Briefing Note: Using Canoes and Small Unpowered Boats on the Inland Waterways
There is nothing quite like messing about in boats, and small boats such as rowing boats, dinghies, canoes or stand-up paddleboards are a great and affordable way to get afloat. It’s also a great way to introduce children and young people to sport and the great outdoors. This briefing note sets out advice from The Inland Waterways Association to people using small unpowered boats, gives details of where further information can be found, and also gives recommendations for users of powered craft when meeting smaller boats.
How to get afloat On most inland waterways you must register or license any boat, including small unpowered craft, with the navigation authority responsible for the waterway you intend to use. Navigation authorities typically offer licences for different time periods, often from as little as one day, through to a full year. Membership of some canoeing, rowing and sailing organisations includes a licence for access to some waterways. See ‘Further information’ below for further details of specific waterways and navigation authorities.
Whilst most navigation authorities don’t insist on insurance for unpowered boats, it is strongly recommended. Insurance for unpowered boats is readily and cheaply available and is often included with governing body memberships.
[The photo shows canoes below Paper Mill Lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation – by Roy Chandler]