Boat Handling Experience Days 2023

The Pirate Castle will be running our popular in-house Boat Handling Experience Days throughout 2023.

These non-certificated one day attendance courses provide a friendly, hands-on experience supervised by our skilled and experienced staff, and cover all the basic canal boat and lock handling skills required to make your future boating a much more enjoyable (and safe) experience.

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, tunnel transit and winding
  • General safety
  • All courses will run with no more than 4 trainees attending.

    Cost: £170 per person for the day (we require a minimum of two trainees for a course to run). Up to 4 trainees per course.

    Our scheduled Boat Handling Experience Days will run 09:00 - 17:30 on the following dates in 2023, all departing from, and returning to The Pirate Castle in Camden Town.

  • Sun 26th February
  • Sun 12th March
  • Sun 16th April
  • Sun 14th May
  • Sun 18th June
  • Sun 16th July
  • Sunday's in August - by prior arrangement only
  • Sun 17th September
  • Sun 15th October
  • Sun 20th November
  • Other dates may be available upon request (see below).

    Please note that all the experience days above will take place on board 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 training requirements) for £215 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.