Emergency or faults with a Bruce Boat: please call 07442 405093
Bookings and Customer Service
Frequently Asked Questions
What are my cruising limits?
Your Bruce Boats cruising area is restricted to the Kennet and Avon Canal between Bath and Reading. If you wish to enter the River Avon at Bath or the River Thames at Reading please discuss your plans with our Bookings Team (01380 721279) and obtain permission in writing to do so. There are small stretches of river to the east of Hungerford and these are usually safe to cruise but if there has been heavy rain in the days before your booking please check with our helpline: 07769 250511. Hirers are not permitted to tow other craft or be towed, or to cruise after dark.
Do I need to buy a map of the canal?
Once you have made a booking, you will be sent a digital version of our Route Planning Guide. As well as providing lots of navigational information and safety advice in relation to the Kennet and Avon Canal it will help you plan your journey in conjunction with a map and canal guide. These can be found at Waterstones and other good bookshops or purchased online. Nicholson’s, Heron and The Ordnance Survey are all reliable publishers.
How many wheelchairs can we take on a weekly hire or day trip?
This will depend on the size of the wheelchairs, please get in contact to discuss in more detail.
What is the largest size of wheelchair I can take?
This will vary by boat. It is very rare we have a problem with the size of wheelchairs but if you have a particularly large electric wheelchair please do get in touch to check before booking.
Is bedding provided?
Bedding is not provided. You will need to bring your own bed linen and towels.
Can I see a boat before we book?
Yes. If you would like to visit the boat to check whether it will be suitable for your group or you need to carry out a risk assessment, please contact us to arrange this.
How far can we travel in a day?
You will be enjoying life in the slow lane, so don’t attempt to travel too far in one day. Most boaters find somewhere to moor around 4pm so they can relax and explore their surroundings. Once you set off it won’t be long before you come to a lock. It’s best to allow about 20 minutes to travel through the lock although you may have to queue if the canal is busy.
1 lock roughly equates to 1 mile in travelling time. We call that a lock-mile. So, if you plan a day’s trip of, say, 12 miles, with 3 locks on the way, that will be 15 lock miles at an average speed of 3mph = 5 hours travelling time.
With several relaxing breaks that’s a good day’s passage.
Do you offer shower chairs?
We offer shower chairs and a variety of other equipment free of charge for the duration of your holiday.
Is there a microwave on board?
Yes, all of our boats have microwaves on board.
What qualifications do we need to be able to skipper a Bruce Boat?
Ideally, you should have taken an RYA course or our own Bruce Boats Hirer Training Course. If you own your own boat or have extensive experience of skippering a canal boat, we will ask you to complete our Distance Learning Course and then demonstrate competence to our team when the boat is handed over to you.