About Shire Cruisers

Shire Cruisers was started in 1973, with two boats. We bought the firm in 1980, by when there were about ten boats of very varied origin. We had cramped premises, few tools and fewer spare parts.

We were immediately lucky with the first of a long line of highly competent and hardworking staff, who set us on the road to improving the firm's boats and service. We soon started fitting out our own boats, Hereford (1) being the first in 1984.

We gradually acquired the other firms operating on our site, thus gaining access to a large covered dock in an old warehouse (with a very leaky roof, now comprehensively fixed), and to all the private moorings.

In 1985 the restoration of the Rochdale Canal had advanced to six navigable miles around Hebden Bridge, so we put a hire boat there, thus becoming one of the first fleets to offer short breaks. We also started one way trips across the L&L.

By this time we were getting known. We have been very fortunate with our customers, and have a loyal following. When hirers buy their own boat, or share in an Ownership, we are glad to see them back as moorers.

In 2010 we opened our first base on the Leeds & Liverpool.
Our team has grown stronger all the time, and provides high skills and excellent service to our customers, both hirers and owners. We are enormously grateful for their loyalty and commitment.

Boat names

The boats are named after counties. The rules say that if the county has 'shire' in the name, we don't use that bit. So we can have 'Devon' but not 'Wilt'. We recycle old names of happy boats.