About the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation

The RCC Pilotage Foundation was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 2005 and is a registered charity. We are proud to have Trinity House as our Patron. The overall management of the Foundation is overseen by Trustees reccomended by the Royal Cruising Club, with day to day operations undertaken by members of the Executive. Most of the management of the Foundation is done on a voluntary basis - click on Management for details of who we are.

The Foundation collects and researches written, photographic and chart information relating to small boat pilotage, navigation and operation, climate and weather conditions, including information from remote areas of the world where other sources of information are scarce or non-existent. We then publish this information in the form of conventional books and, increasingly, via downloads, e-books, website passage planning guides, and other media.

We aim to produce and maintain high quality pilotage information 

Our range of publications is steadily increasing with many books available in French, Spanish or Italian editions. Creation of new Pilotage Foundation publications and updates to existing publications are only made possible through the supply of information from around the world by generous-minded yachtsmen and women, and the dedicated work of authors and editors. We welcome pilotage information in all forms - for further details go to our feedback page.

The Foundation works in close collaboration with three publishers - Imray Laurie Norie and Wilson, Bloomsbury (Adlard Coles Nautical) and On Board Publications. The Foundation also publishes its own guides and pilot books for areas where limited demand does not justify large print runs.

In line with its charitable status, the Foundation distributes no profits; any surpluses are used to finance new books and developments and to subsidise publications covering remoter areas of the world.

The Millenium Lighthouse was funded by the Friends of the Beaulieu River and the RCC Pilotage Foundation; it was opened on 8 July 2000 by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire.

Statement of Vision, Values, Mission and Corporate Strategy


The Pilotage Foundation aspires to become the leading source of quality pilotage information for cruising areas worldwide


The values which the Pilotage Foundation reflects in its governance, management and operation, are 

  • Rigorous and objective
  • Collaborative
  • Pioneering
  • Philanthropic
  • Educational and inspiring
  • Integrity


The Pilotage Foundation’s mission is to collate and publish small vessel pilotage information for the benefit of cruising sailors worldwide, broadening access to its portfolio of information, expanding its coverage where practicable and maintaining recognised excellence in its field.


  • Build and develop the Foundation’s means of sourcing pilotage information through
    • Active collaboration with similarly focussed clubs and other entities
    • Further development of the Foundation’s website as a hub for pilotage information
  • Ensure availability of suitably experienced authors through
    • Links to RCC and other clubs
    • Relationships with publishers and other stakeholders including magazine editors
  • Sustain quality and consistency of the Foundation’s publications in terms of accuracy, currency and authority through quality of authors, editing and production
  • Develop portfolio into new areas where opportunities arise and where resources permit through close relationships with publishers and other similarly focussed clubs and other entities
  • Take advantage of developments in publishing media, means and outlets as they arise to make available the Foundation’s portfolio of publications
  • Support sales of the Foundation’s publications and availability of pilotage information by supporting the publishers in the marketing of publications and raising the profile of the Foundation through
    • development of a clear and recognised brand in partnership with publishers
    • raising visibility of the Foundation in yachting media
    • representation of the Foundation and its publications with established authorities and sailing clubs and through social media
    • building relationships with relevant maritime or navigational commercial organisations subject to maintaining the Foundation’s objectivity and perceived independence
    • development of the Foundation’s website as a hub for pilotage information

Our History

  • Foundation 1976

    Foundation of the Pilotage Foundation

    In 1976 an American member of the Royal Cruising Club, Dr Fred Ellis, indicated that he wished to make a gift to the Club in memory of his father, the late Robert E. Ellis, of his friends Peter Pye and John Ives and as a mark of esteem for Roger Pinckney. An independent charity known as the RCC Pilotage Foundation was formed and Dr Ellis added his house to his already generous gift of money to form the Foundation's endowment. The Foundation's charitable objective was, and remains, "to advance the education of the public in the science and practice of navigation".

  • Classic Passages 1986-87

    Classic Passages

    Classic Passages was a series of articles written by RCCPF authors and published by Yachting Monthly. Aerial photographs were by Patrick Roach. The articles were combined later into a book by Andrew Bray. Classic Passages included popular crossings and coastal passages in the English Channel, listed below, and also Port Guides to the French Coast , Normandy, North Brittany and South Brittany  by Kitty Hampton and James Mather.

    • South Coast to Cherbourg - Andrew Bray
    • Dover Straits - Michael Lewin-Harris
    • Eastern Channel - Michael Greville
    • South Coast to Quiberon - Linda and Martin Hunter
    • Chenal du Four and Raz de Sein - Kitty Hampton
    • South Coast to the Isles of Scilly - David Batten
  • A New Look 2002

    A "New Look"

    New Look set out to modernise all aspects of the Pilotage Foundation books. The broad thrust was agreed by the Management Committee in 2002 with Director Francis Walker issuing initial guidance. Its execution across the range of books was driven by the Director and Assistant Director, Martin Walker from April 2004 and Ros Hogbin. Early elements were used in FIG 3rd and Atlantic Islands 4th but the major advances were introduced and developed from Mike and Gill Barron's clear and thorough presentation of North Biscay 7th. Close liaison was needed with Imray as the Pilotage Foundation now specified the layout parameters to favour the reader rather than leave it to the publisher to make best use of space.

  • Website Development 2003

    Website Development

    The original RCCPF website was prepared by Peter Price. The main information provided was a list of publications and current supplements with click through for greater details. The Passage Planning Guides (PPGs) from UK were added in 2003.

  • 2nd Website Launched 2008

    2nd Website Launched

    This site brought in a modern presentation; it provided a smooth transition from Mk1, had the capacity for expansion and transformed the public image of the Pilotage Foundation.

  • ePilots 2010


    In parallel with publishing PPGs the Pilotage Foundation developed ' web pilots' to cover remote areas. In time they became known as ePilots and, particularly with Kindle editions, eBooks. To start with the original work came from the records of Pete and Annie Hill's voyages to the South Atlantic.

  • New Website 2016

    New Website

    With the aim of providing closer integration with the pilotage information collected by RCC members and to allow for the display of geo-referenced data with a more professional appearance a new website was developed

  • Cruising Notes 2017

    Cruising Notes

    The new system for managing and displaying geo-referenced pilotage information introduced in collaboration with the Royal Cruising Club

  • New Look 2019

    New name and logo

    To reflect the close association with our parent organisation our name has been changed to Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation with a new logo. These will appear on all future publications but the website will remain as www.rccpf.org.uk