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Boat Mover Qualifications, Reviews and Testimonials

Testimonials & Qualifications.
Updated 9 November 2021


Recent Testimonials:
(client email addresses available on application.)

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.

-- Dan E.

I couldn’t have wished for anybody more suitable for the 3 week long move of my trad narrowboat than Giles. Not only is he very approachable, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about all things boating, he has a meticulous eye for details and his keen observations throughout the move were greatly appreciated. All specifics of the move were clearly documented and planned, and at a very competitive price for the distance - fair more reassuring for me than arranging craning and haulage.

I really appreciated Giles’ professionalism and support with the various range of questions that I, as a new boater, threw at him along the way. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recommend the ‘Your Helmsman’ service to anyone in need of a boat move, large or small!

-- Ben S.

Giles’ communication was impeccable from pre to post move. He made us both feel that the boat was in safe hands & didn’t want to do anything we felt uncomfortable with. He even took very good care of our cat.

Giles went above and beyond, was professional and polite, and extremely low maintenance. Thank you and the best wishes for the future. T&Y.

-- Tee G.

Giles was professional and incredibly friendly. Would highly recommend him and will be using him again.

-- Liz N.

Qualifications:

After several decades as a leisure boater, a few years ago I began helming boats as a volunteer for the Canal & River Trust and this experience led me into directly offering my skills as a boat mover.

In the last two years I logged over nine hundred hours at the helm of a great variety of boats on both rivers and canals.

I'm a licensed VHF short range radio operator, for those navigations that require one.

I'm licensed by the Canal & River Trust to move boats using trade plates (useful, if your boat is currently on another waterway authority or is, as yet, unlicensed.)

I carry two million pounds worth of Public Liability Insurance through Mercia Marine.

"I consider it important to always be learning; that means cementing the experience I've gained with appropriate qualifications."


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!