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A Members-Only meeting which will concentrate on garnering members views about moving forward to the dissolution of the Association with particular emphasis on allocating the residual funds & assets.

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107 Years - Established 1913

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The Manchester Cruising Association has been meeting regularly in Manchester since 1913. Originally a small group of friends getting together and sharing their interest in sailing, the MCA has grown and now has over 150 members. Bigger maybe but still very friendly and still devoted to sharing experience, knowledge and enthusiasm. Gone are the Reefer jackets and club ties, come down in your jeans if you want, You don’t have to be a boat owner either; If you’re interested in Inland, Offshore, Coastal or Blue-water cruising, you'll find more information and how to join us HERE. If you would like to come to one of our meetings as a visitor most are open to the public with no entrance fee.  Meetings are held usually on the second Thursday each month between September and May with the occasional social meeting during the summer cruising period.


Welcome to the
Manchester Cruising Association

“To they that go down to the sea in ships, a safe and speedy return”

The Association Toast.

The MCA has adopted
the Plastics Pledge!!


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January 9

February 13
March 12
April 02
May  14

Hot-Pot Supper at 7.15pm followed by

Caribbean & Back - with no time to spare!

To be Arranged

Sept 24


Meetings & Events for 2020


The ‘Boathouse’ Summer Dinner                 7.00 for 7.30pm

Rick Ballard

Cruising in a Trailer-Sailer

Oliver Shaw


The Hon. Secretary’s Minutes of the previous meeting
can be seen by clicking HERE!


 The 1,475th meeting                               

JANUARY 2020 MEETING                                   

To the Caribbean and Back
 Sailing the Atlantic with not much time to spare !

a presentation by Rick Ballard

“To the Caribbean and Back” by Rick Ballard was preceded by a subsidised hot pot supper which was much appreciated by those partaking.
Rick’s talk was the result of him sailing his dream of crossing the Atlantic but with not much time to spare to allow for crew changes and the logistics of being in safe places at different times of the year.
His background, not surprisingly, had been in a collection of dinghies and small yachts from a young age and then reading plenty of accounts of blue water sailing which fostered the dream and to finally acquiring a sturdy Contest 36, “Dutch Lady”.
Sadly his wife’s meniere’s disease would be too much for her to contemplate such long legs of the voyage though her meticulous planning of victualling and culinary advice meant she was very much involved and had indeed encouraged the whole project with a “you should do it” exhortation. Rick meanwhile was busy sorting out equipment, crews , crew changes and a Hydro-vane self-steering gear so as not to rely on electronics. They set of on 5th June 2015 from Plymouth, and despite early trials of the emergency tiller and reefing problems they made landfall in La Corunna in Spain.   Moving down the Iberian Peninsula, they stopped at Cascais before crossing to Lanzarote, Cape Verde islands, and then the long southern sweep across to Antigua. Taking advantage of the shelter or the Windward and Leeward Islands, they moved up and down the islands of Grenada and Mustique where shorter hops and crew changes meant that wives and friends could join them for some holiday time and for them to avoid the hurricane season. The schedule was always tight as most crews were taking time off work and unpaid leave to fit in with Rick’s plans, but they did manage to enjoy some of the luxuries of these expensive locations.
The next leg was to Bermuda, then back across the Atlantic to the Azores and another short holiday before reaching Roscoff ahead of a storm and finally back to Plymouth. 10,000 miles of sailing and the only damage occurred in Roscoff harbour whilst tied up! It was a fascinating account of a dream come true, lots of photos and explanations of different aspects of the voyage.
Dave Hardy gave an excellent Vote of Thanks for an entertaining evening.

Roger Cleland

 The 1,476th meeting                               

FEBRUARY 2020 MEETING                                   

Cruising with a Trailer-Sailer

by Oliver Shaw

“Cruising with a Trailer Sailer” was a comprehensive talk by Oliver Shaw from Liverpool Sailing Club. He started by outlining the background to this aspect of sailing quoting the experiences of Charles Stock whose 70,000 miles of cruising with minimum equipment has been encapsulated in his two books – “Just for Fun” and “ In Shoal Waters”. Oliver came to this option slowly as he portrayed his own background of different boats he had “sailed” from a rowing boat in 1949, through a Heron, Firefly, numerous GP14s including with boom tent cover, Wayfarers, a Knobby in 1972 to ‘Tarka II’ – a gaff rigged boat ( about 80 boats in his sailing lifetime).
This led us to Oliver’s criteria for his ideal trailer-sailer – gaff cutter rig for ease of sail management, fibreglass for ease of maintenance, sea keeping ability to enable passages other than coast hugging, adequate accommodation for no more than two, and within his budget. The result was the acquisition in 2014 of a Privateer 20, “Tarka II”.
Oliver then took us through some of his many and varied voyages from his base at Liverpool Sailing Club, having previously experienced trips up the north east coast from Amble to Lindisfarne, exploring north and south Devon and Pembrokeshire – some to coincide with traditional boat rallies, others to enable him to spend time as a tourist once ashore as in the Isle of Man and Ravenglass Cumbria, often with hill walking as the attraction. His favourite anchorage was at Llaneilian on the north east tip of Anglesey with all that side of the island being within easy reach of his home port, but he also loved the rugged west coast of the Isle of Man and the challenges of the tides at Calf Sound as well as the bolt holes of Ravenglass, Glasson Dock and Peel Island. Oliver completed his talk by running through some of the technical details of trailer sailing; towing and rigging ; cooking and his own personal limitations of time on the helm as a single-handed sailor; weather restrictions and future plans.
It was a most interesting talk after which Richard Gregory gave a Vote of Thanks on behalf of the attending members.

Roger Cleland

Next  Members’ Meeting
Thursday  -  12th of  March 2020
 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.

Next  Members’ Meeting


All meetings are postponed for the foreseeable future.

Watch this space for a resumption date!