The NABO Story

The National Association of Boat Owners is dedicated to promoting the interests of private boaters on Britain’s canals, rivers and lakes, so that their voice can be heard when decisions are being made which might affect their boating. NABO will always challenge injustice where necessary at the highest level.

The Association does not cater for a broad spectrum of waterway interests, as so doing could prevent it from taking a strong stand on boating issues, e.g. unnecessary boat safety requirements, excessive licence and mooring fees, poor dredging, any loss of freedom to navigate or moor on waterways etc. It will advise on individual members’ problems, as well as taking up local issues and matters of national concern. It is not a social club, a cruising club, or a canal society.

NABO was formed in 1991, by a group of boat owners who felt that none of the existing organisations adequately put forward their views to the waterway authorities. It is run by a Council elected at an Annual General Meeting each November, consisting of up to 12 volunteers, who meet in Birmingham every six weeks. There are no specific regional meetings or sub-committees, but each area of the country has a Regional Secretary on the Council, and there is a River Users Co-ordinator to look after the special interests of boat owners on rivers.

NABO depends almost entirely on members subscriptions for its income. In its short life, it has gained recognition from all the major navigational authorities, other waterway organisations, and government bodies. Its arguments are listened to with respect, and it is frequently consulted on important issues. Its members are kept in touch through the newsletter – NABO News, e-mail bulletins and the members’ pages on this site. Any member is welcome to attend Council meetings, or phone, write to or email Council members with their views or concerns.

NABO is now the largest organisation representing
solely Boat Owners on the UK Inland Waterways