Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find the answers to some commonly asked questions about renting a barge on Ireland's canals.
What experience do I need to rent a barge in Ireland and do I require a licence?
No licence is required to rent a barge on the inland waterways of Ireland.
Previous boating experience such as sailing or canoeing is helpful.
After a bit of practice you will feel at ease with operating locks and navigating the canal, however you will need 2 able bodied people with one steering while the other opens the locks.
You will need a minimum of 2 able bodied crew who will be required to throw ropes, use a barge pole, jump from the boat onto the bank, open the canal lock gates etc…
The boat is steered from a tiller at the stern of the barge and are very easy to handle. The barge has a practical guide to boat handling on board.
Rentmybarge provide full instructions to all our hirers on how to operate your boat, all its equipment and how to work a lock.
What about the Locks on Irish canals?
The Locks are a feature of Inland cruising. They were constructed over 200 years ago, have been completely restored and are all manual. They consist of a simple cog and lever system operated by a Lock Key and assisted by the power of water. They are still fascinating works of engineering today.
The locks are as a rule well spaced and provide a welcome break for the crew from cruising. There is no commercial traffic on Irish canals however the tradition of Lock keeper still exists and in many cases the job has stayed in the same family for generations. They are employed to assist you if you wish, to make your experience of renting a barge in Ireland as relaxed as possible.
How far can we go?
Remember, renting a barge on Irish canal's is life in the slow lane! The journey is best enjoyed at walking pace, 4 mph, and your average distance per day is 16 miles ( 20 Km. )
Depending where you start from you can travel east as far as Castleknock Co. Dublin or west as far as the Shannon, Co. Clare; giving you many options and varied sights to see.
For more detailed information and maps of both the Royal Canal and Grand Canal see below links....
Do I need to pay a deposit?
To rent a barge in Ireland with rentmybarge a booking deposit of 300 euro is required. This will be returned at end of trip providing the barge is left in the same condition as you received it. All rubbish must be left in secure bags ready for recycling- we will dispose of these.
Can I bring my dog with me?
Pets are welcome but you must provide pet's own sleeping basket/bed (50 euro cleaning charge applies)
What facilities are on board?
The barge has a well-balanced, spacious and tastefully decorated interior with all modern facilities to include:
* Full sized gas cooker
* Gas fridge
* 240V supply for electrical equipment (mobile phone, laptops)
* Piping hot water while the engine is running
* Full sized shower
* Flush toilet with holding tanks and pump out facilities to protect the environment
* Solid fuel stove that provides ample heat during cold weather (Starter fuel included in price)
* Music system with mp3 connection
* Full insulation throughout
This spacious and luxurious craft comes complete with foredeck and flat roof, which provide an ideal sightseeing or sunbathing area. Alternatively it is ideally suited to relaxing in your deck chair, enjoying the peace and tranquillity as you cruise the Irish waterways
What do I need to bring?
All you need to bring is food, suitable clothing and footwear. Renting a barge on Irish canals is very straightforward and stress free.
Tea, coffee, sugar, salt and cleaning supplies are provided.
Starter pack o fuel and toilet paper are also supplied.
Free duvets, sheets, pillows, blankets and one hand towel are provided for each person on board. There are also lifejackets provided for all renters.
Navigational charts and guides to cruising the Irish waterways are also provided
Where can I get more information about renting a barge?
Contact Pat for further details about renting a barge on +353 (87)2967112 or Mary on +353 (87)6357856 or email
Can I bring my children on the trip?
Children are very welcome on the Anam Cara we have had many families with children rent her previously. The barge experience provides a unique and memorable holiday for children who may not have been exposed to Ireland's magnificent waterways before. In particular, children report enjoying watching the locks open and close, with the water rushing in being a very exciting time!
We take all necessary measures to ensure everyone on board is kept safe at all times and while the barge is a very safe holiday- we provide lifejackets for all renters and would recommend that all parties wear them while in and around the barge and canal.