Long Term Moorings

With the increasing number of craft appearing on the waterways it is important for there to be a balance of both on-line and off-line mooring provision with an affordable pricing structure which reflects the provision of facilities.

IWA considers that navigation authorities should aim to reduce, over time, linear moorings by the creation of new moorings off-line. Generally, new permanent linear moorings should be resisted.

Off-line Moorings
IWA recommends and supports the provision of off-line mooring basins of all sizes with facilities ranging from basic to comprehensive, to meet a variety of boaters’ needs.
There should be a presumption in favour of new off-line moorings in appropriate locations. In popular areas and near bottlenecks, the likely impact on local waterway use should be considered to avoid an area becoming congested, or more congested.

IWA considers that there is great demand for smaller, more modest, mooring basins with basic facilities. These could be run on a partnership basis (e.g. by a boat club or small group of private boaters) which would allow for more social inclusion than the bigger, more commercial, operations. Examples of such developments would be a small off-line basin in a farmer's field, or the widening of the waterway on the off-side with an in-set to allow herringbone style mooring for a small number of boats arranged in such a way that it does not obstruct the waterway.

IWA supports the retention and use of existing arms, wharfs and basins as off-line moorings. Where waterways are currently derelict, the inclusion of permanent moorings as part of a restoration plan can add to the regeneration benefits of the waterway.

On-line moorings
Whilst moored boats are considered part of the waterway scene, IWA believes that lengthy on-line linear moorings should be discouraged as they contribute to congestion when slowing to a necessary passing speed, and navigating through lengthy moorings can be tedious and a source of conflict.

IWA accepts that at present the majority of on-line permanent moorings on the waterways are linear, having been established over a number of years.  On-line permanent linear moorings should, wherever possible, be on the non-towing path side of the waterway, which traditionally would be privately owned.

The location of any linear mooring should take into consideration possible hazards that may occur, e.g. being too close to a bend or junction, impeding the navigation of other craft, on the outside of bends and double moored when the waterway is of a restricted width. There should always be room for two moving boats to pass comfortably.

For those on-line permanent linear moorings located near popular locations, the preference should be for the visitor moorings to take preference near to the point of access. Navigation authorities should re-designate existing situations where this is not the case.

Lock cuts on rivers are common places for on-line linear moorings and on canals mooring demand may be high in the vicinity of locks and moveable bridges. However, landing stages used for access to operate these structures, as well as sanitary stations and other facilities, must be reserved for this use only and not used for longer mooring periods.

Residential moorings
IWA considers that there should be sufficient residential moorings with a range of facilities at a range of prices. 

IWA supports the provision of residential moorings in off-line moorings in basins and marinas, of all sizes, with facilities ranging from basic to comprehensive, to meet the variety of boaters’ needs. IWA will press all stakeholders including navigation authorities and local authorities to develop a strategy for the provision of residential moorings and off-line moorings. 

More detailed guidance can be found in IWA’s Mooring Policy on Navigable Waterways.

Also available for consultation are IWA London Region's proposal on overstaying on visitor moorings in London, and IWA’s response to a recent consultation by the London Assembly.



Download the PDF

IWA Briefing Note - Long Term Mororings
(155KB, A4, 2 pages)

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