Bellboating

I’ve heard about canoes and kayaks, but bellboating… what’s a bellboat?

A bellboat is a twin hulled canoe joined by a platform. The paddlers sit in line in each hull facing forward. Up to 10 participants can enjoy this fantastic fun experience in one boat! To add to the excitement we currently have 3 boats, this can have added bonuses of fun, rivalry, challenge and competition. Our instructors will take up the helm position at the back. Although each person will be supplied with a buoyancy aid and it is not a necessity to be able to swim, but we strongly advise that you should be confident in and around water.

Why use a bellboat?

Bellboats were designed to take away as much fear as possible whilst still taking part in active water sports. Due to the nature of the design and the numbers of people that can take part at the same time in the same boat a great feelings of camaraderie, working together as a team to a common goal and conscious cooperation. As such it works well as a starting point for the introduction of paddle sports and a great learning platform.

Bellboats are great for the inexperienced…

Because of their inherent stability of bellboats and the number of people they can take on board the boats can move a good pace with everyone powering together. This makes them ideal for the young and inexperienced, those that have never been afloat on water before in this type of craft, people with special needs, or any social, private, party group, school group or youth groups general.

Where can we go?

Travel along Grand Union Canal towards either Birmingham City Centre (3 miles) or London (110 miles).

How long do sessions last?

Each individual session lasts 1.5 hours. If requested we can run Educational Tours.

Tell me more about Educational Tours?

Tours start in our on-site canal basin and then travel along the Grand Union Canal. Our instructors will teach you how to paddle efficiently as team. On the way we will point out natural, environmental, historical and industrial points of special interest:

  • About the history of canals and the Grand Union Canal in particular
  • Where the route of the canal including where it starts and finishes
  • Why, where and when and it was built
  • Why it goes through Birmingham
  • What does it pass along its way
  • Birmingham indstrial heritage
  • Explanations of the canal environment, wildlife in the water and on the banks

Taking the helm…

Before you can take the helm (take full responsibility for the boat and it’s occupants) you have to pass a qualification regarded as essential to ensure the safety of everyone aboard a bellboat.

The qualification required is called ‘The Bellboat Helm Course’ which you can complete and pass here at Ackers Adventure. From scratch this will take two days including a basic first aid certificate.

Bellboat Helms need to be members of the Birtish Canoe Union (BCU).

What do I need on the day?

  • Complete change of clothing
  • Towel
  • Personal medication
  • Packed lunch, snacks, drinks as appropriate for the period of the course.
  • Weather related items such as sun hats, sun cream, waterproofs gloves if the weather is inclement.