Residential Boat Owners Association

Welcome to the Residential Boat Owners' Association

Last Updated: 24th September, 2014

Established in 1963 the Residential Boat Owners' Association is the only national organisation which exclusively represents and promotes the interests of people living on boats in the British Isles.  We represent all those who have chosen to make a boat their home – whether that boat is static or cruises; is based inland or on the coast; has a permanent or temporary mooring (whether residential or not) or continuously cruises – all are residential boaters.  We also welcome as Associate members those not yet living afloat, but who are considering doing so. If you live on a boat, become a member. You can do this online. Or if you don't live on a boat yet, why not start with the Question and Answer section of this website?


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The RBOA's address for all postal correspondence:

Residential Boat Owners' Association, 10 Rectory Close, Crick, NN6 7SY.


Written by RBOA members, our book about life afloat, with 96 pages, including numerous colour photographs, contains pretty much everything you'd want to know about living on a boat.  Members describe a variety of personal experiences, including raising a family, getting healthcare, and keeping pets on board.  There is a wealth of advice, from deciding on the size and type of craft, whether to buy new or secondhand, and what you are looking for inside the boat.

See the RBOA Merchandise page for details of how to order, online with Paypal or by post.

FREE LEAFLET - So you want to live on a boat?

In conjunction with Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) and the Environment Agency, the RBOA has produced an introductory leaflet for those thinking of living on a boat. If you would like a copy, please send a stamped, self-addressed C5 envelope (i.e. to take a folded A4 sheet) to the RBOA at the address above.  Any businesses requiring multiple copies can obtain these by emailing


Soundings is the RBOA's bi-monthly magazine, which is circulated free to all members. It contains a mix of updates on national and local issues specific to residential boating, and letters and articles from members on a range of matters about life aboard.

Copy deadline for the next issue of Soundings is 1st October, 2014. Please email submissions for Soundings to (or by post to Beryl McDowall, Editor: Soundings, Narrowboat "Wasp", Off Barons Way, Mountsorrel, Leics. LE12 7EA).

If you are considering joining us, and would like to receive a free back copy of Soundings, please email or send an C4 (A4-sized) stamped self-addressed envelope (£1.10 stamp) with your request to: RBOA, 12 Rectory Close, Crick, NN6 7SY

51st Annual General Meeting

Members are invited to attend this event at The Clock Warehouse, London Road, Shardlow, Derby, DE72 2GL. on Saturday 4th October, 2014. At 11.30 a.m. our Speaker will be Richard Parry, Chief Executive of CRT.  Lunch will be available at 1.30 p.m, followed by the formal business of the AGM. 

Next Committee Meeting

The next Committee Meeting will be held at the Rose & Crown pub, 6 Main Street, Zouch, Leics. LE12 5EQ, Saturday, 25th October, 2014, commencing at 10.00 a.m. Open to all RBOA members. Please confirm details with General Secretary before travelling.


All Part Parliamentary Group for the Waterways Inquiry (CRT) - Summary

To read the full summary, click here.

London Canal Museum appeal: Could you help maintain our Bantam tug?

Click here for more details.


The Canal & River Trust has launched a consultation about how it plans to manage essential water resources over the next 35 years. Click here for more details.

The deadline for people to give their views is 4 November 2014 and the full consultation including the survey and a summary, can be found at

Press Release: 12/09/14: DON'T DUMP IN OUR CANALS

‘Stop dumping in our canals’ is the clear message sent out by Lancashire magistrates who have fined a Blackburn resident £345 for discarding garden waste on a steep bank of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.  Full press release here.


The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways (APPG) has today (11 September) published its second report looking at the progress made by the Canal & River Trust since its creation in 2012, highlighting the Trust’s achievements and recommending opportunities for the future.

Click here to read full Press Release

National Gas Safety Week 2014

The Boat Safety Scheme is supporting national Gas Safety Week this year, and the advice focuses on carbon monoxide safety when using LPG appliances. Gas Safety Week takes place between 15th – 21st September 2014. Click here for full details of how to help keep your boat safe.

Boat Safety

Information has been placed on the BSS website at the request of Beko, who are trying to find and fix dangerous older models of Beko, Flavel and Leisure gas cookers that can produce potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide if used incorrectly with the grill door closed. Beko are offering a free modification to any affected model to remove the risk linked to carbon monoxide poisoning. A similar modification was needed some years ago on other makes of cooker.

More information can be found on the following link, with advice on what you should do and who you should contact:

If you experience any problems, contact RBOA’s Representative on BSS Advisory Committee - Beryl McDowall (See Gen. Secretary for details)

Boater fined for creating wash on Thames

A boat owner has been fined by Redhill Magistrates' Court for creating a wash causing danger to other vessels and property on the River Thames. Full story here.


The RBOA has a supplier of leisure wear - See the RBOA Merchandise page for more details.