Fixed location trading boat

Statically moored boat selling goods or services. Examples include cafe, restaurant, office, hairdressers, gallery or shop.

Key considerations

Usually, a Fixed Location Trading Boat will use its trading mooring as its home mooring. In areas of high vandalism or where servicing the boat is difficult, it is possible to keep the boat at a secure mooring in a marina, for example, and bring it out onto a trading mooring each day.  You may navigate away from your home mooring but you may only trade in accordance with the regulations for Roving Traders while away from your home mooring.

To trade from any one location for more than 28 days in any one calendar year you will need to get planning permission to use the mooring to trade. You should contact your Local Planning Authority at an early stage. They can provide detailed guidance on preparing your application and advise on what the application will cost and how long it will take to determine. We will help you with the planning application and it is essential that we approve this application before it is submitted to the planning authority.

Please provide us with a detailed Operating Proposal so that we can assess your proposals. You must include details of how you will dispose of commercial waste generated by your business.

Most fixed location trading boats require services such as water and electricity. If you intend to supply these to your trading mooring you will need to contact the utility suppliers, draw up detailed plans and get these approved by us. We will expect you to do all the work and to pay all the costs involved. If you wish to site water points or electricity bollards on our land or use land adjacent to the boat for seating or any other use this will incur an additional charge.  There is a special Works Proposal process that you will need to follow for these applications, but you should not proceed to this stage until your general Operating Proposal (referred to above) has been given an 'in principle' approval by the Business Boating Manager.

You may also be charged business rates by your local authority. This is matter for the local authority and we cannot advise or intervene.

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



You will need a commercial insurance policy that provides public liability cover up to a value of £2m for damage or injury caused by your trading activity.

A copy of the Regulations checklist for each sector can be downloaded here.

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 this is a Non-private certificate. 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’).  From 1 April 2018 we will require a Boat Safety Scheme Certificate regardless of the age of the boat. 

Boat Licence

All our price list can be found on our Fees and Terms & Conditions pages here.  A copy can also be found on the useful downloads at the bottom of this page.

When the Business Boating Manager has confirmed that your Operating Proposal is acceptable, he/she will forward you a licence application form with the details completed for you to review and return.


If you're hoping to secure a Waterside mooring to operate your business, please refer to the Waterside Mooring web pages to assist with your planning.

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.

Other regulations

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.

Operating Proposal

Please submit an Operating Proposal - Fixed Location Trading Boat if you wish to proceed.  Upon receipt of your proposal, we will write and confirm receipt and aim to give you an in principle decision within 6 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.

For the assessment of new mooring location there is a non-refundable fee of £90 inclusive of VAT (at standard rate) towards our administration and initial assessment costs.  Cheques are to be made payable to The Canal & River Trust and posted to the address below.

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

Useful Downloads

Last date edited: 4 July 2018