Welcome to moor alongside?

Help us put together a list of ten top tips for considerate double mooring.

Cruising past moored boats Leicester Line Grand Union Cruising past moored boats Leicester Line Grand Union

Let’s face it, some areas of our canal and river network are really popular and can get congested. This is particularly true at major boating destinations during the summer holidays such as the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. However, in other places, particularly in central London and the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal it can be congested all year round. To make the most of all usable and available mooring spaces it makes sense to share the space and double up where possible, but we’re increasingly being told by boaters that some people are being inconsiderate or even downright difficult about sharing that space.

So just what is good double mooring etiquette? We’ve all got opinions on the subject and we’d welcome feedback from you as to what should be included in a "Top Ten Tips" for considerate double mooring.

To get the ball rolling here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Check local signage

Is double mooring prohibited in the location where you want to moor? If there are signs saying no double mooring please don’t do it. The signs wouldn't be there if there wasn't a good reason not to double moor.

Double mooring means no more than double

Two narrowboats moored abreast, no more than that. Triple mooring is generally a big “NO” as it blocks the room available for safe navigation by reducing passing room and blocking sight lines. Also a big “NO” is a widebeam plus narrowboat combination which is in reality triple mooring. Most canals aren't that wide and the main navigation channel tends to be slightly closer to the towpath than the absolute middle. Pushing passing boats out onto the offside increases the risk of boats running aground.

Inside or outside

Who has priority to be moored on the inside? Boaters with mobility issues or who have small children and need to get pushchairs or buggies on and off the boat or boaters with dogs that need to access the bank easily to do their business ashore instead onboard should be moored on the inside. If none of the above apply then the boater leaving the mooring site last should be moored on the inside to make it easier for the one leaving first to depart. Finally, if the boats are different lengths you need to work out if access for both parties is safer with either the longer or the shorter boat on the inside.

Bank not boat

Tie to the bank not the boat. Use your own pins or tie to rings or bollards if available but never tie up with your centre line and try not to tie yourself to the inside boat. You are both less likely to come adrift if you are properly secured independently. Also in the event of an emergency such as flood, fire or sinking it’s much easier to move boats to safety if they aren’t all tied together into one large raft.

Smoke & fumes

When mooring up consider where your engine and/or generator exhausts are positioned relative to the other boats as you don’t want to fill them up with toxic fumes. Be very careful also about fumes from your solid fuel stove entering other boats. Use your stove wisely and efficiently. Every year boaters die or become seriously ill as a result of carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Privacy matters

Boaters are generally an open, friendly and welcoming community but most people also like a bit of privacy. Double moored you are going to be window to window and maybe there’s some things that we don’t necessarily want to see. Some people feel it’s good manners to close curtains on the side facing the other boat and if it’s not sweltering hot to also close windows too to reduce noise.

Tell us your Top Ten tips for double mooring

Over to you for more suggestions, please e-mail the Boating Team or contact us via our Boating Facebook page or @crtboating on Twitter


Last date edited: 13 January 2017

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Our boating team bring you news of their work across our network, as well as the stories of boaters they meet

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