Canal Boat Hire Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that we have not covered below, please feel free to contact us by email and we will do our best to help you with your canal boat hire query.

Do I need a license to operate and hire a canal boat?
No, you will not need a license and you will be given all the training you need to get started.

Do you operate day boat hire?
No. Our minimum rental period is from 3 nights. You can bring the boat back sooner though if you want.

Is the narrow boat difficult to operate?
No. The waters are mostly current free and cruising speed is only three to four miles per hour making operating a narrow boat child’s play

Where can we stop?
You can moor up wherever you like find a nice spot along the towpath and tie up.

Are there any hidden costs?
Mooring is free along the towpath although if you choose to stay in a marina overnight there may be a charge. Water is free and we give you a British Waterways key on arrival. Gas and pump-outs (if necessary) are included in the price you pay.

When do I collect and return my canal boat?
We ask that you arrive at 1:30 pm on your arrival day in order to provide sufficient time to check-in, load the boat and receive the training and tour. On your day of departure, you will need to vacate the canal boat no later than 9:30 am.

Is there car parking?
Free car parking is available at all locations. Many of our marinas are also close to main line railway stations.

Does the boat have electricity?
Yes, the boat has 240v (UK Mains) sockets which accept 3 pin plugs. Electricity is produced from the engine by storing it in batteries. An inverter then converts the 12v to 240v electricity.

Do I need insurance?
The canal boat and contents are fully insured. The only thing that is not insured by us are (a) your car which is probably protected under your motor policy and (b) your personal possessions which are also probably covered under your house contents insurance but please check your own policies carefully.

Maps / Canal Guides ?
We recommend you purchase a canal guide / maps to help you plan your holiday. You can buy maps at our marinas (subject to stock) or you can buy online via our Amazon store.

What happens if we have a problem?
Our dedicated team are on hand twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies. Your safety and enjoyment are our paramount concern.

Can I take a pet ?

Pets are taken on most of our canal boats. Please see the boat information page for details on which boats take pets. There is an additional charge applied on the booking form if you can take a pet and wish to do so.




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Terms and conditions of booking are per boat and can be found on the booking form.


"I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to the staff at Union Wharf for the great service afforded us last weekend. We had a warm welcome and received explanations about the process for loading the boat, the tuition and how your system works,including how things worked on board. We were very pleased with the boat - good condition, clean, tidy and very well equipped.

The tuition and information we received was straightforward and well-delivered, which helped us to enjoy a very lovely weekend - thank you. I would certainly recommend you in the future."

The Todd Family