Telephone: 07974 564430

Derbyshire Canal Boat Tuition Courses - Helmsman Course


£290 per person


Helmsman’s Course is held over two days, at a total cost of £290 per person to include the certificate.

This course is designed for those wanting to cruise the UK's and Europe's network of lakes, rivers and canals. It deals specifically with the requirements of the inland boater, whether they be a narrow boat owner or cruiser enthusiast. It assumes no prior knowledge and so is ideal for the first timer, yet the more seasoned boater will learn plenty of tricks of the trade and tips to make their boating safer and more enjoyable.

Boating on the canal is fun and relaxing but even better and safer when you have more experience and confidence. Experienced boaters could also benefit from more in-depth practice of the training. There is no exam as the certification is based on assessments throughout the course that is carried out onboard our 47-foot narrow boat CORNERSTONE.

For operational and safety reasons we can only take a maximum of 3 students and a minimum of 2, so lone applicants may be taught alongside another student. When confirmation of booking is complete students will be sent The RYA Inland Waterways Handbook for some required pre course reading. Upon successful completion of the course students will be required to provide a passport size photo to enable their Helmsman Certificate to be issued.

This course has minimum theory teaching but plenty of practical work out on the water including working the locks and bank whilst mooring, comfortable nonslip shoes are a requirement, (no sandals or flip flops).

Wear appropriate clothing for the time of year and bring wet weather gear. Just in case bring a hat and sunscreen. Its mandatory to wear lifejackets, these lifejackets will be provided.


Helmsman Course Syllabus:

Personal safety & avoidance of personal injury

Risks involved with ending up in the water

Special risks to children

Correctly fit a lifejacket or buoyancy aid and the difference between the two

Engine checks

Pre start checks, Checks to be made periodically and while running

Common boating terms

Handling ropes and fenders

Throwing a heaving line and a coiled rope

Tie a Clove hitch, Round turn and two half hitches, and a Bowline

Secure to Bollards, Rings, Cleats and mooring stakes

Boat Handling

Mooring and unmooring

Weight distribution, interaction and bank effect, Pivot points and anchoring

Steer and control the boat, Turn the boat around

Man overboard

How to operate a lock and Tend lines in a lock

Maintenance of water levels within the lock

Bridge operations and use of Tunnels

Collision Avoidance

Rules of the Road

By laws, National regulations

Publications to be carried

Boat Safety

Fire Extinguishers and their use

Watertight integrity

Fire Hazards including fuel and gas

Risks of C0 poisoning

Re-floating the boat after grounding

Care of the Environment

Pollution Avoidance

Avoid Damage to Banks, Boats, Flora and Fauna

Consideration for other Water Users


If you need more information or would like to discuss your requirements please contact us:

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DCBT would love to hear from you ...

If you have any questions about our canal boat courses or would just like to discuss your canal boat requirements with us we'd love to hear from you. Please use the button below for details on how to get in touch.

Contact Us

Telephone: 07974 564430


canal boat lessons near me

DCB Tuition is a friendly, family run narrowboat company operating within Derbyshire between Shardlow, Swarkestone Lock and Willington.

We are fully qualified and insured to run the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) inland waterways Helmsman and Crew courses. The RYA is the recognised governing body for the boating leisure industry and a leading representative for the inland waterways.

Contact DCBT