Boaters On The Move...
As we discussed above, boaters without a home mooring
are classed as continuous cruisers.
Your boat will be assessed in exactly the same way as those who declare a home mooring
and exactly the same licence fees will apply.
You can have a Standard Private & Pleasure Boats long term licence or a Gold licence.
It is simply the lack of a home mooring
declaration on your licence application which means an additional condition is placed upon you by the Canal & River Trust.
In the words of the CRT this condition is...”If a boat is licensed without a home mooring
it must move on a regular basis”.
This seemingly innocuous sentence is key to understanding what the CRT terms “guidance” for boaters who fall into this classification. This guidance in itself does not have the force of the law but is based on professional legal advice following a high profile court case.
Briefly, the case involved a boater who moved his boat every 14 days along the same 10 mile stretch of canal. The Judge ruled that this movement was not bona fide use of the vessel for navigation. As a result of this case, there are three key legal requirements surrounding the issue of a licence to a continuous cruiser. These are:
“the boat must genuinely be used for navigation throughout the period of the licence”
“unless a shorter time is specified by notice the boat must not stay in the same place for more than 14 days (or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances)”
“it is the responsibility of the boater to satisfy the Trust that the above requirements are and will continue to be met”
Within the CRT General Terms & Conditions
there are definitions of key words such as “navigation”, “place” (neighbourhood) & “home mooring
”. There are also guidelines on what may be construed as "reasonable circumstances" for overstaying, and these include serious medical emergencies & temporary mechanical breakdown.
The bottom line is that the licence holder must be seen to be using the boat for a genuine cruise and that unacceptable reasons for staying in a neighbourhood or locality for longer than 14 days are the need to stay within commuting distance of a place of work or study.