Narrowboat Experience Taster Sessions

We offer short, non-residential narrow boat taster sessions for those who've never been aboard a narrowboat and want to see what it's like.

This is not a formal course but will prepare you in advance for a short holiday afloat and will compliment any handover you may get from a hire company.

Obviously not all boats have the same layout, but they do all share the same essentials, such as gas, electrical and water systems that you'll need to know how to use safely and confidently.  Similarly all boats handle in pretty much the same way and you'll have the same daily maintenance checks. Our taster sessions are primarily designed to give you a good basic introduction to what a narrowboat is like, and what to expect should you decide to hire (or buy) one.  Combine this with a little hands-on experience, and you're well on your way to future enjoyable boating.

The taster sessions are run from our canalside base in Sheffield and last for about 5 hours.

Tasters are for a maximum of two participants at a time.


  • Safety First - Life-jackets and how to wear them.
  • Safety Second - hazards and risks and how to avoid them.
  • Basic boat layout - finding where everything is and how it works.
  • Gas appliances, electrical systems, sanitation and water.
  • Ropes and Knots - safe handling and use.
  • Basic boat handling - forward, backward, turning and mooring.
  • Changing gas bottles
  • Filling with water.
  • Boat maintenance, checking oil and stern greaser. 
  • Clearing the weed-hatch
  • Cruising safely.
  • Explanation of locks, tunnels and movable bridges.

Feel free to bring your own lunch, you have full access to all galley equipment and we do the washing up!

Session content is not strictly set.  We can tailor to your needs, requests and requirements

Advanced booking is essential as we get busy during the high season, please contact us or call 0114 250 8100 to check availability and book.

Costs £150 per day.

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