Listed below are the most frequently asked questions by prospective canal dayboat hirers :

Can we bring our own food and drink ?
Of course you can, each boat has a galley where you can cook, keep drinks cold and make a cup of tea. Alternatively, you can stop off at the many cafes, restaurants and pubs along the way. If you don't have time to bring your own food then you can even order a gourmet picnic hamper from our Gourmet Delicious catering division.

Will we have to go through any locks ?
No, you are able to travel from Bath to Bradford on Avon and back lock free, a total of 28 miles there and back.

Do we have to pay for locks or moorings ?
No. We have paid the boat licence fees and towpath mooring is free.

Will we get wet ?
The boat is covered and has a centrally heated cabin so your whole party can stay inside and keep dry. Unfortunately, whoever is steering the boat will be outside so make sure you have appropriate clothing for the time of year.

What clothing do we wear ?
A daytrip on the canal is an outdoor pursuit so by all means come in comfortable outdoor clothing but do bring extra clothing in case it rains or is colder later on in the day. Remember to wear sensible shoes as you will be walking on and around the boat.

Is there a toilet on board?
Yes there are toilets on all our day boats.

Is there parking at your base ?
Yes there is but parking spaces are limited. We offer them on a first come first served basis.

Can we pay for the boat on the day ?
Unfortunately not, a deposit secures your date and the boat. You can pay the rest before or when you arrive prior to your hire.

Why do you have a damage security deposit bond ?
On the canal, we are part of a working and living community where we share the tranquility of the canal with many other boats, boaters and neighbours. We gracefully ask our customers to respect the rules of the canal and maintain our good relationships that we have established along the canal for the last 30 years. Please do not hit, bump, shout, abuse or generally deliberately upset boats and boaters along the canal. Most boaters are fine if you are polite and apologise should you have a mishap.
A current valid credit card ( no debit cards accepted ) will be needed on the day of hire.
A damage deposit of £250 will be pre-authorised on a credit card when you hire the boat. It will be returned to you provided the dayboat is returned clean and on time without a third party claim against you.
All single sex parties will have to lodge a £ 500 security deposit by cash or credit card at the time of check in ( refundable when the boat is returned clean & undamaged ). Please be aware that we reserve the right to charge a cleaning fee of £ 50 if the boat is returned in an unhireable state, a charge for damage to the boat, missing inventory or the boat is returned later than the agreed hire period. Where damage occurs to a third party boat, we will endeavour to obtain an estimate for repairs and where possible use our facilities to repair the damage to keep costs down.

What is a pre-authorisation ?
A pre-authorisation is a temporary hold of a specific amount of the available balance on a
credit card. The pre-authorisation is not a charge and no funds have been
debited from your account, however your bank statement may show the pre-
authorisation as a pending transaction. When you give us a credit card, the pre-
authorisation guarantees us that the funds are available to pay for any charges incurred during the period of hire.

Will we have to open bridges ?
Depending on how long your hire period is for and how far you travel along the canal there are two swing bridges that you need to open to allow the boat to pass. They are very easy to open but you do need one person to open it whilst the skipper steers the boat through. You must close the bridge after the boat has gone through.

Is it dangerous ?
As you long as you are sensible, this is an outdoor pursuit and is no more dangerous than driving a car. However, if you are unsure about your ability in water then we do have life vests for you or children as an extra precaution. Should you be unlucky and fall into the canal, it is no more than one metre deep in most places.

Can we stop along the way ?
Yes, you are welcome to stop in obvious mooring places, usually adjacent to the towpath. Take care to not block the way for other boats to pass by.

How fast can we go ?
Keep Under Control And Below The 4mph Speed Limit.
The maximum permissible speed on narrow canals is 4mph. But practically speaking, if you're creating a breaking wave or the wash from your boat is hitting the bank, you're driving too fast. It's always advisable to slow down when approaching other boats locks, bridges or tunnels too, especially if they are on a bend and you can't see clearly through. Canal boats don't have brakes, when you go into reverse you lose all steering. If you lose control it's you that will look foolish! Also always slow right down when passing moored boats.
Steer In The Centre Of The Canal, Pass Oncoming Boats On The Right.
Boats pass left side to left side, the opposite way to on the roads in the UK. However if there are no boats coming towards you then keep in the middle of the canal, the water will usually be deeper there. Avoid cutting corners, the inside of a bend is where the canal is shallowest and you stand most chance of grounding, or at least losing control. If you do go aground try backing off rather than trying to force your way forwards through the mud.

Approach Restricted Areas Slowly And Be Prepared To Give Way.
Take care when approaching bridges and tunnels. If a boat coming towards you is closer to the bridge than you are, they have right of way. Wave them through, slow down or stop keeping to the right, and wait for them to pass. If somebody waves you through, acknowledge their signal and proceed. On rivers, boats coming downstream always have right of way. Traditional boats often need deeper water and loaded boats or those towing will find it much harder to stop, do the decent thing and let them through first, after all, who's in a hurry?

Overtake Only If You Are Waved On By A Slower Boat.
There isn't always much space for overtaking, but if you do want to pass another boat, make sure you let the skipper of that boat know your intention well in advance so that he can slow down and wait until he or she is ready. You usually overtake on the left, but agree this with the other skipper beforehand. And remember - its your responsibility to steer clear of the other boat. If you both end up on the mud there isn't much point!

Be Cautious If You Meet Dredgers Or Maintenance Works.
Canals need to be dredged to keep them clear, and sometimes remedial work will need to be done on the banks. If you come across canal maintenance works, pass on the side that is showing a green or white light (sometimes just a shape or flag) - not the side showing red. Sometimes both sides of the dredger will be showing red, in which case you must wait to pass.

Have Regard For The Needs Of Other Canal Users.
Canals are used by all sorts of different people: boaters, anglers, walkers, cyclists etc. Most people see them as places to relax and unwind, so it is important that everyone respects each others rights to enjoy the canals. Of course, you can't stop cruising because somebody's fishing, but you can slow down to reduce your wash and pass by slowly. When mooring, don't drive your stakes through the middle of the towpath. Hang a carrier bag or something else that's visible on them to reduce trip hazards. And if everyone else is enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside, screaming, shouting and playing music loud might not be appreciated.

Do We Need Special Insurance ?
A standard travel insurance policy with any reputable insurance company will normally cover you whilst you’re cruising. We have cover for the boat, so you’ll only need to cover your own possessions. Stay on the safe side though – read the Terms and Conditions carefully, ask us for advice and check with your insurance company if you are not sure.
Cancellation insurance is vital if you want to avoid having to pay for the day when you have to cancel at short notice.

Do We Need To Bring Any Legal Documents ?
Only if you need to back up a credit card for a deposit.

How do I make a booking ?
We absolutely recommend that you telephone us as soon as you see the boat you want. 01225 447276 (Overseas +44 1225 447276)
We take countless calls a day for boat bookings so don't delay! This also saves you the anxiety of sending an e-mail and then wondering if we received it (many of the people who e-mail a booking call us anyway within twenty minutes to make sure we got their message!).
Office Hours:
Mon - Fri: 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs
Sat & Sun: 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs.
Phone: 01225 447276 (Overseas +44 1225 447276)
We will take the booking details and payment (have your credit card handy) over the phone so there are no security issues using your credit card etc. over the Internet. You will be contacted shortly afterwards by Bath Narrowboats you have booked with, so that we can confirm all the minor details and issue your paperwork etc.
You can also email emily@bath-narrowboats.co.uk

I have other questions that I would like to ask ?
Please ring 01225 447276 or email enquiries@bath-narrowboats.co.uk who is the manageress and will answer any questions you have.

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Bath Narrowboats is a long established boat hire business on the Kennet and Avon Canal based in the beautiful heritage city of Bath. We specialise in memorable day trips cruising the Kennet & Avon Canal from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon...

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