I've never done canal boating before?
Don't worry, many of our guests have never done canal boating before. The boats are very simple to handle and you will pick it up really easily. We provide free tuition before you take the boat out to make sure you are comfortable with the operation and handling of the boat.
Licenses & Restrictions
You do not need a driving licence for a canal boat and the boat itself is licenced by us for BW waterways. There are a few waterways outside their jurisdiction for which you will need to purchase an additional licence as you enter them, such as the Rivers Avon, Thames and Wey. Our start bases can provide details when you arrive to pick up your boat.
What's onboard the boats?
Each boat is different in size and equipment levels.
Is there somewhere to park my car?
There is ample open air parking at our bases which is provided free of charge. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to hirers vehicles.
What about fuel?
The boat is ready fuelled for your holiday on arrival, but there is a fuel deposit payable with your holiday booking. Please see the booking for costs. When you return the boat to us the balance is refundable after deducting fuel used. However if you have used fuel in excess of the deposit you will be asked to pay the difference.
What about water?
All our boats carry around 100 gallons or 450 litres of water which is delivered to the taps by an automatic electric pump. You are advised to refill your water tank every day. This reduces the filling time, which can be lengthy at some taps and avoids the risk of running out at an inconvenient place or time. There are many wate points along your route all will be shown in the various canal cruising guides. Nearly all boatyards have water points (there may be a small charge), but do remember to ask first as there are no special rights or agreements.
What are the toilets like?
All of our boats are equipped with fresh water flushing toilets designed to need emptying only once a week with average use. Should the toilet tank need emptying during the holiday it is a chargable service that is provided by most boatyards. Having been emptied during the turnaround, the toilet should be entirley trouble free providing it is used correctly. Only human waste and toilet paper should go down the toilet. Any other items (including sanitary articles, nappies, wet wipes, kitchen towels and quilted toilet paper) should not be flushed down the toilet, but placed in the bags provided to hygienically transfer these items to a suitable bin.
Where can we go and what should we bring?
There is a great temptation to undertake long circular cruises or rings only to discover that it is all proving to be much harder work than you first thought. We always recommend an out and return route for beginners - many experienced boaters also prefer this. Working through the locks does take some effort and whilst this activity is part of the enjoyment of a canal cruise, you do not want to make it a chore. A cruising day of about 8 hours is the most that you should plan for, and remember that you might want some time to do other things as well. As a rough calculation when planning a route, add the number of locks to the distance in miles and divide the total by 3 to give cruising time in hours. Guide books for all canals and navigable rivers are available in our marina shops. Places of interest and the facilities you may need are listed and described alongside the maps, so you will always know in advance what is to be found around the next bend. The maximum speed allowed on the canals is 4mph. If the wash from the boat creates a wave along the back your speed is too high.
Got a question we haven't covered?