New to owning a boat
Owning a boat is a rewarding experience and with over 2,000 miles of our canals and rivers to explore you'll never get bored! However, we appreciate that all this can seem quite daunting when you're approaching it for the very first time.
We have some pages dedicated to new boat owners which you will find invaluable when doing your research. In addition to these new pages we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from new or potential boat owners.
I’ve just bought a boat and it’s got a licence but I’m not sure what to do when it runs out?
Usually the previous owner will have sent us a transfer of ownership form to tell us that the boat has been sold. When we receive this we put a block on the licence so that the old owner doesn’t get reminders to renew the licence for a boat they no longer own. However, we do not update the new owner’s details from this document because they do not always continue to keep the boat on our waters. We also need the new owner to complete an application form and return it, along with payment and any other relevant paperwork, to our boat licensing team before the current licence expires. Unfortunately, you will not be able to purchase your first licence over the phone or using our on-line system.
Can I still buy a licence if I don’t have a home mooring?
Yes, you can. if your boat is removed from the water when it is not cruising or you're going to use the boat to cruise continuously (travelling around the network without staying in one place for more than 14 days, or less where indicated). However, this is not a suitable option if you have commitments (such as work, family or school) in one place as you must be engaged in a genuine, progressive journey around the network. Please read our Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers to make sure that this is the best decision for you.
What is your prompt payment discount and how do I qualify for it?
If you renew your boat licence before of the start date of your next licence you can take advantage of a discounted licence fee. We call this 'prompt payment discount' and it's a 10 per cent discount on the standard fee. To qualify we must receive your payment and correctly completed application along with any necessary enclosures before the start date of the licence. Unfortunately, this discount is only available if full payment is made in advance so it’s not applicable to licences paid for in instalments.
Who can buy a short term visitor licence and how long are they valid for?
These licences are for small, unpowered or trailed boats and larger vessels visiting our waterways for short periods from other navigations or coastal waters. They are not available for boats floating in marinas or moorings connected to our waters. The one exception to this rule is for customers who have a ‘Rivers Only’ licence and would like to extend their licence to cover a short term cruise on Canals.
These licences cover periods of one day, one week, and one month along with a thirty day explorer licence. The explorer licence gives you up to thirty days use of all our waterways in England and Wales at any time within a 12 month period - the days do not need to be consecutive.
It’s important to remember that the Short Term Visitor Licences do not include free passage through the Anderton Lift, Standedge Tunnel or Ribble Link. The costs for these licences can be found on our Short Term Visitor Licence fee sheet.
If you still can't find the answer to your question, or you have but you would like some more information, you can get in touch with us by email or by telephone to 0303 040 4040.