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RYA Club Affiliation
Number: 008110946

 

Penguin Cruising Club is a group of sailing enthusiasts. We started in 1970, sailing on the West Coast of Scotland in small flotillas, long before either of these became fashionable. Whilst Scotland is still our favourite sailing area, the club now runs a number of cruises in a wide variety of locations throughout the year.

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Why Scotland? And just to rub it in, why is our favourite cruising time Easter? Yes it can be cold, yes it can be rough. It is also one of the most magnificent sailing areas in the world. And most important for us it is relatively close to home and cheap to get to. One of our prime aims is to offer sail cruising to anyone who wants to have a go for the minimum cost. That is why we like Easter - Chartering yachts out of season is a lot cheaper!

The Sailing We do not own any boats - indeed the club has minimal material assets. Our biggest asset is a lot of enthusiasm. All our cruises use chartered yachts. We treat these vessels with great respect but we do not mollycoddle them. Our aim is to go sailing, not skulk in harbour whenever white horses start to appear. The joy of Scotland is that there are literally hundreds of anchorages, most totally deserted, in a very small area. Thus, even if conditions are changeable, one can head out, start heading for a planned destination, change one's mind and course twice and be safe and snug somewhere at anchor, all within a few hours. Lively conditions then become an exhilarating experience rather than a memorable (for the wrong reasons) cold wet slog.

Farther Afield Not all our cruising is in Scotland. Since 1993 we have cruised in Greece (twice), Finland (twice), the west coast of France, south-west Ireland and in the eastern USA (Maine), British Columbia and the Norwegian Arctic. All are destinations we would repeat, but Scotland still remains the favourite. For the last few years we have sailed in Scotland in summer as well as at Easter. The longer daylight allows further flexibility and the chance to go further afield - in 1994, 2000 and 2003 we went to St Kilda. In 2002, in addition to Scotland, we went to Croatia and the Norfolk Broads (repeated in 2000) and in 2004 to Majorca; all these cruises successfully introduced younger children to sailing. Since then the club has sailed in the BVIs and Norway - with a trip to the Faroe Islands planned for 2008.


Norway 2007


Why Flotillas? We usually sail 3 or 4 boats in convoy, always keeping within sight of each other, often sailing in very close company. It is more fun that way - you also get some excellent pictures And most important of all is the safety factor. If a radio goes, a tiller breaks, a halyard parts, an engine won't start - there is someone there to help.

Experience All yachts are skippered by someone of considerable experience. Skippers and mates usually have formal qualifications, but even an experienced sailor will rarely be allowed to skipper during his/her first Penguin cruise. Every Skipper has a Mate - capable of bringing the vessel and crew back safe to port in bad weather if the skipper is incapacitated. Each flotilla has a "commodore". He/she is in charge of the fleet and, in consultation with the skippers, makes the final decision about destination and other plans. Commodores have many years of sailing in flotillas, in Scotland and elsewhere. We take competence and safety very seriously, and encourage members to gain qualifications and progress to a level they feel happy with. We are able to offer incentives to those who wish to acquire formal qualifications. Since 1999 another six members have attained RYA Yachtmaster and two Coastal Skipper. In 2001 Penguin Cruising became affiliated to the RYA.

Costs We keep costs to a minimum by filling the boats full, 6-7 in each, generally sailing out of peak season and everyone paying their full share. There is no reduction for taking on responsibility. Penguins get to Scotland via buses, trains, shared cars &c..

People There are about 300 in the Club now, from all over the UK and some overseas. We have one thing in common - we love sailing and cruising. We are more than happy to accept total novices into our ranks. Our password is exciting cruising afloat, informality ashore. We have an annual AGM/Reunion/Barn Dance, every January. In November, the plans for the next year's cruises are circulated to all members. Write to the club secretary at the address overleaf and he will send you details. It would be appreciated if you could enclose a couple of first class stamps.

Brochure The club produces a small brochure to give more information to prospective members- to down load a copy click here.

If you are interested in receiving further information please register (for free) on our "MyClubHouse" website - click here.

Problems with registering on "MyClubhouse"? please refer to the flow chart here: click here