CRT Publishes New Boater’s Handbook

18 April 2019

The Canal & River Trust has launched a new edition of the Boater’s Handbook in partnership with the Environment Agency.  First published in 2002, the Handbook is written for boat owners and hirers and contains lots of ‘getting started’ tips as well as important information about how to boat safely. 

Jon Horsfall, head of customer service support at Canal & River Trust, said: “The Boater’s Handbook is an incredibly useful resource for any boater, from novices to old hands alike.  It contains a wealth of information about how to boat safely, as well as all the basics that can be of particular use to new boaters.  

“The updated Handbook contains some new information on which waterways are suited to wider craft and which ones only narrow boats should use, with a map that shows which canals are suitable for each.  There’s also pointers on the extra factors owners and hirers of wide beams need to be aware of when navigating and mooring.

“I’d like to thank the volunteer boaters on our Navigation Advisory Group and our elected Boater Reps who have shared their expertise, and all the boaters who have given us feedback.”

All leisure boaters will be emailed about the updated Handbook.  A downloadable copy of the Handbook, and a video setting out key information, can be found here:  People can also order a free hard copy from the online shop.

The Trust will send hard copies to all hire boat operators for their boats and first-time licence holders will receive a copy with their licence.

Boaters can also find a PDF the updated waterway dimensions on the Trust’s website:

The Handbook was originally commissioned by British Waterways in partnership with the Environment Agency and the British Marine Federation.  An expert group was commissioned to develop key messages and content, drawing on other published sources and relevant empirical evidence.  Since then, there have been several re-prints which incorporated best practice updates.