Being organised and planning ahead will go a long way to
help you experience the perfect canal cruise. Whether you are contemplating
cruising on your own or with a crew you will want the journey to be as stress
free and untroubled as possible.
our helpful tips before you set off:
Your Vessel Ready
Before you even leave your mooring give your narrow boat the once
over, checking the engine, batteries values & fittings and other working
parts to make sure everything is as it should be.
As you would when going out in your car make sure you
have enough fuel, if you need to refill plan this into your route if it is not
possible to fill up before you leave.
Have your boats insurance documents, boat safety certificate and other relevant
paper work on-board.
Check that there are no stoppages on the network you intend
to use. Work out how long it will take you to get to your end
destination and back.
Remember the maximum speed limit is 4 miles an hour on the canal network, and you may have locks to negotiate along the way.
Don’t spoil a perfectly pleasant cruise by trying to do
too much in one journey; the last thing you want is to be panicking about
getting back in time.
There are now many apps out there that will help you
plan your journey or if you prefer you can use an old fashioned map!
If you are going on a long cruise you will need to plan
whereabouts you intend to moor.
Check for suitable places on route to break up
your journey, if you want to stay in a marina call and book a mooring in advance.
For shorter cruises you will still want to break up your
journey by stopping along the way, plan these stops before setting off. If you
want to stop at other places you can always add these into your journey as you
come across them. It’s not a military day out so changes can be made along
It does happen even when you have checked all the basics,
so have a backup and make sure you have some breakdown cover.
This will at
least give you peace of mind, knowing if you should get into some
difficulties that someone will come to your aid.
It is also worthwhile having a tool kit on-board to fix
small problems that might happen, it might be the difference to getting
yourself going again, or having to call someone to help you.
Equipment and Advice
Make sure you have a first aid box on board and also safety
jackets for the crew.
If you're planning to go alone, let someone know your route and your estimated time of return and
make sure your contact has your mobile phone number to keep in touch with you.
Be sensible about what type of weather you cruise in, during the winter months it’s
still safe to cruise the canal system, but avoid cruising when the canals are frozen.
For the rest of the year it’s advisable to check the
weather forecast for the day/days you intend to travel and use your common
Boating is fun whether it’s raining or the sun does decide to shine, dress for
the conditions and take a jacket even if you don’t think you will need it. It
is best to have it on-board just in case, the British weather is so unpredictable.
Make sure you have everything on board before you leave,
having a checklist for cruises is a good way to ensure you have everything you
need to enjoy a pleasurable day/days out.
That’s it! Enjoy your cruise and keep safe