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Boat Hire Conditions


  • These Conditions, together with Your Booking Confirmation, form the hire agreement between You and the Company (the "Agreement") and describe the rights and duties of both You and the Company.

    In the Agreement the following words have the following meanings:-
    "Balance" means the part of the Price outstanding when the Deposit has been paid.
    "Booking Confirmation" means the written confirmation issued by the Company to You confirming the hire period, price, place of delivery and other key details of the booking.
    "Company" means Britannia Narrow Boats Ltd trading as Shire Cruisers of The Wharf Sowerby Bridge HX6 2AG.
    "Conditions" means these Boat Hire Conditions.
    "Deposit" means the deposit referred to in the Booking Confirmation and Condition 3.5.
    "End Date" means the end date referred to in the Booking Confirmation.
    "Force Majeure Event" has the meaning given to it in Condition 21.
    "Hire Period" means the hire period set out in the Booking Confirmation.
    "Price" means the price of the boat hire set out in the Booking Confirmation.
    "Start Date" means the start date referred to 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.
    "You" and “Your” means the person or persons named as the hirer or hirers in the Booking Confirmation and includes anyone added to the Booking Confirmation as a hirer at a later date, but excludes other members of Your party. If there is more than one of You, each of You will be jointly and severally liable under the Agreement.

    2.1 When You request a booking, You are making an offer to hire a boat on these Conditions.  Booking requests will be accepted via the Company’s website, over the telephone, by email, in person, or by the Company’s appointed agents.
    2.2 The Agreement will be effective once the Company accepts Your booking and sends You a Booking Confirmation.  You may cancel a booking at any time before You receive the Booking Confirmation from the Company.  Similarly, the Company may hire the boat to another party at any time before it sends You a Booking Confirmation or if You fail to pay the Deposit.
    2.3 You are responsible for the accuracy of the personal details and any other information supplied in respect of You and Your party.  When You receive the Booking Confirmation please check the details carefully and inform the Company immediately if anything is incorrect.
    2.4 The Company is not responsible for maintaining or administering the waterways. Any information provided to You by the Company as to a suggested route or particular waterway is provided for general reference only. The Company makes no representation, or offers no guarantee or warranty, that any particular waterway or suggested route will be open or available for navigation during the Hire Period.

    3.1 The Company's advertised Prices are in pounds sterling (£) and include Value Added Tax (VAT) at the rate applicable on the date of the Booking Confirmation. If after the date of the Booking Confirmation the rate of VAT applicable to Your hire changes and/or any other tax, levy or local authority charge becomes applicable to Your hire, the Company reserves the right to amend the Price accordingly.
    3.2 The Company reserves the right to correct errors in advertised or quoted prices before or at the time of booking and will confirm the correct Price in the Booking Confirmation.
    3.3 Subject to Condition 3.1, the Booking Confirmation sets out the total Price that You must pay to the Company under the Agreement.
    3.4 You are responsible for making all payments due to the Company under the Agreement. Payment is deemed to have been made when cash or cleared funds are received by the Company.
    3.5 You shall pay the Deposit to the Company at the time of the booking request, by bank transfer, credit or debit card, or cash. The deposit is 20% of the total Price, minimum £125.
    3.6 You shall pay the Balance of the Price not less than 6 weeks before the Start Date as shown in the Booking Confirmation. Time of payment is of the essence. Failure to pay the Price by the due date may result in the booking being cancelled and Your liability for payment continuing.
    3.7 For bookings made less than 6 weeks before the Start Date You must pay the full Price at the time of the booking request.
    3.8 The Company may, at its sole discretion, charge interest at the rate of 4% per annum over Bank of England base rate on any amount outstanding under the Agreement from the due date for such amount until the date of its payment in full. Without prejudice to any other term of these Conditions, the Company may cancel your Booking if any amount due under the Agreement is not paid in full by its due date.
    3.9 The Booking Confirmation is not a VAT invoice. A VAT invoice will be issued upon request by You.
    3.10 Fares for taxis booked for You by the Company do not form part of the Price and are payable in cash to the driver on the day. If You cancel such a taxi with less than 24 hours notice, You may remain liable for the fare.

    4.1 Personal agreement and obligations
    The Agreement is a personal one between You and the Company and Your identity(ies) and the identity of members of Your party are 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 and possess the legal capacity to make the booking. You must be authorised by all other members of Your party to enter into the Agreement and accept these Conditions on their behalf. The full names and permanent addresses of all members of Your party, with the ages of children, 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 subject to these Conditions, but otherwise not to be unreasonably withheld). You are responsible for making all members of Your party aware of the terms of the Agreement.
    4.2 School parties, youth groups, hen or stag parties, commercial purposes
    Unless expressly agreed in the Booking Confirmation, the boat may not be used for school parties, youth groups, hen or stag parties or for any commercial purpose.
    4.3 Disability and reduced mobility
    If You or any member of Your party has a disability and/or reduced mobility that may affect Your booking, it is Your responsibility to notify the Company when making the booking or, if such disability and/or reduced mobility becomes apparent after the booking, no later than 48 hours prior to the Start Date. Subject to the foregoing, although the Company has no expertise in this subject matter, the Company will try and advise you as to the suitability of the boat you have chosen to hire and possible alternatives but You acknowledge that certain space restrictions and practical safety considerations apply on board boats which may prevent a person with a disability or reduced mobility from accessing the boat and/or complying with all safety requirements.  Where You have made a booking and You or a member of Your party subsequently becomes disabled or otherwise a person with reduced mobility the Company may not always be able to accommodate their needs.  If in the Company's reasonable opinion it is unable to properly accommodate the needs of the person(s) concerned or You do not accept such alternative arrangements as the Company may offer, the Company may, without liability, treat this as a request to terminate Your booking and Condition 7.1 shall apply.  The Company may require the person(s) concerned to produce a medical certificate certifying that they are fit to participate in the hire of the boat.  The Company shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused as a result of a disability and/or reduced mobility, save where such loss or damage is caused by the negligence of the Company and results in death or personal injury. Details of the Company’s facilities are set out on its Accessibility page.
    4.4 The use of alcohol and illegal drugs; Company’s right of immediate cancellation
    You must not navigate the boat while You or anyone on board is, or appears to be, under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

    5.1 Bookings may only be changed with the written agreement of both parties and in accordance with these Conditions.
    5.2 If You wish to change or transfer Your booking, the Company will use reasonable endeavours to accommodate such changes, provided that notification is received in writing from You.  The Company reserves the right to charge an administration fee of £50 in addition to any increase in the cost of the booking due to such changes. No refund will be given where any agreed changes would otherwise have resulted in a lower Price for Your booking.
    5.3 Transfers can only be permitted during the same calendar year.
    5.4 Only one transfer is permitted.

    6.1 This Agreement is a legally binding contract and may only be cancelled in accordance with these Conditions. You have no statutory right of cancellation under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
    6.2 If You want to cancel the Agreement You must give the Company email or other written notice (the “Cancellation Notice”). The date of receipt of the Cancellation Notice shall be the effective cancellation date.
    6.3 If You cancel the Agreement:
    6.3.1 before the Balance is due, the Deposit will not be refundable. The contract shall be discharged and You will not remain liable for the Balance.
    6.3.2 after the Balance is due but before You have paid it, You will forfeit the Deposit and remain liable to pay part of the Balance, according to the table in Condition 6.4.
    6.3.3 after You have paid the Balance, the Company will partially refund You so that the total You have paid is as set out in Condition 6.4.
    6.4 The Company shall make the following charge for cancellation (“Additional Cancellation Charge”), dependent on the proximity of the cancellation date to the Start Date:

    Days before Start Date when Cancellation Notice received Additional Cancellation Charge
    More than 42 nil
    29-42 50% of Balance
    8-28 75% of Balance
    7 or less 95% of Balance

    6.5 After cancellation by You, the Company will try to re-let the boat. If the Company re-lets the Boat to a new customer or customers for the Hire Period or part of it then the proceeds will first be applied to make up any shortfall between the amount previously paid by You and the full Price of Your holiday.
    6.6 Any remainder not exceeding the Balance or Additional Cancellation Charge 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.
    6.7 Cancellation terms apply to the whole party and do not provide for partial refunds in the event of withdrawal by one or more members. If You have booked more than one boat for the same Hire Period, the cancellation of each will be considered separately.
    6.8 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.

    7.1 The Company may at any time by written notice to You terminate the Agreement with immediate effect:
    7.1.1 in accordance with Condition 4.3;
    7.1.2 in accordance with Condition 8.4; or
    7.1.3 if there is a Force Majeure Event which for whatever reason prevents the Company from performing the Agreement.
    7.2 Where the Company terminates the Agreement in accordance with Conditions 7.1.1 to 7.1.3 inclusive, the Company shall, save where otherwise agreed in writing with You, refund the Deposit and all other amounts paid by you and shall have no further liability thereafter.
    7.3 The Company may refuse to hand the boat over to You and/or repossess the boat at any time after the Start Date and in either case terminate the Agreement if:
    7.3.1 You fail to pay any amount due under the Agreement;
    7.3.2 You or any member of Your party cause damage or loss to the boat, its services or facilities;
    7.3.3 the Company considers that You are, without the Company's prior written approval, using or intend to use the boat for a school party, youth group, hen or stag party or commercial purpose;
    7.3.4 the Company considers that You or anyone on board is, or appears to be, under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;
    7.3.5 You are unsuitable to take charge of the boat for any reason that may adversely affect the safety of any person or property;
    7.3.6 the Company considers that Your behaviour or the behaviour of anyone in Your party is likely to harm the environment or otherwise spoil the enjoyment and use of the waterways or otherwise harm the comfort or health of or cause offence to other guests, members of staff or waterway users; or
    7.3.7 You or any member of Your party (or anyone invited on to the boat by You) has breached or is likely to breach the rules set out under Condition 10.1 or any of Your obligations under the Agreement, any applicable laws and regulations, or any other terms and conditions applicable to the boat which You have been told about. 
    In the event of termination in accordance with this Condition 7.3, You shall comply with the Company's request to make the boat safe and secure and thereafter leave it immediately.  The Company shall be entitled to retain all amounts paid by you and You will remain liable to pay all other amounts due under the Agreement. Further, in the event that such amounts are insufficent to cover the Company's losses arising out of such termination, the Company shall be entitled to claim from You any loss or damage which it suffers.

    8.1 Subject to Condition 8.7 and save as it may otherwise notify you of in writing, the Company will use reasonable endeavours to make the boat available to You between 1300 and 1700 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.
    8.2. You must notify the Company of your estimated arrival time no later than seven days before Your Start Date, and thereafter notify the Company as soon as reasonably possible of any changes to Your estimated arrival time 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 costs which You may incur if you fail to reach the boat during normal working hours.
    8.3 Before You take over the boat 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.
    8.4 If the boat is not available on the Start Date any reason outside the Company’s control (including but not limited to any Force Majeure Event, adverse weather or navigation conditions, damage, mechanical breakdown, late return by previous hirer) the Company may substitute the boat with another boat with similar accommodation or at a different location by giving you written notice. If no such other boat is available or cannot be provided, the Company may terminate the agreement.
    8.5 The boat must be returned to the location specified by the Company or as otherwise shown on the Booking Confirmation or notified under Condition 8.7 and vacated by You by 9.30am on the End Date and it is Your responsibility to allow sufficient time to ensure timely return.
    8.6 If You return the boat late or to the wrong place, unless as a result of the Company’s breach of the Agreement then You will be liable to pay:
    8.6.1 £50 for every hour or part hour of the delay in returning the boat or giving possession;
    8.6.2 any cost incurred by the Company in recovering the Boat to the agreed return point;
    8.6.3 any other expenses and losses which the Company may incur as a result of the delay including, but not limited to, the loss or cancellation of a subsequent booking.
    8.7 The Company reserves the right to change the place of handover and return for operational reasons. The Company will give You written notice of the change as soon as practical and will use reasonable endeavours to allow any necessary re-planning of Your itinerary.

    9.1 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 Your paying any applicable policy excess if required under Condition 9.3) 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 deliberate or wilful acts or omissions.
    9.2 The Company's insurance policy does not cover personal accident or Your personal belongings and excludes the first £500 of any claim. You are strongly advised to take out Your own personal insurance cover.
    9.3 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 the deliberate or wilful 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 no greater than £500 to cover the loss or damage.

    10.1 You agree to comply with the following rules at all times during the Hire Period:-
    10.1.1 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 eighteen (18) years.
    10.1.2 Not to tow or be towed other than in exceptional circumstances.
    10.1.3 To moor the boat securely.
    10.1.4 To lock and secure the boat when away from it.
    10.1.5 Not to navigate after sunset or before sunrise.
    10.1.6 To observe all speed limits, and not to navigate at a speed which creates a breaking wash or disturbs or inconveniences other waterway users.
    10.1.7 Not to race the boat.
    10.1.8 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, candles or tea-lights, 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.
    10.1.9 To allow the boat to be occupied only by the persons named in the Booking Conformation.
    10.1.10 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 twelve (12) persons being the legal limit.
    10.1.11 To give way to laden or unladen cargo boats, sailing craft, canoes, rowing boats and other human-propelled craft.
    10.1.12 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.
    10.1.13 Not to have or carry any live bait on the boat.
    10.1.14 At all times to observe and abide by all regulations, 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.
    10.2 in addition to such restrictions on navigation as may from time to time be put in place by the competent authorities, for which the Company shall not be liable, the Company reserves the right, without liability, to restrict cruising areas or routes in the light of prevailing weather and navigation conditions.

    11.1 You are responsible for the boat, its equipment and contents at all times during the Hire Period. Such responsibility includes the safe and lawful navigation of the boat.
    11.2 You must keep the boat, its equipment and contents clean and tidy during the Hire Period.
    11.3 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 written approval.
    11.4 In the event of any accident or damage involving the Boat or anyone on the boat, or any third party persons or property, You must:
    11.4.1 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);
    11.4.2 Notify the Company as soon as practically possible with full details of the accident and any damage sustained;
    11.4.3 Proceed in accordance with such instructions as the Company may reasonably give;
    11.4.4 Not in any circumstances admit or allow any other person on the boat to admit liability to any other person.
    11.5 Although the boat and its equipment are insured by the Company against some risks You remain responsible to the Company for any damage or loss arising from Your breach of this Agreement, or Your deliberate or wilful acts or omissions.
    11.6 In the event that the boat is run aground or is otherwise involved in a collision you will be responsible for arranging its refloating or otherwise freeing it from any entanglement, including removing all weed, rope or other matter from the boat’s propeller and steering gear and you shall notify the Company of any such incident and keep it informed of developments related to such incident.

    The Company reserves the right at any time to board the boat and access its accommodation to inspect it (including but not limited to where You have complained about the boat). If this happens, the Company will try to give You reasonable notice first, notwithstanding which You agree to allow the Company or their representative(s) or contractor(s) immediate access to the boat at any time.

    13.1 Vehicles may be left entirely at their owners' risk in the Company's car park or car parks made available for 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.
    13.2 The Company may take such reasonable action as it shall consider necessary to silence your car alarm if Your car is left on or adjacent to the Company’s premises and to recover any associated costs from You. This is inclusive of any requirements and obligations under the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 and/or under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 and/or any other relevant legislation.
    13.3 The Company will use reasonable endeavours to return to You any of Your property which it finds on the boat or otherwise on the Company’s premises, provided that You notify the Company of such lost property 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.

    14. FUEL
    14.1 The boat will be handed over with a full fuel tank on the Start Date. The Price is inclusive of a tank of fuel. The Company reserves the right to make an additional charge for fuel consumed in exceptionally long journeys.
    14.2 The Company may make a fuel surcharge if the cost of diesel at Belmont Service Station, Sowerby Bridge, 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 consumed.

    15. PETS
    15.1 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.
    15.2 The Company's charges for pets are set out in the brochure.
    15.3 You must provide any pet baskets or blankets.
    15.4 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.
    15.5 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.

    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.

    17.1 The Company shall not be liable for any loss, cost or expense whatsoever suffered by You or any member of Your party (including but not limited to loss or damage to any person’s property and consequential or indirect loss) and howsoever arising, including without limitation caused by:
    17.1.1 non-fulfilment, interruption or delay to the booking;
    17.1.2 breakdowns, mechanical problems, latent defects, damage to the boat or other property;
    17.1.3 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;
    17.1.4 rationing, shortage or non-availability of fuel.
    17.2 Other than in respect of claims which cannot be excluded or limited at law (such as claims for death or personal injury), the Company's total liability to You and any person claiming through You in respect of all claims which may arise under or in connection with the Agreement will be limited in aggregate to twice the Price actually paid by You to the Company in respect of the Agreement in question.
    17.3 Nothing in these Conditions affects Your statutory rights. In the event of a conflict between the Agreement and any consumer protection legislation conferred upon you, such consumer protection legislation shall prevail. In the event of a conflict between these Conditions and the Booking Confirmation, the Booking Confirmation shall prevail.

    18. 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. 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.

    19.1 If you wish to make a complaint to the Company regarding Your booking, You may do so by post or email within 30 days of the End Date. The Company has a procedure to handle complaints promptly. If you fail to make your complaint within 30 days of the End Date, this may affect your entitlement to claim compensation (if any).
    19.2 The Company is a member of British Marine and signs up to its codes of conduct. Should your complaint remain unresolved after following the procedure under Condition 19.1, You may raise the complaint with British Marine.

    A person who is not a party to this Agreement will have no right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this Agreement.

    21.1 The Company will neither be in breach of the Agreement nor liable for delay in performing, or failure to perform, any of its obligations under the Agreement if such delay or failure result from events, circumstances or causes beyond its reasonable control, including, without limitation, acts of God, flood, drought or other natural disaster; epidemic or pandemic; civil commotion or riots; any law or any action taken by a government or public authority (including without limitation failing to grant a necessary licence or consent); collapse of buildings, fire, explosion or accident; any labour or trade dispute, strikes, industrial action or lockouts; interruption or failure of utility service; limitations, restrictions or prohibitions by relevant authorities on the use of relevant waterways or boats ("Force Majeure Event").
    21.2 If You are unable to take up Your booking because of UK government legislation, regulation or guidance or, You may:
    21.2.1 subject always to availability, transfer Your booking to a later date, free of any administration charges.  You will have to pay any difference in price if the cost of the new booking is higher or be reimbursed the difference if the cost of the new booking is lower; or
    21.2.2 request a voucher with a redemption value equal to the amount previously paid by You for the booking – the voucher terms and conditions will be available to You before You make Your choice under this Condition; or
    21.2.3 if the Company is required by law to provide it, obtain a refund of any amount already paid by You for the booking and cancel Your booking.
    21.3 If You have to cut short Your booking because of UK government legislation, regulation or guidance, You will be entitled to a pro-rata refund of the Price (to the extent it has been paid), but any booking fees or administration charges paid will not be refundable. You will have to contact the Company in order to access these options.

    The Company will only use Your personal information in accordance with its privacy policy. You can find the Company’s privacy policy here.

    23.1 The Agreement and any non-contractual obligations arising out of, or in connection with, the Agreement are governed by and shall be construed in accordance with English law.
    23.2 Subject to Clause 24, You and the Company irrevocably agree that any and every dispute arising out of or in connection with the Agreement (or with any non-contractual obligations) will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

    Disputes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement, when they cannot be resolved by negotiation, may, with the written agreement of the Parties, first be submitted to mediation under British Marine’s Dispute Resolution Scheme. Details of the scheme are available on request from British Marine.

    Shire Cruisers, The Wharf, Sowerby Bridge HX6 2AG, England
    Britannia Narrow Boats Ltd registered in England & Wales 01462318
    tel: 01422 832712 Overseas tel: + 44 1422 832712

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