In general terms the vast majority of the population know very little about Canal Boats and Canal Boating which we’ve found in turn leads to scepticism. The old stigma relating it to ‘Rosie & Jim’ still resides and many people feel it is a past time for the retired. This scepticism and stigma is quite often seen as a positive by the boating community, as it helps keep Canal Boating a well-kept secret, something many Canal Boaters are passionate about keeping this way!
In reality Canal Boating is a wonderful way of life which accommodates country, village, town and city living. Canal boating provides freedom, flexibility and escapism and promotes a much slower, peaceful way of life. Canal boating offers a sanctuary from the ‘rat race’ of today, a perfect environment to break away from the rigours of day to day life.
As an activity Canal Boating is very sociable and promotes team work making it perfect for couples, families and friends. Whether you are operating a lock or moored up at night you will find many opportunities to meet people and share boating experiences. Pet lovers will be pleased to know a large percentage of the boaters are both cat and/or dog owners.
Canal boating offers access to a huge range of activities from walking, biking, photography, fishing, BBQ’s, pubs, restaurants and café’s; not to mention all the activities towns and cities offer such as shopping, eating out, cinemas, bowling, museums naming just a few!
There could not be a more convenient way of capturing nature and of landscapes close up. How many people at first light in spring can open their side doors and at arm’s length be feeding ducklings or cygnets, and from a glance ahead see lambs, calves and foals alike? Boating throughout the season offers the most fantastic takes on our UK landscapes with snow, frost, mist, dew, sunrise and sunsets giving some truly breathtaking moments.
Canal boating offers a truly unique self-sufficient form of travelling. Water and gas are stored on-board facilitating showers, baths washing and cooking. Canal boats self-generate both power and hot water, through running the engine. Equipment provisions for on board 230v power generation is common. Heating on the whole is created from solid fuel stoves (coal/wood fires). Toilets come in either 'Cassette' form which require manually emptying or as 'Pump Out' toilets which can be mechanically pumped out at well marked sanitary stations or marina
The Canal & River Trust (formerly known as British Waterways) manage and maintain the majority of the UK canal & river network. Boat owners are required to purchase a CRT Licence (equivalent to Car Road Tax). A proportion of the CRT licence fee finances a huge network of water points, refuse points, toilets and showers which in essence facilitate our Canal Boat travelling.
Many people love the idea of Canal Boating, especially residentially. Unfortunately, we believe due to a lack of reassurance and confidence, only a small proportion of these people take the idea through to realisation. Reassuringly our experience leads us to believe the vast majority of ‘Newbie’ Boaters (especially residential) go on to firmly stand by their decision. The Fit Out Pontoon’s aim is to provide this reassurance and confidence along with advice and guidance to those that seek it.