Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below is a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Please click on any of the questions to get the answer.

If you’re thinking of joining the CA you might still have some questions even after browsing the website, chatting to members or reading about us in the yachting press or on social media. We’d like to try and help and have put together a series of FAQs below.

Please note that some of the responses relate to information that is available only for members to view.

You can chat to a member of the CA team by booking a one-to-one tour of the website and our CAptain's Mate app. Alternatively, why not join a Live Chat session by clicking on the icon in the bottom right of the page to chat with a member of the CA team.

Membership Queries

How do I join and what is the cost?
If you’re interested in joining the CA, head over to our online membership application for full details including the membership categories, discount options, and the online or downloadable membership form. We very much look forward to welcoming you!
What can the CA provide that my local yacht club can’t?
Many sailors benefit hugely from membership of their local yacht club and at the CA, we like to think we offer our cruising members the same social scene and camaraderie and even more, including an incredible support network for cruising sailors. What’s more, we have a plethora of other benefits including exclusive use of our App and online forums, 16,000 pages of cruising information online, a quarterly magazine, access to CA House in London where you can stay overnight and/or visit our world-renowned library, and you can enjoy hundreds of discounts worldwide. Read more about Membership Benefits.
What’s the difference between you and the RYA?
The CA offers a wide variety of benefits for the cruising sailor. Whilst many racers also cruise and are most welcome to join the CA, we do not provide specific information on racing. In addition, the RYA is focused on the UK, while we provide info on popular cruising areas worldwide
Do I need to have sailed a certain number of miles before I can join?
There are no restrictions on becoming a CA member. We welcome novices as well as seasoned and experienced cruisers.
Can I join if I don’t have a boat?
Anyone can join the CA. If you’re looking to purchase a boat or simply want to expand your cruising knowledge, the CA can help. If you’re looking to increase your sailing experience, why not start the relationship by joining our Crewing Service from £34.00 per year where you can crew for our members.
Do you only cater for sailing yachts?
The Cruising Association caters for all cruising vessels from sailing boats and motorboats to canal boats.
I’d like to start by joining the Crewing Service. How do I do that?
To become a Crewing Service member you need to join here. If you would like to discuss the Crewing Service membership further, please email
Does my membership cover my wife/husband/partner too?
Yes, membership covers two people from one household. You can join with a friend, but anything we send (such as our fantastic Cruising magazine), will only be sent to one address.
Do you offer a family membership?
Our membership covers two people from one household, but those under 25 years old can join at the discounted rate of just £28.00 per year.
Does the CA provide corporate membership?
We don’t currently offer a corporate membership option.
Can I get a discount if I know a CA member?
If you are referred to us by someone who is already a CA member, and you subsequently join, you will benefit from 20% off your first year’s subscription (when paying by Direct Debit). What’s more, your friend will also receive £20 to spend in the CA shop. Simply ask your friend for the discount code to use when joining online here, then add the discount code they provide in the 'Promotional Code' field and, of course, your friend's name in the 'Recommendation' field.
Why don’t you offer an Overseas discount anymore?
Discounted membership for ‘overseas members’ was cancelled some years ago. The cost to service memberships and member requirements are the same regardless of location and, as a non-profit organisation, our services are provided by groups of volunteers, supported by a small administrative team. Much of our communication is also now conducted online and as such it carries the same overheads for any user in any part of the world.
Is becoming a member dependent on the size of boat you own?
We welcome owners of any boat, type or size.

Membership Benefits

What do I get for my membership?
When you become a CA member you open up a world of benefits ranging from gaining a wealth of cruising information at your fingertips, to being part of a social community. Whatever your requirement, we’re sure to have it covered. Read more about membership benefits.
Can I access CAptain’s Mate as a non-member?
CAptain’s Mate is for the exclusive use of CA members but it's worth noting that it is widely hailed by members as a key benefit of membership. Why not find out more and watch the video highlighting the key features and benefits of the app. If you would have any additional queries about what CAptain’s Mate can do for you, please call CA House on +44 (0)20 7537 2828. We are always happy to help.
There are other apps offering information on ports, harbours and anchorages, so what’s unique about CAptain’s Mate?
Information posted to CAptain’s Mate is all by members who have actually visited the location. Content is verified by a team of over forty editors who check location details and reports, providing reliable, factual, accurate information which is free from commercial influence. The app, completely redeveloped with the new version launched in December 2021, it is available on iOS and Android and can be used even when you have no internet connection. The app is mirrored on the members' area of the CA website for those who prefer a keyboard and larger screen.

Can I buy a new burgee?
Yes, if you are a full member you can purchase a burgee from our online shop. All new members receive a 18x9 burgee absolutely FREE!
Is there a cap on the number of discounts we can claim?
No, you can use as many discounts as you like. Many members report that they have recouped the cost of their membership within months of joining the CA.
Can I subscribe to your magazine?
Cruising magazine is published quarterly and printed copies are posted exclusively to members. However, you can view sample copies and/or sign up to receive them by email on our Cruising magazine page. We also offer printed copies at Boat Shows and CA events.

CA House

Can I stay in one of your cabins?
CA House has five cabins exclusively for the use of members. Prices are competitive and start from £60 for a single occupancy and £70 for a double. Read more about our cabins and check out the 3D tour!
Do I have to book to visit the library?
Ordinarily no, but at the present time we are limiting library visits to two people maximum. You can book a visit by either calling our reception desk on +44 (0)20 7537 2828 or emailing
Can I visit the library even if I'm not a member?
Yes, we welcome non-members, researchers etc to visit the library. We charge a day rate of £25 allowing full access to the vast range of books, charts, and maps, cruise planning etc. If you decide to become a CA member, we refund the fee. Read more about our Library and Information Centre.
Can I book a room at CA House for a meeting/training/a wedding etc?
Yes, we have several rooms for hire, including a fully stocked bar and catering facilities. Read more about our Room Hire and view the 3D tour. If you are a CA member you will receive a 10% discount.
Can I visit your bar and restaurant as a non-member?
Yes, we’d be delighted to welcome you we’re very pleased that we can welcome non-members to The Galley, our bar & restaurant at CA House. Read more about The Galley, including our opening times and take a virtual 3D tour.
How do I get to CA House?
CA House is situated close to the banks of the Thames overlooking Limehouse Basin Marina. It’s close to the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and national rail station at Limehouse, and is 10 minutes from the Tower of London or Canary Wharf, 15 minutes from City Airport or the M11, 30 minutes from Central London; easily reached by car, public transport or boat. We also have free onsite parking. Map and further details here.

Events & Locations

I don’t live in London, does that matter?
Not at all! CA membership covers global destinations. We have Sections in and around the UK and a others worldwide for you to sign up to, as well as online forums and events. See the list of Sections.
What is a Section?
The Sections are split into two categories, covering local member groups around the UK, and broader networks in popular cruising grounds around the world. Use our Sections to gain first-hand knowledge and advice and socialise with other members. Read more about our Sections.
Where is my nearest Section?
To find your nearest Section see the list all of our active Sections along with the various upcoming Section events. Non-members are very welcome at most Section events.
If I join can I attend as many events as I like?
Yes! There’s no limit to the number of events you can attend. We encourage members to actively get the most from their membership and non-members are welcome to attend most events. Check out our full events list.
What do you provide to encourage the social side of sailing?
The CA provides a terrific social hub for cruisers. We have various events taking place throughout the year e.g.: rallies, lectures, seminars, plus our Section events – presentations and parties! Many of our members also meet via the Find My Friend feature on CAptain’s Mate and regularly meet up for pontoon parties and gin o’clock. See our full events list.
I live in the North of England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland. Do you have any events local to me?
Although CA headquarters is based in London we do have Sections based around the UK. One unexpected benefit of the Covid-19 pandemic is that a number of sections are running virtual versions of their talks and seminars, which can be attended by members anywhere in the world if they have an internet connection. Some sections are running hybrid events, allowing those who are able to attend in person to enjoy the conviviality of a 'live' event, but also broadcasting via Zoom for those not living within travelling distance to the venue. Take a look at the Events calendar to see what’s on.

We also attend the national boat shows in Southampton (and elsewhere when possible), where we enjoy hosting a hospitality day. Furthermore, we run a number of regional seminars open to all our members to attend and meet the team.
Do you run events online?
Some of our webinars and talks are recorded for online viewing. Some are live and others recorded for viewing at a later date. Full members have access to our CA Video library but we also compile excerpts from a number of those to whet your appetite. See details of the CA’s forthcoming lectures, seminars and events, including events at venues around the UK.

Publications, Training and Other

Can I get updates to the Almanac?
Yes, you can sign up to receive email notifications of the corrections or download them from the Almanac Corrections page.
We need to take some refresher courses in boat handling and engine maintenance or any RYA courses. Do you run these?
The CA doesn’t run courses itself but has several training providers who run RYA courses from CA House as well as on the South and East Coasts of England. See full details of forthcoming courses. Members benefit from a discount on these courses and, if you join the CA during a course you attend, you'll get the discount too!
What other publications do you produce, and can I buy them as a non-member?
TThe CA produces a number of publications covering specific cruising regions including countries throughout the Baltic and a number covering the European inland waterways. These are updated annually and available for anyone to purchase through our online Shop. Members can buy these at a reduced cost for printed copies, and can also download PDF versions of most publications free of charge. Some publications are now available in PDF format for non-members to purchase.