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Tourist Board Grading Scheme.

Some years ago British Waterways and the Heart of England Tourist Board became concerned at the large variation in standards of Hire Boats on the canals. They therefore devised a classification scheme for narrow boats -now known as the Star Scheme. This is a totally voluntary scheme open to all canal boat operators and one in which we are keen to participate by submitting all our boats for inspection. Our boats make up roughly a third of the boats inspected under this scheme in the UK.

Each year a fully qualified inspector, appointed by the English Tourism Council, inspects boats of all our classes at all our bases. This is a vigorous inspection, and the depth of the inspection criteria can be judged by the fact that the inspector takes nearly three weeks to inspect our boats each year. A detailed list of recommendations is given to us on each boat after they have been passed so that they can be even further improved.

We pride ourselves on the high standard of the holidays we offer and believe that the quality of your holiday starts with your boat. We feel it is very important for you to have an independent arbiter to ensure that you can feel confident when choosing your boat that you will be receiving a first class boat.

We also find the inspection useful as we also receive recommendations for further improvements to the boats and the service that we offer our customers. The inspection team has vast experience in looking at many different types of accommodation from Bed and Breakfast establishments to Hotels, as well as Boats. Tips from allied industries have been, and continue to be, very helpful to us. We add this to the responses which we receive from our customers each week to try and improve the service which we give each year.

In the same way in which a hotel is awarded stars or diamonds, narrow boats are awarded 'stars'- ranging from 1 star at entry level for a basic boat to 5 stars for a top of the range luxury boat. We only run boats from 2 through to 5 Stars allowing you a choice to suit both your pocket and your needs.


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