Historic narrow boat handling experience with the NBT

Many people will have seen a traditional seventy foot narrow boat cruising the inland waterways and thought to themselves; "I wish I could do that!"

The Narrow Boat Trust is offering an opportunity to anyone that wishes to experience crewing a pair of historic narrow boats.  They are running two narrow boat handling experience events in order to attract and encourage people to come and crew their boats.

The Narrow Boat Trust owns and operates the 'Large Northwich' motor boat Nuneaton and the 'Large Woolwich' butty (unpowered boat) Brighton, both built as part of the massive expansion programme of the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company in the mid-1930's.

The Trust gives the general public the opportunity to operate the boats laden in full working trim, crewed entirely by volunteer members as they travel the system or are displayed at Canal Festivals. 

As a volunteer crew member, you will learn the skills of handling a ‘traditional pair’ under the guidance of an experienced NBT member, including steering the boats breasted up, singling-out, locking, bow-hauling, mooring and clothing-up.  

By way of further compensation for your efforts, the UK's canals are rich in heritage and traverse some of the country's most scenic areas - and the crew have been known to enjoy the odd very pleasant evening in the canal-side pubs. 

The first event will be run in early July, with the second event planned for September.

You’ll be fed and well looked after, we’ll make sure you can get to and from the boats (no one will be left stranded), and the focus will be on making the event sociable and enjoyable.

All participants will receive a years’ membership of the Narrow Boat Trust allowing them to take part in crewing the boats at any number of events/rallies and also to crew on the annual Coal Run.

For more information, please send a message through their Facebook Page or contact them via our website.

Photo credit © Kev Maslin / Chasing the Boats

Read more about the Narrow Boat Trust, one of our Shipshape Network Heart of England projects. 

Narrow boat Nuneaton Zone Heart of England