The Club exists to satisfy the sailing ambitions of its members and has been in existence for nearly 20 years. We have now bought our fourth new yacht, a Beneteau Oceanis 45. Previous yachts have been the Bavaria 38, Beneteau 411, and Dufour 455 Grand Large.
From the first, the emphasis was on a club that was inclusive, one that encouraged its members to sail together, and one that helped members achieve their sailing dreams. The elected committee members manage the yacht, and ensure that members’ sailing ambitions are fulfilled where possible.
We organize sail training days on board to include all levels of RYA certification. Our year has some wonderful social events, including dinners, barbeques and pub evenings. The yacht is booked via our personal web-site on a first come, first served basis for a cruise fee, which is about a half of normal charter rates. As we are a non-profit making Club, all the monies go towards paying off the mortgage, on-going maintenance and mooring fees. In total members have sailed over 50,000 enjoyable miles and are planning to do another 100,000 at least!
As any keen sailor knows, it is not always easy to find a crew. Many fine yachts rarely leave their home ports. Fleet Cruising Club has members with vast experience and members with none, ocean sailors, day skippers and competent crew. The club runs social events to help members get to know one another and plan cruises. If what you want is to sail, our boat sails about 5000 nautical miles a year! She is usually berthed in Plymouth in the summer, and heads south for better weather each autumn.
The Fleet Cruising Club has enabled many members to achieve their sailing aspirations. In the early days, France and Ireland seemed like the ultimate challenges. Since then, we have sailed to the Caribbean and back, the Canary Islands and the Azores. In our past winter seasons we have enjoyed warm sunny weather in southern Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Mediterranean Spain and the Balearic Islands. Frequent sequential cruises are organized, so different crews can join the yacht on different legs as she travels towards her far flung destination and back again. These sequential cruises have taken us from Plymouth to Oban, via the Isles of Scilly, Wales, Isle of Man, Belfast and back over six individual weeks. We have enjoyed eight week cruises via the Caledonian Canal to Norway, Sweden and Copenhagen, and back through the Kiel Canal, as well as numerous sequential cruises around Ireland. Of course our delivery cruises going South in winter are very popular, crossing the Bay of Biscay frequently, visiting A Corunna, Oporto, Lisbon and further still past Gibraltar, Marbella, Benidorm to Alicante as well as Ibiza and nearby islands. We have entered and completed several memorable Rolex Fastnet Races. In summary we cater for the dreams of all enthusiastic sailors who join our club, whatever their aspirations.
Fleet Cruising Club is not a charter or a timeshare. Every member owns our boat, and no member owns it. Our first boat was named Ethos, because the ethos, the spirit of the club, is so important. As a club we put the interests of all the members ahead of our own. And when you take the boat out, then she’s yours, with all the responsibilities that implies. Sailing with the club does cost less than chartering, but we do not aim to sail on the cheap. We sail a high quality yacht kept in tip-top condition. We expect our boat to be a classy performer, comfortable, well-equipped and safe.
A club like ours needs to spread the costs of the boat whilst ensuring members can do as much sailing as they want. Our committee manages member numbers to ensure maximum use combined with reasonable access. Because members often sail with each other, this is easier than it sounds. Even though we have about 30 members, booking a sailing trip is never a problem, because of our reduced charter fee model. Most members could sail for far more days than they in fact book.
Ring Roger Haynes, membership secretary, to find out more. tel: 01452 381954 or 01242 570999