Inconsiderate mooring can be very annoying whereas considerate mooring can bring together people at the end of the day.
River mooring is normally more structured but many of the following canal considerations still apply.

Always moor away from bridges, water points, winding holes, bends, lock approaches, opposite marina entrances and anywhere else where there are signs forbidding mooring.Mooring Close to Another Boat

Mooring facilities for the disabled are still sparse. Please stay off these moorings if you are not entitled. Sometimes, the only sign that it is a disabled mooring is a small badge in the middle of the bollard.

When staying at popular mooring points, try to make the best use of the space available by keeping close to other boats and even crossing over mooring ropes to reduce the required space. The other boater won't bite! (Hopefully). If you are feeling particularly friendly, and the channel is wide enough, then allow others to breast up, (this is almost essential practice on some rivers).

If you want more solitude then moor further into the countryside.

Mooring PinIf you are using mooring spikes then make sure they are well marked. This is a good way to give an old torn up reflective vest a new lease of life or buy some of the ready made ones available at some chandlers.

Think of others, including people living close to the towing path, when running engines, playing music and even running a noisy heating system! It might be folklore but many talk about an old BW Byelaw which says that engines and generators must not be run between 8.00pm and 8.00am. Even if it isn't strictly true, it seems like sound practise.


If you come across another boat moored alone in the countryside, it might be that they want peace and quiet so stay away from them. It might also be that they have a baby on board and want to give others peace and quiet.

Many of us on holiday like to lie in a little later than usual but don't get annoyed if someone's cabin heater or engine starts up at one minute past eight in the morning. It is legal to run it at this time and it might be that it is their only form of heating and it has been a cold night or they need hot water.

If you are on the towing path and see another boat coming in to moor then offer to catch their mooring line. The offer, even if not accepted, will be much appreciated, (especially on a windy day), and will instantly give you a friendly, considerate neighbour.

At the end of the day when you are snug and warm in your own boat be on the alert for late arrivals who are struggling to find a mooring. If it is starting to get dark then the fear of never finding a mooring might be starting to set in. They might be inexperienced and by going on further they might get into difficulty. Perhaps offer to let them breast up or move your boat around to fit them in.


Don't ever run your mooring line across the towing path and tie off to trees and fences. In fact, keep the towing path completely clear of your belongings including the barbecue. You never know where and when that cyclist will appear. You could land yourself in Court.

Avoid taking up more than one mooring space.

Don't assume that the person already moored left inconsiderate gaps. It could be that when they moored there were other boats around them and they have now moved on. If you are in luck, it will be a Considerate Boater who will see you coming and offer to move his/her boat.

NEVER consider moving someone else's boat to make room for your own. See the "LIABILITY" section.

When you leave the mooring, don't move off just as another boat is approaching, especially when locks are imminent!