One of the three major legs of the Annapolis Yacht Club, the Cruising Fleet is active on and off the Bay, all year round. It is comprised of members of all ages with roughly one-third sailboats and two-thirds powerboats.

The Cruising Fleet, as we know it today, was founded in 1988 by Tom Meyer under the direction of Commodore Frank Peacock. The program took off in the late 1990s under the leadership of Jack McKim and Bill Patterson and has continued to grow each succeeding year. The fleet has grown to well over 400 members. Following Jack and Bill's jump start, Bob Baker, Tom Corboy, Ed Mangan, Hank Spector, Frank Wagner, Alan Bellack, and Bill Museler have each taken a successful turn at the helm.

Each year, the Cruise Committee prepares a preliminary schedule for the following year. This schedule is presented to the entire Cruising Fleet at a major dinner meeting in November for review. The schedule is then modified and sent out as a "Cruisegram" and posted on the AYC website.

How do I join the Cruising Fleet?

Other than membership of AYC, one merely has to show up at events to join the Cruising Fleet. We take great pride in introducing and welcoming everyone to our group. To help with recognition, we wear name tags which can be ordered from the Front Desk. We send out emails on a regular basis with the latest information on Cruising Fleet activities.
To get on the email list, click here.


2019 Committee Chair

Sue Pitchford

The Cruising Fleet conducts both small scale and large scale events every summer, starting with the Ice Breaker Cruise that is scheduled annually during the first few days of May. The Ice Breaker is to encourage members to have their boats commissioned early in the season, have a weekend rendezvous, a blessing of the fleet, and embark on another glorious cruising season together.

Tent Events

Summers feature large "tent events" at homes of members who live on the water - somewhere on the Chesapeake and surrounding waters. These are the Newcomers Cruise in June and, occasionally, the Fall Rendezvous in September attracting upwards of 40-50 boats. Participation is capped at a capacity of approximately 125 participants - the limit being the size of the tent and tables it will accommodate. They encompass Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday morning. Typically, one half or more of the vessels arrive on Friday and either share hors d'oeuvres and drinks ashore, or are hosted by the property owners. Saturdays often feature a pot-luck breakfast ashore, activities during the day, lunch (either catered or prepared by the host committee) and a festive catered dinner under the tent - complete with music and, always, a portable dance floor. We do like to dance. Sunday mornings are shared ashore with a pot-luck breakfast, farewells, and a return to reality - or sometimes serve as a jumping off point for more extended cruising by some of the members.

Weekend Cruises

The 4th of July attracts a Fireworks Cruise nearly every year. There will typically be an extended cruise either before or after the 4th. Other weekends see cruises to various part of the Chesapeake, eastern shore, southern bay, northern bay, the Choptank, etc. with stopovers at yacht clubs who share reciprocal privileges with AYC, marinas, and quiet anchorages. Anchorages feature shared food and drink while marinas offer wonderful restaurant meals. We try to visit Baltimore in July for an Orioles game.

Extended Cruises

Historically, a cruise to the Tides Inn on the Rappahannock has been standard late in August and early September. This includes two separate cruises: an extended two week cruise to the southern Chesapeake, and a one week cruise from Annapolis to the Rappahannock. The Tides offers serious golf, no-so-serious golf, a beach, pool, full range of water sports equipment, a full service spa, and wonderful restaurants. It is a great spot to unwind with the only "down" aspect being the realization that, before long, the cruising season is coming to an end.

Cruise Planning

All extended cruises are planned for sail as well as power. Participation is roughly 35% sail and 65% power, so daily distances are kept in the range of 15-25 miles with an occasional maximum of 35 miles as the targeted upper limit. Of course, weekend cruise leg length depends upon the destination, but is seldom more than 25 miles.

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