Even if you have holidayed on the canals before the following steps should be always be considered:
1. Prepare for your trip beforehand
One of the most important tips to know before your canal boat holiday is to be prepared. This includes:
- Route – identifying the route you would like to embark on before you get going. If you have tick lists or an agenda you want to ensure is maintained, it’s worth planning out your canal route beforehand.
- Packing – struggling with what to bring with you on a canal boat holiday? Take a look at our ‘what to being with you’ page.
- Questions – when our volunteers makes contact with you before your holiday, take the opportunity to ask about any things you are unsure about. When you arrive at the Wharf, the volunteer will give you a full induction and handover.
2. Carefully choose your canal boat crew
Travelling by narrowboat has many advantages, but it’s fair to say that living on a canal boat is likely going to be pretty cosy – so it’s important to be comfortable with the people you’re sharing the boat with. The crew will also need to prepared to get stuck in and help out with boating and understand what each person’s role is on the narrowboat before you set off!
3. Respect others on the canal
Respecting canal boat etiquette is important while on your narrowboat holiday. Some of the ways to do that can include:
- Travel time – not travelling too early or too late, as this might disrupt those sleeping in their narrowboats. You should only cruise during daylight hours.
- Slow down – as you pass by other boats on the canal, ensure you’ve reduced your speed – as this will ensure the waters won’t rock others’ boats as you pass by.
- Take it easy – adopting the attitude of relaxing on the waterways will naturally fall in line with correct canal boat etiquette.
- Noise levels – remember to be mindful of noise levels from your narrowboat, especially overnight if you’re moored up near to other boats. Playing loud music or shouting loudly can cause disruption to others on the canals.
4. Driving the canal boat
Often, especially if you’re a beginner to canal boat holidays, driving the canal boat can take some getting used to. It might be worth brushing up on your skills of how to drive a canal boat, so you are prepared to embark on your journey across the waters.
5. Mooring your narrowboat
Often, newcomers to narrowboats query where you can moor your canal boat – and if a fee is associated with mooring. In general, there is usually no fee for mooring – you are permitted to moor almost anywhere alongside the canal for no fee.