Frequently Asked Questions from Parents and Group Leaders!
Is it safe?
Yes, whilst sailing offshore is a challenging environment, it is a very safe activity.
Our vessels are equipped and inspected regularly to ensure they meet or exceed the standards laid down by the government in terms of construction, maintenance and the safety equipment they carry. Our staff are highly experienced, meticulously trained and specialise in working with young people and novice sailors. If anything were to go wrong, we have all the resources we need to deal with it, and our teams regularly practice for all sorts of emergencies.
Are you regulated?
Yes, our vessels are 'coded' by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (UK Government) which means we are inspected and have to meet equipment standards and our staff have to be extensively qualified and trained.
MST is a founding member of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) and is also inspected annually by the Royal Yachting Association.
Who will be on the boat with my child/group?
There will be normally be two members of MST staff onboard the boat; a skipper and a mate. The Skipper is a highly qualified and experienced Yachtmaster, responsible for the overall voyage, for safety and safeguarding. The Mate will often be an experienced sailor in their own right, but tends to take more of a lead on crew management and the domestic routines (cooking, cleaning). All of our staff are DBS checked, and undergo regular mandatory training on safeguarding, data protection and first aid.
Where will my child sleep, wash and get changed?
Accommodation on Bright Star is in single berths only - no-one shares a mattress with another person. The Sea Staff have a cabin at the back of the boat. Accommodation for voyage crew is in two cabins, one of two berths and one of three berths. Depending on the voyage, this is used to either separate over- and under-18 or to separate males and females. The two sleeping areas can be separated with a curtain. We encourage all our crew to get changed in the boat's bathroom compartment.
Washing is carried out in the bathroom, though the boat doesn't have a shower of its own. Shower facilities are available in the ports we visit, in facilities reserved for users of the marina. Our staff risk assess all such facilities and depending on the group will organise appropriate levels of supervision to and from shore showers.
What will my child/group eat?
It's a key element of our sail training voyages that the young people take an active part in the preparation of all the food onboard. All the meals on the voyage are provided by us, and included in your voyage fee. We have a number of set menus that we use on our voyages, which are made up of simple and nutritious meals to keep everyone fuelled up for being active. All our sea staff are food hygiene qualified, and we are able to accommodate all sorts of food allergies and intolerances, so long as we're given sufficient warning!
Can I see your risk assessments and policies?
Our safeguarding policy can be viewed here.
All other policies and risk assessments can be viewed on request, please contact us.
Does my child need a passport?
If your child has a passport then please do bring it. If everyone onboard has a passport and the weather is right, we can cross over to explore France or the Channel Islands. However, this is not essential so if you don't have access to a passport please don't worry. The issue is handled with sensitivity onboard, and the crew will never suggest this until they have established that everyone has their necessary documentation!
If you are at all concerned about this, please contact us.