Self Drive Boat

Inquire Booking

Take the helm on board your own self drive motor boat! Book a morning Red Boat hire in advance or a weekday afternoon hire.

Why not try your hand at skippering your own boat by hiring one of the fleet of Self-Drive Red Boats?! They are fantastic fun, safe and easy to drive.

Enjoy a leisurely maximum -hour hire, exploring York from the helm of your own self-drive motorboat. Become a captain and explore the sites of York’s riverside in style!


The boats can accommodate up to 8 people and so provide plenty of room for you all to head out on your own aquatic adventure, exploring the same river that brought the Vikings to the beautiful city.


You will receive full instructions on how to operate your motor boat along with the safety and river rules, whilst life jackets will be provided for any children.


Boats leave every 30 minutes from 10:00 AM but self-drive boats are for 1 hour - please make mention of your desired time in the comments box.


Your ticket includes

Hire your own self drive boat for up to 1 hour (max. 8 passengers per boat) 


When booking, you are required to arrive at the Red Boat Hire Point 15 minutes before the time of hire to allow time for the rules of the river, area of operation and boat handling instructions to be explained. Should you arrive late then you will lose your booking.



A minimum, returnable cash security bond of £40 is required for all hires. The security deposits must be paid in full cash by cash upon arrival at the landing. 

Part or all of the deposit will be retained if:

The boat is more than 10 minutes late returning to the landing (unless the hirer can satisfy the Red Boat Staff that there is a valid reason).

The boat is excessively dirty and requires more than 5 minutes cleaning.

The boat is damaged in any way.

(Please note that we or our agents reserve the right to refuse single sex groups)


Where can we go? 

Red Boat operating area, so with a one hour hire you will be able to take in the whole city from the river.

Please note that the Red Boats cannot be taken past Clifton Bridge or the Millennium Bridge. You are not allowed to moor the boat up and disembark at any point on the river other than at our Red Boat Hire Point at King’s Staith.

Can anybody hire them?

The person hiring the Red Boat must be at least 18 years old and be able to provide a valid means of ID. People under the influence of alcohol are not permitted on board and no alcohol is to be taken on board. You are more than welcome to bring a picnic and soft drinks along with you to enjoy on board.

Conditions of Hire

The hirer MUST be 18 years or over, you may be asked to provide ID.

The hirer MUST NOT be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Maximum of 8 people per boat.

All children under the age of 10 MUST wear a lifejacket.

The hirer MUST read and abide by the RULES OF THE RIVER, which are displayed on board.

The hourly charge and security deposit MUST be paid in full by cash before the boat is let.

We or agents reserve the right to refuse to hire a Red Boat to anyone deemed likely to breach the terms of hire. All male or all female parties may be refused hire.

The hire will be terminated if customer behaviour is seen to be/reported to be unacceptable.




Inquire Booking

Available to hire daily

Saturday 24th March – Sunday 4th November 2018

Opening and Closing Times

Red Boats are available to hire from 9:45 AM on the above dates.

The earliest closing is 3:00 pm under normal circumstances, although this may be earlier when determined by factors such as bad weather or rising river levels. 


1 hour Self-Drive Boat Hire (max.8 Passengers) Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 12 Noon - £30.00 / 12:01 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - £35.00

1 hour Self-Drive Boat Hire (max.8 Passengers) Weekends, Bank holiday, York School holidays 10:00 a.m. - 12 Noon - £35.00 / 12:01 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - £40.00



  1. York