We get many people ask about mooring their liveaboard boat and whether they really need a residential mooring.
So here are some pointers to help you search for and find a suitable mooring for your needs.
We all know that proper residential moorings are getting harder to find especially in popular areas such as London so do you really need a proper residential mooring?
The answer is no, you don't but it will be easier if you can find one.
With a proper residential mooring you get the security of status. By this I mean you can use your boats mooring address as your home address, you have the same rights as others to use local services and schools and include your permanent address on legal documents such as your passport and driving license. For some people this security of status is important but what if you cannot find a residential mooring?
There are other options that may or may not suit you.
1. Continuously cruise
By that we mean that you move your boat to different moorings often so you are not classed as a residential boat because you do not stay permanently moored in one location.
This is an alternative but you will need to keep a permanent address somewhere such as a family members or friends address. This option is not right for everyone but some enjoy moving around seeing different places. You could move moorings within a small geographical location which will keep you always in the same general location.
2. Mooring by agreement.
By this I mean talking to a moorings operator and having a verbal agreement that you can liveaboard your boat as long as you keep a low profile. Some are open to this arrangement and it can work well for both you and the mooring operator. You get a mooring and they get your money. It is surprising how many liveaboards are happily living on moorings with this arrangement.
The one problem with this arrangement is that the mooring operator will rarely give you any secure mooring agreement. If they do not have a proper residential mooring and the local authority find out you are residential the operator will ask you to leave. If you can get a mooring like this then do keep a low profile, I know people that have been mooring this way for years with no problems but you must always be prepared to move on if you have to.
Again, you would need to keep a shore side address as many mooring operators will not allow mail to be sent to their address on your behalf.
3. Mooring anywhere!
If you like the really nomadic lifestyle then you could just find a isolated mooring spot and stay. You would need to be very self sufficient but there is no reason you can't as there are many out of the way spots that you may be able to occupy for as long as you wish.
These are real alternatives to a residential mooring but as you may have guessed you really need to live on a boat that can move under its own power. If you have a static houseboat with no engine to move it you really do need a permanent residential mooring. Having said that most static houseboats will be sold with a permanent mooring.
In summary you really need to be clever and go and talk to mooring operators in your chosen area. In my experience talking to them personally will get you better results. It's easy for them to say no over the phone but in person you can build a rapour with them and explain what you are looking for.
So if you are finding it difficult locating a residential mooring in your chosen area it might be worth visiting some of the marinas and boatyards and asking if they can accommodate your needs. Remember, even if some say no ask them if they know of any moorings that would be suitable, they should have a good knowledge of the area and may come up with something you missed.
Photo: Canal Boat Mag