Monday, 2 May 2016

I genuinely do not know what to think .....

I have just watched this film for action Youtube video. It is about the families and others who are being taken off the system for not cruising enough and not having a home mooring.

Click here for the video ....

Their lifestyle is so far removed from the conformity of my approach to life I do not even know if I should be using my life as a guide to having an opinion on the issue of live aboards who do not engage in a 'bona fide' journey around the system.

I was going to type I have the luxury of a home mooring, but then it occurred to me I also have a job that pays for that luxury. My job also pays for the luxury of a mortgage and a home and an asset. But that makes me more confused.

I did feel for the little boy called Cub who was selling his toys and having to live in a van....(which I doubt)  but then I have brought up my sons and in doing so had an absolute responsibility to do the best for and by them.

I guess that is the real difference - I conform(d) to the normal approach to living.
  • Should I be critical of those that do not ?
  • Am I envious of the those that do not ?
  • Is there anything I can learn from my reaction to the issues in the video?
  • How do I feel about the C&RT response and or actions to reduce/remove those moorers who use the canal just as a home.
On reflection there are people who pay for a linear mooring or marina mooring and live aboard unmolested by C&RT. The difference is the group being pursued do not pay for a mooring but as evidenced in the video do pay for a license. 

So I guess the question is are C&RT social landlords with all that comes to support the less advantaged - well the (my) answer is no they are not. So I am rounding on the idea those who cannot pay and abide by the rules to keep moving should not be on the canals. How harsh is that? In making that call I concern myself with the issue of where does the discretion start and stop? If discretion is used then do C&RT not become that social landlord?

I feel for C&RT,  as a parallel they are like the hospitals being forced to hold onto social care cases because the social system is so dysfunctional. But the comparison is not quite the same as these people have choices I guess and the health care people have not the same choices.

So on the balance of review I feel for the people who want to live an a boat but not cruise a bona fide route and will not/cannot pay for a home mooring. But I support C&RT in their endeavor to enforce the  principals of living (and working) on the canals. I support them as this is the principal for how the canals are used and C&RT are doing the right job, however hard that is.


  1. I came to exactly the same conclusion Nev.

  2. There are many Continuous Cruisers that blog about their lives, not one of whom seems to have had any trouble with C&RT 'rules' to the best of my knowledge.
    Looks to me like those that play by the 'rules' can use the system as intended, however those that think 'bridge hopping' is OK are now finding out that it is not so...

    1. Hi Kevin, I agree that of the blogs I read they either have a home mooring or are on a very big journey around the system. I guess only after C&RT try and interpret their definition (which the 20 mile journey seems to have added confusion rather than clarity) will we get some progress and clarity ? When will you be joining us in the boat ownership club - I gather Sue is selling rather a nice one ??

    2. Yes Nev, Sue has indeed put No Problem on the 'for sale' list...

      I'd put an offer in if only my other half would share my desire to become a live-aboard... :(

    3. That's a shame - I guess it is not for everyone. Having done a full winter aboard I can understand why it does not appeal to all. Maybe a share boat or a canal holiday is the gentle introduction.

  3. The rules are the rules and must be enforced for the benefit of all.

  4. C&RT are just proving once again they are self serving bunch of paper pushers. I think it is disgusting the way they are treating people.
    Can you answer this question: are the canals only for those who have private incomes or healthy pensions ?

    1. Hi, as you asked me a direct question here is my answer.... the issue is not about private incomes (I have a wage) or health pensions (I will have one of those I have paid into for the last 37 years) it is more about are the canals only for those who can afford to pay for the licences and moorings to use them. The answer has to be yes in the same way roads are for vehicles that have tax and insurance, and private houses for people who can afford a deposit and mortgages or rented for those that can afford rent. Kevin Too is correct when he says those that do not have permanent moorings should continuously cruise and many bloggers I read do do that and do not get any attention from C&RT. Of course C&RT push pens if that is the description of administration as they have to administrate the canals - to the focus of maintenance or to the focus of licensing and moorings etc. As I think I alluded to in my post I have lived my life to conform to the stereotype of the wage earner and the follower of rules and regulations. I do not for one moment look down on anyone who wishes to live their life different to mine but I do look at it from the rules based perspective I operate in and if they challenge those rules I expect the regulatory body to enforce the rules.

  5. Nev, this is the dilemma common to all these types of debates – immigrants, travelling people et al. Have you read Gearge Smith on the 19 century canal population?
    Many of us understand their positions and emphasise to a considerable extent – but then we don’t really like them not playing by our rules. We live in a society governed by rules and those who openly transgress trouble us – it’s untidy and inconvenient.
    It’s very difficult to have different rules for different groups, that just leads to different frictions. The answer is to just muddle through and turn a blind eye in the time honoured fashion. However, this only works to a point. There are two problems which set the limits. When the problem becomes too obvious and too visible we start to agitate for action – sometimes with justification. Unfortunately, as a society we have become far less tolerant, often due to the media sensing a good story.
    I applaud people who have the imagination and wit to find a satisfying alternative lifestyle – but not on my canal! Or perhaps I just envy them their carefree lifestyle that I don’t have the energy or courage to embrace?
    It’s a dilemma.

    1. Graham, thanks for the reply... I read it as you broadly agreeing with my confusion if that makes sense.... but what is your view ??

  6. Hi Nev, as others have said I also sympathise very much with your confusion in this and similar maters. I do sometimes wish I could have the 'confidence' to do my own thing but always come back to the thought that if everybody had an 'different' lifestyle there would be utter chaos in all things. Time may resolve itself into a different conformity but then somebody would start to break the rules again. The system on the canals can cope with a few who have an alternative lifestyle, especially if they are spread right round the system such as the men of a certain age who live on boats that should be condemned (how do they pass the BSS?) but when they congregate in one place, and the numbers increase to such a degree that they demand a response, that is what they get. I agree with you that I sometimes wish I could throw of the shackles and do the same, but as I couldn't cope with the inherent uncertainty of the lifestyle and I also think that C&RT have an unenviable task of administering the rules that everybody who buys a licence implicitly signs up to. Thanks for writing about it as it is not easy. Tony

  7. Nev - you are spot on. I have sympathy with those who have chosen a life afloat but we all have to abide by the ruled of the owners of the track - or it will be chaos and gridlock. Already one in six boats nationally are loitering in the capital so CRT have to grasp the nettle and apply enforcement. I can say (as a Council member) that they agonise over their approach to this big issue.

  8. Hi Andy, that is an interesting statistic. It is helpful to know CART did not take the decision lightly to enforce. I would suggest that it would have been clearer to all other boaters if CART had made it obviuous earlier they were going to take this action and would have got the boaters mandate for the action. I am still a little confused if the 20 mile definition was the catalyst for the action. I hope you are finding the council membership engaging.