•  Check In Hirer's Arrival Agreement Cruising your Narrowboat

Speeding Health and Safety Helpful suggestions

Canal History Videos and Media Damage waiver

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  Chirk Whixall Sawley
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-01395 443529-
Callers from outside the UK should dial
+44 _1395 443529
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  Sawley Marina
Whixall Marina
  Chirk Marina
  Videos and Media
Click to read what
Canal Boat magazine
had to say about us

Some Norse viewpoints

To see what some Danish visitors thought,
click here
To see what some Swedish visitors thought,
click here

Tour Absurd

A blog from the USA.
click here

Walk Through Tour

Take an interactive 360 degree look at one of our sleep 6 holiday canal boats.
click here

The Boaters Handbook

Basic Boat Handling & Safety

Canal & River Trust have issued a publication on Basic Boat Handling and Safety which may be downloaded in PDF format by clicking above.
Video Journals

Guests from the USA recently spent their vacation on one of our Narrowboats from Sawley Marina and created a video journal.
Click here to view .

An early morning cruise from Sawley Marina.
Click here to view .


.....has something to say about us. Click here
Young ones & Teens
Canal boat Cartoon 6
Take a look at this. A Teenview video made by Noga (15 years) & Emily (12 years).
Here on You tube.
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  spacer Terms & Conditions of Hirespacer


Check In
Canalboat Cartoon 1

Cruising a narrowboat or simply choosing to remain in the Marina and use the boat as a base means a new experience for many holidaymakers.

The accommodation is different, things work differently when you are floating on the water....... If you are going to arrive late, we simply cannot leave a key hanging outside the office with an explanation of where to find your allocated boat.

Some resorts can do that with land-based accommodation. Most people are familiar with the basics of an apartment or house. They are not necessarily familiar with a narrowboat. A boat will bring wonderful new experiences but it can also bring with it, new dangers.

We have therefore set specific arrival times for guests and these are set out in your confirmation of booking. Please also note that the hours available are shorter during Autumn and Spring. This is because the days are shorter and tuition, as well as cruising itself, can only take place during daylight hours. In all circumstances, please contact the location by telephone, fax or e - mail at least 24 hours before your designated check-in day to indicate your expected arrival time. If you are compelled to leave a voicemail message, please leave a contact number. Please help us to help you. Thank - you very much.

The check - in and tuition periods are carefully structured and because of the nature of the product, are time consuming. We fully comprehend the desire of many to arrive and get out onto the canal straight away. However, we would be doing you and our product a great dis-service if we were to allow this to happen. Without the induction training and the knowledge it imparts, you will not be able to maximise the benefits of your Canalboat holiday, and for this we make no apology. Tuition is therefore compulsory and is only available on your designated arrival day. The only exception to this is if an agreement is made in advance. The company reserves the right to levy a tuition fee of £20.00 for tuition outside of your booked/allocated check in period/day. Those choosing not to cruise will receive a shortened induction programme which will exclude much of the material relevant to controlling the boat on the canal itself.

When you arrive at the marina, before starting your holiday,you will be asked to sign the Hirer's Arrival agreement*, see point 2 immediately below.

Once the formalities have been completed, you will be guided to your allocated narrowboat by a member of the friendly and knowledgeable Canalboat staff.

Any questions regarding access to our Reception and facilities within the marina itself should be addressed by email to


Hirer's Arrival Agreement

When you arrive at the marina, before starting your holiday,you will be asked to sign the Hirer's Arrival Agreement*, (Click here) to see a copy of the document. *The Hirer's Arrival Agreement may be subject to change without notice, according to prevailing conditions . Please note that the security deposit is left by way of a credit card swipe. Personal cheques will under no circumstances be accepted. The deposit is refundable subject to the safe return of the boat and all its inventory in a clean and satisfactory condition at, or prior to, the specified return time.
In order to save time upon arrival, please print off and complete two copies the Arrival Agreement and its appendices.


Cruising your Narrowboat

Every week on changeover day, our dedicated and knowledgeable staff confront the whole myriad of emotions and states of mind amongst our guests. Fear, trepidation, excitement, amusement, confidence, arrogance, happiness - you name it, we've just about seen it all.

Our role is to make sure that you get the very best out of your cruising period and we will do all in our power to pass on, as far as we can, our advice, knowledge and experience during the tuition period. We will do this to the best of our ability in order that you will derive as much as possible from your visit to us. Therefore we ask for your full cooperation and commitment and an acceptance that all that we pass onto you is done for the benefit of yourselves and all of those around you.

Your health and safety is paramount and without a proper framework of knowledge at the beginning of the experience, your enjoyment could be seriously compromised. We want to be sure that you get the most out of your valuable and hard earned holiday time.


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Everybody should be aware that the speed limit on the canals is 4mph but that the recommended 2 - 3 mph is the optimum pace during normal cruising. You should also slow right down when passing other boats and fishermen. Most of us know the reasons why. Essentially, it is downright inconsiderate to other boaters. However, excessive speed also creates wash which can also permanently damage the canal bank and those creatures who live on it. Please - slow down. You are on holiday to relax and escape from the stress of modern living - take it easy and we will all derive the benefits.


Health and Safety
Canal boat Cartoon 3

The company takes its responsibilities very seriously indeed in terms of its commitment to guests as well as other users of the canals, including the flora and fauna. Each of our craft is fully licensed and insured and has a regulatory Boat Safety Certificate and Gas certificate.

After check - in, you will be given familiarisation training which includes our own specially commissioned video. This introduces you to the Hire a Canalboat narrowboat and takes you through how it all works. It also introduces the rules of cruising together with what is and what is not acceptable within the cruising etiquette. You can take notes and raise any questions with your allocated boatman/trainer. The televisual part lasts up to an hour and this will be followed by practical training complementing the video presentations. For your comfort and safety, the videos remain on board throughout your holiday which together with the extensive boat manual gives you two excellent tools for reference. It is crucial to follow the established procedures which are in place for the safety and comfort of guests.

Lifejackets are available for all of you, though we find most of you over the age of 16 years decline. However, they are available and we insist that children aged 16 years or under use them at all times when outside the boat cabins. The Company will not allow any boat to leave its Marina mooring if there are children on board without lifejackets. In addition, the Company will not accept responsibility where lifejackets have not been worn.

Please be aware of potential dangers in and around water.  Do take care and pay attention to potential hazards, particularly when moving about on and around the exterior of the boat, getting on and off and whilst mooring and passing through locks. If somebody falls into the water, make sure that you follow safety procedures. Also, make sure the person showers thoroughly straight away to minimize any potential health risk.

Please note that the Company reserves the right at all times to limit or rescind the right to cruise subject to the safety considerations of guests and craft. Be aware that anybody who arrives and appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed to board the narrowboat under any circumstances. This may, of course, impact upon the party as a whole. No compensation will be given. Further, the company will not hesitate to inform the relevant authorities if it is believed that any law has been broken. See our terms and conditions of hire.

Please refer to our terms and conditions of cruising concerning all personal electrical equipment. If you wish to bring medical equipment that needs uninterrupted electrical power, the Company cannot guarantee this, as from time to time, batteries may, for various reasons, drain or develop a fault. You must inform the company in writing, or by email and in reasonable time if you need to bring medical equipment of this nature and note that the company cannot be held liable for loss of electrical power or its consequences whilst you are on the boat.


Helpful suggestions to get the best out of your holiday

a) Do not bring too much luggage. Cases are not a good idea as storage on a narrow boat is limited. Folding, collapsible bags are best.
b) Do not bring your best clothes. Be practical and remember to bring something warm and something waterproof. This is England and whilst we do not suffer monsoons, it can (and does) rain at a moments notice.
c) Change down and try and get into your lowest gear - slow down and relax, you are on holiday, not taking part in a race.

Canal boat Cartoon 4

d) Always consider your fellow boaters and others using the canal and its environs - this includes the wildlife.
e) Do not cruise the narrow boat whilst under the influence of alcohol. This is a dangerous practice and there are more and more cases of boaters being breathalysed by the police.
f) If you would like to bring a bicycle, you must gain written agreement from the company to do so. A bicycle would be brought entirely at your own risk in all circumstances. In addition, you must supply sufficient matting to protect the roof of the boat from damage. Please also see our terms and conditions of booking.
g) Note that walking or sitting on the roof of the boat whilst it is in motion is extremely dangerous. It is easy not to notice the arch of a bridge!

Canal boat Cartoon 5

h) When outside the cabin, children under sixteen years old should wear lifejackets at all times. These will be provided at reception. A refundable deposit is levied. Lifejackets are also available for other age groups.
i) If anybody should fall in the canal - turn off the engine at once.
j) Always take out personal and cancellation insurance to cover the duration of your holiday - even if you are arriving from the UK. Many Brits do forget! Don't let it happen to you.

k) Avoid bringing the laptop!
l) Follow the simple daily service schedule.
m) Remember, if you are out of the marina, cruise at least five hours a day to keep the power system charged and try not to burn power unnecessarily. It is pretty inconvenient if the lights go out!

Canal History & other canal articles

The British canal system, allowing transport by water at a time when roads were only just emerging from the medieval pathways of mud and fallen trees became the only means of "mass" transit of raw materials and finished products. For this reason, some of the first canal promoters were the influential pottery companies based in Staffordshire. (read more)

Damage Waiver

The "Damage Waiver" is a purely optional extra. It is provided as a facility to free you from liability for accidental damage to the boat and its fittings or for loss of supplied equipment.
It does not however cover your negligence, the late return of your allocated boat or the return of the boat in an unreasonable condition.
This is available to all guests at the time of booking (see booking form).
The Damage Waiver should not be confused with
Travel and Cancellation Insurance which we advise you to arrange.
Please check your personal policies.
The above canalboat holiday hire information addresses many of the main points of interest to our guests. If you have any further questions, please email us on

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Superb Canalboat Holidays on the Trent & Mersey and Llangollen canals