The National Association of Boat Owners is dedicated to promoting the interests of private boaters on Britain's canals and rivers and lakes. Volunteer members work with Navigation Authorities and public bodies so that boater's voices and views can be heard when decisions and being made. This can only take place if boaters are infomed, engaged and have the time to formulate policy and consider views. NABO has over 20 years experience and a stong track record of achiement.
NABO members can now obtain a 7.5% discount on their boat insurance through specialist brokers CETA Insurance.
CETA works with a panel of insurers including Haven, Navigators & General, Towergate, AIG and Sompo Canopius, so there is a considerable breadth of options available. We cannot guarantee that every member’s requirements can be met but Council believes this arrangement with CETA provides an excellent additional benefit for NABO members and hopes it will provide a further incentive for more boat owners to join the organisation.
* Raising the profile of Boating and navigation as the core objects of CRT’s charitable objectives to prevent the apparent ongoing marginalisation of boat owners in favour of other canal users.
* Monitoring and Challenging CRTs proposals to taking over navigation and maintenance responsibilities from the Environment Agency
* Monitoring the practical effects of CRTs strategic changes resulting in a reduction of the number of regions and waterways managers.
* Contributing to and ongoing monitoring of CRTs review of licensing
* Close monitoring of changes to Mooring provision and the introduction of further charges
* Support the reversal of the recent reduction of 24 hour towpath facilities (refuse, water, sanitation)
* Ongoing monitoring of CRT's rejection of some of NABO's objections to recently introduced private boater's licence Terms and conditions.
* Constant review of the creeping outsourcing of enforcement to third parties
* Ongoing proactive support to Navigation Advisory Groups and BSS Committees
* Monitoring the continued selling by CRT of historic buildings
NABO News is the association’s 32-page full-colour magazine that provides up to date information on the waterways, as well as a forum for NABO members to give voice to issues that concern them. There are six issues per year and each contains regular features on boating news and views. Members are welcome to submit articles and letters. Back copies can be downloaded here. The latest edition is only available for members.
NABO publishes a monthly bulletin exclusively for members.
This covers current activities of Officers and members, any internal administration issues
It also enables Council to quickly gather views of the membership.
Editor, Peter Fellows welcomes clarification by CRT
Canoeists feature more prominently in this issue than previously, with news of new canoe slipways on the Llangollen, the opening of Foulridge Tunnel on the L&L to canoeists, and problems with some canoeists wanting to share locks with boats. While NABO welcomes the increased use of the waterways by as many people as possible, its main concern in relation to canoeists is safety ‒ it doesn’t take much imagination to see who will come off worse in situations where a canoe and a 12-tonne boat are in too close proximity ‒ such as a lock or a tunnel. So it is welcome that Jon Horsfall, CRT’s interim head of boating, has restated its policy on unpowered craft and has begun a process with British Canoeing to promote clear and straightforward information to increase awareness of what canoeists can and cannot do.
Although we have had occasional articles over the years on technical aspects of boating, I would like to print more, so I have introduced the first of a new series with a look at safety aspects of fuels on board. If you have specialist knowledge of any aspect of boat design, construction, equipment, facilities or maintenance, or just some handy technical tips that you’ve come across, please let me know. I’ve also repeated my request in the last issue for cartoons and a crossword compiler, but I’m pleased to report that we will hopefully soon have a new ‘Rewind’ column in each issue.
Elsewhere, there are reports from three of NABO’s regional reps; Howard Anguish in the North-east, Mike Rodd in Wales and Alison Tuck in the West Midlands. Mark Tizard has views on how boaters can be better ‘friends’ with CRT, which would be in the interests of both parties, and Helen Hutt recounts her first experience of boating along the Mon & Brec. Enjoy the summer (as I write this, I can’t believe it will already be mid-summer in a few days time). The next issue will be in October, so give me a wave if we pass on the north-west canals over the coming weeks.
I hope you have all been enjoying the lovely weather; we got some painting done, although the disadvantage was that the paint was drying as we put it on. I do hope that wasn’t all of our summer ‒ we so deserve a decent summer in the north. My Mum is over from New Zealand at present; she grew up in Middlewich but as we cruised a little, she was amazed at the number and variety of boats on the Peak Forest Canal (I might be biased, but it is a very pretty canal with breathtaking views across the Peak District on the summit pound).
First, apologies for the short article; hospital visits have curtailed my ability to attend some meetings, but NABO has had representation at most user groups and, of course, the national consultation groups. CRT has an emphasis on the licensing review and the London mooring strategy, which does not seem to be addressing the issue of the extra boats moving to London each year. NABO was disappointed to see that the licensing review is not even finished but CRT has introduced a new licence for rented boats. This would not appear to address the issue, as it requires boats to have a residential mooring and doesn’t address landlords who rent out a boat without a home mooring, or the ones who ask tenants to buy a 1% share in a boat to circumvent the hire rule. I attended a meeting with CRT where we discussed the ongoing licensing review. There will be a further opportunity to give our views to CRT as we were informed that all boaters would be contacted. NABO will be represented in a further meeting in late July, so do contact me if you have views on this.
Also on the agenda was vegetation and dredging. CRT has now taken this into a national programme to ensure continuity. They are relying on boaters reporting things that are, and aren’t, working, so I would encourage everyone to phone/tweet Customer Services if you see anything wrong. We are the ones out on the system and they rely on us.
The EA/CRT merger was put on hold during the election and still no word on how the new Secretary of State, Michael Gove, will view it. I don’t expect any results in the short term, however, due to the slim majority. I am sure there will be some fed-up faces in both organisations, but it would appear that this may be more of a political football and it has been kicked into the long grass for the while.
Equality provision is something we also discussed: Sean Williams explained that they are getting referrals from both the Customer Services and Licensing Teams. I cannot emphasise enough the need to let Customer Services know if you require help; they can then contact your local Customer Service and Support Officer (i.e. Enforcement), plus, it is a record that you have contacted them. The Trust often engage local and national agencies to assist boaters in difficulty, but the emphasis is on you to contact them if you are having difficulties so that they can assist.
During this busy cruising time, we rely on our members to let CRT (and us) know if you see unpowered craft in locks. CRT has posted its guidelines again, advising that people should not be in unpowered craft in locks when they are filling or emptying. This follows a few incidents recently, after which NABO highlighted the safety aspects, particularly if children are present.
Finally; I do hope you enjoy the summer cruising and that you have a good summer. Our next Council meeting is in September and all are welcome to attend.