Reviews from 2016 season

“ Martin has provided tuition for us on two boats. The first was five years ago when my Partner and I bought a Viking 27. We were both new to boating. As a result of his training he enabled us to have subsequent years of confident enjoyable boating. We recently upgraded to a higher value twin engined cruiser. This was totally new to us, twin engines and a much bigger boat. After another day out with Martin we now feel confident and competent.

He has a very calm and reassuring style of teaching ,a great sense of humour and is great company! We would highly recommend him as an Instructor. ”

David Brown, March 2016

Reviews from 2011 season

“ My husband Ian has been a narrow-boater with a steerer's licence for much of his life. I, on the other hand am an utter, nutter nervous novice. Or was. We both required different levels of attention with our training, having just bought our first river boat - a Shetland 4+2. It's quite simple, we couldn't have asked for a better guru than Martin Thomas. A genius of a trainer, brilliantly skilled, with patience and beautiful wit that puts you at ease when you're uncomfy. I was, then I wasn't. I wouldn't just recommend Martin and MTBHS, I'd frankly advise it's pointless going anywhere other than the best. ”

Kate Braxton

“ Whilst I have significant previous experience of other boating, I found this course to be most useful. It was delivered efficiently and with professionalism by an instructor who both knew his boat handling and how to conduct the course in a relaxed and cheerful manner. I would unreservedly recommend Mid Thames Boat Handling School. ”

Philip Onslow. Principal Metropolitan Police Sailing Cub.

Reviews from 2010 season

“ Having been brought up on sailing boats and transferred to the dark side, Martin spent a half day with me and the family getting us more relaxed with the boat and understanding what we were doing. Martin's manner and approach were fantastic with the whole family and his instruction flexible and tailored to our needs. Following that introduction I then attended the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman Course on the school boat and was really impressed with Martin's style and relaxed but safe and confident approach.

Outstanding value for money only goes to ice the cake as far as I am concerned and I would thoroughly recommend Mid Thames Boat Handling School to anyone. ”

Andy Mace

“ We recently attended the Mid Thames Boating School’s Inland ICC & CEVNI course to supplement our Queensland Australia Boat Licences for the rivers & canals of France, where we have recently purchased a Cruiser. Having travelled from Australia for just a week to achieve the qualification, and for one other purpose, we were obviously keen to ensure we received the best level of training.

Martin provided us with a very cheerful, relaxed and competent environment, ensured that the bad habits that I had developed were dispatched forever and my wife’s confidence in boat handling etc was very quickly enhanced so that she too really enjoyed the 2 day course.

In addition the examination and test processes were handled in a very relaxed but fair fashion, with Martin quickly dispelling the nerves that had built up as a consequence of the preparatory study and the long trip from Australia only 4 days before. His training skills, manner and intelligence were second to none and we were very happy that we had selected him for the course from 3 others.

Shu Shu is a great vessel: comfortable, responsive and forgiving and, because she bears many characteristics of our own steel boat, we were delighted on arrival to realise that we would not be “out of our depth”.

Thank you Martin – your Training School IS the best. Thank you also for the time you put in in such a competent and professional manner, whilst at the same time lightening the experience with humour and intelligence ”

Adrian & Karen Banwell - Queensland, Australia

Reviews from 2009 season

“ This was a great introduction for us. We really enjoyed our day. Friendly, relaxed instruction at a pace to suit both of us which allowed us to progress quickly to a recognised qualification. We had loads of practice in essential boat handling skills, and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of the Thames site. We were planning to get the basics before hiring for a holiday, but after the introduction we went ahead and bought a boat! As new boat owners we were keen to return for another day to increase our confidence and skill. Our instruction at MTBHS gave us the confidence, practice and skills to relax and safely enjoy our new boat. ”

Paul Kelly & Marian Butler

“ We found the level of instructon excellent - finely tuned to the needs and (lack of) experience of our party. Well paced and calm, with plenty of time to repeat manouveres to build confidence.

A fantastic day out. Great insruction and hugely enjoyable. We have already recommended it to our friends. ”

Tim & Jo Lynn.

“ My day with Mid Thames Boat Handling School was approached with trepidation. However upon my arrival I felt quickly at ease, the instruction was professional and the boat handling was both exacting and enjoyable. Thank you for a great day and the invaluable input - not to mention the certificate - worth the journey from France!

Thank you again Martin - enjoyed the day immensely. ”

The above endorsement was from a student who took the International Certificate of Competence assessment and CEVNI with MTBHS. The student travelled from France in order to do so.

Some positive feedback from the 2008 season

“ Martin teaches with skill and experience, infinite patience and good humour..... above all he makes boating fun. We recommend him without hesitation ”

Kirsten & John Hesketh - Henley-on-Thames

“ We purchased our first small boat about four years ago, having had no previous boating experience. Last year we purchased a new, larger boat and decided we should seek some professional advice on handling the boat and locks etc.

We did a course in boat handling with the Mid Thames Boat Handling School. We were very impressed with the thoroughness and professionalism of the instruction from the basic skill of how to throw a rope, which had previously been very haphazard, to the handling and manoeuvring of the boat into and out of locks and moorings. As a result of the course we now feel confident and, indeed, more relaxed when taking our boat out on the river.

We would recommend any new boat owners to obtain instruction and would strongly recommend Mid Thames Boat Handling School's services. ”

Len & Ann Roberts - Wargrave