Go Bellboating at Ackers Adventure

I’ve heard about Canoes and Kayaks, but bell boating… what’s a Bell Boat?

A bell boat is a twin hulled canoe joined by a platform. The paddlers sit in line in each hull facing forward, on the right side the paddlers paddle in coordination on the right only and on the left side the paddlers paddle on the left. Up to 10 Children (8 years old and above) or 8 Adults 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 bell boat?

Bell boats 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.

Bell Boats are great for the inexperienced…

Because of their inherent stability of bell boats 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?

All sessions are from 1.5 hours sessions to a full day tours

Tell me more about Educational Tours?

Normally we paddle from the Ackers Adventure 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 indsutrial 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 etc.

You may get involved with some fun and games as we paddle along where there will be a possibility of getting wet.

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 bell boat.

The qualification required is called ‘The Bell Boat 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.

Bell Boat 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.