Never used a Narrowboat before?

If you have never driven a boat on the waterways before, don't worry!

Many hundreds of people do it for the first time every year. It's not dangerous if you follow the basic safety steps and it's not hard to learn them. It's an achievement and gives a great sense of freedom when you realise you can now take a boat anywhere in the country - with confidence!

Here are two links that will explain everything you'll need to get started.

This one is the free Boaters Handbook which clearly explains all the basics:

And here is a great free film Boaters Handbook DVD (approx 20 minute)  which shows you all the practicalities you need.

Remember, our staff are trained and will go through all the steps with you until you're comfortable with doing it yourself. 

To enjoy your narrow boat holiday fully, you need to feel confident in handling the boat, and know that all your crew are safe. So we take personal care to give you and your crew the training you need.

We do this in stages, so you can take it in, and a large part of it is actually done on your boat with you as you start your journey:

  1. As soon as you have booked, we email your Online Information & Handover Pack, specific to your boat and start base. This contains:

    1. Our Handover Pack with details of your boat, arrival information and everything you need to know.

    2. National Trust Boater's Handbook for the River Wey

    3. A useful waterway Map 

    4. A Route Guide describing the River, with instructions for locks, stopping places, boat handling etc.

When you arrive at the Marina:

  1. One of our experienced instructors shows you round your narrow boat, explains how it works and tells you about the daily checks to be made.

  2. You then set off, accompanied by the instructor.

  3. At the first lock, we show you what to do, and then help you through until you are comfortable.

  4. We ask you to sign a Handover Certificate to confirm that you're happy with our briefing.

On the boat is a hard copy of the Boat Manual Booklet and several guides and sheets with everything you'll need to know.