To kindle, nurture and support life-long passion for boating in all its forms by all groups of participants.

Monitoring participation levels in leisure boating is important for many reasons. The RYA is part of a cross industry group to measure activity rates for the benefit of the industry, user groups and individual interest.

The National Watersports Survey seeks to benchmark participation rates and monitor trends. This is done by repeating the research year-on-year and 2017 is the 15th year in which this work has been conducted.

The collaborative research group consists of representatives of the RYA, British Marine, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency), British Canoeing and Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). 

Watersports Participation Survey 2021

The RYA also commissions or undertakes its own research in order to monitor our own performance as well as make available key data and insights to our affiliates to help them to priories their own development opportunities. Examples include the RYA Club Membership Census which measures overall affiliated club membership, as well as membership trends and reasons for fluctuations in membership numbers.

RYA Sports Participation Programmes

The RYA operates a number of different programmes designed to facilitate participation in the sport - some of these programmes are listed below:

  • Get Afloat - designed to help people understand the sport and get their first on the water experience.
  • Discover Sailing- our annual summer long, UK wide open day programme for clubs and training centres. Offering people the chance to try out sailing or windsurfing and meet their local club.
  • OnBoard - Our childrens sailing programme has a wealth of resources supports clubs and centres and helps them engage with schools and parents and get more children sailing.
  • Active Marina - supports increased marina berth holder activity by establishing programmes of training, cruising and social opportunities.
  • Dinghy Trails - a series of dinghy cruising trails around the country to help you get the most out of your dinghy.
  • Sailability - promoting disabled sailing in the UK.