Learn about life afloat the easy way

Life on a narrowboat can be as peaceful as it is idyllic BUT you need to understand the pros, cons, highs, lows, and day to day logistics in living on England's inland waterways. Let me help you find out all you need to know before you commit to what could be a very expensive mistake.


Find out more

Archive

Category Archives for "Narrowboat Marinas"

Calcutt Boats Marina Review

Calcutt Boats Locks MarinaCalcutt Boats offer peaceful moorings in the heart of the country. The Locks Marina was opened in 1988 and covers approximately 4.5 acres, with moorings for a maximum of 100 narrowboats (room to water-ski – but please don’t!). Fully fendered piers of varying lengths are generously spaced so that each berth can be vacated without the need to move other boats. In 2006 the Meadows Marina opened with room for 140 more boats.

 

Calcutt Boats Marina Review


Roger and Rosemary Preen opened Calcutt Boats for business in 1973 offering fibreglass cruisers with outboard motors for hire. At the time, the business had no road access and very little in the way of facilities for their hirers.

Thirty seven years later the business is very different.

Calcutt Boats is accessed via a quiet B road off the A425 Southam to Daventry road at Napton On The Hill. A half mile long private lane leads to Calcutt Boats and adjoining Napton reservoir. The initial impression on entering the main gates is of space and tranquillity.To either side of the drive are three fields with SSSI status (Site of Scientific Importance) because of the density of wild grasses and flowers

Calcutt Boats Meadows Marina

The willow and birch lined drive swings left to the slipway and two marinas and straight ahead to reception, engineering workshop, wharf and hire fleet. Reception has a small chandlery and a summer only curiosity shop. The wharf provides diesel, gas, coal and pump out services for moorers and passing boat on the Grand Union canal. There is also an Elsan disposal point and a British Waterways water point above the lock.

The area around the wharf is a little untidy. There is a paint tent at one end that has seen better days and behind it a hill thick with nettles. The paint tent is soon to be refurbished and extended though and the hill is soon to be cleared of weeds and planted with wildflowers.

Behind the wharf are a range of storage buildings and sheds and the engineering workshop where there are a number of old engines and engine parts in full view. There is also a dilapidated vintage bus that doesn’t really belong in the wharf area.

The business offers a full range of services ranging from minor repairs to full builds. There is a permanent staff of engineers, a carpentry workshop, two covered double wet docks and two singles. There are full time painters and blackers but if you fancy a bit of DIY, you can hire a dock to do the work yourself

Behind the engineering workshop is the oldest of the two narrowboat berth areas on site, the Locks Marina. The Locks marina has spacious individual pontoon moorings for 120 boats set in four and a half acres and access to the slipway and Grand Union canal.

The left hand branch of the road from the main entrance passes the woodshedworkshop, paint tent and slipway before passing the south side of the Locks marina. Here there is the toilet block complete with laundry facilities, and a further pump out station and Elsan disposal point.

Calcutt Boats marina excavatorGiven that there has been so much thought and effort put into the landscaping of the site, the presence of three or four old and rusting JCBs plus a collection of smaller working plant next to the road and the main car park spoils the scenery a little. There are plans to move or remove the plant and screen the area more effectively though.

The road then winds around the steep grassed banks of the newish Meadows Marina opened in 2006 and is now home to a further 140 boats. The Meadows marina is even more spacious than the Locks marina. There is a landscaped island at its centre which is very popular with some of the sites many ducks, geese and swans.

Just over 7,700 trees were planted in 1995 to create two woodland areas. The thirty one species of trees and shrubs are now crossed with a network of footpaths much used by moorers and their dogs.

The business used to provide an on-site WiFi network but it wasn’t very effective. Moorers now rely on USB dongles for internet access. The 3 network service is quite effective around the marina. Mobile telephone signals are weak but are available.

Calcutt Boats Summary

The business provides tranquil moorings well away from noisy roads and railway lines in beautiful countryside and at a convenient point to access the canal network to the north and the south. Once the old machinery – and the bus – have been removed, Calcutt Boats will have a truly beautiful site.

Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

Blue Water Marina

We are a friendly, family run Marina and have a large selection of new & used Narrowboats for you to view on site.

Whether you’re a first time buyer or a seasoned sailor we may just have the right boat for you……Come and visit us to have a look!

{{{0}}}

 

Blue Water Marina

Blue Water Marina

[table id=116 /]

 

PR: wait… I: wait… L: wait… LD: wait… I: wait… wait… Rank: wait… Traffic: wait… Price: wait… C: wait…
Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

Brinklow Marina

Set among 44 acres of rolling Warwickshire countryside, Brinklow Marina offers a modern fully serviced mooring in a prime canal location. Relax and enjoy the carefully landscaped grounds in harmony with the stunning views, or cruise off and take advantage of the leafy North/South corridor that is the Oxford Canal.

{{{0}}}

Brinklow Marina

Brinklow Marina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[table id=115 /]

 

PR: wait… I: wait… L: wait… LD: wait… I: wait… wait… Rank: wait… Traffic: wait… Price: wait… C: wait…
Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

Beeston Marina

We are a family run business now in our second generation. We provide all the services and facilities you would expect from a long standing and well established marina.

We cater for over 100 moorers, both residential and visitors. Plus a mobile home park, for that idillic life by the river.

A well stocked Chandlery, staffed from 8.30am – 5pm, seven days a week.

The Nottingham Outboard Centre with our team of engineers ready for your service or a complete rebuild.

The Riverside Bar and the Boathouse Cafe for your entertainment and meals by the water.

We are a family run business now in our second generation. We provide all the services and facilities you would expect from a long standing and well established marina.

We cater for over 100 moorers, both residential and visitors. Plus a mobile home park, for that idillic life by the river.

A well stocked Chandlery, staffed from 8.30am – 5pm, seven days a week.

The Nottingham Outboard Centre with our team of engineers ready for your service or a complete rebuild.

The Riverside Bar and the Boathouse Cafe for your entertainment and meals by the water.

Beeston Marina

Beeston Marina

[table id=113 /]
Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

Roydon Marina Village

At Roydon Mill Marina our aim is to provide first-class facilities for boat owners at competitive rates in an attractive, welcoming and safe environment.

The quiet River Stort runs past watermills and country houses through some of the prettiest landscape in southern England. The river is a tributary of the River Lee and extends the navigation to Bishops Stortford, but the two waterways are very different.
The rural River Stort’s gentle, winding course has remained unaltered by the passage of time, unlike the Lee Navigation which has been straightened and shortened by generations of engineers. Just 14 miles long, the navigation is engagingly beautiful, with its scenic mills and maltings.

A river of many roles, the 28-mile Lee Navigation has served various transport, waste disposal, flood control, mill power and pleasure boating needs. Today, it’s the centrepiece of the Lee Valley Park – a green corridor full of activities for all the family, and the ideal weekend escape for the busy Londoner. With London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, the River looks set to become world famous as the thread that links several key venues. The secluded towpath is popular with cyclists and walkers, providing a relaxing green space hidden from the sprawl of London’s suburbs.

{{{0}}}

Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

York Marina

York Marina is based on the non tidal stretch of the river ouse just 4 miles south of the historic city of York. It is situated only a short distance from Naburn locks and serves both novice and experienced boaters equally well with many miles of safe scenic waterways – North to Ripon, and for the more adventurous the southern waterways and canal systems of the River Aire, Leeds-Liverpool Canal, Sheffield and South Yorkshire Canals, River Trent, Foss Dyke and Witham. The tidal Ouse will take you down the Humber, North Sea and beyond.

{{{0}}}

The marina is one of the largest inland marinas in the North of England and is situated in a stunning quiet rural environment. We have a great array of facilities on site for all your boating needs including sales and brokerage, boat yard services and a chandlery. Please use the navigation in the top right to find out more about the marina.

Why York Marina?

  • Over 300 safe and secure moorings – even during times of flood
  • Over a 150 hard standing spaces for the winter lay up period
  • 24 hour access 365 days a year
  • Family owned and run
  • Discounted services and products for annual berth holders
  • Organised trips for berth holders – Cruise in company
  • An excellent base for novices and experienced boaters alike
  • Continued investment in 1st class facilities
  • Great road access with the A64 5 minutes away and the M1 A1 link just 25 minutes away.
  • 10 minute taxi ride and 30 minutes by boat to York city centre with its excellent tourist attractions, great restaurants and night life – York designer outlet is just 5 minutes away.
  • ?250k toilet and shower facility with individual cubicles and under floor heating
York Marina

York Marina

[table id=111 /]

Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

Chirk Marina

Welcome to the website of Marine Services (Chirk) Ltd, we are a family run business operating two inland waterway marinas. Chirk Marina on the beautiful Llangollen Canal is situated in the middle of the 11 mile canal corridor granted World Heritage status by U.N.E.S.C.O. in July 2009, only the third site in Wales to achieve this status and putting it on an equal footing with such iconic structures as the Taj Mahal and Statue of Liberty.

At Chirk Marina we offer a wide range of boatyard services including moorings and boat sales. We are also excited to offer a prestigious new hire boat holiday fleet, Crest Narrowboats, who will be hiring out of Chirk Marina and our sister Marina at Festival Park from March 2010.

{{{0}}}

Festival Park Marina Etruria in the middle of the historic Potteries offers you no less a choice of history and dramatic scenery situated, as it is, on Brindley’s Trent & Mersey Canal. And again we offer a host of services from this ideally situated Marina.
Chirk Marina

Chirk Marina

[table id=108 /]
Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary

Saltford Marina

We are a small, family run, independent marina situated on a delightful stretch of the river Avon between Bath & Bristol. We offer long term moorings to both live aboard & non live aboard boaters. As a family run business we are able to offer friendly service with top quality facilities to all our customers. The village of Saltford offers 3 homely pubs, a village store and a post office. We are situated in a pretty valley between Bath and Bristol and access couldn’t be easier: the main A4 is only a 5 minute walk away with a frequent bus service to the main line train station at Bristol or Bath. The M4/M5 is only a 20 minute drive.

Live-aboard & Non Live-aboard Welcome

We have 85 moorings both on the river front & within the marina. The marina has a key only entry system & secure car parking for all our customers. We have a members boating club who organise many barbeques and other social events during the season.

For people living aboard we are able to offer a mail room facility.

Wide-beams, Narrowboats & Cruisers

Our fully serviced, versatile moorings can accommodate most sizes of boats up to around 72 foot with a beam of around 13 foot. (Sorry we don’t do metric!). The peaceful setting is a haven for wildlife allowing you to be closer to nature and enjoy the countryside from close quarters. We are lucky enough to have breeding pair of friendly swans in the marina.
Saltford Marina

Saltford Marina

[table id=107 /]
Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary
5

Debdale Wharf Marina

We are a family run business that has been operating at Debdale Wharf Since 1974. The narrowboat marina is set in 25 acres of quiet, secluded, rural countryside 25 minutes cruising from Foxton Locks, on the Leicester section of the Grand Union Canal with 14 miles of lock free cruising. The marina has grown over the years to its present size, and can now accommodate approx 150 berths on secure, straight, linear style staging made of galvanised steel. In addition to the water berths, we also have a large hardstanding area with electricity and water points nearby.

{{{0}}}

We offer marina moorings, in a linear style, for any size Narrow Boat, as well as all the usual immediate services of Electricity to all moorers i.e. Water points, Calor, Coal, Diesel, Pumpout facilities; we also have experienced engineers and joiners that can see to any servicing or maintenance issues. This can be anything from yearly engine services to full fit outs, as well as everything in between. We also specialise in electric propulsion.

We are very proud of our Blacking facilities. Our static gantry has the ability to lift and safely secure a boat to above head height in order for bases to be blacked. Boats are then lowered onto sleepers for the sides to be accessed comfortably. It is fallacy to say that boats’ bases are kept clean by scraping the bottom of the cut, pitting is a huge potential problem that can be kept in check with regular blacking thus lengthening the life of the base plate considerably. We can take the hard work away from owners and black boats during the week to suit their cruising schedules or alternatively DIY weekends can be booked. Grit blasting is available also.

Another recent addition is our hard standing area. This extensive area can offer electricity to those who need it to carry out work ashore. For those who are intending to carry out longer term fit out ashore, we can offer the hire of a container that would be alongside the boat and can act as a workshop. Hire of many useful tools is also available. We use a 40 tonne travel hoist that transports the boats safely to their hard standing spot. Some of our customers use our hard standing for winter storage, which enables them to carry out winter maintenance at their convenience. They then go back into the water for their summer cruising.

And it doesn’t stop there! We are currently in the process of constructing a new building that will enable boats to come undercover for blacking, painting and/or maintenance work. We hope to have this facility up and running for next year.

Debdale Wharf Marina

Debdale Wharf Marina

[table id=106 /]

Debdale Wharf Marina Review

Kylie the narrowboat mover at Debdale Wharf

Kylie the narrowboat mover at Debdale Wharf

I visited Debdale Wharf marina a month ago now. I should have written this review while it was still fresh in my mind. I thought I had time. I visited owner Nick Goode seven days before I was due to go on holiday for a fortnight. Unfortunately I had a problem with my visa which I only managed to resolve at the eleventh hour (actually, 24 hours before the flight) I wasn’t able to add this information to the site. I’ll do my best though.

I arranged to visit the marina after two very positive comments (below) by site subscribers. I asked Alan who made the initial comment to talk to Nicky to see if she was interested in spending an hour or so with me to show me the site. Nicky was interested and she was incredibly helpful from the moment I arrived.

The marina is located about 10 miles south east of Leicester on the Leicester section of the Grand Union canal roughly half an hour’s cruise from Foxton Locks. There are several ways to reach the marina by road but the most direct route, and the one I took, is via the busy A6 running from Leicester to Market Harborough.

As soon as you turn off the A6, you are on a single track gated road. I liked this. Getting in and out of the car to open and close three of four gates before reaching the marina can be viewed as a bit of a pain. However, I always think of gated roads as very rural, peaceful and quiet. The road helped to separate me mentally from the busy A6 so by the time I reached the marina I was in a very good frame of mind.

Nicky Goode enhanced that feeling. She gives the impression of a very kind, caring and accommodating marina owner. After a chat and a leisurely cup of coffee she gave me a guided tour of the site.

I have to say, if you are looking for a mooring based purely on aesthetics, Debdale Wharf probably isn’t for you. There are acres and acres of hardstanding adjacent to the marina. There are dozens of boats stored on the original hardstanding and a huge open space that has been developed to accommodate more boats. The storage is popular with boat owners who cruise infrequently and who want a cheaper option than in-the-water moornings. The hardstanding is also available for boat owners who want to work on their boats while it is out of the water.

There’s space at Debdale Wharf for up to 150 boats but the moorings are very close together. You need to do a bit of shoehorning to squeeze your boat in and probably need a little co-operation from your neighbour.

Linear moorings are close together

Linear moorings are close together

That’s the negatives out of the way. On a positive note, and my feelings where overwhelmingly positive about the marina, the facilities here are second to none. There’s a full time professional and highly respected painter on site, expert marine engineers and a highly skilled carpenter. Without exception, every member of staff I met here was extremely friendly. This is a very important consideration if you expect to spend extended periods on your mooring. Miserable marina staff can be a real pain in the neck.

If you like doing your own alterations and maintenance, the site has all the facilities you could ask for. You can work on you boat out of the water on the hardstanding or in the water in an area away from other moorings so you can hammer and saw away to your heart’s content. And once you’ve finished with your repairs and maintenance, you can black your own boat too.

Inside the working boat

Inside the working boat

Of course if you want to leave all the hard work to the professionals, they’ll be more than glad to help. Debdale Wharf don’t fit out many boats but they had one under cover that they’ve been working on for the last twelve months. It’s an old working boat on the outside and a super luxurious floating home with superb quality woodwork on the inside. True craftsmanship.

I said that the moorings are close together. They are. But the residential moorings, although still very close together, have a very tranquil feel about them. The marina landscaping was done by Mike Goode’s father forty years ago. The landscaping has matured now and has been further enhanced by nature loving moorers. There are bird feeders, and consequently birds, everywhere. Even though the marina isn’t the prettiest on the world, it may well be the friendliest. So if you like the sound of a really friendly marina with more facilities than you can shake a stick at, you need to pay Nicky and Mike Goode a visit. Be warned though, moorings are secured by invitation only. If Nicky doesn’t think you’ll get on with the rest of the moorers, you don’t stand a chance!

The tranquil residential corner of the marina

The tranquil residential corner of the marina

 

 

Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary
1 2 3 12