Hire Agreement and Terms & Conditions


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.


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 Kennet and Avon Canal Boats of: 155 Church Cottages, Winsley, Bradford on Avon BA15 2LH.

“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.

1. Booking Agreements

A booking is a legal agreement. Submission of a completed booking form is an offer by the Hirer to hire and the booking agreement is made only if and when the Company confirms the booking by written confirmation. Telephone bookings do not create legal agreements and any offer by the Company to hold a reservation is not legally binding, but we will hold this for 5 days subject to a 25% deposit and the completion of the booking form. A deposit of 25% of the hire fee is due at the time of booking but the booking is not guaranteed until this sum has been cleared through the Company bank account and the Company has confirmed this to the Hirer in writing. The balance of the fee is due not later than one calendar month prior to the start of the hire period. For bookings made within one calendar month prior to the hire Start Date, full payment must accompany the booking form. If the balance of the fee is not received within one calendar month of the start date, the booking may be forfeited and the deposit lost to you. THERE ARE NO COMPULSORY EXTRAS TO PAY, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS WHEN COMPARING PRICES WITH OTHER COMPANIES.

2. Group Bookings

Age Limits and Unsuitable Hirers No single sex groups and persons under the age of 21 may hire the boat without prior consent of the Company. The Company may at its discretion cancel the booking and refuse to hand over the boat to any person or group who, in its opinion, are not suitable to take charge of the boat on the grounds of age, ill health, disability, inexperience, suspected influence of alcohol or drugs or any other reason. In this event the Company will refund any monies paid and the contract shall be discharged without further liability on either party. The Company may repossess the boat at any time, if in the opinion of the Company, the Hirer is unsuitable for the reasons given above or if the Hirer is not behaving responsibly or if the boat or any persons are at risk. In this event the Hirer shall remain liable to pay the hire price and no refund shall be due.

3. Cancellations and Changes

The agreement (including payment terms) is a legally binding contract and may not be cancelled or amended except as provided in the Conditions. A Hirer who wants to cancel or change a booking must notify the Company immediately by telephone and at the same time confirm in writing. In the event of a cancellation, the deposit will be forfeited and the Hirer will pay the balance on the due date. The Company may waive the balance price (or part of it) at its discretion if the boat is re-let, in which case, a £30.00 administration fee will be deducted from the refund. It is a condition that the Hirer protects himself against cancellation liability. In the event of any claim being disallowed for whatever reason the Hirer remains liable for the full hire charges. The Company will only cancel the booking if circumstances outside it’s own control force it to do so, this includes but is not limited to: mechanical breakdown, flood, lack of water, ice, canal closure or other restrictions.

4. Hire Period, Collection and Return of Boat

Weekly hire is a period of 6 nights, and seven days, the hire period will normally be between 11.00am on the Start Date and the boat will be returned by 4.00pm on the End Date, or as otherwise shown in the booking confirmation. The Hirer must notify the Company of any likely delay in arrival as soon as possible by telephone. At the start of the hire and before the Hirer takes the boat over, the Company will give the Hirer such instructions that it sees fit, with particular attention to safety and safe handling of the boat, this may take up to three hours and all hirers must attend. It the Hirer arrives late, the Company reserves the right to postpone part or all of the handover demonstration until the following morning and the Hirer may not move the boat until this has been completed. The boat must be returned by the Hirer by 4.00pm on the end date and the Hirer is responsible for allowing enough time to ensure prompt return. In the event of delay the Hirer shall be liable to pay the sum of £35.00 per hour of the delay in returning the boat or giving possession and to indemnify the Company in respect of all other expenses and losses it may sustain by reason of such delay. This condition is strictly enforced in the interests of subsequent hirers of the boat because the Company may not have time to fit out and deliver the boat to subsequent hirers. The Hirer is responsible to return the boat to the base. If the Hirer fails to do so except for unavoidable cause the Hirer will be liable to pay to the Company the cost of recovering the boat to its base.

5. Insurance and Security Deposit

The Company insures the boat and equipment against public liability risks. The policy does not cover personal accident or the Hirers personal belongings or cancellation and the Hirer is advised to make his own insurance arrangements. The Company’s policy excludes damage arising from speeding, TV sets, aerials, malicious or intentional damage, other vessels and their equipment, the waterway, late return of boat and return of boat in unclean condition. The Hirer will indemnify the Company from and against all costs, damage, expenses, liability and claims however arising from the negligence, neglect or default of the Hirer to the extent that they are not covered by the Company’s policy.

* Damage waiver (non refundable), although the boats are insured by the company, they carry a £250.00 excess, an optional fee of £40.00 frees you from liability of accidental damage to the boat or it’s fittings.It does not cover damage or losses caused by negligence on the part of the hirer or return of the boat in an unclean condition, or late return of the boat, which will incur an extra payment. Accidental damage waiver excludes damage arising from speeding, contact with a lock cill causing damage to the rudder, skeg, stern gear or boat, malicious or intentional damage to the boat. Also excluded is, malicious or intentional damage to other boats and property. The Hirer will indemnify the Company and the Boat Owner against all costs, damage, expenses, liability and claims howsoever arising from the, neglect or default of the Hirer. This will in normal circumstances be deducted from the deposit.

– Damage waiver is optional and payable when booking, or prior to occupancy.

– A cheque of £100 is required as a security deposit (refundable) is payable prior to occupancy. This will be returned on the return of the boat in a clean and undamaged condition along with a full inventory of equipment.

6. Safety and Other Rules

The Hirer agrees to comply with the following rules at all times for the health and safety of the persons on the boat and other persons and for safeguarding the boat and other property:

Not to tow other craft or allow the boat to be towed, excepting only professional assistance in the event of breakdown or emergency.

Not to cruise after sunset or before sunrise. The boat is equipped only for daytime use.

To observe all speed limits, not to race and not to cruise at a speed which disturbs or inconveniences other waterway users.

Not to take or have on the boat any dinghies, canoes, inflatables, portable heaters, vehicles, lighting equipment, TV sets, electrical appliances (other than electric razors), inflammable liquids or substances, gas cylinders, car batteries, firearms or any other items which might create dangers or hazards without the Company’s prior written permission.

Not to use the boat for business purposes.

Not to allow on the boat at any time more than 6 persons.

To give way to laden or unladen cargo boats, sailing craft, rowing boats and other human propelled craft.

Not to take the boat on to tidal waters, without the Company’s written permission. The tidal waters refer to, the Avon River between Bath and Bristol. This clause is designed to protect your safety and comfort.

To cruise only on British Waterway approved canals and rivers.

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

To observe all bylaws, navigational limits or instructions and advice of British Waterways and other navigational authorities and the Company and their respective officers and employees at all times.

The Company reserves the right at its discretion without liability to restrict cruising areas or routes in the light of prevailing conditions.These conditions include fast current flow, and repairs or maintenance of locks and canals by British Waterways.

7. Accidents

The Lead-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 owners and other hirers.Notify the Company by telephone immediately with full details of the accident including damage incurred.NOT IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ADMIT OR ALLOW ANY OTHER PERSONS ON THE BOAT TO ADMIT LIABILITY TO ANY OTHER PERSON.Not to carry out or have carried out any repairs without the consent of the Company.Proceed in accordance with and follow the Company’s instructions.In the event of 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.The Hirer is liable for and shall indemnify the Company against any claim or charge made by any Waterway Authority for damage to waterway property or loss of water.

8. Maintenance, Repairs, Damage and Breakdown

The Hirer is responsible for, and will keep and maintain the boat and its equipment and contents and shall return the same at the end of the hire term in accordance with the Company’s instructions and in good clean and tidy order and condition. The Hirer shall notify the Company immediately by telephone 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. While the boat and the contents are insured the Hirer shall be primarily liable to indemnify the Company in respect of any damage or loss arising from any failure of the Hirer to comply with his obligations under the conditions or from carelessness or negligence. The Hirer shall be responsible for getting the boat off mud banks or other grounding and for removal of weeds, rope or 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 and shall comply with the Company’s instructions. Otherwise the Hirer shall be liable for any loss or damage incurred.

9. Hirer’s Property

The Company will be under no liability for any loss of or damage to vehicles or contents of the Hirer’s or other person’s property on the boat or elsewhere or however caused, except by the Company’s negligence. Hirers are advised not to leave any valuable items in their car.

10. Fuel

The boat is handed over ready fueled and the price includes the cost of fuel consumed. The Company may make a fuel surcharge if there is a material increase in the fuel costs duty.

11. Smoking

Smoking is not allowed onboard the boat.

12. Exemption

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 willful default including (without limitation) death or personal injury of Hirers, their crew and passengers, loss of or damage to property, non-fulfillment or interruption of the booking or delays, breakdowns, mechanical problems, defects, damage, restrictions or 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 or in respect of any consequential loss, damage, expense, injury or claim. Hirers are recommended to take out personal holiday insurance cover.

13. Disputes

Any dispute, difference or question which may at any time arise out of the booking contract may be referred at the Company’s sole discretion to a single arbitrator to be agreed between the parties. The decision of such arbitrator (acting as an expert and not as an arbitrator) including any direction as to payment of fees and costs in the arbitration shall be binding on both parties.

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, which is approved by the Royal Yachting Association.

Details of the mediation scheme operated by the British Marine Federation are available here.

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.

14. Jurisdiction

The contract between the Company and the Hirer shall be deemed to have been made in England and shall be governed in all respects by English law. The Hirer shall submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts provided that the Company at its option may bring any legal proceedings against the Hirer from the courts in any other country.

15. Waiver

No indulgence, forbearance or delay by the Company or delay permitted by the Company shall constitute any bar to its enforcement of its rights at any time and no waiver in respect of any breach shall operate as a waiver in respect of any other subsequent breach.

16. 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.

17. Data Protection Policy

In order to process your booking we need to use the information provided such as name, address, any special needs etc. We confirm that we will not pass any information given by you to any third party, save as required by law. Your data controller is Kennet and Avon Canal Boats.