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106 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”

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Commodore:    mancacommodore@gmail.com

   Secretary:    mancasecretary@gmail.com

©Copyright Manchester Cruising Association

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The Association Toast.

Next  Members’ Meeting
Thursday  -  14th of  November 2019
 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.

The MCA has adopted
the Plastics Pledge!!


January 10
February 14
March 14
April 11
May  9

Bob Cannell & Les Green
Terry McGaul
from PBO - Sam Llewellyn
Roy Conchie

The Daniel Adamson Restoration

Return from the Baltic

Britain and the Sea
Adriatic to Aegean & back again !

Hot-Pot Supper +++

July 27th

The ‘Daniel Adamson Weaver Cruise’           2.00 for 2.30pm

Getting Started in Yacht Cruising

Sept 26


Meetings & Events for 2019

July 11th

The ‘Boathouse’ Summer Dinner                   7.00 for 7.30pm

No tides on the Baltic…..

Marlin’s Mission

AGM, Maud Trust & The Norfolk Wherry

Dave & Jeanette Hardy

Dave Selby

Linda Pargeter

October 17

November 14

December 12

The History, Saving & Restoration
of the ‘
Daniel Adamson

Bob Cannell and Les Green

Timothy West and
Prunella Scales

The restoration of the ‘Daniel Adamson’, affectionately known as the “Danny”, was an interesting and detailed account of the steam driven tug boat given by Bob Cannell and Les Green. Built in 1903 for the Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company, she was originally called the ‘Ralph Brocklebank’ – a tug tender of 173 tons and 110’ long for work on the River Mersey transporting a wide range of goods and some passengers. By 1922 she was acquired by the Manchester Ship Canal to be used as a stern tug and for some corporate hospitality but the growth of the use of lorries heralded its decline as a working boat and it was used increasingly for hospitality and to attract trade to the port of Manchester. In the 1930s she was renamed the ‘Daniel Adamson’ as Ralph Brocklebank had been a keen opponent of the Manchester Ship Canal. The wheelhouse was raised and a promenade deck was added. For the interior, the “in-vogue” art deco style was adopted, copied from the Queen Mary and it continued to work as a passenger facility and tug until World War 2 when it became a firefighting support vessel.

 The “Danny” underwent a major refit in 1953 to continue carrying tours until its last trip in 1984 ( it had been last used as a tug in 1961). But it had become uneconomical and faced an uncertain future as she was first housed in Manchester docks before being moved to the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port. Vandalism and high maintenance hastened the decline to the point where it was destined to be scrapped until a former tug skipper, Dan Cross, approached owner Peel Ports and the Boat museum ending in a deal to buy her for £1 on condition she was removed as soon as possible. It was moved to Sandon Dock for dry dock inspection before being moved back across to Birkenhead, near to where it had originally been built. Under the patronage of Paul Asterbury the “Danny” volunteers achieved charitable status for the restoration project.

In 2015 Heritage Lottery Funding was obtained to the tune of £3.8m to be used over a five year period and tenders were put out for the restoration to begin and bring the vessel back to its 1936 pomp in readiness for educational trips and as a tourist attraction on the River Weaver ( cheaper than the Manchester Ship canal). It is now booked for private parties, educational trips and as a major waterfront attraction, having received a great boost from featuring in TV’s series on Great Canal Journeys. The work goes on as the need for sponsorship and volunteers continues. After questions, Roger Cleland gave the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the MCA.

The vessel survived WW1  and then was sold to the Manchester Ship Canal  to be used a stern tug with her passenger carrying capacity rarely used. Things looked up for her in 1936 when she was given a total refit as the directors’ corporate hospitality launch with fashionable art-deco saloons. She was to carry out that role helping build Manchester into the third busiest port in Britain until withdrawn and sadly neglected in 1984. Saved from the scrap yard and restored in a £5 million project she is now fully operational and registered on the elite National Historic Ships register along side the Cutty Sark and S.S.Great Britain.

JANUARY 2019 MEETING                                   

 The 1,466th meeting                               

Roger Cleland

    “Return from the Baltic” by one of our own most active members and former Commodore, Terry McGaul, was a detailed account of his return to home waters after several seasons sailing around the Scandinavian countries. Asked at the outset to emphasise errors and mishaps, Terry pulled no punches as he explained delays, shortages of parts, oil leaks, unhelpful boatyard personnel, damaged instruments and lock gates not being open when needed.

     So in the summer of 2018, he and Nola (aka.the Cook) left the Baltic with the rather ambitious intention of sailing to Pwllheli - a journey which took some 36 sailing days interspersed with rest-days, sight-seeing and recuperation. From the Baltic they cut through the Kiel Canal to the River Elbe and on to Cuxhaven, surprised at the lack of shipping for such an important waterway. Out into the North Sea, past Norderney, they enjoyed a long fast sail down the coast before joining the Dutch waterways in irder to get to Amsterdam. En route they encountered many attractive towns, automatic bridges, traditional boats on the Isselmeer and huge windfarms before overnighting at Sixhaven marina. The plan to continue to the coast via Stellendam was thwarted by the lock not being open for three days, so they followed another boat down the inland route though navigating blind as they hadn’t envisaged requiring charts for this section of the journey. Once again they found some nice towns  and helpful marinas before emerging into the North Sea at Flushing and then coast hugging down the Belgian coast (Blankenberg, Neuport, Dunkirk –mostly uninspiring) before reaching the nice walled town of Boulogne sur Mer.

      “Cinnebar”, their Vancouver yacht, then cut across the Channel shipping lanes which were not as busy as expected and arrived at Eastbourne. After a brief rest, they then began to coast hop via Brighton, the Solent, Portsmouth (very busy), Poole (very expensive), Weymouth, round Portland Bill to Brixham, Salcombe, Plymouth, Fowey (their favourite), Falmouth and Penzance.

       Terry and Nola were struck by just how attractive and varied the south coast is compared to say the Belgian seafronts and just how much wildlife they encountered – Nola’s sketches adding to some excellent photographs. After rounding Land’s End, they stopped at Padstow before crossing the Bristol Channel to Dale and then onto Fishguard which they liked, Aberystwyth  which they found disappointing and finally to Pwllheli where they were made particularly welcome. It was  a really lovely account full of interest and detail which was well received by members.  Niall Golding gave a Vote of Thanks on behalf of the members.

Return from the Baltic

A presentation by Terry McGaul

FEBRUARY 2019 MEETING                                   

 The 1,467th meeting                               

Roger Cleland




(Click for venue details)

Visitors, Guests, Non-members are all welcome !!

Marlin’s Mission!

Adriatic to Aegean
and back again !

APRIL 2019 MEETING                                   

 The 1,469th meeting                               

An illustrated presentation by Roy Conchie

It was a treat to have a talk by one of our own members, Roy Conchie, on his continued exploits in the Adriatic and eastern Mediterranean. From purchasing his family boat, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43, “Skimming Star”, we were taken on a whistle-stop journey from Pula to Bodrum though his cruising policy was very much in the order of stopping at places en route to see some of the culture and architecture rather than flat out sailing. With his crew of Paul Brotherton, they stopped for shelter on the way to Zadar, then Primosten and on to Dubrovnik. Good weather brought out pilot whales and dolphins but a storm forced them to make for Brindisi in Italy and its difficult entrance. From there they went to Corfu in a day and a night, then on to Orthoni where bumpy conditions urged them to neighbouring Erikoussa for better shelter. Strong winds continued as they went down to Parga, suffering a knock down and then the theft of their dinghy while they were ashore, later retrieved, alas sans laptop (also stolen). As they journeyed south down the Gulf of Patras and on to the island of Trizonia, they discovered that they were taking on water from what turned out to be a ruptured shower hose which they fixed in Kiato. After passing through the Corinth Canal they stopped at Aegina in the Saronic Gulf where unfortunately they lost their main anchor, before weaving between the islands of Kythnos, Naxos, Levitha, Kalymnos and on to Bodrum. With the boat lifted out at the recommended ‘Yat Lift’ boatyard  they sorted out various repairs, brought a new 20kg anchor from home as “sporting equipment” hand luggage and then spent time sailing around the area, enjoying the cosmopolitan town with its castle and English Tower, Black Island – a favourite diving spot – and eventually on to Mamaris via a stop at Pedhi just south of Symi town, which was well worth a visit.
The second part of Roy’s talk centred on chartering in Croatia (having sold his own boat) where there were stop overs at historic Split, the charming port of Milna, picturesque Solta, Trogir with its choice of three marinas, the island of Roganiza, up the river at Sibenik thence to Skradin and its spectacular waterfalls – a romantic setting for his daughter to become engaged. It was a very enjoyable evening with the lasagne supper beforehand and this interesting tour which struck a nostalgic chord with many in the audience. Roger Cleland gave the Vote of Thanks.

Roger Cleland

Getting Started in Yacht Cruising

A reach-out Seminar in conjunction with the RYA

SEPTEMBER 2019 MEETING                                   

 The 1,471st meeting                               

The theme for September’s meeting was “How to start Cruising” with a particular target group of non-members for whom this would be the catalyst. Following a concerted publicity drive there were a good number of visitors though not as many as had originally indicated by email.
The two speakers were our own Simon Temple and Oliver Shaw from Liverpool Sailing Club both - now trailer-sailors though with wide experience of a variety of boats of different ages and materials.
Simon outlined how to get started in cruising by highlighting the major differences from dinghy sailing with the greater loads on sails, an engine to master, navigation and the use of charts, greater distances undertaken. He took us through the various RYA Courses from ‘Start to Sail’ to ‘Yachtmaster’ and detailed where they are held in the North West, but for some people sailing with a friend or on a sailing holiday is the opening.
Oliver talked about different kinds of boat, their drawbacks, likely costs and the options of boat charter, skippered yachts, flotillas, berth charter, boat share and crewing on a friend’s yacht.  Honing in on the North West, he highlighted local clubs, different sailing areas and what was achievable in small boats.
MCA Commodore Geoff Meggitt added to the talks with details of running costs, maintenance, antifouling and club membership.
Hopefully the evening gave food for thought for all our visitors and whetted their appetite as to what MCA membership might offer in the future.

Roger Cleland

Members only meeting
and Hot-Pot Supper

 The 1,470th meeting                               

MAY 2019 MEETING                                   

There is no write-up of this  meeting.

The entire Powerpoint presentation slides from the September Seminar
‘Getting Started in Yacht Cruising’
have been made into a PDF file which can be downloaded by clicking
The file size is approximately 15 Mb.

an evening with
Sam Llewellyn

‘Britain and the Sea’

MARCH 2019 MEETING                                   

 The 1,468th meeting                               

“Britain and the Sea” by the well known yachting journalist and author, Sam Llewellyn, differed in several ways from our usual monthly talks. The MCA made a special effort in advertising it as widely as possible with 'flyers' and on Facebook and with considerable success as it brought in a good few visitors. The talk did not follow the usual pattern but was more like “An evening with Sam Llewellyn” and highly entertaining it was too!

He began by reprising a telephone invitation by a researcher for the Woman’s Hour programme in which he gave a verbatim account of his tirade about the sea and why people are linked to it. This led to his list of observations about the sea delivered in a mix of both tongue-in-cheek and an acerbic manner reflecting modern fads and fears that others have adopted. Firstly, we live on an island and that’s a nuisance; we look upon the Channel as a moat; the sea has become a motorway for all kinds of vessels and yet our coastal fleet has declined unnecessarily; the sea has been, and is, a battleground and yet oddly we have nearly double the number of admirals for only 31 ships; the sea has become a rubbish dump where local initiatives are more effective than international ones; the sea is a larder but is being trashed by some trawlers; the sea as a historical source with the proliferation of reproduction traditional boats and even his suggestion to Prince Charles that he commissions a new ‘Cutty Sark’ as a Royal Yacht; the sea as a playground has to be enjoyed by all and finally act as a universe of undiscovered wonders.

Sam advocated encouraging anarchy in children with them getting wet at an early age but not the RYA merry-go-round of exams from competent cradle onwards; he questioned travelling from marina to marina as a sort of caravan club; the cost of sailing that can be offset by improvised boat construction like he saw on the island of Yap; the horrors of inboard engines; the benefits of sculling and his 14 day trip without an engine; reliance on GPS (several of them), paper charts, the compass and waves and birds recognition to establish position. In essence the ideal boat is the one you like sailing.

After the interval, Sam talked about the philosophy of sailing from an over complicated view of the sport from La Stampa to the more basic Glenans manual’s  holistic approach and the RYA Skipper instructor’s method of just shouting; the simplicity of colour co-ordinated ropes so that gentle crew can handle them effortlessly; the benefits of heaving-to in order to make a well earned cup of tea; the mysteries or freshwater pools on Tresco and Tenneyson’s poem “The Kraken”. He touched on the importance of safety without crash helmets and steel toe-capped boots; cooking and ship’s biscuits; sea-sickness and the benefits of patches; entertainment where whale watching was better than TV or persuading a crew member to read Stephen Hawking’s 'A Brief History of Time' and finally sailing as the national salvation where simply messing about in boats beats everything.

Terry McGaul gave an excellent Vote of Thanks for a most entertaining evening.    

Roger Cleland

No tides in the Baltic!

OCTOBER 2019 MEETING                                   

 The 1,472nd meeting                               

Cruising to the Swedish Archipelago(2015 – 2019)

“No Tides on the Baltic, Narrow Channels, Secret Anchorages, New Techniques” was a talk given by two of our own members, husband and wife, Dave and Jeanette Hardy in their yacht “Free Spirit”, an MG335. This was a sort of travelogue carried out over several seasons of their journey first of sailing from Liverpool to Norway via the Isle of Man, the Crinan Canal, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Inverness and over to the Hardanger Fjord where they overwintered in Northeimsund. With a mixture of video footage and some excellent photos, they captured in a series of cameos the different shorelines, narrow channels and sheltered anchorages that they encountered throughout the whole of the Baltic region.

Having rounded the southern end of Norway, they hugged the west coast of Sweden, made a mandatory stop in Copenhagen and Elsinor, before tackling the open and windy south coast of Sweden and then into a series of superb anchorages sheltered by trees on the east coast, where they soon mastered the stern buoy system of tying up.

Another overwinter stop in Nafvequarns but this time returning by car with the advantage of stocking up on liquid refreshment ! We were shown the delights of sailing amongst the many islands and guest harbours sheltered by narrow entrances some of which had been canalised but even then was there barely enough depth for them to enter gingerly. Linking up with a Cruising Association  mini rally, they then sailed overnight to Latvia and on to Estonia where a “national day” brought out their lines of flags to dress “Free Spirit” overall. Ashore they took full advantage of their bicycles to see the sights and even take in a ballet. From Tallin they sailed across to Vyborg where they took a train to St. Petersburg for a two day visit including the magnificent Hermitage and all its splendours.

Returning along the south coast of Finland whose anchorages were similar to those in the Swedish archipelago, they stopped in Helsinki in a guest harbour and enjoyed a very sociable reception as well as the delights of what was going on in the town. They ended their talk in negotiating the Swedish archipelago and the narrow channel leading to the centre of Stockholm. Sadly, the evening’s time ran out though there were obviously more insights to be revealed from our two most adventurous members.

a presentation by Dave & Jeanette Hardy

Roger Cleland

A presentation by

Dave Selby

Dave Selby is a passionate but useless sailor who's been fumbling around the east coast for years in Marlin, his 18-ft Sailfish, without dying once. In 2016 the Practical Boat Owner columnist set his horizons further afield, heading off on Marlin's Mission to sail 340 miles to exhibit his boat at The Southampton Boat Show. The aim was to demonstrate that cost is no barrier to getting afloat, that in this day and age sailing has never been more affordable. Dave will be telling tales from his endless catalogue of sailing mishaps and also be talking about the life-changing events that inspired his adventure. In 2012 he was struck down by a rare viral condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which temporarily paralysed him. Now, every five weeks, he spends three days in hospital where antibodies from the blood of 800 donors are pumped into him to restore his legs. “Far from holding me back, it gave me the drive for what became one of the richest experiences of my life.” To date Dave has raised over £10,000 for the charity (gaincharity.org.uk) that funds research into this rare illness and provides support for those with it. Dave will also be signing copies of his first sailing book, The Impractical Boat Owner, a light-hearted commentary on “the yachting condition,” charting his meteoric rise from total novice to complete incompetent.
“Everything I haven’t learned is in there,” says Dave proudly.