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Black Prince
Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you will master it - and quickly!
About 30% of our customers have never been near a boat before and we will not let you go until we are confident of you. Remember you are only going at 4mph. However, if you still feel that you would like to attend a training course to achieve an RYA recognised helmsman's certificate, then please visit the Inland Waterways Cruising School website for further details.

No, you won't make a fool of yourself
Boating is an inexact science and so no-one gets it right all the time. But nobody worries and the boat is built to withstand all sorts of indiscretions. A comprehensive manual will be given to you as you are shown how the boat works. It remains with you on your holiday, and contains detailed information of the equipment and appliances. Useful telephone numbers are also included.

Yes, the locals are friendly
Everybody on the canal talk and help each other. It matters not whether you are a novice or a professional, a hirer or an owner, a walker or a canalman. One of the great things on the canals is the friendliness.

No, it's not all work and washing up
Whilst all the boats come with a fully fitted kitchen, many people choose to eat at the plentiful pubs on the canal side. For many the boats are their major trade and so they provide excellent food at most reasonable prices.

Yes, there is plenty of interest
There is masses of wildlife from butterflies to birds on the canal system. The canals are kept in such a way to encourage their proliferation and ducks and swans expect to be feed.

Yes, there is central heating and hot showers
All our boats are equipped with central heating and a storage tank to provide copious hot water, together with an airing cupboard and everything you would expect at home.

Yes, we will come out at night if you have a problem
We run a 24-hour emergency service if you have a problem. At night we will always come out for an emergency.

No, canals are not deep
Most canals are between 3 and 5 feet deep. If you have the misfortune of falling overboard it is best to walk to the side (but do it quickly so no-one takes a photograph!).

Yes, children love canal boat holidays
In fact if they are into double figures they will probably take over. They just love to drive the boats, under supervision of course (and where else could you do that?). If you have active children try a canal with plenty of locks and see how long it takes to master them. It is very rare for children to get bored since there is always something for them to do and the environment is new. Driving, locking, tying up, planning, pushing off, walking or just keeping the boat shipshape. But where you have youngsters be sure to have life jackets (available free of charge).

No, the loos aren't thunderboxes
All of our boats are fitted with macerator toilets, more usually fitted to luxury private boats (we are the only company to do this on any scale). Full details of their pump-out operation will be given on your arrival.

No, it has not been 'modernised'
By and large the canals have not been 'beautified'. Much of the structure is as it was 200 years ago, although some of the old warehouses have gone or have been converted. Great effort has been made to improve the canals sympathetically, particularly where they pass through cities.

No, you won't get lost
We can provide a range of maps from our shops at any of the bases for the route you choose. If you are uncertain when you get to a particular junction, just ask. Remember the locals are friendly. We have never lost a boat yet!

Yes, the boats are comfortable
Boats are designed to be as comfortable as home with all the same facilities, although naturally with a little less space! Beds are normally 6' 3" long and there is storage in each room. If you wish, do come and see at any one of our bases, but ring first to ensure that the boat you would like to see is available for inspection.

Yes, you will enjoy it
Providing that you do not want discos, kiss-me-quick hats or to be constantly 'organised'! If you want a relaxing yet active holiday, with beautiful countryside and friendly people this is for you.

Mobile Phones/Camcorders
All our boats have a cigar lighter socket similar to a car. This is 12 volts and if your adaptor for camcorder or mobile phone will work from your car, it will work on any of our boats.

Can I bring a pet?
We are quite happy for you to bring your well behaved pet with you, but please, keep them off the upholstery and bedding. We welcome all sorts of pets from budgies to rude parrots. There is a charge of £25 each. Please bring pets' bedding or cages. No more than two dogs please.

Yes, you can bring bikes and canoes
Both are welcome but do be careful of storage on your trip. If you put them on the roof they can easily get wiped out by the bridges or trees. You should buy a licence from British Waterways the cover the timing of your holiday.

What items are included in the hire fee?
We not only supply the kitchen sink but also tea towels, washing-up liquid, etc., soap and toilet rolls, and towels. Our boats come complete with a full inventory and the hire charge includes gas, bed linen and VAT. We will also send you a grocery requirements list prior to your voyage. If you require any of the items, simply fill in the form and they will be waiting for you. Please pay the Base manager. It's simple really, just bring yourself and the G & T! Download boat inventory (.pdf)

Car Parking
All bases have free car parking, but we are unable to accept responsibility for loss or damage to customers' vehicles.

Embarkation and Return
Boats will normally be available between 2.30 pm and 4.00 pm on the afternoon of departure. Boats should be returned by 9.00 am and vacated by 9.30 am. If a boat is returned late, it will cause a delay for the next hirer, unless we spend extra to turn it round. In this event we reserve the right to charge for the late return, or if it is returned in a dirty state.

Will I have to fill up with Gas, Diesel & Water?
The cost of diesel fuel is extra and will be charged upon return of the boat to the yard at the end of the holiday. The boats will typically use between 1.2 and 1.7 litres per hour depending on driving style. In addition the central heating systems are oil fired, which will use diesel during colder periods. The cost per litre will be slightly higher than supermarket prices. The hire price includes two gas bottles per week. The boat has a 100 gallon water tank which should be refilled daily from waterpoints along the canal. These are normally free to use.

Safety and Buoyancy Aids
Each boat is equipped with a lifebelt, 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.

What bedding is provided?
All beds come complete with sheets, pillows and duvets. For every fixed berth on Black Prince boats we provide an interior sprung mattress, duvet, one pillow, one pillow case, one mattress pad and linen. On all boats, beds can be left up all the time. Towels also included in the standard inventory.

Licences and Permits
Fishing is allowed providing you have an appropriate Regional Water Authority Rod Licence. Many clubs will not object to fishing from boats but some will require you to buy day tickets. Your boat is licenced for British Waterways Board canal and river navigations. Special licences are required for the Upper and Lower Avon Navigations, River Nene, and the River Thames. Payments for these licences is the responsibility of the hirer. Further details can be obtained from the booking office. Licences can be purchased before commencement of the trip, but is not recommended.

 

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© 2004 UK and Europe Travel - A Division of BTEC Travel Pty Ltd.
Telephone: (+61 3) 9584 0896 Fax: (+61 3) 9584 0840   Toll-Free Australia: 1300 663854
Office Address: Office 3, 128 Balcombe Road, Mentone, VIC 3194, Australia
Mailing Address: PO Box 5309, Mordialloc, VIC 3195, Australia
Licence Number: #32610