The Pirate Castle will be running our popular in house Boat Handling Experience Days throughout 2021.

These non-certificated one day attendance courses provide a friendly, hands-on experience supervised by our skilled and experienced staff and cover basic canal boat and lock handling skills.

Perfect if you're new to boating, contemplating a boating holiday or just want to brush up your existing boating skills!

The experience day covers the following topics:

  • Boat set up and engine checks
  • Boat equipment
  • Rope-work, knots and mooring
  • Steering and 'Rules of the Road'
  • Lock operation
  • General safety
  • Currently, up to 2 trainees may attend each course due to Covid-security measures. However, we expect to resume our usual capacity of 4 trainees per course from 21st June (subject to restrictions being lifted).

    Minimum cost = £300 (up to 2 trainees), then £150 per additional person (when available).

    Boat Handling Experience Days run 09:00 - 17:30 on the folllowing dates:

    • Sun 18th April (fully booked)
    • Sun 9th May
    • Sun 13th June
    • Sun 18th July
    • Sun 15th Aug
    • Sun 26th Sept
    • Sun 17th Oct
    • Sun 14th Nov

    Other dates may be available upon request.

    Please note that the experience days above will take place on our narrowboat, 'Black Pearl'. If you would prefer your experience day to take place aboard our wide beam, 'Pirate Prince' then please contact us to arrange a bespoke experience day. We can also offer a bespoke BHED aboard your own vessel if you prefer (subject to availability and your vessel meeting our requirements) for £390 for a minimum of 2 trainees, then £195 per person up to a maximum of four people.

    If you would like to join one of our courses, please contact us at or or call us on 0207 2676605.