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Cambridge Narrowboats - Conditions of Hire


  • The booking contract is between you (the Hirer) and Gwyther and Ball Ltd, of 36, Lovell Rd, Cambridge, CB4 2QR, UK -  trading as “Cambridge Narrowboats” and is a legal agreement between both parties.

  • A 20% deposit payment (or amount otherwise agreed) must be made at the time of booking. The Hirer is responsible for the whole of the hire fee and the balance which must be paid 60 days prior to the start of your holiday boat hire.

  • A £150 breakages/cleaning charge will be added to your final bill, but this will be refundable on return of the boat in a reasonably clean and tidy condition.

  • A narrowboat booking is confirmed and binding when the completed booking form has reached the Company with the deposit payment.

  • At least two of the hirers in your party must be aged 24 or over.

  • Only the maximum number of people the boat is designed to sleep are allowed on the boat.


  • The prices shown on the web site are fully inclusive for the narrowboatwith the exception of the daily diesel charge. This includes pump-out facilities, boat-breakdown cover, parking, post-holiday boat cleaning and boat insurance.

  • The Company reserves the right to change advertised prices. However, in the rare event of this being necessary, we will advise the Hirer at the time of booking and will not change the price once a booking is confirmed.


  • If Cambridge Narrowboats have to cancel your holiday, the Company will refund payments made by you towards the boat hire in full, and the Hirer shall have no further claim against the Company.

  • If a booking is cancelled less than 44 days before arrival then a charge equal to the full booking amount will be made.

  • If the booking is cancelled 44 or more days before arrival then a charge equal to 25% of the stay will be made.
    In the event of a no show or booking reduction (after arrival date) the full cost of the booking is charged.

  • If, following a booking, the full balance is not paid on time, the Company will notify the Hirer. If after 7 days from the date on which full payment is due, full payment has not been received by the Company, then we may cancel the booking and the above cancellation charges will apply and you remain liable for 100% of the holiday cost.

  • The Company reserves the right to delay or postpone a holiday if weather conditions are adverse. High winds or thick fog makes manoeuvring the boat extremely difficult and very dangerous to passengers on the boat and other boats and infrastructure. Also, the boat is not designed to break through ice and will not be moved in these conditions. Rain is not considered adverse unless accompanied by very strong winds. Guests will be welcome to remain on the boat if it is forced to stay on the mooring. If adverse weather is expected to continue for more than 48 hours, we will discuss with you the options of remaining on the boat, postponing or cancelling your holiday.


  • Boats should be ready for the Hirer to take-over by 2pm on the first day of hire. If the boat has been received back from a previous customer in a poor condition, it may take longer for the Company to clean and have it ready in time for the hand-over. The Company will do all in their power to get the boat ready in as timely a fashion as possible, but it will not be liable for any reasonable delay and the Hirer shall have no claim against the Company.

  • The Hirer must advise the company if, due to unavoidable delays or circumstances, your arrival time is likely to be later than 6:00pm.

  • The Company reserves the right to refuse to hand the boat over to any person(s) who they deem unsuitable to be in charge of the vessel. In this event all money paid will be refunded in full and the Hirer shall have no other claim.


  • The boat must be returned by 9.00 am on the last day of hire.

  • Failure to return the boat at 9.00 am will incur a further fee equal to £250 for each day or part day, and the making good to the Company of any loss sustained.

  • The Hirer is obliged to leave the narrowboat in a clean and tidy condition. Failure to observe this return procedure will result in the breakages/cleaning charge being retained and not returned to the customer.


  • Cambridge Narrowboats insures the boat and equipment against Public Liability Risks up to £3,000,000. This gives the Hirer full cover in the event of accidental damage to the boat or its equipment. However, should the Company feel that damage has been deliberately caused, or caused by negligence, it reserves the right to make a charge for the loss.

  • To be clear, the policy does not cover the following:

    • Personal accident

    • The hirer’s belongings

    • Holiday cancellation.


  • The Company shall not be liable for any matters arising from any cause beyond the Company’s reasonable control, or not due to the Company’s negligence or wilful default including (without limitation) the following:

  • Death or personal injury of Hirers their crew and passengers.

  • Loss of or damage to property.

  • Non-fulfilment or interruption of the booking or delays, breakdowns, mechanical problems, defects, damage, restrictions on cruising.

  • Obstructions, repairs or damage to waterways, non-availability of routes, navigational works, storms, floods, droughts, ice, shortage of water or other weather conditions.

  • Rationing, shortage or non-availability of fuel.

  • Any consequential loss, damage, expense, injury or claim.

  • We also reserve the right to restrict the navigation without notice if unusual conditions arise and can make no financial adjustment in these circumstances.


  • The Company may repossess the boat at any time if, in its opinion, the Hirer is unsuitable or is behaving irresponsibly, or if the boat or any persons are at risk. In these circumstances the Hirer remains liable for the holiday cost and no refund will be made.

  • If owing to circumstances beyond the Company’s control, it is unable to provide the boat booked or a suitable alternative, the Company will refund all money paid in full and the Hirer shall have no further claim.



  • The Hirer is in charge of the boat and is responsible for its safe navigation. In the event of any accident or damage to the boat, other craft or the waterway, the Hirer must:

  • Obtain and record the name of any other boat and names and addresses of all parties involved, including the other boat owner and other hirers.

  • Notify the Company by telephone immediately with full details of the accident, including damage incurred and information of names and addresses.


  • Proceed, in accordance with and follow, the Company’s instructions.

  • In the event of an accident the Company may repossess the boat and the hiring contract shall then terminate without liability on the Company.

  • In the event that the Company’s insurance cover is prejudiced or invalidated by any failure on the part of the Hirer to comply with the provisions of this condition, the Hirer shall indemnify the Company in respect of all liability claims, loss damage or expenses incurred.

  • Any repairs are the responsibility of the Company and should not be put into the hands of other companies without the Company’s authority.

  • The Hirer is responsible for any charges made by the Canal & River Trust (CRT), East Anglian Waterways or Conservators of the River Cam for any loss of water or damage to property caused by the Hirer.


The Hirer and passengers undertake to receive instruction from representatives of the Company in boat handling and agree to abide by their procedures as told and shown on take-over. In particular the Hirer will comply with all instructions given concerning safety of the boat, passengers, canal structures and canal environment and undertake to watch the Basic Boat Handling and Safety video and read the Boaters Handbook – both of which are available on the website.

This covers, but is not limited, to:

  • Not cruising in hours of darkness.

  • Observing all speed limits and not creating a damaging wash.

  • Showing courtesy to other canal and river users.

  • Only using visitors moorings.

  • Operating the locks carefully and properly – never leave a lock open!

  • Observing all bylaws, navigation limits and instruction/advice from British Waterways’ representatives.

  • Breach of these conditions will result in curtailment of hire with no refund.


• No bicycles are to be carried on the boat at any time, there is no room & it causes damage to the paintwork. No live bait is to be carried inside the boat at any time.

11. PETS

  • The Hirer must bring their CLEAN pet-blanket or basket, food bowls, dog lifejackets (if required), etc as two reasonably sized dogs are allowed on the boat only on the clear understanding that in no circumstances may they lie on the bedding or chairs.

  • An extra £45 breakages/cleaning charge is levied for guests bringing dogs, but this is fully refundable if the boat is left in a reasonable clean and tidy and undamaged state.

  • Your pets must not be left unattended in your boat.


  • Boats will not be hired to all-male or all-female parties except at the discretion of the Company.


  • The Hirer must fully check the boat and its contents and equipment on arrival at the boat and notify the Company of any alleged deficiencies or shortcomings before the boat leaves.

  • The Company shall not be liable in respect of any matter which is not so notified immediately and, in any event, shall not be liable in respect of any matter which is notified after the end of the hire period. (The boat may by then have been taken over by another hirer and may not be available for inspection).


  • The Hirer shall take reasonable care of the boat its equipment and contents and shall return them at the end of the hire period in accordance with the company’s instructions and in good clean and tidy order and condition.

  • The Hirer shall notify the company in the event of breakdown, damage, theft or loss and shall provide full details and comply with the company’s instructions.

  • The Hirer must not undertake or have undertaken any repairs, adjustment or service without the company’s prior approval. Any repairs or replacements by the Hirer without the company’s approval will not be accepted.

  • The Hirer shall be responsible for getting the boat off mud banks or other grounding and for removal of weeds, rope and other matter from propellers.

  • The Hirer shall notify the Company if any of these operations cannot be
carried out without risk of accident or damage.

  • The Hirer shall have no claim on the company as a result of breakdown or failures of the boat and its equipment or for any delays caused by repairs to the boat. The Hirer shall comply with the company’s instructions; otherwise the Hirer shall be liable for any loss or damage incurred.


  • Vehicles may be left in the car parks or driveway at the owner’s risk. The company will be under no liability for any loss of or damage to vehicles or contents of the hirers or other people’s property on the boat or elsewhere or howsoever caused except by the company’s negligence or that of those for whom the Company is responsible.

  • Hirers are particularly advised not to leave any valuable or portable items in the car. The Company shall take such action as may be necessary to silence car alarms in the company’s car parks and to recover the costs from the Hirer. The Company may return hirer’s property left behind if claimed and following the receipt of payment for postage and packing (minimum charge £10). Property not claimed within two months from the end date will be disposed of by the Company.


  • The description of the boats on this web site are generally accurate, but the Company will not be liable for any minor inaccuracy that may exist. Maps and plans are not to scale, may have steps not shown, and are for guidance only.

  • If the Hirer’s party includes any infirm persons, the Hirer should make relevant enquiries at the time of booking to ensure that the boat is suitable for their stay.


These Conditions of Hire are written to ensure that the Company has covered off every eventuality, but first and foremost, we will wish to reach an amicable solution to any difficulties the Hirer may face. Cambridge Narrowboats wants nothing more than the Hirer to experience an amazing, stress-free, fun-packed and memorable holiday. Let’s work together to ensure that you, the Hirer, get just that. Happy Holidays!


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