“There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Editor, Peter Fellows, is hoping to be back on board this month.
After what seems to have been an eternal winter, it’s good to see spring arriving again. Some members have used the latest lockdown to reflect on boating as it used to be: Stephen Peters looks back over 50 years to, among other boat facilities, instantaneous Ascot water heaters, and John Devonald recalls a simpler, electricity-free life afloat.
NABO has been busy throughout the lockdown and this issue has our response to CRT’s London strategy consultation, together with a perspective on progress to date from London liveaboard, Simon Robbins. There is also a BSS report on serious incidents in 2020, especially injuries caused by propellers, fires and explosions – although fewer incidents of CO poisoning, possibly because of the requirement last year to fit CO alarms.
There has recently been clarification from CRT regarding the distance CRT expects boaters to travel during the term of a six month licence and NABO notes that the guidance has changed. It used to be CRT’s policy that boaters issued with a reduced licence were still expected to cruise the 20 mile plus range that full licence holders are expected to do and indeed this is what NABO advised its members. CRT has now confirmed that this has changed and that boaters who have been issued with a six month licence are expected to cruise a pro rata distance of 10 miles (16km) within the time period of their licence.
For more information regarding CRT’s expectations around the issuing of reduced licences, please read on as Matthew Aymes, CRT’s Customer Support Manager has responded very fully to a query raised by CRT Council Boaters Rep Dave da Costa via this email:
A Zoom-based meeting of this valuable forum brought together representatives of NABO, RBOA, CBOA, DBA, TBA, HNBC, IWA, AWCC and the General Secretary, Michael Stimpson.
The meeting agreed to reappoint Michael and thanked him for his valuable work over the past year. The finances were also reported on and with little expenditure on meetings, the financial position is sound. It was agreed to pay towards the cost of the ZOOM facilities being used.
Editor, Peter Fellows, has spotted inconsistencies in the way that boaters are being treated.
Despite it being midwinter with a national lockdown in place – or on reflection, perhaps because of this – I’ve received a bountiful crop of contributions for this issue. Clearly, people are thinking about boating even though they are unable to do so. Which raises the question of why has boating been suspended, when being on a moving boat is one of the safest places to be in a pandemic? And if navigation authorities consider fishing to be a legitimate form of exercise, why do they think that boating isn’t? If any of the senior managers who make such decisions had tried to ascend flights of locks on the Rochdale or Huddersfield Narrow – or, for that matter, battled stiff paddles and unyielding gates across the system – they would know that boating certainly is exercise. Instead, liveaboards are forced to moor up, alongside crowded towpaths in some areas, as visitors respond to CRT’s exhortations to exercise by the waterways.