Conditions of hire

Conditions of Hire

Once the booking is confirmed the hirer becomes responsible for the whole of the hire fee, and the balance is due 28 days before the hire date.


All crew members must be named on the booking form and only those named are allowed on board during the hire. Bookings from groups and single sex groups are only accepted under exceptional circumstances. If you wish to have visitors aboard during the period of hire this must be agreed beforehand. Extra people on board the boat will not be covered by our insurance whilst cruising. Boat hires commence at 2.00pm on the start date and the boat must be returned to the owners’ moorings and vacated no later than 9.00am on the day of return. We cannot accept responsibility for delays or limits to cruising due to British Waterways directives. No return of Hire Fees can be made in these circumstances.

Hirers Responsibility

The Hirer and passengers will be shown over the boat and will receive full instruction from us on handling the boat. After this the Hirer becomes responsible for the boat and its equipment. A non-refundable damage waiver is included in the hire price and this gives you cover in the event of accidental damage to the boat and loss or damage to equipment and fittings. We reserve the right to make an additional charge for damage or loss caused deliberately or by negligence. In the event of any accident or damage to the boat, other craft or property, it is the responsibility of the hirer to obtain the names and addresses of the owner and hirer of any other boat involved together with those of any witnesses. Do not admit liability or arrange any repairs to the boat. Any such damage must be reported to the hire base as soon as possible. Particular care should be given to the correct operation of locks (refer to information we provide) as the Hirer is responsible for any claims made by British Waterways for loss of water or damage to property.

We use all reasonable care to ensure that the boat is in good condition when handed over, but no responsibility is accepted for loss of time, non-fulfilment of programmes or expense through any defect, breakdown or accident to the boat, equipment or machinery. Personal injury to the hirer or crew is not covered by our insurance and hirers should check that they have adequate insurance of their own. Boats are insured to cruise from 8am to 8pm or before dusk autumn/winter, they are not insured or equipped to cruise at night and therefore this is forbidden. The Hirer is required to return the boat in a clean and tidy condition, and failure to do this could result in an additional fee of £20.

Owners’ Rights

We reserve the right to refuse to hand over a boat to any Hirer we consider not suitable to take charge. In such a case the Hire Fee will be returned in full and all liability of the Hirer and ourselves shall cease.We reserve the right to terminate the hire of a boat at any time if the conduct of the Hirer endangers the crew or gives offence to other waterway users. In these circumstances we will take over the responsibility of returning the boat to our base but the hirer remains liable for the holiday cost and no refund will be made.

Cancellation Insurance

Once a booking has been made and confirmed after receipt of the deposit, this places a contractual responsibility on the hirer to pay the full cost of the holiday.  If you wish to cancel your booking please let us know as soon as possible by telephone.  If contacted well in advance Road House Holiday Hire will make every effort to rehire the boat and if successful the hirer will no longer be liable for the balance of the hire charge, however the deposit will be non refundable to cover additional administration costs. If we are unsuccessful in rehiring the boat then the hirer remains liable for the balance of the hire charge.

We strongly advise that you take out your own travel insurance to cover any form of cancellation, personal injury or damage to property.

Covid-19 protection

Should a cancellation by either party be necessary due to Welsh Assembly or UK Government Guidance, as a family business we would encourage a postponement of your holiday and retain your deposit or funds paid to be applied to the new booking within the following twelve months.  If the cost of the new hire is more due to a change of season/boat the balance will be requested at the usual time.

If you wish to cancel your holiday rather than postpone it then a refund of the amount paid will be made less the cost of the canal guide once the request has been received in writing.


We conform to government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, we have compiled a Covid risk assessment, implemented additional procedures and measures to maintain cleanliness, applied measures to respect social distancing and general safety.

In the event of curtailment of the holiday through accident or illness of the Hirer and no other competent person is able to take the helm, we will help with transportation to hospital or return to base and take over responsibility of returning the boat to base but no return of hire fees can be made in these circumstances.

We advise that you take out Travel Insurance to cover your costs particularly overseas customers.


Pets are allowed but they are not allowed on seats or bedding and should not be left unattended on boats at anytime. Any damage caused by your pet is not covered under the damage waiver cover and a charge will be made.


Bicycles are not normally allowed as boats are not designed to carry them. Folding/small bikes may be possible upon request.


Fishing is allowed within the hire period, but live bait is not allowed inside the boats. Licences/permits are required out of the hire period.

Hirers vehicles

Hirers vehicles can be left at our base but they and their contents are left entirely at your own risk and we admit no liability.  Electric vehicles can be recharged at our premises via single phase at owners risk.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require clarification of any of the above – we wish to ensure that you enjoy your holiday with us.

Disability statement

The general design of narrowboats and nature of the canal and access to the towpaths are not ideally suited for disabled persons or wheelchairs, however will are willing to advise and accommodate where reasonably possible and in any agreement will request an endorsement of a Hirers Liability Disclaimer.

Single occupancy

Single occupancy is not usual advised unless one is an experienced helmsman, the main reason for this is if one is taken ill or has an accident unnoticed, in addition it is very difficult to operate the locks by ones self. if it is proven that one is experienced we can agree to hire to a single occupant with our offer of assistance at the locks.  In any agreement will request an endorsement of a Hirers Liability Disclaimer.