Frequently asked questions

Do I need a license to operate the boats?

No you don’t, Star Narrowboat Holidays own the appropriate boat license's that are needed.

Are the boats easy to operate?

The feedback we get from our experienced and non experienced hirers is that both of our boats are straightforward to steer and operate. The canal waters are mostly current free and your cruising speed should not exceed three to four miles per hour so cruising should be steady and relaxed. During the boat handling lesson we will set off together and show you how to moor up (including showing you what knots to use to tie up) and turn the boat around. We will also go through what daily checks you need to make including cleaning the propeller. We will ensure you feel ready to go off on your own.

Do I need insurance?

The boats and their contents are insured with Collidge and Partners. Please check the Terms and Conditions for details of insurance. We do NOT provide personal holiday insurance covering cancellation, injury, or loss or damage of personal effects. We strongly recommend that you obtain your own personal holiday and cancellation insurance. 

How will I know where I can moor the boat?

We will advise you on where you can and ca not moor the boat - in general you can moor up where you want to.

Is it safe to moor up at night by the canal towpath?

There may be some places that we would advise you to avoid apart from that, there should be no problem mooring up where ever you choose (we will advise you about any current restrictions).

Will it be cold on the boats if we hire in the winter?

'Gloria' has a solid fuel stove and gas central heating and 'Queenie' has a solid fuel stove so in the winter time you will have a perfectly comfortable experience. We provide 13.5 tog feather duvets in winter and 10.5 tog in the warmer months, we also supply hot water bottles! Many people live on their narrowboat all year and with the way we equip our boats we make it possible for you to hire all year.

Is it easy to navigate the canals?

It is difficult to get lost on the canals if you have a map and you take note of where you are. We will supply you with  information and tips on what routes you might take and we will leave you with a copy of the Nicholson Guide to the North West and Pennines, and the Inland Waterways Map of Great Britain, the maps make it clear and easy to locate pubs, bridges and water filling points. If you would like help with pre-hire route planning let us know.

Are the boats suitable for wheelchairs access?

Due to the design of our boats they are not suitable for people who will need to use a wheelchair to enter and use inside the boats. The boats have some scope for people who have limited physical ability - please feel free to talk to get in touch if you would like to discuss whether the boats may be suitable for you.

How far can we go in a weekend, week or longer?

It depends how much cruising you want to do. In a weekend you could get to Lymm and back with no locks and with relaxing cruising (Lymm is about 5 hrs away from our base) and in a week or just over you could navigate the whole Cheshire Ring which has 92 locks in 97 miles! In 5 days you could get to the Anderton Boat Lift and back. In a 3 week hire you could go further afield to Llangollen in Wales and travel over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Please get in touch with us if you want some advice before you decide to book or not and also have a look at our routes pages.

What happens if we have any problems?

When our boats are on hire we are on-call so you can get in touch by telephone if you need to at any time. We can either talk you through fixing the problem on the phone or we will come to you. We will always do everything we can to fix any problems and ensure your holiday goes smoothly.

What if we want to keep the boat out longer than the arranged return & vacate time?

This can be arranged as long as the boat is not needed for another hire – if you want to bring the boat back at e.g. 4pm instead of the usual 10am return & vacate time we can arrange this at a cost of £20 per extra hour.

What if I don’t want to go through any locks?

The Bridgewater canal has no locks, so in a short hire you can take routes to the rural quiet of the Cheshire Plains or into Manchester city centre all routes with no locks to navigate. If you do want to take the boat through locks there are plenty on the canals that lead off the Bridgewater canal.

How will I know what to bring?

We provide all the basic things such as bedding and linen, towels, cooking and eating utensils, toilet paper, cleaning things and drinking water. When you have made a booking we will give you some more information about recommended things to bring.

Can I bring my pet?

Yes, fully house-trained pets are welcome for an extra charge of £25 per pet (2 pets maximum). Pets must not go on the furniture and must have their own bedding, food & water bowls.

Where can I park my car?

We provide free parking at the Bridgewater Marina where the gates are locked at night – the car and it’s contents are left at your own discretion. 

What if we want to stay on the boat and not move it?

When possible we can offer static hire at our lovely mooring at the marina, the rate is £90 per night for 1 double (single night only hires are more expensive). This is a popular option for an Xmas or New Year stay.

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