Call: 01895 823 582


Have your boat training with
The Hillingdon Narrowboats’ Association

As members of the National Community Boat Association.
We offer a range of accredited courses for
canal boat handling and trip management.

 Our trainers have many years' experience and excel as not only making the
training informative and practical but with a focus on making it enjoyable
at the heart of all we do.   So, whether you intend to work on a community boat
or wish to learn the fundamentals of boating and canal etiquette
please have a look at our range of courses:-


We are pleased to announce that we are running our popular
Certification in Community
Boat Management (CCBM)
and Boat Handling Course (BHC) on the following dates:-

Boat Handling Course (BHC)
Course Dates 2023

8th - 10th September

Two-day BHC  £ 300.00 (Including Certification)

Certification in Community Boat Management (CCBM)
Course Dates 2023

22nd - 24th September

Three-day CCBM £ 300.00 (Including Certification)
Discount Available for youth organisation leaders

 When do the courses take place?

Listed above are the dates you can book.  However, it is also up to you.
Our focus at Hillingdon Narrowboats Association is to maximise the
opportunity for community and  private boating qualifications
therefore we aim to run our training around your needs and availability. 
Weekends are popular and longer courses can be divided
over two weekends enabling you to fit the training into your lifestyle.

 Where does the training take place?

Our boats will depart from our wonderful, volunteer run boathouse
based in Harefield where there is plenty of free parking.
You will also have the option to stay on our boats overnight for certain
courses if you wish - mixing with other trainees, sharing experiences
and chatting with the trainers is all part of the experience.

Course Types


The Certificate in Community Boat Management is endorsed by the
Canal and Rivers Trust and supported by the Maritime Coastguard Agency.
The course is open to age 17 plus and is designed for those who work with a

variety of groups on the inland waterways and have some experience
of group working along with some practical boat experience.
It provides the minimum recommended level of training to become

a community boat skipper on the non-tidal rivers and canals
covering boat handling, maintenance and the management of groups’
safety and welfare.
The CCBM Course is 20 hours of total training that
can be run in 
days or weekend chunks to fit your needs
(you will see this referred to as 
CCBM Part 1 and Part 2). 
At the end of course you will have made new friends and be qualified
to operate boats carrying a maximum oftwelve passengers
on the
UK inland waterways. 


This two-day Boat Handling Course is one of our most popular and
designed primarily for those who own their own boats,
contemplating a boating holiday or if you simply want to brush up
on existing boating skills.It will give you the foundation skills to operate a
boat safely andefficiently
on inland waterways and is suitable
for those with little or no experience
from fourteen years of age.
If you wish to progress your training 
after this course
it can be accredited to the CCBM part 1). 
This is an enjoyable course and takes place over

two days usually over a weekend,

 The CCC

This two-day Community Crew Course (CCC) is a entry-level course
and addresses the needs and abilities of all ages, but particularly
the young and inexperienced from eight years of age.  
Successful candidates will qualify to crew boats carrying a maximum

of 12 passengers on the UK inland waterways.

Our Trainers

All our trainers have been assessed at Trainers’ courses run directly

by the National Community Boats Associations (NCBA).  
The trainers are further supported and visited by a Senior Trainer
to ensure that the standard is maintained.   In fact, our own Dave Wright
is not only a Senior Trainer with us but is Chairperson of the
National Training Council part of the NCBA.

Dave Wright
As an ex-Marine Dave has aways been on the water and
we consider ourselves very fortunate that he has chosen to be
the Project Manager at the Hillingdon Narrowboats Association for many years. 
As somewhat of a celebrity in the organisation and on the waterways,
Dave not only brings in his years of experience as a Senior Trainer
but is renowned for injecting humour into the training experience
making it a truly inclusive and enjoyable training event. 

Madhurika Walsh
As an avid boater Madhurika is not only our all-important Trustee
and Treasurer but her passion for narrowboats and her enthusiasm is
contagious making her an extremely popular trainer.  Her calm, considered
training manner and the pure joy in teaching others, makes
her  training events thoroughly engaging and joyful.    

Mark Simmons
As an experienced boatowner and trainer Mark’s training is second to none. 
Bringing his years of experience his training events are complimented by many
tips and tricks adding that all important added value.    

Paul Boakes
Has been a trainer with HNA for around 15 years now. Having started,
where most do, as steering for groups, he moved onto training,
becoming a Senior Trainer with the NCBA and Lead Trainer with HNA.
During his time with HNA, he's held the positions of Head of Training,
Vice Chair, and was instrumental in developing HNA's "Blue Book" training manual.
Less involved in the day-to-day running of the charity these days, he still
runs the occasional training course in and around the London area.
Outside of boating, he works in IT Service Management for an
Outlet Mall company, and in the little spare time that remains,
he enjoys motorcycle touring.

Ashley Martin

Hi, My name is Ash and I am one of the training team at
Hillingdon Narrowboats Association. I have been helping with training for a number
of years and have had the privilege of working with great steerers who have
excelled on courses and experience weekends alike. 
Most of my experience is with the voluntary sector and in particular
youth and community groups. Hillingdon prides itself on the teams ability to
help all people achieve their goals regardless of ability, opportunity or extra needs. 
I also help coordinate the DofE activities within the project and have
been a proud holder of the award for a number of years. 

Peter Mahoney

I have been a volunteer with Hillingdon Narrowboats for more years than I care to admit to.
I was also a member of St John Ambulance, where I was a Trainer. Prior to retirement I was involved
with training student nurses. I have a wealth of training experience, which I have recently
brought to the narrowboating world. I like older machines, something where a bit more thought and skill is required.
As a volunteer at what is now known as The London Museum of Water and Steam,
I have been involved in the driving of Cornish cycle beam engines. A delicate balancing act
for up to about 100 tons, now it is all push button and electric pumps. The canals,
mostly pre-date the railways as do the beam engines. I enjoy training people
how to use the old engineering safely, there was no health and safety then.

Any questions on Training please email
or call Dave on 07972 642154

Please Donate

We rely heavily on grants and donations. It would be so nice if you could help us to keep afloat! 

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