Buying a Winter Mooring Permit


How does the winter moorings system work on the Canal & River Trust moorings website?

You buy your winter mooring permit using our mooring website. You check if you are eligible, then proceed to see whether there are spaces at the site you want and then pay for it, all in the one process.

There is no limit to the number of general towpath permits we are selling to eligible continuous cruisers. We cannot of course guarantee space at any particular area or location you choose to use with this permit.

The process for securing a winter mooring will require you to be registered with the mooring website and enter details including your boat index number, boat length, width and customer number. You then select the site and months you require the winter mooring permit for. To book for two or four months, buy a combination of permits. Once you have completed your booking, the ‘payment complete’ page will have your winter mooring permit ready for printing and displaying on your boat.  You will also receive email confirmation.

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How long are winter mooring vacancies being advertised for?

The winter mooring vacancies will be shown on our mooring website from 3 October 2013 until the end of the season, 31 March 2014.

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What details will I need to enter?

Firstly, you must be registered on our mooring website and signed in before you can buy a winter mooring permit. Registration is a quick process where you need to enter your name and contact details. When you buy your permit we use these contact details so you don’t need to enter them again.  You will need to enter your customer number, boat index number, boat length and boat width (in metres), so have these to hand, as well as your payment card.

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Can I book different winter moorings, for example a selected visitor mooring and then a general towpath mooring?

Yes, providing you are eligible, you can buy whatever combination of winter mooring permits that suit you and that are available. You must ensure that you are able to move your boat between the different locations.  You can only buy winter mooring permits for your own boat and your own use.

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I am not a Continuous Cruiser; can I book a winter mooring?

You are able to book one of our selected visitor mooring sites which we have designated as a winter mooring. Capacity is limited at these sites and we are giving booking priority to Continuous Cruisers but any boater may book remaining berths after 1 November.

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I have been a continuous cruiser since before 1June 2013 but you say I am not eligible to book – why?

Your details do not match our records of your boat’s mooring status. This is probably because you have not told us that you have left a previous home mooring or your record may be flagged as “mooring awaiting confirmation” which means that we have written to you and asked you to do this but you have not replied. You will need to send an email to which (a) confirms your mooring status and the date when it took effect and (b) that you understand and can comply with the mooring guidance for boats without a home mooring when you are not covered by a winter permit.

Customers who are flagged in our system as being in our enforcement process for insufficient movement as a continuous cruiser may only purchase a five or three month permit, but not a one month permit.

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Can I let someone else use the winter mooring or rent or transfer it to them, or give or sell them the permit?

No. Clause 3 of the Winter Mooring Agreement Terms & Conditions says that the mooring is personal to you and you may not assign it to anyone else. If you decide to sell your boat you must give us notice, surrender the mooring permit and remove your boat from the winter mooring site.

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I am renting the boat – can I apply for the winter mooring permit?

Please note that the boat owner must have a business licence to rent out the boat. This is partly for your own security as it ensures the boat meets certain safety requirements and that you receive essential warnings and information about living on a boat. It is the licence-holder who needs to apply for the winter mooring permit.

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Can I buy a winter mooring permit for someone else?

No, you may only buy a permit for yourself because your personal details and boat details will be on the booking confirmation, and it is you who has to accept the Terms and Conditions. The Canal & River Trust licence for the boat must also be in your name, therefore only you are allowed to occupy the mooring with your boat.

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What are the payment options?

There are two options, but they depend on the duration of the winter mooring permit you buy:

  1. Credit card (£7.50 charge) or debit card (no charge) for all permits (1, 3 and 5 months).  A 10% prompt payment discount will be applied if you book before the permit start date.
  2. Paperless direct debit is also available for 5 month permits only.  The first payment is 20% of the total amount and must be made by credit card (£7.50 charge) or debit card (no charge).  We will contact you by phone to set up the details for the remaining amount within 2 working days of the booking confirmation. Please see below for important information about this

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Direct Debit – further information

The first payment is 20% of the total amount and is made by card to confirm the booking.  We will contact you by phone to set up the (paperless) direct debit within two working days of your booking being confirmed on the website. If we are unable to reach you within 7 working days of the website confirmation date, we will cancel the permit and refund your initial payment minus a £30 administration charge.

The actual number of monthly direct debit instalments will depend on when the direct debit is set up. The winter mooring fee must be paid in full before the permit expiry date. We will collect the direct debit payment on the 1st day of the month.  If we are unable to collect a payment because of insufficient funds in your account, a further attempt will be made to collect it after 10 working days. If it is not possible to collect the money on this second attempt or if you cancel your direct debit mandate instruction, we will contact you and ask for payment by other means. If we do not receive the amount due we may terminate the Winter Mooring Permit and you must remove your boat from the mooring immediately. We may also take legal action to recover any money owing. Because of the cost of dealing with direct debit defaults, we reserve the right to charge a handling fee of £30 if we have to make several attempts to collect the sum due.

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Can I get a refund? I have changed my mind.  I want to cancel my winter mooring permit.  Can I leave a site early?

Five month permits are refundable only in exceptional circumstances and only for whole unused calendar months where we are notified in advance.  One and three month permits are not refundable.  In the first instance, please get in touch with our Boat Licensing Team.  A refund administration fee of £30 applies and, if it is a London or General Towpath Permit, the amount payable and therefore the resulting refund will be calculated at the higher rate; e.g. if you cancel your five month permit after two months, you will be charged at the three month permit rate (which is higher). You will be entitled to a refund if you bid for and win one of our auctioned long-term mooring vacancies, subject to a refund administration fee of £30.

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How will I know if I have successfully completed the process?

Once you have completed your booking, the 'payment complete' page will have your winter mooring permit that you will need to print and display on your boat. You will also receive email confirmation.

If you cannot print it straight away or need to reprint it at any time, you can do so by logging in to our mooring website and use the left-hand menu to navigate to 'My Profile' and then 'My Vacancies'.

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Why have some of the winter mooring sites disappeared from the list when I check it?

Because these sites are now fully booked and there is no more availability so we have removed them from the list.

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How will I know where my mooring is on the winter mooring site?

On selected visitor moorings designated as winter moorings: approximately 50% of the visitor mooring site is allocated to winter moorings so that those boaters who prefer to cruise throughout the winter are still able to use the mooring. For this reason the winter mooring section of the mooring site will be at the end of the mooring site furthest from the available facilities or main access point. If there are no signs indicating where the winter mooring space is on the site we would ask that you moor as far from the facilities as possible. It is advisable to have mooring pins with you in case you need them.

On London winter moorings: To ensure efficient use of the mooring length, we will allocate you the first available space that, where possible, matches your preference for an inner or outer berth. Once you have booked, our staff will contact you with information about your mooring. This will include a numbered tag to attach to the mooring ring, which will identify your allocated berth. If you book at short notice and wish to take up your mooring before receiving details of your allocated berth, you may moor up at a free berth at that location. You will then be asked to move to your allocated berth when the details have been confirmed.

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What happens at the end of my winter mooring permit?  Can I stay on at the berth I have booked up to the time limit for the mooring?

No, you must move on as soon as the permit has expired.

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I have lost my winter mooring permit I need to display

You can reprint your permit using our mooring website.  You need to log in, then go to ‘My Profile’ and select ‘My vacancies’ where you will be able to print your permit again.

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What happens if stoppages prevent me from reaching the winter mooring?

It is your responsibility to check the Canal & River Trust's national stoppage programme, to ensure that you can reach the site before buying your winter mooring permit. Refunds will not be given if you are unable to moor at your winter mooring because of delays or restrictions caused by stoppages.

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What happens if there is a fishing match where I am moored?

If your mooring is in a location used for match fishing by the local angling club, you must be prepared to move temporarily to facilitate match pegging at the request of the club.  Reasonable notice will be given by club officials; in most cases this will be 14 days.

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Can I buy a winter mooring permit if I am currently bidding on a CRT auctioned long-term mooring vacancy?

It is possible to buy a winter mooring permit whilst bidding on a long-term mooring auction.  However you must be aware that buying a winter mooring permit will not cancel any current bids you have running on an auctioned vacancy. Default charges apply if you win a mooring auction and fail to complete the application process for it. The auctioned vacancy default charge will be sent to you and we reserve the right to bar your account on our website whilst fees remain unpaid. If you decide to take up the long-term mooring that you win, you will be entitled to a refund on your winter mooring permit, subject to the £30 admin fee.

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I travel as a pair with boat and unpowered butty.  I understand that the second boat is eligible for a 50% discount on its winter mooring fee.  How do I get that?

If your current boat licence qualifies for the 50% unpowered butty discount, you may apply for a 50% rebate on the winter mooring fee for the second boat. You must moor your boats side by side, and only at a location where there is sufficient width with no risk of danger or inconvenience to passing boats.  If you want to moor both boats to the bank, the discount won’t apply.

You need to purchase a mooring permit for both boats at the full price, unless you apply by post. To apply for the discount, once you have received your permit, email your request along with the index numbers for both boats, your name and customer number to  with 'winter permit butty discount' in the subject line. We will arrange to either credit your licence account within 4 weeks or, if you are paying by Direct Debit, we will reduce your monthly payments to reflect the discount. Only one discount application will be processed per customer. This means that if you choose to purchase more than one permit for different periods (e.g. a one month followed by a three month) you should defer your application until you are sure you will need no further permits and ask us in the email to apply the discount to both permits.

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How will the Trust manage non-paying over-stayers at designated winter moorings?

We are increasing the frequency of recording of boats on the visitor moorings being offered for winter permits this year.   This is being done by a mixture of our own staff, local boatyards and in some cases, volunteers.  This is not an enforcement role, simply boat recording to enter into our database.  Enforcement officers will analyse their sites regularly, remind any overstaying boater to move on and explain that a £25 per day extended stay charge will apply if they do not comply.

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If you have any queries please email

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