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Mooring your boat

Mooring your boat

Find out everything you need to know about moorings on our canals and rivers.

Many moorings are provided by private companies, and we have a wide range of towpath moorings on canals.

You can also consider joining and mooring with a boat club (see Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs). These offer a strong sense of community and can often provide cheaper moorings because club members share maintenance tasks between them.

Below are the four main areas of moorings available.

Long-term moorings

Long-term mooring sites (sometimes called permanent moorings or home moorings) are plentiful, from fully serviced marinas to simple spots along the canal or riverbank.

You'll need one of these moorings for your boat if you're not continuously cruising. Contracts can vary in length from three months to three years, so there's plenty of choice.

Short-stay moorings

Short-stay moorings are often referred to as visitor moorings, and these are where boaters can moor for free for the signposted time.

In London, it is possible to pre-book a short-stay mooring for a small charge.

Winter moorings

We offer temporary moorings on a first come, first served basis between November and February at selected locations around the country, for those without a permanent mooring.

These permits are available for one, two, three or four months, and fall into eight price bands (per metre, per month).

Waterside mooring

Waterside mooring is the name for the permanent, long-term moorings we manage. There's around 3,600 berths across England and Wales, over some 330+ sites.

Remember to shop around

Be prepared to shop around for a mooring. They are usually priced according to boat length and market demand, and there are waiting lists in some popular locations - particularly London, the south of England and the southern Midlands.

For secondhand boat buyers, existing mooring rights do not usually come with the boat.

When you are on the move and looking for overnight stopping places, you can moor up on canal towpaths free of charge. The default maximum period that you can stay in the same place along the towpath is 14 days. Look out for signs that give more information, particularly at popular places.

Continuous cruising

If you have no geographical ties (such as a job that links you to one place, or children at school), you can opt to cruise the canals non-stop, which means never staying at the same place for more than a fortnight.

If you can't do this, then you'll need to have a home mooring before buying your licence.

More on mooring

Last Edited: 26 March 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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