The charity making life better by water

Young gun(wale)s and old (sea) dogs – We were all learners once

The main leisure boating season starts at Easter and the waterways will be bustling with life and activity. Many liveaboard boaters will have had a relatively quiet time of it over the winter. There will have been very few hire boats out and about, and only the hardiest of leisure boaters braving the bitter winter weather to go boating.

Family opening a lock gate at Foxton

The increasing popularity of staycations and the inland waterways for all manner of leisure activities mean that some places can get busy with people learning the ropes. So, here's a few tips for everyone, so that we can all share the space in harmony.

Tips for experienced boaters:

  • Remember we were all learners once!
  • If there's a long queue at a flight of locks, offer to help out and speed the traffic through.
  • A bit of patience and a big smile goes a long way to making everyone's day.
  • Think how you'd feel if someone said that to you when you were a newbie boater!

Tips for new boaters/hirers:

  • Don't panic when you reach a lock, it's not difficult, honest! Other boaters are often happy to help if you are nervous, but don't expect them to do it all for you.
  • You may be out cruising in party mode but not everyone else is. Please be aware that other people may have young children on board. If you are going to make a lot of noise make sure no-one else can hear you by mooring up in the middle of nowhere.
  • If you hit another boat always apologise and check that no damage has been caused. If damage has been caused please exchange details, just like you would in a car accident.
  • Try not to hit anything and, if you do think you're about to crash, reduce your speed before you collide.

Tips for all boaters:

Happy boating everyone.

Last Edited: 21 March 2018

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration