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A. General Enquires:-

A1. Do I have to book?

We aim to have plenty of boats available, it is very rare that we run out of boats - it may happen on a few days in the middle of summer.  We have so many boats and most people only go out for an hour or two so usually there is a boat due back very soon.

A2. Can I book?

Because we rarely run out, it is not normally essential to make a bookings for hire.  It is possible to make a booking on our booking system by clicking on the book now link on our website.  See the booking questions in section B below.

A3.  How old do I need to be?

You must be over 16 to hire without an adult present.  If under 16 yrs are present then an over 18 year old must accompany them.  Young children and babies are welcome to use the boats - we have life-jackets for the smallest baby (our children were on the lake from 6 weeks) and wetsuits that are suitable from 1 year old. 

A4. Will my toddler enjoy it?

We are careful about the boat types, temperature, wind speed and direction that when young children are going out on the lake.  We also take great care about the maximum hire periods allowed.  That said many little ones have a great time just going for a trip around the bay, or over to the sandbank to paddle where it is shallow, or even round to the Lingholm islands.  Boats like the peekaboo kayak will take an adult and a toddler - with a special peekaboo panel in the middle to look for fish!  Pick a warm day with no wind, keep sessions short and there are many options available.  Staff are always happy to advise! 

A5.  Can I hire a boat when you are closed?

Yes and No - it depends very much on the circumstances.  We are obliged to provide rescue cover when you are out on the lake.  So if its a group, and we have a bit of notice then we can arrange a for a member of staff to stay late or start work early to provide cover.  If it is for a small group or one or two people, it is possible but only when we have a member of staff residing onsite so they can provide back up for you.  This is dependant on them not having plans that evening / morning, the weather and forecast and your abilities.  It helps a lot if you are a regular customer so we know you and can assess the likelyhood of problems, you know us & how we work.  Please email your enquiry sooner rather than later if you want to do this.

A6.  Can I hire a boat overnight?

Again yes and no.  You are not allowed to use our boats during the hours of darkness or under the influence of alchohol or other substances. Also the boats can only be used on Derwentwater.  We are also obliged to provide rescue cover when you are out on the lake.  So it can be arranged but you must aggree not to use the boat overnight, and we must have a member of staff onsite to provide rescue cover if needed.  Depending on the time of year, your abilities and the forecast we may make extra conditions over and above this for you to be able to hire.  Please enquire early if you want to do this.

A7.  Can I hire a boat for a week?

Please see the notes for hiring a boat overnight.  Yes you can hire for a week, but all those conditions must be adhered to.  Also it is unlikely that we can provide rescue cover through all the hours of daylight for a whole week so we need a written aggreement of times that you can / cant use the boat.  This is occasionally done by people staying on the campsite.  Fees are negotiable, although see memberships in the first instance.

A8.  Can I hire a boat to take to an another lake / down the river?

Generally no - as we are obliged to provide rescue cover when you hire a boat and we are not insured for their use on other lakes / rivers.  If there is a group of you we can do this when we provide an instructor / guide, or if you all have suitable BCU qualifications.  We must risk assess this on a case by case basis and get the ok from our insurers so it takes time to arrange.  We must also arrange for special licences that may be needed.

B. Booking:-

B1.  What happens if I need to change my booking?

There is are no penalties for ammending upto 24hrs in advance.  This can be done by clicking on the ammend my booking link on your emailed booking confirmation.  If you struggle with this then give us a call and we will sort it out for you.  

Within 24hrs, we will swap your booking over wherever possible - you need to give us a ring to arrange this.  The only exception is where large numbers of boats have been reserved that has led to us turning down other bookings. 

B2.  What if I need to cancel?

 There is are no penalties for cancelling upto 24hrs in advance.  This can be done by clicking on the ammend my booking link on your emailed booking confirmation.  If you struggle with this then give us a call and we will sort it out for you.  The refuund will go back to your original payment method.

Within 24hrs we will normally offer the option to swap to an alternative day / time / boat or issue a gift voucher / credit on account.  Refunds are at our discresion and will depend on the individual circumstances - such as whether your booking has led to us turning down other bookings.

 B3.  Im running late, can I still have a full session?

If we are able to yes!.  

Please let us know if there is a problem or you are running late - it gives us the option of redeploying the boats.  We allow 15 minutes between each booking to give us all a little leeway anyway. 

If you let us know and there are boats avalible then you can have your full session on arrival.  If you let us know but there are no boats avalaible or a suitable alternative cant be found then you can use the remainder of your session plus the 15minutes leeway that we build into the system.  If you dont let us know, and we have kept the boats avalible for you then unfortunately you have lost the session.

B4.  I was unable to go out on the lake due to bad weather, do I get a refund?

Yes, if your session gets cancelled due to bad weather or any other factors then we will refund your money - if we cant agree a mutually convienient alternative.  We do our very best to stop this happening unfortunately we cannot control the weather.  

If it is a clear cut cancel that is obvious before your session we will try and contact you in advance on the telephone numbers / email given at the time of booking to advise you.  In some cases it is not clear cut (i.e. may depend on your experience or the make up of your group) in which case we will discuss it on your arrival.

If you have any concerns you are welcome to give us a ring before setting off to check.

We will refund money by the same method that you originally paid.  This is normally processed by us within 24-48hrs, however we have no control over how long it will take the payment service provider to credit it to your account. (i.e.Paypal)  If you have any concerns please let us know and we will investigate.  As an alternative we can offer a gift voucher or credit on account.

  

C. Canoes:-

C1.  Will a family of 5 fit in a canoe?

Usually not, if it is not windy and there are 2 small adults and 3 children then it may be possible to fit in a 17'4 canoe.  This decision can only be made on the day, when staff can assess the weather conditions and the total load in the boat. 

C2.  I have hired a canoe for 4, but there are only 2 seats! Why?

Most of our canoes are fitted with 2 seats, some with 3.  Extra passengers should kneel.  The lower the weight is in the boat the more stable it is - so there is a good argument for all 5 passengers to kneel! (especially if the wind picks up!)

C3.  Will I get wet?

It is always possible for a canoe to capsize, although this is rare if you listen to the instructions given, and take a little care (we have 2 or 3 canoe capsizes per year).  It is always worth bringing a change of clothes just in case! (If nothing else than to protect against Murphy's law!) 

C4. How long will it take to get to the island?

 It depends on how fast you paddle, how many are in the boat, the length of your boat and the wind direction.  Most boats will get to the lingholm islands in 10-15 minutes and St Herberts Island in 30-45minutes.  It is possible to do it faster, or to potter and take a lot longer!

C5.  Why cant I use the canoes today?

We only restrict canoe usage for 3 reasons usually because it is to windy!.  Occasionally (out of season) we may restrict it if rescue cover or first aid cover is not available.  This only happens very occasionally (once every few years), when  the rescue / first aid person is sick.  If it is to windy for canoes, kayaks may be available (they sit lower in the water and are less affected by wind)  although there will come a point where kayaks are also unavailable.  

If it is very windy or cold then we have to be much more careful, and will risk assess on a case by case basis and may impose extra restrictions or limit hire as we see fit. 

D.  Kayaks

D1.  Why is kayak hire not avalible today?

D2.  How old do you have to be to paddle a single boat?

D3.  Im not sure what boat to book for our group, help?

D4.  Should I choose a sit on or sit in boat?

D5.  Can I have a spraydeck with my boat?

D6.  Will I get wet?