York Marina Holiday Boat Hire FAQ
How far can I travel and where can I go?
York Marina boat hire cruising area is from the lock at Naburn to Ripon. Hire boats are NOT permitted through the lock at Naburn. A river guide is supplied with every boat.
Do I need a licence and what are the rules?
You don’t need a licence to drive a boat. However, there are a few basic rules you need to follow. These are all explained in the comprehensive manual which we provide in every boat. Our Staff will also advise you when you are given your handover tuition. You must be at least 18 years of age to drive the boat.
Do I or someone within my party have boating experience to have a holiday on the Ouse?
No experience is needed. When you arrive you will be given a full demonstration of all equipment on the boat by our staff. You will be given a trial run to provide all the training, help and advice you need, until you’re happy to take the helm, and ensure you are happy driving and mooring the boat.
If you have any queries our experienced team will make sure they are answered. You will also be given a manual providing useful information, instructions on operating your boat and reminders of safe navigation.
Are there any age restrictions?
You must be at least 18 or over to hire a boat. We regret that due to insurance purposes we cannot accommodate children under the age of 3.
Can I drink alcohol?
You are not allowed to drink alcohol whilst hiring a boat. It is an offence under local bye-laws and you could be prosecuted along with your insurance being void. Please do not arrive with large quantities of alcohol as you will be asked to leave it behind. It is OK however for your passengers onboard to drink.
Where can I Moor up?
The manual on board your boat has plenty of information about mooring places, and you will be shown how to moor up. The most popular moorings are those closest to waterside pubs, restaurants, villages and towns (where a small charge is usually made) but there are many quieter places to moor free of charge.
Where can we stop overnight?
On the UK canals, you can stop overnight anywhere along the towpath side without charge. You must however avoid mooring overnight within 50 metres of a lock or other navigation landmark to allow other boats to pass unhindered. On most other navigations, there will be clearly marked places where you can moor for the night or during the day. On some main Rivers this may involve a small mooring charge.
What do I do at locks?
These are part of the fun. You simply steer your boat gently in, and use the big wooden beams to close the gates behind you. Then you open small paddle doors in the other gates with the L-shaped winding handle provided with your boat to let the water in or out and change the water level. Then you open the gates and drive out, stopping to close the gates and paddle doors before leaving. We have also provided info about this in the boats guide. There are usually other boaters on hand to help if you are unsure.
What Do I do if I breakdown or have an accident?
Should you need assistance during office hours (9am – 5pm) you should call our main reception, and we will try to assess you problem, and if necessary send an engineer out to you. If you require assistance outside of office hours, please telephone the emergency contact number provided in the manual onboard.
What is included in the holiday price?
Your holiday hire cost will include the self-drive hire of your chosen boat for the rental period, together a full inventory of equipment for self-catering, gas for cooking, hot water and heating. We do not provide bed linen, sleeping bags or pillows, you must bring this with you at the start of your holiday.
When you pay the balance of your Holiday you will be asked to pay a refundable Security deposit or damage waiver of £500. The cost of any loss or damage will be deducted from this sum, before it is returned to you at the end of your holiday.
How much will my fuel cost?
When you collect your boat the fuel tank will be full, this is usually much more than you need for your holiday. You should return the boat full of fuel at the end of your holiday. If the tank is part empty we will refuel it from our fuel pontoon and you will be charged separately for this before you leave the marina.
Where do I get water for drinking and washing?
Your boat will have a full tank of water and all boats have hot and cold running water for kitchens and shower rooms. You can top up your water for which there is usually a small charge. You are advised to bring bottled water for drinking purposes.
What about safety? Do I need special equipment or training?
All you need to bring with you are sensible non-slip shoes and appropriate clothing. You will receive all the training about safety you need from our boatyard staff when you arrive. We recommend buoyancy aids for children and non-swimmers – these are provided free of charge when you pick up your boat. The boat manual on board your boat also contains all the safety information you will need.
Can I use my hairdryer or other electrical equipment?
You must check when you make your booking before bringing any 240v electrical appliances. Our Viking has 240v power supply but this only works when you are hooked up to shore power. The only power available from the onboard batteries is 12v.
What washing facilities are available on the boats?
All boats have hot running water, at least one shower and toilet. The toilets may need to be pumped out during your holiday which can be done at boatyards along the way, there is usually a charge made between £15-£20. It is advisable to use shore-based toilets where possible.
Can I bring my pets along?
We are sorry but pets are not accepted here at York Marina hire boats
The Boater’s Handbook
More detailed information about boating is available in this comprehensive handbook produced by the Environment Agency and British Waterways and available online.
What are the pick up and return times?
Boats are usually available from 3pm to 5pm. Your times will be stated on your booking confirmation. If you are going to be late arriving please let us know. Boats need to be returned by 10am on the final day.
Can I fish on my holiday?
In general you can, provided you have the correct licence, which can be obtained at any Post Office. No live bait is allowed on board.
Where can I park my car?
Please talk to reception and you will be advised where to park your car. Car parking is free of charge for one car for the duration of the hire period.
Can I smoke on board the boat?
No smoking is allowed onboard.
Are there any speed limits?
Yes the speed limit varies from 4-6 kts dependant on the stretch of river. All local byelaws, rules and regulations must be followed throughout the hire period.
Visitors with limited mobility?
Please contact our booking team if you have limited mobility. Although some boats maybe suitable some have steep steps and it may not be easy for you to board a boat from a bank or towpath. Gangplanks cannot be provided or used. If we feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned we reserve the right to decline or cancel the reservation.
Do you allow single sex groups?
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. We do occasionally make exceptions please contact us.
Do we need insurance?
Yes you will need holiday insurance to cover any eventualities that may affect you not being able to go ahead with your holiday, or to cover any loss or injury during your holiday. The Company insures the boat and its equipment against physical loss and damage and against public liability risks. Full terms and conditions are supplied with your booking confirmation.
What should I take with me?
Please bring all of your holiday paperwork with you. Your boat will be very well equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, crockery etc. You will need to bring your own towels and bedding.
Additional specific items you may want to bring include towels, tea towels, Toilet rolls, a torch, camera, binoculars, a good waterways guide, enough food supplies for your holiday (check the location of convenient shops along the waterway with reception), non-slip soft deck shoes and protective gloves (for working locks).
How many people can I bring with me?
When making your booking, you should declare how many people the booking is for, as well as their ages. These details can be altered by contacting us up to a week before your booking. If there are substantial changes we reserve the right to charge an administration fee.
It is forbidden for unauthorised or undeclared individuals to stay on the boat, and to have a higher number of people onboard than the boat is hired for, as it nullifies you insurance in case of an accident. You will therefore be responsible for all costs incurred in such a situation.