Relaxing scene 

We are a smallish, family owned, friendly and very 'hands-on' company.  After many years of happy boating we formally incorporated 'Sheffield Narrowboats Limited' in 2006 to bring together over 35 years collective experience in the waterways industries.

We're financed entirely from our own Private Equity, so we're answerable to our Customers, not Shareholders, and certainly not Bankers.  This gives us the ability to focus upon quality, not just profit.  As we have other established careers (and incomes!) we can guarantee the truly personal touch as we maintain an enthusiasm for the waterways and still treat the 'business' of narrow boat hire as we would a very serious hobby - enjoying what we sell ourselves, and equally enjoy witnessing the life changing experiences our customers get from our boats.

We differ significantly from convention Boat Hire businesses in a number of ways:

  • We primarily offer longer term hire experiences - tailored individually to your requirements. 
  • We have no Static or "Branded Fleet" - some boats are independently owned - when you take on the boat, it's like moving into someone's cherished country cottage.
  • We have no ties with Booking Agents or Management Agencies.
  • We don't have a static location - although based in Sheffield, we only operate one boat from here.  All of our other boats are available nationwide.

Harecastle Tunnel entrance

In addition to this, we differ from smaller, informal 'owner hirer' operations in a number of ways too:

  • All our boats have Commercial Hire Licences.
  • All our boats have extensive and comprehensive 'Self Drive Hire' insurance.
  • All our boats have breakdown cover.
  • We offer a FREE fully accredited RYA Helmsman Course on every booking.
  • We are members of the British Marine Federation.
  • We have undertaken an independent handover audit.

We like to think that we're 'raising the bar' in terms of service quality and standards within the boat hire industry.  Because our operational model doesn't force quick turnarounds, quick handovers and profit focussed economies, we have the ability to offer amongst the highest quality boats with exceptional inventory and comfort to be found on the UK waterways network.

Sheep on the towpath

Equally as important to our operational strategy is the drive to collaborate and develop meaningful partnerships both within the waterways industry and, equally as importantly, the local communities which form a part of the waterways network.

Environmental harmony also forms a central part of our ethical policy.  We firmly believe that everyone who benefits from our waterways network should act as custodians, not just users', ensuring the long term viability of a quite unique part of our heritage.  We are happy to work closely with local community groups, environmental and wildlife organisations, Educational initiatives and groups involved with restoration and preservation.

All boats come supplied with a wide range of environmentally friendly cleaning and hygiene products.
(To find out more about minimising environmental harm to the waterways, please visit The Green Blue.)

Clean waterway on the Rochdale

We are especially keen to promote Waterside Recycling Points.  At the very least we'd like to see bottle banks and composting bins.  If everyone with an interest collaborates, we can collectively make our waterways a cleaner and more pleasant place for everyone to enjoy.

We, and our small but dedicated (and highly experienced) team have only one aim; Your enjoyment.

Please feel free to browse our site and do get in contact if you would like any further information.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

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