Canal Boating Holidays - Your First Holiday Afloat
Narrowboat Holiday Hire - Canal Barge Holidays
Norfolk Broads Cruiser Boat Hire
Be sure to hire your waterways holiday boat from a licensed operator as this
is the only way you can be sure you are covered for support in the case of a
breakdown or other emergency and have the relevant insurance cover for your holiday.
Be aware that boating holidays are generally safe holidays, however you must
be sensible and be aware that you are in a natural environment, especially if
you are taking children on your adventure.
For Your Safety
Never take control of a boat or operate mechanical canal equipment if you
have been drinking alcoholic beverages. Everything may seem tranquil but there
is an inherent danger mixing alcohol and boating. Some boats weigh many tonnes
and canal fixtures and fittings are immovable objects. Impacts, even at low speeds
can be sudden, severe and cause a great amount of damage or injury!
If you upset another boat owner or think you might be doing something wrong,
it is best just to apologise and explain that you are on a boating holiday. Don't
be embarrassed to seek help or advice at any time and if someone offers to help
you whilst you are learning the ropes, accept graciously in the first instance.
You can always laugh about it later!
Keep body parts from being in between the boat and other objects and other
boats. Never fend off with hands or feet, always use a rope, barge pole or rope
fender. Watch your head when traveling under bridges, through tunnels and by
Stay off the roof when the boat is in motion! It may seem like a good place
to sunbathe and you may think it is 'cool' to strut your stuff where everyone
can see you, but when the boat is in motion it is the highest place to fall or
be dislodged from! And experienced boaters will think you are a bit of a pranny!
Be extra careful around locks, wharves and whilst stepping between bank and
boat. A slip may end up with an unexpected cold-water dip! But a slip or fall
in a lock may be much more serious! Children and non-swimmers should wear life
preservers or life jackets at all times when out and about on the boat, wharf
or lock areas.
Try not to get canal or river water in your eyes, up your nose or in your
mouth. Canal and river water is not the same as domestic water and should not
be ingested by humans or pet animals. Always wash your hands thoroughly after
coming into contact with the canal or river water. If you have a cut or graze
treat it quickly with a disinfectant solution and cover with a waterproof plaster
or bandage before waterborne bacteria or parasites can enter the body.
There is a general speed limit on most canals of 4 mph and there should be
no need to try and go any faster. See our article Canal
Speed Limit UK - Have you lost your water-skier? Many inexperienced boaters
enter locks, bridges, tunnels, moorings, water points, negotiate sharp bends
and junctions too fast and end up ramming into immovable objects or other boats
causing damage and embarrassment. Slow down early - You're on
Be prepared to slow down to pass anglers, obstructions, engineering works,
moored boats and floating pontoons etc.
Barbecuing On A Boating Holiday
Only use a charcoal barbecue on dry land! We know it's tempting to set it
up in the foot well of the boat ore even on the bow. We've seen both. The risk
of fire or injury is definitely higher on the boat, especially when it's moving.
The Fire Brigade or Ambulance Service can be a long way off when you're on a
imagine if the skipper of the boat above banged up against anything and dislodged
this precariously positioned barbie - there would be hot coals over the two ladies
and children on the bow and chances are there would also be damage to the inside
of the boat as hot coals cascaded through the open front doors! The guys on the
Viking Afloat boat on the left were using a disposable tray type barbeque and
may have lost their deposit as it would have damaged paintwork and smoke would
have got into the internal soft furnishings!