If you are not content with simply racing, or perhaps just prefer to travel in a more relaxed manner afloat, the RSrnYC Cruising Section boasts a fine and varied selection of activities for Members and friends to participate in.

At the Royal Southern, we offer cruising for those who enjoy a more relaxed way of enjoying the sublime Solent conditions. During the course of each month throughout the season, the Cruising Committee have planned such a wide variety of events, that there is something going on just about every week.

Explore the types of events we run both on and off the water and this year’s calendar.

The Cruising Group uses Whatsapp groups – Mid Week rallies, Family Cruise, Solent Cruiser Race, Mediterranean etc. If you are interested in joining any of these groups please email Pat North.

Cruising Programme – 2024

The Cruising Programme is built around (click on each title to take you to the full series list):

  • Mid-Week Rallies for those that prefer to cruise when the Solent is not quite as busy and linger in locations to explore for a couple of days with evening BBQs or Suppers together. Start on a Wednesday and finish on a Friday.
  • Weekend Rallies for those that may be time constrained and would like to join up with friends and fellow sailors out for the weekend.
  • Ladies Afloat provides an opportunity for Ladies who do not sail or regularly sail to have a day out on the water with lunch. We are always looking for volunteer sailing boats and motor boats to offer berths.
  • Family Rallies are aimed specifically for those who want to go out in the Solent as a group. Note families are much welcomed on all of the rallies.
  • Summer Cruise a more adventurous but guided rally over 10 days to the Channel Islands and North Brittany
  • Cruiser Race is our annual friendly race around the buoys over two days with evening get togethers to share stories. Cruisers are also welcome to join the event and meet up each evening in port.
  • Christmas Sailover to Cowes is our very popular Christmas supper at the Royal Yacht Squadron who kindly provide berthing and rooms where available to the Club.

To enable you to plan your diary for the season and to help the Cruising Committee ensure we have enough berths and bookings at restaurants it would be appreciated if you could indicate your interest in those events which you wish to join.  Nearer the time more detailed booking information will be published when a firm commitment will be required.

Please register your interest by clicking on the links above.

Wishing all members fair tides and winds for the 2024 season.

Information about our Cruising Events

ICOYC 2023 Cruise of the Chesapeake

September 27 – October 6, 2023

The Annapolis Yacht Club cordially invites ICOYC members for a 9-day cruise on our beautiful Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay is a large, historic, and beautiful estuary (200+ miles long and 30 miles at its widest point) in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The “Bay” is considered one of the most delightful cruising areas in the United States. In particular, its Eastern Shore, where our cruise will focus, is renowned for its quiet, pastoral scenery and attractive little towns, which make it a desirable destination for all boaters. The Chesapeake Bay itself is welcoming with its soft bottoms, limited tide range and little current. The cruise will begin and end in Annapolis.

The cruise will be hosted and organized by the Annapolis Yacht Club, a full-service, year-round, private yacht club that provides its members high-quality programs which include sailboat racing, sail and power cruising, a vigorous junior sailing program, educational and social events, a fitness center, and first-class dining facilities. AYC is proud of its new clubhouse, newly rebuilt from the fire that occurred two months after the 2015 ICOYC cruise. We also have two new facilities – the Sailing Center and the Activity Center.

As a special treat, the United States Powerboat Show is scheduled on the closing weekend so you can browse to your heart’s content.

Our Cruise Planning Committee has put together a great week of activities. We look forward to hosting ICOYC members at the Annapolis Yacht Club providing you with a fun-filled week on the Bay.

C. Edward Hartman III


Details and registration information can be found here:

ICOYC 2023 Cruise of the Chesapeake Information Package

*For questions not answered in the information packet, please contact Sue Pitchford at

Mid-Week Rallies

These are usually three-day events starting on Wednesdays to many of our favourite places like Bembridge, Lymington, the Folly, Newtown, Island Harbour and the Beaulieu River. It sometimes feels as though we have these places to ourselves, the trips not being at the weekends.  In Newtown which usually occurs in mid-summer we have a BBQ on the beach and Bembridge a BBQ in the marquis provided, bringing your own food to cook.  The last rally of the season is a “Sailover’ to Cowes where we usually dine at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Weekend Rallies

We have three or four weekend rallies a year when the cruising members join in with the passage race series to Yarmouth, Poole, Gunwharf and Itchenor where there is a pontoon party and a meal ashore.

Our last weekend rally of the season is to the Folly with the model boat race on Sunday morning.  Make your own boat with anything you have on board.  There are prizes to be one for this race!

We have two Cruiser Races a year that are sail and power races. These events are also open to those who do not want to race but just enjoy a sail or motor in company.

Solent Cruiser Race and Rally

The Solent Cruiser Race is a typical Cruiser Race where you can use your engine for a stated percentage of your elapsed time on each of the 3 legs.

There is the Rum Keg Trophy for the winner and a glass for the boat with the least percentage of engine time. There will be a pontoon parties in Bucklers Hard and Shepards Marina.

If you don’t want to race just come for the parties.

Legs are as follows:

  • Saturday – Hamble to Bucklers Hard
  • Sunday – Bucklers Hard to Shepards marina(Cowes)
  • Monday – Cowes to Hamble

Summer Cruiser Race and Rally for Sailing Yachts and Motorboats

The route is dependent on tides and each year we try something different.   The race is open to inboard auxiliary powered mono-hull sailing yachts with a minimum overall length of 7m and minimum speed of 4 knots under power. This if a fun event with lay days and time to explore ashore at each venue.  

If you do not want to race but come along for the Cruise in company, members are very welcome.  Sailing or motor boats. 

It’s said that “two yachts heading in the same direction is a race”.

We all do it, and try a bit harder to steer to the wind or trim a bit better, and we all feel a little pleasure at crossing tacks ahead.
Our Cruiser racing captures that spirit and adds some extra interest to a long passage. As it is likely that the tides will dictate the departure time and as we would be leaving about the same time, then why not make a race of it?

The race is started by one of the participating yachts, usually the course is from here to there with boats taking their own finish time at a designated mark. The unusual part is that it is permitted to use your engine for a set percentage of the elapsed passage time. This means that we arrive in good time at our destination. It also leads to some decision making as to when to use the engine, for example upwind and against the tide, and some mental agility to get the calculation correct.

There are prizes for each leg and an overall prize. There are some handsome and historic trophies to be handed out at the Cruiser supper.

Among our very popular regular Cruising outings are our Ladies Afloat days out.

These are Friday outings each month from April through to September, where this time the ladies are key. These outings are open to any lady member who would like to enjoy a very pleasant day out in company – usually up to about 5 per boat. You don’t need to be experienced at all and we only go out in good conditions. We start with a chat in the Club upper bar where we plan our destination. Then, during the morning, we sail to an anchorage or mooring somewhere in the Solent, where we enjoy a splendid lunch & refreshments (kindly provided by the Ladies) before sailing back to the Club, returning around tea-time.

Furthermore, while this is certainly not a training exercise don’t be surprised if your skipper offers you the opportunity to participate in the running of the boat, whether it be helming, sail trimming or anchoring. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can simply sit back and enjoy the view & enjoy a good natter – no pressure, just good company.

We just need to know one week in advance if you would like to attend so that we can recruit volunteer skipper/owners.  There is a Ladies Afloat Whatsapp group which we use for communication so that boats and food can be coordinated.  Please let the Cruising Committee know if you would like to join in and they will add you to the Whatsapp group.

We have a lot of fun, just ask any of our regulars… In fact, we enjoy each other’s company sufficiently to have a pre & post season lunch in the Club Upper bar in addition to those days afloat.

Cruiser Supper kicks off the season at the beginning of May and there is another one at the end of season in October. These are informal meals when we either discuss what we are going to do during the year or share photos of what we have done.