Residential Boat Owners Association

Welcome to the Residential Boat Owners' Association

Last Updated: 11th December, 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 November, 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

Next Committee Meeting

The next Committee Meeting will be held at the Rose & Crown pub, 6 Main Street, Zouch, Leics. LE12 5EQ, Saturday, 3rd January, 2015, commencing at 10.00 a.m. Open to all RBOA members. Please confirm details with General Secretary before travelling.


Toll increase the lowest on record

Broads toll payers will benefit from the smallest increase in the Authority’s history this year.

The historic 1.7% rise, which will allow the Authority to continue to deliver current levels of service and replace vehicles, vessels and equipment, was recommended by the Navigation Committee and approved by the Broads Authority in November. Further details here.

Deadline looms for Navigation Committee applications

An opportunity has arisen for anyone interested in the Broads to apply to sit on the Broads Authority’s Navigation Committee from March 2015. Eight vacancies have become available on the committee which advises the Authority on navigation issues before it comes to a decision. Two of these eight co-opted members will also be appointed as members of the full Broads Authority. Further details here.

Canal charity planning action plan for Regent's Canal

The Canal & River Trust is meeting with local councils, boaters and residents, to develop an action plan for the Regent’s Canal throughout Islington and Hackney. By working together they will consider how better to tackle issues such as graffiti and rubbish clearance as well as exploring how to improve the towpath and manage moorings. Further details here.

Moorings at Granary Wharf, Leeds

Click here for information regarding changes to the running and maintenance of these moorings.

Canal and River Trust appoints Welfare Officer

Canal & River Trust has appointed its first ever welfare officer. The role forms part of the Trust’s strategy around supporting vulnerable boaters who, due to any number of factors, may be finding it harder to cope with life afloat.  Further details here.

The boater’s handbook: basic boat-handling and safety

Boating basics including essential knowledge and techniques you need to make sure you enjoy yourselves and stay safe on the water. Reading it before setting off will help you spot the risks yourself, and help you take simple action to avoid problems. If you do run into difficulties, this understanding will help you get out of trouble quickly and safely.

To download an electronic copy of the handbook, click here

To order a hard copy of the handbook, please email the Environment Agency mailing house with your name, address, publication title (“The Boater’s Handbook”), reference (“LIT 2642”) and quantity.

For any other questions about this publication, please email

BSS alert boaters to 6kg Calor Lite cylinder product recall

The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) is supporting Calor Gas Ltd to alert any boaters to the immediate product recall on all 6kg Calor Lite® cylinders manufactured between 2008 - 2011 inclusively, following concerns regarding the potential deterioration of the cylinder.

A small number of 6kg Calor Lite® cylinders have been found to be showing signs of premature internal deterioration which over time could potentially lead to a gas escape.  See the full press release here.

Environment Agency consultation on draft updates to the river basin management plans and draft flood risk management plans

The Environment Agency is seeking your views on proposals to improve the water environment and protect communities from flood risk in England. Click here to see more details about this consultation.

06/10/2014: CRT consulting on mooring sales

The Canal & River Trust is inviting people to take part in a consultation about how it sells its long-term moorings. Click here for more details.

01/10/2014: Thames Tideway Tunnels' Andy Mitchell leads new assault on UK infrastructure cost

New chair of Infrastructure Client Group Andy Mitchell plans a “renewed attack on the drivers of high costs and barriers to innovation”. Read the full press release here.

Sailing Volunteers needed!

A Broads charity is seeking fit, experienced and safety conscious keelboat sailors to train as RYA(Royal Yachting Association) Instructors to take its disabled and disadvantaged visitors sailing. Click here for more information.

Beko alert for boating community 2014

The BSS is supporting Beko, in its on-going campaign 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. Click here for details.

New Secretary of State appointed members wanted for Broads Authority

The Secretary of State is currently appointing two National members for the Broads Authority. The deadline for applications is 23 October 2014 at 12 noon. Click here for more information.

Canal & River Trust agrees new contract for construction and engineering on the nation’s historic waterways

For full details, click here.

Historic bridge and towpath re-opens following recent investment creating better access to World Heritage Site in North Wales

For full details, click here.

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