Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Canal etiquette and The Boaters Handbook

I've read everything I can get my hands on about narrowboating and the canals.  On several blogs and in some lovely books about peoples' experiences on the canals there have been some daunting stories of angry fishermen or other boaters - often completely unfairly. 

I also notice this week that Gypsy Rover (AU) had an annoying experience with bad canal manners.

It got me thinking about the rules out there that we might not be aware of.  When we hired in 2007 we really were told very little about what we should or shouldn't do.  They provided a boaters handbook but not everyone would bother to read the 40 pages.  Here's a link to the handbook.
http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/documents/boat-licensing/The_boaters_handbook.pdf

I found this unofficial list of etiquette matters.
http://www.hotelnarrowboat.com/etiquette.html

3 comments:

Paul and Elaine said...

From reading the blogs its generally the poor old hire boater that gets most of the blame.
Its the same on Sydney Harbour, any hire boater is classed as a second class citizen by the gin palace elite!
I would like to think I will be tolerant when we get out there.

Peter and Margaret said...

Hello again Elly. Using a boat on the canals is regulated by British Waterways bylaws, but generally the internationally recognized regulations of prevention of collisions at sea, known as COLREGS, are adhered to. This is a link to a website that lists these. Rule 34 is interesting to canal boaters and relates to signalling your intended movements. http://www.sailtrain.co.uk/Irpcs/index.htm
On the canals these are generally adhered to with a little common sense and good manners thrown in. On rivers, particularly those designated as commercial waterways, it is essential that they are adhered to, to the letter, and are controlled by law. If there was a serious accident on such a waterway, these would be used within the investigations of the marine investigations branch, see: http://www.maib.gov.uk/home/index.cfm to ascertain who was at fault.

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Elly and Mick
Common sense and common courtesy, that's about it.
Don't moor on lock landings, they are for boats using the locks.
Don't charge about, your 60'/70' boat doesn't handle well enough to do that.
Ease up going past moored boats.

There are, sadly, some boaters that are holier than thou about hirers but MOST of us are fine. Most of us started out hiring boats and anyway there are many hirers that have more experience than those that are fortunate enough to own a boat!
Boating is to be enjoyed; so come and enjoy it!
Lesley