Affordable holidays on the beautiful Lancaster canal

Phone Number: 01524 928829

Mobile Number: 07453 366221

Terms and Conditions

  1. BOAT HIRE CONDITIONSPlease read these conditions carefully. They are all part of the hire agreement and describe the rights and duties of both you and the company.

2. DEFINITIONS -  In these conditions and the agreement, the following words have the following meanings :

2a " Agreement" means the Hire Agreement between you and the company, which is evidenced and commences by paying your booking deposit to the company.

2b " Booking Confirmation" means the electronic confirmation issued to you via email/text by the company confirming the hire period, price, place of arrival/departure and other key particulars of the booking.

2c. " Company" means Water Babies Leisure Ltd of 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB. UK company registration number: 13269838. The company may also trade as 'Water Babies Narrow Boat Hire'.

2d. " You" means the person or person(s) named in the Booking Confirmation. If there is more than one of "You", each of "You" shall be individually responsible for complying with the Agreement.

2e. " Conditions" means these Boat Hire Terms and Conditions.

2f. " Price" means the price in the Booking Confirmation.

2g. " Start Date" means the start date of the hire period, as recorded in the Booking Confirmation.

2h. " End Date" means the date on which the hire period ends, as stated in the Booking Confirmation.

2i. " Hire Period" means the duration of the boat hire, as stated in the Booking Confirmation.

2j. " Written" means that the item has been printed, typed, written out by hand, sent or displayed by email/text or other electronic means.

2k. " Security Bond Deposit" means a £250 deposit which is payable 6 weeks in advance before your hire start date. This security bond is held on account to cover any damage or losses to the boat or it's itinerary. Also to cover any additional costs if the boat is not returned on time to our moorings and in a similar condition as when you took hire of the boat. Providing there is no deductions to be made, this deposit is refunded via bank transfer within 7 days.

3. AGREEMENT TO HIRE - When You request a booking, you are making an offer to hire a boat on these Conditions. The Hire Agreement itself only comes into existence when the company receives the cleared funds of your booking deposit and sends out the Booking Confirmation. A provisional or conditional booking is not binding and you may cancel it at any time before the Booking Deposit is paid, and a booking confirmation is sent out to You by the company. Similarly, the company may hire the boat to another party in place of you at any time before a Booking Confirmation has been sent to you.

4. PRICES AND PAYMENT - Payment is deemed to have been made when cleared funds are received in the company's bank account. The deposit is payable at the time of the booking request. The balance of the hire price is due no less than six weeks before the start date as shown in the booking confirmation. Time of payment shall be of the essence of the Agreement. For bookings made less than six weeks before the start date, you must pay the full hire amount at the time of the booking request.

5. YOUR PARTY - Personal agreement and obligations. The Hire Agreement is a personal one between you and the company and your identity is a material factor in the company's decision to enter into the Agreement. You must be at least 25 years of age at the time of booking. You must be authorised by all other members of your party to enter into the agreement on their behalf. The full names, ages and permanent addresses of all members of your party must be provided to the company at the time of booking. All changes in your party - the addition, substitution or removal of any member of the party - which take place at any time after the booking must be notified to the company. The company reserves the right to refuse any changes to your party but will not unreasonably withhold such changes. A new booking confirmation will be sent out electronically to you to confirm the changes to your booking. 

You are responsible for making all members of your party aware of the terms of the Agreement.

Your party must only include up to 4 people. i.e. 2 adults & 2 children. There is one fixed narrowboat double bed and one sofa bed which converts into a double bed. This is the only sleeping arrangements on our boat(s).  Please ensure this meets your sleeping requirements. 

Please note - If Your party includes any infirm or disabled persons, you should make relevant enquiries at the time of booking. Our boats are not adapted for people with mobility problems or disabilities, however we will do everything possible to assist with any physical or mental disabilities. Please speak to us about any specific issues you may need assistance with.

6. THE COMPANY'S RIGHT TO WITHHOLD ACCESS TO THE HIRE BOAT - Please be advised of the following: School parties, youth groups, hen or stag parties, or hire for business purposes - The company's general policy is that it will not enter into Hire Agreements for school parties, youth groups, hen or stag parties or for any commercial purpose without clear statement about the members of the party, the purpose and nature of the hire occasion. If the company later becomes aware that Your party actually breaches this policy and that You have not disclosed it to the company, then the company may terminate your booking. In this event, the deposit and any other part of the Price which you have paid will be retained by the company and you will remain liable to pay the balance of the Price.

6a. In the event that the company becomes aware that the Terms of the Agreement have been breached during the hire period, we reserve the right to take legal action against all person(s) named on the Booking Form.

6b. The use of alcohol and controlled drugs - a hire boat shall not be navigated while anyone on board is, or appears to be, under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The company reserves the right to cancel your booking, refuse to hand the boat over to you or repossess the boat if you or any member of your party is, or appears to be, under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In such a case the company shall be entitled to recover any loss, damage and expense from the monies already paid by you. Should this be insufficient to cover The company's loss, it shall be entitled to bring a claim against you for the balance of such claim. The use of alcohol whilst the boat is moored is acceptable. The use of controlled substances, (other than for legitimate medical treatment), is not permitted at any time. Where controlled substances are required for medical treatment, the company will require proof of need from a suitably qualified medical practitioner before the boat is released for hire.

6c. The company may cancel your booking and refuse to hand the boat over to you if, in its reasonable opinion, you are unsuitable to take charge of the boat for any reason that may adversely affect the safety of any person or property. In this event (provided that You have fully complied with all other of your obligations under this Agreement) the company will refund the deposit and any other monies which You have paid to the company and the contract shall be discharged without further liability on either party.

6d. The company may repossess the boat at any time after commencement of the Hire Period if, in the reasonable opinion of the company, you are unsuitable to be in charge of the boat for any reason which might compromise the safety of any person or property, including and in particular, if You or any member of your party is (or appears to be) under the influence of alcohol or drugs, if You are not behaving responsibly or if there has been a material breach of the terms of this Agreement.

7. CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES REQUESTED BY YOU - The Agreement is a legally binding contract and may only be cancelled in accordance with these conditions. If You want to cancel or change Your booking you must :

7a. Pre-advise the company of the impending cancellation by telephone to allow opportunity for the boat to be hired by another party. 

7b. Give the company written notice. The date of receipt of the written notice shall be the effective cancellation date.

7c. The company shall make the following charges for cancellation dependant on the date on which the Cancellation Notice is received:

Days before Start Date when Cancellation Notice received.

42 days or more notice received - Loss of Deposit, including any part of the deposit which has not yet been paid. 

42 days or less notice received - 100% of Total Price of the boat hire.

Subject to this, if the company is able to re-let the Boat for all, or part of the Hire Period, it will give credit for part of your monies received. This will be determined by the number of days we are subsequently able to secure a re-let of the boat, advertising costs, admin costs and any/all other associated costs incurred by your cancellation. We will prepare and submit to you an account of our claim. repayment which may be due to you, within 28 days of the End Date of your agreed hire period.

8. CANCELLATION BY THE COMPANY - The company may cancel the Agreement by written notice in the following circumstances; 

8a. For any of the reasons described in Conditions 4.

8b. In the event of an accident affecting the safety or navigability of the Hire Boat.

8c. For non-payment of any sum due under the booking. The company is entitled to recover from you any loss which it suffers as a result of cancellation under any of the provisions of condition 4 and it may retain all or part of any payments which you have made as security for such claims.

9. HIRE PERIOD, COLLECTION AND RETURN OF BOAT - The Boat will normally be available at 14:00 Hrs on your hire start date, from our moorings based at Bridge 78 of the Lancaster Canal. The Moorings, Stony Lane, Forton, PR3 0AR (or as otherwise shown or agreed in the Booking).

Subject to the provisions of Condition 6, you must notify the company as soon as possible if your estimated arrival time is delayed or disrupted, as this may lead to difficulties and delays in making the boat available to You. There will be no rebate of the price for late arrival, nor will the company accept responsibility for any overnight costs that You may incur if you fail to reach the boat during normal working hours. (09:00 Hrs to 17:00 Hrs, Monday to Friday).

Before You take the boat over, the company will give you a thorough safety briefing, instructions, demonstrations and trials as appropriate. You will then be required to check and sign a disclaimer and handover procedure sheet. The signing of this document is compulsory as a condition of our insurance cover and our health & safety policies.

The company will not be liable for any circumstance which may delay the start of your holiday that may be outside of our control. For example, adverse weather or navigation conditions, damage, mechanical breakdown, late return by previous hirer, the company may substitute a boat of similar accommodation if available.

The boat must be returned to our Moorings at Stony Lane, Forton PR3 0AR or as otherwise shown on the Booking Confirmation (or notified under Condition 6) and vacated by you and all of your party before 10:00 Hrs on the hire end date. It is Your responsibility to allow sufficient time to ensure timely return to our Moorings at Stony Lane, Forton, PR3 0AR.

The right is reserved to decline to accept any person either at the Mooring or aboard a boat, at the discretion of the management. If circumstances warrant such action, a full and documented reason shall be provided. In such an instance, it shall be your sole responsibility to cover costs of travel. No compensation, consequential losses, additional travelling costs or other such claim shall be accepted in such an unfortunate event. Reasons for such action shall include, but not be limited to:

9a. Violent, racist, verbal abuse or other such unacceptable behaviour.

9b. Failure to comply with the laws of the United Kingdom.

9c. Drunk and disorderly behaviour.

9d. Misuse of any un-prescribed drugs.

9e. Refusal or failure to comply with health & safety issues.

9f. Any other behaviour deemed disruptive, dangerous or insulting to other members of the public, other boat users, persons on the towpath etc.

10. INSURANCE AND SECURITY BOND - We operate within UK laws that include compulsory and statutory insurance against accident and third-party liability. Personal insurance against injury, item theft, loss, or any other such event is not included.

It is highly recommended that you take out your own Travel Insurance in accordance with good standard travel procedures. 

The company insures the boat against physical loss, damage and against public liability risks. You are entitled to any protection that may be afforded by the company's insurance policy (subject to your paying any applicable policy excess £500) but you and members of your party may become legally liable to the company or to third parties, for loss or damage caused or contributed to by your acts, omissions or negligence. The company's insurance policy does not cover personal accidents or your personal belongings, excludes and does not cover the first £500 of any claim. The Security Bond Deposit is intended to cover the company's policy excess and any uninsured risks or other sums, due to the company under the Hire Agreement. It is not the limit of your potential liability to the company. The company may apply the whole or any part of the Security Bond Deposit towards payment of any claim which the company may have against you.

Deductions will be made from your Security Bond Deposit if the boat is not returned to our moorings, in good clean condition, all items of itinerary present, in good working order and the hire boat vacated prior to 10:00 Hrs on the end day of your hire period.

Otherwise, the company shall refund the Security Bond Deposit within 7 days. The refund will be made promptly, in the same method as it was paid, as long as the company is satisfied that no loss, damage or accident has occurred and that no other sums are due to the company from You.

11. SAFETY AND OTHER RULES - You agree to comply with the following rules at all times during the Hire Period:

11a. To ensure that at all times while the boat is being navigated, the minimum age of the operator on board and in charge is no younger than 25 years old.

11b. To allow the boat to be occupied only by the persons named in the Booking confirmation. This is restricted to 4 people only due to the nature of our boat(s).

11c. To moor the boat securely when not being navigated.

11d. To observe all speed limits of 4 mph (1250 RPM) and not to navigate at a speed, which creates, a breaking wash or disturbs and causes inconvenience to other waterway users, to give way to laden or un-laden cargo boats, sailing craft, rowing boats and other human propelled craft.

11e. At all times to observe all bye-laws and navigational limits and abide by the instructions and advice of Canal and       River Trust and their respective officers and employees. 

11f. Not to race the boat.  

11g. Not to bring onto the boat any dinghies, canoes, portable heaters, bicycles, vehicles, lighting equipment, TV sets, electric tools or cooking appliances, inflammable liquids or substances, gas cylinders, car batteries, fire arms or any other items, which might create dangers or hazards without the Company's prior written permission.

11h. Not to use the boat for any commercial purpose.

11i. Not to tow or be towed, other than in exceptional circumstances.

11j. Not to navigate after sunset or before sunrise.

11k. Not to allow more than 4 persons to be on the boat at any time.

11l. Not to take the Hire Boat into any Locks, on to sea or tidal waters. You are to only cruise on the Main Lancaster Canal.

11m. Not to have or carry any live bait on the boat.

The company reserves the right at its reasonable discretion and without liability, to restrict cruising areas or routes in the light of prevailing weather and navigation conditions. If You are reported for improper navigation during the Hire Period or if You are in breach of any of the rules in these terms & conditions and, if the company has good reason to believe that it will be involved in any expense or penalty as a consequence of your actions, then at the end of hire date the company may retain the security bond deposit against prospective future liabilities. The company shall pay such monies into a separate client account. If no action has been taken after a maximum period of 6 months from the end of hire date the company shall return the Security Deposit to you.

12. ACCIDENTS - You are in charge of the boat and are responsible for its safe navigation. In the event of any accident or damage involving you or any other people or any property, You must :

12a. Obtain and record the name of any other boats and the names and addresses of any other people involved on the form provided by the company.

12b. Take photographs of the incident, the boats involved, the boats ID numbers and the people onboard or involved in any accidents or damage. (If camera/smart phone is available).

12c. Notify the company as soon as practically possible with full details of the accident and any damage sustained.

12d. Proceed in accordance with and follow the company's reasonable instructions.

13. LOOKING AFTER THE BOAT - You are responsible for and will keep the boat, its equipment and contents in clean and tidy order during the hire period. You must notify and provide full details to the company of any breakdown, damage, theft or loss involving the boat, as soon as practically possible. You must not undertake or commission any repairs, adjustment or service without the company's prior approval.

Although the boat is insured against many risks by the company, you remain responsible to the company for any damage or loss arising from your breach of the agreement, your deliberate acts or from Your negligence.

You shall be responsible for getting the boat off mud banks or any other grounding, for removal of weeds, rope, or other matter from propellers and steering gear and for keeping the company informed of any incidents of this nature.

14. HIRER'S PROPERTY - We shall make one parking space available for an average sized family car at our moorings in Stony Lane, Forton, PR3 0AR for the duration of your hire period. Your car may be left entirely at the owner's risk in the Company's car park. The Company will be under no liability for any loss or damage to vehicles, their contents or for your property on the boat. The company may take such reasonable action as it shall consider necessary to silence car alarms in the company's car park and to recover the costs from You. This is inclusive of any requirements and obligations under the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993.     

The company will return property which it finds which has been accidentally left on the Boat provided that it is claimed promptly, that You either arrange for its collection, or agree to pre-pay for any postage and packing. Property not claimed within 28 days from the end hire date, the property then may be disposed of by the company.

15. FUEL - The boat is handed over ready fuelled and the price includes the cost of all the diesel fuel consumed for both heating and propulsion uses.

16. PETS - Pets are allowed on the boat only with the company's permission. You shall give notice of any pets you wish to bring at the time of making the booking. There is a small charge you must pay if you bring animals on board to contribute towards additional cleaning costs. You must provide any pet baskets or blankets. All pets must be properly house trained or caged as appropriate, must never be left unattended and shall not be allowed on bedding or chairs. Pets and pet damage are not covered under the company's insurance policy. You will be liable for any damage or loss caused by your pet in full.

17. INVENTORY - We have a full inventory of all items on board the hire boat. Any damage to these items during the hire period must be notified to the company as soon as practically possible, so as to afford the company the opportunity to rectify the matter. You will be responsible for the cost of replacing or repairing any items on the inventory which are missing or damaged at the end of the hire period, at the discretion of the company. This will be taken from your Security Bond Deposit in the first instance. If the value of the claim exceeds the amount of your Security Bond Deposit then we will proceed to claim the difference from you and your party members as named on the booking confirmation. (We do not typically charge for small breakages such as a broken glass or plate).

18. EXCLUSION AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY - The company shall not be liable to pay any compensation, damages, costs or expenses, for any claim arising from any cause beyond the company's reasonable control. Specifically, any cause that could not have been mitigated or avoided, by the company including, but not limited to:

18a. Loss of, or damage to any person's property (including the Boat).

18b. Non-fulfilment, interruption or delay to the booking.

18c. Breakdowns, mechanical problems, latent defects, damage to the Boat.

18d. Restrictions on cruising, obstructions, repairs, damage or closure of waterways, non-availability of routes, navigational works, storms, floods, droughts, ice, shortage of water or other weather or climactic conditions, rationing, shortage or non-availability of fuel.

18e. Consequential loss, damage or expense, which you may incur including the cost of alternative transport, accommodation or other holiday provision.

The company's total liability to You and any person claiming through You in respect of all claims which may arise under the Agreement (other than in respect of claims for personal injury or death due to negligence on the part of the company) shall be limited in aggregate to the total price actually paid by you, to the company.

19. THE WEBSITE - The specifications of boats, their accommodation, facilities and equipment on the website are intended as a general guide and the company shall not be liable in the event of any insubstantial differences in the boats supplied. The company reserves the right to make modifications to the boats. In particular alterations may occur during rebuilding or refitting boats within classes may differ & colours may vary.

20. OVERALL ENJOYMENT - We will not accept responsibility for your overall enjoyment or weather conditions for the duration of your hire period. Whilst every effort will be made to maximise your pleasure and experience, it is accepted that every person's preference and tastes are unique. It would be impossible to satisfy all of our customers all of the time. However, we recognise that our own success is dependent on word-of-mouth referral and prioritises customer satisfaction accordingly. We do actively make every effort to ensure you have a pleasant holiday afloat on our boats.

21. LAW AND JURISDICTION - This Agreement shall be governed by the law of England. Any dispute arising under this Agreement shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts.

22. DISPUTE RESOLUTION - The British Marine Federation and the Royal Yachting Association recommend that disputes arising under this form of agreement, which cannot be resolved by negotiation, should, with the written agreement of the parties, be submitted to mediation, or failing that to arbitration under the British Marine Federation's Dispute Resolution Scheme that is approved by the Royal Yachting Association. Details of the mediation scheme operated by the British Marine Federation are available at Matters suitable for arbitration shall be submitted to a single Arbitrator in accordance with the British Marine Federation's Dispute Resolution Scheme. The provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 shall apply. The entire agreement between you and the company is contained in these conditions, the booking request and the booking confirmation. Nothing in these conditions affects your statutory rights.

23. THIRD PARTIES - Only the named parties to the agreement may enforce the terms of the agreement. The parties agree that the Contracts (Rights of third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply to this Agreement.

24. CORONAVIRUS - We have in place stringent hygiene, health & safety procedures to avoid cross contamination between parties of clients and hires, to ensure you are Covid safe whilst on board all/any of our boats. We endeavour to thoroughly sanitise all our boats, and their equipment between hires. All boats are aired for several hours before your departure time. All cutlery, crockery, pots and pans are replaced with cleaned & sanitised items. All bedding and towels are also replaced with clean & sanitised items between hires.

In the event of government restrictions (lockdown) being enforced again, we would transfer your complete booking (and any monies paid) to a mutually agreeable date in the future when such restrictions would allow. We would not make any charge for this transfer of your booking under the circumstances.      


Water Babies Leisure Ltd, The Moorings, Stony Lane, Forton, Lancashire, PR3 0AR

Tel : 01524 928829

Email :

Web :