Boat Handling Taster Courses 2024

Boat handling Taster Session

If you have been hankering to own a canal boat or try a boating holiday but are nervous about how to navigate the waterways, the Boat Handling Taster Sessions at Crick Boat Show 2024 are an ideal way to build confidence and get a feel for what’s involved. They are also useful for anyone who may want to refresh their skills after a break from boating. The Sessions are 2 hours long and take place throughout the weekend, expertly led by RYA accredited trainers, Watercraft and Narrow Boat Skills Centre.

Sessions will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The trainer will talk you through the basics of casting off, mooring up, boat etiquette, rope handling, breaking down boat jargon as well as the dreaded lock navigation! There’ll be an opportunity to take the tiller and steer the boat under the supervision of an experienced boater.

Each session can accommodate up to four people, so the whole family can enjoy the waterways together (children must be aged 12 and over). Bookings of fewer than four people will share the session with others booked on to the session.

Places are extremely limited, so advance booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Sessions are £39 per person and take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 


Bookings for 2024 courses are now open at £39 per person

Courses for 2024 are 2 hours long. Please note, that Boat Handling bookings do not include entry to the Show, tickets for which need to be purchased separately.

Book Boat Handling»

See Show tickets prices »


Boat Handling Taster Sessions are provided by RYA accredited Training Centres Watercraft and Narrowboat Skills Centre







Trade & Preview Day - sponsored by

Friday 24 May 2024

Exclusive early access to the Show

For just 1,000 pre-booked visitors, the gates to Crick Boat Show open a day early with a Trade & Preview Day before the three days on which the Show is fully open (Saturday 25 to Monday 27 May 2024). 

This exclusive day will take place on Friday 24 May 2024. Preview Day tickets are available only by booking in advance and not at the Show gate  – so book early to make sure you’re one of the 1,000.

Buy Tickets »


Trade Ticket applications (free to qualifying waterway related businesses) open in March 2024.

Why come to Crick Boat Show on Preview Day?

With no crowds, Preview Day gives you the opportunity to talk in-depth with companies offering equipment and services for inland boating and to see the boats, before everyone else.

To add to your enjoyment of the day, you will receive a free hot drink and access to the VIP marquee.and can pick up a Show Gift Bag on arrival. 

The Show is open to Preview Day ticket holders from 10 am to 6pm on Friday 24 May.

All boats - boatbuilder and brokerage, all quayside and boating-related companies in the Show Village and most of the Waterways World Boating Marquee will be fully open on Friday 24 May. The Food & Craft Marquee, an area of the Show Village reserved for general traders and charities, and a the full Boating Marquee will open on Saturday 25 May.

Trade Tickets

For pre-registered Trade visitors, the Show will be open on Friday 24 May 10am – 6pm. 

All trade visitors will require formal accreditation in advance and will be issued individual name badges, which are not transferrable.

Who can apply for Trade Ticket?

Favourite Boats in Show - sponsored by


The Favourite Boat in Show award is a tradition of Crick Boat Show. The competition is sponsored by insurance company Haven Knox-Johnston. Two trophies are awarded at the 2024 Show - one for the most admired narrowboat; and one for the most admired wide-beam, as voted for by visitors to the show.


Voting takes place during the Show at the Haven Knox-Johnston marquee on the Quayside. All voters are entered into a draw to win £100 M&S vouchers and voters can choose to also enter a draw to win a year's free boat insurance from Haven Knox-Johnston (T&C apply)

The winning boat is announced at Crick Boat Show in the afternoon of Monday 27 May and the prize draw takes place on 5 June 2024.

2023 Winners


1st place: Reginald  – Braidbar Boats No. 200


Braidbar-celebrate-on-the-bow-of-Reginald.jpgBraidbar Boats celebrate winning the trophy for Favourite Narrowboat in Show 2023.

Runner up – Oakums Narrowboats: Morning Star

and in 3rd place – Kingsground for Lakeland Leisure Estates: Beatrice


1st place: Cricket – The Bespoke Boat Company


The Bespoke Boat Company team with the trophy for Favourite Widebeam in Show 2023 on the stern of Cricket.

Runner up – Archer & Smith: Somewhere Else 

and in 3rd place – Viking: 65ft widebeam exhibited by Tingdene Boat Sales



Seminars at Crick Boat Show

Boat Ownership Seminars

Whether you're just considering getting afloat, a novice or a seasoned boater, there is a seemingly endless amount to be learned about boat ownership and boating. Mark Langley, Technical Editor of Waterways World, hosts a series of Seminars to support both new and experienced boaters.

Seminars will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday;

Seminars are designed to cover the most pertinent questions to consider when

  • buying a new or second hand boat
  • designing a new boat or refitting an older one
  • designing, improving and maintaining electrical systems for best performance
  • reducing your impact on the environment with green boating
  • living afloat
  • maintaining your boat - its engine and services; upgrades and safety

All talks are followed by an open question and answer session.

For more information on these talks click on the button below.

Boat Ownership Seminars »


Guarantee your front row seats at the Seminars

The seminars at Crick Boat Show are completely free to attend. However, as the seminars can get very busy you can guarantee a seat near the front of the Seminar Theatre by reserving a place at the Show Information Point for a nominal fee of £1. Bookings can be made ONLY ON THE DAY of the seminar, and are on a first-come, first-served basis and close 20 minutes before the Seminar starts.


Masterclasses 2024

Following the great success of the Masterclass Theatre in 2022 and 2023, there will be a new selection of presentations by exhibitors in 2024. Come to a Masterclass to learn from the experts...


Masterclasses take place in our Masterclass Theatre marquee and each is about 30 minutes long. Below you will find information about the Masterclasses that took place at our 2023 Show. 

See 2023 Masterclass Timetable »


The Low Impact Narrowboat

cadal_craft360.jpgCadal Craft Ltd – Simon Boyde

Cadal Craft offers innovative new designs for hull, systems and interior to reduce carbon footprint, lower environmental impact and increase energy efficiency. The hull is designed specifically for electric/hybrid propulsion, lowers energy consumption, improves steerage and stability and reduces canal bank and bottom erosion. New integrated heat pump (for heating and cooling) technology on board makes efficient use of waste heat and solar power. Other benefits include additional usable space onboard, reduced risk from frozen pipes and reduced energy costs. Founder Simon Boyde, from a professional marine background, explains these innovations, based on our eight years of research, and how you or your business can benefit.

The Challenges of Maintaining a 200-year-old Waterway


John Ward (head of project delivery) and Dean Davies (head of direct services) – Canal & River Trust

John and Dean will share their experiences to give an insight into how Canal & River Trust construction projects are prioritised, designed, and delivered in the canal environment where even the simplest of repairs can pose difficulties with design, logistics, heritage, and temporary works.

Between them, John and Dean, spend almost £80m a year on repairing the historic structures and waterway networks for which the Trust are responsible. Whether it be replacing a lock gate, repairing a culvert, rebuilding one of the iconic canal arch bridges, or a major project like a reservoir embankment, there are many challenges their teams face in completing that work.


Building your Electric / Hybrid Boat

kingslock_vetus360.jpgSteve Wedgewood of Kings Lock Chandlery

Everything you need to know about the Vetus system for full electric propulsion or a diesel-electric hybrid system, depending on application. We can supply the complete system from the propeller to the battary cable. Steve will look at the primary differences between parallel and series systems. At the end of the session there will be a opportunity to ask questions about a project you may have.


Paint Technology

marineware360.jpgMarineware Ltd – Simon Crawford

Paint technology: past, present and the future for inland waterways. Including owner and professional options. 

Webasto Air Conditioning and Heating

Webasto360.jpgSteve Wedgewood of Kings Lock Chandlery

A proper discussion of the options available with air conditioning on new builds and after market installations. Steve will also cover heating and reverse cycle possibilities including ThermoTop and TT Evo operations. This subject will lead to a look at the bio level now in fuel, and the design changes you could make to help the longevity of the fuel, given its limited shelf life.

Mobile Broadband Onboard

wifionboard360.jpgWifionboard – David Walker

Being connected onboard is no longer a luxury. With home working, TV streaming or just booking a table it is essential to modern life whether we like it 
or not! Being able to get high speeds to access these services is key and sharing marina WiFi just doesn’t give full service Internet all day long.
Using the Mobile broadband, with 4G+ and 5G gives high speed and a cost effective solutions, for all types of users.


We have been providing systems since 2013 to boaters and have a range of solutions to meet all types of user requirements.

Free Boat Trips

Free boat trips at Crick Boat ShowAt Crick Boat Show, visitors can take a free trip out onto the water to experience the Grand Union Canal on one of our trip boats. Trip boats run every 10 minutes from 10.10am each day of the show and each trip lasts 30 minutes. 

All trips are run by LNBP Community Boating who will be collecting small donations.

This is a popular attraction, so we advise that you book your free trip at the Trip Boats Marquee on the Quayside soon after you arrive at the show. 

Find out more about LNBP Community Boating


Real Ale and Cider Festival 2024 - sponsored by


Crick Beer Festival

Following the enormous success of previous years there will once again be a Real Ale and Cider Festival in the The Crick Tavern marquee at Crick Boat Show. Sponsored by Lee Sanitation, this year you can enjoy the choice of 50 cask ales, 20 ciders and perries, and over 20 gins.

And thanks to LeeSan sponsorship, the bar is also going plastic-free, with drink 'papers' instead of 'glasses', as well as further improvements to speed up queues at busy times.

Remember - the widest range of beers and ciders will be available on Saturday and Sunday, so don't leave it too late to visit The Crick Tavern the for the greatest choice.

There will be live music in The Crick Tavern each afternoon and evening with headline tribute bands on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Crick Music Festival 2024 - sponsored by

Crick is proud to be Britain's biggest inland waterways festival, but the Crick experience wouldn't be complete without a full weekend of live music entertainment. Enjoy a wide selection of music performed in the Crick Tavern Marquee in the afternoon and evening. On Saturday and Sunday, the evenings build to the appearance of a headline act.

Entry to the evening entertainment is included in the price of your ticket - making a trip to Crick Boat Show incredible value for money.

Headliner Saturday 25 May

Young Elton - The Tribute Show

On Saturday night, you can step back in time with Young Elton - The Tribute Show, and experience the nostalgia of Sir Elton John’s former years. Backed by an incredible band and starring Tom Weston hammering away on the baby grand, Young Elton – The Tribute Show will take you on a musical journey spanning six decades, 30 studio albums and 300 million records sold worldwide.

The iconic hits include Rocket Man, I’m Still Standing, Bennie and the Jets, Your Song, Crocodile Rock, Tiny Dancer and many many more.

With first class vocals and incredible stage presence you will truly be transported to the Dodger Stadium in the autumn of 1975 as Tom pays tribute to the superstar that is Sir Elton John.

Headliner Sunday 26 May

Fleetwood Bac

One of the most popular acts ever to grace Crick's stage, Fleetwood Bac return for the third time as Sunday headliners for Crick Boat Show 2024.  Fleetwood Bac are the world’s first and best Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band, endorsed by Mick Fleetwood himself, the only Mac tribute to authentically replicate the classic 'Rumours' line-up and rated by The Times newspaper as one of the U.K.'s top 5 tributes, alongside The Bootleg Beatles, Bjorn Again and the Counterfeit Stones.

The sound, the look, the mystical atmosphere and on-stage chemistry are all portrayed with the passion and energy that got the seal of approval from ‘Big Daddy’ Mick, and built up an excellent reputation amongst Mac fans through numerous tours and festival appearances all over the U.K. and Europe.

The Fleetwood Bac show focuses on the ‘Rumours’ era of the band (still the 5th biggest-selling album of all time). Songs featured include: Dreams, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, You Make Loving Fun, Tusk, Gypsy, Everywhere, Oh Well, Rhiannon, Little Lies, Black Magic Woman, Seven Wonders, Say You Love Me, Big Love, Oh Diane, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Albatross, Sara, Man Of The World, Hold Me, Green Manalishi, Need Your Love So Bad, The Chain and more!



All evening entertainment is included in the price of your day/weekend ticket, making a visit to Crick Boat Show excellent value for money.

Details of supporting music acts will be announced soon. Check back here for details.


For a taste of Crick's music entertainment, you can take a look at last year's music acts and schedule below.

See 2023 music schedule »

See details of other acts for 2023 »



The Waterways World VIP marquee

The VIP Marquee is a quiet space to relax and purchase lighter bites, salads, savouries, homemade cakes and a selection of teas and coffees. Food and drinks purchased from the food court may also be taken into the marquee.

Entry to the VIP Marquee is exclusively for wearers of the following wristbands:

  • VIP*
  • Exhibitor
  • Show Volunteer.  

*To have a VIP wristband you need to be one of the following:

  • A subscriber to Waterways World magazine (to subscribe, visit As a subscriber you also receive 10% discount off advance ticket prices) 
  • An IWA member (you should show proof of membership at the marquee entrance)

Saturday and Sunday evening

For Saturday and Sunday evenings the VIP Marquee will transform into The Crick Snug - a quiet, music-free bar for those who wish to enjoy an evening apart from the bustle and live music entertainment in the much larger Crick Tavern marquee (formerly The Wheatsheaf Bar). The Crick Snug will be open to all.


The Crick Snug

On Saturday and Sunday evenings the VIP Marquee will transform into The Crick Snug - a quiet, music-free bar for those who wish to enjoy an evening apart from the bustle and live music entertainment in the much larger Crick Tavern marquee. The Crick Snug is open to all, serving a smaller range of real ales, wines, ciders and soft drinks.



On Saturday evening, the Crick Snug will host a Pie & Mash evening.  Book a table and join us for a table-service meal in the cosy Crick Snug.

Pie choices:

  • Steak & Ale
  • Chicken & Mushroom
  • Spiced Parsnip & Butternut Squash (Vegan)

All served with a choice of chips or mash, peas or mushy peas.

Delivered to your table on proper crockery together with a jug of delicous hot gravy.

Book now »


You can make a booking for between 1 to 5 people. We will email you regarding your booking in April, to collect pre-orders for your party.

The table will be reserved from 6.30pm and your meals served shortly thereafter.

Bookings for 1 will be placed on a mixer table, so be prepared to make new friends!  Bookings for 2 or 3 people can select whether to share with another pair or sit alone.

The Canal & River Trust Marquee


National waterways and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust is delighted to be a part of Crick Boat Show, Britain’s biggest inland waterways event.


We look forward to welcoming visitors to our Marquee to find out about the recreation, health, and wellbeing opportunities available on our waterways.  And to learn about ways to support our #ActNowForCanals campaign, ensuring our network is secured for the benefit of current and future generations.

At Crick 2023, the Canal & River Trust Marquee hosted a ‘national treasures’ exhibition, shining a light on the 2,000 miles of historic and natural treasures in our care. We’ll have some examples on display of the 15,000 historic artefacts in our collection, as well as archive images.  And, following extensive restoration work, the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne’s historic working boat ‘Sculptor’ will be moored in the Marina for visitors to see.


We’ll be providing extra information on our local East Midlands waterways.  Stretching for over 295 miles, these ‘national treasures’ include 11 reservoirs, over 1,700 bridges, culverts and locks, and two major visitor destinations - Foxton Locks and the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne.


Visitors to the Canal & River Trust Marquee will also be able to try their hands at traditional canal arts, see how a lock works and find out what it takes to care for this fragile, aging network. There will be opportunities to talk to members of our boating, East Midlands and Museums teams, including some of our volunteers.

For more information about the work of the Canal & River Trust, go to, call us on 03030 404040 or email

You can find out more about Canal & River Trust in this short video:


For Children

Activities for Children at Crick Boat Show

Free entry for children

There is free entry for children on Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 of the Crick Boat Show 2024 so bring along the whole family on these days, and pay only for the adults, providing excellent value for parents, grandparents and carers.

There is no free entry for children on the Trade and Preview Day (Friday 24 May 2024) so if you wish to bring children on this day, they will need a ticket to enter the Show.


Children's activities

In the Children's Area of the Show Village there will be inflatables.

Canal & River Trust will be providing many fun activities for all ages in the Canal & River Trust marquee.


Historic Boats

Each year a number of historic boats make the journey to be part of Crick Boat Show and in 2023 we had a record number on display. 

HNBC_1line black.png

The boats on display are owned by members of the Historic Narrow Boat Club, which works to preserve the working heritage of UK canals from the boats themselves to details of the waterways on which they travel. We are grateful to them for their support in making it possible to bring so many boats.



Built in 1934 by W. J. Yarwood and Sons of Northwich for Birmingham-based carrier Fellows Morton and Clayton, Lamprey was one of a batch of boats powered by 9hp Bolinders and named after fish. Lamprey was one of very few motorboats to carry a forecabin, but this was removed in 1953 when the boat was purchased by the British Transport Commission (Docks and Inland Waterways Executive, North West Division Fleet). 

Lamprey was later hired to Willow Wren Transport Services and Anderton Canal Carrying Company and continued to be used as a carrying boat, before being abandoned in the early 1970s. In 1979 she was sold into private ownership and was restored at Ellesmere Port by Ian Kemp.

Lamprey came into its current ownership in 2012 and has since been undergoing further restoration and was awarded the HNBC’s Hemelryk Award in 2020. Lamprey is at Crick for the first time.



Also a newcommer to Crick this year, Carina was built in 1935, as an unpowered butty by W. J. Yarwood and Sons of Northwich for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company (GUCCC )and was originally paired with motor boat Libra.

It is recorded as being used in 1970s/80s by the Magic Lantern Company, before being sold into private ownership in 1987 and re-united with its Motor, Libra.

During the 1990s it was operated by BW/Staffordshire County Council as an educational resource boat and paired with motorboat Sagitta, which has been seen at Crick in previous years

From 2013, Carina was trading as a bicycle sales and repair boat based in the centre of Birmingham.

Carina was purchased by her current owner in February 2023 and is currently undergoing refurbishment works. Carina is in the livery of the British Waterways fleet.



Also at Crick for the first time, is Corolla, which was built in 1935 for the GUCCC (by Harland & Wolff of Woolwich, London). Up to 1959 Corolla carried general goods, materials, grain and coal between London and the Midlands.

In 1959 the boat was converted to carry passengers and worked between London Paddington and London Zoo as part of the Waterbus/Zoo Bus partnership with the ZSL. During the 1970s Corolla worked as a trip boat in Birmingham before being retired in 1979 and sold by British Waterways.

After falling into disrepair she was restored between 2014 and 2017 and launched in late 2017. She can now be found in GUCCC livery retracing the waterways she used when in carrying condition and also heading to places further afield.


A 1935 Grand Union, Star Class motorboat built by Harland & Wolff as part of the GUCCC expansion. Pegasus is at Crick for the first time.


On nationalisation of the waterways in 1948, Pegasus was passed to British Waterways, initially working in the South Midland Fleet, then passed to the Maintenance Division.

Restored in the 1980s by Ian Kemp, to an immaculate condition, the boat then lay derelict on the Thames for 20 years until purchased by M J Pinnock Water Transport Limited in 2021 and resorted again to full working order. Pegasus is now part of London's fuel boat scene, carrying once more in Britsh Waterways colours.


First seen at the 2022 Show, Sandbach makes a welcome return to Crick this year


Sandbach was built in 1946 for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS), which owned the Trent & Mersey and Shropshire Union canals at the time.

One of a pair of tug/icebreakers built with wheel steering and a wheelhouse by W J Yarwood & Sons of Northwich. Sister tug was Beeston, both built 25ft long, although Sandbach was lengthened to 35ft less than a year later. 

On the nationalisation of the waterways in 1948, Sandbach was transferred to the British Transport Commission (later British Waterways Board) as part of the maintenance fleet, based initially in Middlewich, and later (by the 1970s) on the River Weaver. 

Later abandoned and sunk, she was rescued by Malcolm Braine in 1982, and restored at Norton Canes. The original engine was a Russell Newbery DM2 but now has a 1953 Bolinder 1052, (two cylinder 23 hp).


Purton makes a welcome return to the Show. 


Built by W. J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd at Northwich Cheshire in September 1936. Purton is one of 38 all-steel motors known as a Large Northwich built for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company Ltd.

Her fleet number was 162. Originally fitted with a National diesel, Purton was re-engined in 1962 with the present Lister HA2 and also shortened to her present length of 57ft 6 in by British Waterways at Knottingley Yorkshire where she worked until 1989. Purton then went into private carrying with West Riding Canal Carriers until she was purchased on the Kennet and Avon Canal by the current owners in 1998, since when time a considerable amount of work has been carried out throughout the boat.

Purton was originally paired with butty Purley, one of 62 built by Walkers of Rickmansworth.


Crick stallwart Sculptor is maintained by Friends of the Canal Museum who will be at the Crick Boat Show to talk to visitors about the history of the boat and canal carrying.

A Small Northwich motor boat by W.J. Yarwood, Sculptor was built in 1935. It was registered on 5th May 1936 and its cabin was described as a dwelling to accommodate 'three persons or man, woman and two children'. It was paired with butty Toucan and delivered to the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company as part of a fleet of 12 pairs. Sculptor and Toucan began their cargo carrying days taking general goods from the Midlands to London.

NB SculptorSculptor was commissioned by the Ministry of War Transport department in 1943 to be used as a fire fighting facility based on the Grand Union Canal in Greenford, Middlesex. The alterations made to accommodate pumps are still evident on its hull.

After the end of the war Sculptor was returned to the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and in 1948, when the canals were nationalised, was passed to the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive's South Eastern Carrying Fleet where extensive work was carried out on the boat's bottom and keelson. Shortly after it became a maintenance boat for the Engineering Department at Northwich. Its engine was replaced in 1960 with a 2-cylinder air-cooled Lister HB2 diesel engine.

Sculptor retired from the maintenance fleet in 1985 and was restored at Ellesmere Port, returning to its Grand Union Canal Carrying Company black and red wartime livery. Since 1986 the boat has been located at the Canal Museum in Stoke Bruerne as a floating exhibit. In 2012 it was re-bottomed with a wooden hull and is now one of very few composite boats in existence. sets first-party and third-party cookies so we can monitor and improve the effectiveness of our website. You can control this using your browser settings.