Boats for hire in Canary Wharf

hot tub boat west india quay in canary wharf

London is full of interesting things for a day out, and Canary Wharf is no exception. If you are looking for an alternative to the multitude of cafés, shops, and bars in Canary Wharf — hiring a boat certainly fits the bill!

hot tub boat west india quay in canary wharf

Here we will briefly look at what the cost of hiring boats in Canary Wharf are, where you can captain your floating party, and the types of boat to choose from.


The types of boats to hire in Canary Wharf

There are 2 main providers of boats for hire, with 3 different types of boats.

GoBoat Canary Wharf — Electric boats

GoBoat have a range of electric boats in several locations across London. Their Canary Wharf boats are great for zipping around the docklands and getting a unique perspective on the towering skyscrapers!

Quick look:

  • Boats seat up to 8
  • Biggest route for exploring
  • Dog friendly
  • Available for 1-3 hours

Skuna Boats — Hot Tub Canary Wharf

Arguably one of the most unique experiences available in London — sailing around Canary Wharf’s multiple docks while sitting in a wood fired hot tub!

Quick look:

  • Boats seat up to 7
  • All weather, 75 minutes on in the water!
  • Bring a bikini
  • Hot tubs are heated to 38 degrees

Skuna Boats — BBQ Boat Canary Wharf

The largest boats available, these boats are perfect for a big group get together and with a minimum time of 1 hour and 40 minutes provide plenty of time for a leisurely lunch!

Quick look:

  • Boats seat up to 9
  • Group discounts available for larger parties
  • BBQ and utensils supplied
  • Perfect for a birthday gift — with Captains hat included!

How much to hire a boat in Canary Wharf?

All of the prices for the boats at Canary Wharf are per boat, not per person. So bringing the optimum amount of friends and family reduces the cost per person significantly.

GoBoats are the cheapest on this list with a base price of £89 per hour. The recommended two-hour deal for £129 works out to roughly £8 per person per hour for a full boat.

The BBQ boat is the middle of the range option, with the base price of £150 for a 1-hour 40-minute trip working out at £10 per person per hour for a full boat.

The most expensive is the Hot Tub boat, at peak times costing £250 for the 1-hour 15-minute session, or £28 per person per hour for a full boat.

Off-peak prices are listed below, but there are frequently multiple offers and group discounts available. Keep an eye on the GoBoat Canary Wharf and SkunaBoats pages for their offers.

Off Peak Prices:

  • GoBoat: £89 per hour
  • BBQ Boat: £150 for 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Hot Tub Boat: £225 for 1 hour 15 minutes

Where can I sail in the docks?

Restrictions on where you can sail depends on the boats themselves.

Due to their size and regulations on BBQing the most limited boats are the BBQ boats. These are restricted to a small area west of the Crossrail Place station, providing great views of West India Quay and the northern side of Canary Wharf.

The nimbler Hot Tub boats have a bigger route map, allowing you to sail further south all the way until the entrance to Wood Wharf and the newest residential skyscrapers under construction there.

The GoBoats have the largest range of the docklands.

Designed for exploring rather than soaking up the atmosphere in a hot tub or having a leisurely bbq, these GoBoats have free-range of the larger South Dock and Blackwall Basin (in addition to the areas the Hot Tub boats are permitted).


Rules — Using the boats

The two biggest rules:

  1. Don’t crash the boat
  2. Return it on time

Aside from these, there are a few key rules to consider:

  • All boats require a nominated captain — who must remain sober and be over 18.
  • Alcoholic drinks are allowed, but different operators have restrictions on whether you can bring your own, and all operators have limits on how much you can bring onboard.
  • Basic operating instructions will be provided, alongside a quick test run to check you’ve mastered the art of steering the boats. SkunaBoats require a small deposit for the unlikely event that you damage the boats.
  • Don’t fear if you haven’t operated a boat before! While all three types vary in shape and size, they are all powered by small electric motors and are very easy to get the hang of using. Skunaboats provide an in person demonstration, and GoBoats have an online safety video.
  • Maps are provided to help you navigate the permitted areas, and the rules will be clearly explained beforehand. The main navigation rule is to stay on the right hand side of the docks when travelling forwards.
  • For the Hot Tub boats, SkunaBoats have a comprehensive FAQ section. They provide heated changing rooms and a locker, and even hire towels if you forget your own.

boat hire canary wharf skyscrapers by docklands watersports club
The Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre has great views of Canary Wharf

Other docklands activities

If the boats are fully booked at your chosen date — they are very popular especially in summer months — there are plenty of other nautical themed activities in Canary Wharf and across the Isle of Dogs!

You can get your nautical fix safely on dry land at the London Docklands Museum. The museum is free and offers a blend of exhibits, galleries and interactive play areas.

For more adventure, you can try and wealth of water sports and even open water swimming at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Club. This club is located immediately south of Canary Wharf by Millwall Inner Dock, around 15 minutes walk from the financial centre.

Shortly opening in Wood Wharf, the Water Pavilions are a fully floating restaurant, bar, and distillery. Hosting live music and events, the floating complex is the latest venue for The London Project and will be open at the end of 2021.


Summary

If you are looking for a unique experience in London, hiring a boat in Canary Wharf ticks all the boxes. Across the two brands there are a decent choice of activities and something for everything.

For budding captains who fancy exploring the Isle of Dogs area and taking in the scenery, GoBoats provide the most extensive area for motoring around. Equally, motoring around Canary Wharf in one of SkunaBoats Hot Tub boats is arguably the most unique day out you’ll find in London!

For full nautical marks, you can even get the Uber Boat to Canary Wharf — it stops around 10-15 minutes walk from both boat pickup locations.