APRIL SHOWERS WONT STOP US CRUISING. Follow our steering and mooring advice
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Fri Mar 31, 2017 at 7:09pm



No matter what the weather us boaters are happy come rain or shine, it's basically a case of having to be, as you never know what the weather will throw at you in the UK. But lets keep our fingers crossed that we will indeed get some sunshine this year to compliment our Spring cruises.





The biggest secret of boating is to TAKE YOUR TIME, think and plan your manoeuvres in advance. There’s no rush, don’t be pressurised into making a mistake, relax and enjoy your time cruising. It gets easier the practice you get.  


The maximum permissible and safe speed on canals for a narrow boat is 4 miles per hour. Remember you are in charge of a vessel that has no brakes! If that doesn’t slow you down I’m not sure what will?  
Speeding on the canal system is very much a no no!

A few ripples behind your boat is acceptable, any thing more than that is frowned upon. If you need a measure then; if you are travelling at roughly the pace of a fast walker, you're at your maximum speed!  

Setting off  

When you are ready start your engine. Keep it in neutral allowing it to warm up before you venture off. Then you can ask one of your crew, or if you are on your own untie the mooring ropes. You should keep the ropes tied to the boat once you have released them from the bank; keep them in a coiled and tidy position on the boat ready for use when you want to moor later on.

Unlike in a car, you can’t just pull out from the bank and cruise off, this is because the boat steers from the back. Therefore you need to check the area is clear and there are no boats coming your way, then push the boat away from the bank getting the propeller into the deep water before you can move forward at a gentle cruising speed.  

Cruising in a straight line  

The trick is to aim the boat rather than trying to steer the boat. The boat responds slowly, so when going in a straight line small movements and patience is all that is required.

Aim the boat in the direction you wish to go and follow this direction.  


Just in case you didn’t know, and its totally OK if you didn’t there are no brakes! The only way to stop a narrow boat is to put it into reverse, use the power of the engine to work against the forward motion of the boat. So think and look ahead, start to slow down before you need to stop and don’t over rev your engine.  

When you are ready ease off the throttle, move into neutral and then use reverse gear to slow down and finally come to a halt.            


If you have a crew prepare them in advance to help you out. Make sure everyone knows what he or she is doing.  

Slow down almost to a stop and carry out all your manoeuvres as slowly as possible.   Just before you want to moor, with your boat straight in the water point, the front of the boat towards the bank moving very slowly, then use reverse to stop the boat going forward into the bank. Put the engine in neutral.  

Your crew should then step ashore – not jump. They can either take the mooring ropes with them – making sure there’s plenty of slack and that one end is still fixed to the boat as we advised at the beginning – or you can pass them the ropes once they’re on the towpath.


If we are going to potentially get wet in APRIL then let's get really wet! If you are looking at taking up a new exercise hobby then how about swimming (but not in the canal!) being low impact it is great for those of you who may be new to exercise, or are currently suffering from a injury that doesn't allow you to do your normal regime.

Another great past time that can be enjoyed this time of year and on the canal is kayaking a great choice for families and couples. Nearly two million people already go canoeing in the UK, do you think you will be joining them this year?

7 Great Reasons To Start Kayaking!

1. Keeps you fit
2. Gets you closer to nature
3. Isn't an expensive sport to start
4. You get to meet some wonderful new friends if you join a club
5. It's great fun
6. Perfect for kids and adults alike
7. Makes you feel good

Happy paddling.

Note: You will need to buy a licence before you use the waterways, please find more details about this on the Canal and River Trust website

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


Spring Clean Your Health And Try Out Our Top 5 Tips;

  • Choose in-season, local produce
  • De-clutter your medicine cabinet
  • Go wheat free for a month
  • Throw away old makeup
  • Replace old workout shoes


April's seasonal ingredients will come and go quickly, so make the most of them before they disappear!              

broccoli, jersey royal new potatoes, lettuce & salad leaves, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, rocket, samphire, spinach, spring onions, watercress, wild nettles  

bananas kiwi fruit rhubarb  

basil, chives, dill, sorrel               

lamb, wood pigeon  

cockles, crab, langoustine, lobster, plaice, prawns, salmon, sea trout, shrimp, whitebait  

Our recommendation this month is a simple roast lamb dinner with jersey royals & home made mint sauce with spring onions.


This month if you are new to narrow boating or even if you have been boating for many years consider treating yourself to a boat handling course. 

A training course from the RYA will teach you new tricks and help you make the most of your time out on the water.

Find out more here




































April, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s special about April?  

1 April Fool's Day 1 International Tatting Day 1 National Walk to Work Day 1st Friday 9 Palm Sunday 10 Passover begins at sundown, lasts 8 days. 14 Good Friday 15 Income taxes due (most years it is due on the 15th) 16 Easter Sunday 17 Patriot's Day Third Monday 22 Earth Day (U.S.) 26 Administrative Professionals Day formerly "Secretaries Day" 27 Take Your Daughter to Work Day 4th Thursday 28 Arbor Day always the last Friday in April

Hope you have a fabulous Easter and the Easter Bunny pays you a visit!


IWA towpath walks, Regents Canal: Little Venice - Camden 2nd April 2017, 2:30pm to 4:30pm Warwick Avenue Tube Station Get your walking boots on as you walk from Little Venice to Camden.  

Everything comes from the egg 3rd April 2017, 10am to 14th May 2017, 5pm Stanton Low Park Head along to Stephen Taylor's 'Everything comes from the egg' exhibition.

Sawley Marina Spring Market 8th April 2017, 10am to 9th April 2017, 4pm Sawley Marina Spring Market Head along to Sawley Marina for their annual spring market, with over 30 stalls booked this one is going to be bigger and better.

Rag Rugging Workshop at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester 9th April 2017, 10:30am to 3:30pm National Waterways Museum Gloucester Interesting in making a traditional narrowboat rag rug with a modern twist?

Easter Treasure Hunt at the Anderton Boat Lift 14th April 2017 to 17th April 2017 Anderton Boat Lift Head to the Anderton Boat Lift for an Easter treasure hunt this April.

Ellesmere Port Easter Boat Gathering - 40 years on 14th April 2017 to 17th April 2017 National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port We are welcoming the return of colourful boats to the museum this Easter for the Easter Boat Gathering. The festival brings to an end our 40th anniversary celebrations. Heritage and great stories will come alive throughout the weekend with boat trips, musical performances and workshops, behind the scenes tours, crafts and activities for everyone.  

Bollington Easter Floating Market 14th April 2017, 10am to 17th April 2017, 5pm Head along to the Bollington Easter Floating Market for a weekend of family fun.  

Linslade Easter Floating Market 14th April 2017, 10am to 17th April 2017, 5pm This Easter, head along to Linslade Floating Market.

Fishing taster day 21st April 2017, 10am to 3pm Canal Head off the A1079 Come and join coaches from The Angling Trust will show you the basics of this enjoyable hobby.  

National Boat Share Show National Boat Share Show 22nd April 2017, 10am to 23rd April 2017, 4pm Braunston Marina Head along to the National Boat Share Show at Braunston Marina.

National Canal Boating Open Day 23rd April 2017, 11am to 4pm Locations across the England and Wales Come along to the Drifters National Open Day and try canal boating for free at 19 narrowboat hire bases across England and Wales.  

IWA Canalway Cavalcade 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 6pm Little Venice Head along to Little Venice for the IWA Canalway Cavalcade.  

May Bank Holiday Floating Market 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 5pm Head along to the Market Drayton Floating Market  

Berkhamsted May Bank Holiday Floating Market 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 5pm Head along to the Berkhamsted Floating Market for a weekend of family fun.

St Richard's Canal Festival 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 5pm Droitwich Spa, Vines Park Head along to Droitwich Spa to enjoy a canal festival for all the family.