COME and join us! That’s the message from members of Weymouth and Portland Cruising Association who are hoping to attract new members.

The local cruising association was founded 25 years ago with the express purpose of being a friendly, informal association of ‘people who like messing about in boats’ and in being on the water.

President Jim Long said: “It is definitely not the stereotypical stuffy yacht club – if that still exists.

“Our membership is comprised of people from all walks of life, united by the common love of boats and being on the sea.

“We would like to address the common misconception that you have to be rich to own a boat.

“Non-boat owners are welcome and can gain experience and tuition by helping other members on their boats.”

The association, which meets every Tuesday evening at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club on Custom House Quay, caters for both sailors and motorboaters and includes talks throughout the winter months and social events.

During the sailing season a varied cruising programme is organised as well as many informal trips arranged at the last minute, usually on the club nights.

Trips vary from day sails to extended cruises along the coast or across the Channel.

Mr Long said: “This can give the inexperienced sailors confidence as they will have other boats in sight.

“More adventurous members have gone to the Baltic, the Mediterranean, Ireland and Scotland in the last couple of seasons.

“We don’t organise race events.”

He added: “The club has its own moorings, which can be rented at reasonable cost and club membership costs £25 a year for a unique member and £30 per year for a family membership.

“If you think you might enjoy sailing, whatever your age, come and talk to us on Tuesday evenings at our meetings.

“No blue blazers or cravats please!”

To find out more visit or attend the association’s meetings which start again in the New Year on Tuesday, January 5, from 7.30pm.