Zoe training on Roelof Jan
I booked Bob to help me relocate my Dutch barge from the Thames at Hampton Court onto the canal network and up to Paddington Basin. I am a novice boater and the training and encouragement Bob gave me was absolutely invaluable. I trusted Bob with my precious boat completely, he is highly skilled, with so much good advice and knowledge - a safe pair of hands. He is also incredibly hard working and spent any spare time fixing things on the boat, re arranging and sorting my ropes and fenders, making me a washing line and much more. Having Bob on the boat took the pressure off me so that I could learn in an environment where I knew if I messed up Bob would be there to jump in and save me! But he also made it clear that I was the skipper and encouraged me to be in charge of my own boat giving me the confidence to do things myself. Bob is a natural teacher, calm and very patient. I feel lucky that I found him and I would recommend his services without hesitation to anyone who needed their boat relocated in the future (just make sure you have plenty of teabags on board!). Thank you Bob for all your hard work.
Daniel and Marta Take to the cut on Naoh's Ark
Where can we start... Bob was just great!
First of all, he accepted to take our boat down with a very short notice (I think we asked him on Sunday night, and he left on the followingTuesday morning!!). We received WhatsApp messages with pictures of the boat and updates on the trip a couple of times a day, every day! This was great, because it made us feel that our boat was being taken good care of and we knew exactly where it was moored for the night.
Bob even arrived one day earlier than expected, picked us up close to our flat, and came with us to look for a mooring, teaching us the basics of locks and steering as we went down the Regents Canal, as we were complete beginners! Seeing that we needed some more help, Bob offered us a day’s training for free!!!
He came back down to London the week after and taught us everything we needed to know to start our adventure.
We learned knots, how to use and throw a rope properly, how to steer and turn the boat and of course, how to go through locks and tunnels. We also learned a lot about our boat with some flashcards, and about the engine and how to empty the toilet (which is quite important!!), and much more! It was an amazing day, and we learned so much!
Thank you Bob, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Bob also left us his number, and has been helping us with the small everyday questions we have, which is great, as we do not yet know many other boaters! Thank you for all your advice on websites to visit etc.
We moved the boat on our own today and we felt really confident! Everything went well, and we even managed to squeeze in a tiny mooring space without hitting any other boats… :-)
Thank you so much again; I don’t know what we would have done without your training and advice!
Marta & Daniel Noah’s Ark" Cheers!
Bill Marsden and his daughter Zoe on her new Dutch Barge
When my daughter who works in London decided that paying a considerable sum in rent every month was not a particularly rewarding way of using hard earned money, so she bought a lovely little Dutch Barge and had her upgraded with a View to living aboard on the London Canal System. The barge was located at Hampton Court and needed to be
moved to the Canary Wharf area. Neither my daughter nor myself felt confident to undertake the cruise so after searching the internet we found Bob Stewart.
Before setting off Bob undertook a thorough check of engine, gearbox, oil levels etc. as well as a general check of the major boat components and thus we felt confident when setting off that we were in good hands. Overall we took three days to cruise down the Thames, onto the Grand Union and finally the Regents Canal through London, ending finally at Limehouse basin.
During the cruise Bob showed extremely impressive boat handling skills but more importantly he gave my daughter a very intensive course of training in all aspects of handling the boat, emergency procedures, troubleshooting etc. so by the time we reached our destination she had gained a degree of knowledge, experience and competence which I wouldn’t have thought possible. All the time during this Bob was cool, calm and thoroughly professional in everything he undertook. Although he was always watchful and alert he was also sensitive to other people’s feelings and conducted himself with good humour despite our lack of experience.
In getting to know Bob during the trip I also saw what a kind and caring person he is, not just to my daughter but in life generally, his charity work bears testimony to this.
I have written this testimony entirely voluntarily because I appreciated so much what we learned and achieved and how grateful we were for having had Bob as our skipper and mentor. If you ever need a similar experience or if you need basic or advanced training I have no hesitation in recommending and endorsing Bob Stewart. Likewise if you need to have your boat transported you can be assured she will be in safe hands whether you are on board or whether you leave it to Bob.
If you need to get in touch with me please do so, Bob can provide the necessary contact details.
Zoe's voyage to her new mooring
I couldn't have done it without Bob! I had to move my boat from Bath to Keynsham (I am an extremely inexperienced boater) We had to go through at least 8 locks, one of the locks is one of England's deepest all done with a boat who's steering wouldn't properly engage and a bit of a dodgy engine!
Part way down the river all of a sudden the engine stopped in midstream completely, so there we were just drifting down the river with nothing but some tape, some string and no tools and on the phone to various mechanics trying to get some assistance. We just drifting down the river untill we managed to get to the bank and moor up. It was beginning to get dark, and I jumped off to stretch my legs and have a packet of crisps. Next thing I knew Bob had miraculously gotten the engine up and running again, he had fixed it with the STRING!!!! He also managed to make the steering work better too, it was incredible! So the last part of our journey was underfoot and we managed to make it all the way there!
Delivering Keith and Christine's 71.5 ft narrowboat Octarine in time for Christmas
We are so greatful for A2B Boat's for delivering our new 71.5 ft narrow boat Octarine on Christmas eve despite having to put up with horrendous weather they still managed to deliver her on time. Thanks again Bob and Jade you're the tops. We will be talking to you about a training day when the weathers a bit better.
All the best
Keith and Christine on Octarine
Richard and Barbara take to the water on their training day
Bob we would like to thank you for a fantastic days training on a narrow boat. We started the day with virtually no knowledge about narrow boat cruising but by the end of the day we were well informed on all boating matters. We experienced steering, locks, turning, mooring, ropes, rules, regulations, safety and courtesy on the waterways. Bob covered everything one needs to know, his enthusiasm was fantastic, it was fun, interesting and we learned lots. All our new skills were put into practice under Bob's supervision. By the end of the day we both felt confident we would be able to take a narrow boat out safely and enjoy ourselves.
Thank you Bob for such a GREAT day!! If you are thinking of having some training then Bob is your man!! In our view he definitely deserves five stars.
Barbara & Richard
Steph & Dom take to the waterways
After buying a narrowboat we thought it was important to have proper training to understand our boat better and to ensure we’re safely navigating the waterways. We certainly received that and more from A2B training. We’ve not stopped talking about how much fun we had during our training to all our friends & family, we’ve learnt so much in a very hands on and engaging way. Bob was supportive and patient, letting us learn at our own pace and encouraging us to put our new skills to use right away. He answered all our questions and broke things down in a way that was easy for us to understand. We will be spreading the word about A2B when we’re out on the waterways! Thank you Bob, with your help we feel so much more confident and excited to get cruising! All the best Steph & Dom