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104 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

Next  Members’ Meeting
Thursday  -  9th of  February 2017
 7.30pm for 8.00pm start

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

The Association toast.

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Commodore:    mancacommodore@gmail.com

   Secretary:    mancasecretary@gmail.com

©Copyright Manchester Cruising Association

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(Click for venue details)

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


Cape Cutter 19 Association Rally - Simon Temple

Simon has been a member of MCA since 2004 but only bought his first boat 3 years ago. He sails mostly on Windermere in Cumbria.

“Revisiting the Dubh’s Ridge”
a documentary film by
Roger Chisholm & Howard Steen

Roger Chisholm introduced a film “Revisiting the Dubh’s Ridge” which he and his life-long friend and fellow climber, Howard Steen, had made as an entry for the Kendal Mountain Film Festival later this year. Using some outstanding photography, including underwater shots, the film recounted their sailing together in 2014 from Tobermory, past Ardnamurchan Point and the Isles of Eigg and Rum then on to Loch Scavaig on Skye, with the aim of revisiting the scene of an earlier climb on The Dubhs Ridge above Loch Coruisk.

SEPTEMBER 2016 MEETING                                The 1,444th meeting                               

Members’ Talks

September’s meeting was shared by two of our own members
Simon Temple and Roger Chisholm.

Somewhat in the spirit of the 1964 film, “The Yellow Rolls Royce”, Simon recalled his participation in the Cape Cutter 19 Rally 2016 held in Chichester Harbour and which was another episode in the life of his boat, “Sea Badger 2”, ( Mike Brooke had previously given a talk to the MCA in February 2014 about the boat’s round Britain journey in aid of Mike’s charity).

Familiar to some through MCA’s past visits to Honnor Marine who bought the moulds in 2004, Simon outlined the background brief for its design by Dudley Dix and its construction, namely to be a traditional gaff cutter rigged trailer-sailer able to fit into a 20’ shipping container. He showed us the interior layout with its “cosy”, compact living accommodation which he shared with his daughter as his crew and the deck features including lifting bow sprit.  From among over a hundred examples built, this rally was attended by 17 boats representing the four hull colours and both tan and cream sails. Mike Brooke’s small cruiser acted as safety cover. The programme for the week involved sailing initially in Chichester Harbour near Dell Quay then on to Emsworth S.C.. Tuesday was lost to foul weather but on the Wednesday they crossed to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and moved to Wooton Creek the next day to enjoy the splendid hospitality of the Royal Victoria Y. C.. They returned to Chichester Marina on the Friday before Simon trailed the boat back home to Windermere. Next year’s plan is for the rally to be held in the Netherlands.

This was no ordinary travelogue but a nostalgic personal journey encapsulating Roger’s early diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis with footage of earlier climbing exploits, ski mountaineering and trekking in Europe and the Himalayas and linked his enthusiasm for sailing (including converting Howard to the sport) as a means of maintaining a spirit of adventure despite his gradual loss of mobility. Dreams of visiting the Lofoten Islands were achieved but he was still drawn back to a return to the Cuillin Mountains on Skye and the imposing whaleback ridge of the Dubhs Ridge leading to the summit of Sgurr Dubh Mor. Linking up with the crew of a Rival yacht, a plan was made to haul the yacht tender overland (Shackleton style) to Loch Coruisk so that Roger could row to the foot of the climb and there meet up with Howard. There was a moving moment when they finally did meet up with the dream accomplished. As the English mountaineer, F.S.Smythe wrote in 1935, “on a mountain.. a man taps unsuspected reservoirs of spiritual force in his friends and in himself” – so this proved to be, an inspiring example of the indomitable human spirit.
                                                                                                    Roger Cleland

OCTOBER 2016 MEETING                                The 1,445th meeting                               

Liverpool to the Lofoten Islands

a talk by Dave & Jeanette Hardy

This had prompted them to return to see the Svartisen Glacier and some of the mountains that they had seen in Judy Lomax’s pilot book and an old 1900 mountaineering book. Armed with 50 charts, the journey north from Liverpool was as direct as they could make it, by-passing the Isle of Man, through the Crinan Canal, Sound of Mull, and up the west coast of Scotland and over to Orkney. Briefly storm bound in Lerwick they then crossed through the Norwegian oil fields to Bergen.  

   As the distance involved suggests, an interesting and detailed account of their 2013 voyage. Mixing slides, some movie footage, background music and a double act presentation, they whetted our appetites with an introduction of their 2011 trip to Norway.

The further north they went meant an ever increasing dramatic landscape – each island became a mountain in itself as they sailed up the Norwegian coast to Alesund and then Molde, where their Liverpudlian connection was welcomed by the fanatical Liverpool F.C. supporters of the town.

On to Rorvik and the decision at Hustadvike to take the outer channel north despite the pilot’s dire warning of it being more hazardous. At Bode they encountered horrible wet weather which was in sharp contrast to the largely good settled weather for most of the trip. By now the mountains were increasingly spectacular, sharp peaks and knife edge ridges rising out of the sea, almost Disneyesque, attracting Dave to do a hill walk and affording him an impressive downward view of their boat, “Free Spirit” (an MG335) at anchor.

Questions followed on fixing the autohelm, the merits of leaving the boat in the water during the winter, the balance between sailing and motoring and the costs of chartering.
Stuart Thompson gave the Vote of Thanks on behalf of members.
                                                                                          Roger Cleland

 By chance they met up with fellow MCA members, Nola and Terry McGaul, on more than one occasion, made friends with Norwegian sailors and local residents who seemed always ready for a party. From the Lofoten Islands and a stop-over at Reine, they sailed south taking in Stroma Island, the Troll fijord, Horden Island with its wartime Shetland Bus connection, Mount Slogan behind Alesund and to Harvanger Fijord where they left the boat to over-winter.  

The Black Sea is not a popular Cruising Area but each year a number of boats do battle with the strong currents of the Dardanelles & the crowded waters of the Bosphorus to visit this once USSR Naval stronghold.Trevor undertook this journey from Leros in the eastern Aegean to Bulgaria & Romania in the summer of 2015.

The new MCA Questionnaire

Please help us plan the future of the Manchester Cruising Association

Download a questionnaire HERE to print & return by post or at a meeting.

Download a questionnaire to answer on your system & email back as below

Click HERE for an .ODT file    —––––-

Click HERE for a .DOC file

NOVEMBER 2016 MEETING                                The 1,446th meeting                               

Cruising the
Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland

with Daria and Alex Blackwell

    Cruising the Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland was a joint presentation by Daria and Alex Blackwell which gave a comprehensive and professional coverage of many of the significant marinas, harbours, anchorages and facilities to be found around the West Coast of Ireland. They have put together in pilot book format details of suitability of shelter, shore facilities, local history and shore based activities which they have gleaned from years of extensive sailing on the less familiar and more exposed West Coast of Ireland. This is a place like no other – beautiful, rugged, unspoilt, conscious of developing tourist attractions, but exposed and wild with the constant threat of
ng SW winds.

By way of introduction, Daria outlined a series of helpful tips to be considered before embarking on cruising these waters from navigation (15 tides and old charts – even the “new” charts are not based on new surveys), weather forecasts based on headlands, marine services and the availability of fuel (both scarce), shopping for provisions (limited), the points of contact for possible crew changes (about 7) to the joys of the wildlife, history, culture and friendliness of the people.

County Mayo – the Blackwells home area and Clew Bay (regarded by many as the best place to live in Ireland) is the home of Mayo SC which is protected by 365 islands at Westport.

Continuing northwards to County Donegal and the most under-developed area of Ireland yet, boasting the tallest sea cliffs, secret meccas for surfers and climbers and an Irish language school on Arranmore Island before ending in Lough Swilly as the last stop before Northern Ireland.

Questions followed on the provision of lifeboat stations, the Atlantic swell and the increasing number of British boats to the area.

Alan Street gave the vote of thanks on behalf of MCA members.
                                                                                                      Roger Cleland

For more information or to contact the Blackwells, visit: www.whiteseahorse.ie/Cruising

Starting at Cork and the busy port of Crosshaven we were directed round the South western inlets of Kinsale, Glandore harbour, Sherkin Island, Bantry Bay, the spectacular beauty of Adrigole, Glegarriff and the home of the Irish Cruising Club to the vibrancy of Dingle. There were so many interesting hide-aways that it is impossible to record them all but moving up the coast to the Shannon estuary and its dolphins, the lost world of the Aran Islands and Roundstone in County Galway heralded the real wild west.

DECEMBER 2016 MEETING                                The 1,447th meeting                               

Hardanger to Helsinki

with former MCA Commodore - Terry McGaul

Hardanger to Helsinki by Terry McGaul was an interesting & varied account of the extensive 1000 nautical mile cruise in a Vancouver 34 by our own MCA members, Terry and wife, Nola, aka “the cook”, during the two summers of 2015/16. Describing themselves not as intrepid sailors but rather as people touring by boat, we initially followed their journey down the Western Norwegian coast before cutting across the canals and lakes of Southern Sweden.

There were many highs (meeting up with the Hardys, visiting Pulpit Rock and a granite sculpture park) but lows too (broken glasses from a fall, early heavy rain and mechanical problems). After leaving the east coast of Norway which they described as expensive, posh but not as nice as the West coast,  they visited deserted (for mid summer) Gothenburg but by tram before entering the system of canals and on to Trolhatten with its industrial architecture and the lakes of Vanern and Vattern. Here they encountered some very large ships in procession all negotiating the rather narrow channel. Having survived some huge locks and a lecture in lock etiquette by a somewhat frosty lock keeper, they were reassured by the sights of IKEA, AstraZeneca and numerous reminders of ABBA mania.

The Gota canal (Telford constructed like the Caledonian) with its numerous locks took them to Stockholm where they over-wintered at an impressive marina boasting super-quick hauling out and launching times.

The re-launch however was delayed because the boat was not ready – the snow cover protection had not worked and the holding tank was left for Terry to install. The Baltic was noticeable for its cloudy water due to pine pollen and the large number of ferries, but the archipelago and the large number of windmills were impressive. Helsinki Sailing Club  and its attractive waterfront were offset by the rather inward-looking Finnish people they encountered and whilst they enjoyed the Pommern ship museum, cycling and walking trips were often plagued by midges; saunas were no substitute for showers too.

                                                                                              Roger Cleland.

January 12
February 9
March 9
** March 18
April 6
May 11

Trevor Pratt
Mike Brown
Hough End Centre
Roger Brydges


Meetings & Events for 2017

The Aegean to The Black Sea & back!

Chartering UK, Croatia & Greece
45 Boats later……Aluminium  !!

MCA Annual Dinner
Marine Accident Investigation
Cruising Tit-Bits & Hot Pot Supper

Members’ Talks
Cruising England’s SE Coasts

AGM & Building the ‘Amelie Rose

Sept 21

October 12

November 9 December 14


The ‘Summer Dinner’ - TBA                              7.00 for 7.30pm

Derek Burchell
Nick Beck

The MCA Annual Dinner

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Tickets are £25 each which includes a 3 course ‘Fine Dining’ menu.
The menu choices need to be chosen in advance and can be seen by clicking HERE!!
For reservations and to advise your menu choices please email
Simon Temple at simonrtemple@gmail.com

Payment details are on a Booking Form to be found by clicking HERE!!
As an alternative you can print this form and post it with your payment & menu choices to Simon Temple, 37 Cote Green Road, Marple Bridge, Stockport, Cheshire. SK6 5EW Cheques should be made payable to ‘Manchester Cruising Association’
Booking deadline is March 9th 2016
Please Join us, we want you there!

Once again, we’re looking forward to the ever popular MCA Annual Dinner and this time, as last year, we’re keeping it a ‘Smart Casual’ affair but please come ‘Black Tie if you wish.  As in previous years, this is a Dinner and there is no dancing.  It’s also the type of function where you wouldn’t feel out of place on your own and not part of a couple! So please join us for a great pre-season evening of good food, fine wine and great company!

Saturday, 18th of March 2017 - 7.00 for 7.45pm

The Hough End Centre, Bar, Lounge & Dining Suite

JANUARY 2017 MEETING                                The 1,448th meeting                               

The Aegean to the Black Sea
& back!

a presentation by Trevor Pratt

Chartering in the UK, Greece & Croatia

All you need to know! -  by Plainsailing.com

An interesting half-meeting which will tell us how easy it is to organise a Bareboat or Skippered charter at home in the UK or around the beautiful islands of Greece and Croatia.

Boathandling in Montevideo!

Insights & Anecdotes from our President’s recent trip to South America.
Geoff Meggitt will give us his usual dry and amusing spin on some of his and Joyce’s experiences, culminating in the rounding of Cape Horn.


Do join us for what should be an interesting evening.
Guests and Visitors most welcome!

Leros to the Black Sea (and back) began with an amusing story of a mis-addressed email to a recently widowed minister’s wife who was led to believe that her late husband had contacted her from beyond the grave, announcing that he had arrived, that they had computers and it was flipping hot!!

Trevor then got down to the serious account of his trip from the Aegean to the Black Sea in his Jeanneau 409. Following a shake down sail to Patmos, famed for its monastery of St. John and touristic beauty, he then proceeded to island hop via Pythagorian, Chios, Oinoussa and Lesvos including a visit to the Ouzo distillery in Plomari whose wares were eagerly tasted.

Leaving Greek waters, Trevor changed crew at Myitilene on Lesvos and met up with friends with a Westerly Oceanlord to sail in company and leave Greek waters for a passage through the Dardenelles. By way of stops in Canakkale, Karabiga and Topogac they crossed the Sea of Marmara and eventually reached Istanbul where they berthed in the new marina. The old fortifications of Constantinople were impressive as were the three suspension bridges they passed under before the long passage through the Bosphorus and entry into the Black Sea. An overnight passage took them to Tsarevo which proved like so many places in the Black Sea to be deserted and overstaffed by officials and then onto Bulgaria’s main port of Sozopol ( best pronounced before too much of the cheap local beer !).

At Balchik they checked out of Bulgaria before moving onto Mangalia in Romania and then onto Constanta which is the largest port on the Black Sea. Though many places were beginning to cater for tourists there was much dereliction in the hinterland of many of these places in the former iron curtain countries.

With the war in Ukraine posing a potential threat they decided to explore the Danube Delta by minibus and small boat enjoying a true bird watcher’s paradise as they cut their way through water lily filled lakes and canals. In the return to the Aegean, Trevor paid tribute to the 1915 failed assault on the Dardenelles and the memorials to the Turks, French and Anglo Anzac forces cataloguing the many lost and wounded. His trip encompassed 1546nm of which 65% were done under sail, and he outlined some of the costs and support that they needed along the route
                                                                                       Roger Cleland.

Reports of meetings from earlier in 2016 can be seen by clicking HERE!!