Canal Training

©Castaway Canal Boats

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On this 2 day course starting from our base in Bathampton you will spend the day handling the boat, negotiating the locks and swing bridges, practising how to turn the boat round and learning all of the skills in the Royal Yachting Association's Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate syllabus.


During the day we will cover the following topics:

· Safety Brief and Boat Introduction

· Use of mooring warps  

· Use of pole, boat hook & boarding ladders/plank

· Anchoring

· Engine checks

· Steering and stopping

· Use of power and gear controls

· Dangers and how to avoid them

· Coiling and stowing ropes.

· Correct use of weed-hatch

· Life-rings and heaving lines

· Man over-board procedures

· Donning and inflating life-jackets

· Use of safety equipment

· Hygiene (canal water, Weils disease, etc)

· Basic boat handling

· Coming alongside

· Use of warps to aid berthing

· Leaving the dock

· Steering and stopping

· Control of speed

· Coming alongside

· Use of springs

· Bank effect/boat effect

· Prop walk

· Knots - round turn & 2 half hitches, bowline, lighterman’s

 hitch & clove hitch

· Throwing a coiled rope

· Securing to bollards, rings, cleats, dollies and stake

· Winding holes

· Swing Bridges

· Locks

· Refloating after grounding

· Reversing

· Tunnels

· Collision regulations and rule of the road

· Local regulations

· Canal signage

· Care of the boating environment

This is an intensive course starting at 09:00 and finishing around 17:30.  Hot and cold drinks are provided. Please bring your own lunch.

A copy of the RYA “Inland Waterways Handbook” will be given to you at the end of your course.

No prior experience or

qualifications are required.


RYA Inland Waterways

Helmsman Course