Terms & Conditions

Please read these conditions carefully. They are part of the hire agreement and describe your rights as well as your responsibilities to the company.

For the purpose of these conditions the hirer refers to all parties over 21 years of age named on the hire agreement. If there is more than one of you, you shall each be individually responsible for complying with these terms and any conditions written on your booking forms.

1. Bookings: A boat is not reserved until the completed Booking Form, together with a deposit of 25% (to the nearest £) of the total hire fee, has been received by Sail and Trail Ltd and confirmed by email or in writing. We accept payment by debit card, credit card, Amex or by BACS (account details supplied on request). All prices quoted are inclusive of VAT at current rate.

2. Balance of hire fee: The balance of the hire fee shall be paid not later than 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the hire period. Bookings made less than 8 weeks before travel should be accompanied by the full amount.
3. Cancellation: The agreement is a legally binding contract and can only be cancelled in accordance with these conditions. If you want to cancel your booking you must give the company written notice; the date this is received will be the effective date of cancellation. We suggest that you make sure your holiday insurance covers cancellations. The company will make the following charges for cancellation, depending on the date that the cancellation note is received. However, the company will take reasonable steps to re-hire the boat, if this is achieved only the deposit proportion of loss to the company will be charged.


  • More than 60 days – loss of the 25% deposit (including any parts not yet received)
  • 40 – 59 days – 50% of the total hire cost
  • 25 – 39 days – 70% of the total hire cost
  • 8 – 24 days – 85% of the total hire cost
  • 7 days or less – 100% of the total hire cost


4. Changes to bookings: Once your booking has been confirmed, changes to dates and/or boat may be made up to 6 weeks before the start of your holiday only if alternative dates are available. A £50.00 administration fee will be charged.

5. Hirers: Bookings cannot be accepted from persons under 21 years of age. We reserve the right to refuse to hand over the boat to any person or group who in our opinion are not suitable to take charge. In this situation, all money paid will be refunded in full and the hirer shall have no further claim on the company. We may levy a deposit per person on single sex bookings.
6. Insurance: Sail and Trail Ltd insures the boat and its equipment and the hirer’s liability to other parties. The policy does not cover personal accident or the hirer’s personal belongings and hirers are advised to make their own adequate personal insurance arrangements.

7. Hirer’s property: We regret that we cannot accept any liability for loss or damage to hirer’s property, baggage, motor cars etc. however caused. (Keys for cars parked in our yard must be left for safety reasons)

8. Repairs to hire craft: These are the responsibility of Sail and Trail Ltd and shall not be arranged with any third party without our prior authority.

9. Booking period: Boats are booked from 2.30p.m. on the first day of your hire and must be returned to the boat yard by 9.00a.m. on the final day of your hire (see point 11). You must notify the company as soon as possible if you know your estimated arrival time for the first day of your hire is delayed or disrupted because this may lead to difficulties and delays in making your boat available to you. There will be no rebate if you fail to arrive at our base in office hours and we will not be responsible for any extra cost this may incur.

10. Handover: After a verbal briefing and a suitably sufficient on-boat training session, the hirer will be responsible for the safe operation of the boat and the security of its equipment. We will offer as much on boat training as is deemed necessary. Please make sure you have read any information sent to you prior to your holiday start date.

11. Return of boats: Boats must be returned to the base they were collected from by 9.00 am on the final day of hire and vacated by 9.30am in a clean condition. It is your responsibility to allow sufficient time to ensure a timely return to our base. A surcharge of £50.00 per hour for late return of boats may be levied. Hirers are responsible for refuse disposal before vacating the boats. We reserve the right to make a reasonable charge if the boat is returned dirty.

12. Hirer’s responsibility: The hirer is in complete charge of the boat and is responsible for its safe navigation. The only maintenance to be carried out is checking engine oil, lubricating stern tube and clearing weed hatches. Children are not permitted to handle the boat without adult supervision. The hirer shall always comply with the by-laws of the Canal and Rivers Trust or the appropriate Navigation Authority. The hirer is responsible for any claim made for loss of water or damage caused by improper use of lock paddles or apparatus and for any claim made for damage due to excessive speed or improper navigation. Boats may not cruise between the hours of sunset and sunrise without the prior consent of Sail and Trail Ltd. The hirer shall not enter tidal waters or tow other vessels without the prior consent of Sail and Trail Ltd. No boat shall navigate under flood conditions. The hirer shall not allow any more than the permitted number of persons on board as this will invalidate the insurance. Firearms, live bait or dinghies will not be allowed on board under any circumstances. Bicycles and canoes may be permitted on board
in certain situations, but only with written permission of Sail and Trail Ltd. In the event of an accident or incident the hirer must promptly notify Sail and Trail Ltd with the full details and names and addresses of witnesses. Do not admit liability under any circumstances. Take as many photographs of the incident as possible.

13. Group bookings and unsuitable hirers: Change of crews during the hire period is not permitted except with prior permission from the company. The company may at its discretion cancel the booking or refuse to hand over the boat to any person or group who in its opinion is not suitable to take charge on the grounds of ill health, disability, inexperience, suspected influence of alcohol or drugs or for any other reason. In this event the company will refund all money paid and the contract will 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 any of the reasons given above or if the hirer is not behaving responsibly or if the boat or any person is being put at risk. In this event the hirer shall remain liable to pay the full hire price and no refund shall be due.

14. Delays or restrictions: Sail and Trail Ltd cannot be held liable for any delays or nonfulfillment of bookings caused by breakdowns, unforeseen defects, obstructions, water shortage, repairs to damage to either our own boats or the waterways system. If unusual conditions arise we reserve the right to restrict the cruising area without notice. If we are unable to provide the boat booked or a suitable alternative, we will refund all money paid in full and the hirer shall have no further claim.

15. Brochure: All descriptions, maps and diagrams are for information only; boats and layouts may differ slightly as we constantly update our fleet for your benefit.

16. Changes to hire/collection base: The company reserves the right to change the places of handover and return for operational reasons, including change of boats if necessary. In such event, except in the case of emergency, the company shall be obliged to give you written notice of the change in sufficient time to allow any necessary re-planning of your itinerary and for you to organise any transport which is reasonably necessary for you and your party.

17. Toilets: In the event of an engineer being called out because of negligent misuse of lavatory facilities, a fixed charge of £100 (one hundred pounds) may be made by the company to you. Hires of two weeks or more will be informed of toilet pump out procedures.

18. Call outs: 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. In the event of an engineer being called out for any of these reasons by you, a fixed charge of £100 (one hundred pounds) may be made by the company to you.

19. Fuel and gas: The boat will be handed over to you with a full tank of fuel and two bottles of gas. This is sufficient for a two week hire with normal usage. Any further requirements for fuel are at the hirers own expense.

20. Pets: Pets are allowed and are very welcome on certain boats with the company's prior permission. You must give notice of any pets you wish to bring at the time of making the booking. The company's charges for pets are set out in the brochure. You must provide any pet baskets, food, drink, bowls, blankets or cages required. All pets must be properly house trained or caged as appropriate, must never be left unattended, and must not be allowed on bedding or upholstery. 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 any additional cleaning required.

21. Inventory: Any shortcomings in inventory (a copy of which will be supplied at the time of boarding) discovered during the hire period must be notified to the company as soon as practically possible to afford the company the opportunity to rectify the matter. You will be responsible for the cost of replacing or repairing any items on the inventory which are missing or damaged at the end of the hire period.

22. Operating manual/guide: All our boats have on board a full operational manual/guide which is full of useful information and daily tasks, along with navigational and canal rules. Please make sure all members of your party read it. Incidents arising from non-compliance of items that are clear in this manual will become the responsibility of the hirer and not Sail and Trail Ltd.

23. Complaints Procedure. In the unlikely event of you needing to make a complaint that cannot be resolved at the time of hire , please email the managing director at info@sailandtrail.co.uk with full details and he will research your complaint and come back to you within 7 working days’ time frame with a resolution or a timeframe to resolve your particular issue. If this is not satisfactory you can escalate the matter as per the British Marine Federations standard terms of complaint a copy of which is available on request or from the BMF website.

British Marine Members

Proud to be British Marine Members

We are proud to be members of British Marine and abides by its code of practise. Member No. W001775

Company Details

Sail & Trail Trading as
Heart of England Narrowboats
The Old Barn
Newton House Farm
Main Street Newton
NG13 8HN
Registered Office Address
Curzon Street Business Centre
Curzon Street
Burton upon Trent
DE14 2DH
Vat No 930 4992 14
Registered as a company in England no 5803069

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