Training Courses


Canal Boat Training Courses

Alvechurch can offer in conjunction with Tillerfolk training an intensive one-day course or a residential two-day course, both of which are based on practical learning aboard one of our quality hire boats.

Why do I need a RYA Inland waterways training Course?


helmsman training on the canals with a RYA instructor

It is true the basic skills of canal-boating are very quickly learned - the firstĀ  timer can set off confident that our handover team have given them all the help and instruction they will need to have a truly enjoyable holiday. But there are those, perhaps with a duty of care to their crew, who will feel more comfortable and confident in the knowledge that they have studied for the inland waterways certificate.

Equally the course is suited to those experienced boaters who would like to obtain the internationally recognised qualification from the Royal Yachting Association. For those whose aim is to cruise on the continental waterways this course forms the practical element of the international certificate of competence. Successful completion of a written test on the "CEVNI" regulations allows application for this document. Further details are available on request.

About the course

The skills of the working boatmen may have taken a life-time to acquire but our practical courses will teach you many tricks of the trade in just one or two days. The Royal Yachting Association's Inland Waterways Helmsmen's Certificate covers all aspects of canal and river navigation including boat handling, the passage of locks and tunnels as well as general safety afloat.

Instruction begins at 10am when you meet up at Alvechurch with your Tillerfolk training instructorBob Strachan. There is a maximum of 3 people per course so you can be sure of individual attention. Tuition and assessment will normally be completed by 5.00pm.

The two day course will offer the opportunity to spend a night aboard the boat. The course fee includes accommodation (based on sharing twin cabins) and light refreshments, but not main meals. These will be taken at canal-side hostelries.

Full details at