Pilots: For The Wash, speak to Daryl Hill on 07909 880071 well before you want to travel for advice and to make a booking. He handles trips in either direction and also to and from Denver on the Great Ouse. He prefers to take two boats so you may have to juggle dates a little. Gloucester Pilots are responsible for the Severn Estuary and have an informative website ( gloucesterpilots.co.uk). Contact them on 07774 226143, again 7-10 days before you hope to go. You will have to fit in around commercial traffic bookings. One pilot – one boat is the usual rule and evidence of clean fuel is necessary. Costs: Budget around £ 200 for a pilot plus, on the Severn, that £ 22 layover fee at Portishead and mooring fees at Bristol (three nights was £79 but it’s a great city to visit). Insurance: You will need to extend your cover - we paid about £ 30 per trip. Bookings: All bookings of locks, bridges, moorings is done by the boater. Contact Wisbech Yacht Harbour 01945 588 059, Boston Grand Sluice Lock 07712 010920, Sharpness Dock 01453 511968, Portishead Quays Marina 01275 841941, Bristol Harbour 0117 927 3633.