If you're not continuously cruising you'll need a place to keep your boat - whether it's a fully serviced marina or simply a spot on the towpath.
There are hundreds of marinas and mooring sites across Britain. Finding one should be an immediate priority once you've decided to buy a boat, because until you have agreed a mooring, your new boat will have to remain on dry land!
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 (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.
Be prepared to shop around. Moorings 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.
If you have no ties (such as jobs, which tie you to one place or children at school), you can opt to cruise the canals non-stop, 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.
When you are on the move and looking for overnight stopping places, you may 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.
Last date edited: 10 August 2015