The Cruising Club, as it was then styled, was founded in December, 1880, with the object of associating owners of small yachts, boats, and canoes, and other persons interested in aquatic amusements, and to give members facilities for obtaining information as to the harbours and other local matters, and to circulate amongst its members accounts of interesting cruises.
The objects have since been considerably enlarged, and the club now endeavours to encourage cruising among amateurs by giving prizes, publishing charts and other works, and by the maintenance of a library connected with cruising.
Since 1892 a journal has been issued annually to the members. This contains the cruises of the past season, suitable extracts from the nautical notices issued by the Board of Trade, and other matters of interest to members.
In 1896 the members presented a perpetual Challenge Cup, to be held for a year by the member who during the past season had carried out the most novel, enterprising, skilful, and instructive cruise. The holders of this cup have been Dr. Howard Sinclair, 1896-1898 ; Lieutenant-Colonel R. Barrington Baker, 1899, 1900, 1902; Philip Herbert, Esq., 1901; Colonel T. V. W. Phillips, R.A., 1903; C. E. Walker, Esq., 1904.
In 1902 His Majesty was pleased to command that in future the style of the club should be The Royal Cruising Club, and the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty granted a warrant to fly the blue ensign of His Majesty's fleet. The burgee of the club is white and red vertical, the white or inner portion charged with a blue cross patée, and bearing on its centre a naval crown.