Terms and Conditions

Any contract to hire a narrowboat incorporates Conditions 1 – 6 below and is between Yorkshire Narrowboats and you as the hirer. The contract does not take effect until written confirmation of your booking is sent to you. This contract is made in England and is governed by English Law.


Initial payment
The confirmation of a narrowboat booking will be given once the fully completed booking form along with a deposit of 25% of the total price (minimum £125) has been received by Yorkshire Narrowboats. The hirer will then be responsible for paying the full balance (including the Damage Waiver Fee) at least 4 weeks prior to the start date of their narrowboat holiday.

Damage Waiver payment
This compulsory scheme ensures that for a single, non-refundable price of £50, you will be protected from any liability for damage/loss or accident to your boat or its inventory during your holiday period. The premium will be shown on your booking confirmation along with the final balance of hire.

Special exclusions to Damage Waiver

  • Speeding (reported or witnessed)
  • Malicious, negligent or intentional damage to the boat, its equipment, the waterway, other boats or structures.
  • Late return of narrowboat
  • Return of narrowboat in unclean condition.
  • Misuse of fire (the fire is not permitted for use unless permission is granted prior to holiday)
  • In the event of any of the above being reported, we shall claim the full cost of repairs, replacement or compensation.

Hire Period – Collection and Return of narrowboat
The hire period commences at 2.00pm (unless an 1pm early start has been paid for, see Prices) on and ends at 9:00am on the return day. Failure to return the narrowboat by this time will result in a charge of £25.00 per half hour overdue. The boats must be returned in a clean condition i.e all bins emptied, all pots, pans and crockery cleaned and put away, all surfaces and carpets cleaned and vacuumed.

Should the hirer cancel the booking before the full balance of the holiday is paid they will forfeit their deposit. If cancelled after the full payment is paid (6 weeks before the departure date), Yorkshire Narrowboats will attempt to re-let the narrowboat at the full price. If this is successful, all monies less the deposit will be refunded. However if Yorkshire Narrowboats does not succeed in re-letting the boat, the proposed hirer will forfeit all monies paid. The hirer is advised to make their own cancellation insurance arrangements.


Free tuition will be given by a member of Yorkshire Narrowboats to the hirer who will ensure that the narrowboat is in good working order. Where the hirer is not familiar with the working locks, they will be taken through the first lock.

Bookings from persons under the age of 21 cannot be accepted. No person under the age of 18 may control the narrowboat, unless under the direct supervision of a responsible adult member of the party.

Unfortunately, due to the high value of our narrowboat and its’ equipment, we are unable to allow cycles or canoes on board. However, this is at Yorkshire Narrowboats’s discretion and may be admitted under certain circumstances.

We consider pets on board all our boats for an additional charge (please see Prices page). All pets must be kept off beds, seating and soft furnishings. We ask that owners bring with them blankets/bedding for their pets to sleep on. Guests wishing to carry pets on board will be asked to fill out a form, please request this as time of booking.

Tidal Rivers
You must under no circumstances sail on a tidal river. It is dangerous and the boat is not insured to do so. If you are found to have done so you will be fined and will be liable for any damages.

Smoking is not permitted on board the boats.

Fire Place
The use of the fire is not permitted for guests unless permission has been granted before the start of the holiday. Anybody found using the fire without permission and/or causing any damage will be fined and charged for the damage caused.

Toilet Tank Pump Out
The boat’s toilet tank will be provided empty at the start of your holiday. Should the tank become full before the end of the holiday the hirer will be issued with a pump out card (pump out cards will be charged to the hirer at £10 each) and will be expected to stop at the earliest pump out facility. The toilet must not be used once the tank is full – any damage caused by its continued use once the tank is full will be charged to the hirer. The boat can be returned with a full tank without charge.

Fishing may be carried out from the foredeck of the boat with normal licensing applying. Yorkshire Narrowboats must be informed of an intention to fish and the hirer will be required to provide evidence of licenses before commencing their cruise. Live fish bait must not be taken inside the boat or stored in the vessels fridge or larder areas.

Cruising Limits
The boat may be taken on canals. However, cruising on tidal rivers will not be permitted. Disregard of this hiring condition leaves the hirer responsible for all damages, recovery and third party claims not covered by insurance.


The hirer agrees to the following:

  • Travel no more than 4 mph
  • Never create a wash that breaks on the bank (even at 4mph this is possible)
  • Slow right down past moored boats
  • No cruising between sunset and sunrise
  • No smoking inside the boat
  • Only carry those named on the Reservation Form
  • Do not carry portable heaters, toasters and other electrical appliances not agreed by Yorkshire Narrowboats, inflammable substances or other hazardous items.
  • Comply with BW/Environment Agency bye-laws: these specifically include leaving lock paddles in the correct position, and being considerate to other waterway users and property
  • Although we want you to enjoy yourselves may we draw attention to the fact it is illegal to be drunk in charge of any vessel on British Waterways.


We reserve the right to refuse to hand over a narrowboat to any person who, in our opinion, is not suitable to take charge of the vessel. In the event of this happening, all payments will be refunded to the proposed hirer, who will then have no further claim against Yorkshire Narrowboats.

Yorkshire Narrowboats reserve the right to repossess the boat at any time if, in our opinion, the boat is being mishandled, misused illegally or if the crew’s behaviour is considered detrimental to other waterway users. In the event of this happening, no portion of the hire fee will be refunded.


Yorkshire Narrowboats shall not be liable for matters arising beyond Yorkshire Narrowboats’s reasonable control, or not due to Yorkshire Narrowboats’s negligence or wilful default including without limitation: death or personal injury of Hirers, their crew and passengers; loss or damage to property; non-fulfilment or interruption of the reservation; delays; breakdowns; mechanical problems; defects; damage; restrictions on cruising; obstructions; repairs to waterways; non-availability of routes; storms, floods, drought, ice shortage of water and other weather conditions; non-availability of fuel; or in respect of any loss, damage, expense, injury or claim.

Hirers are recommended to take out personal insurance cover against injury/ loss of belongings.

Delays and Restriction
No liability can be accepted by Yorkshire Narrowboats for any delays or non-completion of planned cruising caused by restrictions, obstructions, or repair to the waterways system or any unforeseen cause. Yorkshire Narrowboats reserve the right to restrict the cruising area without prior notice should any unusual or hazardous conditions prevail including any weather conditions.

Breakdown and Repairs
We take great care to ensure our boat is serviced at regular intervals and in good working order. In case of breakdown or repairs needed contact Yorkshire Narrowboats immediately where upon appropriate action will be taken. All repairs are the responsibility of Yorkshire Narrowboats and should not be put into the hands of others without our authority.

You must not tow or be allowed to tow any other vessel without Yorkshire Narrowboats permission.

Should Yorkshire Narrowboats need to be called out due to the misuse of the vessel then a callout fee of £60.00 will be charged to the hirer.

If the hirer is involved in an accident the following procedure should take place:

  • Contact Yorkshire Narrowboats immediately giving the following information
  • Full details of the boats involved: index numbers, names and person/ persons involved and name and address of any witnesses.
  • Full details of the accident including time, date, actions and damage caused.
  • Under no circumstances must the hirer admit any liability.


Free parking is provided for the convenience of our customers (max of 2 cars per boat), at the office of Yorkshire Narrowboats. But we accept no liability for loss or damage to customers’ vehicles. You are advised not to leave valuables in your vehicles.