Essential tips for cruising on the canal
Familiarise yourself with the Boater's Handbook, either in print or the DVD. It will help you to know how to handle the boat, to work locks and bridges and how to respond to other canal users.
Familiarise yourself with your boat. Read through the manual and make sure that you know how things work and what to do if they go wrong.
Nominate a Captain and follow his or her lead. Ensure the crew knows how to handle the boat – and that you know how to handle it on the waterway you’re using.
Get local information from the navigation authority before going onto unfamiliar waterways. On rivers, get information on stream conditions and any tides. You can check the latest advice and information for our wateways by visiting the CRT route planning pages.
Plan your cruise and allow enough time to complete it without rushing. Remembering that your top speed is 4 mph.
It’s not a good idea to cruise in the dark or when visibility’s bad – if you do, take extra care.
Make sure you’ve got full tanks of water and fuel. And check where your nearest fuel and water points might be so you can plan where to fill.
Avoid alcohol when cruising. It impairs your judgement and you'll need your wits about you. You're handling 24 tonnes of steel and need to control it, not let it control you. Save your drinking until you've mooredup for the night.
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