The Dinghy Cruising Association was formed in 1955 to encourage all forms of small boat sailing other than racing. Members come from all walks of life, sharing the same love of messing around in simple, affordable boats. Some members have extensive sea passage experience in boats they have refined over several years, but many are simply inveterate potterers, who enjoy sailing out to an island, down the river, or across the estuary to a favourite picnic spot.
An important function of the DCA is to stimulate the development of dinghies designed for cruising, to recommend safety standards, to circulate information of interest to small boat sailors, and to share the experience of members. Numerous rallies and day cruises are held in the UK and occasionally abroad throughout the sailing season. The Association publishes a quarterly illustrated bulletin, written by members, which is composed of accounts of cruises, articles about boats and equipment that members have bought or built themselves. The Association's Technical Officer gives free advice to members. There is also an extensive library.