Where have all the dayboats gone?

Debate to take place at the Royal Southern YC at the end of September

Friday August 31st 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

Open to every interested sailor, regardless of club or class, an important seminar on the topic of 'Where have all the dayboats gone?' is being held by the Royal Southern Yacht Club to try and find ways to increase dayboat fleets again.

Panel speakers include former SB20 Class World Champion Jerry Hill of Sportsboat World, the new owners of the SB20 design, Paul Heys of J-Boats, responsible for the J/80 and many other classes, Peter Poland, formerly of Hunter Boats and Hunter 707/Sonata/Squib fame, and Andrew Webster, MD of Mercator Media.

Primarily however, the discussion will come from the sailors about what they want in place for next year and beyond. Whether it's new classes or the revival of older ones, courses, events, socials, joint events. Everything is on the Agenda because bigger fleets make for better sailing, and that is the aim.

The facts are in the stats

This Seminar follows on from a similar event held by the Royal Southern nearly 20 years ago when the 1720 and 707 Classes were adopted. After many years of great racing, these and other fleets have been in decline. In 2008, 268 Solent dayboats entered for Cowes Week but this year there were only 156, a fall of 42%, with just three 707s and four 1720s. The SB20s mustered 27, but that is down from 83 in 2008.

Dayboat entries in the Royal Southern's own multi-Class May, June, July and September Regattas peaked in 2005, but numbers are now well down. Other Clubs report similar declines and entire classes have all but disappeared. There's the recession of course, but we cannot just blame the economy as IRC is faring better, although is generally more expensive to sail than dayboats.

Royal Southern takes the initiative

In its 175th Anniversary year, the Royal Southern is grasping the nettle and providing the platform to allow dayboat sailors to voice their concerns to those in the know and the opportunity to discuss what, collectively, needs to be achieved in order to get dayboat fleets back on the water. The problem has been identified and now the Club wants to explore the solutions that everyone can adopt. Invitations to attend the Seminar have been extended to dayboat sailors, past and present, Clubs and Class Associations - all are welcome.

The FREE to attend Seminar runs from 10.30 to 12.30 at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on Saturday 29 September. Interested parties should RSVP to Chris Pullinger or call Natalie Gray, Sailing Secretary, Royal Southern Yacht Club: 023 8045 0302

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