Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Devon Yawl Association 2022
Held on Saturday 19 February 2022 – By Zoom video conferencing.
Committee: Commodore – Mike Roberts (DY141), Vice Commodore – Andrew Matthews (DY100A), Treasurer and Membership Secretary – Ian Scholefield (DY310), Web and Social Media – Philip Hawker (DY106) – Second Hand Boat Register – Tim Petitt (DY186), Builder – James Gough-Allen, David Langley (DD85), Elly Pegg (DY35).
Fleet Reps: Mike Bennett (DY102) (Dart).
Other members: Steven Board (DY339), Peter Bowden (DY380), Tony Gray (DY355), John Gregory (DY373), Jon Pegg, Jay Williamson (DY304).
(14 members attending – the meeting was quorate)
The meeting started at 1335.
Willie Hamilton (DY184), Ian Michael (DY334), Bob Thomas (DY260), Ted Timberlake (DY129), Jeremy White and Helen Bruno (DY367), Doug Williams (DY360).
2 Minutes of AGM held by Zoom video conferencing on 20 February 2021
There were no matters arising. The minutes were proposed as a true record of the meeting by Elly Pegg, seconded by Tony Gray and were so adopted.
3 Commodore’s Report (see the Commodore’s Reflections in The Yawl 55)
Michael Roberts supplemented his piece in The Yawl 55:
- Michael and James were gearing up for the RYA Dinghy Show, this year at the new Farnborough venue. James’ new build would be on show (see AOB below).
- Michael drew the meeting’s attention to John Lack’s passing last year. John was a former builder of the Devon Yawl/Dayboat. There had been an obituary in The Yawl 55. John had always wanted to build 50 Devon Yawls/Dayboats and had managed 48.
4 Membership Secretary’s Report
Ian Scholefield read out his report:
At the time of our last AGM, I reported that there had been an increase in our number of members from 163 in 2020 to 178 at the time of the 2021 AGM. I’m pleased to report that the increase in membership has continued all be it not quite so dramatically over the past year. At the time of writing this report we have 182 members. I’m not convinced that the trend will continue but at least membership numbers have held up through another difficult year for many.
The tradition of members paying a subscription for a new owner following the sale of a boat has continued which helps me in my efforts to keep up our numbers. There has been a considerable number of changes of ownership this year and most of the new owners have joined our ranks. There may of course be some loss of members come May when the next subscriptions fall due but at just £15, I hope that at least some of those who have sold their boats will continue in membership out of a general interest in the class.
I for one am hoping to be able to do yet more sailing and perhaps spend a little less time on administration in the next year, though I do enjoy most of what is involved in the role of Membership Secretary. I’m not going to ramble on here as I have given an outline of my role in my recent article in The Yawl magazine. I just want to say thank you to Andrew who takes on much of the load of the day to day running of the DYA and to those members who make the Association what it is through your participation in all things DYA related. Please continue to communicate with me through the coming year. I will continue to encourage you to submit photographs so we can have another calendar next year and do please provide Andrew with articles for him to edit into our magazine.
I hope many of you will visit the Dinghy show next weekend on 26 and 27 February at the new venue at Farnborough when Pennant Yachts’ new take on the Devon Yawl will be on display.
Oh, while I have your attention, we have some DYA caps on order for sale at £12 each including postage. I’ll be sending out an invitation to buy one to all members once I receive them but if you want to get in first send me an email.
5 Treasurer’s Report
Ian Scholefield read out his report:
At the beginning of the financial year our funds stood at £11,601. Expenditure over the year exceeded income to the extent of £705 leaving funds on hand at 31st October 2021 of £10,896.
Our National Championship was held in Newton Ferrers and attracted 24 entrants. This is a significant event in our calendar which we generally support financially, and of course it was an event which did not take place in the previous year. The cost to the Association of this event was £690 which was in line with our expectations though the turnout was somewhat less than we have had at some previous events on the Yealm. This was not really a surprise in the context of Covid.
During the year we made a DYA pennant available to any member who wanted one. Providing these, cost a little over £1,000. The pennants were offered in line with our stated policy that we should reduce the surplus funds held by the Association as we cannot really justify running with a surplus of as much as we have had over recent years. We still have a stock of pennants on hand which are going to be used to decorate our stand at the forthcoming RYA Dinghy show.
The only cost for the Dinghy Show in last year’s accounts is £50 deposit for the next event due to the 2021 show being cancelled. Our attendance at the 2022 Dinghy Show at the new venue in Farnborough will be rather more costly than in earlier years, however the venue may be more easily accessible to many members. Printing costs for both the calendar and The Yawl magazine are creeping up.
Our current subscriptions continue to be adequate to carry us forward without change though it is apparent that our expenditure is rising with the effects of inflation. The trend is clearly one of rising prices and static income, so we will continue to eat into the reserves, and your committee will keep this trend under review whilst seeking to maintain a level of activity that keeps the Association vibrant.
Ian’s report prompted some discussion. Insurance and the budget were discussed (see AOB below).
There were no questions arising on the Accounts themselves. The Accounts were approved by all those attending on a show of hands.
6 Web and Social Media Update
Philip Hawker mentioned that the Website could do with a Spring clean, which he will organise in due course.
Jay Williamson asked if the pictures on the Website could be updated and Philip confirmed he had this on his “to do” list. James was happy to be mentioned on the Website as the builder. Michael, Philip and Jon Pegg would look into a link to the appropriate Facebook page.
7 Election of Committee
Nominations had been received as follows:
Commodore – Michael Roberts (proposed Andrew Matthews, seconded Ian Scholefield)
Vice Commodore – Andrew Matthews (proposed Michael Roberts, seconded Ian Scholefield)
Membership Secretary and Hon Treasurer – Ian Scholefield (proposed Michael Roberts, seconded Andrew Matthews)
Members: Builder – James Gough-Allen, Web and Social Media – Philip Hawker, David Langley, Elly Pegg, Second Hand Boat Register – Tim Petitt (all proposed by Michael Roberts and seconded by Andrew Matthews)
Those attending were asked to elect the nominees. They were elected by all those attending on a show of hands.
8 Membership Fees
The membership fee in the context of the Association’s budget was discussed (see AOB below). The proposal that the membership fee remain at £15 was approved by all those attending.
9 2023 AGM Venue
A variety of views was expressed. A physical meeting but run as a Zoom video conference would probably satisfy the general feeling. Certainly, it is the Committee’s intention to continue some form of Zoom access to facilitate attendance by a geographically dispersed membership.
10 2022 Nationals and 2023 Venue
The 2022 Nationals are planned for Brixham on 2/3 July.
The Yealm Yacht Club has kindly agreed to host the 2023 Nationals.
11 Any other business
Second hand boat sales
Tim Petitt said that he had 5/6 boats on the market at the moment. Availability is returning to pre-Coronavirus pandemic levels. Whilst quiet at the moment, Tim expected things to pick up in the Spring.
Andrew explained that, after consulting the Committee, it had been agreed that the Association should carry public liability insurance. The Committee’s view is that the risk of injury at a National Championship, the RYA Dinghy Show (which the Committee understands is already covered by RYA insurance for exhibiting affiliated clubs), “taster” sessions arranged by the Association or any other event organised by the Association is low. Historically there have been no issues on this front. Nevertheless, in an increasingly litigious age there is a risk and it would be prudent for both Committee members and the Association to carry appropriate insurance cover in line with the practice adopted by other class associations. The best quote has been provided by the RYA’s insurance partners Gallagher at £493 inclusive of fees and IPT.
The DYA’s budget and the membership subscription
During the Coronavirus pandemic, the Association did not carry the annual costs of the Dinghy Show and the National Championship. This meant that the Association was running with an annual surplus. The Committee used the surplus to provide additional benefits to members, such as the pennant. The RYA Dinghy Show and the Nationals coming back, has coincided with cost increases for the production of the calendar and newsletter. The insurance premium is an additional annual expense. It remains the Committee’s intention to run the Association’s reserves down to, say, two years’ expenditure (around £8,000). Beyond that it may be necessary to propose an increase in the annual subscription. This is something the Committee will monitor and discuss before the 2023 AGM. The membership fee was debated at some length with views expressed by most of those attending. What was clear from the debate is that those members attending the AGM, would rather see an increase in the subscription of £5 or £10, than a reduction in the current offering to members (such as abandoning the calendar).
Mike Bennett asked if the Association could publicise an RDYC event on the Dart for 10 and 11 July this year. If 6 or more Yawls were to race, they would be given their own start.
The new build
Michael introduced the new build. Michael, Andrew and Tim had watched the initial buoyancy and capsize trials. The build is self-righting (although it has not been observed recovering from total inversion) and self-draining.
At Michael’s invitation, James outlined the design and the reasons behind it. Under the pre-Brexit RCD (Recreational Craft Directive) regime, the build either had to conform or take advantage of a racing exemption (intended for use by extreme designs). The rules, however, changed. If the build had a secondary use (for example, cruising) it had to comply with the RCD for that purpose. Recently, James has proceeded on the basis that he is no longer able to supply the old build. James’s latest build uses the “trued up” moulds he took from the old moulds together with a new interior moulding. In short, therefore, the build uses the “old” hull, deck and centreplate moulds but incorporates a new interior mould. The result is a redesigned interior featuring a raised deck. This has resulted in the self-righting and self-draining design James will show at the RYA Dinghy Show. The Show boat is already sold and other orders are in the pipeline. The build will be CE (Conformite Europeenne – the EU mark) and CA (Conformity Assessed – the post-Brexit UK mark) compliant and can be sold outside the UK.
At the moment the new build does not conform to the Association’s Class Rules. This was debated at length with most of those attending expressing views. Themes were:
- There was general enthusiasm for the development. Michael and Andrew, amongst others attending, feel that the build will secure the future of the Class.
- Would the build be significantly quicker than the old build? It was planned to trial the build with the Yealm Fleet this Summer.
- Concern was expressed that James would be hampered in marketing the build until the Class Rules were amended to accommodate it.
- It might be sensible to consider the matter at an EGM called for the purpose as soon as possible.
- It would be very helpful if Michael/James could produce a video “tour” of the boat and other photos at the RYA Dinghy Show for circulation to members.
- Pending putting an amendment of the Class Rules to the members, could the build be given dispensation to race in, for example, the Nationals, on an equal footing with the “old” design?
It was agreed that the Committee would consider the issue promptly.
The meeting ended at 1530.