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Your Helmsman, Boat Mover, Steerage, and Boating Coach

Dated 9 November 2021

Giles, Your Helmsman.
Picture of Giles Williams

I’m Giles Williams, a boat mover and boating instructor.

If you can't move a boat on the waterways yourself, I can do that for you.




I promise a safe, swift, professional move for a fixed, low price.

I've logged thousands of hours moving narrowboats, smaller boats and larger widebeams, river boats and vintage boats, on rivers and canals all across Great Britain, often to a tight schedule.

Here are some recent testimonials.


Contact me today to discuss your boating needs.

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I love moving boats on the UK's canals and rivers, It's why I became a boat mover. I take my craft very seriously, and I take great pride in manoeuvring boats with accuracy and skill. I'm a firm believer in continuously improving my skills and abilities too. I'm in the process of becoming and Inland Waterways Helmsmanship Certificate Instructor, and have recently acquire my VHF short range radio certificate so that I can navigate waterways where a VHF radio is required. My business is moving your boat, but it's also my passion. I hope I can help wou with a truly professional move for your boat. If you use my trip planning page it will produce a quick estimate of the days needed to move your boat. I charge per day so each boat move is calculated on that basis. You can find other boat movers. But in my experience I doubt you'll find one as well reviewed, committed and professional as I am. Thank you for reading this. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Steerage is the technical term of Boat Moving.
An extremely professional and pleasant service from my first enquiry up to the arrival of the boat at the final destination. Giles moved our 45 foot narrowboat from the river Wey to North of Banbury over a 10 day period. All aspects of the journey were well planned in advance and detailed route itinerary provided. I took the opportunity to travel with him in order to assist (where I could), become fully familiar with my new purchase and benefit from his tuition. I ended the trip with enhanced confidence in boat handling, operating various styles of lock, rope work and other aspects of operating a narrowboat. I highly recommend Giles / Your Helmsman for any boat moves or training you may have.
Giles was the true professional from start to finish. All stages were well planned and explained meticulously. Contact was above and beyond expectation and any problem that occurred was dealt with in a similar fashion. Very reasonable rates given the responsibility involved. I would thoroughly recommend ‘ Your Helmsman ‘ for any boat move. Thank you Giles from a very satisfied and happy customer.
Most boats move at around 3 lockmiles* per hour. My working day is around 7 hours long (including mandatory breaks), so I work on moving 21 lockmiles* per day. This is the basis for the estimated number of days for a move given here. *A lockmile is a mile of canal or a lock. So a 3 mile stretch of canal with 2 locks, is 5 lockmiles. Are you qualified and insured? Yes. In addition to my considerable experience, I have been certified as an Inland Waterways Helm & Crew Instructor by the RYA and have passed through the Canal & River Trust's volunteer skipper training, I also hold the CEVNI and ICC international qualifications. You can look over some of my various qualifications here. As a business skipper, I hold public liability insurance to the value of two million pounds against any unforeseen accidents. Will you fix my boat? No. I will maintain your boat according to your instructions during its move, but I will not attempt any engine or other repairs. If I think your boat is not fit to move, I cannot move it. Can you tow my boat? No. I don't use my own boat for towing, nor can I use someone elses unless the boat is specifically insured for towing.
Giles moved my narrowboat for me when I was laid up and couldn't reach it. His professional move was very, very much appreciated.

It’s been a strange and difficult year for everybody. But Your Helmsman has achieved a few goals, even given the treacherous shoals we’ve been navigating.

The raw numbers show that I’ve only navigated about 700 lock miles, which is a long way down from last year. But that includes completing a few navigations this year that have been on my bucket list for a while, particularly the Gloucester and Sharpness canal, the whole of the non-tidal River Severn, the River Avon, sections of the tidal Thames and all the Worcester and Birmingham canal.
In addition I’ve gained my VHF short-range radio operator certificate (and made my first calls), and added the Inland Waterways Helmsman Instructor qualification to my resumé.
I won’t be offering RYA certified courses just yet, but it has enhanced and informed my coaching skills and I expect to be doing more of this in the future.

Now we’re entering the quiet time of the Winter closures. I hope to see more of you next year as we enter a vaccinated, R-value controlled New Year.

Happy Holidays to everyone celebrating them!