RYA B&G® Cruising Conference 2021

Join us on 21 March 2021 for the first virtual RYA B&G® Cruising Conference!

The conference will cover the issues that matter most to cruisers, including post-Brexit guidance, training insights, real-life stories from fellow cruisers, as well as the latest developments in safety, and much more! Although we’re unable to meet in-person the conference will still deliver informative and eye-opening talks from a range of speakers. There will also be opportunities for the audience to get involved and a chance to ask your question to the experts. 

Bookings for the 2021 RYA B&G® Cruising Conference have now closed. 

Don't forget that you can keep up to date on the event’s developments by visiting the RYA News pages and by following the RYA social media channels.  

 Time  RYA B&G® Cruising Conference Programme
0915 - 0930  Welcome - RYA CEO Sarah Treseder
0930 - 1010

 Keynote speech

How excelling in basic boating skills can enable you to accomplish your cruising dreams.

Join experienced adventurer and preeminent authority on polar sailing, Skip Novak, as he demonstrates the advantages of utilising uncomplicated on-board systems through his 30 years of experience at travelling in high latitudes. Then, learn just how those skills can be transferred to your next cruising adventure.  

  • Skip Novak - Pelagic Expeditions 


How the latest innovations in sailing technology can support your cruising adventures.

B&G has been at the cutting edge of boating innovation for over 50 years, here B&G give insight into how the latest generation of on-board technology can enhance your cruising experience.

1030 - 1115

Current hot topics and how they affect your boating 

As the representative voice of boating in the UK, the RYA works hard to ensure that boater’s interests and freedoms are considered by regulators. Join members of the RYA Cruising and Government Affairs Department as they present the latest topics that are being reviewed and commented on on your behalf.

  • Howard Pridding – RYA Director of External Affairs
  • Stuart Carruthers – RYA Cruising Manager
1115 -1130  Break
1130 - 1215

Breakout sessions 

For full listings, please see table below.

1220 - 1230

Live sessions end 

Join us as we wrap up the live sessions and introduce you to the Exhibition Area where we will show you how you can make the most of the additional conference content.  


1230 -1430


Join further breakout sessions and explore the Exhibition Area

Visit the Exhibition Area where you can ask your cruising question to an expert from the RYA team or chat with one of the RYA partners. Additional pre-recorded content is also available on a range of subjects from visiting inland waterways, to how to choose the right rope for the job, to getting to grips with radar and more.


 Event close

Don't forget that by registering for the conference you will also be able to revisit the event afterwards to catch up on sessions you could not attend, or to view bonus content.




RYA Cruising Conference Breakout Sessions

The Pull of the Tide: How tides really work

Tides are one of the most persistent and dominant forces that shape our planet. In this talk, Ivan Haigh, from the University of Southampton will describe why tides are so important, how they are generated and why tidal characteristics vary so much around the world’s oceans and coastlines.

  • Ivan Haigh – University of Southampton

 Reading the Weather: How to get the best out of the weather for a good days cruising

In this talk, you will learn how and when to interpret signs in the weather, what key indicators to be aware of and how to action on those conditions for success on the water.

  • Rod Smith - RYA Powerboat Trainer

 What does the RYA do for you? Learn how the RYA supports you and your boating.

This session will look at the recent and past successes of the RYA and what and how we continue to protect the freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by cruisers.

  • Howard Pridding – RYA Director of External Affairs
  • Stuart Carruthers – RYA Cruising Manager 

Using electronics to aid Navigation: The Basics

Join Graham Stones, to learn more about the basics of integrating modern marine electronics in navigation. With tips and tricks for interpreting what’s displayed on a screen, and how to plan and monitor voyages afloat, this session will boost confidence for any boater.

  • Graham Stones - RYA  Instructor & Examiner  

Electronics as an aid to Navigation: Advanced Techniques

Aimed at the more experienced boater/navigator, this session will provide integrated navigation techniques, and methods of verifying position. James Davies will take you through a wide variety of modern integrated units and sensors that could be found on a typical cruising yacht, and explore how to safely operate these to aid navigational certainty.

  • James Davies - RYA Trainer & Examiner

The Future of Propulsion: Sustainable Drive options for Motor Cruising, Sailing Auxiliaries and Tenders

This breakout session will examine the latest developments in electric and hybrid drives; battery, hydrogen and biofuel energy sources and consider how these will impact on recreational boating over the next 5-10 years. We will look at new build and retrofit, and the infrastructure that will be required to support our activities.

  • Phil Horton – RYA Environmental & Sustainability Manager

The Past, Present and Future of Charts for the Leisure Sailor

Join Imray’s Chart Production Manager, Matthew Keightley and Editor, Jane Russell as they talk about the evolution of nautical chart production and what goes into making Imray charts the go-to choice for leisure sailors.

  • Matthew Keightley – Imray, Chart Production Manager
  • Jane Russell – Imray, Editor  

Calling for help: What do the gadgets do? 

Covering a whole host of devices from different manufacturers, James Davies, RYA Sea Survival Trainer, will take you through some of the safety devices and gadgets available. The session will focus on what actually happens when you activate the buttons, and the appropriateness of different items to various situations.

  • James Davies - RYA Trainer & Examiner  

Rope and Systems for Longer Passages

Learn the skills of rope management, how to prepare your ropes for longer passages, how to protect against wear and tear and how to diagnose damage in running rigging. 

  • David Mossman – Marlow Ropes

 An Introduction to Radar 

Radar is a fantastic aid to navigation when used well. Join Alan Watson as he talks you through some of the basics of setting up and using the RADAR for navigation and collision avoidance - skills that can be used in sunshine, darkness or poor visibility.

  • Alan Watson - Skipper, Radar Instructor and captain of HMS Medusa (HDML1387)

Wild Camping in a Cruising Dinghy

 A brand new video from the President of the Dinghy Cruising Association, Roger shares how he prepares his vessel and himself for voyages, enabling him to reach a range of destinations that other cruisers simply cannot reach.

  • Roger Barnes – President of the Dinghy Cruising Association  

The UK Inland Waterways: A liquid highway of leisure and industry

If you haven’t already visited the UK Inland Waterways, have you ever wondered what lies beyond the coastal waters of which you are so familiar? Learn more about the ‘Liquid Highway’ which makes up our enchanting canals and rivers, each of them unique in both their nature and their offering.

  • Jan Knox