The Island Cruising Club was formed in 1951 in Salcombe, Devon, by John Baylay. He was joined in the early days by his wife and a small group of friends who funded and organised the acquisition and usage of a fleet of classic yachts. The membership of the club grew to a maximum of around 1,500 sailors in the 1980’s and required the establishment of a dinghy training facility to teach basic sailing skills. The current clubhouse is Egremont, a former Mersey ferry, which has been converted to provide accommodation and refreshments for members and students. In 2011, the Club decided to separate the running and upkeep of Egremont, the dinghy training facility, and the members club into three distinct entities.
In 2011 the Island Cruising Club reached another major milestone in its history. The RYA Training Facility had become a large successful organisation, training hundreds of mainly young members each year, including many from disadvantaged backgrounds. The upkeep and refitting of the clubhouse ship, Egremont, had become a major drain on financial resources, and the Sailing section was focusing on keelboat racing and cruising on Island Spirit.
It was decided to separate these sections into three distinct entities, and this was confirmed at an AGM held in November 2011. Egremont has been gifted into a Charitable Trust (The Egremont Trust Salcombe), together with most of the sailing dinghies and equipment currently used to provide RYA training courses.
The Island Cruising Club continues as a members’ club with sailing activities taking place from its club pontoon mainly at weekends using the remaining keel boat fleet, launches, rib and the cruising yacht Island Spirit, a Delphia 37.