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105 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.

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Commodore:    mancacommodore@gmail.com

   Secretary:    mancasecretary@gmail.com

©Copyright Manchester Cruising Association

Contact Us


January 11
February 8
March 8
April 12
May 10

Dylan Winter
Julian & Vanessa Dussek
Nick Pochin
Jeremy Batch


Keep turning left !!

Ups & Downs of Med Cruising
Poles get closer !!

Waves, Whales and Sparks
Hot Pot Supper

July TBA

The ‘Boathouse Summer Dinner’               7.00 for 7.30pm

ARC Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
An Expedition around Britain
Queen Elizabeth Carriers for the Royal Navy

AGM & History of the Bridgewater Canal

Sept 20

October 11

November 8 December 13

Paul Weinberg
Deborah Maw
Mark Dannatt
Mike Nevell

Meetings & Events for 2018

Next  Members’ Meeting
Thursday  -  8th of  February 2018
 7.30pm for 8.00pm start

Hope you can make it!
Please feel free to bring guests - Visitors welcome too!




(Click for venue details)

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


Dylan realised that a journey around the world was going to be too expensive….in time & money. But a journey around the UK’s 20,000 mile long outrageously crinkly coastline could be done ‘One piece at a time’ – like the Johnny Cash song !  

DECEMBER 2017 MEETING                                The 1,456th meeting                               

The Building of the Amelie Rose’

Nick Beck

- a journey from city streets to the open seas!

    On the 23rd April 2009 Nick Beck and Melisa Collett, IT specialists in the City of London, departed the capital to start a new life in Dorset. A day later, 300 miles away in Gweek, Cornwall, they watched the manifestation of their dream, a 44 foot wooden pilot cutter called ‘Amelie Rose’ take to the water for the first time.

“The building of the Amelie Rose” was, we came to realise, part of a story captured on TV as the “Hungry Sailors” for which they programme makers chartered the boat. But this was much more – the fascinating story of a successful London banker who gave it all up to follow his dream.
Nick began by whetting our appetites with a video of the launching/ blessing of “Amelie Rose”, but then took us back to his first venture afloat on a lilo with his sister on a rubber duck. Two Enterprise dinghies later, then a Westerly GK29 and a meeting with Melissa, a fellow sailor, and the dream of selling up and going to sea became a reality. Pilot cutters were what he wanted to sail with early experience in “Compass Rose” and “Jolly Breeze” confirming their ease of handling, their speed and being a good sea boat. Sadly it took the death of a friend in the London bombings for them to realise that they needed to act promptly. Having Googled Pilot Cutters and found a builder in Luke Powell, a trial sail was all that was needed to secure a deposit.
The second part of his talk was an account of the building of “Amelie Rose”, starting with three piles of timber (opepe, oak and larch) stacked to dry out for three months. Carefully taking us through the various processes, we saw lofting (with line drawings moving on to a template), rough-cut ribs using the natural bend in the oak, assembling frames every 18 inches and the addition of the keel, stem and stern. When the carvel planking went on it began to look like a boat and reveal its size in relation to a man standing next to it. Deck beams followed and then to the interior fitting of bulkheads, floors, and benches. By 2009 Cornish Douglas Fir was being sought for the spars. Cupboard doors finished off inside work, and the ballasted keel and lead shoe were added before caulking and painting. The final stage was leaving the shed and the completion above decks of the rigging. And there she was in all her glory – 44’ LOA; 13’6” beam; 7’ draught; 24 tons and 1750 sq. ft. of sail.
Finally, Nick took us through a series of graphs relating to expenditure over the project, confidence in the boat, a ‘still to do’ list, happiness in the project and how it was now a thriving charter business. He showed two more film extracts – the maiden voyage from Gweek Creek and a promotional film for Topsail Adventures.
There were lots of questions about finance and committing to realising the dream, future projects, the risks of not holding back and the joy of finding a new rhythm to life. Alan Street gave the Vote of Thanks.

Roger Cleland

The MCA Annual Dinner

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17th of March 2018 - 7.00 for 7.45pm

The Bowdon Hotel, Altrincham, Cheshire

Booking details to follow shortly - Watch this space !!

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 & great company!

 The Ups and Downs
of Mediterranean Cruising

Julian & Vanessa Dussek

JANUARY 2018 MEETING                                The 1,457th meeting                               

Keep turning Left!

with Dylan Winter

2017 Meetings
A new page showing accounts of all the meetings during 2017 can be seen by clicking HERE!

“You don’t ‘sail’ in the Mediterranean, it’s overcrowded and expensive”.
  So Julian & Vanessa were told and it’s reasonably true!
They achieved their retirement dream and went down the French inland waterways to the Mediterranean where they spent six years.

In those 6 years, they accidentally found themselves in the middle of the Cannes film festival, were shipwrecked on dry land in Sicily and ‘enjoyed’ the vagaries of Greek bureaucracy. Historic sites, from ancient Greece, personal history from WW2 and sailing into Venice were all high spots but none so interesting as their trip through Albania. Their cruising took them from Kalamata, in the far south of Greece, to Trieste in the north of Italy. They are now back in Calais.

Julian & Vanessa graced our company in March 2015 when they delighted us with their talk about transiting the
French inland waterways.
We welcome them back with an interesting update on
their Mediterranean adventure.

“Keep Turning Left” by Dylan Winter was unusual on several counts. He came recommended for his ability to inform and entertain which he accomplished very successfully with a mixture of films and stills of high quality. He began by taking us through a brief history of the different boats that he had owned or sailed with edible prizes for those who guessed correctly.
A cameraman by profession, he whetted our appetites with brief extracts of the “Hamble Scramble” to sailing in Scotland with an alluring range of scenery and wildlife, before starting his odyssey of sailing round Britain in an anti clockwise direction starting at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight.
He chose a Mirror Offshore largely because it was small enough to creek hug single-handed but also because he considered it a boat that was least likely to be stolen wherever he left it and was not very expensive to buy or run.
By the end of the first year he had progressed around the south east corner of England and was exploring the east coast up and down the mud creeks of East Anglia by year two. Once again there were film extracts (his films are available on his website and youtube), capturing the starkness of the scenery and some of the thousands of migrating birds, the icy conditions of winter and his primitive heating arrangements. On the Norfolk Broads we saw the start of the “Three Rivers Race” and an inevitable collision in such confined waters.
Inspired by the duck punts that he encountered, he decided to make his own version between Christmas and New Year in his garage using plywood and the stitch and glue method and an old Optimist rig. Having explored the salt marshes and north Norfolk, he moved through the Wash and up the Humber.

At this stage in his story he changes boats – upgrading to a Westerly Centaur, but true to his earlier criteria, it was an old boat whose dead engine he replaced with an outboard in a well – largely because other members of his family wanted to join him on various stages of his next leg to Edinburgh. But that’s another story… After questions the Commodore gave a Vote of Thanks and presented Dylan with an MCA tumbler as a memento of his visit.

Roger Cleland