Our group has not much interacted with water in general but I remember our LM asked some Athletics tests instead of Explore/Perception for travel by water.
Another interesting addition is using navigator's tools for travels by water. I know that they are specified for sea travel, but in that sense, it can be a pretty useless tool in Eriador and nobody would want those tools. In fact that's the reason I didn't choose a Sky Watcher background for my Elf of Lindon: it was pretty useless for me and my group, and I chose instead the Tower Guard background with her nice Cartographer's Tools proficiency. If we understand that navigator's tools include some kind of gear for river boats, they'll be more appealing in game terms.