Boat handling and canal skills training courses

Training courses which develop boat handling or maintenance skills are increasingly popular amongst both novice and experienced boaters.

Some trainers also run courses for commercial skippers and water safety for people working on or near water.


  • Even though you can cruise a your own boat or a hired boat on UK canals without any training or qualification many people prefer to get some practice and confidence first. And even experienced boaters can improve their skills and avoid getting stuck in bad habits.
  • Some trainers also run courses for boat owners who want to be able to maintain their boats and engines. Some offer commercially focussed skipper and water safety courses.
  • The RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate is practical training for those wanting to improve their inland waterways boat handling skills and confidence building.
  • MCA Boatmaster courses are for skippering a passenger boat carrying more than 12 passengers.
  • For continental boating you might need the International Certificate of Competence/CEVNI course.

Canal boat handling & training courses

Andy’s Boat Moves

Andy’s Boat Moves offer a wide selection of bespoke training and confidence-building services to new boat owners, promoting skills, knowledge, safety and a considerate boating attitude. Fully Insured and RYA Helmsman Qualified.

bearBOAT Training

bearBOAT Training on the Leeds Liverpool Canal. An RYA approved Training Centre at Apperley Bridge near Leeds offering a selection of courses for all users of the inland waterways.

Birmingham & Midland Marine

Birmingham & Midland Commercial & Leisure Skipper & Water Rescue Training Provider: MCA Boatmaster, RYA Helmsman, CRT CAATS, Workboat & Powerboat, Occupational Water Safety courses.

Derbyshire Canal Boat Tuition

Derbyshire Canal Boat Tuition A friendly RYA training centre based on the Trent & Mersey at Swarkestone. Fully qualified and insured to conduct Helmsman and Crew courses plus non-certified courses.
Tel: 07974564430

Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training

Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training For those new to canals, we offer one and two day courses on our boats or yours. We cover safety, rights of way, leaving a mooring, stopping, steering, turning, mooring,  locks, bridges, tunnels, going aground and more.  Phone: 07944 589 679

Surrey Care Trust Community Boat Programme

Surrey Care Trust Community Boat Programme. National Community Boat Accredited Training Centre at Guildford, River Wey

The Pirate castle

The Pirate Castle on the Regent’s Canal in London training people to enjoy themselves safely on the water for 40 years. Qualifications from British Canoe Union, RYA & National Community Boats Association.

Our Listings

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Canal Skills Training

A Star Boat Handling Training
UK Wide
Canal Boat Instruction - navigation, helmsmanship, locks, mooring, boat upkeep and advice.
A&G Passenger Boats Ltd
Arch 16 Victoria Quays, Wharf St, Sheffield S2 5SY.
RYA Inland Helmsmans course, Passenger boat operations
Alvechurch Boat Centres
Various Locations
Andy’s Boat Moves
Thames, Wey, Kennet and Avon, Midlands
Bespoke handling and crewing training aimed at new boat owners. Also, boat relocation by water.
07798 738160
bearBOAT Training
Bear Boating
RYA approved Training Centre
07969 901383
Birmingham & Midland Marine
Mids Marine
Training Centre
07527 727169
Brecknock Boat Services, RYA Training Centre
Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal or on your own boat UK wide
Inland Waterways Helmsman & Crew Courses
07896 812606
Canal Boat Escapes
Barnoldswick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
RHA Training Centre
Canal Experience
Hunton Bridge
Phil Basset
Lowland canals, Scotland
Helmsman and Cevni courses
Central Midlands Training Services
David Jackson
Chas Newens Marine Co Ltd
Chas Newens Marine, The Boat House Embankment, London SW15 1LB.
Chase the Boat
Cheshire Cat Training
Coole Ln, Audlem, Crewe CW5 8AY.
RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman and Crew courses, novice boat handling days
Derbyshire Canal Boat Tuition
Trent And Mersey Canal Between Shardlow And Willington
Rya Boat Handling Courses. Rya Inland Waterways Helmsman Course
07974 564430
Inland Waterways Cruising School
Stourport on Severn
Inland Waterways Rescue / Training
Grand Union south east
Inland waterways helmsman course/ one 2 one diesel engine service course
Islington Boat Club
16-34, Graham St, London N1 8JX.
RYA Narrowboat Courses
West Yorkshire
Narrowboat Training
Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training
Braunston Marina, The Wharf, Braunston, Daventry, NN11 7JH
a href="" rel="noopener">Narrowboat Escapes Holidays And Training For those new to canals, we offer one and two day courses on
07944 589679
Narrowboat Skills Centre Ltd.
Debdale Ln, Smeeton Westerby, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicester LE8 0XA.
RYA Training Centre, Helmsman’s, diesel engine & maintenance courses
0116 4422326
National Community Boats Association
02476 397400
37 Hawkedon Way, Earley, Reading RG6 3AP.
First Aid Training for Leisure Boating
Norfolk Powerboating, RYA Inland Training Centre
Norfolk Broads
Norfolk Broads
Planet Narrowboats
Helmsman Training
Courses in Shardlow
Stanhope House, Mark Rake, Bromborough, Birkenhead, Wirral CH62 2DN.
Boatmasters training in Chester & Rollesby
Soar Valley Helmsman Training Centre
Mill Ln, Sileby LE12 7UX.
RYA Boat Handling Courses – East Midlands region, River Soar
Stratford Upon Avon Narrowboat Trust
RYA helmsman courses
Streethay, Lichfield
Surrey Care Trust Community Boat Programme
National Community Boat Accredited Training Centre
Surrey Care Trust run education, training, mentoring and volunteering programmes, helping people to build skills for life, learning and work, enabling them to make a valued and positive contribution to society.
07976 282239
T & D. Murrell’s Boating for Enthusiasts
Northern France
Barge Handling instruction for ICC licence
Teams and Themes
Prestatyn North Wales
First Aid, Manual Handling, Fire Safety courses
The Pirate castle
Gilbey's Wharf, Oval Rd, London NW1 7EA.
Training Courses
02072 676605
Trent Boat Handling
East Midlands Rivers and Canals
Trines Ward, Boatmaster
Midlands & N. Home Counties
Informal training on your own narrowboat.
Midlands and Thames
Inland Waters Helm, VHF, First Aid, Diesel Maintenance, ICC & CEVNI
Willow Wren Training
Willow Wren Training
Rugby Warwickshire
Youthful Ventura

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