Regulated traders sell fuel, offer mobile boat repair services or trade in any other goods or services where customers come on board.
You are a Regulated Trader if you:
- sell fuel of any kind
- offer pump out, towing, repair or engineering services from your boat
- carry any hazardous materials or goods or tools that weigh more than 1 tonne
- allow customers on board to view or purchase goods or services
- carry cargo on a cruising or remainder waterway
- use heavy powered tools such as welders, a forge or a chainsaw
- offer any kind of goods or services not covered by the other trading sectors
Some roving traders have a home mooring, but most do not. You will need to comply with the Guidance for boaters without a home mooring and published time limits at Visitor Moorings at all times.
In our experience, it is difficult to make a roving café business work. This is because it is hard to build up a loyal customer base, difficult to get deliveries to your boat and hard to find enough locations with high enough footfall to make the trade profitable. We therefore recommend that you consider these factors very carefully before doing any detailed planning. These businesses tend to work best when set up as a Fixed Location Trading Boat.
You must keep all items associated with your trade on your boat at all times. You may place one A-frame style advertising board on the land next to our boat when you are open for trading, providing that it does not cause a nuisance or obstruction.
Please note that you must not trade from any one location for more than 28 days in any one calendar year.
If you sell fuel or offer a pump out service you must provide us with an Operating Proposal detailing all the places where you would like permission to load supplies or discharge waste
If you provide mobile engineering or boat repair services you must comply with our Guidance for working on Canal & River Trust towpaths at all times.
You will need a commercial insurance policy that provides public liability cover to a value of £2m for damage or injury caused by your trading activity as well as standard boat insurance.
Boat Safety Scheme Certificate
You will need a Boat Safety Scheme certificate. If you want to have customers on board, you will need to make sure that the Part 10 inspection has been carried out. If you wish to licence an unpowered butty for trading purposes please provide a Boat Safety Scheme Exemption Declaration instead. We will accept a Declaration of Conformity with the Recreational Craft Directive in place of a Boat Safety Scheme Certificate if the boat is less than four years old (one year, in the case of ‘sail aways’).
All skippers on the licensed craft must hold a valid Boatmaster’s Licence. Further details are available from the MCA. If the vessel is less than 24 metres in length and only ever used in Category A waters, the following alternatives are acceptable:
RYA Inland Helmsman’s Certificate (with 12 months experience)
RYA Power Boat Level II Certificate (with 12 months experience)
National Community Boat Association certificate of Boat Management
Regulated Trading boats require a Business Licence.
Other regulations may apply to your business. Please read our General Guidance section and make your own independent enquiries to ensure that you understand and comply with all the regulations relevant to your proposed operation.