Introduction to the OCC...
a common bond among cruising voyagers!


An international club administered from the U.K., the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) was founded in 1954 by the late Humphrey Barton not long after his epic crossing of the Atlantic in little Vertue XXXV. In those days long passages in small yachts were nowhere near as commonplace as they are today and the early members were an elite band of ocean voyagers whose achievements formed a common bond.

Today that same common bond continues to give the membership its raison d'être. Although established in the UK, membership has spread to many countries and the UK members form slightly less than 50% of the total, which is steadily growing and now numbers over 1800. There is a strong element in the USA, particularly on the eastern seaboard. National Rear Commodores organise local events in Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK and the east and west coasts of the USA. With these events and a significant number of members on passage, the blue and yellow burgee with its Flying Fish motif is carried proudly throughout the cruising waters of the world.


Objectives of the OCC

The Original Objects of the OCC were agreed in the inaugural meeting (Source `The First 50 Years')

The objects for which the Club is formed are:

(a) To foster and encourage ocean cruising in small craft and the practice of seamanship and navigation in all branches.

(b) To issue bulletins containing names and addresses of members, information as to projected voyages in small craft, news of members and such other material of which the Committee shall approve.

(c) To keep records of voyages made by members and to publish accounts of such voyages.

(d) To collect information likely to be of use to members and to arrange for such information to be available to members on application to the Secretary subject to such terms as the Committee may from time to time decide.

(e) To encourage the formation of local branches all over the world and to appoint honorary local representatives.

(f) To encourage by any means social intercourse between the members and to provide amenities for the use of the members and their guests.

These objectives were carried forward in 2003 into the Articles of Association of The Ocean Cruising Club Ltd. The relevant extract from these is as follows:

3. The objects for which the Club is established are:
(i) to acquire and undertake all properties and liabilities and to carry out the powers, obligations, duties and general objects of the present unincorporated association known as Ocean Cruising Club …


The Golden Jubilee Book

To celebrate its Golden Jubilee in 2004, fifty years after its foundation by Humphrey Barton in 1954, the occasion was marked by the publication of a history of the Club over these 50 years, written by the Club Historian and ex-Commodore, Tony Vasey. As well as details of the Club's growth, the extraordinary exploits of the early pioneers are recalled, many of whom became legends in the then small world of deep sea cruising. These include the circumnavigation by the Carlins in a frail amphibious jeep, the daring voyages of Bill Tilman, and the attempted Atlantic crossing in a helium balloon by the Mudies. It is packed with lyrical quotes from the many early members writing on cruising such as Weston Martyr, Carleton Mitchell, Bill Snaith, and the ever-green Mike Richey. And it is brought up to date with tales from the latter day explorers such as John Gore-Grimes, Willy Ker, Bob Shepton and Paddy Barry. Thus the book is at once a record of the Club's development and an anthology of the exciting exploits of its many members throughout the world.

The book is a private publication of 319 pages with many colour and B & W illustrations. 'The Ocean Cruising Club The First Fifty Years' may be obtained from the UK Regalia page or from the author, Tony Vasey, as shown below, for £12 including P & P world-wide. Tony Vasey, Long Barn, Tarrant Rushton, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 9JQ, UK, Tel/fax: +44 (0)1258 480604