Preparing for your trip
To ensure your boat is in the best possible condition when you collect it, it will be ready from 3pm on your holiday start date.
Expert tuition before you depart
Before you set off, one of our expert instructors will take you through everything you need to know: how to start the engine; fill up with water; steer; slow down; moor up; and work the locks. You will also be taken through the basics of canal etiquette, such as where to drive – the middle – how to steer and work the locks, and the best places to moor-up and turn. There is a manual on board every boat should you need to check anything and our engineering teams are always on hand – 24 hours a day – to help over the phone or come out to you if you need them. Once your tuition is complete, you’ll be ready to enjoy the perfect holiday afloat.
A lock is simply a chamber with gates at either end. By emptying or filling that chamber with water, your boat can move up or down onto a new section of the waterway. Each lock takes about 20 minutes to go through. Some locks are operated by lock keepers, others you operate yourself. There is no great mystery to using the locks – just a series of step-by-step tasks.
Cruising at night is not permitted, so make sure you are moored by nightfall. Whilst you can choose where you stop, use sign-posted visitor moorings wherever possible, and always moor to the towpath if you can. If you’d like to find out more about boat handling prior to your holiday, you can download a free copy of the Canal & River Trust’s boater’s handbook from www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.