We are a charity providing waterways experiences and training for youth groups, community groups and schools on board our 48ft narrowboat based on the River Ouse. With over 100 miles of river to explore there is so much to see from the water, most of which you will never see from the banks.
From half day trips to full days and weekends there is something for everyone on board our spacious open plan boat.
We can provide you with a skipper to help steer, or if you have suitable qualifications you can self steer. For those who wish we can also provide training to a variety of levels.
Not only will you get to see some amazing wildlife and sites of local historical interest, you will also get some fantastic boating experience and learn new some skills along the way.
Based on the Cam at Upware, we are just a 15 minute drive from Ely and 25 Minutes from Cambridge with parking available in the nearby carpark.
There are two main types of hire available, with one of our qualified skippers, or as a self steer option.
We offer use of our boat complete with a qualified skipper to those groups who aren't able to self skipper or would rather have the peace of mind that there is someone qualified on board*. This doesn't mean our skipper will be doing all the steering, you can still take the helm under our expert guidance if you wish!
There is space on board for 11 guests. All we ask is that there are 2 responsible adults on board when there is a group of under 18's. We have lifejackets for all on board.
*Some groups may have a requirement for the skipper to be qualified to a certain level before being able to take control, if this is the case please get in touch, we may be able to help with training or answer any questions you may have.
Self skippered hire is available, mainly aimed at the Scout and Guide movements where there are in-house permit schemes in place, we are able to offer you the boat for the day, weekend or longer.
With accommodation on board, a galley, toilet and shower there is everything you need for a few days away. There is space for 12 guests, with a bunk in the galley suitable for 2 adults and berths in the main cabin for another 9 (10 at a squeeze) .
If you don't yet have the relevent permit required, this is something we can help you with, see our training page for more information.
oWe have two RYA qualified instructors and are able to offer training on board our boat for different levels. We are a recognised RYA training centre and can provide training for the Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate and Crew course. We can also carry out Scout and Guide permit assesments, full training days or combine both. Because we are a charity, all our instructors are volunteers and any profits are put backn into the running of our boat, this enables us to carry out training at very competetive prices. Contact us for more information. Maximum of 3 people on Helmsman and crew courses.
All first time hire bookings will be given a short training session before being able to take out our boat to ensure you are comfortable with any differences from previous boating experience.
Our helmsman training will take place over two days, the Crew course is 1 day. The first day we will introduce you to the basics including mooring and setting off, steering, locks, basic rope work and safety on the water. The second day you will be able to brush up on your skills before being informally assessed on what you have learnt. For example, we might ask you as a crew to move the boat from A to B via a lock without the aid of an instructor. For more information on the RYA Helmsman course click here, Scout requirements click here and Guide requirements here. If you just require assessment please contact us. There is no requirement to complete a crew course prior to the Helmsman Course.
The RYA Diesel course is a 1 day course carried out with CHB Marine in the workshop and covers lots of practical training to help maintain and look after your diesel engine onboard your boat. For more information click here.
2 Day RYA Helmsman Course 6/7 April (3 Spaces)
2 Day RYA Helmsman Course 15/16 June (1 Space)
2 Day RYA Helmsman Course 20/21 July (3 spaces)
1 Day RYA Diesel Engine Course 28th March 2024 (4 spaces)
1 Day RYA Diesel Engine Course 21st May 2024 (4 spaces)
Please contact us for additional dates
We offer "Own Boat" training with our partners CHB Marine which can be carried out on your own boat if this suits you more, and tailored around your needs. This can be on a narrowboat or river cruiser style which we can also instruct on. Please contact us for more information. Minimum of 2 people.
Please click on the following links to view the associated documents
Safety Policy (hire)
Risk Assessment (boat)
Risk Assessment (workshop)