Renting a boat is a great way to get a memorable experience out on the water without actually having to own a boat of your own.
One very cool opportunity is renting a canal boat. These boats can help you better navigate rivers and other smaller spaces.
Renting a canal boat is often done in Europe, but this is not the only option for you. You can rent canal boats in the United States as well as in Europe.
Read on to see all the great canal boat rental options!
Here are some numbers on renting prices for canal boats:
|Boat:||Size:||Country:||Renting Price for 3 days:||Rental Company:|
|Princess 2||47ft||Scotland, England||975.00 pounds||Black Prince|
|Princess 4||52ft||Wales, England||1,099.00 pounds||Black Prince|
|Duchess 6||69ft||England||1,429.00 pounds||Black Prince|
|Lautrec 4||62ft||Scotland, Wales||1,175.00 pounds||Black Prince|
|Shakespeare 4||58ft||Scotland||1,057.50 pounds||Black Prince|
|Lockmaster 34||34ft||United States||1,750.00 dollars||Mid-Lakes Navigation|
|Lockmaster 41||41ft||United States||2,250.00 dollars||Mid-Lakes Navigation|
|Lockmaster 42||42ft||United States||2,250.00 dollars||Mid-Lakes Navigation|
|Harriet H Wiles||N/A||United States||3,300.00 dollars for 7 days only||Mid-Lakes Navigation|
|Kinsey Houseboat||36ft.||United States||700.00-1,000.00 dollars||Houseboating.org|
|Discoverer Houseboat||60ft.||United States||349.00 dollars per night||Houseboating.org|
|Houseboat Flamingo Marina||42ft.||United States||350.00 dollars per night||Houseboating.org|
|Sunseeker Houseboat||50ft.||Canada||2,299.00-3,489.00 dollars||Houseboating.org|
Boats From “Black Prince Rentals”
Black Prince rentals are a canal boat rental company that allows you to take their boats out on your own in nine stunning locations that include:
- Lower Heyford-England
- Acton Bridge-England
- Ely Cambridgeshire-England
- Stoke Prior-England
- Peak District National Park-England
- Napton Warwickshire-England
The instructors there will inform you of everything you need to know before you head out on the water. This instruction includes all you need to know to operate your vessel, everything you need to know about locks, and give you maps as well as tips on the best places to moor and eat.
They also have everything on board that is required to navigate your vessel.
If you run into trouble they also have a 24-hour phone line available to you in case you need it.
These boats come equipped with everything you will need out on the water including:
- Full Central Heating
- DVD Player
- Radio/CD Player
- Full-sized showers
- 4-ring cooker/oven/grill
- Electric fridge with freezer compartment
- USB Point to charge your devices
Also included on each vessel are all the cutlery, crockery, saucepans, and cooking utensils as well as t-towels, bed linens, pillows, towels, dish soap, and other cleaning materials that you might need.
You can find the specifics of what all is included on the Black Prince website.
1. Princess 2
The Princess 2 is a 47-foot narrowboat that can sleep between 2 to 4 people.
This boat features one shower, washbasin, and one toilet onboard in the head. In addition to the forward cabin that features a double bed, there is also a rear saloon with seating that can be made into a double bed or a fold-down single bed.
This boat also comes in pet-friendly and non-pet friendly options.
2. Princess 4
The Princess 4 is a 52-foot narrowboat that can sleep between 4 to 6 people. The sleeping arrangements can come in two different options.
You could either have a model with two double beds or one with one double bed and two single beds. This allows you to tailor your needs to your specific group.
Like the Princess 2, this boat features a full head with a full-sized shower, washbasin, and toiled.
This boat offers the double cabin in the middle section and the rear cabin features either the second double bed or the two single beds. This boat also has a saloon where the dinette area can be an additional double bed or fold-down single bed.
This boat also comes in pet-friendly and non-pet friendly options.
3. Duchess 6
The Duchess 6 is a large canal boat that is 69 feet long and can sleep between 6 to 8 people. This boat comes with up to four sleeping options that you can choose from.
These options are:
- 3 double beds, 0 single beds
- 2 double beds, 2 single beds
- 1 double bed, 4 single beds
- 0 double beds, 6 single beds
These options are all contained inside three cabins total. Each option includes an optional bed in the lounge as well.
This boat features two toilets and two washbasins but only one full-sized shower.
This boat also comes in pet-friendly and non-pet friendly options.
4. Lautrec 4
The Lautrec 4 is a 62-foot vessel that can sleep between 4 to 5 people.
The layouts for this vessel include one that only has two double beds or one that has one single bed and one double bed. Unlike the previous options, this boat does not have an optional bed in the saloon.
This boat does, however, still have two toilets onboard and one full-sized shower.
This choice is popular for a small family that wants to have plenty of space while on vacation. This boat also comes in pet-friendly and non-pet friendly options.
5. Shakespeare 4
This boat is 58 feet in length and can sleep between 4 to 6 people in two different layouts.
One option includes two double beds and the other one offers one double bed and two single beds. Both options offer an optional bed in the lounge.
This model also featured two flush toilets and washbasins as well as one full-sized shower.
This choice is a favorite for parties that include two couples or even for a small family.
Mid-Lakes Navigation offers canal boat rentals at Mid-Lakes Marina which is a fully serviced facility located on the Erie Canal in Rochester.
In the mid-80s this company built rental canal boats that were patterned after the traditional English narrowboats.
This company allows you to charter a boat for 3, 4, and even 7 nights. These rentals are available from mid-May to early October.
Onboard amenities include:
- Bed linens
- Bath linens
These boats should offer you the basic essentials while you are out on the water so you only have to worry about packing for yourself.
Some options offered by Mid-Lake Navigation are pet-friendly and some are not, so you will want to make sure you speak with someone if you need a vessel that allows pets.
These four boats are all Lockmaster 34 canal boats and are perfect for trips for two or even for a trip for a small family.
Each one of these vessels features a private cabin that includes a double berth. This boat also features traditional pipe-bunks in the galley or living area that is perfect for kids.
There is also one head and full shower.
This boat is the smallest option available from Mid-Lakes Navigation, but you are sure to have a good time out on the water and while exploring the Erie Canal.
10/11. Skaneateles II/Cayuga
These two vessels are both Lockmaster 41 canal boats and offer more room than those on the Lockmaster 34s.
These both offer one double berth cabin and one cabin with twin bunk beds. There is also additional sleeping availability in the living area on each vessel. These boats come with a spacious galley as well as two heads and a shower.
Each of these options also comes with cushioned benches on a canvas enclosed bow.
12-15. Seneca/Canandaigua/Okeechobee/Otisco II
All four of these vessels are Lockmaster 42 canal boats. Only slightly larger than the Lockmaster 41, these boats also offer plenty of space and comfort for you and your passengers.
Each of these options has two double berth cabins and additional optional sleeping arrangements in the living area.
This boat also features two cushioned benches in the bow which is enclosed by a canvas.
All four of these options have a comfortable galley, two heads, and a full-sized shower.
16. Harriet H. Wiles
This boat is the newest model in the fleet and was refitted from a previous Lockmaster design to create a “first-of-its-kind” high-end canal boat.
This boat is perfect for a couple and a guest or two. The master suite features a queen-sized bed.
This also features an enclosed pilothouse, large master bath, and plenty of amenities to allow you to live your vacation in luxury.
This boat, unlike the others from Mid-Lakes Navigation, can only be rented out from Saturday to Saturday and you have to get it for the entire 7 nights.
Houseboating.org Is Also An Option
Houseboating.org is a houseboat vacation source for lakes in North America and offers a wide variety of houseboat experiences. These boats are narrow houseboats that are similar to canal boats and offer all the amenities you will need for a great vacation.
This company features boats all over the United States as well as some options in Canada and is featured at multiple marinas.
17. 36′ Kinsey Houseboat
There are 36-foot houseboats that are great for a family of up to 6. These boats include two double beds as well as a daybed, full kitchen, and one full bathroom.
The features on this boat include a stereo/CD player, bedding, cookware, kitchen utensils, toaster, refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven, and outdoor gas grill.
There are also entertainment features that include a sun deck, slide off the top deck, and deck furniture included. This boat is also comfortable with indoor heating.
This boat is featured on Birch Lake in Minnesota in the heart of the Superior National Forest and features a heavily forested shoreline.
18. 60′ Discoverer Houseboat
The 60-foot Discoverer Houseboat sleeps up to 6 people and includes a private stateroom in the back. This boat also comes with a living room with a sofa that can provide an additional sleeping area.
This boat provides all your bedding, a kitchen equipped with a coffeemaker, toaster, blender, microwave, refrigerator, stove, and gas grill outdoors.
You will be highly comfortable with central air and heating.
There is also a water slide, outdoor shade top, and plenty of other entertainment options. Indoors you will find a TV and DVD player to keep you entertained as long as you bring movies along.
This boat can be found at Holly Creek Marina on Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. Dale Hollow Lake had plenty of evergreen trees and sandy beaches. This location is also great for fishing and holds the record for the largest smallmouth bass ever caught.
19. 42′ Houseboat
In Florida, at the Flamingo marina, you can find a 42’ houseboat for rent that can sleep up to 6 people.
This boat comes with two private staterooms, a full kitchen, and a full bathroom.
This boat comes fully equipped with all the necessities including blankets, sheets, pillows, bath towels, cleaning supplies, cookware, utensils, refrigerator, microwave, stove, French press, propane stove, and other amenities.
This boat is featured in the Everglades National Park where you will be able to see an abundance of wilderness and enjoy the tropical environment.
20. Sunseeker Houseboat
The Sunseeker Houseboat is 50 feet long and can sleep between 8 to 10 people.
The exterior of this houseboat comes with a completely furnished deck and a Bimini top for shade.
This boat also has plenty of outdoor entertainment including a hot tub, waterslide, and area for tanning. Inside there are four double beds and one pull-out bed, a full kitchen, a saloon and one and a half bathrooms.
Indoor entertainment includes a TV, DVD, stereo, CD player, and other features. This boat also includes cookware, utensils, coffee maker, toaster, refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven, and an outdoor gas grill.
You can also have up to two dogs on this boat with a deposit.
This boat is on Lake Koocanusa which is a mountain lake surrounded by the mountains of both the United States and Canada. This is a gorgeous recreation spot that is perfect for your family today.
Much of the shoreline of this lake can only be reached by boat and you will be able to access it all with this great rental.
Tips for Renting
Now that you have decided you want to rent a houseboat, you want to make sure you do it properly.
When renting, you will want to make sure that you pack everything that you will need for the amount of time you plan on renting.
Most boats on this list come with linens, utensils, and other necessities. However, you will need to make sure you bring all the food and water you will need, any DVDs that you might want to watch as long as your boat comes with a DVD player and other entertainment options such as games.
Even though there are bed linens you might want to bring any extra blankets and pillows that you think you will need for the trip.
Make sure you know the ins and outs of your boat as well as the rules set forth by your specific rental company. You will want to make sure you know about all the possible costs and fees. You will also want to make sure you know if your boat allows pets or not before you bring them.
Renting a canal boat is a great way to spend a vacation. Not only do you get out on the water, but you also do so in style with the full luxuries you would have if you were staying in a cabin.
Each of these boating options includes sleeping arrangements, kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
You never have to leave the comfort of your own boat and can cook and do everything right onboard.
If you are considering living on a boat, you should consider renting a canal boat. Renting a canal boat for a short period of time is a great way to decide if living on a boat is the correct lifestyle for you.
Canal boats can be rented on lakes, rivers, and even while to go through canals. If renting a canal boat sounds like something that would be fun for you and your family, you have plenty of options that will allow you to have fun with the whole family.
Shelby Sullivan is a freelance journalist who specializes in boating and recreational watercraft. She captains her family pontoon boat in her spare time with her fiancee and dog on the freshwater lakes of the United States. Shelby prefers swimming to suntanning, and you can most likely find her reading in the shade of the pontoon awning.