Improper Mooring Process

In February 2020 we introduced the improper mooring process to tackle mooring that can be dangerous or cause problems for other boaters or waterway users.

The improper mooring process is applied where a boat is moored in a way that affects safety or impedes other boaters or waterway users.

It will be recorded by the Trust’s licence support team and, initially, a letter will be sent to the boat owner highlighting the problem. The boater will also receive a booklet including extracts from the Trust’s boat licence terms & conditions, bye laws, the navigational rules, and boaters’ handbook to help them understand how they can moor more appropriately.

Read the boaters’ handbook

Read the mooring obligations handbook

Improper Mooring Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why have you introduced the Improper Mooring Process (IMP)?

It’s important that we manage improper and unsafe mooring wherever it happens. The IMP has been introduced to help ensure that every boater is clear about what is expected in terms of mooring and what will happen if they moor improperly.

  1. What are the mooring rules and obligations?

We have set all this information out, including extracts from the Trust’s boat licence terms & conditions, bye laws, the navigational rules, and boaters’ handbook, in the mooring obligations handbook

  1. Is the mooring obligations handbook available in other formats for those who need it?

Yes, if you require this information in another format, please speak to you licence support officer.

  1. How will you manage improper mooring?

Our staff and volunteers monitor and record boat sightings. When they come across a boat that is moored improperly, they will record this (including taking photographs of the improper mooring). They will try to contact the boater immediately to explain and remedy the problem.

If immediate contact isn't possible, they will leave a card with details of the issue at the boat. We will then contact the boater, usually the following day, to ask them to move their boat or remedy the problem immediately. If they do this, then no further action will take place, but the improper mooring incident will be recorded on the boat licence holder’s record.

  1. What will happen if the boat continues to be moored improperly or is repeatedly improperly moored?

If, after having been contacted and had the issue pointed out to them, the boater does not remedy the improper mooring, we may terminate their licence.

If they do remedy the issue but then improperly moor for second time, they will re-enter the improper mooring process. If the issue is the same as before, or breaches are persistent, we may suspend the licence whilst we investigate further.

Following investigation, which includes conversation with the boater, we will reinstate or terminate the licence. If the second breach is a different issue to the first, we will start the boater at the beginning of the process, as point 4, above.

These measures are about making sure everyone using the waterway is safe and we hope people will follow the rules with this in mind.

  1. Aren’t some of the mooring rules unclear or open to interpretation?

With 2000 miles of waterway, it isn’t possible to be prescriptive or install signage in every location. However, the principle is that mooring should not impact on safe navigation or the safety of other waterway users.

As part of recording improper moorings our staff will take photographs of boats moored improperly so there is clear evidence of why the boat is in breach of the rules, this information will be explained to the boaters.

  1. What if a boater needs to moor improperly in an emergency, what should they do and will they be penalised?

In an emergency, we understand that sometimes it may not be possible to moor as you would hope to.

If you have had to moor in a way that would be considered 'improper' (please refer to mooring obligations handbook for clarifications), please contact your licence support officer as soon as possible. Once the emergency has passed, the mooring issue should be resolved as soon as possible to ensure the boat is moored properly and safely.

  1. Is there an appeal process against the improper mooring process?

If you are concerned that you have been incorrectly sent a letter regarding improper mooring, please contact your licence support officer. The reasons for the letter being sent will be discussed and your boat record updated accordingly.

If action is taken against your licence, in all but the most serious cases, your licence will be suspended, and you will have opportunity to explain or dispute the alleged improper mooring. Your account and other information will be reviewed, and a decision taken on licence reinstatement or termination.

Last date edited: 25 January 2022