Why Choose Willow Wren Training?

The majority of our business comes from repeat and referral business not from clever marketing or expensive advertising. Many of our customers come back again and again. So why do our customers choose us in the first place and why do they come back or recommend us to friends or relations and often complete strangers?

  • We have been training boaters for 25 years. To be in the buisness this long we must be doing something right.
  • The Customer always comes first. We are here for your benefit not for ours.
  • We do everything at 100%. As more than one customer has said, "You don't cut any corners".
  • When customers ask why we always go the extra mile we say "It's what we do".
  • We are a family business who cares about customer service.
  • Our instructors are all professional trainers and are hand picked. They are also really nice, friendly people.
  • Nelson's Wharf is owned by us and is a delightful setting to visit.
  • We have our own private car park next to the wharf, no public car parks or long walks.
  • The dedicated training centre is modern and comfortable.
  • FREE use of lifejackets for all training when required.
  • For shore based courses, the training centre is spacious, heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer.
  • There are FREE biscuits on arrival, with FREE tea, coffee and bottled water throughout the day.
  • Our training centre seating is top quality and very comfortable. No hard plastic chairs here.
  • There are no booking forms to complete. We do it all for you by telephone and/or email.
  • We take credit/debit card payment over the telephone. No need for cheques unless you prefer to pay that way.
  • All confirmation paperwork is sent out by email or by post if you prefer.
  • There is FREE overnight mooring for customers' boats.
  • There is FREE overnight parking for caravans and motor homes.
  • There is FREE camping for tents and trailer tents.
  • Willow Wren Training regularly feature in boating magazines especially showing professional boating advice.

Course Specific Benefits
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  • Our main training boat Peggy was designed by us specifically for training and was built by one of the best boat builders.
  • We meet you in the comfort of the training centre before your handling course.
  • The morning briefing is short so we can get boating as early as possible.
  • We use specially designed training aids and techniques.
  • Our training boats are not liveaboard boats. They are clutter free and fit for purpose.
  • We have our own private canal arm for steering practise.
  • Our training area is broad canal to start with and tighter narrow canal later.
  • We have maximum three delegates per RYA Helmsman course.
  • Each delegate will steer through at least one lock up and one down.
  • We don't spend all day operating locks.
  • We have access to open water during the course for realistic "man over board" practise and wind handling.
  • If you aren't successful on the RYA Helmsman course we will agree an action plan and bring you back in an economical way.
  • The RYA Inland Waterways Handbook is provided FREE with all courses including our own Experience Course.
  • We have three engines to practise with. One sectioned, one typical of a narrowboat and one typical of a yacht on-board engine.
  • You use real tools to take off and refit real components.
  • We have loads of diesel engine component parts for you to see and feel.
  • You will given a FREE RYA Course Book.
  • We use modern VHF DSC practise radios. No computer screens here.
  • Each delegate has their own radio for the day. No sharing.
  • Tests are carried out professionally by independent SRC Assessors.
  • The RYA VHF Handbook is sent out to you by post along with pre-course learning well before your course date.
  • We rarely have more than six delegates on the course.
  • We use a practise Automatic External Defibrillator as part of the course.
  • We have lots of learning tools including manikins and choking simulator.
  • The course comes with a FREE RYA First Aid Manual.
  • We use a modern, gas powered, professional fire simulator. No open burning diesel or petrol here.
  • Every delegate gets to use Dry Powder, CO2 and Foam extinguishers.
  • We have lots of open space to practice rope coiling and throwing.
  • We have FREE life jackets to practice with. We don't charge extra and you don't have to bring your own, but you can if you want.
  • The Fire Safety and Personal Survival, (Water Safety), is carried out in one day.

There are no hidden charges with any of our courses. Free coffee, tea and biscuits. All training books are provided. Any necessary kit, including lifejackets are provided free of charge. We only ask you to bring your own lunch so your personal eating desires are satisfied.