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.

Look at our achievements and members’ benefits and we’re sure you’ll agree that taking out a NABO¬†membership is a must.

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.

The Association is led by Council a elected at an Annual General Meeting each November, consisting of up to 12 volunteers, who meet every six weeks. Continuous cruisers and liveaboards are represented.

NABO is primarily a representative body. We operate by gathering information from members and other sources, and representing a balanced view to Navigation Authorities and other Government and non government organisations and the media. We also represent boaters view by attending consultation meetings, and providing candidates for bodies providing guidance to Navigation Authorities.

Members are invited to share their views and problems to gather knowledge and better represent views. NABO is a small organisation, with short communication lines and ability to react quickly to current and long term issues. We specialise in understanding legal matters, and unique amongst boating organsiation, spend significant sums to get legal advice, on interpretation of the boating laws.

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. licence terms and conditions, unnecessary boat safety requirements, licence and mooring fees, poor dredging, any loss of freedom to navigate or moor on waterways etc.

We will assist on individual members’ problems, as well as taking up local issues and matters of national concern. NABO is not a social club, a cruising club, or a canal society. We are not authorised to provide legal advice. NABO will always challenge injustice where necessary at the highest level.

There are no specific regional meetings or sub-committees, but each area of the country has a Regional Representative on the Council; there is a River Users Co-ordinator to look after the special interests of boat owners on rivers. There are Continuous Cruisers and liveaboards on Council..

NABO depends  entirely on members subscriptions and donations for its income. Out of this, we pay for representing NABO at meetings with other bodies, the printing of NABO News and other membership materials; expenses for Council meetings, AGMs; legal advice; web site administration; insurance and so on. Officers and representatives give their time voluntarily. There are more details here.

In its short life, NABO has gained recognition from all the major navigational authorities, other waterway organisations, and government bodies. Our arguments are listened to with respect, and we are frequently consulted on important issues.

We need you as much as you need us – so please join! There is an electronic system on this web site and if you pay by PayPal you can sign up immediately, but if you prefer to use snail mail, download the Membership Application Form here.

NABO is now the largest organisation to represent
solely boat owners on inland waterways in the U.K.
NABO’s growing membership represents over 3000 boaters