Dabchick Class Association – www.dabchick.za.net
In the year 1955 the prototype of the Dabchick was designed by Mr Jack Koper, of Cape Town. He studied the sailfish, an American designed ‘skimmer’, but arrived at the conclusion the she was unsuitable. He then worked on a plan to make a flat-bottomed boat out of three sheets of plywood and this became the basis of his thinking and design. Knowing that plywood is not easy to bend or twist, the rounded bow was adopted, and so the Dabchick was slowly planned ? much of it during sleepless hours in bed.
The first boat was narrower in the beam and had a more rounded bow and a curved transom. This design proved rather a headache for youngsters to make. After a season?s sailing, where she proved herself, a small jib was added and this improved her performance. The designer went to work on improving the design. There was enough plywood to increase the beam, the bow was widened and a Genoa-type jib was added. The plans were first published in June 1956.The growth of the Dabchick was phenomenal and over 3 000 plans have been issued to prospective builders. The boats are normally constructed of wood but G.R.P boats are also available.The designer handled the class single-handed until the 1st February1970, when the then South African Yacht Racing Association agreed to the formation of an association to be known as the Dabchick Association of South Africa. (DASA) to promote the development of the class, the training of its members, and to ensure that the boats comply with the rules of the class as approved by the Council of the South African Yacht Racing Association. A constitution was drawn up and approved by the members on the 6th January 1971, and the Dabchick was given national status by the National Authority.
The Dabchick has helped young people to learn how to sail, preparing them for the senior class, where some have shown top form, obtaining the award of Springbok colours.
Since 1985 the Class Secretariat had been administered by the South African Yacht Racing Association.
Dabchick Class Association of South Africa
The Dabchick has proved herself over the years to be an excellent trainer for the young of both sexes between the ages of seven and eighteen years. The Dabchick van be sailed single-handed or with a crew.