Many many people live on boats up and down the UK canals, some legally, some less so, and it is a bit of a grey area as to who is what!
One thing you need to consider very carefully is insurance. You might think "It will never happen to me", and of course it might not, but what if it does.....say you misjudge that weir, or even worse, a kid jumps in to a lock for a swim and.....ok it might not be your fault but....
So lets look at a scenario. Mr Owner has a boat and thinks he will get a bit of cash on the side hiring it out here and there. He sticks a card in the post office and Mr Hiree comes along, interested in having a week afloat. Mr Hiree hands of his money, say £600.00 for the week (far less than the boatyard hire price) and thinks he is on to a good thing. However, the minute money changes hands the pair of them have broken the law. First and foremost BWB consider this a commercial arrangement and it contravenes the licence, and the insurance company will not insure the boat for private hire under a "normal" policy, it has to be a commercial policy.
Mr Owner has a way to get around this, "If anything happens tell anyone that asks that you are a friend of mine, and DON'T say you have paid me". All well and good until you get to court if there is a problem.......
"How long have you known him?" asks the barrister?
"OK, and do you know his wife as well"
"Odd he is not married....."
You can see where this is going.......
So be warned, if you friend/uncle/brother owns a boat and you borrow it and do not pay him it is fine, but if you are "Hiring" from your "Brand new friend" it is illegal and not something this web site recommends......
Now, oddly if you are taking a long term hire/rent then there is a loophole in the regulations you can use in certain circumstances to get around this, and the cost is minimal.
So, you have found the ideal boat and shaken hands on the deal, in six weeks time you will be off on your dream trip around the UK Canals. There are a million things you need to think about but let me suggest you ought to make sure if nothing else your trip is legal and covered by insurance.
If you hand over, say £850 per month and set off on your six month trip you are NOT insured, unless, and this is unlikely, the boat has a commercial policy on it already. You are contravening the licence on the boat and the insurance (but ask to check the policy....you never know....)
So what do you do? Well one insurance company has a special policy to cover this type of arrangement. How it is done is simplicity itself and costs very little.
boatrent will now advise you just how this can be arranged legally. There is as far as we are aware only ONE insurance company that covers this arrangement.
This information is offered in good faith and we cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions. You should get all paperwork checked over by a solicitor familiar with marine insurance to be on the safe side.