Our insurance requirements

– Minimum age to hire our boats is 18, to be legally liable for the boat and persons on board;
– Maximum of 10 people on board each boat at any time (Babies are counted as a single person);
– You will need to have at least one mobile phone with you on the day of hire of each boat;
– Drinking of alcohol is permitted but must be kept to a sensible level to avoid any danger to you, others and the boat. Two people must remain in full control of the boat at all times;
– During the hire you will not be permitted to take the boat through any canal locks either at Wigan or Wheelton;
– The boats are not permitted to cruise in the dark;
– Cars are not permitted to be left in our car park overnight;
– Ladies, please wear sensible shoes for your own safety and to protect the boats wood and paintwork.

Prior to Date of Hire

Bookings are taken subject to availability and can be reserved on this web site or by telephone.

Although we try and ensure that the availability information stored on this web site is accurate mistakes can happen, should you make a reservation on line and the web site is not up to date we will advise you of the situation and try and organise an alternative date. We cannot be held liable for any inconvenience caused.

To confirm a booking we will require a 50% deposit to be paid with the balance to be paid on the date of hire along with a returnable £50.00 security deposit.

A reservation will be held until the end of the next day from the reservation request date to allow a payment to be made. Should we not receive a payment within this time then the reservation will be cancelled and made available for someone else. If a payment is made after this time, and the date is still available, of course, we will honour the booking.

Payments can be made by cash, debit or credit cards, in person or over the phone, or by bank transfer (We no longer accept cheques).

Terms and conditions of skippered daily hire

All bookings are subject to availability of a skipper;
Excessive alcohol is not permitted to be taken or consumed on board;
Skippers have the right to end a trip at any time due to unsociable behaviour without refund;
To confirm a booking 50% of the cost of the boat and the full charge for the slipper is required in advance.

Cancellations and Refunds


Confirmed bookings maybe cancelled with a full refund of monies paid with 3 months or longer to the date of hire or within 7 days of the initial payment, unless a late booking discount has been applied. If a booking is cancelled with less than 3 months to the date of hire, or more than 7 days of the initial payment, any monies paid will only be refunded if another booking is made for the same boat and date of the hire, otherwise we reserve the right to retain a maximum of 50% of the total booking cost.

Unfortunately, we cannot cancel a booking due to weather conditions.  We are running a small business with only 3 boats so cancellations at the last minute can have an adverse effect on our business.  The main reason for the initial deposit to confirm the booking is to avoid people not turning up on the day of hire.  If a party does not turn up, then by doing so, they agree for us to retain the initial deposit.

Rearranging to an alternative date is affectively a cancellation of the original date and effectively this is the same as asking for a refund.  Rescheduling a booking would be treated in the same way as we deal with refunds.

We reserve the right to cancel bookings at any time at our discretion which could include a frozen canal, mechanical failure of the boat, a double booking or any circumstances beyond our control with a full refund of any monies already paid.

Should a booking be cancelled with full refund of monies due within the terms of these conditions and we are asked to hold the deposit until an alternative date is available, any monies due are the responsibility of the customer to reclaim for either a refund or transfer to a new booking.  For accounting a liability of the business purposes, should these monies not be reclaimed within 2 years from the booked date cancelled then these will be deemed by you and us as null and void.  No refund will be made after this time.

All refunds will be paid by the same means as the initial payment.

Any amendments of this policy are at the sole discretion of Ellerbeck Narrowboats and suggestions how we should do this will not be accepted.

On the day of hire

Prior to your group boarding the boat(s) the remaining 50% of the charge must be paid along with the returnable security deposit.

A returnable security deposit of £50.00 per boat will also be required (We reserve the right to require a security deposit of up to £250.00 if we deem there to be a higher chance of the retention conditions being breached).

The deposit may be retained for the following reasons upon return:

  • Failure to return the boat by the agreed time;
  • Excessive interior/exterior damage to the boat (This will be determined by staff on return and their decision is final);
  • Excessive breakages or missing inventory items;
  • Irresponsible behaviour and not being in full control of the boat (Complaints by other boaters):
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol;
  • Fee for leaving a car in the car park (Unless prior arrangement has been agreed).

You are required to carry at least one mobile phone on board each boat so we know that should you have a problem you can contact us.

For insurance purposes we are obliged to carry out safety procedure demonstrations to ensure your own safety and the safe operation of the boat and respect to other canal users. You will be required to sign a boat acceptance agreement prior to departure.

We will offer the entire group buoyancy jackets which are your responsibility to wear. We would prefer that all children should each have a suitable size to fit on board.

Although we do allow alcohol to be taken on board we do insist that drinking is kept to a sensible level. If you for anyone in the group fail to adhere to safety, cause damage to the boat or fail to give courtesy to other canal users, Ellerbeck Narrowboats will have no option than to retain the security deposit.

Cars are not permitted to be left in the car park overnight, unless by prior arrangement.

Ladies are requested not to wear high heeled shoes for personal safety getting on and off the boats, safety on the canal towpath and to avoid damage to the paintwork.

In the event of any accidents or incidents you are required not to accept liability. You are advised to contact us straight away and wait for our arrival to ascertain the exact circumstances.

No more than 10 people on board each boat at any one time (Babies/Children are counted as one of the ten allowed).

Boats are not insured and licensed to travel through the canal locks and therefore are not permitted to do so.

Boats are not permitted to cruise in the dark.

When a booking is made you can choose which boat you require or accept which boat(s) are remaining at the time of booking but it may be necessary on occasions for us to change the boat at the last minute. We try to avoid this but sometimes it is unavoidable and we’ll try to notify you of this if we know in advance. Should this happen and we have a boat available for you there will be no part or full refund due and you will still be expected to pay the remaining balance and the returnable security deposit before departure from the boatyard.

Return Times

During summer months : 5pm, 6pm or prior agreed return time (Extendable by the hour);
During winter months : Dusk or 5pm (Whichever is earlier). These times are published on this web site.

Should you have any questions or queries with these terms please do not hesitate to contact us on 01257 480 825 or send us an e-mail.

These terms of hire are subject to change at any time as per insurance, MCA, Canal & River Trust and Ellerbeck Narrowboats requirements as and when required.