Canal Boat - - This Month - NICK WALL Editor

It’s time to get ’em mov­ing!

Iwas a bit sur­prised – no, let me rephrase that, I was very sur­prised. Ac­cord­ing to CRT, some 2,300 boats ap­pear to be fail­ing to move as much as they should un­der the new ‘con­tin­u­ous cruis­ing guide­lines’ (15-20 miles, and not just over one week­end).

This means that half of the con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers po­ten­tially risk go­ing onto threeor six-month re­stricted li­cences, and if they then don’t put their boat in gear and go some­where, it could be re­moved.

So far, around 22 per­cent are al­ready on re­stricted li­cences and anec­do­tal ev­i­dence is that there is more move­ment gen­er­ally, and in the Lon­don area in par­tic­u­lar.

I’m a firm be­liever in a re­laxed life for all, and over-en­thu­si­as­tic ‘en­forcers’ tend to light my fuse (don’t even men­tion pri­vate car parks...) but, in this case, it looks as if some­thing is fi­nally hap­pen­ing to make the canals what they should be, a place for boats that move, whether for leisure or lifestyle.

To­tally un­re­lated (no, hon­estly, it’s co­in­ci­dence) did you see GrandDe­signs a few weeks back with the fan­tas­tic James Strangeways who, af­ter liv­ing on boats for more years that he can re­mem­ber, has to move on land (“bl**dy houses, I hate them”)? If you didn’t see it, do catch up with it on C4, it’s ter­rific for any­one who loves boating and its char­ac­ters.

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