Home Locations Boats Book a Canal Boat Contact

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect on my canal boat holiday?
On a canal boat holiday there really is something to suit the whole family do what you want in your own time as you can choose where and when you stop each day and for how long. A canal boat holiday is very relaxing and it is just as we claim - the fastest way to slow down!

Is it difficult to operate the locks?

Operating the locks is all part of the fun of a canal boat holiday and certainly an activity that the whole crew can help with. Very simply a lock consists of a chamber into which your canal boat passes and they have agate/s at either end. The locks have openings at the top and bottom to allow water in and out of the chamber to raise or lower the water level and the canal boat.


Is it difficult to operate the locks?

Operating the locks is all part of the fun of a canal boat holiday and certainly an activity that the whole crew can help with. Very simply a lock consists of a chamber into which your canal boat passes and they have agate/s at either end. The locks have openings at the top and bottom to allow water in and out of the chamber to raise or lower the water level and the canal boat.


Will the children enjoy a canal boat holiday?

Keeping the children entertained can be stressful and expensive but you will not have these worries on a canal boat holiday. There are plenty of things to do to keep all ages occupied and amused. The older children will love to have a go at driving the boat, and under supervision of course, they can easily do this they also love to help with the locks. With the scenery constantly changing and with a different view every night you will seldom hear those dreaded words “I'm bored”.


Where can we stop? 

Designated mooring on the canals will be clearly marked and will tell you where you can moor and for how long. Some mooring spaces are private or are for residential boats but don't worry the signs will be very clear.

Within reason you can moor up at any point you choose along the towpath, as this side of the canal will not be on private property, but you must be considerate of other canal users.In addition you must not moor within 50 metres of a lock or other navigation landmark or anywhere that my cause an obstruction. You can also if you wish moor in a Marina but there will be a separate charge payable to the Mariana, prices vary, if you do this.


Can we stop and shop on route?

One of the pleasures of a canal boat holiday is to be able to stop off exactly where you want to. 
You can do a big supermarket shop in a large town or enjoy the experience of visiting farm shops and village stores for fresh local produce.


Do you have day boat hire?

No, our canal boats are not suitable for day hire. However we would like to assist you with your search and suggest that you visit following website for day boat hire providers – www.ukcanalboating.com


Do I need any form of licence?

No you do not need a licence as each canal boat is licensed by us with British Waterways.


What sort of insurance will I need?

The canal boat and contents are fully insured. We suggest that check your personal policies carefully with regard to your personal possessions and your car and its contents.


What happens if we have a problem?

Thankfully problems are very rare but if we do have to attend a breakdown we will do our very best to get you going as soon as possible. We run a 24-hour emergency service and if you do have a problem we will come out to you as soon as possible. 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.


Does gas and water cost extra?

The gas is included in the rental charge and each canal boat is supplied with gas bottles giving you plenty of gas for your holiday. These are stored in the gas locker in the bow of the boat and are connected to an automatic change-over valve to give a continuous supply. You will be supplied with a British Waterways key, free of charge, and there are water points along the canal to enable you to fill up with water. It is recommended that you try to fill up with water at least every other day.


Will I get lost?

Part of the fun of a canal boat holiday is planning your route before hand and a number of maps and guides are available for you to do this. These will help you plan you trip and show places of interest, pubs, shops and facilities along your route. The guides relevant to each route are indicated and can be purchased from our website. Don't worry we have never lost a boat yet!


Is it easy to turn around?

There are turning points, know as winding holes , at frequent intervals and these are marked on the relevant maps and guides. Our staff will also inform you of a good place to turn to ensure that you return from your canal boat holiday in good time.

What do I need to bring with me?

You do not need to pack the kitchen sink as our canal boats are fully fitted out but you want some ideas as to what extras to bring to get the most out of your canal boat holiday. Specific items you may want to bring include a torch, camera, binoculars, a good waterways guide or map (see our link if you want to purchase one of these in advance) We suggest that you bring your food essentials with you such as tea, coffee, milk and maybe the first couple of days food supplies.

Bring a sensible selection of informal clothing packed in a soft bag as storage space is limited. Non-slip soft deck shoes and protective gloves (for working locks). Due to our inclement weather a set of waterproofs are essential for wet days and sun cream and a hat for when the sun shines. Our advice is come prepared as a canal boat holiday is an activity that is enjoyable in a wide range of weather conditions. Bring some DVDs, your favourite CDs, some books and board games and a pack of cards.


Is there car parking at the canal boat holiday marina?

Car parking is FREE and is available at all our canal boat locations.


Can I fish on my canal boat holiday?

Fishing is prohibited on British rivers between 15th March and 15th June. Fishing is allowed outside these dates and on canals at any time. You will need a licence which can be obtained from any main post office, ask for a 'rod licence' for coarse fishing or go on line to www.environment-agency.gov.uk Full details and current prices can be obtained on line. Please remember it is an offence to fish without a rod licence and you may also need a day ticket to fish in the canals as on some stretches the fishing rights are owned by local clubs.


How fast can we go and how far will we be able to get?

On most of the canals the maximum speed is around 4mph but the average speed is closer to 3mph which is just about walking pace. We do ask you to slow down when passing other boats, moored or moving, and it is considerate to slow down if you see fishermen ahead to give them time to take in their lines.

You will not want to be in too much hurry as the enjoyment is slowly and gently cruising along the waterways. You can cruise as much or as little as you like and the only restriction is you cannot cruise after dark or before daybreak. Don't forget to allow time to pass through the locks, each one of these takes approximately 15 minutes, if you are setting your itinerary before you leave.


What is your minimum hire period?

Our minimum rental period is 3 nights, but you can bring the canal boat back earlier if you wish.


Do I need to be experienced to operate a canal boat?

No previous experience is necessary and many of our guest are renting a canal boat for the first time. Steering the canal boat comes easily and after some practice you will find our boats are very easy to handle.


Will I be trained on how to use the canal boat and is it difficult to operate?

Yes, you will be provided with full training at the start of your canal boat holiday. We show you how to steer your canal boat as well as giving you safety instructions and how to do the necessary daily boat checks. Don't be afraid to ask questions we want you to be completely confident and if you do need to refer to it an operators manual and DVD will be on board.


Can I bring my pet?

The whole family, including your pets, will enjoy a canal boat holiday. You must ensure that your dog/s are kept under control at all times and we request that the boat is returned in a clean and tidy condition. 
There is a charge per pet which is added at the time of booking.


Do I have to pay to cruise on the Canals?

Cruising on the canals is free as we purchase a licence for each boat. However there are a few waterways and Rivers, such as the River Avon and Thames, where an additional licence will be required.  Don't worry our staff will inform you if you need to purchase one of these for your chosen route.


Can I cook on board?

The Galley, kitchen, on our canal boats are fully equipped but hopefully, you will not be spending too much time being the “galley slave” as part of the fun of a canal boat holiday is eating out. There are numerous waterside restaurants and friendly canal side pubs and you can eat out every day if you wish.


What additional equipment is provided?

Inside - Life jackets will be provided for children and none swimmers and if needed or if requested. On board safety equipment includes first aid kit, fire blanket and fire extinguisher.
Outside - Plank, mooring pins, windlasses, fenders, ropes and life belt.


Canal Boat Special Offers

We have a good selection of last minute holiday offers and bargains!

We have special offers on last minute stock with up to 40% off the boat price. Why not grab yourself a bargain!


Canal Boat Holiday Maps

Buy Canal Maps

You can buy canal maps and waterways guides online here.


Full Canal Boat Training included

Beginners are welcome

Don't worry if you've never operated a canal boat before - it's really easy and we give you full tuition on boat handling and locks - All included in the price you pay !

Copyright © 2010-2022 rentacanalboat.co.uk