A Quick Guide To Finding The Perfect Mooring

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The idea of being able to experience the UK’s waterways and opportunities to discover new locations by boat certainly has to be one of the biggest attractions to owning a boat.

Yet with owning a boat also comes a number of important considerations that you’ll need to think about, one of these being the location of a suitable mooring for your boat.

So whether you’ll be looking to moor your boat for the first time, or perhaps you’re more familiar with the process, here is a quick guide to help you secure the perfect mooring.

Permanent or short term mooring?

First thing’s first, you need to decide whether your mooring will be permanent or short term. This will obviously be determined as to how long you intend to stay on your boat for and what your intentions for using the boat.


If you are looking to permanently moor your boat, this means that your best option is to look at long-term locations for your boat to be secured whilst not in use.

Unless you will be constantly using your boat, long term moorings generally require a permit. A fee granting you consent to moor your boat permanently will need to be paid to the landowner or mooring operator. In terms of long-term moorings, there are several which you’ll need to consider.

Leisure moorings, for example, means that the boat will be used recreationally, whereas a residential mooring, as the name suggests, gives permission for the owner to use the boat as their primary form of residence. For operators of commercial boats, trade moorings are also an option, and can be short-term as well as permanent.

Short term

In contrast to permanent moorings, short term moorings can allow your boat to be moored for up to 14 days. During the quieter winter season, though, you may find that you will be permitted to moor your boat for longer.

Again, there are several options for which type of mooring are most suitable for you. Short term permits are convenient if you will be frequently travelling from location to location during the summer season, but won’t perhaps be doing as much travelling during the winter. Permits such as these can last up to one or two months.

Visitor moorings with even shorter stay periods, usually less than a couple of weeks, are perhaps more suitable for people intending to stay for even shorter periods of time.

Choosing a waterway

Once you have determined what form of mooring will be most convenient for you, the next thing is to select a waterway.

Choosing a suitable waterway comes with important research and consideration. For example, if you’ll be requiring a residential mooring, you’ll want to ensure that you’re conveniently located close to work, and in a good location to be able to go shopping.

Therefore, make sure you have thoroughly researched the surrounding area and how accessible everything is.

Alternatively, if you’ll be using your boat for shorter trips and holidays, you might prefer to have your boat moored further a field.

Another essential point to consider when selecting a suitable waterway as highlighted by The Inland Waterways Association is the size of your boat in terms of being able to fit through the locks on the waterways.

Once you’ve considered various points such as these, you’ll then be in a better position to take a look at some potential mooring areas. To help give you a better idea as to some of the locations to have a look at, head to the Waterways route map.

Online and offline moorings

If you are looking to permanently moor your boat then this could either be offline, meaning that the boat will be moored within marinas or basins, or online referring to a location along a canal or river.

P&A French Moorings who are based in West Mersea said that “the opportunity to enjoy a number of facilities is certainly one of the benefits to offline moorings”.  Along with the prospect to enjoy a range of facilities, the fact that offline mooring is also very safe and may have security systems in place also makes offline mooring a popular option for boat owners.

Online moorings which tend to be positioned along the main line of canals usually don’t include the same features as online moorings, and as a result can be cheaper. Being situated in scenic countryside settings can be a big draw for boat owners who enjoy being surrounded by nature and wildlife.

We hope that you have found this quick guide for mooring your boat useful. When it comes down to selecting the perfect mooring, this ultimately depends on your intentions for using the boat, selecting the correct permit, and being situated in the most convenient location for your needs.

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