From the Tiller

by Charles Foster

Spring is in the air as I write about what the RBOA has been up to over the last couple of months. As you can see from this latest edition of Soundings, things are changing. So as the days start to lengthen and the flowers start to shoot, we have gone over to a new full colour format for our publication. For this I must thank our Editor, Beryl and the production staff at Anchor Print for the work carried out to get to this stage. Over the forthcoming months new features and information will be coming to light to really keep you, the residential boaters, up to speed on what is happening on the waterways, both inland and at sea. Also, the Editor will always be pleased to receive your contributions – interesting pictures, and accounts of your experiences. Competitions, case studies, numerous other items – we need you, our members, tell us what you would like published and areas that we can improve on. We are currently reviewing all the points so far brought to our attention and welcome more thoughts on how we can improve this publication. Watch this space. Our online presence is also under review so improvement ideas for the Website are welcomed.

So what have I been involved with since writing in the January/February edition of Soundings? Having found my feet a little more, I have been involved in a number of meetings around the country and so meeting a number of members, and also influencers who are really interested in our life style and its future development. These include Government, Councillors, the Police and other interested organisations. As I have said in the past, the more people we can speak to, around your regions, the better. We need local introductions to the relevant people in your region to make our views heard. If possible, I am happy to attend local meetings that may produce a better understanding of the problems we as residential boaters face, and to provide both constructive criticism and expertise where applicable.

An area of extreme concern that is coming to light is the fact that as always mooring issues are becoming increasingly difficult, and getting a mutually satisfactory decision almost impossible. There is also great concern over the standard of work carried out by, and professionalism of supposedly reputable contractors, surveyors etc. that you, as members, have employed to do work on your craft. These two areas are very time consuming, but I hope that it will lead to some useful guidance notes produced to assist you in addressing matters of faulty work etc.

Security is a growing problem on our waterways and we need to be able to offer our members advice on what you can do to protect your homes, and also things to avoid. Again, this is work in progress, so any experiences you may have had in this area, and information from you would be greatly appreciated, so that a case can be put forward to the police and relevant authorities in the future.

I believe that security is going to be an increasing problem and we need to address it as soon as possible, especially as we are the gold fish in the bowl for the public to view. In CRT’s ideal of waterways for all, no real concern is being made towards our privacy and security whilst on the
waterways, although we get an increase in fees. This we need to address.

Your views on all these matters are important for the RBOA to move ahead; please contact us.

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).