Draft Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Devon Yawl Association 2023
Held on Saturday 18 February 2023 – By Zoom video conferencing.
Committee: Commodore – Mike Roberts (DY141), Vice Commodore – Andrew Matthews (DY100A), Web and Social Media – Philip Hawker (DY106) – Second Hand Boat Register – Tim Petitt (DY186), Jay Williamson (DY304) (elected during the meeting).
Fleet Reps: Mike Bennett (DY102) (Dart), Steven Board (DY339) (Bosham).
Other members: John Gregory (DY373), David Matthews (DY121), Steve Northmore (DY386), Peter Ponsford (DY183), Clive Thompson (DY187), Julian Whiteley (DY320) Ed Williams (DY351).
(14 members attending – the meeting was quorate)
The meeting started at 13:30.
Builder – James Gough-Allen, Peter Bowden (DY380), Rick Hanford (DY365), David Langley (DD85), Hugh MacDonald (DD32), Ian Scholefield (DY310), Ted Timberlake (DYs129 and 252), Jeremy White and Helen Bruno (DY367), Ben Wightman (DY319).
2 Minutes of AGM held by Zoom video conferencing on 19 February 2022
There were no matters arising. The minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting and were so adopted.
3 Commodore’s Report (see the Commodore’s Reflections in The Yawl 56)
Michael spoke to his piece in The Yawl 56. This year Michael and James were again gearing up for the RYA Dinghy Show at Farnborough.
4 & 5 Membership Secretary’s and Treasurer’s Report
Ian had sent his apologies and his report (set out below) was taken as read.
“Membership Secretary’s and Treasurer’s Report to the 2023 AGM.
I am not going to be able to join the meeting this year. Please accept my apologies. Assuming that all has gone to plan I’ll be away on holiday visiting friends and family in Australia. OK, so I could join by zoom but I doubt that is going to happen.
Membership now stands at 173, down by 9 from last year but still 10 more than we had at the time of the 2020 AGM and my overall impression is that the Association and activity within our fleets is healthy. Quite a few boats have been changing hands which tends to bring about more enthusiastic activity, and we have seen growth in activity around the fleets outside Devon, including those in Bosham and Newport, Pemb. I also gather that a new fleet is developing in Plymouth which may give new impetus in what for many of us are home waters.
Perhaps of more importance than pure numbers is the development of the boat. Pennant Yachts kindly loaned us DY385 with her added internal moulding for our exhibition offering at the RYA Dinghy Show last February. The appearance of this new take on the class without detracting from the heritage of the hull and deck design certainly led to new interest at the show and the possibility of further growth going forward.
On the financial front the accounts for the year ended 31 October 2022 show a deficit for the year of £1109. This follows the trend over recent years whereby we have been allowing our reserves to decrease somewhat whilst still retaining a healthy reserve, £9787. The recommendation from your committee is that we allow this trend to continue for another year holding our subscription level at £15. This will inevitably lead to expenditure exceeding income again in the current year, but by taking what steps we can to keep costs down we are budgeting to keep this within bounds. My estimate of the budget position for this year is that even with the ravages of inflation we can expect to see a deficit of no more than about £1200 in the year to October 2023. This will leave our reserves at a little below 2 years running costs. On that basis I think it likely that we will be looking towards an increase in the subscription in 2024. 2023 just doesn’t seem the time to suggest an increase with all the other pressures on member’s finances.
I appreciate that tendering this report without attending the meeting is not ideal. For that reason my report is being made available with the notice of the meeting so you can see it in advance. If there are any questions related to my roles as either Membership Secretary or Treasurer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will seek to provide a reply, possibly before the meeting.
Membership Secretary and Treasurer.”
There were no questions arising on the Accounts themselves. The Accounts were proposed for acceptance by Jay Williamson, seconded by Tim Petitt and approved by all those attending on a show of hands.
6 Web and Social Media Update
Philip reported that there was a lot of activity on Facebook fed by Sailboat and the new build. Jay had been unable to find the Facebook page. Mike explained that there were two Facebook pages for historic reasons and this was causing the confusion. Mike will remove the one that is not being used.
Philip said that the Website was stable. When he had time, he would have a go at updating the photographs. This was not as easy as it sounds for technical reasons. Philip would mesh together the Website and Facebook as best he could.
Andrew mentioned that a member, Ted Timberlake, had asked if the Website could include details of what each Committee member did. Given the current approach, which is that the Committee gets things done between its members, it was thought this would be out of date very quickly. However, in brief:
Commodore – “front of house” and Sailboat
Vice Commodore – Nationals, The Yawl, shares admin with Membership Sec and Treasurer
Membership Sec and Treasurer – membership, treasurer, accounts and shares admin with Vice Commodore
Website Manager – self explanatory. Basically all the techy stuff the other Committee members cannot do!
Second hand boat sales – self explanatory
Other Committee members – one off projects and a sounding board.
Jay asked if more back issues of The Yawl could be scanned onto the Website. Jay and Philip will follow this up.
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, Jay Williamson (all proposed by Michael Roberts and seconded by Andrew Matthews)
It was proposed by John Gregory, seconded by Clive Thompson, that the nominees be elected en bloc. That proposal was approved unanimously.
8 Membership Fees
The proposal that the membership fee remain at £15 was approved by all those attending.
There was discussion about a likely increase for next year. Steven said that he did not think this would be a problem. Philip and John were of the view that the increase should be to, say, from £15 to £25 in one go rather than two increases of £5.
The meeting’s feeling was that an increase, if necessary, to £25 would be better than cutting any of the activities currently carried on such as production of the calendar, The Yawl or attendance at Sailboat.
9 2023 Nationals and 2024 Venue
Michael reported that the 2022 event at Brixham had been well organised, the weather good and Brixham YC hospitable. However, there had not really been enough boats. Steven mentioned that Bosham SC had altered its discards to avoid clashes with the Nationals. Andrew explained that the Committee had considered the question of the Nationals at its last meeting. Three actions had emerged. First, there would be a minimum boat entry going forward, second the event would have to be self financing in view of the financial constraints on the DYA. Third, the issue of using a venue away from home fleet ports in alternate years was under review.
The 2023 Nationals are planned for the Yealm on 3/4 June.
The Royal Western Yacht Club of England has offered to host the 2024 Nationals.
10 Motion to amend the Class Rules
This item of business was taken at the end of the meeting.
Michael and Andrew explained the background. Both were of the view that the new build offered the Class a welcome developing future. There were no questions from members attending.
Steven Board proposed the motion amending the Class Rules set out below, which was seconded by Jay Willamson. The motion was put to the meeting and passed unanimously.
“That the Class Rules of the Devon Yawl Association be amended as follows:
- By deleting Rule 2.1 (the text is set out below for ease of reference) and replacing it with a new Rule 2.1 (as also set out below):
“2.1 BUILD: The hull shape and construction shall be that produced originally by Devon Craft (Salcombe) Limited from moulds produced by them, or from moulds approved of by the Officers of the Association from time to time to the specification herein. Owner completed hulls shall conform. No alterations to the standard shape shall be permitted.”
Proposed New Rule:
“2.1 BUILD: The hull shape and construction shall be that produced originally by Devon Craft (Salcombe) Limited from moulds produced by them, or from moulds produced by Pennant Yachts (UK) Limited for the production of DYs 383 onwards or from moulds approved of by the Executive Committee of the Association from time to time to the specification herein. Owner completed hulls shall conform. No alterations to the standard shapes shall be permitted.”
- By deleting Rule 2.2 (the text is set out below for ease of reference) and replacing it with a new Rule 2.2 (as also set out below):
Existing Rule 2.2:
“CONSTRUCTION: GRP simulated clinker, with side seats, a thwart amidships approximately mid way along the centreplate case, and a minimum of 400 litres of buoyancy.”
Proposed New Rule:
“2.2 CONSTRUCTION: GRP simulated clinker (with foam core in cavities as required), with side seats, a thwart amidships approximately mid way along the centreplate case, and a minimum 400 litres of buoyancy. From and including DY385 no side seats or thwart are required.”
- By deleting the following wording from Rule 3.1i:
“Band 1 – the lower edge of the band to be 7.366m (24ft 2in) above the lowest part of the mast heel (or keel hog if deck stepped eg DY336).”
And replacing it with the following wording:
“Band 1 – the lower edge of the band to be 7.366m (24ft 2in) (from and including DY385, 7.216m (23ft 8in) above the lowest part of the mast heel (or keel hog if deck stepped eg DY336).”
- By adding the following to the end of Rule 4.1i:
“A lanyard attaching the forestay to the metal plate at the forward end of the bowsprit is permitted.”
- By deleting the word “only” from Rule 4.2i so that it reads:
“There shall be a central mainsheet arrangement.”
- By deleting the word “shall” from Rule 6.2iii and replacing it with the word “may” so that it reads:
“There may be at least one row of reefing points not less than 0.800m (2ft 7½ in) above the foot.”
- By deleting Rule 9.0xiii. This currently reads:
“Reefing lines need not be fitted but must be carried.”
- By Deleting Rule 9.0xv (the text is set out below for ease of reference) and replacing it with a new Rule 9.0xv (as also set out below):
Existing Rule 9.0xv:
“Boats shall at all times when racing have their mizzen hoisted. The only exception permitted is in the case of a right of way boat which loses its mizzen as a result of a collision.
Proposed New Rule:
“Boats shall at all times when racing have their mizzen hoisted. If a boat loses its mizzen as the result of a collision with a “give way boat, it may finish that race and any subsequent back to back races.” ”
11 Any other business
Steven reported 6/7 boats regularly racing. They have 12/13 DY races a year and other open handicap events. The fleet is becoming more competitive. There are more DYs in Chichester Harbour than Steven originally realised and he often sees them cruising around.
Mike reported that the Dart fleet was going the other way! Most DYs on the Dart cruise, rather than race. A couple do join the RDYC’s Wednesday Night handicap event. Stoke Gabriel had been interested in a DY as a Club boat and, with Mike’s input on DYs, had bought one. Dittisham might go the same way.
Ed reported that there were some new faces in DYs at Topsham. They had enjoyed good racing last year. 6-11 boats participated. A Pursuit race had encouraged those not at the top of the fleet to participate.
Tim reported a fleet of 22/23 as the maximum for the Wednesday Night Series. A few new faces were appearing.
Mike mentioned that he would like to see some sort of member’ list produced again, like the former Members’ handbook. It was agreed that the Committee would investigate this.
Second hand boat sales
Tim reported these continued to go well. The market had been very active with the developing Plymouth fleet, in particular, looking for boats.
Andrew mentioned to Steve that, if the Plymouth fleet would like a slot on the Website, it would be welcome.
Michael thanked the members for attending and the Committee for their work in the past year. The RYA had been complimentary about the Website. Michael was very proud of the DYA and hoped the members were too.
The meeting ended at 14:35.