"From its earliest days, the OCC has celebrated those who dared to brave the ocean in small boats, and many of its early members are now legend: founder Hum Barton, Francis Chichester, David Lewis, Bill Tilman, the Reverend Bob Shepton, John Guzzwell and famed boat designers Rod Stephens, Bill Crealock and Colin Mudie among many others.

The people in the Ocean Cruising Club represent, to me, the distilled essence of the cruising community, a potent combination of accomplishment, experience, idealism, eccentricity, generosity and humility. The only ticket to entry is by stepping aboard your boat, casting off the docklines and making a real passage. The only way to contribute is through assistance to others you meet along the way and encouragement to those who hope to follow in your wake. Just like the cruising community, the OCC is multinational and represents people from every economic, political and social stratum in society. Everyone comes in as an equal; no one is judged except by Neptune, everyone fails sometimes.

But the cruising community has no fixed address, forms and reforms in different places at different times. Members of the OCC bring that cruising spirit to a vibrant Club with established centres and activities around the world. It offers camaraderie not just aboard but also ashore, by assisting those dreaming of heading off to sea and including those who no longer make their own voyages. The people in the OCC understand what it means to have a dream. More than that, they understand the exacting requirements of dreams, accept the potentially devastating costs and have experienced the incalculable rewards.

To be part of the OCC is to be part of group of people who have said ‘yes’ to adventure and to life and who will welcome you if you choose to do the same."


Beth Leonard

Author, circumnavigator and OCC Member