Experience Days. FAQ's
Here you can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning Narrowboat Experience Days.
How can we prepare for the Experience Day?
Have a look at the Canal River Trust "Boaters Handbook" video on our Know How page. You'll pick up lots of valuable tips ready for your Experience Day.
Why are the days only for two people?
We feel that two guests is about right to fully appreciate the day and take turns in steering the boat, operating locks and generally getting to know the canals. In addition, as newcomers to boating, it's important that your Skipper, who is an experienced boater, is able to give you their full attention. Having more people aboard will detract from this.
Why can't we bring children along?
Canal holidays are ideal for your children and as family people ourselves we know how much a family can enjoy boating. However, the whole idea of the day is for you to gain an insight into boating and experience handling the boat and build your confidence without having the distractions of looking after your children.
Can we bring pets along for the day?
Please see the answer above relating to children.
Will I get a qualification at the end of the Narrowboat Experience Day?
In short. No. The day is intended for you to get hands-on experience of canal boating and to have the opportunity to do this under the guidance of an experienced boater. If you would like a formal qualification, there are helmsmanship courses available via the Royal Yachting Association (RYA)
What clothing should I wear?
Given the changes in our unpredictable British weather, we find the key to success with your clothing is..... Layers. As we run these days in the winter as well, it's best to plan for chilly and possible wet weather. With this in mind, we suggest warm trousers, a couple of tee shirts, a fleece and waterproof coat. That way, you can add or remove layers dependant on the conditions.
For example, if its wet but warm, you can wear a tee shirt under your waterproof. You stay dry but don't overheat. If the weather turns cool but dry. Tee shirts and a fleece will be better. If you have some lightweight waterproof over trousers, then definitely bring them along. One suggestion we will make is to get a pair of Neoprene gloves, similar to the ones anglers use. They will keep your hands warm even when wet. As for Footwear. Waterproof solid shoes with a good grip are essential. Remember, if you intend to operate the locks you'll need sturdy footwear to prevent slipping.
What about food and drink?
Food - Feel free to bring your own packed lunch with you. Preferably something you can eat on the go such as sandwiches as we may be cruising all day to make the most of the time available. If time allows, you may want to stop for lunch, but this will be very much dependant on how busy the canal is.
Drinks - We provide complimentary tea and coffee all day. Make yourself at home aboard Maddison and feel free to use the galley to make a drink whenever you want.
Can I bring alcohol on board?
Sorry no. We would ask you refrain from consuming alcohol prior to and during the Experience Day. Please see our Terms & Conditions in relation to this.