Canal experience/Boat handling course

If you are looking for a course to cover the basics of boat handling and do not need the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman course, then this could be for you.

The Tooley’s Canal experience/Boat handling course is less formal than the RYA course and can be tailored made to your requirements as we can discuss with you what you would need. The course will be run by RYA accredited instructors.

Canal Experience course leaflet
Course Leaflet

This course is ideal for someone who:

  • is hiring a narrowboat for a holiday
  • is considering buying a boat and has little or no experience of navigating the canal & river system.
  • doesn’t need a formal qualification.
  • with a new boat this is an opportunity that the course could be run on your own boat and we can discuss the running of it.

A typical course would be:

  • Discussions on rules on the canal
  • Rope handling and knots
  • Basic engine starting and checks
  • Parts of the boat
  • Steering on the canal including meeting and passing moored boats
  • Locks
  • Bridges
  • Mooring and casting off
  • Safety including man over board
  • Working as a team with the rest of the crew.

As we have said above is not a certificated course, but it would be a course tailored for you to give you confidence to enjoy your navigation on the canal and river system.

Cost & duration

The course is one day.

The price is £185 inc VAT per person based on two people doing the course – if you are by yourself then we will match you up with someone else.


By the end of the day you will:-

  • Be able to carry out daily routine checks
  • Understand how to use your safety equipment
  • Know the ‘rules of the road
  • Be able to work together as a team
  • Know how to operate different locks and handle ropes
  • Navigate a boat on the rivers and canals safely

If you want more information or want to find out when a course will be available please contact Tooley’s Boatyard, Banbury by phone: 01295 272917 or Email: