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Can we hire a 58ft narrowboat for 3-4 months?

I have just retired, and my wife and I would like to hire a 58ft narrowboat for 3-4 months - our retirement adventure! We have hired for the Easter week for the last 20 plus years and now have the time for a longer cruise around our fantastic canal system. We are 60 and 58 and have two well behaved and seasoned travellers - our two 9 year old miniature Schnauzers. We would like to travel next year from April to end of July.
Is there anyone who would consider letting us use their boat for this period? We would love to hear from you.

Asked by: Bob and Desi Cogger  | 1.40pm, Sunday 29 March

WW says:

This is a question that comes up reasonably frequently. Although we don't know of any hire operators that quote a 'list price' for long-term hire, several are willing to consider it on request. You could start by contacting one of the larger fleets, such as ABC Leisure Group (www.abclg.com).

Richard Fairhurst  | 4.36PM, Wednesday 1 April

WW says:

If you used a private boat - and presumably paid the owner - the boat would effectively become a hire boat and would need to be licensed and insured as one. It would also have to pass more stringent Boat Safety Standards than a privately used boat.
However, there is a company that says it specialises in long term hire. It is called 'Escape the Rat Race' and you can find details on http://etrr.co.uk (note there is no 'www'). The boats they offer appear to be privately owned but, hopefully, ETRR will have ensured they have a commercial licence and insurance.

Graham Booth  | 7.11PM, Thursday 2 April

Readers say:

Many thanks WW for your info. We will look into your suggestions and if we have good results, we will let you and other enquirers know the results - fingers crossed we get lucky!
Desi and Bob Cogger

Bob and Desi Cogger  | 10.32PM, Friday 3 April

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