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Do you really need a residential mooring? PDF Print E-mail
continuous cruisingWe get many people ask about mooring their liveaboard boat and whether they really need a residential mooring.

So here are some pointers to help you search for and find a suitable mooring for your needs.

We all know that proper residential moorings are getting harder to find especially in popular areas such as London so do you really need a proper residential mooring?
The answer is no, you don't but it will be easier if you can find one.
With a proper residential mooring you get the security of status. By this I mean you can use your boats mooring address as your home address, you have the same rights as others to use local services and schools and include your permanent address on legal documents such as your passport and driving license. For some people this security of status is important but what if you cannot find a residential mooring?

There are other options that may or may not suit you.

1. Continuously cruise

By that we mean that you move your boat to different moorings often so you are not classed as a residential boat because you do not stay permanently moored in one location.
This is an alternative but you will need to keep a permanent address somewhere such as a family members or friends address. This option is not right for everyone but some enjoy moving around seeing different places. You could move moorings within a small geographical location which will keep you always in the same general location.

2. Mooring by agreement.

By this I mean talking to a moorings operator and having a verbal agreement that you can liveaboard your boat as long as you keep a low profile. Some are open to this arrangement and it can work well for both you and the mooring operator. You get a mooring and they get your money. It is surprising how many liveaboards are happily living on moorings with this arrangement.

The one problem with this arrangement is that the mooring operator will rarely give you any secure mooring agreement. If they do not have a proper residential mooring and the local authority find out you are residential the operator will ask you to leave. If you can get a mooring like this then do keep a low profile, I know people that have been mooring this way for years with no problems but you must always be prepared to move on if you have to.
Again, you would need to keep a shore side address as many mooring operators will not allow mail to be sent to their address on your behalf.

3. Mooring anywhere!

If you like the really nomadic lifestyle then you could just find a isolated mooring spot and stay. You would need to be very self sufficient but there is no reason you can't as there are many out of the way spots that you may be able to occupy for as long as you wish.

These are real alternatives to a residential mooring but as you may have guessed you really need to live on a boat that can move under its own power. If you have a static houseboat with no engine to move it you really do need a permanent residential mooring. Having said that most static houseboats will be sold with a permanent mooring.

In summary you really need to be clever and go and talk to mooring operators in your chosen area. In my experience talking to them personally will get you better results. It's easy for them to say no over the phone but in person you can build a rapour with them and explain what you are looking for.

So if you are finding it difficult locating a residential mooring in your chosen area it might be worth visiting some of the marinas and boatyards and asking if they can accommodate your needs. Remember, even if some say no ask them if they know of any moorings that would be suitable, they should have a good knowledge of the area and may come up with something you missed.

Photo: Canal Boat Mag

Only registered users can write comments!
Sophie  - BW License   |03-30-2008 07:35:14
Do you need a BW license for a static houseboat?
ccchong   |03-15-2010 03:57:33
Oh, this is a problem.
But live on boat is cool!
Roy7  - Licence   |07-30-2010 05:43:18
I would imagine you do if the BW are the
same as the Broads Authority.

need a Broads Authority Licence if you are on the Norfolk Broads, no mater
type of craft you have.

The Live Aboard Forum.
Why not come and join us on our
you would be very welcome.
it's for anyone living or thinking of
on a boat. and it's free!


also http://www.freewebs.com/kempstone/
Laura  - Starting out   |03-30-2008 07:36:29
We are just starting out and will be looking at our first boat this weekend. I
think this is going to be a huge project!
We are looking for a residential
mooring in Surrey (preferrable on the Basingstoke Canal). We are complete
novices at this and some hints and tips on where to start would be
Alex and Mel  - Strating Out..   |03-23-2009 00:27:11
Hi Laura,
I dont have an answer for you, but an idea. My partner (Mel) and I are
also just starting. We went out yesterday to start our search in a couple of
marinas and are info gathering at the mo.. We live in Reading, but are looking
for something around Surrey/Hants to give easy access to Weybridge. If we are
both at the same point, do you think it would be a good idea to pool resources ?
If nothing else it might be nice to talk to somebody who is at the same stage..
please let me know.. Best wishes, Alex.
Alex and Mel  - Starting out..   |03-23-2009 00:29:58
Laura, sorry - I just read the date.. I guess you must be no longer a novice..
It would be really helpful for me to know how you got on ? regards, Alex.
JOHN GOODHEW   |03-30-2008 11:35:33
cliff estensen  - Alternative lifestyle   |03-30-2008 11:36:38
Hello I am looking for an alternative life style; quiet but gently on the move
and on my own. I work off shore 2 on 2 off so would need to leave the boat for 2
weeks I’m away do you think this would be a problem Is there a solution I
don’t want a fixed mooring just some arragements with a few different mooring
operators do you thik this is possible?
kind regards Cliff
Martin  - Moorings   |03-30-2008 11:37:26

I think if you asked around many marina’s you should not have to many
problems finding suitable moorings as you are away for much of the time.
I am
sure many marina’s would not class you as a permanent residential boat but ask
them first and explain your situation.
The best idea is to approach some mooring
operators/marina’s and ask them to gauge there response to your request before
going ahead.
vix  - Another newbie   |06-14-2008 06:25:24
Hi, Having spent most of my early life around the Erewash,I am in the process of
selling up to buy a liverboard. I am thinking approx 50' - 60'. I intend to use
this for approx 4 summer months each year. I would need to rely on this as my UK
address. I would be happy having moorings anyway in the UK, except London and
its boundaries.
Any advice, on any related topic would be greatly appreciated.
P  - a tricky one   |07-19-2008 09:27:28
I'm looking to move my vessel to the south coast, any idea where I can put her?
She's 124ft length, 24.5ft beam and 7.5ft draft?
Sam Amy  - Miss   |12-29-2008 03:05:04
Hello, I am shortly moving to Wallingford to start a new job, and am seriously
considering buying a narrowboat to live on - I am a complete novice, although
used to living in a 23' bus! Does anyone know who I should get in touch with
regarding a permanent mooring in this area, or indeed any narrowboats for sale
near by?
peterjay  - Mooring where short-term stays and DIY are permitt   |01-29-2009 09:29:57
My boat is a 27ft motor-cruiser which I have almost finished restoring. I am
seeking a berth (afloat or ashore)for her where I would be welcome to stay
aboard for short periods while completing the work, (basically applying a paint
system to the deck and varnishing the bright-work.) Does anyone know of a
boatyard or berth where such an arrangement might be possible?
lesley harvey  - What about your drivers licence   |04-27-2009 09:52:13
Hi what do you do about your drivers licence if you have a residential mooring
do they accept PO box no's for your drivers licence?
mchinery  - Re: What about your driving licence?   |04-28-2009 06:06:46
If you have a proper residential mooring you should be able to use the address
of the mooring for your driving licence. I do not think you can use a PO Box but
I may be wrong. Ask the DVLA if this is acceptable? If you find out it is post
back here so others know.
dan and wend  - narrowboating   |05-14-2009 13:58:52
hi me and wife thinking about getting a 60ft narrow boat based in nottingham at
moment just wondering if anyone had any reviews on castle marina in nottingham
razzy   |12-20-2011 11:49:36
Did you ever get the boat from nottingham? we are thinking of getting one from
there fairly soon and would be interested to know how you rate them. Thanks x
gary pretlove  - houseboat on lake   |07-15-2009 15:50:48
hi i have my own lake and wish to put my houseboat on this do i need to apply
for planning permission and could i live on it permantley
Gary   |08-08-2009 03:25:49
Gary 2 Gary, Hi - Same name, same idea ! How are you getting on with your
enquiry? Could i be cheeky and ask you to keep me informed, likewise, anything i
come up with i'll let you know. DEAL OR NO DEAL ?
Rich & Sam  - Houseboat on lake   |08-25-2009 09:23:06
Hi Gary we are trying to do the same thing have not got any worthwhile info at
the moment if we do we will let you know. Could you please do the same, many
thanks Richard
lupinthief   |04-15-2010 07:25:53
Hi Gary. I'm in the same situation but can't find where to look. Did you ever
find anything useful out?
JENI EDWARDS  - Mooring   |08-28-2009 05:03:25
i have lived on my dutch barge for 6 years in essex and was enquiring about any
moorings for liveaboards for 70 ft barge. Have nice mooring here was wondering
if anyone would like to swop moorings. don't mind where!
simon  - boat and residential mooring for sale   |02-09-2010 11:23:10
im moving on ive got a 33ft liveaboard with residential mooring in
central london.. would like to sell.
Andrew Porter  - Enquiry   |02-26-2010 11:13:44

Just wanting some more info on whats for sale. I'm flexible on location
anywhere in London really.


Tidaldweller   |03-12-2010 13:26:31
Hi, would be interesting how much we're talking about?

im moving on ive got a 33ft liveaboard with residential mooring
central london.. would like to sell.
Tidaldweller   |03-12-2010 13:28:21
Hi, would be interesting how much we're talking about?

im moving on ive got a 33ft liveaboard with residential mooring
central london.. would like to sell.
Ijustwanttoliveaboard!  - The non-mooring option   |03-09-2010 06:07:40

Given how difficult it is to get a mooring in London, I';m considering
continuously cruising. Obviously this won't be without its complications, but
is there anyone out there with experience of making this work?

Can you travel
the whole length of the Regent's Canal easily enough?

Any hints or

Any help would be enormously appreciated.

Thank you!

Roy7  - moorings/continuous cruising   |07-24-2010 15:37:13
I live on the Norfolk Broads, We have had moorings and we have spent time

continuous cruising. We've enjoyed both and still do.
As long as you are self
sufficient there doesn't seem to be
many problems continuous cruising but that
of course depends on your
personal circumstances. (work etc.)

We have a
"Live-Aboard Forum",
although most of us are on the Norfolk Broads
Forum is open to anyone living on their boat
where ever you are. We would love
to have you join,
pick up or pass on information, pass on boating tips,
chat, get to know other live-aboards etc.
You would be most



Regards, Roy
Tidaldweller   |03-12-2010 13:38:05
What sould we look for if we are interested to find such places?

You mention:

"You would need to be very self sufficient but there is no reason you
can't as there are many out of the way spots that you may be able to occupy for
as long as you wish."
Dolly  - AAaahhhh Panic   |08-04-2011 15:58:36
Hi people we have been looking into liveaboards for 3 years now and have finally
bitten the bullet our boat will be ready in November but we still have no
residents mooring, we have 2 young kids and are starting to panic, (this may
just be us flapping) we are worried we will run out of electric or we wont be
able to pump the loo and we will be colder than we expect to be, we do need to
stay on the fossdyke because of my daughters school, please someone offer some
reassurance and tips and or advise, thank you kindly, (we are very excited and
as i said i think these are just last minuet jitters but all the same we are
only human and a new way of life can rock the boat a bit. pardon the terrible
Captain Cat  - boat sellers   |09-07-2011 15:33:32
I'll be getting a boat and mooring it on the Avon between Bristol
and Bath soon. Can anyone suggest some decent 2nd hand canal boat dealers around
that area?

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