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Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 6:30pm


Why Moor In A Marina?

In the process of buying a narrowboat or wide beam?  You need to think about the main factor first, where are you going to keep your shiny new boat?

You may have this planned already.. but if you do not, you need to act fast! You may require a mooring spot. There are many marinas spread widely around the country, the problem may be finding a mooring in a marina of your choice or in the area you want to be.

Or are you going to be a continuous cruiser? Cruising the canals on a hot summers day sounds fabulous, although you have to remember what comes after summer, the dreaded winter when the darker nights draw in and the weather gets cold and bitter. Do you really want to keep cruising the canal? think about the possibility of getting stranded out on the canal when the weather freezes and you have to travel miles to get coal and gas. Or you could have the best of both worlds where you cruise the summer and find a mooring spot for the winter. 

Different Types of Moorings

Choosing the right mooring for you is essential, there are lots of mooring options available. the type of mooring that will suit you will depend on how you see your self using your narrowboat. Will you be living off your boat? Do you plan to cruise for weeks on end in the summer? Or do you wish to use your narrowboat as an escape for the weekends?

Moorings are usually priced according to the boats length and location. Moorings can be the most expensive outgoing that comes with owning a narrow boat, so you need to make the right decision on which type of mooring is right for you.

Residential Mooring

Residential moorings are mooring spots with formal planning consent for residential use, this type of mooring is in short supply as they are very popular. One reason for this is that people often struggle to get house mortgages, they cannot afford the monthly cost that comes with living in a house, or they simply do not have the income to live in the area of work e.g London. Therefore they chose the live on a narrowboat permanently and have a residential mooring. Residential moorings when they arise can attract a lot of interest and sell for a lot of money depending on the marinas facilities. Residential moorings are offered around the country by a mix of private operators and navigation authorities. 

Leisure mooring

Leisure moorings are commonly known as Yearly or Seasonal moorings, these are mooring spots which are strictly non residential, for boat owners that need somewhere to store their boat while its not being used. Leisure moorings offer security for boat owners that live elsewhere, but want somewhere secure to keep their boat and use as a base  for using the boat for weekends away, summer breaks or just a break from normality. Again these mooring spots are priced according to the location of the boat length. Some marinas may be more expensive the more facilities they have. 


Marinas are the most common form of moorings, setting the standard high with facilities and amenities. Marinas are usually purpose built and have dedicated basins for moorings. Typically finger pontoons are built to extend into the centre of the marina, each boat has allocated a berth along side one of these pontoons. 

When choosing a marina for your boat you need to consider the following :

  • Security 
  • Facilities 
  • Electricity & Water 
  • Boat yard & Chandlery on site
  • Location 


Does the marina have a strong security net work? after all you want a secure place to store your boat. Has it got CCTV around the marina, or a onsite resident?


Marinas do vary massively in terms of facilities which can effect the price of the mooring space. Generally marinas have sanitary facilities such as toilets and shower blocks, but its worth double checking.

Consider whether the marina has a car park, will you be needing to leave your car while you set sail along the canal on a weeks holiday, again is this car park secure?

Larger marinas will have a Chandlery onsite stocking coal, gas, diesel and have a pump out facility. There may be a cafe onsite as well! even better for your morning fry up!

The marina may offer public WI-FI, ideal for planning your route beforehand. 

Electricity & Water 

A big draw for a marina mooring is to be able to connect to the shoreline power, and have water access. Most Marinas have an electricity & water supply at the front of the finger pontoons allowing you to run your 240V electricity cable/ water hose along to your boat, marinas will often ask you to unplug your electricity supply when you're not living aboard the boat if electric is included in the cost of the mooring.  

Boat Yard & Chandlery 

Some marinas you find may have a slip way you could use for blacking and general maintenance on your boat. There could possibly be a workshop in the marina, which could be beneficial as there will be engineers on site to help you with any questions and issues you may have. 

Where will you moor your narrowboat?

Mon Feb 5, 2018 at 11:40am

Our Top Tips for Getting Your Used Narrowboat to Pass the Boat Safety Scheme

The Boat Safety Scheme is a public safety initiative owned by Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency. It's purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions or pollution harming people or the environment on the Inland Waterways of the UK.

Just like a car has an MOT, on most of the UK's waterways, a boat needs to be licenced, insured and have a valid BSS certificate before it can cruise. A BSS lasts for four years and needs renewing every four years by a qualified BSS examiner.

Liquid fuelled heating and cooking appliances must have a means of shutting off the fuel supply within easy reach. LPG appliance flames will be examined to make sure they are burning correctly, the examiner will look for a nice yellow even flame.


All appliances except portable or electrical equipment must be secured to stop it moving on the boat.

Any appliance with a flue must have one that terminates in open air outside any covered area. Flue  pipes will be checked for holes or loose joints, and must conform to manufacturers instruction.

Appliances and their surroundings must not show signs of heat damage or fuel leaks.

Stoves and wood burners must not have gaps or cracks which could allow carbon monoxide to escape into the boat. So check for cracked ill fitting glass doors, check the joints and flue connections.

Stoves need to have sufficient clearance around them to stop combustible material getting hot nearby. 

Above is a picture of a solid fuel stove on a used narrowbot


Ventilation is very important because the total air volume within a boat can be very small. Small quantities of noxious gasses such as carbon monoxide can easily build up from appliances, causing dangerous levels within the small air space. A constant flow of fresh air will dispose of any harmful gasses and top up oxygen levels within the boat. The Boat Safety examiner will do a calculation to work out what ventilation is required in each boat, depending on what types of appliances are on board, boat space and how many people aboard. Appliances are categorsied into groups which require different levels of ventilation for safety. So for example; a gas cooker would need a particularly high level of ventilation due to them emitting fumes and also using up oxygen. If the appliance has a flue however, such as a solid fuel stove, it requires less ventilation due to the flue which takes away the fumes from the boat.

Ventilation must be in the form of both high level and low level vents. High level vents such as mushroom vents are brass mushrooms on the roof of narrowboats. Low level vents are often louvred vented panels fitted over holes cut in the doors of the boat. The ventilation needs to be permanent and not able to be shut off. So you need to make sure that any vents fitted are kept clear and cleaned regularly to prevent dust and dirt building up and blocking the vent.

The picture above illustrates the inside of a mushroom vent on a narrowboat clogged with dust and dirt. In another of our blogs we discuss how to clean mushroom vents.

If you have any gas or solid fuel appliances on board it is safest to fit a carbon monoxide alarm and smoke detectors on board too.

Stay safe and keep your canal boat well maintained.

Mon Jan 8, 2018 at 10:30am

Baton down the hatches bad weather is on its way!  

The good old British weather is a general topic discussed most days, here in the UK. With most of us saying we would just like four proper seasons with the corresponding weather, at least we would know what we were getting. But as each year goes by we realise we get what we are given weather wise and we have to make the most of it.

With the summer over, we now have to prepare ourselves as the really bad weather will be on its way and this can cause some issues for boaters who livaboard over the winter months. By being prepared and not panicking when the weather changes, you and your narrow boat will come safely out the other side ready for the spring.  

It has to be said that maneuvering a narrow boat is very hard work in the wind. Trying to steer a very long boat in a long narrow channel on a windy day does have its challenges, and no matter how talented you are at steering, all this changes when the wind gets involved.

Therefore our advice is to moor up during windy spells or you might find cruising becomes more of a contact sport! If the water is flat and smooth then you can consider it safe to continue cruising, however if any sort of high wind movement starts, it might be wise to find somewhere safe to moor. Keep an eye out for weather warnings on the news or through your phone using a weather app.

Our advice during extreme weather conditions is ideally not to cruise, so if the winds are above force 6 its best to moor up. However some boaters feel this is not necessary, so it all depends on how confident you feel about keeping your vessel under control in adverse weather conditions.

Mooring up can also become a little more difficult in the wind, trying to pull the boat in against the wind is extremely hard work, especially if you are trying to do this task on your own. Fortunately the canal community are a very friendly bunch and if you are in any difficulties then someone will come to the rescue if you are near other boaters.

Our advice is; keep your eye on the weather and if you feel you may get into difficulties then find somewhere to stop before the bad weather takes effect.

Once you are moored up its wise to make sure that any items on the outside of your boat are securely tied down or removed until the bad weather has passed. Also check your canopies are secure and your boat is tied up securely.

The towpaths, locks and your boat can become rather dangerous over the winter months as the rain and mud makes everywhere very slippery, add into the factor that it may also be windy or icy, these areas can become potential accident areas. Take extra care and make extra time to carry out outside duties. If it isn't essential try not to use the locks in high winds.

Winter Survival Tips  

The waterways is much quieter place over the winter months as many boaters decide to return to the land as they want a break from cruising and want their creature comforts over the colder months. The thought of days full of rain, wind and snow aboard a narrow boat isn't for all of us!

However for those who do decide to stay on-board, the canal network becomes an idyllic winter wonderland for those who stay to enjoy it.

Follow our simple but useful tips to make the time you spend on your boat this winter as safe and as enjoyable as possible.  

Keeping warm  

The key to a successful winter on your boat is to make sure you are warm and to do this you are going to need one or maybe two heating options. Many boaters have a multi stove as well as either gas or diesel heating.  

Multi-fuel stoves are still the most popular option and 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 are Eberspächer, Webasto or Mikuni.  

*Gas central heating is another option and this will also allow you to heat your radiators and will provide hot water. However, it is not compatible with a timer because Gas central heating on a narrowboat runs from your gas bottle.  

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

Cruising Advice  

Cruising can be affected by strong winds, which we covered above and also if the canal freezes. If the ice becomes more than a few cms thick you should NOT break through it with your boat. Breaking the ice by trying to cruise through it, will put a great strain on your engine and it will also damage the hull, scraping away the blacking. So in situations where cruising isn’t possible, just sit tight until the ice thaws. It’s really not worth damaging your boat; patience is all you need in these situations.  


Keep a good stock of fuel (coal, gas, wood) – it may seem obvious but running out can be disastrous, and that usually happens when the weather is at its worst.  

Keep your water tank full – taps on the cut do freeze during winter and a frozen pipe will disrupt the supply, so don’t leave filling up until last minute. Have around 30% of anti-freeze in your water and heating system.

And lastly stock up on food and drink. You never know when the bad weather might keep you from getting out, so by stocking up you wont go hungry.  


You can keep up with any stoppages that are happening on the network by checking on the Canal and River Trust website. Stoppages occur over the winter months allowing maintenance and repairs to be carried out and also if there are additional problems like; a fallen tree that is blocking the way and needs removing.       

Dress Code  

Now is most definitely not the time to be a fashion victim. Wearing the appropriate clothes will make even the coldest days bearable. Layering is the best way to keep the cold winds out and sensible non-slip foot wear will keep you safe on wet and icy surfaces.

Be sure you have a warm coat and waterproofs to protect you from the elements. If you plan on working the locks you’ll also want some hard wearing gloves to protect your hands. 

Make sure that you dry your clothes out properly if they get wet, or next time you go to put them on you might not want to if they are still damp!

Until next time keep safe and warm!

Tue Nov 28, 2017 at 8:05am



If you are thinking about spending the Christmas holidays on your boat you need to be prepared and remember that Christmas aboard will be a bit different to a Christmas holiday spent on the land.

Be mindful that there is obviously limited space on board and therefore a large gathering isn't going to be possible, but meeting friends and family at another location is probably the best choice so you're not all on top of each other.

One of the great things about spending Christmas aboard is the simplicity of it all. With limited space the last thing you want to be trying to do is getting a Christmas tree onboard, so that task can be immediately taken off the to do list! Now this doesn't mean you can't have a few decorations on board, but decorating the whole interior and exterior of your boat doesn't have to be a major part and parcel of your celebrations. Instead keep things simple by adding some battery operated fairy lights and a few choice decorations to create a Christmassy atmosphere. 

Food is the next topic we should cover, you may decide you want to create the traditional Christmas dinner on your boat, which is totally possible (check your oven size before buying the turkey though!) but for those that want an easier day why not book a table at the local pub/restaurant? Make sure you book in advance as popular places get booked up very quickly. Eating out also means a walk back to the boat will help work off a few calories!! 

Make sure you stock up well, ready for a weeks cruising, there's nothing worse than realising you don't have any cranberry sauce as you are carving up the turkey or worse still you run out of fuel!

Follow these simple steps whether you are cruising or mooring to ensure the boat will run efficiently over the winter;

• Fill up your diesel tank to ensure you have enough fuel

• Have around 30% of anti-freeze in your water and heating system

• Ensure you have enough solid fuel for your stove

• Make sure your pipes are well insulated to prevent burst pipes

• Check the batteries are in good working order

• Make sure the boat is well ventilated to reduce the chance of condensation arising.

• When mooring protect the hull by hanging planks of wood alongside the boat to prevent ice slabs bumping into your hull.

• If you are unable to cruise and get stuck for a period of time, then you will need to have a backup service if you use a pump out loo. Carry a cassette toilet to use as a back-up should you be unable to empty the pump out toilet.

Find out more about winter cruising here

Hiring a narrow boat for Christmas

If you don't own a boat, but fancy spending the Christmas period on the waterways check out these companies that are still operating over the winter period. Find out more about spending Christmas on a narrowboat in this link

Santa cruises for the little ones!

Enjoy a festive boat trip with Santa and your family and friends on the many waterways in the UK. Santa cruises will be taking place in Derbyshire, Sussex, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, London, North Yorkshire, Merseyside, Leeds and Gloucestershire. Find out more here

Are you thinking about buying or selling in the new year?  

If 2018 is the year you wish to either buy, sell or part exchange your narrow boat then we hope you all consider working with us.

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 choosing a narrow boat there are some styles that you will love and some you will hate. Generally speaking there are 3 types of sterns on a narrow boat. You can choose to purchase; the traditional, the semi traditional or the cruiser. Then there’s the tug and the Dutch barge, which aren’t as popular. Read our article about narrow boat styles to help you decide which one is going to be right for you.  

There are a few different options to how you can finance buying a narrow boat find out more in this article 









In season this month:

beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), salsify, shallots, swede, truffles (black, truffles (white)  turnips, wild mushrooms

apples, clementines, cranberries,passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, satsumas, tangerines

almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts

duck, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, turkey, venison

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



























December, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s happening in December?              

 1 Dec Friday Eat a Red Apple Day, 2 Dec Saturday Fritters Day, 3 Dec Sunday Make a Gift Day (MKE YOUR LOVED ONES SOMETHING SPECIAL), 4 Dec Monday Wear Brown Shoes Day, 5 Dec Tuesday Day of the Ninja, 6 Dec Wednesday Put on Your Own Shoes Day, 6 Dec Wednesday Microwave Oven Day, 7 Dec Thursday Letter Writing Day 9 (GOOD DAY TO DO THE CHRISTMAS CARDS) 8 Dec Friday Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day, 8 Dec Friday Official Lost and Found Day, 9 Dec Saturday Christmas Card Day (POST YOUR CARDS TODAY), 10 Dec Sunday Dewey Decimal System Day, 10 Dec Sunday Jane Addams Day, 11 Dec Monday Noodle Ring Day, 12 Dec Tuesday Gingerbread House Day, 13 Dec Wednesday Christmas Jumper Day, 14 Dec Thursday Monkey Day, 15 Dec Friday Free Shipping Day, 16 Dec Saturday Chocolate Covered Anything Day, 17 Dec Sunday Wright Brothers Day, 19 Dec Tuesday Underdog Day, 19 Dec Tuesday Ugly Sweater Day, 20 Dec Wednesday Sangria Day, 21 Dec Thursday International Dalek Remembrance Day, 22 Dec Friday Date Nut Bread Day, 24 Dec Sunday Eggnog Day, 25 Dec Monday Grav Mass Day, 25 Dec Monday A'phabet Day or No "L" Day, 26 Dec Tuesday Thank You Note Day, 27 Dec Wednesday No Interruptions Day, 28 Dec Thursday Card Playing Day, 29 Dec Friday Pepper Pot Day, 30 Dec Saturday Bicarbonate of Soda Day, 31 Dec Sunday Make Up Your Mind Day

25th December - Christmas Day!


Manchester Open Weekend - Rochdale Canal 2nd December 2017, 10am to 3rd December 2017, 4pm 
Manchester city centre
Come along and meet the experts at Rochdale Canal Open Day. Find out more about what it takes for us to look after this busy stretch of canal running through the heart of Manchester City centre, and get involved in a range of activities and events we have on offer throughout the weekend.

Milton Keynes Illuminated Boat Festival 2nd December 2017, 3pm to 9pm 
Grand Union
As the Milton Keynes 50th birthday celebrations come to an end, join us for an afternoon and evening of festive fun at Milton Keynes first ever illuminated boat festival.

Christmas cruises at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port 9th December 2017 
National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port
Book your tickets now. As Christmas approaches Father Christmas will be taking to the water with cruises on our special boat trips...

Foxton Illuminated Boat Festival - Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December 2017 at 2pm-7pm Glenrothes - Foxton Locks, £5 per adult, under 12's free, buy your tickets in advance from the Canal and River Trust.


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.


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