Narrowboats for sale

Canal boats for sale

Black Prince has been selling narrowboats, house boats and canal boats for over 25 years from their head office at Stoke Wharf in Stoke Prior near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

We are proud of our reputation for quality boat sales and excellent after-sales service, meaning that many customers who buy a narrowboat from us return to us year after year, as well as recommending us to their friends. Our narrowboats for sale are refurbished ex-hire boats.

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Narrowboat Sales from Black Prince

When purchasing a Black Prince ex-hire narrowboat, it will be handed to you with the following:

  • New 4-year Boat Safety Certificate
  • Engine and central heating fully serviced
  • Full cruising inventory (from windlasses to bed linen)
  • Hull blacked and anodes fitted
  • Full exterior repaint in colours of your choosing
  • 240v landline electric hook-up
  • Additional extras at cost i.e. solid fuel stove, signwriting or cratch cover fitting

Buying a canal barge from Black Prince offers you a unique chance to own a used narrowboat that is ready to go from one of the longest established boat builders and hire companies in the UK.

Finding the right boat type is a tough task, and once you’ve found it, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy our river boats from that moment on. Our testimonials show just how much we put into our boat sales before, during and after.


We sell boats from our Stoke Prior marina in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, although availability of boats for sale varies during the year.  The boats that we sell are generally from our holiday fleet. You are welcome to view our holiday fleet narrowboats at any time.  Our office is open 7 days a week, please call in advance to make an appointment to view.

Call 01527 575115 to arrange a viewing time.

You can take ownership of a Black Prince Holidays narrowboat safe in the knowledge that you will have an extremely high spec 10-6-4mm steel hull and an engine and interior immaculately maintained throughout it’s life on hire.

Each narrowboat will be handed over with a fully serviced engine, freshly blacked hull, full 4 year Boat Safety Certificate and a full boat inventory, all ready to go!  Also we pride ourselves on second to none after sales care, take a look at our testimonials.

If you’re not planning on being a ‘continual cruiser’ (i.e. constantly on the move in your narrowboat) there are two places you can moor your narrowboat – either alongside the canal (sometimes called tow-path moorings) or at a marina.

Marina moorings offer you security with additional services, such as an electric hook-up, fresh water and refuse disposal, and many are able to provide engineering services from a resident marine engineer – useful if you want help in keeping your boat well maintained.  It’s a good idea to visit a couple of marinas in the area you are thinking about to check that they suit your needs.  Ask about car parking, how long you can stay on board whilst at the marina, can you stay for a limited period or do you have to commit to a 12-month contract?

Marina rates vary depending on where you are in the country, popular areas in the south or London for example, can exceed £5000 a year for a 50ft boat.  Our marina at Stoke Prior starts from £2000 and our marina at Stoke on Trent starts from £1700 a year.

Tow Path Moorings are owned by The Canal and River Trust or by local authorities and sometimes private landowners.    Even on privately owned moorings you will normally have to pay the Canal and River Trust for a Mooring License as well as the owner of the land.  Remember that facilities will vary and many areas of the canal are designated as ‘visitor moorings’, which means that there is a time limit on how long you can stay.   Usually the period is 14 days, although this can vary.

If you’re thinking about retiring to the waterways then Continuous Cruising may be the way for you.  The general rules for continuous cruising are that you don’t stay more than 14 days in one place and when you move you should move to a different area.

Here we’ve tried to include guidance on the general ongoing costs you need to bear in when buying a narrowboat.  We will go through this with you when you buy from Black Prince, ensuring you have everything covered.

Your basic costs will include your License fees, Mooring fees and maintenance such as winterization and your Boat Safety Certificate.  Your license is obtained from the relevant waterway authority, and the cost varies depending on where you want to cruise and how long you want to use it for.

Then you need to think about running costs, which will depend on how much time you plan on spending on board your boat.  These include fuel and gas, toilet pump out, water and maintenance.

Yes!  Most of our canal boats that we have for sale are retired fleet units (i.e. boats that have been used by our holiday makers).  These can be adapted then as you wish.  You can choose either to keep with the layout of the existing boat or have it modified depending on your requirements.  Some of our customers have completely redesigned the interior layout, which we have built for them.  Plus we offer repainting services do you can even have the colour you want!


Dear Leighton,

With just one last trip to Llangollen, where we plan to spend Christmas, our first season with Utterly Rudderly (aka Isadora) is almost over. So, it is timely to reflect on our narrowboat journey.

It was way back in 2015 that we decided it was time to own our own narrowboat. Having hired many canal boats, narrowboats and barges, and also experienced a boat share, we felt that we knew what we wanted – a Black Prince boat.

At that time we didn’t know that you routinely sold your ex-hire boats. But, during a chance visit to the Chirk marina to look at various boats for sale, we were pointed towards one of your boats. We had a look around it and we knew it would be Black Prince or nothing! For us, it ticked all of the boxes – excellent design, traditional style, good build quality and it handled well.

In 2016 we were in a position to purchase, so we contacted you to see what boats would be available and what the purchase process was. Over the next month or so we viewed a number of your boats to assess boat storage, boat length, inboard engines, outboard engines, and even took some short hires as part of a “try before you buy” process. All through this process you were very patient and informative; the pressure was from us, never Black Prince.

Once we had selected our boat we paid a deposit and then had to endure the long wait until our boat was pulled out of the water to commence the standard Black Prince refurbishment process and, at the same time, carry out our “changes”.

After many months of back and forth emails and telephone calls we presented you with a twenty-two-page document with our changes in it. To complicate matters further, some of the parts were going to be supplied by us. To our amazement, you took this in your stride. The general approach was “if you want it you can have it”. All you did was tactfully advise us about items that, from experience, could be a problem or improved by making changes. And usually, you were right and we are glad that we listened!

We visited your premises a few times to check on progress and explain some of our more technical changes. We were always made to feel welcome during the visits, and you and all of your very capable staff, were attentive – even when we had made even more alterations! Your patience is remarkable and we never felt that we were becoming a pain in your backsides even though you did have good cause to think it.

We took delivery of our boat in early May 2018. With all of the changes and a new paint job, she looked like everything we had imagined. We were, and still are, very satisfied customers.

The first trip was a marathon run to our home marina at Swanley, covering 215 miles in twenty days. The boat performed perfectly.

Since then we have made a number of trips and residential moorings and the boat still runs well. What few problems we have had have all been handled by your company in a friendly and efficient manner. The after-sales customer service is second to none. From conversations with other boaters, we know that is not always the case!

We would like to thank you and all of your wonderful staff for making our narrow boat purchase a real delight. We cannot thank you enough for helping us turn our boating dream into a reality and not a nightmare!

Please pass on our gratitude to all of your staff of which you should be very proud.

David and Noni Goadby

Today marks one year since we collected Robyn from you and we wanted to get in touch to let you know what an amazing year we’ve had on the boat.

Robyn has worked perfectly for Sophie throughout the year at the marina and it’s been a real boost having her own space to go to every night when working away – especially one that means so much to us both.

Robyn has continued to work perfectly as a cruising boat for us and we’ve taken every opportunity to get out and about on her.

We’ve been surprised by how much attention Robyn has attracted, be it at the marina or out on the water and in fact it’s a rare day when we don’t receive a compliment for the boat, it particular for Tim’s fabulous paintwork – most people can’t believe she isn’t brand new!

We wanted to take the opportunity to pass on our thanks to you and all the team at Stoke Prior for your hard work preparing Robyn for us last year – seven years ago when we spent our honeymoon on board the then brand new Robyn, we never dreamed she’d be ours one day!

From the first hire, through the years to the sale of Robyn, Black Prince has always managed to exceed our expectations – I can’t think of another company that has managed to achieve this. We never have any hesitation in recommending you to others.

Leigh and Sophie

We had a river cruiser on the Thames for ten years. When we decided to move we wanted to be near a canal and to buy a narrowboat, having had several holidays on the canals.

We researched what size boat we needed and came up with a list of requirements to suit our needs. We viewed many boats for sale all across England, from a dutch barge to a traditional stern narrowboat and a cruiser stern narrowboat, but were generally unimpressed with the available vessels. During research we found the Black Prince web site and discovered that they sold some of their boats. We identified one that we thought would suit our needs, contacted the company and went to Stoke Prior to view.

We were met by Leighton Jones who showed us Zara.

Zara is a 58ft, 4 to 6 berth boat with everything we wanted so we decided to purchase. The price to be paid was agreed and from day one nothing was too much trouble.

We had quite a few ideas as to what we wanted done to ZARA, this plus a great deal of help and advice from Leighton and the team resulted in a truly successful outcome.

The electrical system was overhauled and improved by Tony to include 240 volt shore power, a galvanic isolator and all internal lighting upgraded to LED.

We chose French Blue as our overall colour and Tim gave us a terrific finish. We are continually getting compliments on the result.

We took delivery of ZARA on time and immediately set off for our home marina at Heyford Fields. The journey took just about 6 days and was busy but uneventful.

During our first year of ownership, Black Prince kept in touch and helped us with a couple of minor problems, both being sorted locally to us.

We have just returned from our first long cruise down the Oxford, River Thames and up the Grand Union to home. Seven weeks of continuous use. We developed a problem with the heating system about a week into the cruise. A phone call to Leighton at Stoke Prior saw him arrive the very same evening to help us out. After some discussion it was decided that the problem lay with the battery system. To that end the next day Ian came to us and within an hour had us on our way again. From then on we have not had a problem.

We have nothing but praise for Black Prince and in particular Leighton Jones. If you are at all interested in purchasing a narrow boat you should give Black Prince very serious consideration.

Barry and Jean Chipps

John/ Leighton,

Twelve months ago we decided it was now or never to start our purchase of a narrow boat. We visited a couple of boatyards before stumbling across Black Prince. We entered the yard and were greeted by Bob. He happily showed us on board a 60ft traditional boat (which was really pleasing). He advised us to call back on Sunday and speak to John. He gave us some brochures and said have a think about what you want to do with a boat ready for the weekend. We went away and spent several hours looking at the brochures and making our plans. Sunday came and we went back to Black Prince’s yard and meet up with John. We explained our ideas to John, he showed us at least half a dozen boats and then proceeded to rip our plans to bits. He explained why not to do various alterations as well as talked us out of buying a bigger and more expensive boat. We went back home with the things John had told us and showed us to redo our plans. Upon passing them back to John he said the new plans were all fine. He told us to sort out our property and as soon as we were ready the alterations to the boat we had chosen would be started.

Upon telling friends and relatives we were advised to be careful because it all seemed too good to be true. We still stood by our ambition to buy a Black Prince boat. Our house was sold in April this year and we then paid the deposit (the first payment requested even though the boat had been held for us for nearly eight months) and the work began. Throughout the twelve months, we visited several times to get measurements and to see the boat when it was lifted from the water to have the hull blacked. During this time various parts of the plans were altered either by us or by Black Prince (each time they explained why it was best to make the changes but left the final decision with us). Upon completion of our sale, we moved onto the then completed boat but continued to moor at Black Prince whilst getting accustomed to the boat. We were made to feel really welcome by the management team and the lads in the yard. Once we were sorted we said our farewells and set sail off towards the river Severn. Since then we have encountered a few teething problems (all of which Leighton has got sorted at our convenience) and we are now really pleased and happy with our boat and new lives.

Many many thanks.

Anyone thinking about it – believe me, the service is excellent and not too good to be true so go ahead and try it!

The Katty Boo Crew

Dear Leighton,

Firstly, we would like to say thank you for the wonderful transformation of ‘Pamela’. You have all done an amazing job inside and out and are very pleased.

It goes to show what a great team of people working here who care and take pride in their workmanship, ensuring their customers receive a totally 1st class narrowboat canal vessel.

Can you please pass on our extreme thanks to all staff. For us, purchasing ‘Pamela’ has been an extremely pleasurable experience.

We would most definitely recommend Black Prince as the place to rent or buy a good quality narrowboat.

Kind regards,
Pete & Pam Summers

Dear Dave,

Firstly, many thanks for arranging the repainting works to Moon Gazing hare and for giving access to Brian to fix the decals.  We are all tremendously pleased with the way she now looks, and on the way back to Droitwich over the weekend, I lost count of the number of people who commented on how smart she is.  With the modifications done to date I think she is now more or less where we want her!

Secondly, and probably of more importance, I wanted to formally write and thank you for your help since we took possession in May last year.  I admit I must have been quite a pain at times, with one request after another for information, dimensions, contacts, opinion and for bits and pieces from your stores (something which I will almost certainly continue to do).  There has not been one instance where you haven’t responded with exactly the right answer!

I wanted to thank you personally for your help, and to commend not only your intimate knowledge of the boats, but the understanding of your customers’ needs.  I don’t think I have ever received the quality and consistency of customer and after sales service that I have from Black Prince and, specifically, you.

Whilst companies and organisations trumpet the quality of their products, often verging on believing their own publicity, it is the careful balance of a quality product and an excellent personal service that makes Black Prince’s claims true.  Were it not for your input and continued support I would only have received half of the package.

Many thanks again and kind regards,

Yours sincerely,


Dear John & Dave,

Well a month down the line and it’s about time that we sent a thank you for all the help that you gave us in the purchase of ‘Whyknot’ aka Janette.

The transfer all went well and we are so pleased with both the original boat and the changes that you made at (our every increasing) request!

The big bed is wonderful and we are now dab hands in opening and closing it. There is even space for the dog to travel underneath it to visit in the morning!

The same dog is also secure and content on the back deck with it’s metalwork, but we still waiting to sail with the 2 year old granddaughter.

We are happily making the insides our own and have some very happy visitors testing the vibrating chairs!

Whyknot’s new mooring is very different from the quiet waters of your yard, but she is drawing admiring glances from the many passers-by on the tow path travelling to their offices in central Edinburgh.

We have enclosed some picture of it’s new life along with our sincere thanks for both the pre and post sales service. We will certainly recommend your services to anyone else who fancies a floating life.

Paul & Wendy

Alan and I just wanted to say thank you for sending Tony out to us, he did a smashing job and really efficiently.

We are so delighted with our boat from you and everyone is very impressed with GINA. We have been recommending you to other people thinking of buying a narrow boat. We are particularly impressed with the after sales care (a refreshing change) and will definitely be back to you when we buy our next boat (hopefully next year)

Many thanks again

All best wishes

Jane and Alan

I looked at many different boats in many parts of the country, before deciding to purchase a boat from Black Prince.

I spent a lot of time checking out the Black Prince boats and the choice of length and layout. Black Prince offers more choice than any other boat yard that I looked at,and any other changes that I required were never too much trouble.

Most of the Black Prince boats use the same type of engine made by Isuzu, which just seem to run for ever,and many of the fittings are the same as other boats in their fleet so spares are never a problem. The wiring system is all correctly fused, the cabinet doors fit properly,the shower is the same size as home,the cruiser stern gives loads of room,the heating system warms the whole boat,there is a full size cooker, and comfortable beds.

My experience of buying a boat from Black Prince has been first class. John was always happy to show me a boat and then leave me to look round with no sales pressure at all .All he wanted was for me to buy the boat I would be happy with. Having chosen the boat I wanted, I then decided that I would like some changes and have had all of this done,with the help of David who supervises all of the work carried out.

For me the best part is that nothing is too much trouble, John and David sort out any thing you need and the after sales service is excellent, as Black Prince know their boats inside out and if you do have a problem they are only a phone call away and usually have the part you might need from stock. I would happily recommend them to any one looking for a well looked after used narrow boat.


We had always hoped to own our own narrowboat and when the opportunity came to buy one we spent some time considering the best choice for us. We looked at purchasing a new boat and considered several second-hand ones but we liked the design and construction of the Black Prince craft. In their dealings with us, Black Prince were very open and straightforward and really did provide a complete service. We bought a 52ft ex-hire boat, which came fully equipped and we have had great fun with her ever since. The boat has been very reliable and if we’ve needed any advice on maintenance and servicing over the last five years, Black Prince have always been extremely willing to offer help and support.

Best regards

Barry and Liz Burdett

We run one boat which gets quite a hard life as a holiday hire boat and training boat for various boat handling courses, doing approx one thousand engine hours per year.

Our first boat was an ex Black Prince hire fleet boat, and even though it was 4 years old when we bought it, we still received the same back-up as if it was a new boat. When we needed to replace this boat we had previously been impressed by the helpful, approachable people at Black Prince and the ease of maintenance and design of the old boat and so Black Prince were the first choice for the new boat.

When buying our new boat, Kiki Too, words like professional approach, attention to detail, well researched, great product, fantastic people, spring to mind. Other factors such as ease of ordering, and payment, value for money, boat delivered on time and at agreed price, great after sales back-up, approachable people who know their product inside out, are also key to us being very happy, satisfied and confident clients.

The small things also make the difference, such as putting the name on the boat before the maiden cruise. Supplying a full set of spare filters and belts, and a complete set of navigation equipment as standard. A full tank of fuel and gas cylinders were also very much appreciated for the boat move to Nantwich.

In our view they are great boats, obviously they are not bespoke all hardwood with traditional fittings, but they are boats for boating, enjoying time on the water, well made and will work hard coming from a well tried and tested boating history.

Thanks Dave and John and all at Stoke Prior, for Kiki Too. A great boat which we are highly satisfied with, delivered on time, on budget and value for money. A quality product from a proven pedigree with great back-up.


My ex-Black Prince narrowboat Jacaranda has a well designed layout which every body comments on with four double beds or six single beds and one double bed or any combination. Jacaranda is easy to maintain and an after sales service which is second to none.



We purchased Jannock (formerly Powys) almost 12 years ago. Our decision to purchase an ex-Black Prince hire boat was based on the following :-

  1. The specific boat and it’s layout ideally suited our family needs as we had two very tall teenage sons who had adequate headroom throughout.
  2. We were impressed with the ability of the staff at Stoke Prior to direct us towards exactly which boat was likely to meet our needs best, even to the point of highlighting which boats we didn’t want. (Thanks John)
  3. We were promised a level of after sales service that no other boat sales organisation we had dealt with so far could match.

The fact that we still have the same boat states a lot about the quality of the build. A huge bonus was that the boat came with a complete inventory, much of which is still in use. The number of minor modifications that we have needed to make to Jannock shows how well we were advised at time of purchase. Our experience is that the Stoke Prior staff appear to recognise private owners of ex-fleet craft as a sort of club and provide an excellent level of service from just answering technical questions on the phone to supplying replacement parts and ‘hard to get’ items at near cost price. We often recommend looking at ex-Black Prince boats to people we meet who are thinking of buying a boat because we are so pleased with the complete package we got.

Graham & Brenda Keens

We are very proud of Wind Rush and would recommend Black Prince to other boaters.

The build quality is to a high standard, and the purchase has been a very positive experience.

The boat suits us in every way and meets our narrowboating requirements.

Thank you and all your team, for making our narrowboating so pleasurable.

Keith Sheelagh and Matthew Linge