Residential Boat Owners Association

Welcome to the Residential Boat Owners' Association

Last Updated: 14th August, 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 September, 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, 20th September, 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) - RBOA's Response

To read RBOA's response to the APPG inquiry, click here.

Stoppages - Phase 2 Consultation now available

Following CRT's winter stoppage consultation in June, they have reviewed public feedback and also refined their works plans. They’ve used this information to amend their plans to try to reduce disruption. The updated plans are now available and you have a second opportunity to review the plans and make comments. CRT have also responded online to your initial comments and you can find these responses on the website.

You can comment on the second version of CRT's plans until Friday 8th August.

Visit to view the proposed stoppages.

CRT Annual Report & Accounts 2013/14 highlight a year of progress

The Canal & River Trust has today (8 July 2014) published its 2013/14 Annual Report & Accounts at its Annual Meeting in Birmingham. Despite a year of extremes, from a very dry summer to extreme winter rainfall, the Trust’s first full year’s reporting shows a promising foundation for the new charity. This includes a growth in the number of people volunteering to help the Trust, and a strong commercial performance which has led to greater than planned spend on repairing and looking after the network.

Full press release here.

CRT Focusses on the Customer

As part of its renewed focus on improving customer service, the Canal & River Trust has announced a series of changes in the way its teams are organised.  The new structure, which has been developed over recent months by, and in consultation with, staff from across the charity, underpins the Trust’s ten-year strategy and aims to create much stronger connections between the charity and the millions of people who use and enjoy its waterways each year.

To support the changes a new head of customer service will be recruited, reporting directly to the chief executive and taking on the responsibility for leisure boating, licensing and enforcement as well as leading wider customer service changes.  The role, which will be externally advertised, will be covered on an interim basis by Dean Davies, currently waterway manager for the West Midlands.

Full Press Release here.

Boat Safety Schemes 2014 Top 10 boat fire safety tips here

Your chance to star in a national commercial

Click here for further details.


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