The dinghy park at East Dorset Sailing Club is probably the most iconic part of the club, it is clearly seen by all who pass on Sandbanks road and on a Friday night or Saturday ‘Pirates’ day is often a mass of colour with various sails of boats being rigged in a proximity that is sometimes uncomfortably close, in a bid to get to the slipway with only minutes to spare before the start of a race.

dinghy_parkThe other 95% of the time, the park is a quiet, reflective place, seeing the passage of individuals, friends and families preparing their dinghies or equipment to head out to their cruisers, rarely with any real sense of urgency but certainly with a sense of anticipation.

It is home to less than 40 small sailing boats that fall into many different classes, suited to many different types of people, all of whom who have one thing in common – to get out and sail. You could argue that the dinghy park and this structure embodies the very nature and existence of the club and more often than not, simply passing through the park will allow you to encounter another member who will certainly be willing to pass the time to impart some experience or knowledge or advice to help further your own abilities or experiences.

dinghy_rackFrom a logistical perspective, the park is very tough to manage as we must ensure that the space is used to it’s best effect, ensuring boats are used to the maximum, in order to justify their place in the park.

It is also home to the club’s two safety boats ‘Jennie’ and ‘Maggie’, named after the wives of Commodores in place at the relevant time; these boats are there to ensure the safety of groups of sailors during club activities but are also used to facilitate the other works and maintenance that goes on around the pier and indeed the cruising membership’s boats. In the last year, members have retieved lost engines from the depths of the harbour, recovered stricken cruising boats and fashioned under-water repairs to cruisers to enable them to be sailed safely once more.

The dinghy park is also home to the notice board which features reminders of activities taking place and impromptu hilarity from the EDSC elves that maintain it; but always remember to lock the gate when you go home, we’d hate to lose them!