Welcome to All-Aboard Watersports

* COVID-19 Update: Our changing rooms, kitchen, lockers, waterproofs and wetsuits aren’t available at the moment, so please arrive ready and eager! 🙂 Please see our main page for further details!

We hope that this document will provide all the information needed by all groups using All-Aboard Watersports activities, facilities and equipment.

If you do need any additional information, please send an email to [email protected]

This FAQ consists of three sections, which are:

Information about booking, including costs and age limits

Information about your session, including medical conditions and what to wear

Information about All-Aboard, including getting here and parking

Information about booking

How much does a session cost?

Our planned activities are listed on our website and are priced individually.

If you make a group or bespoke booking, then you will be informed of the cost at the time of your first communication with us.

All-Aboard Watersports is a charity and we do not aim to make a profit. The money we charge for sessions covers our costs, which include Instructors time, insurance and fees, vessel maintenance.

As a charity our aim is to support people on to the water who may not usually get the opportunity, such as those with disabilities, the elderly and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In order to do this, we reinvest any profit that we do make to support the continuation of these sessions; we also apply for funding from different sources to support our aims.

How do I pay for my session?

Most of our sessions can be paid for online when you book via our website.

Cash payments can be accepted. You must make payment prior to session commencing at the Admin Office during office hours of Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm

Schools and groups will be invoiced directly.

What happens if my session is cancelled?

Watersports are weather dependent and sessions may be cancelled at short notice at the discretion of the Activities Coordinator; we will endeavour to re-book you on an alternate day or different activity.

Are there age limits?

Our minimum age across all watersports is eight (8) years old.  There is no upper age limit.  We do offer some age specific sessions i.e. 50+ sessions, this will be stated in the activity description.

Information about your session

What do I do if I am going to be late?

We have all experienced unexpected delays getting somewhere so please don’t worry about it. Please get to the centre safely and if appropriate, please email us on [email protected] or phone us on 0117 929 0801.

We will do our best to integrate you into the session as seamlessly as possible.

What if I’m under 16 and attending/leaving without parent, carer or guardian?

Many of our sessions are run for young people where an adult does not need to remain with them throughout the session.

At the end of a session a delay of more than 30 minutes in collecting an Under 16 may incur a charge.

If an Under 16 intends to leave during or after a session without a parent, carer or guardian then permission must be agreed upon prior to the commencement of a session. This must be formally acknowledged in writing between the parent, carer or guardian and the All-Aboard Activities Coordinator.

The purchaser of the session is responsible for providing an accurate Emergency Contact for all participants under the age of 16 years old; in the event no contact is provided then the purchaser is the default Emergency Contact and must be available by telephone or in person for the duration of the session.

What if I have a medical condition or feel unwell?

Details of any conditions and medication must be disclosed during the booking process, allowing the Instructor to tailor or adapt sessions. You are encouraged to have a discreet chat with your Instructor on the day if you need additional reassurance.

If you have any medication that needs to be close at hand during the session, then please let the Instructor know. We have waterproof bags and containers to keep things dry.

Please let the Instructor know if you feel unwell at any time during your session, or if you feel too hot or too cold so that we can assist you.

We have a lot of experience in dealing with different conditions and disabilities and will always attempt to accommodate individuals with safety approach to your enjoyment.

Please visit our accessibility page on our website view our what to view our facilities, what to expect videos, social stories, and easy to read information:  http://www.allaboardwatersports.co.uk/access-for-all/accessible-information/

Do you provide food and drink?

*COVID-19* Please note that our kitchen is currently not available for use

We do not provide food. If you are coming for a day it is a good idea to bring a packed lunch. Hydration in all sports is important, so please bring plenty of water or other suitable drinks. Drinking water is available on the premises.

We have a kitchen on site where you can help yourself to hot and cold drinks for a small donation.  There is also a communal fridge, and a microwave available for use by adults.

Lunches, evening meals and drinks are available from the Cottage Inn pub next door; Pickle for take-aways, in Underfall Yard; Spike Island cafe, on Cumberland Road and there is also a newsagent nearby. These options are not available for unaccompanied attendees under the age of 16.

Is the water safe?

A water quality statement is posted on the notice board in front of the Cottage Inn. Water quality tests performed by the Harbour Master are made weekly and monthly.

As with any watersport activity in an outdoor environment, please ensure you wash your hands properly when coming off the water and before consuming any food or drink.  You can also read the water quality information here:  https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/water-quality-in-bristol-harbour

What should I wear?

*COVID-19* Please note that our waterproofs and wetsuits are currently not available for use*

Please wear old clothes as they may get wet; you may bring a change of clothes and a towel for showering after your session.

Do not wear jeans or cotton clothing for any activity because they become heavy and cold when wet. We recommend you bring waterproofs with you if the weather is cold, wet or windy.

Appropriate footwear must be worn. We recommend wet suit boots (with a thick sole) or non-slip, closed-toed footwear that you do not mind getting wet.

We will supply Personal Flotation Device (Buoyancy aid), helmets and wetsuits where required and free of charge.  Please bring swimwear to wear underneath the wetsuit.

Young Sailors up to Stage 3 must wear a helmet; Young Sailors (above Stage 3) and Adult Sailors (above Level 2) may ask the Instructor if they may sail without a helmet, this will be at the Instructor’s discretion.

Do I need to bring anything else?

The below list is recommendation only. These suggested items weather and activity dependent:

A change of clothes plus a towel and toiletries for showering

Sun cream and/or sunhat


Warm, waterproof clothing, including hat and gloves

How much money should I bring with me?

There is currently nowhere on site for young people to spend money.

Is there a safe place to leave my belongings?

*COVID-19* Please note that our lockers are currently out of use

We have lockers for participants to use and these are free of charge.

For School Groups – Clothes and school bags will be remain inside the building during sessions. We discourage bringing money, jewellery and unnecessary valuables to the centre.

Please note that all items brought to the Centre are at your own risk.

What shower and toilet facilities are available?

*COVID-19* Please note that our showers are currently out of use

There are showers and toilets available, including accessible facilities for those who require them.

We have a wet room with an overhead hoist and changing table. We have slings that you can use if you do not have your own.

If you need the toilet during the session don’t be embarrassed or suffer in discomfort, please let the instructor know!

Can I ask questions during the session?

We all learn differently and at different rates so please ask at any time if you don’t understand anything or would like to know more information.

If there is a particular way the instructor can offer support to you with information or instructions, then please let them know.

I’m not taking part where can I go?

You can watch activities from the waterside, including outside the Cottage Inn, on the steps or on ‘Jim’s Bench’, which is in memory of Jim Bull who helped to set up the charity.

Sometimes it is possible for people to wait inside the building, however this is at the full discretion of All-Aboard staff.


We hope you have an enjoyable session with us.  We are always trying to improve so please fill in one of our feedback forms, which you will find in various places and formats around the building. You can return these to us via the confidential box in the reception area.

Feedback can also be given electronically or returned to us at a later date. Please ask at Admin for further details.

Should you have any issues during your session then please let us know at the earliest opportunity so we can sort things out.  If you don’t tell us until later then it may be too late for us to resolve the problem!

Information about All-Aboard

How do I get to you?

We are based off the Cumberland Road, right next to the Cottage Inn pub. Our address is:

All-Aboard Watersports

Baltic Wharf

Cumberland Road


Where can I park?

*SUMMER & AUTUMN 2020 Please note: Cumberland Road is closed in part for the foreseeable future.  You can still access the Centre from the City Centre / Coronation Road end. Please allow extra time for your journey* Many thanks

There is a free public car park (for up to 4 hours) adjacent to the All-Aboard. Please be aware that it can be busy, especially in the summer and at weekends.  There are two disabled bays, which you can park in if you are a blue badge holder.

If this car park is full there is nearby Pay & Display Parking beside the Create Centre and underneath the fly-over.

If you are coming in a mini bus, then you are welcome to drop participants off at our door and then park in the ‘buses’ section marked on Cumberland Road.

Who are your Instructors?

Our Instructors come from across the country and world, and they have a huge amount of experience in their chosen activities.

Our instructors are all qualified to the standards demanded by the National Governing Bodies of the activities that they lead. They have First Aid, Safeguarding, Disability Awareness Training and DBS certification.  Training and qualifications are kept on record and are regularly updated.

Who are you governed by?

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national body for all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, canal and river boat cruising, and personal watercraft.

British Canoeing: the national governing body for paddlesports in the UK. Formerly known as the British Canoe Union, Canoe England and GB Canoeing, they now come together under one unified organisation.

British Rowing is the governing body for the sport of rowing (both indoor rowing and rowing on water). We are committed to ensuring that the sport continues to thrive from the grassroots right up to winning medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

BSUPA (The British Stand Up Paddle Association) leads the development of the sport through training/coaching schemes for UK SUP schools, National and International Championship events, fun SUP events and BSUPA provides third party insurance for its members through Bluefin Sport Insurance Ltd.

The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) came into existence in April 1996. It is currently sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. The Health and Safety Executive is currently designated as the AALA.

Adventure activities licensing ensures that activity providers follow good safety management practices.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Approved Activity Providers (AAPs) are organisations, both commercial and charitable whose sectional opportunities have been approved by the DofE, as meeting our sectional conditions and can count towards the achievement of a DofE Award. AAPs provide Assessors to sign off the section.