DYA-2021 AGM Minutes

DYA – 2021 AGM – Minutes (as approved at 2022 AGM)

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Devon Yawl Association 2021 (as approved at DYA AGM 2022)


Held on Saturday 20 February 2021 – By Zoom video conferencing.




Committee: Commodore – Mike Roberts (DY141), Vice Commodore – Andrew Matthews (DY100A), Treasurer and Membership Secretary – Ian Scholefield (DY310), South Coast Rep.  – Will King (DY53), Elly Pegg (DY35), Second Hand Boat Register – Tim Petitt (DY186).


Fleet Reps: Mike Bennett (DY102) (Dart), Don Macrae (DY92) (Topsham), (Doug Williams (DY360) (Newport, Pembs).


Other members: Peter Bowden (DY380), Jenny Colls (DY341), Tony Gray (DY355), John and Carol Haines (DY377), Philip Hawker (DY106) (Web and Zoom), Bob Jeffery (DY65), Tony Patrick (DY69), Jon Pegg, Jeremy White (DY367), David Williams (DY366), Ed Williams-Hawkes (DY351), Jay Williamson (DY304).


(22 attending – the meeting was quorate)


The meeting started at 1330.


1 Apologies


Roger Board (DY339), Shane Buckley (DY349), Willie Hamilton (DY184), Mark and Helen Phillips (DY52), Ted Timberlake (DY129).


2 Minutes of AGM held at the Yealm Yacht Club on 15 February 2020


There were no matters arising. The minutes were proposed as a true record of the meeting by Mike Bennett, seconded by Tim Petitt and were so adopted.


3 Commodore’s Report (see the Commodore’s Reflections in The Yawl 54)


Michael Roberts supplemented his piece in The Yawl 54. Michael thanked various people:


  • Andrew Matthews for pulling an edition of The Yawl together despite the limited Yawling in 2020 because of the lockdown.
  • Ian Scholefield for all his work, including the Calendar.
  • Philip Hawker for helping the Association overhaul its Website. Philip had consolidated the work Michael and Ian had done. We can now be proud of the Website. (Philip was later presented with Rodney’s Reward for his work.)
  • All the Committee members and Fleet Representatives for the work they do.


Zoom was now being used for Committee meetings. Even if the Association goes back to in person meetings, it intends to include a Zoom facility for those unable to attend.


The Association was not participating in the “virtual Sailboat” this year but hoped to be at the new venue in Farnborough next year.


4 Membership Secretary’s Report


Ian Scholefield read out his report:


At the time of our last AGM I noted that we had seen a slight decline in membership in recent years with membership at the time of the 2020 AGM standing at 163. I also commented that the movement of boats from one owner to another seemed to be in decline with many boats remaining in the same ownership over very long periods.


Well, we’ve all seen strange events this year, many of them having a negative impact on our lives and activities. Whether it is a consequence of the strange times we live in or not I have to report that DYA membership has bucked the trend. My fellow committee member Tim Petitt who looks after our Boats for Sale lists has seen a surge in activity. At one point just after Christmas we had no boats at all listed for sale, and today our “For Sale list” runs to just one Devon Dayboat, one sloop rigged Yawl and a suit of sails. I’m told that many commercial brokers have seen a similar surge in activity. One result of this has been a flurry of membership applications from new owners.


The present tally of DYA members is 178, this being 15 more than at this time a year ago. I just hope that all this new found enthusiasm for our boats has translated into sailing activity.  I am delighted to say that many of the new owners have benefitted from the DYA tradition whereby many members “volunteer” to pay the first subscription for the new owner. It really does help with the continuity of membership and introduces new owners to the Association.


When anyone joins the DYA I send them a welcome pack, with a copy of our magazine, The Yawl, and various bits and pieces. I’m pleased to say that I have been much more confident this year when including reference to our Website in the covering letter. I’d like to offer my thanks to Philip Hawker for the work he has done updating our Website and ensuring that it is fit for purpose. He has done an enormous amount of work sorting out problems with the site and I feel that having a quality site has added to the appeal of the Association to new owners. Philip is of course the organiser behind today’s online event.


Beyond keeping our membership records I include in my role the compilation of our calendar each year. This year’s offering is unusual in not relying on National Championship photographs. I thought the absence of that event may leave me short of material but members did rise to the challenge. I received a collection of lovely shots from members and I hope you enjoy the 2021 calendar. I even have one or two photos for next year, though as always, I will be encouraging you all to submit more material both photographs for the calendar, Website etc and articles for The Yawl. Thank you to our Vice Commodore Andrew Matthews for pulling together another excellent edition of our magazine, and for all the work he does as the main driver behind the Devon Yawl Association generally.


Doing bits of admin for the DYA is all very well, but I just hope we are going to be able to get our boats out on the water in the not too distant future and have some fun racing and cruising in our boats be they Yawls, Dayboats, Sea Anglers etc.


Andrew Matthews observed that Ian should take credit for the sterling work he does in encouraging new owners to join. This has, no doubt, made a significant contribution to the uptick in membership (nearly 10% in a year).


5 Treasurer’s Report


Ian Scholefield read out his report:


When we, or rather 10 of us, met for the 2020 AGM my report to that meeting concluded with the observation that “Our major expenses arise from the Nationals, the Newsletter, the calendar and our representation at the Dinghy show.” I reported that our accounts were pretty much in steady state.

Our expenditure in the past year has seen one significant change – no 2020 Nationals. It is therefore unsurprising that the accounts for the year to 31 October 2020 show a surplus. Our income exceeded our expenditure by £862.

Whilst we are planning on the basis that there may well be a Nationals event this year, we already know that the RYA Dinghy Show is to be a virtual event. Your committee felt that we could not usefully exhibit in the virtual event. There is therefore every likelihood that we will again run a surplus this year and with that in mind my recommendation is that again there be no increase in subscriptions but that we let things run and see how the year pans out.

The accounts for the year to 31 October 2020 were circulated to you with the Notice of this meeting. If you have any questions about them, I will try to provide an answer, though in reality our finances for the year show no significant new issues.

There were no questions arising on the Accounts. The Accounts were approved by a poll of those attending the meeting, none against.

6 Web and Social Media Update

Philip Hawker gave an update on the work he has done to re-organise and add to the Website.

Mike Bennett asked that the Fleet Reps update their pages on the Website. This can be done by sending a new write up to Philip, accompanied, if desired, by a photograph of the fleet in question.

7 Election of Committee

Nominations had been received as follows:


Commodore – Michael Roberts

Vice Commodore – Andrew Matthews

Membership Secretary and Hon Treasurer – Ian Scholefield

Hon Secretary – Helen Phillips

Second Hand Boat Register – Tim Petitt

James Gough-Allen – Builder

Will King – South Coast Rep.

David Langley

Elly Pegg


Those attending were asked to elect the nominees. Two polls were taken and those nominated were elected, none against.


8 Membership Fees


Andrew Matthews commented that the current Committee’s aim was to gradually reduce the Association’s cash balance over time to around £5,000 (currently over £11,000) by promoting the Class and providing benefits to the Association and its members. The fact that the cash balance had increased, rather than reduced, in 2020 was, as Ian had pointed out, due to restrictions on the usual spends because of the lockdown.


The proposal that the Membership Fee remain at £15 was put to a poll and approved, none against.


9 2022 AGM Venue


There was a general feeling that in person meetings should not be abandoned in favour of video conferencing. However, it was agreed that the 2022 AGM should be held by Zoom.


10 2021 Nationals and 2022 Venue


The 2021 Nationals are planned for the Yealm on 26-27 June. A Notice of Race will be sent out as soon as the position on lockdown is clear.


The 2022 Nationals are very provisionally booked for Brixham on 2-3 July.


11 Any other business


Future AGMs by video conferencing


There was a discussion on the subject, reflecting what is set out above. It was generally agreed it is an additional useful tool in the box but no replacement for face to face contact.

RRS 2021-2024 and the definition of “hull” 

The effect of RRS 2021-2024 is that a Devon Yawl will cross a line when its hull does so, rather than its bowsprit (if it is travelling forward!). The Committee felt that this would make life difficult for race officials. With the help of Carol Haines, the RYA was consulted. The RYA was very helpful. With the benefit of the RYA’s input, the Committee has written to the racing fleets suggesting a local sailing instruction to address the issue. The effect is that a Devon Yawl’s bowsprit will count as part of the hull for this purpose. If anyone requires further information, they are invited to contact the Committee.

Class Rules and mainsail reefing points

A long standing member (Ted Timberlake) had recently contacted the Committee and asked that this item be discussed under AOB. Ian Scholefield read out Ted’s e-mail.

The point, in brief, is this. The Cass Rules provide, in respect of the mainsail, that:

“6.2iii There shall be at least one row of reefing points not less than 0.800m (2ft 7 1/2 in) above the foot.”

Ted’s point was that, from his observation, sailmakers were no longer providing the row of reefing cringles once found on mainsails. The current practice of a cringle in the leech and one in the luff did not, in Ted’s view, meet the rule.

Andrew Matthews explained to the meeting that the Committee would have to consider the point. In the meantime, the Committee was interested in any views from members, other than those on the Committee. There was a short discussion.

Ed Williams-Hawkes said that he thought sailmakers had considered the point some years ago and decided that the two cringle solution was compliant (presumably arguing that two cringles can form a row). Ed will look to see if he has any record of this.

There was unanimous support from those present for a suggestion from the floor. The suggestion was that, if necessary, the Class Rule should be altered to make the rule permissive rather than mandatory. The word “shall” would be replaced by “may”.

It was left for the Committee to consider the matter, noting that any immediate difficulty could be addressed by local sailing instructions disapplying the rule, as is permitted by the Class Rules. If necessary, a proposed amendment to the Class Rules could be brought forward at next year’s AGM.

Boats for sale

Mike Bennett said that he was looking for a Yawl for some people new to the Class. Mike asked if any second-hand boats were available. Andrew Matthews explained that Ian Scholefield, Tim Petitt and he were well aware that, for the first time in memory, the supply of second-hand boats had pretty well dried up. Good news for the Class. Ian was on the cusp of sending a message to members on the subject (since done!).

The meeting ended at 1455.