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.


One of the strengths of the South West Section is the wealth of knowledge and experience residing with our members. You can be sure that whatever you are planning another member has been there and done it. This vast pool of reliable and accurate knowledge is available to everyone through the new SWNet – an online forum which puts SW members in touch with one another. "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.


A new innovation for 2018 is the introduction of podcasts, free audio guides to popular ports, harbours and anchorages. Download the podcasts and listen to them at leisure – at home, in the car or afloat without further need to be online. These podcasts give you an insider’s guide to the popular destinations – it’s like having a local on board talking you through visiting a port for the first time.

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: 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)

These podcasts make a valuable contribution but they do not negate the use of charts or pilots.

Meetings and Events

With many of the South West Section’s members spread over such a wide geographic area it is challenging to arrange events and meetings but that does not stop us. A major rally is planned for Friday 8th June to Sunday 10th June at Plymouth Yacht Haven to mark the 50th anniversary of The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race which was won by CA Patron Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Sir Robin is expected to be guest of honour at the rally dinner on 9th June. Demand for this rally is expected to be high – please see Events on how to apply.

Forthcoming Events

There are no forthcoming events currently scheduled.

To see seminars and lectures organised by members of the CA see here, or to see a 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. Meets spring and 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.


Winter talks are held in Maidstone, and joint rallies are organised with Essex and Suffolk sections.


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