Our Top 20 Boating Things To Do Before You Die!
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Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 1:46pm

The Ultimate Boating Bucket List!

Just for a bit of fun we have put together a bucket list of things you should do before you die relating to boating.


Here are our suggestions:

1. Buy a Narrow Boat!  Well this has to be the first thing you do so that you can enjoy doing some of the other ideas on our list!

Nothing is quite like owning your own boat. It's like your neighbour having a Porsche and them saying “Do you fancy taking it for a spin?”  Yeah that would be great, but what would be better is having it sat on your own drive! Same goes for anyone who loves boating, nothing compares to owning your own vessel..

2. Go through the three longest tunnels in the UK.

Standedge -  Huddersfield Narrow
5210m 3.24 miles 1811
disused since 1940s, re-opened in 2001, width restrictions, boat passage is escorted and must be booked

Strood - Thames and Medway
3595m 2.23 miles 1824 from 1844
tunnel shared with single rail track, in 1846 canal infilled, double rail track built

Sapperton - Thames and Severn
3490m 2.17 miles 1789
disused since 1927, partly re-opened 1996 for trip boat at Coates end

3.Cruise over an Aqueduct. There are plenty to choose from, but our recommendation would be to try the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough, in north east Wales. It was completed in 1805, and not only is it the longest, it’s the highest aqueduct in Britain.

4. Navigate your way through the longest set of locks which is the Tardebigge Flight on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.  The flight has 30 locks and raises the canal 220 feet!

5. Now you have mastered the longest locks why not cruise through the deepest lock; the Tuel Lane Lock on the Rochdale canal which is around 19 feet long.

6. Time to throw a boat party, whether it’s a summer BBQ or a cosy winters supper, plan a wonderful boat party for you and your friends.

7. Visit one of the many boat shows around the country. For narrow boat owners the Crick Boat show is a must and is held once a year over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Other boat shows like the Southampton show, Scotland Boat show and the London Show are also worth a visit.

8. Plan a special picnic on your boat for the whole family to enjoy, or for just you and someone special.

9. Whilst cruising and mooring don’t forget the views – grab your camera and get up close and personal with the wildlife and nature. Capture some great shots to show off to your land friends. I don’t expect they have ducks, swans, otters, badgers, kingfishers etc in their back yards!

10. Learn to fish. This is a great past time for those who own a boat. What a great way to spend your free time - sat on your deck rod in hand and a glass of something good in the other.

11. Travel the whole network. This may take some time but what a great achievement.

12. Make a special journey to travel the oldest canal which is the Fossdyke Navgation.

13. If you have done the oldest, you need to do the newest canal which at writing this article is the Ribble link.

14. Go and watch the boat race. The race doesn’t last that long, the record is held by Cambridge who completed the race in 16mins and 19secs. There’s plenty to do before and after the race. From long leisurely river walks to picnics or fancy lunches.  This year’s race will be held on the 11th April 2015. Oxford has won 78 to Cambridge’s 81 races, who do you think will take the title this year?

15. Commission an artist to paint a portrait of you and your boat.

16. Organise a fireworks display, what better way to enjoy a fireworks display than from the helm of your own boat, but do invite your neighbours mooring nearby, and remeber this may not be permitted if you moor in a marina!

17. Watch the sunset.

18. Obviously after you have watched the sun set, you need to rise early and watch the day break. Nothing can quite beat watching the sun rise and hearing the dawn chorus.

19. Count the stars on a clear night. Star gazing can be very romantic so grab a bottle of bubbly and enjoy the night sky with someone special.

20. Step back in time and take a horse drawn boat trip. Escape the modern world and enjoy a day like they did in the old days. A memorable experience of yesteryear for you and the whole family.  

Some of you may be able to tick off a few of our ideas already; if that’s the case what would you add for other boaters to try?  Leave your suggestions in the comments box below...

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