Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a member to use Somerset Boat Centre?
No, we are not a members club, we are open to the public.

Can we use the centre if we are not hiring anything?
Yes, we welcome all to our bar area and garden.

Do you need to book a place for a baby on your narrowboat?
Once they are 12months old yes a place needs to be booked in accordance with maritime law and our insurance.

Is there a toilet on the narrowboat?
Yes there is.

Will I get cold on the narrowboat?
We hope not, the cabin is heated when it’s cold and chilly, we also have blankets for you to use.

Are dogs allowed in the bar?
Yes well behaved dogs are welcome in our bar and garden but they must stay under control and on a lead at all times.

Is it ok to bring our own food and drink into the garden?
No unfortunately not, we sell hot, cold and alcoholic drinks in our bar and have a range of snacks available.

Do you have a coffee shop?
We have a kiosk onsite which serves light bites and snacks, it is open 10.30-4pm daily, SBC is a bar with a coffee machine (which makes cappuccino’s, latte’s, flat white, mocha’s, hot chocolate, chocolate) tea including fruit and green tea.

Do you do sell food?
We sell bar snacks-crisps, nuts, chocolate bars, we also have regular pop up caterers onsite, please check our calendar page for current plans and our social media pages for up to date changes.

Do you have undercover areas outside?
Yes, we have recently extended our undercover area including a retractable canopy for shelter from rain and shade from the sun.

What are your opening times?
Please check our website and social media pages for up to date times.

Do you do vouchers?
Yes, please see our gift voucher page on this website.

Can we hire and drive the narrowboat ourselves?
Unfortunately not at the moment, our current narrowboat ‘Somersun’ needs to be skippered by one our lovely skippers who are all qualified, discreet, sociable and will let you have a go at steering!

How many passengers can go on the narrowboat?
12 passengers plus crew.

Does the narrowboat go out in the dark?
We will always leave in the light but depending on the time year we may return when dimpsy!

Can we hire the narrowboat exclusively?
Yes (with our skipper) please see our hire page, we can accommodate up to 12 passengers on the boat, there are many extras to add to your booking to make it extra special (cream teas/fish and chips/decorations/music/drinks packages).

What if I am late to pick up my hire stuff?
All equipment must be returned in line with the original booking, however, if we can be flexible, we will be, but this will be at our discretion depending on other customers needs. Unfortunately, we can’t offer refunds as the assets have been reserved for you.

Will I be charged If I return hire boats late?

Can we still go out in the rain?
Yes of course, bring a change of clothes so that you can change at the centre.

Do we need wetsuits?
It is up to you, if you choose to wear one you will need to bring your own as we do not keep any wetsuits onsite. Be mindful of overheating, you don’t need to enter the water to go paddling, your better of with lose fitting leisure wear.

Do we need life jackets?
We provide all safety equipment, buoyancy aids are compulsory for 12 year olds and under and whilst under
instruction on a training course

Can dogs go on the boats?
Yes, well behaved dogs are welcome to join you on our kayaks, canoe’s and on paddleboards, dogs are also welcome on privately skippered narrowboat trips but not general public ones. We have dog buoyancy aids too.

What happens if I fall in with my phone and keys?
Unfortunately this will be at your own risk, we do not take any responsibility for personal belongings.

Do you have waterproof bags that I/we can use?
Yes we do, there is no guarantee that the bags will keep any belongings dry-they are used at your risk.

Can we use the equipment in the dark?
No, all equipment needs to be returned before sunset at the allocated return time.

I forgot what time my booking was and have missed my slot, can I rebook or get a refund?
No sorry, as with our cancellation/refund policy.

Will anyone help me get into the water with the equipment?
Yes we have staff that will guide you and give you basic instructions for all of our equipment.

Can the venue be hired for a party?
Yes it can, please see our ‘venue hire page’ on the website.

Can we hire the venue exclusively?
In general no but we can section off an area of the garden for your guests, there may be a chance of exclusive hire on Mondays when we normally close, please speak to Sam or email her

Can we hire the venue and incorporate paddlesport activities?
You certainly can, please see our hire info page.

Can you accommodate corporate events?
Yes, please see our hire info page and email

Do you cater for your events?
Somerset Boat Centre do not provide catering but we have access to many great caterers that we use on a regular basis for our pop up caterers, buffets and sweet treat (birthday cakes, scones etc)

Do you cater for hen/stag parties?
Yes we do, please see our narrowboat booking page or our events page on our website for what on or email to organise your bespoke event.