A Quick Guide to Finding a Mooring for Your Boat


There are a wealth of places to moor a river boats and canal barges in the UK and just about as many types of moorings. Hence, it is important to be aware of each of them to be sure that wherever you decide or aim to ‘drop anchor’ so to speak, you do so by securing the right mooring with the appropriate permit (when applicable) and at the right price as different mooring agreements will stand to cost you different amounts. This is especially true as, unless you intend to navigate continuously, your boat will require a mooring of one type or another. Then, here is a quick guide to explain how to find the right type of mooring for your boat or barge.

Long Term Moorings

Home, Residential and permanent Moorings all fall under the umbrella of long term moorings and involve securing a mooring which will act as the equivalent of a person’s ‘base’ when living permanently on a barge or boat or wishing to moor in when not in use.

Securing a residential mooring for a barge specifically will involve securing the permission of the local authority where you moor residentially in order to remain there. Further, whilst some barge residential moorings features services and facilities, they do not have to by law, hence it is important to research this, if facilities and services are important to you.

For more information about finding a suitable residential or permanent mooring for barge owners, it is imperative to read and be well versed in the IWA Policy on Residential Moorings, which you can learn everything you need to know about via the Waterways website.

Midterm Moorings

Strictly speaking, a type of short term mooring, but often referred to as midterm mooring (rather confusingly!) is what might most accurately be termed a seasonal mooring.

Seasonal moorings, as the name implies, describe moorings which are sought for entire seasons. For example, a person may which to moor a boat permanently over the winter period.

Seasonal moorings are most commonly sought by boat owners whose vessel occupies a river rather than barge owners who travel by canal, often because it is more likely that a barge owner will return to a permanent or home mooring and remain residing on their barge when not cruising. Meanwhile, fewer river boat owners make a permanent residence of their vessel.

When looking for a seasonal term mooring of any kind, it is advisable to refer to the mooring holders and explore the rentals and lets provided in the area in which you wish to moor your boat, to compare what each potential site has to offer. This is especially true as many boat and river sites, such as West Mersea Moorings to give one example, offer boat owners short term seasonal mooring options. That is, a person can choose to rent or let a mooring with West Mersea Moorings when in Essex for an entire summer or winter season for a fixed price, which will almost always prove more cost effective than paying per day or week.

Short Term Moorings

The rules, regulations and durations of time which define a short term mooring can seem confusing and a bit blurry to those unfamiliar with boating or just starting out.

For example, service moorings, leisure moorings, visitor moorings and casual moorings are all subtypes of short term mooring options. As such, each has its own rules, regulations and prices, when a cost is payable at all. Further, whether you are travelling by canal or river you will find that the law will change accordingly.

Fortunately, the Which? Marina website features a fantastic Search Utility for Boat Owners which makes those travelling by river and looking for a mooring a cinch. Meanwhile, for those going by canal, the Canal River Trust website can advise you and their website is jam packed with all the information you might need to cruise along smoothly and without issue.


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