Author Topic: Too posh for the DCA?  (Read 360 times)

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Graham W

Too posh for the DCA?
« on: 05 Sep 2022, 09:13 »
Dinghy Cruising Association rallies take place all over the UK and increasingly abroad too, in interesting areas like the coast of Pomerania.  Despite the ever-increasing size of the Swallow fleet, if you read the rally reports in the excellent quarterly journal Dinghy Cruising, hardly any of us ever attend. 

Is it because we feel that our boats are too large and capable compared to more normal attendees?  I think that I would feel embarrassed having to keep pace with the rest of the rally by having to circle back all the time in my BR20.  And the cockpit space that we have for overnighting is palatial compared to most attendees.  Does anyone else feel the same?

I’ve also noticed that while new members are swelling the DCA’s ranks at an increasingly fast rate, hardly any of them are BayRaider owners - none listed in the past three journals.  Plenty of Drascombes have joined in the meantime.
Gunter-rigged GRP BR20 #59 Turaco III

Nicky R

Re: Too posh for the DCA?
« Reply #1 on: 05 Sep 2022, 11:05 »
When I’ve seen them on the east coast, they’ve all been in small open boats. The BRE seemed a bit too big and luxurious for them, the 23 definitely is. Plus I'm not sure our 8 year old would thank us for cruising with them, as they don’t exactly seem to fit in with her age group...

I joined the dinghy cruising association to read their cruising reports for inspiration, and will remain a member as I enjoy reading their magazine.


Re: Too posh for the DCA?
« Reply #2 on: 05 Sep 2022, 19:24 »
An interesting view of the DCA from an “outside” perspective . I cannot comment on the DCA meets in the UK. However, as regional DCA secretary for Ireland and a proud BR20 owner, permit me to express an opinion.

We don’t really do Port Out Starboard Home hereabouts! The whole ethos of the DCA is aimed at participation. There is an extremely varied amount of dinghies sailed, varying from relatively performance orientated to slow heavy old fashioned and beautiful boats. Part of the appeal is this large variety and nobody cares a fig if you arrive at a destination half a day later or two hours early. The speed of a boat is not really a big consideration and each individual skipper plans his passage accordingly. If you care to sail directly with some slower boats simply reef or put up less canvas. Sailors recognise that boats of greater water length and canvas will sail faster but we all choose boats that are most suitable to our individual needs. There is no frustration or envy about speed or size of boat, in fact,the reverse may often be true. Very often the satisfaction gained from a cruise can be greater in a small traditional wooden boat,with company at either end of the day.The time it takes to get there is inconsequential. As a dinghy owner on the upper size scale I have felt no awkwardness. It may just be a question of attitude.

A large proportion of the appeal from a sail together derives from seeing and experiencing the big variety & characteristics of different dinghies. I might suggest that our excellent Swallow boats, mostly fibreglass, are quite similar to each other in many respects. Try a DCA sail together as well as a Swallow rally someday. You would be very welcome and may be pleasantly surprised. Better still come to Ireland and experience that also!
BR20 , ex Devon Lugger, ex Cape Cutter19.