Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cancellation policy during the Covid pandemic?

During the Covid pandemic if a hire can not go ahead due to the UK Government restrictions you will be offered the chance to change the dates you have booked or you will be offered a refund.

How many nights can we book?

Normally a minimum of 3 nights from March to October and 2 nights from November to February.

Important COVID-19 Information Must Be Read - Please click here to see more information.

Can we start and finish a hire when we want?

From 2021 we are making changes to way we offer hires, please click here to read more information about 2021 hires.

How does the pricing work?

We keep the same prices all year. The price you see on our prices page is the total hire and includes bedding, towels, diesel and gas. We require a security deposit of £350 on the first day of hire which will be refunded in full as long as there is no loss or damage to the boat and contents. 

What about 'Woodstock' the new boat?

We are buidling a new boat which will be ready for hire from July 2021.

What support do you offer?

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 a problem (if there is one) on the phone or we will come to you. We will always do everything we possibly can to fix any problems and ensure your holiday goes smoothly.

Do I need a license to operate the boat?

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

Is the boat easy to operate?

The feedback we get from our experienced and non experienced hirers is that our boats are straightforward to steer and easy to 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 contents belonging to Star Narrowboat Holidays are insured.  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. During the Covid pandemic if a hire has to be postponed due to the UK Government restrictions you will be offered the chance to change the dates or a refund.

How will I know where I can moor the boat?

We will advise you on where you can and cannot 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 boat if we hire in the winter?

Both boats have heating and 'Queenie' has a solid fuel stove so in the colder months 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 wheelchair access?

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

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 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 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 and boat cleaning things. When you have made a booking we will give you some more information about recommended things to bring.

Can I bring my pet?

Yes, house-trained pets are welcome for an extra charge of £40 per pet (2 pets maximum). Pets must not go on the furniture and must have their own bedding, food & water bowls. Pets must not be left alone inside the boat and must not be allowed onto the roof.

Where can I park my car?

There is parking where we are based – any cars and contents are left at your own discretion. 

Do you offer anything else which might tempt me to book your boats?

Of course, many things, for example we mainly use and provide eco friendly cleaning products and we provide recycled toilet paper. We genuinely love making the boats as comfortable and sparkling as possible. And we definitely get a kick out of teaching complete novices how to handle a boat and then seeing their happy, relaxed (and sometimes 'sad to leave') faces as they return back to base after a really good holiday.   ;)

narrowboat hire manchester

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