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Mon Oct 15, 2018 at 2:51pm

New Boaters usually have many questions, but one of the most frequently asked questions is about continuous cruising.

In this article we are going to try and explain just what is allowed and what's not when continuous cruising on the UK waterways.

Continuous Cruising Licences are intended for boaters who want to genuinely navigate around the waterways, so its not necessary to require them to have a home mooring as a condition of their boat licence.


The Canal and River Trust have rules and regulations relating to where a continuous cruiser is allowed to stop. This is to make sure that the boater is actually continuously cruising and not just moving back and forth along a small distance of the same piece of canal.

Although the CRT don't define an actual distance the boat has to travel during the course of a year, they advise that "it is very unlikely that someone would be able to satisfy them that they have been genuinely cruising if their range of movement is less than 20 miles over the period of their licence" So although there is not a minimum distance of travel allowed in any one year, they will look at the furthest points the boat has visited in order to define if a boat is moving on continuously or not.

The CRT have a team of people on the canals and waterways who note down the boat numbers seen in a specific area. This is used to help them plot the boats movements over the course of a year, so that when their continuous cruising licence comes up for renewal this is the pattern they will look at to establish if it is following the licencing rules.

The Rules

  • You must make sure that you are not just moving back and forth along a small stretch of waterway. 
  • You must not stay in any one spot or online mooring on the canal for more than 14 days at a time.
  • If you have an emergency or breakdown you must notify the CRT to arrange to temporarily stay longer in one spot.

As mentioned in point three above there are mitigating circumstances in which you may be able to stay in one spot for a little longer, such as: mechanical breakdown; emergency stoppages; impassable ice; serious accident or illness, however you must notify the CRT to arrange this.

What to do if your journey is stopped by a closure

Before starting off plan your long term journeys taking into consideration the planned stoppages which are published on CRT website, and not head towards an area that you know will compromise your journey and limit your range of movement. However, emergency stoppages happen and if your route gets blocked then you will need to re-plan, taking into account the expected duration of the stoppage and the options available to you. You should not remain in one place unless the stoppage is short term and you can continue your journey without overstaying one place longer than 14 days. If you have to re-route then there is no set distance or time before you can reverse.

Why are the rules enforced?

Basically because the waterways are busier today than ever before, so the CRT believe it's right to manage the waterways fairly for all boaters, so all boaters have fair access to the most popular locations, especially in places like London and Bath where some places can get very busy and the demand for moorings very high.

Take care to follow the rules, or the CRT might restrict your licence next time you renew it!

For more information see the CRT website

Mon Sep 10, 2018 at 10:03am

Repairs to a narrowboat engine can be expensive. In this article we will give advice on how to maintain your engine to help prevent breakdown later on.

Keep it Clean

A clean engine will be a lot easier to maintain than a dirty one. This is because you'll be more likely to spot water or oil leaks and potential issues, which left unattended for any length of time could end up costing a lot more to repair. If you paint the engine bay in a white or very light colour it will reflect the light and make it much easier to work on.

Inspect Regularly

Make a habit of regularly checking your engine for any signs of leaks, loose wires or other issues. The quicker you find a problem the easier, and often the less expensive it is to fix. It could potentially save you breaking down when you least want to too!


Check oil Regularly

Firstly, check the colour of the old oil. It should look clean: if it’s black you may have an overheating problem, if it’s a milky colour water may be getting into it. In either case, you need to fix the problem before changing the oil.Assuming all is well, remove the dipstick and use a pump to extract the oil. Replace with the oil recommended in the manual, usually either a standard engine oil or automatic transmission fluid, and check the level with the dipstick. Gearbox dipsticks often screw in place – if yours is of this type, don’t screw it in to take the reading as the stick measures from the bottom of the thread.

Change the Oil and filters

You should change the oil and oil filters at least once a year.This is best done at the end of your cruising season so that acidic dust caused by the engine is not left sitting in the engine throughout winter causing corrosion. The engine oil anf filter should ideally be changed every 250 running hours, so how often a year you do this will depend on how much you use your boat.

Read our blog on how to change the engine oil on your narrowboat.

Protect from Frosts

Keep your boats engine cooling systems and any closed gas or solid fuel heating systems from freezing during the winter by putting in enough antifreeze to protect against severe frosts. This will protect the boat against the cost of having to repair a cracked block due to freezing temperatures.

Mon Jul 30, 2018 at 10:39am

Why not go to Blisworth Canal Festival?

18th-19th August 2018

The festival has been running on the Grand Union Canal in Blisworth, South Northamptonshire since 2010 and is now a big annual event along the waterfront.  It is run by the Blisworth Canal Partnership (BCP), which is a non-profit making community organisation with seven Directors, mostly from the village and all passionate about their local canal environment and the waterways beyond.

Proceeds from the Festival go towards maintaining the canal and its environs within the parish of Blisworth, as well as supporting many local organisations and national charities. Blisworth Festival is free to enter, with ample free parking.

Attractions include:Historic & Trade Boats, Boat Trips, Food Outlets, Bars, children's Activities, Rare Breeds, Artisan Foods, Traders, Live Music and much more.

Blisworth Festival is a well established and popular family event attracting crowds of 20-25,000 over the weekend for the last few years. The festival is centred along the canal bank, in the adjacent festival field and at a small number of nearby venues in the village, such as Blisworth Chapel. One of the attractions for our visitors is that the Blisworth Festival is free to park, free to moor (for those coming by boat) and free to enter.

The mix of traders, entertainment, exhibits, refreshments and activities set out across the festival sites creates a vibrant and engaging environment. The canalside is the focal point of the Blisworth Festival and a perfect location.

Shortly after its inception, the BCP formally adopted the stretch of the Grand Union Canal running through the Parish of Blisworth, from Gayton Junction to the Blisworth Tunnel. Working on behalf of, and in conjunction with, the Canal & River Trust, the BCP has made great progress in enhancing its stretch of canal through regular working parties supported by a band of willing volunteers. Examples of work completed include:

Restoring the Tunnel Hut, Installing seating, utilising old lock beams, Creating the spinney on the tunnel embankment with lots more to be done.

The two day event promises to be a great family weekend or day out, with plenty of attraction for all ages, something for everyone, young and old, boater and non-boater alike! Find out more by visiting the Blisworth Canal Festival website, or by following them on their facebook page to get the latest information about what's going to be on at the festival this year.

Tue Jul 3, 2018 at 1:15pm

Sinking Is Every Narrowboaters Worst Nightmare!

Every boaters worst nightmare is for their boat to sink, especially if it's due to their mistake. Apparently boat sinkings are on the rise, according to the River Canal Rescue they numbered 119 during 2015-2016! Which is a fifty percent rise from the previous year. In this article we talk briefly about how to minimise the risk of sinking your narrowboat.

Main Causes of Sinking

Some of the major causes of sinking are; water in the engine room, leaking stern glands, failing to pump bilges, weedhatch faults and getting caught on lock cills or lockgates. 

Avoiding stern gland Leaks

At the end of each day of cruising it is good housekeeping to grease the stern gland, this is best done whilst the engine is still hot. To do this, turn off the engine and locate the stern tube greaser, make sure it is filled with grease, turn the tap until you feel the resistance. This will pack the stern gland with grease and keep it in good order by putting a layer of grease between the shaft and the tube. If this does not stop the leaking it could be that the packing needs replacing , which is best done when the boat is out of the water. See our video on how to grease a stern tube below;


Avoiding Engine Bilge Flooding

Good deck covers are a must to keep water out of the decks. Ensure any drainage points are kept maintained and clear of any debris, this will reduce the amount of water likely to make its way into the engine bilge. Most bilge pumps are wired with automatic on-off switches and are automatic so that you can leave them aboard to kick in should the need arise. However remember that automatic bilge pumps will fail if the electricity supplying them is interrupted. So make sure that you regularly visit the boat to check. A good tip is to carry a spare bilge pump.

Weed Hatch Faults

If your weedhatch cover is not fitted properly or is left off, water can ingress and flood the engine room very quickly causing the boat to sink.

Before every journey check that the hatch cover clamps are secure and tight and the hatch is fitted correctly. Regularly inspect the hatch and seals for corrosion. see our video on how to inspect the weedhatch below;

Danger in Lock Gates and on Lock Cills

When entering a lock make sure that the lock gate opens fully to avoid getting stuck. Keep clear of the cill which is a ledge that protrudes below the water line and is usually marked on the edge of the lock side (see picture below) Be careful as this ledge can can catch the unattentive and make the boat lurch and sink.

If you're travelling downhill in the lock chamber and your stern or rudder gets caught on the cill when the water recedes, the bow of the boat will lower as the water recedes leaving the stern raised and capsizing can occur in seconds.

If you do get the stern stuck going uphill, close the bottom lock gate paddles to stop water emptying further and slowly open the top gate paddles to refill the lock, keeping the boat in the middle of the lock chamber.

If you get the bow stuck under projection of the top gate when travelling uphill, you will need to close the top lock to prevent the lock filling and open the bottom paddles to allow the water level to fall.       

Other Risks of Sinking

Too tight ropes, flooded foredecks and stuck fenders are all other risks involved with causing a narrow boat to sink. 


Make sure that any centre lines you use to control the boat in a lock is only ever half looped around a bollard. Never tie a rope to any bollard whilst in a lock. If mooring on tidal water or a river, leave enough slack to allow for the water level to change.

Flooded Foredecks

Avoid opening the lock gate paddles too early when ascending. Open the ground paddles first until the lock is half full, then open the gate paddles to avoid a fountain of water hitting the boat and flooding the foredeck.

Stuck Fenders

Fenders can easily get stuck when going through a lock, so be aware and keep your eye on the boat, don't get distracted. Good advice is not to use side fenders when navigating narrow locks.

Hull Maintenance

Keep your boats hull well maintained and regularly blacked to ensure that no holes appear. Any outlet holes on the side of the boat such as for sinks and showers should be well above the water line by at least 15cms. If they are too close to the water line water could ingress and gradually sink the boat if not pumped out.

What to do if your narrowboat Sinks

Above all ensure that you and all your crew members are all safe.

Contact your insurer who will ask for a specailist recovery firm to salvage the boat. Contact a salvage expert and the Canal and River Trust or waterway authority where the boat sank. Most insurers will ask for at least one quote for repair works so it is always advisable to speak to your insurance company first and get their approval before you go ahead with recovery and repairs.

Do Take Care Aboard Your Narrowboat and let us know your tips for keeping afloat, by commenting below!

Tue May 29, 2018 at 12:52pm

Checking The Stern Gear on a Narrowboat will need to be done when the boat is out of the water for a blacking of a hull survey as you will need to get underneath the boat to locate it. It is extremely important that you ensure that the engine is switched off before embarking on a stern gear check.

What is a stern gear?

A Stern Gear is the general term for the propeller, the propeller shaft and any supporting brackets or bearings. The stern gear assembly is a general term used for the part of the boat that couples the engine to the propeller.

What to check for

There shouldn't be an excessive amount of wear or movement in the stern gear assembly, although a small amount of wear is tolerable as long as the stern gland is kept packed. Turn the propeller by hand to make sure that it moves freely, and give it a tug and a wiggle to test it for movement. If there is a lot of movement inside the stern and bush assembly you can get water ingress through that part of the boat which could fill the engine bilge area around the engine. You need to take a good look at the stern gear to see it's general condition by scraping off any weed, encrustations or paint which could have accumulated on the propeller. Another way of checking is to use a coin to tap the propeller with to see what sound it makes; if it rings like a bell it is in a good condition, if the sound is dull it is electrolysed and will need replacing. You should visually inspect the stern gear to make sure it's in good condition and check all the assembly components. Check for bent or dented blades, check for cracks and corrosion. If bent or dented the blades may be able to be straightened or filled by a professional.

If you are in any doubt ask a marine surveyor or a marine engineer to visit to check the stern gear, better to be safe than sorry whilst the boat is out of the water.

Watch our YouTube video below for a demonstration of how to check your stern gear and assembly.


We re-iterate; For safety reasons is extremely important that you ensure that the engine is switched off whenever you are working near the propeller on any boat. This blog is for information purposes only, Whilton Marina cannot accept any liability.

Mon May 14, 2018 at 10:30am

We will be exhibiting at The Crick Boat Show 2018

If you are looking to buy a narrow boat but you are unsure where to start your search,a great place to begin is the Crick Boat Show!

The show is held over the three days of the May Bank Holiday weekend and you will be able to visit lots of narrow boat brokers stands, so if you're looking to buy a narrowboat it's a great place to start because you'll be able to compare lots of narrow boat specifications in one place.

We will be exhibiting with our sister companies Venetian Marina and Cosgrove Park. If you are going to the Crick show be sure to come and see us in the Kingfisher Marquee on Stand KF8-15.

Our Crick Show Competition

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages in the week running up to the show for more details of what we are planning for our stand at the show.

To enter our Crick Boat Show Competition - Name The Crane, follow us on our social media sites listed above, and leave a comment with the name of the crane for a chance to win some amazing prizes.

Crick Competition Terms and Conditions.pdf

If you are looking for knowledgeable boating advice at the Crick Boat Show you should come and see Whilton marina, we have been buying and selling narrow boats since 1971, at our purpose built marina at Whilton Locks just 15 mins away by road from the showground.

Whats on

At Crick Boat Show this year visitors can take a free boat trip out onto the Grand Union Canal, Trip boats run every 10 minutes from 10.10am, each boat trip lasts 30 minutes.All trips are run by LNBP Community Boating who will be collecting small donations.

At the show you will also be able to take part in a variety of seminars, hosted by Mark Langley the Technical Editor of Waterways World. The seminars cover a large coverage of questions and answers for selling/buying a narrowboat, ensuring your boat is well maintained and to avoid any problems.if you are a novice or a seasonal boater make sure you do not miss this!

Fancy a go at boat handling? why not give it a go at this years show, the handling sessions are designed to build confidence and knowledge.  Hour long sessions will be taking place through out the weekend. Bookings for courses will be open shortly, keep an eye on this website to book your self in - Crick Boat Show

The Music headliners for this years show includes Dizzy Lizzie and ABBA Revival, Dizzy Lizzy will be performing the 70's & 80's rock songs. ABBA Revival will take to the stage on Sunday to deliver all the old ABBA classics.

Canal & River Trust will be there too, with there wildlife,historic displays,activities, workshops & children's  activities. 

There is also a VIP marquee with a tearoom, the tearoom is a quiet space to relax and enjoy savouries, homemade cakes and a selection of teas and coffees.


Get your Crick Boat Show tickets in advance to save up to 20% off the gate prices. Don’t forget to book your mooring or camping place in plenty of time too as places are limited!

Show dates and times

May Bank Holiday Saturday 26th May 2018 - Monday 28th May 2018

Crick Marina,

West Haddon




The Crick Boat Show 2018 will be open from 10am till 6pm every day except Monday 28th May, when it closes at 5pm. 

Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 2:50pm

The gas locker on a used narrowboat and it's installations will be inspected as part of the Boat Safety Scheme examination, however as there are four years time between each inspection, which is a relatively long time in gas locker terms, it is important to check for deterioration between these inspections. The gas locker can rapidly corrode if not kept regularly maintained and this could mean the difference between a BSS pass and a fail and cost even more down the line.

What to do if you suspect problems with your gas systems and installations

Gas work is regulated by the legislation known as Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations, and there is a strict criteria regulating the people who can work on gas systems who must be a qualified Gas Safe registered person. So if you suspect a problem with your boat's gas installations or fittings, you must get professional advice immediately from a qualified gas fitter, as anyone who comes near the boat could be in danger, see the boat safety scheme website for more information.

Inspect the locker and keep it clean and clear from clutter

The gas lockers only purpose on a boat is to contain and protect the LPG gas cylinders and equipment and to ensure that if a gas leak occurs the gas will drain away from the boat safely. It is very convenient to stow all your cruising items away in the locker, but this will make the boat non compliant to the boat safety standards. You should not use your gas locker as a storage area for mooring equipment or anything else, it is only designed to store the gas cylinders and equipment. Therefore remove any unnecessary objects which might block the drains. The drainage openings in the base of the gas locker will be checked by the BSS examiner to make sure they are not blocked, so you will need to make sure that they are kept clear at all times. The drains need to be above the water line to allow for any escape of gas to drain away safely. The gas bottles in the locker need to be restrained by means of a chain to stop the bottles moving around.

Visually inspect the locker for corrosion, clean it and check the paint for damage which can often be caused when moving or replacing a gas bottle. Keep the locker well painted clean and corrosion free. If there is corrosion it can perforate the locker floor or walls and potentially result in leaking gas entering the boat cabin. Preventing corrosion is far better and cheaper than having to repair it at a later date. Check the lid and hinges and regularly grease the hinges.

Watch our YouTube video below to learn more about a gas locker on a narrow boat.

Tue Apr 10, 2018 at 12:58pm

Will the Proposed Daventry Canal Arm Ever Be Built?

A 1.6 mile canal arm from Daventry to the Grand Union Canal near Daventry in Northamptonshire was given approval by the Daventry planning department in January 2017, However building of the new canal arm is still in doubt due to lack of funding. If funding is found the new arm could see Daventry linked up to the Grand Union Canal. It would include six locks and is hoped that it would terminate in a new waterfront development in the centre of Daventry. The proposal has been on the table for more than ten years, and has been open to public consultation twice over the years.

The new canal arm if built would provide a new pedestrian link from Daventry town centre out into the countryside and to existing canal walks along the towpath to local villages Braunston and Weedon. 

History of the Grand Junction Canal

When the Grand Junction Canal (now the Grand Union Canal) was planned in the 1790's running from Brentford to Braunston a number of canal arms were planned to connect with various towns along the route. Daventry was on the list because the engineers planned to use a millstream locally to feed the canal, but for whatever reason the Daventry arm was never built. Instead the Grand Junction Canal Company dug a huge resevoir just outside daventry where the mill stream was.

After World War II a Birmingham overspill of residents saw Daventry rapidly grow, however the North East of the town including the resevoir and country park remained rural. These days the green fields are rapidly being taken given over to more housing and the town is growing further.

The new canal arm to Daventry was originally proposed by David Griffin, who was on the District Council from the year 2000. David was a canal boater at that time and had read about the history of the Grand Junction Canal and learned how Daventry had missed out in the 1790's, so he started to campaign for the new arm and 12 acre waterfront area. David Griffin sadly passed away in 2013.

In the masterplan for the new canal arm a new town centre area would be construced around the waterfront to include housing, offices, bus interchange, comunity centre, college and a hotel. There would be visitor moorings and a restaurant boat. The new arm which would link up the waterfront to the Grand Union would stretch for 1.6 miles and decend approximately 50ft.

Although Daventry Council has yet to find any developers willing to invest in the scheme they decided to grant permission in January 2017 and have three years from that date to begin construction.

It is proposed to split the project into parts. To start in the middle with a lock free summit level canal. The first stage would also see a small besin built with space for around ten narrowboats to moor. A channel would be constructed to run around the adge of Daventry and the resevoir for approximately one mile and on one level, where there are no obstacles and the land is flat, with a couple of bridges built in the 18th century country style. The channel would create a strip of recreational water through the country park. It is hoped this first stage will encourage developers to get involved.

Stage two is intended to connect the channel to the Grand Union Canal. This part will be more difficult to build as the canal will have to decend about 50ft to meet the canal. A boat lift was originally proposed, but instead it is now planned to create locks. It has been announced that the inclined plane which will be built be named after David  Griffin. After a single decent on this plane, the channel would lead to two conventional locks before the junction with the Grand Union.

The cost is believed to be in the region of 22m, but the council has not announced where the money will come from. It is hoped that a community ifrastructure levy paid by the developers to finance the facilities required for the inhabitants of the new housing can be used towards it.

There is still a great deal of oposition from the local labour party and the town council as well as many local residents, mostly due to cost, calling the proposal "an expensive pond" and wanting more practical spending in the town.

Will the Daventry Canal Arm ever be built, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the plans? let us know by commenting below.

Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 11:46am

Spring is Coming and So is the Narrowboat Season!

Winter is beginning to disappear and Spring is most definitely in the air! The days are lengthening and becoming slightly warmer and the Spring flowers are beginning to blossom.

It's the time of year when everyone starts to look ahead optimistically to the summer season which is just around the corner! Soon the baby lambs will be playing in the fields and the baby ducklings will be hatching. It's that time of year when people are starting to think about summer holidays and to plan ahead.

Buying a Narrow Boat?

If you are a narrowboater or are thinking of becoming one and buying your own boat, it's the time of year you'll need to think about finding the right boat. We can help you there, as we have boats for every budget on sale at our marina. However, as it's such a busy time of year, with lots of buyers wanting to find their ideal narrow boat and narrowboats are selling so quickly, the best thing to do is to register for email updates of new boats that come in for sale at our two marina's, so that when a new boat comes in for sale you'll be one of the first to hear! That way you'll be able to be the 'early bird' that catches the boat! 

Selling a Narrow Boat?

If you are thinking of selling your narrowboat, now is the very best time of year to do so! It's definitely a Sellers Market out there at the moment, with demand very strong and prices remaining good, there's a relatively short supply of good second hand boats available to buy currently, so Now is an excellent time to sell!

If you do want to sell your narrowboat we can help you!

We Offer Three Ways To Sell Your Narrowboat!

  • Cash offer for your canal boat:  We could purchase your boat outright and sort out all the paperwork. 
  •  Brokerage: Let us sell your canal boat for a small fee. Our brokerage terms at 5% + VAT are highly competitive for the service we offer. (minimum charge £1,250 + VAT).

  •  Part Exchange: We are happy to arrange a part exchange your narrowboat for another boat we have for sale at either of our marinas.

Contact us today for a free no-obligation valuation by clicking either link above and we'll call you to discuss your options – you could be pleasantly surprised.

Reasons to sell Through Us

  • Free, no-obligation valuation of your boat: If you’re looking to sell, but wondering how much your canal boat is worth we can either come out to see your canal boat to value it or give you an indication of a guide price.

  • Fair price for your boat: We’re the UK’s biggest narrowboat broker with marina's in two great locations; Cheshire and Northamptonshire.  So we’re experts in understanding how much your boat is worth and what buyers are prepared to pay.  We’ll work hard to get you the best possible price for your boat; we just take a commission when it’s sold.
  • Professional Marketing: We go the extra mile to boost your chances of a fast sale.We’ll give your boat its own page on the website.  Our website has thousands of visitors each month that are looking to purchase a canal boat just like yours.

  • Access to a personalised client login area:  So you can go online whenever you like to see how well the marketing process is going. We also advertise in social media and all the major trade publications, making sure that your boat’s unique qualities are promoted to buyers.

  • Matchmaking Service: We have a large mailing database on the inland waterways, with more than several thousand active buyers registered. 

  • Large Footfall: We’re located Centrally in the UK. On the Grand Union Canal, sandwiched between the London-Midland railway and the M1 motorway so we have great access to transportation links, making it easy for people to come and see all the canal boats that we have for sale. 

  • Our team is on-site seven days a week, 51 weeks of the year. 

  • Free moorings whilst your canal boat is being marketed:

  • Licensing is not necessary when your canal boat being marketed As our marina is offline and privately owned you don’t need to license your canal boat whilst it is being marketed.  

  • Competitive sales-based commission

If you need more information we are happy to talk to you, call us on 01327 842577

Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 6:30pm


Why Moor In A Marina?

In the process of buying a narrowboat or wide beam?  You need to think about the main factor first, where are you going to keep your shiny new boat?

You may have this planned already.. but if you do not, you need to act fast! You may require a mooring spot. There are many marinas spread widely around the country, the problem may be finding a mooring in a marina of your choice or in the area you want to be.

Or are you going to be a continuous cruiser? Cruising the canals on a hot summers day sounds fabulous, although you have to remember what comes after summer, the dreaded winter when the darker nights draw in and the weather gets cold and bitter. Do you really want to keep cruising the canal? think about the possibility of getting stranded out on the canal when the weather freezes and you have to travel miles to get coal and gas. Or you could have the best of both worlds where you cruise the summer and find a mooring spot for the winter. 

Different Types of Moorings

Choosing the right mooring for you is essential, there are lots of mooring options available. the type of mooring that will suit you will depend on how you see your self using your narrowboat. Will you be living off your boat? Do you plan to cruise for weeks on end in the summer? Or do you wish to use your narrowboat as an escape for the weekends?

Moorings are usually priced according to the boats length and location. Moorings can be the most expensive outgoing that comes with owning a narrow boat, so you need to make the right decision on which type of mooring is right for you.

Residential Mooring

Residential moorings are mooring spots with formal planning consent for residential use, this type of mooring is in short supply as they are very popular. One reason for this is that people often struggle to get house mortgages, they cannot afford the monthly cost that comes with living in a house, or they simply do not have the income to live in the area of work e.g London. Therefore they chose the live on a narrowboat permanently and have a residential mooring. Residential moorings when they arise can attract a lot of interest and sell for a lot of money depending on the marinas facilities. Residential moorings are offered around the country by a mix of private operators and navigation authorities. 

Leisure mooring

Leisure moorings are commonly known as Yearly or Seasonal moorings, these are mooring spots which are strictly non residential, for boat owners that need somewhere to store their boat while its not being used. Leisure moorings offer security for boat owners that live elsewhere, but want somewhere secure to keep their boat and use as a base  for using the boat for weekends away, summer breaks or just a break from normality. Again these mooring spots are priced according to the location of the boat length. Some marinas may be more expensive the more facilities they have. 


Marinas are the most common form of moorings, setting the standard high with facilities and amenities. Marinas are usually purpose built and have dedicated basins for moorings. Typically finger pontoons are built to extend into the centre of the marina, each boat has allocated a berth along side one of these pontoons. 

When choosing a marina for your boat you need to consider the following :

  • Security 
  • Facilities 
  • Electricity & Water 
  • Boat yard & Chandlery on site
  • Location 


Does the marina have a strong security net work? after all you want a secure place to store your boat. Has it got CCTV around the marina, or a onsite resident?


Marinas do vary massively in terms of facilities which can effect the price of the mooring space. Generally marinas have sanitary facilities such as toilets and shower blocks, but its worth double checking.

Consider whether the marina has a car park, will you be needing to leave your car while you set sail along the canal on a weeks holiday, again is this car park secure?

Larger marinas will have a Chandlery onsite stocking coal, gas, diesel and have a pump out facility. There may be a cafe onsite as well! even better for your morning fry up!

The marina may offer public WI-FI, ideal for planning your route beforehand. 

Electricity & Water 

A big draw for a marina mooring is to be able to connect to the shoreline power, and have water access. Most Marinas have an electricity & water supply at the front of the finger pontoons allowing you to run your 240V electricity cable/ water hose along to your boat, marinas will often ask you to unplug your electricity supply when you're not living aboard the boat if electric is included in the cost of the mooring.  

Boat Yard & Chandlery 

Some marinas you find may have a slip way you could use for blacking and general maintenance on your boat. There could possibly be a workshop in the marina, which could be beneficial as there will be engineers on site to help you with any questions and issues you may have. 

Where will you moor your narrowboat?

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