Across social media and the waterways press there are regular articles and requests from those looking to 'rent' a boat to live on or use as overnight accommodation. In urban areas living on a boat is often not a lifestyle choice about going boating, but a desire for cheap accommodation in a defined area. There are real personal and legal risks in this and these are described by this quote form a boater:
“Renting a boat which doesn't comply (with the rules) is the same as someone driving a car without Tax, MOT, and Insurance. If a non-compliant rented boat explodes, catches fire etc. it is unlikely to be covered by the owners insurance which will have been declared null and void. Any third party damage or injury will also not be covered.”
In the event of disaster there is not likely to be any comeback on the boat owner, who may well have broken the rules. We should be clear that we are not talking about normally accepted hire boat companies.
NABO has put together this guide, not intended to be definitive, but just as some friendly advice and perhaps warning to those who are looking to 'rent' a boat. It is written by boaters for boaters. This document has no legal status but reflects the current views of NABO. Click here to read.
NABO acknowledges the substantial contribution of Jess Good of London Boaters who posted the original document.