Narrowboat Experience Day

Boat approaching mooring

A relaxed and informal Narrowboat Experience Day for anyone wanting to learn the basic narrowboating skills.

If you’re new to the world of narrow boating or just curious to see what its all about then this is the course for you. We have the ideal boat in Gwendoline May and a wonderful stretch of canal with lots of interesting feature including the 800m Saddington Tunnel and  Kibworth locks to ensure that your Narrowboat Experience day is, without a doubt,  one to remember. Our highly experienced instructors will teach you how to control the boat correctly and safely, work the locks as well as explaining the history of the canals.

Depending on individual requirements and time available, the Narrowboat Experience Day includes:

  1. Boating Safety
  2. Pre start checks
  3. Ropework and knots
  4. Boat control
  5. Getting underway
  6. Slowing down, stopping and mooring up
  7. Locks and using them safely
  8. Navigating bridges and tunnels

As this is a highly practical day with participants spending the majority of the day out on the water or on the bank mooring up or working locks. Therefore it is important that you have suitable clothes (including wet weather gear) and sturdy non slip shoes (no flip flops or sandals). We also recommend that you bring a hat in the unlikely event that the sun is shining. The weather can have a big impact on how safe it is to boat. We will run the course unless the weather forecast means that doing so would be unsafe. For complete details of how we determine this please see our Terms and Conditions. Lifejackets are provided and wearing them is mandatory.

Included in the cost of the day are:

We provide Hot and cold drinks  throughout the day and also a light lunch. Please inform us when you book  if you have any special dietary requirements.

Course Details

Duration: 1 day

Location: Gwendoline May

Cost: £165

Maximum # students 3

Minimum # students 2

All Courses

Next Course

Boat mooring up
Boat negotiating narrow section of canal

Student Reviews

Thank you Steve and thanks again for yesterday. I really enjoyed steering Gwendoline and feel I absorbed a lot from your instruction particularly about paying attention but also to be aware of the need to be  slowing down when approaching a bridge,  an oncoming boat and first thing to do when mooring up. Also to be always looking ahead and anticipating what might be happening around a blind bend.  And to keep away from overhanging trees, reeds etc..and to feel the engine change with leaves etc.  And there will be other things that will come to mind I know. and I remember the knots too!!
So I  will practise mooring up and turning and everything else when I can get access to a boat




Had a fabulous day all round. Feel more confident to take a narrowboat holiday – it should be essential before going on a narrowboat holiday.


A very good day out. A lot to take on board. Perfect for beginners.


I enjoyed talking to the others about their narrowboat experiences. I would have liked more knot work. Everything was covered in great detail, especially health and safety. I thought the instructor was great and full of knowledge. I would highly recommend the course


Me and my dad had a great day on his boat with Steve on Friday. We are feeling a lot less daunted about the taking to the waters on our own boat, and are very grateful for all of the guidance etc given.


Great day, informative tutor, really enjoyed the experience.


Excellent instruction delivered in a relaxed atmosphere by an extremely experienced and genial host. Nick was fabulous.


Extremely informative and helpful to new boaters which made me want to get out and try things for myself.


We both agreed on the way home that the whole day was excellent. It exceeded our expectations and objectives and we feel much more confident in taking the boat out now.  Rather than worrying if we will cope, we are now looking forward to our next trip out. We both considered the day a great investment.


Fabulous course, attentive instructor, enjoyed it much more than I expected. Improved confidence to go on my own.


Had a fabulous day. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The course delivered exactly what I expected and more to boot.


It was a lovely day + Steve made it very enjoyable. He made me feel at ease.


Lovely Lunch!  Relaxed presentation, great introduction to narrowboats and canals.


Good fun. Very pleased we did it before tackling a narrowboat holiday


A wonderful and informative training on our own boat.