Listening to boat owners, Speaking out for boat owners, Representing boat owners.


Changes at Boat Safety

David Fletcher explains the new Examination Check Procedures.

The BSS team members are on a campaign at the moment to improve the consistency and quality of the examinations. We are all familiar with the discussions about how my boat passed last time, so why has it failed now? These events do nothing to improve the confidence of boaters, and they don’t improve the confidence of the navigation authorities (NAs) either. They are worried. We should not forget that the BSS examination has only an incidental role in the boat owner’s safety (the so called ‘first party risk’). For NAs it is about making sure that all the boats they have licenced are not a danger to others. This in the NAs’ duty of care. The statistics show that a third of boats fail their BSS examinations. The actual number is probably higher, because some failure points are fixed at the time and are not recorded. It is not a good picture.

Better by Water?

This has been a bumper couple of months for CRT’s finances. By quietly auctioning off four more listed properties, including two in London, they have another £4m in the coffers to spend, who knows on what? I do hope it’s for more of those tacky blue and white signs.

I wonder how the sale of the Top Lock Cottage at Tardebigge got past CRT’s Heritage Impact Assessment. Presumably the fact that this was where Tom Rolt and Robert Aickman met on nb Cressy, leading to the formation of the IWA, had no ‘impact’ on their decision. You’d have thought the IWA might have objected to the sale for this reason alone. Never mind, there’s still a plaque there marking the spot.

And then there’s Bugeddin. Listed it might be but there are ways around that protection for anyone with the knowledge and money to persist. Who knows, it may end up looking like this wonderfully enhanced lock cottage we found on our travels. Better by water? Hunt the cottage…

Zero emissions for new boats?

Under the UK clean air strategy, the government has mandated that boats ordered from 2025 must use zero-emission technologies. This and many other changes are part of the UK climate change commitments to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Your answers to this questionnaire will allow us better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that boat onwers are having to face.

The green revolution and boating

John Devonald peers into his crystal ball.

Some of you will have seen NABO’s bulletin on sustainable boating in the future and our decision to push hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as the best solution for boaters. This article is to put some flesh on the bones of the bulletin article and the reasons we have come to this decision. I will mainly be discussing electric and HVO as other potential fuels, like hydrogen and fuel cells, are really just non-starters at present.

Green has become one of the most important topics over the last few years with the Government making promises to cut carbon footprints, plastic waste and emissions. We have seen political demonstrations, the results of climate change in the weather, and the rise of the electric car as the future of motoring in the UK. Inland waterways users are going to be caught up in this spiral towards the green future so we need to try and move this in a direction that we boaters are comfortable with, both in the ‘green’ aspect and the financial implications.

Strategy, what strategy?

Mark Tizard shares some thoughts on mooring in London.

For several years, CRT sought views via the Boater Relationship Group and subsequently, when this collapsed, it facilitated meetings that resulted in the publication of its London Strategy document in June 2018. This outlined the actions that CRT would take to address congestion in London. A key outcome was improved information and communication for boaters in the area. The principle conclusions were:

  • More general towpath mooring and limited offside moorings outside the Regent’s Canal area;
  • Increasing the number of short-stay visitor moorings;
  • Increasing the monitoring and management of towpath and visitor moorings and
  • Major improvements to facilities - specifically six new water points, nine new rubbish disposal areas, four new pumpouts and five or six new Elsan facilities.