Build your boating confidence: RYA’s Active Marina Experience at the PSP Southampton Boat Show
Last summer over 750 lucky boat owners and boating enthusiasts benefited from the RYA’s Active Marina Experience at Southampton Boat Show. They grabbed the chance – for free - to improve their confidence and boat handling techniques through hands-on workshops run by RYA’s team of expert instructors during the 10-day show.
For 2014, visitors can expect more of the same high quality shore-based and on-the-water teaching, covering tips and techniques on berthing, boat handling, diesel engines, sea survival and much more. Participants sign up for Active Marina Experience sessions (1 hour or 90 minutes long) that take place on shore at the Which Marina? Stand, or out on the water aboard one of four sponsor-supplied vessels.
Sunsail has supplied two 40 ft yachts, Coastal Pursuits has supplied a Sports cruiser, and Suzuki has supplied a 6.5m RIB. Teams of RYA instructors are on hand to deliver very specialist advice, but this is no joy ride – participants are doing the hard work themselves!
“This is all about giving boat owners, sailors and people who go out on the water with friends the opportunity to improve their skills, build their confidence and learn top tips and techniques from the experts,” explains Guy Malpas, Active Marina Programme Manager for the RYA. “It’s a chance to have a go, and come away with a new skill.”
As well as overseeing the Active Marina Experience, Guy heads up the RYA’s national Active Marina Programme which runs across 60 UK marinas throughout the year, and focuses on supporting berth-holders as they increase their boating competence, make social connections with fellow berth-holders and generally “broaden their boating horizons”.
Taking boating skills to the next level
The Active Marina Experience at Southampton – now in its third year – is also about encouraging people to use their boat more and push their boating skills to the next level. “Those who take part in the workshops tend to be boat owners, or are aspiring to boat ownership and have some basic experience of sailing yachts, RIBs and motor cruisers,” says Guy. “People are most interested in berthing and boat handling, but last year we found that the spinnaker and polling out workshops were very popular, so we will be offering more of these workshops for 2014.”
As we all know, take offs and landings can be the most fraught element of a boat trip, but if families can master manoeuvring in the marina, days out boating will become far more relaxed and enjoyable, explains Guy. “There’s also a lot that can be learnt about navigation, safety at sea and boat maintenance. Workshops on diesel engine maintenance and VHF radio have also proved popular in previous years."
Guy expects the feedback for the 2014 workshops to be just as positive as in previous years. “National Boat Shows, organiser of the PSP Southampton Boat Show, does a great job of promoting the Active Marina Experience and the sponsors help us deliver this extensive programme across 10 busy days, for free,” he says. “Ultimately we aim to involve as many people as possible, and help make the family boating experience more fun, and more rewarding.”
Book early to avoid disappointment!
These free workshops are incredibly popular, and they get booked up fast. It’s recommended to sign up as soon as you arrive at the PSP Southampton Boat Show – at a booth right at the main entrance.
Alternatively, you can go online to book:
www.rya.org.uk/go/activemarina - Look for the Southampton Boat Show Page