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 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 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 :
- Electricity & Water
- Boat yard & Chandlery on site
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?