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About the Club


The Club was formed at the 1966 Inland Waterways Association (IWA) National Rally of Boats at Marple, and is one of the oldest inland waterway boat clubs.  Originally called the Narrow Boat Owners Club (NBOC), in 1989 it added Historic to its official name.  In 2012 the name changed again, to Historic Narrow Boat Club.  We are a national boat club, dedicated to preserving the working heritage of our canal system, from the boats themselves to details of the waterways on which they travel.


The shape of the Club's logo reminds us of the water on which we all depend.  Water supply, depth and navigability have always been fundamental issues throughout the Club's existence.


Traditional cargo-carrying narrow boats are the largest craft designed for the narrow canal network and are often the first to pinpoint navigation problems relating to draft or beam.  As an active pressure group for navigational and heritage interests, we draw attention to these issues so that maintenance can be carried out before the situation worsens to the detriment of all - boaters, anglers or other users. 

Boat gathering at Ellesmere Port


If you would like to see historic boats on display, take a look at our calendar to see when events are being held - they may not be organised by us, but our members take their boats to many of them.

We also organise our own events which are generally free to enter, and we welcome boaters and non-boaters alike.

Come along and chat - we love talking about our boats!

Our database of existing narrow boats

We have an extensive archive of details about historic narrow boats, and we are always pleased to add more information.  If you have some research that you would like to add, or are seeking help about a boat, please get in touch with our Archivist on the contact link at the foot of the page, we'd be delighted to hear from you.

Fund raising and donations to good causes

Every other year when we organise an HNBC gathering of members and their boats, we have fun with a Tat Auction to raise funds for waterway good causes. We do not give grants to individual boats, but we do donate to causes such as the David Suchet Appeal of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust for their campaign to re-open the L&H Canal, to the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, to IWA Chester to help with their River Dee campaign, to the IWA's Inglesham Lock appeal and to the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG).