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Welcome to the HNBC

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Welcome to the HNBC

The Historic Narrow Boat Club was formed in 1966 and is a not-for-profit club dedicated to preserving the working heritage of UK canals, from the boats themselves to details of the waterways on which they travel.  We are passionate about working boats, traditional skills, the built heritage, and the practices and courtesies of the working boat people.

We are an active pressure group for navigational and waterway heritage interests and we welcome all who support our aims, whether boat owners or not.  By supporting the Club, you are helping to ensure that the UK’s canals retain their unique heritage value.

We hope you enjoy exploring this website.


CRT Council elections 13 November - 11 December 2015

Six good reasons to join us

  • Our quarterly newsletter, full of interesting articles.
  • Discount offers on boating equipment and services.
  • Access to the ever increasing wealth of information in our narrow boat register and archive.
  • Help and advice on historic craft maintenance through our members' forum
  • Small, sociable rallies.
  • Twice yearly members’ meetings – the AGM in March and the winter social in November, both with interesting speakers.

How to join

You can join us as an individual, joint or associate member.

Read more about how to join

Our NewsletterNewsletter cover

The Club's Newsletter is published quarterly. This is a high quality and lavishly illustrated colour publication with many fascinating features of interest to enthusiasts of historic boats.

Download "taster" Newsletter articles here. Back issues are available in limited quantities from the Club shop.

Why not join the club and get your copy hot off the press every quarter?

Find historic boats...

Boats are listed under their original company name. Detailed listings may be found by using the Historic Boats menu at the top of the page.

Please contact us if you have photos or more information - all contributions gratefully received.

Events   view all

Thu 3 December

Heritage Alliance are holding their annual Heritage Day on 3 December 2015. Further details on their website

Sat 12 December

Christmas market over the weekend as well.

Sat 9 January

Meeting at The Samuel Barlow at Alvecote, Robeys Lane, Tamworth B78 1AS

Sat 5 March

The Committee will meet at 10.00am at Lapworth Village Hall, Old Warwick Road, Lapworth B94 6LD, prior to the AGM.

Club shop

The Birmingham Canal Navigations 1950-1977, as seen through the lens of Philip Weaver


compiled by Mike Harrison

96 pages of photographs of the BCN taken by Philip Weaver, some in colour, some black and white. The photographs are grouped into colour-coded chapters, each with a beautiful hand-drawn map cross-referenced to the locations of the pictures.

£12.00 plus £1.50 p&p



Our Club Shop always has an range of interesting products available. As well as running a stall at various events through the year, we offer a mail order service. Please browse the various categories using the links below

Blank Cards  -  Christmas Cards  -  Clothing  -  Club plaques  -  Maps and books

Navigation issues

Has your boat been stuck on the waterways?  Too shallow, too narrow, too short, too low?

It is very difficult to predict where one boat will get through and another will stick, but there are some well known tricky areas, and we're keen to have up-to-date information so we can identify new problems as well as old restrictions that are getting worse.  Please tell us where you've been stuck, with plenty of detail - eg were you going up or down in a lock, did you stick in the middle?  Also whereabouts on your boat - eg the front bends, the engine'ole bulkhead, the skeg. Read our current list here.

Don't just sort it yourself - tell CRT (03030 40 40 40) so that the problem is logged and then let us know so we can chase it up.  Here is our pinchpoints form, or you can email  Many thanks.

Latest stories   view all

Heritage Alliance is a cross cultural organisation which unites 100 independent heritage organisations and acts as a powerful, effective and independent advocate for the movement. Heritage Alliance are holding their annual Heritage Day on 3 December - further details on their website

Have you received your voting login? Use your vote for an historic voice on the Council, VOTE PHIL!

The closing date for nominations for the club's Keay and Hemelryk Awards is 30 November 2015. Read about them here and send your entries to

Mike Carter (IWA Chester and Merseyside) appeals for historic boats to join the festival and writes: To mark the Leeds & Liverpool Canal's 200 year anniversary we are organising a big festival in Liverpool Eldonian Village on 10-12 June 2016.