Navigating Your Boat

This section contains information and advice on navigating a boat.

General Guides

Boater's Handbook - The Boater's Handbook is a useful handbook for first time boater. It includes information about boat handling, boating safety, rules of the road and good boating behaviour.


Boating Courses - Information about the courses curriculum and how to find a training centre.

Operating Locks - Information and a diagram explaining the basics of operating locks

Operating Moveable Bridges - How to operate manual swing bridges, manual lift bridges and mechanised bridges

Passing Anglers - Angling matches often coincide with the free time of the boater. Therefore the need for co-existence between moving boats and anglers is inevitable.

Tunnels - Information on navigating tunnels. Tunnels vary not only in length but also in width. Some permit two boats, but others are only wide enough for one boat to pass through. Check notices at the entrance for any special instructions or entry times.

Single Handed Boating - There are many reasons why a boater may find themselves without any crew. We've put together some advice for people boating on their own.

Using VHF Radio - Guidelines on the use of VHF radio by inland pleasure craft on UK freight waterways, including advice on navigation lights, sound signals and navigational safety.

Using Larger Waterways - Including guidance on navigation lights, sounds signals and waterways signage.

Wildlife - Boaters need to be aware of how their actions can impact wildlife in and around the waterways.

Winter Boating - There are a few things that boaters should bear in mind, especially if you’ve not been boating in wintry conditions before. 

Boating Etiquette

Safe and Friendly Canal Cruising - Boating etiquette