Adams Ark is a canal boat owned by the council, but leased to the Friends of Adams Ark who take full responsibility for bookings and its operation. It is available for hire by schools and community groups, including those with special needs. Regrettably access by wheelchair is not possible.

The boat

Skippered by a fleet of volunteers (both male and female), the wide beam vessel travels the Leeds / Liverpool canal, between Foulridge and Bingley Five Rise operating from its registered berth in the picturesque market town of Skipton, and takes in the spectacular North Yorkshire countryside.

Passengers can experience life on board a canal boat, along with unique opportunities to see elements of the environmental, arts, industrial heritage and learn more about water safety.

The crew experience life on board a canal boat, along with unique opportunities to appreciate the environment, arts and industrial heritage, and learn more about water safety.

In winter months and early spring, Adams Ark returns to the South Yorkshire navigation system.

  Adams Ark Canal Boat Floor Plan

The accommodation:

  • the open plan nature of the layout means that the vessel can accommodate people with with a disability who do not require use of a wheelchair to access Adams Ark
  • self-catering facilities, although crockery and cutlery are provided
  • The maximum number of users is 11 plus the Skipper. This applies to both day cruises and residential use.
  • The galley has a gas oven and hob, domestic fridge/freezer and a microwave oven
  • Facilities include a flushing toilet and wash basin, and a separate shower and wash basin
  • The larger cabin doubles up as a lounge and dining facility and converts to the main sleeping area with bunk beds for eight, and there is a smaller cabin which sleeps four.

The cruise

Adams Ark is a hand's on experience:

  • participants will learn the skill of boat handling and the operation of locks and swing bridges
  • Weekend residential cruises are from Friday, mid afternoon to Sunday, mid afternoon
  • Midweek sailings from Monday to Friday are also available.
  • A week long sailing opportunity is available for those undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Residential Section, or the Complete Crew Award.
  • Day cruises using the South Yorkshire navigation system are available for journeys upon request.

The Complete Crew Award

  • Passengers over 14 years old can use the knowledge they gain on the cruise to secure a National Accreditation in the form of the National Community Boats Association ‘Complete Crew Course’. As well as increasing skills, feedback indicates that this promotes social and personal development, by increasing self confidence.
  • In addition to the accreditation provided by the NCBA, the award is also recognised by the Open College Network and supported by the Canal and River Trust.

Technical information:

  • wide-beam canal boat powered by a 5 cylinder diesel engine with keel cooling
  • tiller steered
  • overall length 52 feet (15.85 metres)
  • overall beam 10 feet (3.05 metres)
  • maximum draught 2 feet (0.61 metres)

General safety information:

  • Buoyancy aids are provided and must be worn at all times when on deck.
  • First aid kit is on board.
  • All Skippers are qualified to a national standard and hold a Certificate of Boat Management. They have been vetted by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Accessibility – groups should be mindful that during an emergency, participants must be able to disembark with minimum assistance. Skippers are trained in evacuation procedures, but the minimum ratio of assistance is two able bodied to one physically disabled or special needs user.

Notes about Adams Ark

  • personal Insurance, e.g. theft of personal belongings must be taken out by Users
  • users require sleeping bags, and extra clothing in colder weather  
  • there is marina-based parking for mini-buses/cars
  • users must include the Skipper in catering and sleeping arrangements
  • the barge is ideal for residentials with small groups, and is available for use by all types of community groups  
  • all Skippers are volunteers and have completed the National Community Boats Association Skipper’s course. We have a limited number of female Skippers for female only groups.

Costs for Hire of Adams Ark

1. Schools, youth organisations and other community groups located in Doncaster  
Weekend Hire (Friday 4pm-Sunday 3pm) £250
Weekdays Hire (Monday 9am-Friday 12 noon) £500
Community Crew Course (per person) £25
2. Other users (academies and organisations external to Doncaster Council)  
Weekend Hire (Friday 4pm-Sunday 3pm) £350
Weekdays Hire (Monday 9am-Friday 12 noon) £600
Community Crew Course (per person) £25
3. Day Sailing- Subject to availability for eligible groups £100

Please note that costs includes £20 for initial pump out by Snaygill Boat Yard – additional pump outs whilst en route will carry an extra charge.

Conditions of use

A. Hirers

  • A1. It is a condition of Charter that groups of young people are led by bona-fide leaders - (21 years old plus).
  • A2. The Hirers have certain responsibilities for the well-being of the Skipper who will live on board with the ‘Crew’ and the Hirer must provide his\her meals.
  • A3. At a reasonable time prior to the commencing date for the booking, the Operators will send the Hirer their Joining Instructions, these will include the request that if reasonably possible the Hirer will pick up and return the Skipper to and from their home to the Marina.
  • A4. Hirers are expected to make telephone contact with their Skippers as part of the process of socialisation and sharing of objectives for the success of the cruise.

B. Leader

  • B1. The bona-fide Group Leader is responsible for the programme planning and for the behaviour of the members of the group. They shall also act as ‘Mate’ to the Skipper.
  • B2. The Leader will need to divide their group into ‘Watches’, the members of which shall, on a daily rota, undertake the following duties:-
  • a. Assist the Skipper to sail the vessel and when not operated by the Canal and River Trust, to self-operate locks and swing bridges, etc.
  • b. Prepare and cook food and also clean the vessel, both inside and outside.

C. Safety and insurance

  • C1. Users engaged in programme Projects requiring lightweight camping equipment whilst away from the boat may only store gas canisters, bottles of methylated spirits and fireburners, etc., above deck subject to the approval of the Skipper.
  • C2. Buoyancy aids are provided and should always be worn by young people and non-swimmers. All Users should wear buoyancy aids on commercial canals and when working locks.
  • C3. Every care should be taken when ‘working locks’ and swing bridges. Many thousands of gallons of water under pressure in locks cause considerable turbulence and would endanger the life of anyone who fell into the water. Equally dangerous are the mechanical movements on lock-gates and swing-bridges.
  • C4. An added consideration when using some swing-bridges is the use made of them by road users. It is often necessary to stop vehicular traffic.
  • C5. Although a First Aid Kit is provided, it must be noted that Group Leaders are responsible for providing a qualified First Aider.

Contact details

For bookings and enquiries


Last updated: 31 August 2021 17:55:47

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