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 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.
Alternatively the Kindle version can be purchased from Amazon by clicking on
the "Purchase Roving Commissions (Kindle Version)" button below
Heavy Weather Sailing
This is the 7th edition of this well-known and popular book. There is much that is new in this edition, all beautifully explored and explained.
The first edition of Adlard Coles’ Heavy Weather Sailing came out in 1967. Most of us, if we were around then, were sailing more primitive boats than we are now, and knowledge and experience were in short supply. The book exerted a profound influence, even on those of us who had yet to venture offshore, let alone experience ocean sailing.
The book underwent several reprints, and all the time offshore racing and passage-making were becoming less esoteric. More experiences of extreme conditions were logged, and more conclusions drawn.
In consequence, Adlard produced two further editions, each wiser and more informative than its predecessor. By the time a need for a fourth edition became apparent, Peter, son of Adlard’s friend, sailing rival, and co-publisher Erroll Bruce, took it over. And now Peter Bruce has produced the 7th edition. It is hugely more informative and better suited to our times and our boats than the first edition, obviously, but also than the 6th. Yacht design and construction continue to change, and new equipment is developed. But a storm at sea is still a fearsome thing, and anyone encountering one will want to be armed with as much information about how to deal with it as possible.
The book is split into two sections, Expert Advice and Storm Experiences. Each is as enlightening as it is comprehensive. But only the second section makes you feel seasick. Contributors to both parts are drawn from the ranks of those who know what they’re talking about, and though some of the topics – meteorology, seasickness, waves, and preparations for heavy weather – are of universal interest, there is also specialist advice for powerboats, RIBs and multihulls.
If this latest edition of Heavy Weather Sailing was the first, the book would be hailed as ground-breaking, extraordinary, and essential reading. Well, most of us have read previous editions and may be excused for thinking we don’t need to read more of the same. This would be a mistake. There is much that is new here, and so beautifully explored and explained that the prudent mariner (a description which surely fits all RCC members) will no more ignore it than neglect the latest weather forecast.
Blue Water Medal Awarded to Tom and Vicky Jackson
The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has selected Tom and Vicky Jackson to receive its 2015 Blue Water Medal.
The Blue Water Medal was established in 1923 to recognize “a meritorious example of seamanship.” The Jacksons were cited for their extensive cruising and racing over the past 34 years aboard their 40’ Sparkman & Stephens-designed Sunstone. On the now nearly 50-year-old sloop, they covered close to 200,000 miles, including a circumnavigation. The medal will be presented at the Club’s annual Awards Dinner in New York on March 4, 2016.
The Jacksons met 45 years ago while crewing together in the Fastnet Race. They married thereafter in 1972 and, except for a short pause, have been cruising and racing since. Starting in 1978 they lived aboard a 31' Kim Holman design on the East Coast of England. They bought Sunstonein 1981, and moved aboard her, residing first on the East Coast and later in the Hamble, England. The couple initially raced Sunstone in numerous British offshore racing events, and during the period from 1982 to 1997 they collected a series of class and overall victories, including the British Commodore’s Cup in 1996. Out of eight Fastnets entered, Sunstone won her class in four.
In the Wake of Heroes
In the Wake of Heroes is sailing's greatest stories introduced by Tom Cunliffe, a renowned sailor, journalist and RCC member.
The book comprises Tom’s 40 favourite extracts from stories of great seamanship from classic yachting books and covers the entire scope of yachting concerns, from small-boat handling to yacht racing to long-distance cruising and exploring.
Introduced in Tom’s quintessential lively, engaging fashion, and illustrated with photos both from the original books and Tom’s own archives, this beautifully packaged book contains a wealth of yachting wisdom and is a collection to be treasured.
It is published by Bloomsbury
Hardback £18.99/eBook £16.99
Voyage of the Harrier by Julian Mustoe Kindle edition on sale at Amazon
Before he tragically lost his boat (see Notices) Julian Mustoe (RCC) published a kindle version of his account of sailing around the world in the wake of The Beagle.
One of the most important ocean voyages in history was the circumnavigation of the world by the survey ship HMS Beagle in the early 1830s, with Charles Darwin aboard as ship’s naturalist. Darwin’s account, published in 1839 as Voyage of the Beagle, has never been out of print.
Voyage of the Harrier, is the story of the first detailed re-enactment ever made of the Beagle’s famous voyage. Between 2001 and 2012 the author in his small sailing yacht Harrier went to nearly every port used, and almost every anchorage visited, by the Beagle. Harrier’s voyage was guided in detail by Robert FitzRoy’s Narrative and Darwin’s Beagle Diary. The Beagle’s voyage involved much labourious survey work and it saw the beginning of Darwin’s personal development as a scientist. Harrier’s voyage included a shipwreck and an attack by smugglers in the Timor Sea. The author’s book, Voyage of the Harrier, combines accounts of the Beagle and Harrier voyages in such a way that the two voyages cast light upon one another. Together, the two narratives help to illuminate the world. See link to Amazon below.
RCC Awards 2014
From inspiring cruises to outstanding seamanship, the Royal Cruising Club has announced its annual
award winners for the 2014 sailing season.
The Club’s most distinguished award, the Royal Cruising Club Challenge Cup is awarded to Charlotte Watters with her husband Dan Johnson, selected for an inspiring cruise in Hestur, a self built 34 ft junk-rigged schooner (Pictured). They tell of ocean voyaging and coastal exploration in West Africa.
The American Cruising Club Bowl was awarded to Andrew and Máire Wilkes for their voyage to Greenland, Labrador and Newfoundland collecting detailed pilotage information for 'Arctic and Northern Waters' published by the RCC Pilotage Foundation.
The remarkable seaman and navigator Roger Taylor was the worthy recipient of the Royal Cruising Club Medal for Seamanship. Describing himself as ‘the simple sailor’, Roger’s achievements as a single-handed sailor are of legendary proportions.
The Medal for Services for Cruising went to the National Coastwatch Institution which has become an established part of safety for those sailing in UK waters with 50 lookouts over both sea and coastline. Its volunteers perform an enormous service as they log our coastal passages.
Details of the Open Awards made by the RCC together with past winners are on the Awards section of this website.