Welcome to The Royal Cruising Club


The Royal Cruising Club was founded in 1880 by Sir Arthur Underhill and a coterie of friends to encourage and facilitate cruising in small yachts. Members, then as now, contributed to the enjoyment and safety of others by writing accounts of their cruises for the Club Journal and publishing coastal guides.

Many familiar sailing names have been RCC members: Claud Worth, Erskine Childers, Tilman, Miles and Beryl Smeeton, and that other remarkable couple Eric and Susan Hiscock, whose lifetime of voyaging inspired countless long distance sailors.

The Club's prime objective remains the furtherance of cruising under sail and its membership, by invitation only and limited to four hundred, enjoys the same friendly intimacy as Underhill's group of Victorian sailing eccentrics.

Roving Commissions


Roving Commissions is the annual Journal of the Royal Cruising Club and is an anthology of RCC members' cruises for the year.

RCC Members may purchase additional copies at a member's special price through the online shop available through the RCC Members' Area.

Non members of the RCC may purchase a single hard copy of the latest edition of the Journal (for despatch to a UK address) by clicking on the "Purchase Roving Commissions (Hard Copy)" button below and paying by PayPal, credit card, or debit card. Those wishing to pay by another means, order multiple copies/back copies or for the order to be dispatched overseas, should follow the instructions which can be downloaded by clicking here.

The Royal Cruising Club Open Awards 2017

From inspiring cruises to outstanding seamanship, the Royal Cruising Club has announced its annual award winners for the 2017 sailing season.

The Royal Cruising Club announced its highly regarded annual awards in January which ranged from recognition of a mid-Atlantic rescue by the Queen Mary 2 to an account of a cruise by windsurfer off the coast of Wales and in the Caribbean.

The Medal for Seamanship was jointly awarded this year to Mervyn Wheatley, a long-standing member of the Club, who has clocked up over 400,000 miles, including three Atlantic crossings in one year - singlehanded. He has been a round the world skipper in the Clipper Races. Bad luck overtook him in 2017 when, during his fourth OSTAR, he had to abandon his yacht, Tamarind. To his rescue came the Queen Mary 2 and this mighty ship was able to remove Wheatley to safety. For the seamanship shown by Mervyn Wheatley over the years, and for the display of seamanship shown by the QM2, the RCC jointly awarded this highly-prized medal to the Master and crew of the QM2.

The photograph shows Mervyn Wheatley sailing Tamarind .

In recognition not only of his sailing, journalism and authorship, the RCC awarded the Medal for Services to Cruising to Tom Cunliffe for his never-wavering support for the values of traditional seamanship which he has brought to a new generation of sailors.

Previous winners of the Medal for Seamanship, the Medal for Services to Cruising and the Tilman Medal may be seen by clicking on the link below.

The prize winners amongst the members reflect another year of highly ambitious cruising with the Club’s highest award, the Challenge Cup, going to Mike and Devala Robinson for the log of their voyage from South Africa back to Dartmouth which completed their circumnavigation. Other awards were given for voyages to the north east Pacific preceded by an overland cruise across the Rockies, and for more peaceful family cruises off the west coast of Scotland. David Southwood gave a particularly vivid account of the same storm which caused Mervyn Wheatley to abandon ship.

The RCC publishes its members’ logs annually as ‘Roving Commissions’ and they are available for sale to the public via the Club’s website where you may also view logs going back to 1883.

Paul Heiney Vice Commodore

January 2018

The Baltic Sea and Approaches, 4th edition

A new (fourth) edition of the popular RCCPF book The Baltic Sea and Approaches has just been published by Imray.

The book owes much to previous editions but has been completely revised to provide a wealth of new information and includes a number of new harbours and anchorages. It covers no less than 9 countries,and is intended to be a useful planning guide as well as having a place in the cockpit. It has been an interesting challenge for the editorial team led by Nigel Wollen and comprising fellow RCC members Madeleine Strobel, Annette Ridout, Miranda Delmar-Morgan and Jan Hörhammer, our HFR in Russia Vladimir Ivankiv, and CA members Graham and Fay Cattell and Nicholas Hill, with contributions from many other experienced Baltic hands.

Cape Horn and Antarctic Waters

Paul Heiney's lavishly illustrated book warrants a well-deserved place in the chart table and has plenty of general interest for those seeking inspiration for their next cruise.

Book Review

RCC Pilotage Foundation

Cape Horn and Antarctic Waters

Cape Horn and Antarctic Waters is another stunning and beautifully produced publication from the RCC Pilotage Foundation. Similar in scope and style and to the Foundation’s widely acclaimed Arctic and Northern Waters, it covers the spectacular cruising grounds around Cape Horn, including Chile, the Beagle Channel, the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, together with invaluable chapters on preparing for cruising in the area, and approach routes from both the Atlantic and Pacific.

In writing the guide, broadcaster and author Paul Heiney has drawn not only on his own considerable experience, but also brought together contributions from a wide variety of renowned sailors such as Sally and Jerome Poncét, early pioneers of sailing in the Antarctic Peninsula, and Ewen Southby-Tailyour whose surveys of the Falkland Islands played a pivotal role in the 1982 war.

Paul Heiney wryly notes in the opening paragraph of the book that “[this is] ... a cruising guide in which danger lurks on almost every page”. Faced with an introduction like this, one might be tempted to think that this is a book solely for the diehard Southern Ocean cruiser. Whilst it will be an fantastic resource for anyone cruising, or planning to cruise in the area, it would be a mistake to conclude that its appeal ends there.

The guide is lavishly illustrated with a stunning array of photographs, some of which are double page spreads, together with a beautifully illustrated section on wildlife on the Southern Ocean. Add to this a wealth of interesting historical asides scattered throughout the text, and some fascinating snippets like the Falkland Island Diddlebee berry has a taste like Campari, and you have a guide which that would make a perfect companion for anyone travelling in the region, whether it be by yacht, cruise ship, or independent travel.

In short, Paul Heiney and the Pilotage Foundation have done something that many attempt, but very few succeed, namely producing a guide which contains sufficiently detailed pilotage information to warrant a well-deserved place in the chart table, whilst having enough of general interest that you could easily browse through the book whilst sitting by the fireside at home seeking inspiration for your next cruise or travels.

Clive Woodman
S/Y Cosmic Dancer
Cape Horn and Antarctic Waters
Published by Imray at £60, before discount to members
ISBN: 978-1846238369