|Finding a mooring|
Three types of mooring
Finding a mooring. Sources of information
Taking over an existing mooring
Residential and long term moorings
Residential boaters may sometimes find a permanent berth at a marina when space is available, because they add to the general sense of security of the marina during the off season. Boat builders are also an excellent source of advice on permanent moorings (or moorings of any kind), since they know their local areas well and some may be able to offer places in their own marina or boatyard.
Some permanent BW residential moorings are available. If you intend to live afloat and take over an existing mooring belonging to BW or any other waterway authority, then you should check that the mooring is in fact a designated residential mooring and that the current owner is not simply living permanently on a “cruising” mooring.
Obtaining a residential mooring will require a good deal of research and the important thing is to find a mooring first. Central London moorings are always in great demand and we have included a special section about these.
You will also need a waterways licence
To moor on any managed waterway you will require an
appropriate waterways licence. Since
British Waterways manage over 2000 miles of our canal and river system
including many of the waterways in and around London, we make a
start with their arrangements. Other
waterways authorities will have similar requirements. An
application for a waterways licence must include evidence that the boat meets
Boat Safety Standards, has suitable third party insurance and complies with
BW’s mooring requirements. These are
explained in detail in BW’s General Licence Conditions.
… or a licence for a residential boat
For the ordinary residential boater the fees are the same as those for a Pleasure Boat Licence, but start at 10.49 metres. Owners will also require a Boat Safety Certificate and Third Party insurance when they apply.
Continuous cruising licences
British Waterways recognizes that a number of residential boaters will not want to establish a home mooring but intend instead to cruise the network. BW say: If the boat is to be licensed on a “continuous cruising” basis it must move on a regular basis. BW go on to say that there are three key legal requirements: The boat must genuinely be used for navigation throughout the period of the licence;
It is the responsibility of the boater to satisfy BW that the above requirements are met.
All this is explained in detail in the pamphlet “Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers” available from BW Customer Services together with a list of long term moorings and their prices.
When you do not need a British Waterways Licence
In very rare circumstances you may not need a BW licence. For example: if your boat is moored in a private marina off
BW water. You will need to check
carefully with the marina operator. However,
the moment you leave the marina to
cruise on BW water, even for a short distance, then you will need a licence. As a rule of thumb when you have a marina
berth you are always going to need a waterways licence from BW or the
appropriate waterway authority, and
always on any linear mooring.
Insurance and Council
Insurance for a residential boat is likely to be a little more expensive than that for a boat used for cruising only a few times a year. You will need to look carefully at fire and contents insurance since this boat is now your permanent home. It is clearly sensible to explain the circumstances to your insurer to obtain the right cover and ensure that your insurance is not invalidated in the event of an accident.
Remember that you will probably be responsible for paying Council Tax in some form which may vary from one local authority to another. There is more information in the RBOA Council Tax Notes. You will also need to budget for local and domestic services at your mooring, including mail delivery for example.
The Residential Boat Owners Association (RBOA)
The RBOA publishes a booklet “Living Afloat” which contains sensible advice written by “live-aboards” and covers most of the major waterways including the canals, the Thames and the Medway. Copies are available from RBOA, John Ross, 19 Swan Quay, Vespasian Road, Southampton SO18 1DU and cost £7.50 each, plus £1.00 post and packaging - cheques made out to RBOA. See also www.rboa.org.uk
London Residential Moorings
Finding a mooring in
the London Area
BW has some 600 berths in the London area, which include Cowley Peachey on the Grand Union Canal, the Regent’s Canal, and the Poplar Dock Marina, of which some are residential moorings. However the demand for residential moorings in the London area is exceptionally high. If you are planning to bring a new residential boat into London area then you need to know that the waiting list for a BW residential mooring is now very long indeed and it is essential that you talk to one of the two BW London offices listed below before going ahead.
For moorings in the Docklands area contact the BW Dockland office at 020 7517 5550
The River Thames
The Upper Thames from Lechlade to Teddington is administered by the Environment Agency. The EA has no residential moorings of its own on this stretch and refers potential boat owners to the Residential Boat Owners Association for advice..
Residential moorings are available in various commercial marinas on the Thames and there is there is a useful list of these in the free booklet: “Boatyards, Marinas and Services on the Thames”, available from the Thames Boating Trades Association. Go to www.boatingadvice.com for a free copy.
The Lower Thames, from Teddington to the sea, is administered by the Port of London Authority which has no residential moorings of its own, but does provide an excellent free publication “The Leisure Guide” which lists the commercial marinas, launching sites etc. Contact the PLA at 01474 562200 or download the guide from their web site at www.portoflondon.co.uk.
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