The event, which took place at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on 26 January, attracted over 50 delegates.
Speakers included Peter Thornton MBE, Stuart Carruthers from RYA and Maurice O’Connell from North Sails, amongst others. Topics included Brexit, updates to Belfast Harbour, building a steel boat and an insight into the Clipper Race.
Quay Marinas and Teamac Maine Paints helped to deliver the event and were on hand to discuss events and products for local boaters.
During a presentation by The Green Blue – a joint initiative by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine – recreational boaters were reminded of their responsibility to ensure that coastal and inland waters remain in great shape into the future.
Delegates were also given information on Strangford Lough – a Marine Conservation Zone. The area has different legal protections to protect marine habitats and species, including birds. The Green Blue have been prioritising the area as one in three across the UK and educating clubs and instructors on its importance.
Commenting at the event, RYANI’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Honeyford said: “This year’s Cruising Conference was a good opportunity for local boaters to join together to discuss the biggest issues in boating and gain the latest knowledge and advice. It also gave us a great opportunity to think about how we can make a positive difference to the environment.
“With the help of The Green Blue, we continue to raise awareness and educate boaters on how to lower their environmental impact, from respecting wildlife to reducing single use plastic.”