Mooring up (foolproof method)

closing a lock on the canal

We know that there are a number of different ways to teach someone to moor up a narrowboat. If you already have perfect technique, then go ahead and use that. However, if you’ve never moored up a narrowboat before, this is pretty much a full proof method.


1. Approach the bank very slowly at a shallow angle of 30 degrees and aim to bring the boat to a complete stop as the bow touches the bank.  You can use a burst of reverse gear to stop the boat if you need to, then return the throttle to neutral.

2. To bring the back in, move the tiller arm towards the bank and give a 3 second burst of forward gear, before returning again to neutral.

3. Your crew member can then step off, holding the centre line to help bring the boat in.

4. If the boat is still moving under it’s own momentum, a short burst of reverse gear with the tiller arm out towards the canal will bring the boat to a halt.

Watch our video on how to moor a narrowboat

We are delighted that more and more narrowboat novices are enjoying the canals around Market Harborough. We are putting together a series of Beginner Guides to help you prepare for your holiday and find a few solutions to common problems en route.

It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Canal and River Trust’s Boaters’ Handbook before you arrive.


We offer all kinds of narrowboats, from Day Boats to Boutique Narrowboats and boats suitable for families. All our hires involve full training and we welcome complete beginners.