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Boat Hire Conditions

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  • Please read these conditions carefully. They are all part of the hire agreement and describe the rights and duties of both you and the Company.

    1. DEFINITIONS
    In these Conditions and the Agreement the following words have the following meanings:-
    "Agreement" means the Hire Agreement between You and the Company which is evidenced by your booking request and the Booking Confirmation and is made on the basis of these Conditions
    "Booking Confirmation" means the written confirmation issued to You by the Company confirming the hire period, price, place of delivery and other key particulars of the booking
    "Company" means Britannia Narrow Boats Ltd trading as Shire Cruisers
    "You" means the person or persons 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
    "Conditions" means these Boat Hire Conditions
    "Price" means the price in the Booking Confirmation
    "Start Date" means the start date in the Booking Confirmation
    "End Date" means the end date in the Booking Confirmation.
    "Hire Period" means the hire period in the Booking Confirmation
    "written" means that the item has been printed, typed, written out by hand or sent or displayed by email or other electronic means.

    2. AGREEMENT TO HIRE
    2.1 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 sends out the Booking Confirmation. A provisional or conditional booking is not binding and You may cancel it at any time before the 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. The entire Agreement between You and the Company is contained in these Conditions, the booking request and the Booking Confirmation.
    2.2 In accepting a booking, the Company's responsibility does not extend beyond the provision of the Boat and in particular there is no warranty that any particular route will be available for navigation during the Hire Period. Bookings for optional extras are taken subject to availability on the start date.
    2.3 Nothing in these Conditions affects Your statutory rights.

    3. PRICES AND PAYMENT
    3.1 The Company's advertised Prices are in pounds sterling and include Value Added Tax. If the rates of VAT or any other government tax are changed so that a different rate applies to Your hire any difference will be charged or refunded to You as the case may be.
    3.2 The Company reserves the right to correct errors in advertised or quoted prices at the time of booking Confirmation.
    3.3 Payment is deemed to have been made when cash or cleared funds have been received by the Company.
    3.4 The Deposit is payable at the time of the booking request. The deposit is 20% of the total Price, minimum £125.
    3.5 The balance of the Price is due not less than 6 weeks before the Start Date as shown in the Booking Confirmation. Time of payment shall be of the essence of the Agreement.
    3.6 For bookings made less than 6 weeks before the Start Date You must pay the full Price at the time of the booking request.
    3.7 The Company may charge interest at the rate of 3% p.a. over Bank of England base rate on any money which is overdue from the due date until the actual date of full payment.
    3.8 The Booking Confirmation is not a VAT invoice.

    4. YOUR PARTY
    Personal agreement and obligations
    Group Bookings, Age Limits and Unsuitable Hirers

    4.1 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 18 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 Confirmation has been issued (including during the hire period) must be communicated in writing and approved by the Company (such approval is not to be unreasonably withheld). You are responsible for making all members of Your party aware of the terms of the Agreement.
    School parties, youth groups, hen or stag parties, business purposes
    4.2 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 more information about the members of the party and the purpose and nature of the hire occasion. If the Company later becomes aware that Your party actually falls within this policy but 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.
    The use of alcohol and controlled drugs; Company's right of immediate cancellation
    4.3 The Boat shall not be navigated while anyone on board is, or appears to be, under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the Company may cancel Your booking and refuse to hand the Boat over to You or repossess it 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 and if this is insufficient to cover its loss it shall be entitled to bring a claim against You for the balance of such claim.
    Company's right to decline handover for safety reasons
    4.4 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 (and provided that You have fully complied with 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.
    Company's right to repossess during the hire
    4.5 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 affecting the safety of any person or property including in particular if You or any member of Your party is or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if You are not behaving responsibly or if there has been a material breach of the terms of this Agreement.

    5. CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES REQUESTED BY YOU

    5.1 The Agreement is a legally binding contract and may only be amended or cancelled in accordance with these Conditions.
    5.2 If You want to change or cancel Your Booking You must give the Company written notice. The date of receipt of the written notice shall be the effective date of change or cancellation but in order to increase the prospects of re-letting the Boat You should pre-advise the Company of any impending change or cancellation by email or telephone.
    5.3 The Company shall make the following charges for cancellation, depending on the date on which the Cancellation Notice is received:

    Days before Start Date when Cancellation Notice received Cancellation Charge
    More than 56 Loss of Deposit
    43-56 50% of Total Price
    29-42 70% of Total Price
    8-28 85% of Total Price
    7 or less 100% of Total Price

    5.4 If the Company re-lets the Boat to a new customer for the Hire Period or part of it then the proceeds will first be applied to make up any shortfall between the Cancellation Charge previously paid by You and the full Price of Your holiday.
    5.5 Any remainder not exceeding the total previously paid by You will be returned to You after deducting an administration fee of £50 for each replacement booking together with any commission paid to agents for re-letting the Boat.
    5.6 Any holiday may be cancelled for any reason before 31 December the previous year and the Company will refund all monies paid less any commission paid to agents.
    5.7 Credit card charges are non-refundable.
    5.8 Bookings may be transferred at the Company's discretion and subject to availability up to 42 days before the start date. A fee of £20 will be charged for any necessary re-invoicing.
    5.9 YOU ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO PROTECT AGAINST CANCELLATION LIABILITIES BY TAKING OUT CANCELLATION INSURANCE.

    6. CANCELLATION BY THE COMPANY
    6.1 The Company may cancel the Agreement by written notice in the following circumstances:
    6.1.1 For any of the reasons described in Conditions 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 or 4.5
    6.1.2 In the event of an accident affecting the safety or navigability of the Boat
    6.1.3 For breach of any of the rules set out under Condition 9.1
    6.1.4 For non-payment of any sum due under the Agreement
    6.2 The Company is entitled to recover from You any loss which it suffers as a result of cancellation under any of the provisions of Conditions 4.2, 4.3, or 4.5 or for breach of Condition 9.1 and it may retain all or part of any payments which You have made as security for such claims. 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 the net sums received as a result of such re-letting and shall prepare and submit to You an account of the claim and of any payment which may be due to You or to the Company within 7 days of the End Date.

    7. HIRE PERIOD, COLLECTION AND RETURN OF BOAT
    7.1 The Boat will normally be available between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on the Start Date from the base shown on the Booking Confirmation or in the case of one way trips as otherwise indicated to You, subject to the provisions of Condition 7.7.
    7.2. 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. If you arrive late the Company may not be able to complete the handover till the following day. There will be no rebate of the Price for late arrival nor will the Company accept responsibility for any overnight costs which You may incur if you fail to reach the Boat during normal working hours.
    7.3 Before You take the Boat over the Company will give You such instructions, demonstrations and trials as are appropriate, and You will then be required to check and sign the Handover Certificate to indicate that these instructions and demonstrations have been understood.
    7.4 In the event that the Boat is not available on the Start Date due to any circumstance for which the Company is not responsible (for example adverse weather or navigation conditions, damage, mechanical breakdown, late return by previous hirer) the Company may substitute a boat of similar accommodation or at a different location but if no such boat is available the Company shall immediately refund You any payments You have made.
    7.5 The Boat must be returned to to its start point or as otherwise agreed or notified under Condition 7.7 and vacated by You by 9.30am on the End Date and it is Your responsibility to allow sufficient time to ensure timely return.
    7.6 If You return the Boat late or to the wrong place because of poor planning on Your part or for another reason which is Your responsibility then You will be liable to pay £50 for every hour or part hour of the delay in returning the Boat or giving possession and the cost of recovering the Boat and any other expenses and losses which the Company may incur as a result of the delay including the loss or cancellation of a subsequent booking.
    7.7 The Company reserves the right to change the place of handover and return for operational reasons. In such event the Company shall be obliged to give You written notice of the change in sufficient time (consistent with the circumstances) to allow any necessary re-planning of Your itinerary and to organise any transport which is reasonably necessary for You and Your party as a result of such change.

    8. INSURANCE AND DAMAGE WAIVER
    8.1 The Company insures the Boat and its equipment against physical loss and damage and against public liability risks. You are entitled to any protection that may be afforded by the Company's insurance policy (subject to any applicable policy excess) 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 policy excludes the first £500 of any claim.
    8.2 The price includes a non-refundable Damage Waiver which covers the Company's policy excess and any uninsured risks except where any loss or damage is caused by speeding, contact with a lock cill causing damage to the rudder, skeg or stern gear, the deliberate or negligent act or omission of You or any member of Your party (including where the person concerned is under the influence of alcohol drugs or any similar substance) or any failure by You to comply with these Conditions. In this case the Company has the right to make an additional charge to cover the loss or damage.
    8.3 The Company's policy does not cover personal accident or Your personal belongings. You are strongly advised to take out Your own personal insurance cover.

    9. SAFETY AND OTHER RULES
    9.1 You agree to comply with the following rules at all times during the Hire Period:-
    9.1.1 To ensure that at all times while the Boat is being navigated or is transiting locks or moveable structures the minimum age both of the operator on board and in charge, and of the person in charge of the lock or structure, is 18 years.
    9.1.2 Not to tow or be towed other than in exceptional circumstances.
    9.1.3 To moor the Boat securely.
    9.1.4 Not to navigate after sunset or before sunrise.
    9.1.5 To observe all speed limits, and not to navigate at a speed which creates a breaking wash or disturbs or inconveniences other waterway users.
    9.1.6 Not to race the Boat.
    9.1.7 Not to bring onto the Boat any dinghies, inflatables, portable heaters, 230 volt electrical appliances rated at more than 1.0kw, inflammable liquids or substances, gas cylinders, firearms or any other items which might create danger or hazards unless expressly authorised. Canoes and bicycles may be kept on the Boat roof providing that You place matting to protect the Boat's paintwork.
    9.1.8 Not to use the Boat for any commercial purpose.
    9.1.9 To allow the Boat to be occupied only by the persons named on the booking form.
    9.1.10 Not to allow to be on the Boat at any time more persons than the maximum number of berths and in no circumstances more than 12 persons being the legal limit.
    9.1.11 To give way to laden or unladen cargo boats, sailing craft, rowing boats and other human-propelled craft.
    9.1.12 Not to take the Boat onto sea or tidal waters without the written consent of the Company. To cruise only on canals and rivers approved by the Company.
    9.1.13 Not to have or carry any live bait on the Boat.
    9.1.14 At all times to observe all byelaws and navigational limits and abide by the instructions and advice of the relevant Navigation Authorities and the Company and their respective officers and employees.
    9.2 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.

    10. ACCIDENTS
    10.1 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:-
    10.1.1 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 (when available);
    10.1.2 Notify the Company as soon as practically possible with full details of the accident and any damage sustained;
    10.1.3 Proceed in accordance with and follow the Company's reasonable instructions;
    10.1.4 Not in any circumstances admit or allow any other person on the boat to admit liability to any other person.

    11. LOOKING AFTER THE BOAT
    11.1 You are responsible for and will keep the Boat and its equipment in clean and tidy order during the Hire Period.
    11.2 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.
    11.3 Although the Boat and its equipment are insured by the Company against many risks 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.
    11.4 You shall be responsible for getting the Boat off mud banks or other grounding and 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.

    12. HIRER'S PROPERTY
    12.1 Vehicles may be left entirely at their owners' risk in the Company's car park or car parks made available to You by others. The Company will be under no liability for any loss or damage to vehicles or their contents or for Your property on the Boat or elsewhere unless caused by the Company's negligence.
    12.2 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.
    12.3 The Company will return Hirer's property which it finds which has been accidentally left on the Boat provided that it is claimed promptly and that You either arrange for its collection or agree to pre-pay for any postage and packing. Property not claimed within one month from the End Date may be disposed of by the Company.

    13. FUEL
    13.1 The Boat is handed over ready fuelled and the Price includes the cost of fuel consumed not exceeding one tankful.
    13.2 The Company may make a fuel surcharge if the cost of diesel at Tesco Brighouse increases by 10% or more between the date of the Booking Confirmation and the Start Date. The surcharge shall be limited to the actual percentage increase in the cost of diesel.

    14. PETS
    14.1 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.
    14.2 The Company's charges for pets are set out in the brochure.
    14.3 You must provide any pet baskets or blankets.
    14.4 All pets must be properly house trained or caged as appropriate, must never be left unattended and may not be allowed on bedding or seats.
    14.5 Pets and pet damage are not covered under the Company's insurance policy and You will be liable for any damage or loss caused by them or extra cleaning required.

    15. INVENTORY
    15.1 You will be required to sign for the inventory on taking the boat over. Any shortcomings discovered 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.

    16. EXCLUSION AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
    16.1 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 which could not have been mitigated or avoided by the Company including but not limited to: death or personal injury of Hirers their crew and passengers; loss of or damage to any person's property (including the Boat); non-fulfilment, interruption or delay to the booking; breakdowns, mechanical problems, latent defects, damage to the Boat; 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 climatic conditions; rationing, shortage or non-availability of fuel; consequential loss, damage or expense which You incur including the cost of alternative transport, accommodation or other holiday provision.
    16.2 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 twice the Total Price actually paid by You to the Company in respect of the Agreement in question.

    17. BROCHURE
    The specifications of boats, their accommodation, facilities and equipment in the brochure or 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 and reserves the right to make modifications. In particular alterations may occur during rebuilding or refitting, boats within classes may differ, colours may vary, layout plans are for guidance only and are not to scale and boats may have steps which are not shown. If Your party includes any infirm or disabled persons You should make relevant enquiries at the time of booking - see Accessibility. The Company reserves the right to change boat specifications without prior notice.

    18. LAW AND JURISDICTION
    18.1 This Agreement shall be governed by the law of England and Wales.
    18.2 Any dispute arising under this Agreement shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.

    19. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
    19.1 British Marine and the Royal Yachting Association recommend that disputes arising under this 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 Dispute Resolution Scheme, which is approved by the Royal Yachting Association.
    19.2 Details of the mediation scheme operated by British Marine are available at www.britishmarine.co.uk/mediation.
    19.3 Matters suitable for arbitration shall be submitted to a single Arbitrator in accordance with the British Marine Dispute Resolution Scheme. The provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 shall apply.

    20. THIRD PARTIES
    Only the named parties to this 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

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