Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Some of NABO's work on behalf of boaters!

Much of what we achieve goes unseen by the waterways community, even boaters and our own membership, because it goes on behind the scenes. It is often not about winning or loosing but about maintaining a long term relationship with navigation autorities and refreshing the knowledge of what is going on. It is from this strength that we can campaign and respond to individual events or wider consultations.

However, there are certain areas in which we have been instrumental in affecting the waterways world.

If you scan the website you will see some of these achievements. In this section we list some of the successes since our inception.

Boat Safety Scheme

NABO has long serving members who contribute to the management of the Boat Safety Scheme. They are not examiners, just boaters with a technical background and an eagerness in representing the user's interest. NABO has representation at technical, advisory and management levels within the scheme and over the years has been a leading influence in securing a commitment to minimise the mandatory requirements of the Boat Safety Scheme and also in securing changes to the appeals procedure. It is an important part of NABO representative activity.

British Waterways Act 1995

NABO was formed at the time that this Act of Parlament was being debated and drafted. NABO members took part in many of consultations. This Act affects all boaters on waterways controlled by CRT (previously BW), and one part of the Act governs the right of boaters to continously cruise. NABO secured 28 amendments to the Act and concessions on the way it would be applied before it was passed. These brought in valuable safeguards for boaters.

BW's undertakings can be read here

You can read the 1995 British Waterways act here

NABO continues to monitor the interpretation of the Act and the cases that CRT bring to Court.

The most recent challenge is to reject CRT requirment for boats with a home mooring to 'bona fide cruise' when away from their moorings.


CRT Council Elections

The election for the Boaters' Representatives on the Canal & River Trust Council took place in the autumn of 2015, with eight candidates for four places. The NABO candidate Stella Ridgway was duly elected to serve for three years from March 2016. Full details of the CRT Council are to be found here

CRT Navigation Advisory Groups

CRT operate a number of important "advisory groups" covering a range of different areas from freight and navigation to volunteering and heritage. These are committees set up to provide a consultation body for CRT discuss proposals, policy and performance. For boaters the "Navigation Advisory Groups" or NAGs are the relevant committee.

NAG comprises boaters with a variety of backgrounds to bring as broad a range of perspectives as possible to decision making. These representative are appointed in their own right, and not as orgaisational representatives. Never the less they are expected, where available, to bring the wider knowledge of boating organisations to the meeting.

There are two parts to NAG, and a NABO Council member is appointed to both parts.

Monthly NABO Bulletins

NABO sends out a short electronic bulletin every month to members who provide an email address. This covers a summary of the latest waterways news and consultations, representation events that officers attended, membership information and the like. As far as possible we include links to web sources, and this enables members to be selective about reading, and not to be bombarded with unwanted information.

Fast communication is important these days. The bulletin enables NABO to inform and stay in touch with the membership quickly. It complements NABO News, and is not intended to duplicate or replace it.

You can see  past bulletins here.