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Terms and Conditions of Hire

1 - Rental

RESERVATION : A booking will be deemed 'firm' when Nicols or one of its affiliates confirms the reservation to the hirer on receipt of the booking form and the agreed deposit
- PAYMENT OF BALANCE of the rental amount indicated on the deposit receipt will become due 40 days before the holiday start date, without reminder on the part of the rental operator
- DOCUMENTS
On receipt of the holiday balance, the rental operator will send the hirer the necessary documents for use of the boat.
- For all bookings made less than 40 days before the start date the holiday cost must be paid in full on booking.
- All bank charges will be payable by the hirer.

2 - Your Responsibilities

- The person responsible for hiring must be over 18 years of age and is responsible for the boat and all persons sailing with him.
- The rental operator reserves the right to decline to hand over a boat to the chief crew member if he does not seem able to take up this responsibility.
In this case, the cost of hire, excluding all others sums, will be refunded.
- This person responsible will take charge of the boat after completion of certain formalities (deposit, inventory check), receipt of administrative documents and instruction in operation of the boat.
- The hirer is obliged to respect the rules of river navigation as laid down by the waterways authorities and by the rental operator.

Night navigation, towing, lending and subrental of the boat are forbidden.

3 - Security Deposit

- The amount varies according to the boat hired. It is deposited at the holiday start, before boarding, (cash, cheque, eurocheque or Visa)
- First portion goes to costs of cleaning should the boat not be returned perfectly clean (cleaning deposit)
- The balance (boat deposit) corresponds to the damage deposit and the working losses

4 - Insurance

Hire charges cover insurance of the boat and the responsibility of Hirer towards third parties.

The insurance does NOT cover any persons aboard for Personal Injury or Accidents.

Furthermore each member of the party is responsible for eventual damages caused to third parties resulting from his or her own personal fault unrelated with the hired boat.

Hirer's personal belongings and hirer's personal civil responsibility are NOT covered by this insurance.

The boat owner cannot be held responsible for damage or loss of items belonging to the Hirer either on board the boat or in any building under the boat owner's control.

The Hirer is strongly advised to to subscribe insurance with a company of his choice one or more policies to cover such risks as :
- Cancellation insurance (but excluding administration expenses),
- Repurchase of half the security deposit of the boat
- Interruption of cruise
- Personal Injury cover for persons aboard.

5 - Equipment

The hirer undertakes to report any damage, theft or deterioration of equipment and may be required to replace them.

6 - Modification

Change of dates, type of boat or region requested by the Hirer, and after acceptation by the boat rental Company, will entail full payment of cancellation charges specified under paragraph 6 in order to cover financial prejudice on the original booking.

7 - Departure Base - Direction of Cruise

The direction of one-way trips and thus the departure base in the same region may have to be altered. Exceptionally, a one-way cruise may have to be converted into a return cruise due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, only the return trip extra charges will be refunded.

You are required to telephone your departure base 48 hrs. before the start of your cruise for confirmation of the one-way and the direction of navigation. Full Details of the departure base, including phone number, will be supplied with your confirmation documents.

These alterations will in no circumstances be considered grounds for cancellation or damages.

8 - Interruptions or Restrictions to Navigation

The rental operator cannot be held responsible for interruptions or restrictions to navigation due to reasons beyond his control (works, flooding, drought, strikes, administrative directives etc...)

In the case of total cancellation of the cruise before departure, half of the rental charge will be refunded to the hirer, the other half remaining as a credit towards a reservation during the same year. If the events occur during the cruise, thus causing a total halt to navigation and the loss of one or several days, these days will be refunded. The refund , half-day and complete days accumulated, will be subject to a subtraction of 24 hrs in all cases (or 48 hrs for the Lot area and the Baïse).

In case of Force Majeure, the boat may be taken over from, or delivered to, another base in the NICOLS network.

9 - Breakdowns

Each base offers a free breakdown service which will attend to you as quickly as possible , by phoning the base during normal working hours available by phone.

Breakdowns not attributable to the hirer :

Time lost to the hirer due to a breakdown not attributable to him , taking place during the cruise, will be refunded on a rate pro-rata to the time lost, subject to a subtraction of 24 hrs.

Breakdowns attributable to the hirer :

If it is observed that the breakdown is attributable to the hirer, he has no right to any compensation for time lost on his boat

The rental operator reserves the right to withold sums paid as a deposit to cover the costs of repair to the boat.

10 - Damage and Accidents

No claim can be made on the rental operator in case of accident resulting from the personal actions of the hirer.

The hirer must indicate any damage caused to or by the hirer : the boat owner will indicate the next steps to be taken.

The hirer must not repair or attempt to repair damage and/or breakdowns without the agreement of the rental operator.

The hirer is required to complete the accident report form and to be it completed and countersigned by the third party.

Any damage not attributable to the boat owner cannot be the subject of compensation in the hirer's favour in the case where his cruise is interrupted.

11 - Returning the Boat

The boat must be returned to its base at the time and date agreed except in case of Force Majeure: The person responsible should plan a great enough margin for the return time to be respected

The boat is to be returned to the rental operator in the same condition as when it was collected, in respect to the inventory check-list.

The hirer will be responsible for all expenses caused by late return due to his fault : each day's delay will lead to a charge equivalent to the daily rental price , plus the costs that the rental operator will have to pay to the next hirer.

12 - Disputes

Under Directive 90-314 of June 30th 1990 of the European Council, rental does not constitute a fixed-rate price.

In the event of dispute, the Tribunal of Commerce of the port of departure is the only competent authority (Brussells Convention of 21/09/68, article 5/1)
The legal ties linking Nicols and its associates are solely those resulting from the conditions laid down in the contract of hire itself. In any case, Nicols cannot intervene in the terms and conditions of the execution of this contract of hire, each associate being independent.