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Terms & Conditions of Hire


Please read these conditions carefully. They are all part of the hire agreement and describe the rights and duties of both You and the Company.


In these conditions and the Agreement the following words have the following meanings:- “Agreement” means the Hire Agreement made between You and the Company which is entered into by your booking request and the Booking Confirmation from the Company and is made on the basis of these Conditions. Booking Confirmation is the written confirmation issued to You by the Company confirming the hire period, price, place of embarkation and other key particulars of the booking. Company means Boot Wharf Boat Hire. You are the person or persons named in the Booking Confirmation. If there are more than one of You each of You shall be individually and collectively responsible for complying with the Agreement. Conditions are these Boat Hire Conditions, Price means the price quoted in the Booking Confirmation, Hire Date is the date quoted in the Booking Confirmation. Written means that the item has been: printed, typed, written out by hand, and either posted to you or delivered or collected by hand; or sent or displayed by email or other electronic means.


When You request a booking you are making an offer to hire the boat on these Conditions. The Hire Agreement itself only comes into existence when the Company gives You the Booking Confirmation. A provisional or conditional booking is not binding and You may cancel it at any time before the Booking Confirmation is sent out to You by the Company. Similarly the Company may hire the boat to another party in place of you at any time before a Booking Confirmation has been made to You after payment of the booking deposit. The entire Agreement between You and the Company is contained in these Conditions, the booking request and the Booking Confirmation. Nothing in these Conditions affects Your statutory rights.


The Company’s advertised Prices are in pounds sterling and includes, where applicable, VAT at 20% on general supplies, and VAT at 5% on fuel, and where applicable, Insurance Premium Tax. If the rates of VAT, IPT or any other government tax are changed so that a different rate applies to your hire any difference will be charged or refunded to You as the case may be. The Company reserves the right to correct errors in advertised or quoted prices at the time of booking Confirmation.

The Deposit is payable within 3 days of the booking request. The booking deposit is £80 for a one day hire.

The balance of the price, including Security Deposit / Damage Waiver is due on the morning of the hire date as shown in the Booking Confirmation, before the hire commences. Time of payment shall be of the essence of the Agreement.

4. YOUR PARTY: Personal agreement and obligations

The Hire Agreement is a personal one between You and the Company and Your identity is a material factor in the Company’s decision to enter into the Agreement. You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of booking. You must be authorised by all other members of Your party to enter into the Agreement on their behalf. Your full name, permanent address and contact phone number must be provided to the Company at the time of booking. You are responsible for making all members of Your party aware of the terms of the Agreement.

The Company’s prior written consent is required for bookings of school parties, youth groups, hen or stag parties or for any commercial purpose. If the Company later becomes aware that Your party actually falls within this category but you have not disclosed it to the Company then the Company may terminate Your booking. In this event the deposit and any other part of the Price which you have paid will be retained by the Company and you will still remain liable to pay the balance of the Price.

The use of alcohol and controlled drugs; Company’s right of immediate cancellation

The boat shall not be navigated by anyone who is, or appears to be, under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the Company may cancel your booking and refuse to hand the boat over to you or repossess it if any steerer of the boat is or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The same applies (but to a lesser extent) to any other member of your party, as rowdy or destructive / menacing behaviour will not be tolerated at any time. In such a case the Company shall be entitled to recover any loss, damage and expense from the monies already paid by You and if this is insufficient to cover its loss it shall be entitled to bring a claim against you for the balance of such claim.

Company’s right to decline handover for safety reasons

The Company may cancel your booking and refuse to hand the boat over to you if, in its reasonable opinion, You are unsuitable to take charge of the boat for any reason that may adversely affect the safety of any person or property. In this event (and provided that You have fully complied with your obligations under this Agreement) the Company will refund the Deposit and any other monies which You have paid to the Company and the contract shall be discharged without further liability on either party.

Company’s right to repossess during the hire

The Company may repossess the boat at any time after commencement of the Hire Period if in the reasonable opinion of the Company You are unsuitable to be in charge of the boat for any reason affecting the safety of any person or property including in particular if any steerer of the boat is or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if You or any of your party are not behaving responsibly or if there has been a material breach of the terms of this Agreement.


The Agreement is a legally binding contract and may only be cancelled in accordance with these Conditions. If You want to cancel or change Your booking You must give the Company written notice. The date of receipt of the written notice shall be the effective cancellation date but in order to increase the prospects of re-letting the boat You should pre-advise the Company of the impending cancellation by telephone.

The Company shall make the following charges for cancellation, depending on the date on which the Cancellation Notice is received:

Time before Start Date when Cancellation Notice is received – Cancellation Charge:-

More than 28 days: Loss of £80 Booking Deposit (including any part of the deposit not yet paid)
8 – 28 days: 75% of Hire Price
7 days or less: 100% of Hire Price
If the Company re-lets the boat to a new customer for the Hire Date the Company will return the cancellation charge which You have paid after deducting an administration fee of £30.



The Company may cancel the Agreement by written notice in the following circumstances:

For any of the reasons described in Condition 4
In the event of an accident affecting the safety or navigability of the Boat.
For breach of any of the rules set out under Condition 9
For non-payment of any sum due under the booking.

The Company is entitled to recover from You any loss which it suffers as a result of cancellation under any of the provisions of Condition 4 or for breach of Condition 9 and it may retain all or part of any payments which you have made as security for such claims. Subject to this if the Company is able to re-let the Boat for the Hire Date it will give credit as per clause 5 as a result of such re-letting and shall prepare and submit to You an account of its claim and of any payment which may be due to You or to the Company within seven days of the Hire Date.


The Boat will normally be available at 9:00 a.m. on the hire date from Boot Wharf, Bullring, Nuneaton, CV10 7BE subject to the boat being in operating condition.

You must notify the Company as soon as possible if Your estimated arrival time is delayed or disrupted as this may lead to difficulties and delays in making the boat available to You. There will be no rebate of the Price for late arrival, nor will the Company accept responsibility for any costs which You may incur if you fail to reach the boat before the end of the hire period.

Before You take the boat over the Company will give You such instructions, demonstrations and trials as are appropriate and You will then be required to check and sign the inventory sheet of the Boat and the hand-over procedure sheet.

In the event that the boat is not available on the Hire Date due to any circumstance for which the Company is not responsible (for example extreme adverse weather or navigation conditions, damage, mechanical breakdown, late return by previous hirer) the Company shall immediately refund You with the Deposit and any other payments You have made (or offer you a mutually agreeable alternative hire date). The Company will attempt to contact you by telephone at the earliest opportunity after a problem becomes apparent if this is the case so that you do not have a wasted journey. Due to the nature of the day boat, wet or cold weather is excluded from this clause, and navigational problems are extremely unlikely to occur as there is no passage through locks allowed, and there is a choice of three routes to take from Boot Wharf.

The boat must be returned to Boot Wharf, Bullring, Nuneaton, CV10 7BE and vacated by You by 5:30 pm on the hire date and it is Your responsibility to allow sufficient time to ensure its timely return. If you have previously requested a late return for your booking and the Company has agreed to this in advance of your departure, and you have paid the extra hire time fee, you may return the boat at a later agreed time.

If you return the Boat late because of poor planning on Your part or for another reason which is Your responsibility then You will be liable to pay £20 for every hour or part hour of the delay in returning the boat (although we will allow up to 15 mins “grace“ period of lateness without penalty). If You are unable (or unwilling) to return the boat to Boot Wharf, the Company will take possession wherever it is located, and the cost of recovering the boat to Boot Wharf and any other expenses and losses which the Company may incur, including the loss or cancellation of a subsequent booking, will be due from You.


The Company insures the boat and its equipment against physical loss and damage and against public liability risks. You are entitled to any protection that may be afforded by the Company’s insurance policy (subject to your paying any applicable policy excess) but You and members of Your party may become legally liable to the Company or to third parties for loss or damage caused or contributed to by your acts, omissions or negligence.

The Company’s insurance policy does not cover Your personal belongings and does not cover the first £500 of any claim.

The security deposit of £300 per day hire is intended to cover part of the Company’s policy excess and any uninsured risks or other sums due to the Company under the Hire Agreement. It is not the limit of your potential liability to the Company.

The Company may apply the whole or any part of the security deposit to payment of any claim which the Company may have against you. Otherwise the Company shall promptly refund the security deposit, (by the same method as Your booking payment), as soon as the Company is satisfied that no loss, damage or accident has occurred and that no other sums are due to the Company from You.

Special exclusions to the insurance cover for which You are solely responsible:

  • Speeding (reported to or witnessed by Canal and River Trust staff).
  • Malicious, negligent or intentional damage to the boat, its equipment, other boats, the waterway structures.
  • Damage to the rudder, propeller etc. due to grounding in reverse or cill damage in locks (You are not allowed to navigate through locks at any time, this is a licence restriction for day hire boats, if you do go through a lock you are contravening the licence condition of Canal and River Trust ).
  • Late return of the boat
  • Return of the boat in a very dirty and unacceptable condition.


You agree to comply with the following rules at all times during the Hire Period:

  • To ensure that at all times while the boat is being navigated the minimum age of the steerer on board and in charge is 18 years.
  • Not to tow or be towed by other boats other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • To moor the boat securely using both bow and stern lines (the centre rope is for holding the boat to the side whilst mooring up, it should then be stowed back on the roof).
  • Not to navigate after sunset or before sunrise (the boat is equipped with navigation lights for use in conditions of poor visibility – fog, rain, heavy cloud).
  • To observe all speed limits, and not to navigate at a speed which creates a breaking wash or disturbs or inconveniences other waterway users (including anglers and walkers).
  • Not to race the boat.
  • Not to bring onto the boat any portable heaters, electric tools or cooking appliances, inflammable liquids or substances, gas cylinders, car batteries, fire arms or any other items which might create dangers or hazards without the Company’s prior written permission.
  • Not to use the boat for any commercial purpose unless agreed in advance with the Company.
  • Not to allow more than 12 persons to be on the boat at any time.
  • To give way to laden or unladen cargo boats, sailing craft, rowing boats and other human propelled craft
  • To cruise only on canals approved by the Company, namely the Coventry and Ashby Canals.
  • Not to have or carry any live bait on the boat.
  • At all times to observe all bye-laws and navigational limits and abide by the instructions and advice of the Canal and River Trust and the Company and their respective officers and employees.

The Company reserves the right at its reasonable discretion and without liability to restrict cruising areas or routes in the light of prevailing weather and navigation conditions.

If You are reported for improper navigation during the Hire Period or if You are in breach of any of the rules in condition 9 and if the Company has good reason to believe that it will be involved in any expense or penalty as a consequence then at the End of Hire the Company may retain the security deposit against prospective future liabilities, provided that it shall pay it into a separate client account. If no action has been taken after a maximum period of 6 months from the Hire Date the Company shall return the Security Deposit to you together with accrued interest. Where the Security Deposit has been provided by debit/credit card the Company shall not be entitled to charge the card with more than the stated amount of the standard security charge and shall be obliged in any event to notify you in writing of the amount of the charge.


You are in charge of the boat and are responsible for its safe navigation. In the event of any accident or damage involving You or any other people or any property, You must:-

  • Obtain and record the name of any other boats and the names and addresses of any other people involved on the form provided by the Company. If the other boat does not stop then at least take its Index Number and Boat Name if at all possible.
  • Notify the Company as soon as practically possible with full details of the accident and any injuries and damage sustained. Proceed in accordance with and follow the Company’s reasonable instructions.


You are responsible for and will keep the boat and its equipment and contents in clean and tidy order during the Hire Period.

You must notify and provide full details to the Company of any breakdown, damage, theft or loss involving the boat as soon as practically possible. You must not undertake or commission any repairs, adjustment or service without the Company’s prior approval.

Although the boat and its equipment are insured against many risks by the Company, You remain responsible to the Company for any damage or loss arising from Your breach of the Agreement, Your deliberate acts or from Your negligence.

You will be responsible for getting the boat off mud banks or other grounding and for removal of weeds, rope or other matter from propellers and steering gear and for keeping the Company informed of any incidents of this nature.


Vehicles may be left entirely at their owner’s risk in the Company’s car park. The Company will be under no liability for any loss or damage to vehicles or their contents or for Your property on the boat, unless caused by the Company’s negligence.

The Company may take such reasonable action as it shall consider necessary to silence car alarms in the Company’s car park and to recover the costs from You, unless you deposit the keys with us at the start of the hire, which will remove any risk of unwarranted costs.

The Company will return property which it finds which has been accidentally left on the Boat provided that it is claimed promptly and that You either arrange for its collection or agree to pre-pay for any postage and packing. Property not claimed within two months from the Hire Date may be disposed of by the Company. 

13. FUEL:

The boat is handed over ready fuelled. The hire cost is inclusive of the cost of diesel used. You are not permitted to re-fuel the boat during the hire as the fuel tank is adequate for at least 12 days cruising and will have a more than adequate reserve at the start of the hire.

14. PETS:

Pets are allowed on the boat only with the Company’s permission. You shall give notice of any pets You wish to bring at the time of making the booking.

You must provide any pet baskets or blankets.

All pets must be properly house trained or caged as appropriate, and must never be left unattended.

Pets and pet damage are not covered under the Company’s insurance policy and You will be liable for any additional cleaning damage or loss caused by them.


You will be required to sign the inventory on taking the boat over. Any shortcomings discovered during the Hire Period must be notified to the Company as soon as possible so as to afford the Company the opportunity to rectify the matter. You will be responsible for the cost of replacing or repairing any items on the inventory which are missing or damaged at the end of the Hire Period.


The Company shall not be liable to pay any compensation, damages, costs or expenses for any claim arising from any cause beyond the Company’s reasonable control which could not have been mitigated or avoided by the Company including but not limited to:

  • Loss of or damage to any person’s property (including the Boat)
  • Non-fulfilment, interruption or delay to the booking
  • Breakdowns, mechanical problems, latent defects, damage to the Boat
  • Restrictions on cruising, obstructions, repairs, damage or closure of waterways, non-availability of routes
  • Navigational works, storms, floods, droughts, ice, shortage of water or other adverse weather conditions
  • Rationing, shortage or non-availability of fuel
  • Consequential loss, damage or expense which You incur including the cost of alternative transport, accommodation or other holiday provision
  • The Company’s total liability to You and any person claiming through You in respect of all claims which may arise under the Agreement (other than in respect of claims for personal injury or death due to negligence on the part of the Company) shall be limited in aggregate to twice the Total price actually paid by You to the Company in respect of the Agreement in question


The specifications of boats, their accommodation, facilities and equipment in the brochure are intended as a general guide and the Company shall not be liable in the event of any insubstantial differences in the boat supplied and reserves the right to make modifications. In particular alterations may occur during rebuilding or refitting, boats within classes may differ, colours may vary, layout plans are for guidance only and are not to scale and boats may have steps which are not shown. If Your party includes any infirm or disabled persons You should make relevant enquiries at the time of booking. In particular, there is no wheelchair ramp access onto either the boat deck, or into the cabin from the deck. However we do have a quay with wheelchair access so persons with limited mobility who can descend / ascend 5 steps with assistance and can walk a short distance inside the boat (10feet) with assistance can be accommodated on the boat.


This Agreement shall be governed by the law of England and Wales.

Any dispute arising under this Agreement shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Law Courts of England and Wales.


If a dispute over the hire arises, the Company will do whatever it can to provide you with a fair and acceptable resolution of the problem. If this does not prove possible, then the British Marine Federation and the Royal Yachting Association recommend that disputes arising under this form of Agreement which cannot be resolved by negotiation, should, with the written agreement of the Parties, be submitted to mediation or failing that to arbitration under the British Marine Federation’s Dispute Resolution Scheme, which is approved by the Royal Yachting Association.

Details of the mediation scheme operated by the British Marine Federation are available at

Matters suitable for arbitration shall be submitted to a single Arbitrator in accordance with the British Marine Federation’s Dispute Resolution Scheme. The provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 shall apply.


Only the named parties to the Agreement may enforce the terms of the Agreement. The parties agree that the Contracts (Rights of third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply to this Agreement. When booking a narrowboat from Boot Wharf Boat Hire you are agreeing to abide by the APCO 2010 boat hire conditions set out in the brochure.

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