Boating training

To enjoy your narrow boat holiday fully, you need to feel confident in handling the boat, and know that all your crew are safe. So we take exceptional care to give you and your crew the training you need. We do this in stages, so you can take it in, and a large part of it is actually done on your boat with you as you start your journey.

This is what we do:

A few weeks before your hire boat holiday we send you an Information Pack. This contains:

  • Canal & River Trust Boater's DVD
  • Canal & River Trust Boater's Handbook
  • our Holiday Guide with details of your boat, arrival information, and everything you need to know.
  • our Route Companion describing the waterways you will travel, with instructions for locks, boat handling etc.
  • Order form for your bedding and other requirements.

At the start of your holiday, we brief you on the local waterways, routes, lock working and canal etiquette. One of our experienced instructors shows you round your narrow boat, explains how it works and tells you about the daily checks to be made. You then set off, accompanied by our instructor. At your first lock, we show you what to do, and then help you through two more. We ask you to sign a Handover Certificate to confirm that you're happy with our briefing. On your boat are a comprehensive Boat Manual and several guide books.

The Boater's Handbook and film (DVD) have been produced by Canal & River Trust. They show good practice in boat handling and lock work. You get both in your Information Pack, but you can download The Boater's Handbook now, and watch the film.

Our Boat Handover procedure is Quality Assured by the British Marine Federation. Click for details

Up the Calder Valley


Down the Calder Valley


Rochdale Canal


Aire & Calder Navigation