Conditions of hire

Any contract to hire a narrow boat incorporates Conditions 1 – 6 below and is between NARROW ESCAPE 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. 


Our narrowboat provides luxury canal boat hire for Long Weekends (3 nights), Short Week Breaks (4 nights) or Single or Double Weeks (7 / 14 days).

Please note hen and stag parties are not permitted on our boat.

Initial payment

The confirmation of the Narrow Boat booking will be given once the fully completed booking form along with a deposit of 50% of the total price has been received by NARROW ESCAPE. The hirer will then be responsible for paying the full balance at least 4 weeks prior to the start date of their narrow boat holiday.

Damage Deposit

It is standard practice in the industry to require a damage deposit of £400 to be paid as security against any damage done to the boat or by the boat during the period of hire. This is normally refundable on return of the boat. As it is highly unlikely that any serious damage will be done we do not require this to be paid up front. Should such damage occur, however, the hirer will be subject to a charge of up to  £400 to cover the cost of repairs or the excess on the insurance. Hirers will be asked to confirm by email that they accept this condition of hire. 

Hire Period – Collection and Return of narrow boat

Long Weekend Booking – Fridays to Mondays
The hire period commences at 2.30pm (unless otherwise agreed with a member of staff) on Friday and ends at 10am on the following Monday.

Short Week Bookings – Monday to Friday
The hire period commences at 2.30pm (unless otherwise agreed with a member of staff) on Monday and ends at 10am on the following Friday.

Single or Double Full Week Booking – Friday to Friday
The hire period commences at 2.30pm (unless otherwise agreed with a member of staff) on Friday and ends at 10am on the following Friday.

Alternative rental periods may be available upon request. At the discretion of NARROW ESCAPE, failure to return the Narrow Boat by the times stipulated above may result in a charge of £50.00 per hour overdue. The boat must be returned in a clean condition i.e all bins emptied, all pots, pans and crockery cleaned and put away, bed linen stripped (left bundled on the beds), all surfaces cleaned and floor swept.

Conditions of use


Free tuition will be given by a member of NARROW ESCAPE to the hirer who will ensure that the narrow boat is in good working order. Where the hirer is not familiar with the working locks or driving a canal boat, they will be taken through a full handover procedure, which includes a period watching a 25 minute DVD and time spent with a member of the Company skippering the Narrow Boat until all parties are satisfied.

Additional skippering assistance through Locks or general cruising can be provided and may be charged for at a rate of £40 per hour (minimum 2 hours). A member of the Company may be able to meet you at certain locations along the route charged at this rate, at the Company’s discretion.


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


We allow pets on board NARROW ESCAPE, free of charge, however all pets must be kept off beds and soft furnishings. We ask that owners bring with them blankets/bedding for their pets to sleep on. The space on board the boat is limited, so extra-large dogs are not practical to have on board.


Smoking is not permitted on board the boat. However, the use of E-Cigarettes is permitted.

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 is responsible for the cost to empty the tank. The boat can be returned with a full tank without charge. 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.

Toilet on board

The toilet provided on board is a macerator type. An air lock bin is provided for all paper, wet pipes and nappies. Under no circumstances must any paper etc be put down the toilet. Instructions on its use will be provided during the handover. Should Aqua Narrowboats (UK) Ltd need to be called out due to misuse i.e wipes causing a blockage then a callout fee of £150.00 will be charged to the hirer. If the macerator then needs to be fixed due to being blocked by paper, wet pipes and nappies this fee will be charged to the hirer. The cost can of this will be capped at £500.00.


Fishing may be carried out from the foredeck of the boat with normal licensing applying (A copy of a Bathampton Anglers Association Licence is kept on board the boat and displayed in the window.) Live fish bait must not be taken inside the boat or stored in the vessels fridge or larder areas. Please keep live bait securely stored on the fore or stern decks. Fishing rods and tackle are not provided. Please inform the Company if you wish to Fish in the canal during your holiday

Cruising Limits

The boat may be taken on The Kennet & Avon canal. Experienced hirers will need to agree with the Company any cruising on the River Avon, prior to the start of their holiday. Disregard of this hiring condition leaves the hirer responsible for all damages, recovery and third party claims not covered by insurance.

Safety Rules, Common Sense and Navigation Bye Laws

The hirer agrees to the following:

  • Travel no more than 4 mph. Never create a wash that breaks on the bank.
  • Slow right down. The boat should only be ‘Ticking Over’ when passing moored boats
  • No cruising between sunset and sunrise
  • Only carry those named on the Reservation Form
  • Do not carry portable heaters, toasters and other electrical appliances not agreed by the Company, 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.

Company Regulations

  • We reserve the right to refuse to hand over a narrow boat 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 KTM Boats Bath Ltd.
  • Please note that we do not take bookings from single sex groups without prior agreement.
  • KTM Boats Bath Ltd. 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.


The company shall not be liable for matters arising beyond the Company’s reasonable control, or not due to the Company’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 the company for any delays or non-completion of planned cruising caused by restrictions, obstructions, or repair to the waterways system or any unforeseen cause. The company reserve the right to restrict the cruising area without prior notice should any unusual or hazardous conditions prevail.

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 the Company immediately where upon appropriate action will be taken. All repairs are the responsibility of the Company 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 the Company’s permission.


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

  • Contact the Company 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.

Hirer’s Motor Cars and Property

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