponsorship will fund two thirds of the Applicant’s total cruise costs up to a maximum of £2000 per sponsorship.

6. The amount of each individual sponsorship is at the sole discretion of the OCC General Committee acting within the constraints of the annual budget for the Programme.

7. The OCC sponsorship budget may allow a grant of more than one sponsorship a year.

8. The Applicant is required to take out travel and medical insurance, including repatriation costs in the event of illness or injury. The insurance submission should include the countries of origin of the Applicant and Skipper, the flag of registration of the boat and the proposed cruising itinerary.

9. Two or more sponsorship recipients can sail in the same boat, if desired.

10. The recipient of the sponsorship will be required to join the OCC as a Young Adult Associate member and to write an account of the voyage and their experience for the OCC Newsletter or the OCC bi-annual “Flying Fish”.

11. The recipient of the sponsorship may find it advisable to contact personal references as to the likely compatibility with the Skipper and other crew.


The Skipper

12. The Skipper of the vessel will be a member of the OCC and will be experienced in long distance ocean sailing with more than 5,000 miles of ocean passage making as Skipper.

13. The OCC expects the Skipper to offer informal tuition in ocean cruising, such as passage planning, navigation and boat maintenance, during the voyage.

14. The Skipper and Applicant will not be from the same immediate family.

15. The Skipper is responsible to ensure that the boat is seaworthy and safe. The OCC recommends that the vessel complies with the Category 1 requirements for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (the ARC) set by the World Cruising Club. http://www.worldcruising.com/arc/safety.aspx

16. The Skipper must carry adequate insurance including at least £2 million insurance coverage for third party damage including loss or injury to crew or third parties through the Skipper’s negligence.

17. It is desirable for the Skipper and Applicant to meet for an “interview”, prior to commitment on either side, ideally by way of a sail together. In addition to providing some comfort as to compatibility, important in a small boat, this gives an opportunity for Skipper and Applicant to discuss and agree on the expectations and aspirations of both participants from the voyage. It is suggested that the Skipper contact personal references of the proposed crew member to discuss compatibility with them and other crew members.

18. The OCC recommends that, prior to departure, the Skipper is assured of the Applicant’s ability to fund their return journey from the expected final destination.


Administration and Application Process

19. Applications must be made on a form available on the Website which should be sent by e-mail to the OCC Youth Sponsorship Programme Coordinator. The application requires the Applicant to write a proposal of up to 500 words setting out their experience and reasons for requesting the sponsorship. This should include their expected costs for which the sponsorship would contribute 2/3 of the amount. The application form can be found here.

20. The sponsorship will be administered by a subcommittee of the OCC General Committee whose decision will be final. The process is conducted by e-mail.

21. The sponsorship may be published in the OCC publication Flying Fish, in the OCC Newsletter, the OCC Website and by way of a press release.

22. The Applicant and Skipper must both agree that participation in the OCC Youth Sponsorship Programme is entirely at their own risk. Neither the OCC and its members nor the Committee nor the Directors of Ocean Cruising Club Limited will be liable (so far as such liability lawfully can be excluded) for any loss or injury suffered as a result of their participation in the scheme.