Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Buying a previously owned boat is a good way to get more features for your money. As well as saving money, you can get afloat within days, without waiting for your ideal boat to be built.
The price of a boat will reflect its condition and specification. Unless you are adept at DIY work, you should buy the best-maintained boat you can afford. You should also check that spares are still available for the engine and other key components. Whatever you choose, maintenance costs will inevitably be higher than with a new boat.
If you’re not purchasing from a reputable boat broker, make sure that the person selling the boat is the lawful owner and that there’s no finance lender with a stake in the vessel. Ask the vendor for a legal Bill of Sale using the Government’s recommended pro forma.
Take great care if the boat is advertised as having its own mooring. It’s not normal for mooring agreements to be assignable to a new owner of the boat, so ask to see a copy of the mooring agreement and check with the mooring provider that they will assign it to you.
The price of a boat which has an assignable mooring could be much higher than the value of the boat itself, and if this is the case, you need reassurance that when you come to sell, you do indeed have a legal stake in the mooring for the long term. Even then you cannot be sure of being able to recover the premium you paid, particularly if the annual mooring fee has been rising.
Many secondhand boats are sold by marinas or other brokers, who will often exhibit them together in one place. They produce detailed reports on each boat, much like an estate agent would. They can often arrange insurance, finance, transport and surveys for you.
A good broker will ask the vendor for a detailed craft background, including its financial situation, but they cannot guarantee that the information supplied by the vendor is accurate. Therefore it is important you check all details.
When a sale is agreed between the broker and the buyer, a deposit is paid by the buyer. This is typically around 10% 'subject to survey'. If your survey suggests that the boat is materially unsatisfactory, the deposit will normally be refunded.
When you’re looking at older boats please take insurance into consideration. If the boat is older than 20 years you may be asked to complete a hull survey to satisfy your insurer that the boat is sound.
The boat should have a recent Boat Safety Certificate. If it does not have one, make sure you know the extent of the work that will be required to obtain one - you won't be able to use the boat on Trust waterways until you have one.
If you are serious about buying a particular boat, you should not just accept the vendor's survey, but commission your own from a professional surveyor. The information they provide may help you to negotiate a lower purchase price and save you a lot more expense and heartache in the future.
You can also request an engine survey to be carried out by a qualified engineer. Your insurance and finance company may insist on a full structural survey of an older boat. The Boat Safety Scheme examination alone is not usually adequate for these purposes.
A full survey will usually cost around £10 per foot (£30 per metre) plus the charge to lift the boat out of the water. Ensure your surveyor is correctly qualified and a member of one of the recognised marine surveying institutes such as the International Institute of Marine Surveying or the Yacht Designers & Surveyors Association. Unless specifically asked, the surveyor will not automatically carry out a BSS examination as part of the survey. You can find details of surveyors and examiners authorised to issue Boat Safety Certificates at the Boat Safety Scheme.
Last date edited: 15 December 2016