The Boathouse takes safety very seriously. Although no qualification or license is required to hire a boat. A full safety briefing is given before the boat is taken out. To ensure the safety of all onboard, the boats are limited to 5 knots making it a leisurely and safe way to experience the waters out on the Bay this is also the maximum speed limit allowed on the River Taff the River Ely. All boats have safety equipment onboard.

We ask all hirers to ensure that they have a charged mobile phone on board so they can call the Boathouse should they require assistance. The Boathouse has a safety boat on standby during operational hours to assist if required. We ask that all hirers read our terms and conditions of hire before taking the boat out.


All boats are issued a laminated map which highlights the areas on the bay and on the river the boats are allowed to navigate and show recommended directional arrows and guidance colours

  • Red denotes no go areas in and around the bay and the end of the navigable stretch of rivers
  • Amber denote areas of caution and restrictions
  • Green shows the safe, normal conditions and river rules of the road (keep right)

In addition all driver consoles have information relating to the general rules of navigation for quick reference.


The Boat House Rentals recognises that Cardiff Bay and the rivers Taff and Ely are classed as Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation. Although there are a variety of urban land uses along the riverbanks in Cardiff, it still provides a dynamic natural habitat for wildlife. Consequently, there are a number of protected species present in and around the Bay and Rivers including;

  • Bats
  • Otter
  • Kingfisher
  • Barbell

Other non-protected species are also present on this stretch of the rivers and the bay, including:

  • Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Fish including - Roach, Brown trout, perch, chub, eel, grayling, sea trout and salmon
  • Wading birds and waterfowl

To reduce the impact of the boats on the wildlife in this area boats are fitted with exhausts which discharge through the centre of the prop, below the waterline. This makes the boats extremely quiet and to prevent significant wake, the boats are constructed with a semi V hull and are restricted to a speed of 5knots. In addition, propellers are fitted with guards which prevent strikes of wildlife.

Hirers are also asked to respect the environment they are visiting by

  • Only disembarking at designated landing spots
  • No entering bankside vegetation
  • Giving way to waterfowl
  • No feeding of wildlife
  • No littering