Code of Conduct

Revised by the members at a motion taken at the 43rd AGM, held on 22nd. March 2018 in Athlone.


The Irish Boat Rental Association (IBRA) is an incorporated Trade Association constituted primarily to represent the interests of persons or companies offering cabin cruisers for hire on Irish Waterways. 

Registered number: 9643467Q

IBRA exists to promote the interests of its Members in providing high quality cruising holidays. 


The aims of the Association are to:

2.1 Represent the interests of all hire cruiser operators in Ireland who qualify as Members.

2.2 Set and monitor standards of operations.

2.3 Collate and present the co-ordinated views of all Members in whatever fields or activities the Association considers it should be active.

2.4 Offer an Arbitration Service for disputes between Members and their Clients. 


3.1 Membership is open to all persons or firms offering for hire on Irish Waterways, wind or engine powered cabin cruisers or other vessels incorporating sleeping accommodation and catering facilities aboard and who;

3.1.1  have established an acceptable operating record over the previous twelve months.

3.1.2 have operated a minimum of six cruisers over the whole qualifying period of twelve months with all cruisers available for hire at 14 days’ notice, each day from March 17th through October 31. During the twelve month qualifying period, it is essential that the applicant’s fleet be maintained and operated to a level acceptable to the majority (unweighted) of IBRA members.

3.1.3 operate only cruisers purchased specifically for hire.

3.1.4 conform to all Standards as set out in Section 4 of this document or as amended from time to time at a properly convened General Meeting of this Association.

3.1.5 are approved as hire cruiser operators by Failte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and also by IBRA.

3.1.6 pay within one month of the due date, all Entry and Membership fees and other subscriptions or levies properly imposed by this Association.

3.2       Expulsion

Any Member who fails to conform to IBRA Standards as set out in Section 4 of this document or who acts in any way contrary to the best interests of IBRA or any of its Members, will be liable to expulsion. Expulsion of a Member may only be agreed at a properly convened General Meeting of Members at which the defaulting Member is entitled to be present and by a vote of an ‘unweighted’ majority of Members present. 

3.3 Suspension 

In exceptional circumstances, any member technically liable to expulsion, may be suspended for an unspecified period. In such cases no quarterly dues will be required of the suspended member but no IBRA documentation will be circulated to the suspended member. In the event of re-instatement, no new entry fee will be required nor any payment of dues unpaid during the period of suspension. 

3.4. Resignation

Any Member may, on giving 3 months’ notice, resign from the Association.

3.5. Inspections 

IBRA will have the right, taken at a properly convened General Meeting, to authorise a delegation of not more than three members, to inspect the operation of a prospective Member before an application to join is approved. The sole purpose of such an inspection will be to confirm that the operation, in particular shore facilities, cruisers and dinghies, conform to IBRA’s Standards in force at the time. 

There will be no right of inspection of the accounts of the company. A minimum of 10 days’ notice must be given before inspection. 

3.6 Managed Cruiser Fleets 

Where one or more cruisers are owned and/or marketed independently of a Member or potential member, which Member or potential member nevertheless manages such  cruisers by operating the ‘turn-round’ and servicing of such cruisers, then separate Memberships are required. It is not permissible for two or more independent companies to avail of IBRA Membership while paying only one ‘Entry Fee’ and one Annual Subscription. 

3.7 It is a condition of Membership that all Members either, 

  • sign an indenture, jointly and severally, indemnifying employees against all actions, legal claims or expenses of any kind arising from their employment by IBRA or 
  • sign a form of agreement undertaking to be bound by such an indenture. 


4.1 Shore-Based Facilities

4.1.1 Mooring must be provided on the appropriate waterway for the number of cruisers in the Hire-fleet. Such moorings must be on land owned or leased by the operator and must not be on any public jetty, quay or harbour. 

4.1.2 Facilities must be available for the proper reception of customers with adequate seating, toilets, luggage storage, showers, laundry, telephone, Wifi etc. 

4.1.3 Each operator’s Marina moorings must have facilities for both fuelling, watering and pump out facilities for their own craft as well as those visiting the site. 

4.1.4 Operators will provide overnight moorings for the visiting cruisers of other IBRA members in preference to those of either private craft or those of non-approved operators. 

4.1.5 There must be adequate rubbish disposal facilities. 

4.1.6 There must be car-parking for the anticipated number of visitors with access roads open at all times and adequate for 53 seater coaches. 

4.1.7 Each Shannon operator must maintain contact their own fleet of hire boats via a mobile telephone. It is essential that hirers know the procedure for contacting their base in an emergency.

4.1.8 Engineering and boat repair facilities appropriate to the size of the fleet must be provided. Adequate tools, machinery and spares must be maintained. 

4.1.9 Facilities must be provided by each operator for either the craning-out or lifting of his own fleet at the Marina site. 

4.1.10 Each Shannon operator must provide at least one mobile van or workshop manned by a competent engineer to attend to breakdowns. 

4.1.11 Member Companies must be prepared to work co-operatively in providing safety and rescue facilities as deemed necessary from time to time. 

4.1.12 Member Companies must comply with the prescribed legislation controlling the waterways on which they operate. 

4.2 The Cruiser Fleet 

4.2.1 All cruisers must meet such standards as may be laid down from time to time by Regulatory Authorities and must be built to the current accepted standards of good boat-building practice. These must comply with the EU Recreational Craft Directive and must have a Hull Identifying Number (HIN) moulded into the hull and must be CE Marked/plated.

4.2.2 All cruisers must be diesel-engined or hybrid powered and fitted with fuel-tanks of sufficient size to permit a minimum of four days normal cruising without re-filling. 

4.2.3 Fresh-water tanks must be of sufficient size to permit three days normal usage before re-filling.

4.2.4 Adult single berths must be not less than 75cm wide and not less than 2.00M long. 

4.2.5 Adult double-berths must not be less than 1.20M wide and not less than  2.00M long. 

4.2.6 Cruisers up to six-berth must have at least one toilet and shower compartment. 

4.2.7 Cruisers of seven and eight berth capacity must have at least two toilet/shower compartments 

4.2.8 All cruisers constructed since 1991 must have some form of heating which must conform to current legislation as applied to Marine application. 

4.2.9 Galley equipment must provide as a minimum a cooker, refrigerator and sufficient cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery appropriate to the number of persons on board. 

4.2.10 Electric light must be available in all cabins. 

4.2.11 There must be adequate storage space for clothes and provisions 

4.2.12 The cruiser must be adequately ventilated. 

4.2.13 All toilets must be of the hygienic flushing variety. All new cruisers must be fitted with holding-tanks and equipped for full pump-out operations.

4.2.14 All cruisers must be fitted with a hot and cold-water system. 

4.2.15 All cruisers must carry adequate and up-to-date Navigation Charts and instructions on the routine maintenance of the cruiser. These must in Foreign languages if the operator is selling in overseas markets. Instructions must be on board on what to do in an emergency and where to contact with the Company.

4.2.16   In the event of an emergency or grounding the customer must inform the operator who will then inform the Irish Coastguard. South of Athlone, Valentia  Coastguard Radio, North of Athlone, Malin Head Coastguard Radio. This is to prevent unnecessary emergency call outs and to ensure that the Irish Coastguard is made aware of the exact nature of the event and that appropriate assistance is at hand. Failure to follow this protocol may result in a minor grounding or breakdown being escalated into a full May Day turn out. 

4.2.17 All cruisers must carry Safety Equipment including a minimum of 1 lifebuoy, 2 fire extinguishers, 1 foam, 1 dry powder and one life jacket or buoyancy aid per berth. Children’s life jackets or buoyancy aids must also be available. An adequate number of dinghies of appropriate size must be available for all cruisers operating on the Shannon Lakes. 

4.2.18   Customers must be made aware of the Marine Safety Act 2005 and the wearing of life jackets on board with reference to the compulsory wearing of life jackets under the age of 16 when on deck. 

4.2.19 Any divergence from the foregoing subsections in 4.1 or 4.2 must be declared to the Association when it will be open to Members by resolution at a properly convened meeting, to accept the divergence or require the member involved to adhere to the relevant standard. 


5.1 All insurances must be either with a Company approved within the State or with a recognised Marine Insurance Institution with a minimum cover of €2.5 million

5.2 All members must have Third Party insurance for all hirers for an amount of not less than €2.5 million.

5.3 All members must have Public Liability insurance in the amount of €2.5 million to cover visitors to the Marina sites and visiting boats.

5.4 All members must have the approval of their Insurance Company to indemnify other members from claims made directly against them in the event that they are acting for or as an agent for their Company. 


6.1 Attendance at meetings of the Association will preferably be by the Managing Director or Chief Executive but in any event, by a person capable of representing the Company and of taking and agreeing to decisions taken at the Meeting.

6.2 There will be a minimum of three General and one Annual General Meeting in each Calendar year. Additional meetings may be convened at the request of the Chairman or Secretary or of not less than three members.

6.3 The Chairman will be elected at an Annual General Meeting and will normally serve a two-year term. There will be no bar on election for one or more succeeding terms. The Chairman may be removed at any time at a properly convened Extraordinary or Annual General meeting on the ‘weighted’ vote of a majority of 75% of members.

6.4 At least two weeks clear notice of any Meeting must be given to each member. Notice may be given electronic mail, telephone or letter to the normal address of the member, or by means of an item in previously circulated Minutes of the last Meeting.

6.5 The quorum at any Meeting of the Association will be 50% of the paid-up Membership.