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In addition to half a dozen commercial marinas on the mainland coast of the North West, a number of clubs have launching and/or mooring for cruising yachts, though in all cases access is very much determined by the tides.

Cruising in the waters of the North West can be as enjoyable as anywhere, as long as it is accompanied by good planning not only for the voyage, but also contingencies. Access times for departure and return vary from two and a half hours either side of high water springs to just an hour in total.

Popular destinations  are the Isle of Man, North Wales, Ireland and Western Scotland as well as coast-hopping and visits to spots like Piel Island in Morecambe Bay.

A number of clubs and associations organise family cruises or shorter outings in company to familiarise skippers with conditions at neighbouring destinations. 

Many North West boat owners opt to over-winter their craft at local facilities so they are close by for essential maintenance during the winter, whether afloat or lifted out. They may then locate them in a favoured cruising ground as far afield as Scotland or Ireland.

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