Weymouth and Portland

Cruising Association

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Weymouth and Portland Cruising Association

Welcome aboard!

WPCA is a friendly and informal sailing and motor boat club for those who enjoy cruising or just messing about in boats. Racing doesn't normally feature in our activities.

Throughout the year we meet almost every Tuesday from 7.30pm onwards at Castle Cove Sailing Club overlooking Portland Harbour.

As you can see from the programme we have an extensive summer cruising programme; and in the winter, a programme of talks, visits, and social events. Our membership is very broadly based from those with little experience to seasoned sailors with thousands of sea miles under their belts. We also have a number of moorings in Portland Harbour available to members.

You can follow our members' adventures on our Cruising Blog. The latest postings are below.


Some of the more extrovert WPCA members recently entertained the Bank Holiday crowds in Greenhill Gardens!

1 week ago
A Lesson in Safety.

Mary Banks, in her 9m Cat Pennyroyal had decided to tackle the RNSA cruise to Lyme this weekend, with Martin and Kate as crew. Leaving Ridge Wharf (Wareham river) at 10.00 we aimed to get to Poole Harbour entrance by 12.00 and take the inshore passage round St Albans at slack water around 14.00. Entering the main channel in the upper harbour we spied a mysterious “buoy” well ahead.
“It’s very wide and low, with a central blob”, said Martin.
“A man in a kayak, fishing.” replied Kate – eagle eyed as always.
Why had the sloop ahead of us deviated toward it?
Obviously they were pals, or something.
The sloop turned – headed for us.
“What’s your draft?” – “0.8 m”
“There’s a guy over there capsized, sitting on his boat – I can’t get close – can you - and tow him to Poole?”
Well we had little time to spare, but of course these things take precedence, so approached as best we could, watching the echo-sounder down to 2ft 6 inch.
What looked like a kayak was in fact a green plastic tender, upside down, orange wheels and outboard prop in the air. On which was perched a very wet elderly male.
“Here take this rope – tie a bowline to yours.” A granny knot was produced!
We dragged him alongside. Thence ensued a huge struggle to get this heavily built chap over our (max 2ft?) freeboard. It was VERY difficult, for one able-bodied man and two females – despite the “casualty” almost losing his trousers in the process!
Then ensued an interesting conversation:-
“How long have you been here?”
“Since 5 O’clock!”
“Where’s your life jacket?”
“Oh – I’ve got one.”
“Yes – but where is it?”
“In the boat – I was only fishing.”
“B******s!” – Martin.
“O.K we’ll tow your boat”
“Yes – my line will be O.K” – A piece of string from Wilkinson’s by the look of it!
Now clearly the guy was not quite in control of all his faculties, after all this time in or on the water, so a decision had to be made as to what to do next. Like, for example radio for the inshore lifeboat to take over responsibility.
But look – what luck – a passing Inshore lifeboat, fully crewed! No doubt somebody radio’d them.
But they’re going away!
Quick – no time for the radio – wave both arms in the recognised distress signal.
They’re still going away!
Wave some more!
Thank heavens for that! – But why are they so slow?
“Can we help? Is there a problem? We’re on an exercise. But we can’t get close – you’re too shallow! Reverse off!”
At last we transferred the by now shivering “casualty” and the lifeboat lads struggled to get his tender across their thwarts and disappeared towards Poole with thanks and a cheery wave.
I wonder if Pennyroyal will be Mentioned in Despatches?

As a postscript we enjoyed our challenging transit of the St Albans race, suitably inshore, only to encounter a foreign warship and Pilot boat as we approached Portland Harbour – but that’s another story.
Finally, discretion being the order of the day, with dirty weather forecast, we spent the night in Portland Marina and returned to Wareham next day, finding at last that we could get a decent sail out of Pennyroyal, doing 4 – 5 knots with 12 knots wind at 60 degrees apparent, all the way to Poole harbour.
All in all a satisfying experience.

4 weeks ago

Taufan from Cherbourg to Portland AIS CPA @600 ft nice to be able to trust modern electrics!!

1 month ago

Jeremy and Phillip on Dark Star.

They have completed a sail around Britain in a Wayfarer.


2 months ago

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Forthcoming Events

Tue 2 September 19:30- 20:30
Social Evening

Fri 5 September - Sun 7 September
Poole Harbour with Peter Anderson

Tue 9 September 19:30- 20:30
Social Evening

Tue 16 September 19:30- 20:30
Social Evening

Wed 17 September - Sun 21 September
Late Season Solent Cruise with Paul and Margaret Roberts

Tue 23 September 19:30- 20:30
Social Evening

Sun 28 September
Fleet Review and Photo Shoot with Peter Anderson