I’ve been helping a friend this week, he has been looking for a boat on a residential mooring in the city of Oxford for a few months now. Last week he found a suitable vessel so we both went to have a look at it. The boat has not been lived on for many years so is a bit rundown but on first inspection the Hull and Superstructure seemed in good order although the interior could probably do with a new refit. The boat was on a residential mooring on the Oxford Canal and this residential mooring is operated by British waterways.

The interesting thing with this vessel is that nearly 70% of its cost was a premium for the residential mooring. In places like Oxford residential moorings are few and far between so boats are normally sold on residential moorings and the price of these boats can be very high.
This boat my friend was looking at was not a particularly well fitted out vessel but it was on the market for quite a high price, like I say about 70% of the cost of the vessel was a premium for the residential mooring. Premiums on these moorings were running in at approximately £10,000 to £15,000 just for the mooring alone but you could not buy the mooring alone, you would have to buy the vessel that was moored there and then transfer the mooring agreement over to the new purchaser.

My friend really wanted to live in Oxford and also works there so the location and status of the mooring was very important. The vessel itself can be renovated and will make a very nice home. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you come across a boat that is rundown and does need renovating on a very desirable mooring you should not discount this as you could purchase the rundown boat on the mooring and then put a new boat on the mooring at any time you wish. The important bit is that you have the rights for that residential mooring. In places like London and other major cities where people really want to live and residential moorings are very hard to find this could be a real option if you can find a project boat up for sale.

A fully fitted out vessel on a desirable residential mooring could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds but a similar vessel that is rundown on the same mooring could be half or even a quarter of that price. The art here is to find those vessels on the good moorings.

If you are looking for a mooring in a particular area and you really want to stay in the area then the only way to find these moorings is to go out and look at the local boat yards, marinas and moorings on the tow path and find out whether these residential moorings are. You should speak to people and find out if there are any boats for sale. If residential moorings are within marinas and boatyards and you could always leave your name and telephone number with the marina office and get them to contact you if any suitable vessels come up for sale. Again it does not matter if it’s a rundown vessel that needs lots of work because you can always purchase another suitable vessel and move it to your mooring and sell the old vessel for a cheap price.

It’s really interesting to see how much premium there is on residential moorings. As residential moorings are getting so few and far between particularly in the sought-after and desirable areas then purchasing a project boat on a suitable mooring could be a real option. Once you have rights to that mooring then you can move the old boat off and a new boat on.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t discount a project boat if it’s on a very sought-after mooring, you could end up getting a real bargain and then move a suitable vessel on that mooring.

So if you really want to live in one particular area go out and find those residential moorings. Don’t think about the type of boats, think about how you’re going to get your hands on this desirable residential mooring at the cheapest possible price. Again purchasing a project boat on a desirable mooring can be a real option to secure those very hard to find residential moorings.

Of course please don’t forget that if you can find a residential mooring available without a boat already on it then you will not pay a premium for the mooring. It is more common to find this type of mooring in a Marina or boat yard that is licensed for residential use so this could be a good place to start looking. If you already have sourced your mooring then you would only pay the market price for the boat you are looking for.

Happy Hunting