top of page
Lock 3.jpg

Frequently Asked Questions

Take a look through some of our most frequently asked questions about The Purple Boat.

1. Do I need a licence to drive a boat?

You do not need a specific licence to drive a Narrowboat, we ask for a copy of your photo ID (drivers licence or passport) to fulfil the boat insurance conditions. As with any holiday you take we recommend you take out personal insurance.

2. Where can I park my car?

We have ample off-road parking on private land for 2 cars within walking distance of The Purple Boat. The site also has CCTV coverage.

3. Do I need previous experience?

Previous experience is not necessary as full tuition will be given before you set off and you will be taken through the first lock to make sure you are totally happy. We strongly recommend watching this official DVD from the Canal and River Trust, explaining how to drive a boat.

4. How many people can sleep on the boat?

The purple boat is perfect for two and can accommodate four. The front cabin may be set up as a large king size or two cabin beds, and the dinette converts to a double bed.

5. Do we need a minimum crew?

Two people are needed to take the boat out - one to steer and one to work the locks.

6. How can I book the boat for my holiday?

Hire is from Saturday to Friday and you will be able to book through this website by entering dates for the nights Saturday through to Thursday (returning Friday day time). For longer stays or to ask about bookings in general please either phone 07825 838427 (office hours) or send a message via email:

7. What is the minimum age to hire the boat?

Minimum age to book the boat is 21 years.

8. Can I bring my pets?

Well behaved pets are welcome onboard.

9. When and where do I pick the boat up?

Pick The Purple Boat up from Shardlow DE72 2HA, collect from 11:30am.

10. When do I bring the boat back?

The Purple Boat should be returned from the pick up point on Friday by 10.30am.

11. Do I need to clean the boat before return?

There is a small Dyson on board for you to use if you wish. It’s nice to return the boat back clean, however if you are unable to do this and have to leave it particularly dirty a cleaning charge of £50 will be taken from the deposit.

12. Are towels provided?

Clean towels and freshly laundered bedding are provided. Each bed has a duvet & cover, pillow & pillowcase, mattress protector and sheet.

13. Can I charge my phone?

You will be able to charge your phone and other electrical equipment using the 12v sockets with the inverter. USB sockets provided.

14. Is there Wi-Fi onboard?

Wi-Fi is not available on the boat but as you travel along the canal you will be able to pick up 4G.

15. Do I have to fill up with water, diesel and empty the toilet tank?

You should fill the water tank daily from the free water points along the canal. The boat will have a full tank of diesel included in the cost of the holiday and this should be sufficient for two weeks travel. The toilet tank will be empty when you pick the boat up and depending on use should easily last a week, so you should not have to empty the tank.

16. Where can I moor up?

You can generally stop anywhere along the towpath where the water looks suitable. You will not be able to stop in private mooring spaces which are clearly marked. Lock landings, where the black and white bollards are fixed are only to be used when working the lock. Please do not moor up on water points, except to take water on.

17. How do I turn round?

You turn around at a winding point. These are marked on the map and occur every few miles on the canal. The best way to wind (turn) is to put the bow of the boat into the winding point and move the rudder over, with the engine slowly moving the boat forward the stern will swing round to turn the boat. You will need to reverse out of the winding point. If you'd like to find out more, please visit the Canal and River Trust Website.

18. How far can I get to?

The distance you travel is entirely dependant on how many hours cruising you decide to do each day. There may be some locations you stop at which you may decide to stay for longer.

19. How fast does the boat go?

The boat should be driven at walking speed, and very slowly past moored boats. The idea is to take it easy, relax and take in the atmosphere and nature.

20. Is there a map onboard?

There is a Nicholson Map on board the boat as well as a detailed map in the boat manual.

21. What do I need to know about The Purple Boat?

Each day you should make sure you fill up with water, and at the end of the day’s cruising turn the grease gun located under the deck to prevent water entering the bilge.

22. Are there any rules for using the canal?

The main rules of the canal are to travel at walking speed, slow past moored boats, pass oncoming boats on the right (you move over to the right). For more information, click here to view the Canal and River Trust Handbook.

23. Can I fish in the canal?

Yes, you can fish the canal provided you have an Environment Agency rod license which you can get from any post office or online. In some instances, you may be required to buy a day ticket if fishing from club premises. Live bait must not be taken onboard the boat.

24. What are your terms and conditions of hire?

For our full T's & C's of hire, please visit our Terms and Conditions page.

25. What if we break down or have an accident?

Should this happen, call 07825 838427. If you take your time and slow down you dramatically reduce the risk of collisions. Should someone fall into the canal, they should be able to stand up and get out onto the towpath. Care should be taken around locks as they can be over 20ft deep when filled - wearing the life jacket provided is recommended.

bottom of page