Boating essentials

Being a boating beginner may seem daunting but everyone has to start somewhere! You can learn all about the essentials of boating on the Broads on this page.

Please watch our new series of 'Boating Essentials' animations below, which cover everything you will need to know to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit to the Broads. Captions are available on all videos and links for further reading can be found in the description of each video.

We would also advise you to look at our Safety section on our website, pick up a copy of Broadcaster and read our top 10 boating tips below for more information.

If you are a boatyard or holiday provider and would like to use the videos to help your customers, please email our Communications Team and we will send you a downloadable copy.

Broads Boating Essentials video guides

Part one - Preparing for your holiday

Part two - Staying safe

Part three - Man overboard

Part four - Mooring up

Part five - Navigating bridges

Part six - Crossing Breydon Water

Part seven - Ropes and knots

Part eight - Paddlesports

Part nine - Dealing with accidents

Top 10 boating tips

  1. Read your skipper's manual - if you're on a holiday cruiser, your boatyard should supply one on board.
  2. Always wear your buoyancy aid when you are on deck, getting on and off, or tying up your boat. You can also buy one for your dog! Step ashore, never jump.
  3. Keep an eye on everyone on board at all times (especially small children).
  4. Plan your journey before setting out by checking navigation maps and tide tables.
  5. Always have your ropes ready and drive into the flow of water when mooring up.
  6. Mind your head at all bridges, and remember to check clearance in advance of your trip.
  7. Don't swim in the rivers and broads, there are lots of hidden dangers that can put you and others at risk.
  8. Don't drink and drive on the water.
  9. Take care with barbecues and only use them in permitted areas, not on your boat!
  10. Stick to the speed limits and check your wash (the waves made by your boat).