From the Tiller

by Charles Foster

As we start the New Year it’s that time when we make plans for the year ahead and those dreaded resolutions. Personally I am not one for resolutions, more for planning and seeing how things progress along that plan, modifying where necessary and enjoying the successes as they come along and not dwelling on the failures that no doubt come along as well.

I would like to take this opportunity to bullet point some of the plans and ideas which I will be putting forward for the RBOA in 2019.

  • Provide a more up to date communication system with members so that queries can be handled more efficiently.
  • Improve ease of membership application and payment methods.
  • Try to improve the input from members in finding out what you really want from your membership. Please be assured that contact on these will always be delt with completely in confidence.
  • Increase corporate membership to promote the benefits of residential boaters to their business.
  • Get a better ear both in Parliament and at Local Government levels for Residential Boaters.
  • Arrange some form of social events to encourage members to become more involved in your association.
  • To become the leading organisation in promoting better relations with our fellow organisations, so that the boating environment gets a more cohesive representation in the world that we live in. Plus explain to our peers why we wish to live this way, preserve it and better it. The more members’ associations we have, the greater our strength in ensuring that our lifestyle will continue into the future at affordable levels.
  • Promote better understanding of why we wish to enjoy our way of life and show that it is not a threat to more traditional urban country living.

This is where I throw the floor open to you, our members, and other organisations that we meet with, and share the future together. Our door or hatch is always open to you to air your views and possible liaisons where a joint effort would be a better way of producing a satisfactory result.

All our usual work will continue in respect of helping prospective and new residential boaters, provide mediation for members and businesses; finding and encouraging more residential moorings; voicing the need for better facilities for residential boaters; and the assisting with our members’ social needs into the future.

What happens when due to illness or age we need to leave our boats for dry land? How do we get competitive car insurance? What about Red Diesel and the banning of wood burning stoves, to name but a few ongoing issues. We need to address these issues on your behalf.

We need to encourage and appeal to new livaboards and old hands alike. The world is changing, whether we like it or not, and we need to address the issues from our prospective. Our opinions should and will be taken into account by us being on relevant committees and by lobbying Government. For us to do this we need your input and support.

We can only do what you would like us to do if we know what you want. So let us be aware of your concerns and what you can do to support your association.

May I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Please do contact us with your ideas and thoughts. Our hatch is always open.

The RBOA Newsletter, Soundings, is sent free to members six times a year.

It is also available to non-members for £2 (+ £1.20 P&P).