Welcome to the Mid Thames Boat Handling School

The School was set up by Martin Thomas in 2009 to offer boat handling training. His aim was to offer an alternative School which offered a high level of personable training at competitive prices. Initially the School was affiliated to the RYA, delivering the Inland Waterways Helmsmans Course together with bespoke training. Over time it was realised that clients were not that concerned about receiving a Certificate, they wished to learn how to control their boat safely and with confidence. It also became apparent that more training was being delivered on clients own boats as opposed to the School boat.

In 2013 despite proving competitive and successful Martin made the decision to pull out of the RYA scheme and to sell the School boat. Training was now delivered solely on clients’ own boats from their moorings. Although outside of the RYA the School continued to deliver a similar course but was not confined to a specific time table, this enabled more time to concentrate more on the specifics of boat handling. Also as overheads were cut the saving was passed onto clients thereby offering further value for money.

This enabled us to provide training in a flexible style, not being under pressure to cover certain criteria which quite frankly were unnecessary. The school still delivers complete boat handling training to a high standard. Our instructors are still fully qualified, health & safety will still be of paramount importance (all instructors are First Aid trained and the necessary public liability insurance will still be in existence).

This has been proven to be an ideal service for boaters who are not concerned with receiving a Certificate but are concerned about receiving competent training at realistic prices.


The 2016 season has already started with a day course with returning clients on their new Jeanneau 34 Prestige at Windsor Marina.

With limited overheads I have managed to keep prices down again for this season. Please remember that the daily price is for all Students and not for each individual.

A Seamaster 813 cruiser