South West

Welcome to the South West Section

Welcome to the CA’s South West Section which covers from Portland Bill to the Isles of Scilly and then along the north coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to Bristol. It is a stunning area offering unspoilt estuaries, rivers and creeks with tranquil anchorages and some challenging offshore passages.

With more than 400 miles of stunning and varied coastline it’s no surprise the south west is the destination of choice of so many CA members. The area is steeped in nautical history, myths and legends and whether you seek quiet, peaceful, scenic anchorages or are setting off on an epic ocean voyage the south west has it all.

Many members of the South West Section live locally but even more live elsewhere and keep their boats in the south west or cruise these popular waters.


We produce a series of Podcasts covering a variety of topics such as port guides, news items, interview with personalities and fascinating projects. They can be listened to online or downloaded and played in the car, on the boat or at home. The podcasts are being added to all the time and will grow into a library of audio information.

This podcast is the first of a growing library of podcasts covering ports, harbours and anchorages in the South West.

Please note that different browsers will display the audio controls for this podcast differently and some will not include the download button on the audio controls. An additional download facility is therefore provided - simply click on the CA podcast icon, to the right of the podcast, below. If your browser then prompts for what action to take, select 'Save File'. If you are using Safari on Mac, you will need to click CTRL + left click on the podcast icon, then select 'Download Linked File'.

Soundings South West, April 2020: Queen's Harbour Master Plymouth. An interview with the QHM Plymouth whose job it is to bring harmony to all the varied users from nuclear submarines to surfboarders and how he juggles the sometimes conflicting demands of all those water users
CA podcast(10MB)
Soundings South West, April 2020: Mayflower Autonomous Ship 22 April 2020: A five minute taster (the full broadcast is available to members) highlighting the key elements of the design and building of an autonomous ship
CA podcast(4.6MB)
Soundings South West, April 2020: A selection of topical interviews, although recorded remotely during the Covid-19 lockdown not all about Covid-19, including hints and tips from members and staff on boating activities
CA podcast(24MB)
Interview with Mitch Tonks: award winning chef, restaurateur, food writer, keen sailor and CA member
CA podcast(33MB)
Dartmouth and the River Dart
CA podcast(30MB)

Meetings and Events

Many members of the SW Section actually live outside the SW but sail or keep their boats locally. We actually have a number of members who live overseas. However, despite the huge geographic spread, we organise a series of events and meetings so that members who have perhaps only met on SW Net can actually get together and share a drink, a meal and a yarn in person.

Regular meetings are held at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay where talks and presentations are usually followed by a meal in the club’s restaurant. It provides an excellent opportunity for members to meet and chat.

We are planning to hold meetings in other parts of the SW such as Falmouth and Bristol.


Wherever you sail you can be sure that a CA member has been there and knows the ropes. One of the joys of CA membership is the willingness of fellow members to share their experiences and knowledge. That’s why we have launched SW Net – an online forum putting you in direct contact with every member of the SW Section. "What’s the best tidal strategy for going to the Scillies?", "What’s the best protected anchorage in The Dart?", "Can anyone recommend a good, reliable engineer in Plymouth?" – whatever your request an entry on SWNet will bring virtually instant replies from fellow members.

Forthcoming Events

Saving Lives at Sea - Mark Criddle RNLI
Date: 09/09/2021

Mark is the RNLI’s most decorated coxswain and has been on many dramatic and successful rescues. If you’ve seen 'Saving Lives at Sea' you’ll have an idea of what’s...

Read more

Sail trim for cruisers: Chris Jeckells, MD Jeckells the Sailmakers
Date: 14/10/2021

Chris is the fourth generation of this family-run leading sailmaker. It all started back in 18** when his great, great, grandfather discovered he was a better sailor than...

Read more

To see all seminars and lectures see here, or the calendar of all events see here.

Interested in Finding out More?

Please contact the Section Secretary at or
CA staff at or +44 (0) 207 537 2828.

Cruising Sections


Covers the Baltic Sea, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Faroes. Holds a popular introductory seminar every spring.


Covers Western France, Spain and Portugal as well as crossing Biscay. Holds a popular introductory seminar every spring.

Blue Water

For those sailing outside of European waters. Holds a popular Blue Water seminar in the summer.


Covers waters from Land’s End to Cape Wrath. Meets at various west coast venues to share knowledge on all aspects of cruising the region.


For those cruising the south coast of the UK, Channel Islands, and France from the Belgian border to NW Brittany. Holds an annual seminar and summer rally/cruise-in-company.

European Inland Waterways

Covers over 30,000 km of navigable rivers and canals passing through over 20 countries. Annual seminar and lunch each autumn at CA House.


Covers the Mediterranean from Spain and Morocco in the west to the Levant in the east, and includes the Black Sea. Meets at CA House in the winter, and afloat in the summer.

North Sea

Covers the UK, Belgian and Dutch coasts. Meets at East Coast venues to share knowledge on all aspects of cruising the region.

Local / UK Sections


For members who live in Australia and New Zealand and who sail in the Northern Hemisphere.

CA London

CA London events are held at our Limehouse HQ.

East Midlands

Talks are held in various venues in the East Midlands.


Meetings held at Blackwater Sailing Club and mid-week lunches arranged.


Kent Section's 'Winter Warmers', talks by a variety of speakers, will be held via Zoom for the forseeable future.


Summer rallies with weekend meets. Winter talks with ‘club’ suppers usually at a Hamble yacht club or marina.

South West

For members living in or cruising the areas from Portland Bill to the Isles of Scilly and along the north coast of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to Bristol.


Joint meetings are arranged with the Royal Harwich Yacht Club at Woolverstone.

Thames Valley

Winter talks are held at the Upper Thames Sailing Club in Bourne End near Marlow.


Talks are held at Lilliput Sailing Club, Poole.

West Midlands

Year round events held at Severn Motor Yacht Club, also winter meetings held at Ashwood Social Club Kingswinford.

Join our cruising community and join in the fun.

Join Us