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Mon Nov 20, 2017 at 11:36am

For boat owners who are thinking about upgrading or selling their narrow boat, December can still be a good time to sell a used narrow boat.

Many boat owners first instinct would be to 'leave selling their boat until after Christmas' thinking that the boat will sell quicker in the Spring time. It seems like a no-brainer, everyone is far too busy buying Christmas presents to concentrate on boat buying.

But December can actually be a shrewd time to sell your narrowboat, here are our six top reasons why now might be the right time to sell.

1. We can buy your narrowboat for cash now, saving you the hassle of putting the boat on brokerage, or trying to sell the boat yourself which often takes several weeks of waiting for the right buyer to come along. You can have the cash instantly in your account as soon as we've agreed to buy the boat from you!

2.One of the busiest times of the year for boat searches on our website is between Boxing Day and New Year's Day. You need to make sure that your narrowboat is in the 'shop window' at the optimum time. Many people have a dream of owning a narrowboat and spend the Christmas Holiday period browsing the internet for available boats, just like they do a house or a holiday.

2. Given that many people will follow the conventional wisdom and not put their boats on the market in December, you will be entering a less crowded market, which will help your boat stand out, should you decide to sell your narrowboat through our brokerage sevice.

3. Many workers get their Christmas bonuses before Christmas, and in some cases make moves on the narrowboat market on the basis of those bonuses.

4. Christmas tends to be a comparatively quiet time, both on stock markets and in the political sphere. That can make boat buyers a little less jittery, which can only be a good thing.

5. If you decide you want to sell your narrowboat, why not get on with it, regardless of the time of year. Stalling can cost you more in mooring fees, and if you're not using the boat over winter you won't have to worry about leaving the boat empty and all the problems that can be associated with an empty boat and feezing winter temperatures.

6. They may be few in number, but there are some people whose idea of a perfect Christmas present to a loves one, is a narrowboat!

So you see, you don't have to wait until Spring to sell your narrowboat, you really can sell it in December!

If you want us to give you a Cash Offer for your Narrowboat, we'd love to hear from, call us now on 01327 842577 or click one of the links above to fill in our online form.

Happy Christmas from the Whilton Marina Team!

Tue Oct 31, 2017 at 7:59am



It's important that your boat is kitted out with a good heating system that will provide adequate heat and hot water, or you may find that your boat is inhabitable over the winter due to the fact it's too cold to stay aboard.

If you haven't serviced your heating system then now is a good time to give it some TLC, especially if you intend to use your boat over the winter.

Here are some heating options you can consider;

Multi-fuel stoves are still the most popular option for boaters and they come in a variety of prices, shapes and sizes. They are easy to install and even easier to use. Using coal or wood, a multi-fuel stove works through dry heat and the fire will draw in much of the condensation from the boat.

*Diesel-fired central heating works the same as a domestic boiler found in a house. Simple to use and compatible with a timer, it will heat the radiators and provide hot water. Popular choices to choose from are Eberspächer, Webasto or Mikuni. 

*Gas central heating this option will allow you to heat your radiators and will provide hot water, however it is not compatible with a timer. Gas central heating will run from your gas bottles. 

*Both diesel and gas central heating need a yearly service by a qualified engineer

If you’ll be having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code.....

Follow these top tips for a safer fireworks party:   

Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used. Children and young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance.

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Sparkler safety

Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch.

Follow these top tips for sparkler safety:

  • It is recommended that sparklers are not given to under-5s
  • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves
  • Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit
  • Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people
  • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler
  • When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water.

Bonfire safety

  • One person should be responsible for the bonfire and children should be supervised
  • Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children will be playing
  • Never pour petrol, paraffin or meths on to a fire - it’s safer to use fire lighters to prevent flare-ups
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of an accident
  • Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair.
  • After the party, pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out.









artichoke, beetroot, butternut squash, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkin, salsify, shallots, swede, truffles (black) [i], truffles (white) [i], turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms

apples, clementines [i], cranberries [i], passion fruit [i], pears, pomegranate[i], quince, satsumas

almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, cob nuts, hazelnuts,rosemary, sage, walnuts

beef, duck, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, lamb, mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, turkey, venison, wood pigeon

clams, cod, coley, crab, dab, dover sole, gurnard, haddock, halibut, hake, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, monkfish, mussels, oysters, plaice, pollack, red mullet, sea bass (wild), sea bream, skate, squid, turbot, winkles

Keeping your fuel store and water tanks topped up is a must at this time of year. Running out of the above will leave you cold, potentially smelly and in the dark not a pleasant experience during the cold and dark winter months.

































November, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s happening in November?  

1 Nov Author's Day, 2 Nov Deviled Eggs Day, 2 Nov Men Make Dinner Day, 3 Nov Sandwich Day, 4 Nov Common Sense Day, 5 Nov Zero Tasking Day, 6 Nov Saxophone Day, 7 Nov Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day, 8 Nov Tongue Twister Day, 9 Nov Chaos Never Dies Day, 10 Nov Forget Me Not Day, 10 Nov Vanilla Cupcake Day, 11 Nov Origami Day, 12 Nov Happy Hour Day, 13 Nov World Kindness Day, 14 Nov Spicy Guacamole Day, 14 Nov Pickle Day, 15 Nov Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, 16 Nov Fast Food Day, 16 Nov Use Less Stuff Day, 17 Nov Take A Hike Day, 18 Nov Push Button Phone Day, 20 Nov National Absurdity Day, 21 Nov World Hello Day, 22 Nov Go For a Ride Day, 23 Nov Fibonacci Day, 24 Nov Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day, 24 Nov Buy Nothing Day, 25 Nov Shopping Reminder Day, 26 Nov Cake Day, 28 Nov Red Planet Day, 29 Nov Electronic Greeting Card Day, 30 Nov Computer Security Day

And of course Bonfire Night on the 5th November!


Banbury Lock Open Weekend 
18th November 2017 to 19th November 2017 
Lock 29 Banbury Lock
Come along to Banbury Lock Open Day and see first hand how we're refurbing this lock.

Shifting Loyalties - Idle Women residential conference 2017 
27th November 2017 to 4th December 2017 
Coldwell Activity Centre
Head along to Shifting Loyalties, Idle Women's residential conference.


Mon Oct 16, 2017 at 12:39pm

New On Site Narrowboat Maintenance Workshop and Wise 40 tonne Boat Lifting Hoist Coming Soon...

We are very excited to announce plans to improve our narrow boat refurbishment facilities at Whilton Marina. Construction has already started of the purpose built 9,000 sq ft Narrowboat Mainitenance and Repair Workshop, the new wharf and boat lift, which will facilitate an improved working environment for our engineering and welding teams. We expect the new development to be completed in Spring 2018.

The new workshop will be capable of holding three 70ft narrow boats simultaneously for maintenance works. It will be fully equipped for the undertaking of works on new and used canal boats and widebeamed boats; to include stern tube renewal, new window installations, renewal of gas lockers, wiring, painting, engine installtions and repairs, hull replating and refurbishment works and will enable our engineers and welders to work on narrowboats out of the water and under cover.

We have ordered a Brand New Wise 40 tonne motorised hoist ( see photograph below of a similar hoist) capable of lifting 40 tonnes and up to 12ft wide boats, with four wheel steering, which can be used to transport the narrow boats, or widebeams out of the water and move them into the new workshop for maintenance or repair purposes.

A new wharf is being constructed to allow the Wise Hoist to manoeuvre over the water and lift out narrowboats when surveys are required. This will enable us to react a lot more quickly to our demands on site, which will speed up the sales process.

This facility is designed to strengthen our position as the Number One UK sales outlet for used narrowboats, making us one of the most successful one-stop shops on the canal network, where you can buy a narrowboat, moor it, maintain and repair it, and if you need to sell your narrowboat on, we can sell it for you too!

This significant investment is designed to strengthen our position and commitment as the Number One UK sales outlet for used narrowboats. We will be investing £900,000 in the new workshop, wharf and boat lift, showing that we are confident about our future in narrowboat sales and the future of our marina.

The new workshop and boat lifting facility, once completed will hugely assist our customers through the narrowboat buying and selling process. It will add another fantastic facility to our already well equipped marina, which already has a floating dock and wet dock, plus two slip ways, a narrowboat showroom and office, plus on site chandlery shop and cafe.

To follow the progress of the building of the new facilities see our Narrowboat Maintenance Workshop page.


Sun Oct 1, 2017 at 4:00pm



If you are not going to be using your narrow boat again this winter, then before the frosts and cold weather arrive you should winterise her. This needs to be done to protect the boat over the winter months while you go ashore.  

If you are staying aboard then you can still give her a little TLC by checking your radiators, keel and water systems; you may need to add some additional anti-freeze to keep them in good working order over the colder months.

It’s also a good time to stock up on fuel. Take time to de-clutter your boat and store away items that you might not be using over the winter months, giving you a bit more space. Take a look through your larder cupboard and stock up on items that have been used and not yet replaced.  

What is winterisation?   

Basically winterisation is preparing the boat for the change in weather and the cold winter months ahead in order to keep the heating and water systems from freezing up and potentially causing damage.

Boats are susceptible to damage from the cold weather when they are left empty and unlived in, so by taking a few simple measures you can help protect the interior and exterior of your boat.  

Things We Recommend You Should Do:   

Out Side Jobs  

This really does work so don’t overlook our first tip; cleaning and polishing the topsides will protect your boats surface. It will stop mould and organic growth occurring on the boats exterior deck keeping it clean and undamaged. If plant roots are allowed to get attached to the boat, they can expand and cause the woodwork to crack, which may then lead to leaks, so for the sake of half a days cleaning it’s got to be worth doing.  

It’s a good investment to buy your boat a canvas canopy to protect the decking, this will stop leaves and debris settling on your deck and also keep it water tight!  

Fit an automatic bilge pump float, so if any water does get into the bilge you will at least have peace of mind that this water will be removed, however if you buy a canvas canopy you won’t incur this problem, soo weigh up which option you would prefer.  

If the canal freezes and passing boats go by your, this creates movement of the broken ice sheets whiche can hit your hull and damage it. To avoid this happening a simple solution is to hang a wooden board from secure ropes alongside your hull. For GRP boats this technique will protect the exterior from serious damage and for steel hulls will preserve the paintwork.  

Water can rise, even on the inland canals, so be aware of the weather in relation to your moorings and ensure ropes are of the correct length and are secure.  

Inside Jobs  

A problem that all boaters have is the boat becoming damp over the winter months when its not being used, which in turn causes mould issues. So where possible removal all soft furnishings; items such as mattresses, bedding, towels, curtains and cushions should ideally be taken ashore and stored in a warm dry place until you return to use the boat next year. If it is not practical to remove mattresses, then stand them up so that air can circulate and prevent them from going mouldy.  

Windows are another area that can cause issues so clear out the window drains and replace any seals that are not in good order.

Empty and turn off the fridge/freezer leaving the door open so the air can circulate.  

Empty the larder cupboards and restock with new next year.

The Engine Change the oil and give your engine the manufacturer’s service before locking your boat up for the winter. If you have a sealed water system check the antifreeze and top up if necessary. If you have a raw water system seal off the cock valve and drain the water out of the cooling jacket.  

Grease the stern tube once the engine is turned off; this is to prevent water getting into the engine room. If water builds up it could cause your narrow boat to sink! Leave your diesel tank full so that condensation doesn’t build up in the tank, also add fuel conditioner which you can purchase at most good chandleries

Plumbing  You want to try and aim to remove as much water from the boats water pipes. Why? To stop them bursting if it freezes. So drain down and disconnect the water system and empty your water tanks and calorifiers. Remove as much water as possible from your shower, and then open up the taps allowing all the trapped water to drain away. Lag as many of the water pipes as you can to prevent damage.   

Top up with anti-freeze in sealed heating systems like radiators connected to the boiler. Lastly remove water filter cartridges.

Electrical and Batteries Turn off the isolators on the battery as well as greasing the terminals to prevent corrosion. Make time and leave the batteries fully charged and if possible left on a float charge.

Turn off all electrical appliances and as mentioned above, it’s advisable to leave the fridge door slightly a jar to circulate the air, this will prevent it from going mouldy and smelly.  

Security When all the tasks to make your boat safe for winter are completed and you are about ready to lock up for the last time, it’s worth removing any valuable items from the boat and taking them home with you.

Opportunist theives are always a threat to boaters, so by removing or hiding valuable items your possessions will be at less risk of been stolen. Look at your security and make improvements where you can. Research what’s new on the market when it comes to boat alarms and upgrade to the latest technology.

Lastly make sure you are fully insured just in case the worst should happen, whether it is a break in or incident caused by the weather.









artichoke, beetroot, broccoli, butternut squash, celeriac, celery, chicory, chillies, fennel, garlic, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce & salad leaves, marrow, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkin, radishes, rocket, runner beans, salsify, shallots, swede, sweetcorn, tomatoes, truffles (black), truffles (white), turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms

apples, bilberries, blackberries, elderberries, figs, grapes, medlar, pears, quince

almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, chives, cob nuts, hazelnuts, parsley (curly), rosemary, sage, sorrel, thyme, walnuts

beef, duck, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, lamb, mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, turkey, venison, wood pigeon

clams, cod, coley, crab, dab, dover sole, grey mullet, gurnard, haddock, halibut, hake, herring, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, monkfish, mussels, oysters, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, red mullet, sea bass (wild), sea bream, skate, squid, turbot, winkles

Try and visit your boat regularly to run the engine for around an hour during the winter. This pushes the oil around and helps prevents rust. It will also help top up the battery. Remember to re-grease the stern tube if you do run the engine, as every time the propellers turn it breaks the seal. While you're there you should also pump out rainwater and clear the cockpit drains.




































October, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s happening in October?  

1 Oct International Coffee Day,
1 Oct Balloons Around the World Day, 2 Oct Phileas Fogg Wager Day, 4 Oct Taco Day, 5 Oct Chic Spy Day, 6 Oct World Smile Day, 6 Oct Mad Hatter Day, 7 Oct Card Making Day, 7 Oct Frappé Day, 8 Oct Pierogi Day, 9 Oct Curious Events Day, 10 Oct Handbag Day, 11 Oct It's My Party Day, 12 Oct Old Farmers Day, 13 Oct International Skeptics Day, 15 Oct I Love Lucy Day, 16 Oct Dictionary Day, 16 Oct National Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop Day, 17 Oct Wear Something Gaudy Day, 18 Oct Chocolate Cupcake Day, 20 Oct International Sloth Day, 21 Oct Count your Buttons Day, 22 Oct Caps Lock Day, 23 Oct Mole Day, 24 Oct Bologna Day, 25 Oct Sourest Day, 26 Oct  Howl at the Moon Day and Night, 27 Oct American Beer Day, 28 Oct International Observe the Moon Night, 28 Oct International Animation Day, 29 Oct Internet Day, 30 Oct Candy Corn Day, 31 Oct Magic Day

We will definitely be celebrating International Coffee Day and Chocolate Cupcake Day!


The Big draw - Llanymynech 1st October 2017, 2pm to 5pm Underhill Farm, Pant
Come along and get creative at the Big Draw in Llanymynech.

The Big draw - Llanymynech 1st October 2017, 2pm to 5pm Underhill Farm, Pant
Come along and get creative at the Big Draw in Llanymynech.

Natasha Langridge to perform, 'In memory of leaves' on a widebeam barge at three docks across the capital 4th October 2017, 7:30pm to 21st October 2017, 9:30pm Various locations across London
Head along watch Natasha Langridge perform 'In memory of leaves' at three special locations across London.

South Northamptonshire Art Trail 7th October 2017, 10am to 15th October 2017, 5pm The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne
Head along to the Canal Museum this October and enjoy this year's South Northamptonshire Art Trail.

Idle Women boot camp for surviving and thriving skills (St Helens) 7th October 2017, 11am to 18th November 2017, 2pm St Helens (Exact location TBC)
Come along to Idle Women's boot camp for surviving and thriving skills.

Eco Trail Trekker 15th October 2017 Carnegie Campus, Headingly,
Come along and enter a team in the Leeds based Eco Trail Trekker event. Raising vital funds for the Canal & River Trust

Eco Trail Trekker 15th October 2017 Carnegie Campus, Headingly,
Come along and enter a team in the Leeds based Eco Trail Trekker event. Raising vital funds for the Canal & River Trust.

Lighting up Limekiln Lock 19th October 2017, 6pm to 9pm Limekiln Lock, River Soar
Come and join us lighting up Limekiln Lock.

Stourbridge Navigation Trust Open Weekend 21st October 2017, 10am to 22nd October 2017, 5pm The Bonded Warehouse
Head along to the Bonded Warehouse where Stourbridge Navigation Trust will hold their Open Weekend.

The Big Draw - Stoke Bruerne 25th October 2017, 11am to 4pm Stoke Bruerne, The Canal Museum
Everyone is invited to join the world's biggest drawing festival. Draw, doodle, sketch, paint or just make meaningful marks.

Anderton firework spectacular 28th October 2017, 6:30pm to 9pm Anderton Boat Lift
Book your tickets now for Anderton's ever-popular firework spectacular!


Tue Sep 12, 2017 at 7:41pm

Are you looking for a narrowboat?

Then you need to visit Whilton marina. We have a large selection of used narrow boats for sale from in all price ranges. This means we should have a boat in our marina to match your budget.  

Not only do we hold a large variety of boats for sale here in Northamptonshire, our sister company Venetian marina in Cheshire also has a selection of narrow boats for sale. So if we don't have what you are looking for maybe our other marina will.   

Let us help take the stress out of finding a new narrowboat by providing you with the best service around. Buying and selling narrowboats is basically what we do best and our experienced staff are available 7 days a week to assist you.

We can hold your hand all the way through the buying process and give you the best advice to ensure you buy the right boat.  

When it comes to buying a narrowboat there are many considerations you need to be aware of.

So let's look at some of these now and discuss these points before you buy;

What style boat best suits your needs?

There are basically three stern types you can choose from. The traditional, the semi traditional and the cruiser.

No stern type is better than the others, it's all about personal choice when choosing which style. If you are wanting more interior space then the traditional style may best suit your needs better, as they tend to have larger interiors. If you want a larger social area when cruising for friends and family to gather, then the cruiser stern will be the better boat for you.

Stepping aboard all the different stern types will help you get feel of the boat and work out which one is going to be best for your needs. This is something we strongly encourage at our marina, you will be able to experience all the different sterns from the stock we have. You can hop on and off each boat as many times as you like, comparing each one at your leisure.

Where will you moor your narrowboat?

Don't over look finding a mooring, this should be sorted out at the beginning of the buying process so that you have somewhere to take your boat after it's purchase. 

Extensive mooring advice from the Canal and River Trust can be found here

How much time will you spend aboard?

Again it's important to consider how much time you will be spending on your boat. If you intend to spend long periods of time or even live aboard full time, then you need to factor in how much space you have for possessions and your family.

Should I have a survey?

YES! It's that simple, but we will explain why you should. The survey is for the buyers benefit, it will highlight any potential problems, you can then negotiate with the seller to see if they are prepared to pay for the repairs or lower the asking price. More about surveys can be found here

What finance options are available?

There are marine mortgages available from 3000 plus and 70% of the boats value. Many people also approach their bank for personal loans for smaller amounts.

How much do you want to spend?

Sort out your budget before you start looking. It's so easy to get carried away when you arrive at the marina and see all the boats on offer. Remember there are ongoing costs such as mooring fees, insurance, repairs and maintenance etc, so don't leave yourself short. 


We also offer a seek and find service. If you leave your email address and your boat requirements with us, we will do our upmost to find a boat to match your needs. Register for our narrowboat finder service here. If you register on our website you will receive regular updates on boats that match your requirements from both of our marinas.     

We believe we can fulfill your dreams and sell you the narrow boat you have been dreaming of, so come and see us today!

Fri Sep 1, 2017 at 4:13pm



The kids may be going back to school this month, but lets take a look at how best to look after the little ones when they are near the waterways. Half term will be here before we know it and and for many of us it will be one of the last holidays we take this year on the canal.

Taking children on a narrow boat holiday is a great way to spend quality time with your kids, but for everyone to have a relaxing time its worth making sure that everyone knows how to conduct themselves whilst on the boat or near the water.

If your children have never been on a boating holiday before it has to be said it could go one of two ways; they will either love it or hate it! So you have been warned. 


  • Ensure they are wearing a life jacket.
  • Give them jobs to do so they feel part of the crew.
  • For older children enrol them into helping with the locks and mooring.
  • Don't consume too much alcohol when you are supervising young children.
  • Keep doors locked.
  • Don’t leave children unsupervised.
  • Use a play pen for very young children.
  • Don’t allow children to run by a lock.
  • Don’t allow children to stand and walk on the roof of a moving boat.









artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, celery, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, french beans, garlic, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce & salad leaves, mangetout, marrow, onions, pak choi, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkin, radishes, rocket, runner beans, shallots, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms

apples, bilberries, blackberries, damsons, elderberries, figs, grapes, medlar, melons, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, redcurrants

chestnuts, chives, cob nuts, coriander, oregano, mint, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leafed), rosemary, sage, sorrel, thyme

beef, duck, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, lamb, mallard, pheasant, rabbit, turkey, venison, wood pigeon

clams, cod, coley, crab, dab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, halibut, hake, herring, lemon sole, mackerel, monkfish, mussels, oysters, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, red mullet, sea bass (wild), sea bream, shrimp, squid, turbot, whelks, winkles


The Canal & River Explorers is the education team of the Canal & River Trust. They inspire children's learning by connecting them to our canals and rivers.

Get your kids involved find out more here.




































September, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s happening in September?  

1 Sep Emma Nutt Day,1 Sep No Rhyme or Reason Day, 2 Sep Bison Ten Yell Day, 3 Sep Skyscraper Day, 4 Sep Eat an Extra Dessert Day, 5 Sep Be Late for Something Day, 5 Sep Cheese Pizza Day, 6 Sep Fight Procrastination Day, 6 Sep Read a Book Day, 7 Sep Salami Day, 8 Sep Pardon Day, 9 Sep Teddy Bear Day, 10 Sep Swap Ideas Day, 11 Sep Make Your Bed Day, 12 Sep Chocolate Milkshake Day, 13 Sep Positive Thinking Day, 13 Sep Roald Dahl Day, 14 Sep Hug Your Hound Day, 15 Sep Make a Hat Day, 16 Sep Collect Rocks Day, 16 Sep Guacamole Day, 17 Sep International Country Music Day, 18 Sep Rice Krispie Treat Day,19 Sep National Gymnastics Day, 19 Sep International Talk Like a Pirate Day, 20 Sep Punch Day, 21 Sep Miniature Golf Day, 22 Sep Hobbit Day, 23 Sep Checkers Day, 24 Sep Punctuation Day, 25 Sep Comic Book Day, 26 Sep Love Note Day, 27 Sep Crush a Can Day, 28 Sep Ask a Stupid Question Day, 28 Sep Good Neighbor Day, 30 Sep Astronomy Day, 30 Sep Hot Mulled Cider Day

Plenty for the kids to celebrate this month!


Roses and Castles Weekend Painting Course 2nd September 2017, 9:30am to 3rd September 2017, 4:30pm Stoke Bruerne An introduction to traditional painting techniques.    

Discovering the Regent's Canal from East to West 2nd September 2017, 10am to 10th September 2017, 12:30pm Chalk Farm Tube Station Come along and discover the Regent's Canal on a walking tour from East to West. This walk will take you from Chalk Farm tube to Warwick Avenue.  

Milton Keynes Angling Association - Let's Fish 2nd September 2017, 2pm to 4pm Grand Union Canal, Old Wolverton Come along to Milton Keynes Angling Association's fishing taster day in Milton Keynes.   Festival fun by the canal

Angel Canal Festival 3rd September 2017, 11am to 5pm Sites across Islington North London This September head down to the Angel Canal Festival.  

Black Country Boating Festival 8th September 2017, 10am to 10th September 2017, 6pm Bumble-Hole Nature Reserve Head along to the Black Country Boating Festival.  

Slough Canal Festival 9th September 2017, 11am to 10th September 2017, 5pm Slough Organised by Slough Borough Council, you'll find boat trips, canal wares, arts and crafts, canal fishing, healthy walks, kids activities, falconry, mobile farm and refreshments  

Two Arms on Two Legs Running Festival 10th September 2017, 10am to 4pm Aylesbury Get your running shoes on! We've got a half marathon and a 10k run taking place along the Wendover and Aylesbury Arms.    

Tipton Canal & Community Festival 15th September 2017 to 17th September 2017 Neptune Health Park and Coronation Gardens Come along to the Tipton Canal & Community Festival, for a weekend of fun for all the family.  

Vintage Foxton Festival 16th September 2017, 10am to 17th September 2017, 5pm Foxton Locks This year's Vintage Foxton festival is the first we've held in Foxton Locks.   Huddlesford Heritage Gathering 23rd September 2017 to 24th September 2017 Lichfield Cruising Club Organised jointly by Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club, head along to Huddlesford's biennial gathering.  

Huddlesford heritage gathering 23rd September 2017 to 24th September 2017 Lichfield Cruising Club Head along to the Lichfield Cruising club for the biennial Huddlesford Heritage Gathering.  

Birmingham Floating Market 23rd September 2017, 10am to 24th September 2017, 5pm Barclaycard Arena Head along to Birmingham Floating Market.


Mon Aug 14, 2017 at 3:23pm


Start by preparing your narrowboat for cruising, a great place to start would be to read Venetian Marinas  blog about preparing your narrowboat for the season ahead. Check for stoppages on the Canal and Rivertrust website. Get all your essential supplies aboard, such as food and warm clothing. Fill up with fuel and water and check your cruising kit is in good order and on board.

Setting Off Safely

Never untie without starting the engine first. Push the boat off from its mooring to avoid scraping the boat along it's side. Keep safe by not pushing the boat too far off before stepping aboard, to ensure that you can step aboard easily. Don't forget that narrowboats don't have brakes as such and you won't be able to stop the boat quickly, so don't place yourself between the boat and a solid object as a nasty accident could occur.

Safety in Tunnels and Bridges

Make sure you have plenty of room to go through a bridge or a tunnel. Check the height to make sure that your boat will fit through without damaging the chimney, remove items from the roof if needs be. Don't allow crew onto the roof or the gunwales of the boat when navigating through. If the tunnel is dark you may encounter rubbish or sunken objects so take care. Make sure to turn on your headlights and use your horn if necessary to warn other passing boaters of danger.


Have a centre line attached to the boat to assist with setting off or mooring up. Moor close together at busy times by sharing mooring bollards and rings, but respect peoples privacy, and if someone has obviously moored away on a quiet stretch give them space.

Turning or manoeuvring

Utilise the space available. Going forward point the tiller where you want the stern of the boat to go. Going backwards point the rudder tip where you want to go, There is a time lag between forward and reverse and you should only move the tiller when the direction of the water flow changes, this will ensure a more effective and efficient turn.

If you're new to boating or a little rusty at it, practise reversing and manoeuvering the boat. It's equally important to learn how to keep the boat still and counteract the current.

Treat Locks With Respect

When navigating through locks, keep decks clear and ropes coiled away to avoid trip hazards. Learn how the different types of locks work, such as staircase locks, and if cruising on a river; flood gate locks. Don't be distracted by anything and keep children and animals safely aboard before entering the lock. Take your time. Operate lock paddles in the correct order, especially when going uphill as the water can be more turbulent. Look out for potential hazards when entering the lock especially if they are narrow. Make sure that the lock gate fully opens to avoid getting stuck. Keep clear of the cill, which is usually marked on the edge of the lockside above, (see cill mark on picture above). Be careful as this step can catch the unattentive and make the boat lurch or even make the boat sink. You'll be surprised how often this happens!


If cruising in a tricky stretch of water or through moveable bridges only allow a trusted and reliable crew member to operate the boat for safety reasons, someone with more experience will recognise any dangers and the risks can be minimised.


Be courteous and assist others, who will in turn help you, especially when going through locks.

Above all enjoy your narrowboating!

Let us know what your top tips are, by commenting below!

Mon Jul 31, 2017 at 11:23am



The Canal & River Trust is introducing a new letting licence to ensure the safety of the increasing number of people living on rented boats. 

From 12 June 2017 boat owners will be able to apply for a Static Letting Licence for static boats which will cover all types of boat rentals, including long-term renting, Airbnb-style short breaks, and overnight stays. The boat owner will need to have a permanent mooring and should talk to their local planning authority to see if planning permission is needed. The price will be the same as for the current Self-Drive Holiday Hire licence. 

Living afloat has become a popular lifestyle choice for those who are struggling to get on the housing market especially in London and other major cities, so the CRT have responded to the recent increase of people renting narrowboats and to protect those renting have introduced the new letting licence.

There are a number of accidents that can and do occur when living on a boat; from fires, sinking and carbon monoxide poisonings, the aim of the new licence is to protect potential renters and to keep them and others safe.

It's so important to get the message out there, that if you intend to rent out your boat, then as the boat owner you will have the responsibility to ensure that those who rent from you are safe at all times.

The Static Letting Licence has rigorous requirements to make sure that both the boat is safe and that potential renters are fully briefed before spending a night on board.

Boat owners will be required to have:

  • proof of adequate insurance;
  • a Non-Private Boat Safety Scheme Certificate;
  • a detailed handover document including emergency procedures and contact numbers;
  • a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate;
  • and written permission from their mooring provider. 


1. Always secure your boat when you are away from it

2. Join online boating forums to keep up with news and to make new friends

3. Install solar panels if you haven't already got them

4. Keep on top of servicing and maintenance

5. Join a break down service

6. Keep your larder stocked up - (nothing worse than a hungry crew!)

7. Have spares of important items onboard

8. Have life jackets onboard for all crew members

9. Make sure all your crew know what’s expected of them, especially when mooring and using the locks.

10. Plan your journeys. 









Seasonal fruit & Vegs:
artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, french beans, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce & salad leaves, mangetout, marrow, onions, pak choi, peas, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, runner beans, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms

apricots, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, damsons, figs, greengages, loganberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, strawberries

basil, chives, coriander, oregano, mint, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leafed), rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon, thyme

beef, lamb, rabbit, venison, wood pigeon

cod, coley, crab, dab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, halibut, herring, langoustine, lemon sole, mackerel, monkfish, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, red mullet, salmon, sardines, scallops (queen), sea bass (wild), sea bream, sea trout, shrimp, squid, whelks


The Residential Boat Owners’ Association has developed a Code of Good Practice document. They are encouraging all members (and other interested waterway users), whether on water or on land, to consider others, and take responsibility for their actions. This Code will hopefully encourage boaters to share their knowledge and experience.

Read the code here and you can register your interest here



































August, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s special about August?  

1 Aug Girlfriend's Day, 2 Aug Ice Cream Sandwich Day, 3 Aug Watermelon Day, 4 Aug Single Working Women's Day, 4 Aug International Beer Day, 5 Aug Work Like a Dog Day, 6 Aug Sisters' Day, 6 Aug Fresh Breath Day, 7 Aug Lighthouse Day, 8 Aug Happiness Happens Day, 9 Aug Book Lovers Day, 10 Aug Lazy Day, 11 Aug Son and Daughter Day, 12 Aug Middle Child Day, 13 Aug Left-Handers Day, 14 Aug Creamsicle Day, 15 Aug Relaxation Day, 16 Aug Tell a Joke Day, 17 Aug, Thrift Shop Day, 18 Aug Mail Order Catalog Day, 19 Aug World Photo Day, 20 Aug Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, 21 Aug Spumoni Day, 22 Aug Be An Angel Day, 23 Aug Ride Like the Wind Day, 24 Aug Pluto Demoted Day, 25 Aug Kiss and Make up Day, 26 Aug Dog Appreciation Day, 27 Aug The Duchess Who Wasn't Day, 28 Aug Bow Tie Day, 29 Aug According to Hoyle Day, 30 Aug Frankenstein Day, 31 Aug Eat Outside Day.

We have highlighted our favourite days, what are yours?!


Nottingham Riverside Festival 4th August 2017 to 6th August 2017
Victoria Embankment
Head along to Nottingham's biggest and most popular free festival weekend.    

The Urban Safari Roundhouse 7th August 2017, 11am to 17th September 2017, 4pm
Head along to the Roundhouse in Birmingham this summer for the Urban Safari.  

Blisworth Canal Festival 12th August 2017 to 13th August 2017
Head along to Blisworth Canal Festival for a weekend of fun that all the family can enjoy.  

Wednesfield Canal Festival 12th August 2017 to 13th August 2017
Head along to the Wednesfield Canal Festival.  

Northwich River Festival & Regatta 12th August 2017 to 13th August 2017
Head along to Northwich River Festival & Regatta, for a fun day out for all the family.  

Discovering the Regent's Canal from East to West 12th August 2017, 10am to 20th August 2017, 12:30pm
Come along and discover the Regent's Canal on a walking tour from East to West. This walk will take you from Angel to Chalk Farm.  

Horses at Work 13th August 2017, 10am to 5pm
Ellesmere Port The Canal & River Trust will be celebrating the early days of canals at the National Waterways Museum, on Sunday, 13 August, with Horses at Work.  

Heywood & District Angling Society - Let's Fish 20th August 2017, 10am to 3pm
Hopwood Arms Come along to Heywood & District Angling Society's fishing taster day.  

Merry Hill Floating Market 25th August 2017, 10am to 28th August 2017, 5pm
Come along to the Merry Hill Floating Market. Festival fun by the canal  

Burnley Canal Festival 26th August 2017 to 27th August 2017
Burnley Come along for a weekend of fun at the Burnley Canal Festival. Festival fun by the canal  

IWA Festival of Water 26th August 2017 to 28th August 2017
Gallows Inn Playing Fields Come along to the IWA Festival of Water.  

East London Waterways Festival 28th August 2017
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park As part of celebrations for the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock a cavalcade cruising opportunity is available in August.


Mon Jul 17, 2017 at 8:09am

Changing the oil on your narrow boat is only a problem if you don't know how to do it. You have a few options available; 

1. You can ask another boater (can be difficult especially if you're a man!)
2. Call in the experts from a marina which of course will cost you a few quid or 
3. Learn to do it yourself. 

If you are still reading I am assuming you have opted for option three and are going to give it ago yourself. Good for you!

The engine is the heart of your boat it not only provides power for cruising but it also provides you with hot water, electricity and heating. So a certain amount of pampering is required to keep her in good working order. 

Changing the oil and filters is a major part of keeping the engine in tip top condition. 

The oil and filter will get dirty through use so these will both need to be replaced every so often. The oil filter is a replaceable cartridge that cleans the oil as the engine runs. 

First things first you need to work out is when the oil change is required. The best way to understand when you should tackle this task is to refer to your boats engine manual. Which will state how often this job should be carried out. 

Next prepare to start the work. It's a bit of a messy job so dressing appropriately will make sense, a set of overalls or your general work clothes will be just right for this occasion not your favourite jeans and t shirt! Not necessary but disposal gloves will help keep your hands clean. 

Also having the right tools and all the equipment at hand will make changing the oil a lot easier. 


  • Oil
  • New filter
  • Container to pump oil into
  • Large oil container to empty old oil into and dispose of.
  • Rag
  • Funnel
  • Wretch
  • Disposal gloves

How to do it:

Firstly we need to get rid of the old oil. So locate the cap on the oil container of the engine and unscrew it. When this is done, remove the old oil from the crank case this is done by pumping a little handle which sucks the oil from the engine block and into the container you have ready.

Top Tip; Employee a rhythmic motion to ensure the oil exits smoothly and predictably don't get impatient and give the pump a great heave; this will only ensure the oil spatters over every surface except into the waiting container.

Now pour (using a funnel) the oil into an old oil can which you should have handy from the start, preferably one designed to hold at least 5 litres of oil. 

With the engine empty of the old oil its time to replace the dirty oil filter with new ones. 
We are almost done!

Finally steps

Most engines will hold approximately 5L of oil. However, you can’t be sure exactly what yours will take. So, fill up slowly bit by bit, checking the dipstick each time to ensure you don’t overfill it. If you discover you have accidentally overfilled it use the pump again to remove the excess oil. 

Screw the oil cap back on and viola you have successfully changed the oil on your narrowboat!

Clearing up. How to responsibly dispose of the oil;

There are plenty of marinas and boatyards who will accept used engine oil for free in their waste disposal facilities. But always ask before presuming your local marina will accept your waste.

Fri Jun 30, 2017 at 7:10pm



If the answer is YES ,then you will want to read our guide to narrow boating with your four legged friend.

There's nothing worse than setting of for your holiday knowing that you are leaving your four legged friend behind in kennels for the week, so do bring him with you, boating holidays were made for you and your four legged pal!




What to pack when going away with your dog 

As well as bedding, food and water bowls, food, treats, first aid kit, poo bags, and grooming equipment, include a lifejacket for your dog and plenty of towels in case he accidentally or intentionally takes a dip.

Take his collar (with waterproof ID) and lead for places where you may need to keep him under control for his own safety - and a spare lead just in case you lose one overboard.

You may also find that life afloat feels chillier at night,  so you may find your pooch benefits from a fleece/wool jumper in the evenings.

Safety tips for your dog and other towpath users

 Don’t let your dog drink the river or canal water. Ensure that you have clean drinking water available at all times on board and on shore when you moor up.

Consider a dog life jacket. Jackets with handles on the top are especially good for hauling the dog back on board just in case he falls in.  Canal banks can be steep and difficult for dogs to climb out of.

Put your dog on his lead when entering locks and mooring for their own safety.

If your dog enjoys running free when you go for a walk on the towpath, then be aware that when you approach bridges there maybe traffic around, so always be mindful to keep your dog Under your control.

Always keep your dog away from livestock and birds - chasing ducks may be fun for the dog, but it isn't for the ducks!

Carry or let your dog use a ramp to board and get off the boat.

 © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Etiquette when boating with your dog

Take care when meeting other towpath users with dogs. If your dog is off the lead it may be worth asking if their dog is ok with other dogs before approaching them, not all dogs are so friendly.

Stay away from the fishermen - apart from potentially getting in their way, hooks and lines may cause injury to dogs.

Don't allow your dog to disturb wildlife and keep him on a lead if you can't guarantee manners and obedience.

Tuck him in safely to the side of the path until cyclists have passed.

Scoop the poop and dispose of responsibly.


Time to sign up for boot camp!

 A leaner physique, flatter abs, toned arms and a tighter tush are all possible with a bit of boot camp training. No need to pack yourself off for a week to a fitness park, save your cash and create your own killer training session. Find a training plan online and do the work out with friends or on your own, there's plenty to choose from and most don't require expensive equipment, so whats stopping you?

*Always seek your doctors advice before starting any new life style change.


Follow these simple tips to get healthy skin:  

Tip 1: Minimal makeup  
Let your skin breathe. Try to minimize makeup usage. It is really not necessary to always use a blush, concealer, foundation, mousse or whatever it is every day. It may add a fine coating to your skin making it glow however it damages your skin to a large extent. Keep these beauty products for special occasions, the rest of the time, tone and moisturize, use sunscreen and let your skin breathe.  

Tip 2: Face cleansing  
To maintain healthy skin you need to cleanse even if you are too tired after a long party or working late, cleanse all dirt of the day and makeup from your skin. Your face needs to be cleared of all the chemicals in the makeup and impurities from air pollution. Your makeup acts as a mask on your skin keeping your pores clogged.  

Tip 3: Don’t forget the sunscreen  
Sunscreen is a must for your skin. The rays of the sun are harmful beyond thoughts. Skin cancer, premature aging, skin rashes all of these are caused when your skin gets too much exposure to the sun without any protection. You can also use a SPF moisturiser to give you daily protection all year round – yes even on cloudy days!.

However it is a good idea to get a few minutes a day of sun exposure without sunscreen and without burning to top up your vitamin D levels, as in the UK the sun is rarely strong enough to make vitamin D and it is hard to get enough from diet alone. Vitamin D provides the body with many health benefits, do your research to find out more.  

Tip 4: Exfoliating face  
Exfoliate your face at least twice a week. Scrubbing your face will rid your facial skin of all the dead cells that might have clogged your pored leading to acne breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads. Scrubbing your face will also improve your complexion, adds a glow to your skin and also clears your skin of all toxins.  

Tip 5: Moisturise  
Use a good moisturiser to feed your skin. Moisturisers do not add a great deal of moisture by themselves, but they lock in the present moisture and are therefore essential to keep your skin hydrated. Use daily in the morning and before bedtime.  

Tip 6: Eat proper food to get healthy skin  
Food provides life to your skin. Everything you eat in your everyday life contributes to a healthy skin.  This includes drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.









Strawberries and cream are the perfect combination for the summer

How to serve the perfect strawberries and cream:

Scientists have calculated a formula for the perfect serving of strawberries and cream for maximum enjoyment. And fans of the desert will be delighted to learn that they must be eaten in under three minutes - two minutes and 50 seconds, to be precise - for optimum taste. 

Experts also found the ideal strawberries-to-cream weight ratio is 70:30 - or one tablespoon of single cream per two fresh medium-sized strawberries.

Other season fruit and vegetables this month;

artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, chillies, courgettes, fennel, french beans, garlic, jersey royal new potatoes, kohlrabi, lettuce & salad leaves, mangetout, new potatoes, onions, pak choi, peas, radishes, rocket, runner beans, samphire, spinach, spring onions, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild nettlesapricots, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries, greengages, kiwi fruit, melons, peaches, strawberries

basil, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, elderflowers, oregano, mint, nasturtium, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leafed), rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon, thyme

lamb, rabbit, wood pigeon

cod, coley, crab, dover sole, haddock, halibut, herring, langoustine, mackerel, plaice, pollack, prawns, salmon, sardines, scallops (queen), sea bream, sea trout, shrimp, squid, whelks, whitebait


Narrow Boat Surveys 

There are three different types of surveys that a narrowboat can undergo and we strongly advise if you are going to buy a narrow boat that you always have a survey carried out first. More details can be found here

















































July, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s special about July?  
1 Jul International Joke Day,  2 Jul I Forgot Day, 2 Jul World UFO Day, 3 Jul Compliment Your Mirror Day, 4 Jul   Sidewalk Egg Frying Day, 5 Jul Workaholics Day, 6 Jul World Kissing Day, 7 Jul Tell the Truth Day, 8 Jul Video Games Day, 8 Jul Math 2.0 Day,  9 Jul Sugar Cookie Day, 10 Jul Teddy Bears' Picnic Day, 10 Jul Clerihew Day, 11 Jul Cheer Up the Lonely Day, 12 Jul Simplicity Day, 13 Jul Embrace Your Geekness Day, 14 Jul Pandemonium Day, 15 Jul Gummi Worm Day, 16 Jul Corn Fritters Day, 17 Jul Yellow Pig Day, 18 Jul Caviar Day, 19 Jul  Stick Out Your Tongue Day, 20 Jul Space Exploration Day, 21 Jul Junk Food Day, 22 Jul Pi Approximation Day, 23 Jul Ice Cream Day, 24 Jul Cousins Day, 25 Jul Culinarians Day, 26 Jul Uncle and Aunt Day, 27 Jul Take your Pants for a Walk Day, 28 Jul Milk Chocolate Day, 29 Jul Lasagna Day, 30 Jul National Cheesecake Day.

There's lots of fun food related celebrations to enjoy during July!


The Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon

1st July 2017, 8am to 5pm 
Canal Dock, Wolverhampton

Head along to the Birmingham Black Country Marathon.

Wildflower & Meadow ID workshop

2nd July 2017, 2pm to 4pm 
Melbourne Arm, Melbourne

Join staff from Natural England for a guided walk along the canal and through the wildflower rich meadows of the Melbourne and Thornton Ings Site of Special Scientific Interest.        

Pirates at Anderton

8th July 2017 to 9th July 2017 

Anderton Boat Lift

Come along for a weekend of family fun, and enjoy the Pirates at Anderton.        

Bugsworth Basin Fun Day

8th July 2017, 9am to 5pm 

Bugsworth Basin

Head along to Bugsworth Basin and enjoy a day of fun for all the family.        

Dragonfly walk along the Pocklington Canal
22nd July 2017, 10:30am to 12:30pm 

Join the Yorkshire Dragonfly Group for a guided walk along the Pocklington Canal.            

Wild West Anderton

29th July 2017 to 30th July 2017 

Anderton Boat Lift

Head to the Anderton Boat Lift for the annual Wild West at Anderton event


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