Bell boating

To find out more about bellboat sessions and request a booking please email;

Description of the discipline

Bell boats are a 9 metre long, 1.4 metre wide, plastic moulded, twin hulled craft. Each one can seat up to 12 children or 8 large adults. Single bladed paddles are used with the helm using a steering oar. The boats are very stable and the central deck enables participants to change places, play games and sing songs, Etc. Teamwork is very important in order to make progress up and down the lake. Where the participants are young, we usually have at least two adults included in the crew in order to be able to get back to the start by the clubhouse. When conditions permit, we will also beach the boats on the sandbank and play games that involve running around the boats and getting very wet!
Some of the more mature members, and some less mature but older, have also used our Bell boat to complete the great river race on the river Thames so they can be used by all…

Who can participate?

Everyone!! The youngest group that we have are the Beaver Scouts whose age range is 6 to 8 years old. The oldest we have had are over 70 years old! We have also run lots of sessions for disabled and blind groups over the years. It is also a very good lead in and training for new Dragon Boat and Outrigger Canoe group members. This has proved over the past 14 years or so, to be a very popular activity, especially with younger members of various youth groups. It is not rare for the number of participants to reach over 500 during our “season”, April to September.

What are training sessions like?

Fun and Wet!!! Sessions start with getting kitted up and a safety briefing is then given by the helms. Once on the water and in the boats we do some technique training before heading out to the “bay” for some games like “tug of war”. The groups then head off up the lake via the islands where more games, singing and action takes place. A visit to the Perseus statue at the top of the lake where a short history quiz and brief break gives the paddlers time to recover from their mile long paddle. If time permits, a visit to the old boathouse tunnels along with more history lessons about Trentham can be included. Near to the end, we usually have a race back to the jetty with the winning boat being allowed to “toast” the losers with Trentham Champagne! Needless to say, whenever the boats come within range of each other, much water is exchanged! Once safely docked, the paddlers exit the boats and head for the clubhouse to remove all the wet kit and take advantage of the hot showers that are available.