These are regularly asked questions


Should you have any that are not here please call the office +44 01788 890784.


What do I need to know, I’ve not hired a boat before?

An extra welcome for first time hirers awaits you at Union Canal Carriers with many years of boating experience we enjoy introducing new people to the canals. A chat over the phone with our expert staff will help you to book the best boat and choose the right route for you. If you are able, you are welcome to call in to see us and look over the boats, please check first to see if the boat you wish to look at is in. On arrival, we give you a thorough tuition on your boat and an extensive pre-cruise briefing. As first-time hirers, we show you how to work a real lock and accompany you on the boat until you are confident that you can manage yourselves.


How much experience do I need?

Previous experience is not essential, you will find our boats very easy to steer and control. Our staff, will spend plenty of time with you to ensure that you feel safe and confident. Whether you are a first-time hirer or have hired for many years.

These two links many answer some questions you may have.


Canal and River Trust Boater's Handbook


Do I need a steerers licence?

No form of steerer’s licence is required for boats carrying up to 12 people.



Where can we stop at night?

On the canals, moorings are free and the choice is yours. There are many ‘designated’ moorings provided with tying rings and bollards in the more “civilised” spots like village wharfs and canal side pubs. If you prefer solitude, then you are free to tie up at any point along the towpath, provided you are not a hazard to passing boats.



Are there any extra costs?

A small damage waiver is added per boat holiday at the time of booking on-line and Wifi can be booked if required (see below).

Some bookings may be subject to a £250.00 Cash Security Deposit.

Otherwise booking fees, cancellation insurance, fuel, car parking, tuition, one pet free, cotsides, travel cot and bedding (except Pennine and Chiltern) are all included.


Is there WiFi available?

Wifi (mobile) is available on all our boats 2GB is £15.00, providing data to surf the internet. It’s not designed for streaming and the signal can be intermittent due to the canals infrastructure. Please book ahead. Extra data usage will be charged for.


Where can we go?

From Braunston there are 100’s of miles of canals and rivers to cruise. In a few cases you may need an additional licence. Cruise planning is made easy with our knowledgeable staff and we have an excellent range of Cruising Guides in stock. Please feel free to phone for advice at any time. For more information please look at our Routes Page


Can I bring a young family?

Yes of course. Facilities for children include: Safe, high sided back decks on many boats. Buoyancy aids for children which are recommended to be worn whenever children are out on deck. Travel cots and cot sides are available please book beforehand.


Can I bring a pet?

One well behaved family pet is welcome on all our boats. There is a charge for additional animals. We do also make a charge for extra cleaning or damage caused by pets.


Do I need to bring groceries?

As you wish, you can bring your own groceries, have online shopping delivered to the boat yard or call in at one or other of the nearby Supermarkets on your way through Braunston, Daventry or Rugby.


Are towels and bedding provided?

Bedding is provided on all our boats, apart from the two 12 berth Pennine and Chiltern, where bedding can be hired as an extra. Towels are available for a small hire charge.


What if anything goes wrong?

We provide a full 24/7 call out service, with someone answering the phone should you require any assistance whilst you are on our boats.


Overseas Customers

We can help you organise your travel from the airport to our base by car, public transport or Taxi service. Shopping can be ordered and delivered beforehand to your boat. To help with packing, we provide complimentary towels and can store your suitcases if required.

Below are some training videos that may help understand British canal boating.