Residential Boat Owners Association

Welcome to the Residential Boat Owners' Association

Last Updated: 9th April, 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?


Find us on Facebook - /theRBOA

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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 May, 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


The next Committee Meeting will be held at the Rose & Crown pub, 6 Main Street, Zouch, Leics. LE12 5EQ, Saturday, 26th April, 2014, commencing at 10.00 a.m. Open to all RBOA members. Please confirm details with General Secretary before travelling.


CRT & boating associations meeting notes

Alan Wildman, RBOA Chairman, attended a joint CRT/Associations meeting on 31st March. To see the ACC, NABO and RBOA agreed notes of the meeting, click Alan Wildman, RBOA Chairman, attended a joint CRT/Associations meeting on 31st March. To see the ACC, NABO and RBOA agreed notes of the meeting, click here.

The Great Interior Design Challenge

If you are interested in yourself and your boat being part of the BBC2 "Great Interior Design Challenge", and you are based in London or within the M25, then find out more by clicking here.

Canal & River Trust publishes response to Kennet & Avon towpath mooring plan consultation

CRT has published a Press Release regarding its response to the K&A Towpath Mooring Plan. You can read it here.

A Consultation on Towpath Use

Canal & River Trust are consulting with stakeholders, local authorities, communities and partners in order to put together a National Towpath Use policy.

More details on our National News page.  The consultation closes on 2nd May.

CRT have put out a press release raising awareness of their requirements for anyone considering moving onto the water as a live-aboard boater, as a Continuous Cruiser.

Read the Press Release here.


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