The RYA Active Marina programme encourages and supports increased berth holder activity nationwide by partnering with marinas, RYA recognised training centres, berth holder groups and yacht clubs to establish a programme of training, cruising and social opportunities.

Even before we reach the summer months, three shore-based activities at Preston can help to improve essential skills. There will be a refresher course on using VHF radio to summon emergency help and one on first aid and the use of defibrillators. In addition a ladies' day will cover diesel engines, outboards and VHF radios - areas that everyone on board needs to know about 'just in case'.

More activities will follow, including a visit by lifeboat crew from the RNLI who will give safety advice and inspect key equipment such as life-jackets to make sure they are good for the coming season.

The Marina has converted a former site office into a conference and training centre for land based training and they are working with a number of local training specialists as well as developing their own programme.

The Marina was set up by Chris Miller 25 years ago and his son Steve and daughter Sue are very active fellow directors.The business is an agency for Viking powerboats which are often used on two local canals and they provide initial guidance on their use as part of selling a boat. With a new RYA recognised training centre also due to open, they will extend that service with powerboat courses as well as a range of theory courses.

"We are getting a lot of new people into boating and we want to see that they are safe", says Sue Cameron. She says the family are looking forward to making the most of the 40 acres of water through the RYA's Active Marina and Training programmes.

RYA Yachting Development Manager Guy Malpas said: "We are delighted to welcome Preston Marina on to the Active Marina Programme. We now have 69 marinas signed up to the scheme, and are looking forward to working alongside these organisations to help more people get afloat and make the best use of their boats."