What is Bargecraft...

Bargecraft boat school is an accredited Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognised Training Centre offering RYA courses for the Inland Waterways Helmsman or Crew accreditation and the subsequent International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

We are uniquely positioned on the inland waterways in the South West of France on the UNESCO world heritage site of the Canal du Midi.  Perfect for experiencing a two day training cruise as a taster to an idyllic life afloat cruising the beautiful inland waterways of Europe, whilst earning your respective qualifications. Our English spoken training courses mean you don't have to worry about any language barriers whilst taking your particular RYA training course or assessment.

Ecluse L'Évêque near Carcassonne

Using a modern and fully equipped 21 metre Dutch barge called ‘Somewhere’ (pictured) our boat school usually operates from the port at Castelnaudary – the home of ‘cassoulet’ – to the summit of Paul Riquet's 350 year old Canal du Midi at Seuil de Narouze, near its source reservoirs, before returning to port in time to savour the delights of the town’s celebrated dish.

As well as being a boat school, ‘Somewhere’ is our year round home, so of course we’ll make sure you are good!  Alternatively, if you prefer to use your own boat for training, as long as it meets the required RYA standards in terms of equipment, safety and insurance, then we would be happy to come to you. Don't worry if your own boat is smaller (or larger) than our 21 metres as the principles of seamanship are just the same.

All instruction is currently based on the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman's and Crew courses syllabus, reflecting the usual high standards of RYA training.  Naturally, we will cover the requirements of the International Certificate of Competence and CEVNI (Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Intérieure), giving you the confidence, ability and accreditation to really enjoy your cruising on the inland waterways of Europe, particularly the Canal du Midi.

For those with larger barges, we are now able to offer the l’Extension Grande Plaisance (EGP) with English speaking instructors through our collaboration with ENAM boat school.

If you are not sure what qualification you will need please visit our 'Licences' page for an explanation of the boating regulations.

To provide you with a further taster for boating in France and experience the Canal du Midi in full, our boat school also offers students the rare opportunity of staying onboard a dutch barge in our guest double cabin with en suite facilities, allowing them to fully appreciate boating on these beautiful inland waterways (and to complete any outstanding homework...), please see further details on our accommodation page.

For those taking up this opportunity to stay aboard, and unlike most other schools, our tuition doesn't stop at the end of what one might call a working day. We don't just go home and forget about you until the following morning, we're at your disposal throughout your stay, including the evenings.

You may want to expand on anything covered during the course itself or the finer aspects of life afloat, particularly in France.

Our 'ships dogs', Rosie and Jim are waiting to welcome you aboard....

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As a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognised training centre, we offer the Inland Waterways Helmsman's Course and Crew Course. Additionally, we can offer CEVNI examination and Assessment for the International Certificate of Competence.

ICC Information

Find out everything you need to know about The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) - your European boating certificate.


See the feedback we have received on our courses and our staff.

Next Steps...

Please do get in touch if we can help in any way...