Inland Waterways

Courses

I'm sorry,  but the RYA Inland Waterways courses have been suspended for the time being.
Own-boat advice and help is still available
 

 

 

RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman's Course

This is a two-day course, to the RYA IW Helmsman's Certificate Course as detailed in the 'RYA Inland Waterways Handbook' by Andrew Newman.   Each course can accommodate up to three candidates,  and we can arrange dates and courses to suit.

Payment of £375 per person may be made by cheque or by bank transfer:  contact us for details.   A copy of Andrew Newman's book will be sent to each candidate upon enrolment.   Fuel,  insurance and assessments are included.   Meals are not included,  but drinks and biscuits are.

The training vessel is a 40 ft narrow boat,  Maide of Clayhithe,  equipped with a diesel engine and tiller steering.   The entrance door is 25" (60cm) wide.

The waterway is the River Cam,  a Category A inland waterway,  between Jesus Lock in Cambridge and Bottisham Lock near Waterbeach.   The course begins and ends at Riverside Cottages,  Clayhithe:  enter "CB25 9JB" into your SatNav.

 

Students should bring their own packed lunch and a passport-size photograph.

 

  • Candidates will be welcomed in the morning with refreshments.   Rules of the Road,  gas safety and general safety will be explained on board.

Students who want more practice or more experience are welcome to join other courses,  as an observer,  free of charge.

Occasionally the river is closed for races or lock repairs:  see here.

  • Candidates will then take the vessel upstream toward Cambridge (where speed and awareness of other river users will be discussed) through Bait's Bite Lock.   On the way they will practice winding (turning the boat),  propeller walk and other manoeuvres.

  • Rope handling and knots will be taught on the stage beside the moorings.

  • Engine checks and starting and departure procedures will be explained and practiced.

 

Evening meals are available at The Bridge (across the road!) or at the Crown & Punchbowl or the Plough & Fleece in Horningsea:  please book ahead!

B&B accommodation is available at the Crown & Punchbowl in Horningsea and at Number 1 in Fen Ditton.

The River Cam
Hugh demonstrates ropework to Russell and Richard

Photograph by Peter Watson

The bridge over Bait's Bite Lock

Photograph by Peter Watson

  • At lunchtime the candidates will wind the boat and moor at The Plough.

  • Candidates may eat at the pub (no alcohol,  please!) or eat their own packed lunches  in the garden or aboard the boat.

  • After lunch the instructor will offer revision of all the boat handling practiced in the morning,  and more.

  • The students will lock down through Bait’s Bite Lock toward the home mooring.

  • During and after tea on board students will be de-briefed and given further classroom exercises.   This will be followed by a review of the day’s training.   The day will end at about 6pm.

  • The second day will allow extensive practice and review of all the procedures learned on the first day.

Josie,  Ali,  Katie,  Tim,  John

Photograph by Bill Pagan

 

 

RYA Inland Waterways Crew Course

 

This is a one day course to the RYA syllabus.   The day will follow the general pattern and location of the  IW Helmsman’s Course.   Crew candidates who accompany a Helmsman candidate will usually stay with their helmsman for two days.

The fee of £170 per person is payable by cheque or by bank transfer.

 

The waterway is the River Cam,  a Category A inland waterway,  between Jesus Lock in Cambridge and Bottisham Lock near Waterbeach.   The course begins and ends at Riverside Cottages,  Clayhithe:  enter "CB25 9JB" into your SatNav.

Students who want more practice or more experience are welcome to join other courses,  as an observer,  free of charge.

 

 

Own-boat Training

Our area
Without certification

A one or two day course at the student’s discretion to either the RYA IW Helmsman’s syllabus or the RYA IW Crew syllabus,  at £150 per day,  with a maximum of three students.   The RYA certificate can only be awarded to successful candidates on RYA-approved boats.

Your boat should have a current Boat Safety Scheme certificate: it should be registered,  insured and licenced,  and  it should operate on a Category A or B non-tidal inland waterway,  or The Broads.

We have qualified instructors in Cambridge and Central London covering the East of England

With RYA certification

 

A two-day course,  to the RYA syllabus,  at £375 per person to a maximum of three people.

Your boat must be licenced,  registered and insured,  and must have a current Boat Safety Scheme Certificate.   There must be enough lifejackets for all crew.

If it's a narrowboat,  it must have a cruiser or semi-trad stern;  a traditional stern is not suitable for RYA training.

The waterway must be a Category A or B non-tidal inland waterway,  with close access to locks and bridges.

We have qualified instructors in Cambridge and Central London covering the East of England

If you're on this map (or not!) we can come to your boat.

If you're on the tidal Thames or River Great Ouse different rates and conditions will apply.   Let's talk.

Taking Tom,  Liz and Hudson up through Bait's Bite Lock to Cambridge

 

 

Narrow boat taster sessions

 

This is a half day or full day session aboard a narrow boat on the River Cam.   Participants may helm,  crew or relax.   They may operate locks,  negotiate busy water or just enjoy being afloat.

 

The aim is for you to find out whether you want to operate a narrow boat.       Click here to contact Peter

Photograph by Jennifer Parr

Rosie at Jesus Lock
Rosie at Jesus Green
Maide of Clayhithe