Below are our Frequently Asked Questions.

You can either book on-line or call us and we will reserve the boat for you. We require a 25% deposit to confirm the booking, with the balance due 6 weeks before your departure date.

Once you submit the booking form on-line or sign the booking form in the brochure, you are then entering a legal contract and will be liable for the full cost of the holiday. It is recommended that you protect yourself by taking out a cancellation protection scheme, which will cover the cost of cancellation due to sickness or accident.

What is included in the hire charge?

A full inventory list is available here and the hire charge also includes gas, bed linen and fuel.

What is the Damage Waiver?

The Damage Waiver Scheme fee of £51 covers you in the event of damage, loss or accident to your boat or its inventory during your holiday. It is non-refundable and avoids the requirement for a damage deposit payment of £500 to cover the insurance excess pending any claims. Please ensure all passenger names are on your completed booking form.


1. Speeding (reported or witnessed. The limit is 4mph).
2. Malicious, negligent or intentional damage to the boat, its inventory, third party property, the canal and its structures.
3. Damage to the rudder, skeg or transmission due to cill damage in a lock.
4. Return of the boat late or in an unclean condition.

In the event of any of the above being reported, we shall claim the full cost of repairs, replacement or compensation.

What time are your boats available from?

‘Chieftain’ will be ready at 1.30 pm and Conqueror at 2.30 pm on your day of departure and should be returned and vacated by 10.00am on your day of departure. If a boat is returned late or unclean, it will cause a delay for the next hirer. In this event, we reserve the right to charge additional costs.

Can I bring my pet?

Well behaved pets are welcome but please keep them off the furniture and bedding. There is a charge of £20 (payable on arrival at the base) and no more than 2 dogs please.

Can I bring my bike or canoe?

Both are welcome but do be careful of storage on your trip if you put them on the roof as they can get pulled off by bridges or trees.

Can I charge my laptop and mobile?

There is a 12v socket on each boat and we will supply an inverter, allowing you to use a normal plug (max 100 watts).

Will I have to fill up with diesel and water?

The boat has a 100 gallon water tank which should be refilled daily from water points along the canal. All fuel is included within the stated cost, please bear this in mind. The boats will typically use between 1.2-1.7 litres of diesel per hour depending on driving style; this could represent a saving of some £70 on a week’s motoring. The central heating systems are oil fired which will also use diesel during colder periods.

How do I get to ‘The Old Barn’?

Please see the Google map here

Where can I park my car?

We have free car parking but we are unable to accept responsibility for loss or damage to customer’s vehicles. Part of our agreement with you is that you must leave your car keys at ‘The Old Barn’.  We cannot accept any liability for damage, however caused unless through our own negligence.

Can I buy a map?

We provide a range of maps which are available to order when we discuss your holiday with you prior to departure. We will send you a map of the Oxford Canal on booking and will be able to recommend appropriate maps/guides when we know whether you plan to journey south or north along the Oxford Canal.

Are bedding and towels provided?

For every fixed bed we provide an interior sprung mattress, duvet and cover, 2 x pillows and pillow cases (1 is a feather pillow), a mattress protector and sheet. For beds made up in the evening in the lounge area, we also provide bedding. We provide one towel per customer.

Can I hire a buoyancy aid?

Each boat is equipped with a life-ring and buoyancy aids are available free of charge. These come in four sizes to suit toddlers to adults and will be individually fitted before you leave.

Can I go fishing?

Fishing is allowed on rivers and canals provided you have an Environment Agency rod licence, which is available on-line or from any post office (except when fishing is prohibited on rivers between 15th March and 15th June). Many clubs will not object to fishing from boats but some may require you to buy a day ticket.

Do I need a license to go on the river Thames?

Yes- you will have to purchase a Thames Licence allowing you to cruise the River Thames.

How old are your boats?

Our boats are just 3 years old and area modern, well equipped 4 star cruising narrow boats.


Useful Links:

Inland Waterways Cruising School
Training course for an RYA recognised helmsman’s certificate

Considerate Boater
Dedicated to considerate boating on UK inland waterways

The Boaters Handbook Video

The Boaters Handbook PDF