Top 12 facts about canal boats

1. Don’t call it a barge – as its name suggests, a narrowboat is not a barge as they are just seven feet wide and designed to fit Britain’s canal locks, while barges are at least twice as wide

2. Size matters – narrowboats range in length from 32ft to 70ft, and provide accommodation for between two and 12 people

3. Keep to the right when passing other boats – unlike cars on our roads, narrowboats move to the right when passing, otherwise it’s best to stay in the middle

4. You don’t need a licence to steer our boats – but all our canal boat hire operators provide expert tuition on arrival, as well as detailed information in advance of your narrowboat holiday

5. You can cook a proper meal – a gas oven, fridge, pots, pans, cooking utensils and crockery are all provided in the galley

6. You can bring your pet – up to two dogs or other pets are allowed on board many of our boats, and charges vary depending on the operator.

7. It’s nice and cosy on board – as all our boats have central heating, and some also have multi-fuel stoves

8. Toilets are fully flushing – our boats are fitted with flushing toilets and showers are fed by the boat’s hot water tank

9. There’s entertainment on board – all our boats have a TV, radio and DVD player, and many also have WiFi and we recommend bringing a pack of cards and some board games to play while on your canal boat holiday too

10. You can’t go over 1,000 watts – hairdryers, straighteners, phone and computer chargers, and other electrical appliances that use up to 1,000 watts can be used on board, but anything using above 1,000 watts won’t work

11. Special equipment is there for you – life jackets are available on request and many of our operators provide wet weather overalls for the helmsman

12. There’s a choice of stern – the backs of our boats have either a ‘cruiser stern’ or are ‘semi traditional’. The ‘cruiser stern’ gives you an open back deck, with room for a number of people to stand. While the ‘semi traditional’ gives a smaller rear deck with a seating area which can be enclosed with doors. Some people like having the larger deck for a number of people to congregate on, while others prefer the seating in the ‘semi traditional’ as it can be good for keeping dogs and children in a defined area.

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