Club boats

COVID 19 Due to the current situation with Covid 19 the Canal & River Trust will be prioritising work that has been identified as urgent and safety critical. Therefore, we’re afraid we are unable to meet our usual 6 week response time to submit Business Boating applications, this includes both Operating Proposals & Works Proposals.

The Trust is currently operating on an essential and prioritised basis. As part of the Operating Proposal process, we conduct an internal consultation and some applications require a site inspection which has meant that we have been unable to review a number of new submissions whilst some staff are on furlough.

We have taken the decision to pause processing new Operating Proposals until all staff return from furlough leave, and we are able to fully appraisal all submissions.  We currently have a backlog of applications that have been placed on hold since March, these will be progressed in a phased approach from July 1st.   Once we are in a position to reopen the process to new applications, we will update the website. 

Thank you in advance for your understanding and assistance.

 

Information for clubs, associations, schools, colleges and others using the waterways for regular, supervised activities.

 

There are many clubs, associations, schools, colleges and others using the waterways for regular, supervised activities. The boats should be licensed and there should be an agreement in place outlining what activities are permitted by time, frequency, area and number of participants. This agreement will cover any special arrangements, such as the granting of permission for a coaching boat or racing boats to exceed the local speed limit.

We have a block licensing arrangement with the British Canoe Union (BCU) to cover individual members. We strongly advise individual canoeists to take out membership as this provides both insurance and your water licence. We also have an agreement to licence boats owned and operated by BCU affiliated clubs. We are working with British Rowing to put a similar agreement in place to cover BR affiliated clubs.

There is a block licensing agreement in place with the Scout Association and hope to work with the Sea Cadets to form similar arrangements when time allows.

We understand that the BCU has been confirmed as the national governing body for stand up paddling. This means that stand up paddlers who are members of the BCU are licensed. Non BCU stand up paddlers must get our consent for their activities and license their boards as private unpowered craft.

Anyone wishing to hire out canoes, rowing boats, stand up paddle boards or any other unpowered craft should refer to the self drive hire regulations.

If you want to licence boats owned by a local club or society or want to put in place an agreement to use our waterways please contact us.

Cruising Clubs, where private boat owners choose to moor/cruise or gather together for social purposes, are not included here. They are considered to be purely private boaters.

Key considerations

You will need moorings for any club boats kept on the water and an approved place to board members if using trailed boats.

You must provide evidence that you are properly insured for your activities including any damage or injury that you or your members might cause to other boaters, towpath users or waterway structures

You should make sure that all your officers and coaches are appropriately trained and, where necessary, CRB checked.

You should have a full risk assessment in place that includes your supervision and emergency procedures. We may ask to see this.

Other regulations

Other regulations may apply to your activities. 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.

Boaters Handbook

The Canal & River Trust and Drifters, the UK’s biggest consortium of hire boat companies, have teamed up to make a new DVD covering boating basics. A companion to the existing popular boaters handbook, it contains lots of 'getting started' tips for hire boaters and new boat owners, as well as important information about how to boat safely.

The DVD can be viewed on our Navigating the Waterways page.

Operating proposal

If you are a new or existing customer and wish to set up a boating business, you need to submit an operating proposal via our online system.

Please ensure you provide as much information as possible in order for us to assess your proposal. 

If you do not have access to a computer or mobile device and would like to request a paper copy of the operating proposal please email business.boating@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Upon receipt of your submitted proposal, you will receive email confirmation and reference number. We will then aim to give you an in principle decision within six weeks. Please note that you may need to obtain planning permission and negotiate agreements for using our property which could take much longer to finalise

Do not commit financially to your proposed business before receiving our ‘in principle’ approval.

Useful downloads

Last date edited: 26 June 2020