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onionbargee
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Yes, if they complied with the 14 day rule, they'd arguably be ipso facto complying with the bona fide requirement (because they'd be using their boat to move from one place to another at least once a fortnight), so I can see that there's a lingering question there as to why the bona fide requirement is spelled out on top of the 14 day requirement. Hmm.

 

They'd only be complying if we took your interpretation of bona fide navigation. However, if we do then it's actually not just a question of why the bona fide navigating requirement, but also why the home mooring requirement.

 

If your assertion that as long as one "navigates", regardless of how far, for how long, and why, means that one is bona fide navigating, and thus complying with the law, then the law has no need of a either the bona fide, or the home mooring requirement, and only needs a rule that says no staying in one place for more than 14 days.

 

The fact that the law doesn't just have a 14 day rule, but adds a requirement for either a home mooring or bona fide navigation, implies that bona fide navigation is more than just nipping to the water point or not remaining in one spot for more than 14 days. The implication is that one should have a home mooring, unless you can convince the board that you are bona fide navigating, and therefore would be unable to make use of a home mooring.

 

Therefore, there are no lingering questions surrounding the bona fide requirement if you take it to mean navigating for the genuine purpose of travelling, and not just as a means of complying with the 14 day rule in order to remain in one location.

 

I suppose my point being that if there does appear to be any uncertainty and ambiguity about the meaning and intention of bona fide navigation, it's only when it's viewed in isolation and out of context. However, when looked at in addition to, and within the context of the other requirements, its intention at least appears to have a more clearly defined purpose.

 

Edited by abraxus
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As I understand it, the 14 days is the maximum period a boat may moor whilst navigating throughout the term of the licence.

 

It's not a period to be used for separating a series of individual navigations. This suggests to me the law expects a bigger plan. In fact a planned 365 day long cruise with stops of up to 14 days, rather than nipping to the water point or shops once a fortnight.

 

I don't suppose that adds much to the debate but it's a point I don't see being taken into account so far.

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As I understand it, the 14 days is the maximum period a boat may moor whilst navigating throughout the term of the licence.

 

It's not a period to be used for separating a series of individual navigations. This suggests to me the law expects a bigger plan. In fact a planned 365 day long cruise with stops of up to 14 days, rather than nipping to the water point or shops once a fortnight.

 

I don't suppose that adds much to the debate but it's a point I don't see being taken into account so far.

14 days (or longer) in a 'place' is just the test for 'bona fide navigation' according to what a House of Commons select committee were told in 1993.

 

Mr George Mudie MP: I would have said from the user’s point of view 28 days would have given more flexibility for the user … What is of interest is, you tell us from an operational point of view why 28 days would be disastrous compared to 14?

 

Mr Dodd: I would be happy to have no period mentioned at all and rely upon the expression “bona fide used for navigation”. This is an attempt to clarify in the interests of boaters just what we reasonably mean by “bona fide used for navigation”, what are the parameters, that it appears to be either necessary or helpful to put some indication of what genuinely “on the move” means.

 

I think that to extend leaving a boat in one place as long as a month as, as it were, a test or an explanation as to what is acceptable for bona fide navigation, it would seem to me that as long a period as a month in any one place is not really a true reflection of “bona fide used for navigation”.

 

Mr George Mudie MP: If I were being fair to you I would leave it there because I have not got from you any severe operational reasons that suggest 14 is absolutely necessary as opposed to 28…

 

Mr Dodd: With respect to the period, we were trying to respond to the test for “bona fide navigation” to give some measure of protection to a boater in those circumstances, so that he or she would be clear in their mind as to the point at which he would begin not to be regarded by British Waterways as using the boat "bona fide for navigation.”

 

 

 

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How about the definition of navigation?

 

"the process or activity of accurately ascertaining one's position and planning and following a route" is one I found

 

So if someone honestly (bona fide) plans to visit a water point and follows that route they are complient?

Edited by bassplayer
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As I understand it, the 14 days is the maximum period a boat may moor whilst navigating throughout the term of the licence.

 

It's not a period to be used for separating a series of individual navigations. This suggests to me the law expects a bigger plan. In fact a planned 365 day long cruise with stops of up to 14 days, rather than nipping to the water point or shops once a fortnight.

 

I don't suppose that adds much to the debate but it's a point I don't see being taken into account so far.

 

*ahem*

It looks highly relevant to me that the judge refers to another case (Moore vs. BWB) in which "it was held that a public right of navigation does not include an ancillary right to moor other than temporarily in the course of navigation". That would seem to imply that the right to moor on the towpath applies only to boats that are in the course of a cruise or journey. It seems to me that a boat cruising and mooring within a local area in a "bridge-hopping" pattern could reasonably claim to be making many short but genuine cruises/journeys all the time, but could not reasonably claim when moored overnight to be doing so in the course of a cruise. (Rather, they would be doing so in between cruises, raising the question of whether they have any right to do so.)

 

 

 

They'd only be complying if we took your interpretation of bona fide navigation.

 

 

To be clear, it's not "my" definition - I'm on the fence in that I can see there are arguments to be made on both sides. I'm just defending the view that there's nothing flatly unreasonable or unintuitive about taking "bona fide for navigation" to mean nothing more nor less than "genuinely to move by water from one place to another".

 

 

If your assertion that as long as one "navigates", regardless of how far, for how long, and why, means that one is bona fide navigating, and thus complying with the law, then the law has no need of a either the bona fide, or the home mooring requirement, and only needs a rule that says no staying in one place for more than 14 days.

 

 

Point taken on the bona fide requirement, but if you got rid of that, surely the home mooring requirement would still make sense? The rule would be: if you aren't able or willing to comply with the requirement not to moor consecutively for more than 14 days in one place on the public towpath, throughout the term of your licence, you must get a home mooring.

 

 

The implication is that one should have a home mooring, unless you can convince the board that you are bona fide navigating, and therefore would be unable to make use of a home mooring.

 

But that seems to assume that everyone is required to have a home mooring unless there's some good reason why they wouldn't be able to use it, which seems a bit back to front. Isn't it rather the case that no one is required to have a home mooring unless they're unable or unwilling to comply with the bona fide and 14 day requirements?

 

 

I suppose my point being that if there does appear to be any uncertainty and ambiguity about the meaning and intention of bona fide navigation, it's only when it's viewed in isolation and out of context. However, when looked at in addition to, and within the context of the other requirements, its intention at least appears to have a more clearly defined purpose.

 

I don't really see how this business about the home mooring requirement is supposed to work, but again, I can see that there's some sort of case to answer as to why, if compliance with the 14 day rule is all that's required, the bona fide requirement is spelled out in addition.

 

The obvious explanation would be, I suppose, that the 14 day rule is there just to spell out what the most minimal form of bona fide navigation would look like: at least one genuine use of the boat to move to a new place every 14 days. And that does look like a reasonable interpretation of the wording:

 

"used bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid without remaining continuously in any one place for more than 14 days"

 

Arguably at least, if there were supposed to be two separate and distinct requirements here, we might expect to see two separate clauses in the legislation spelling them out, or at least a form of words more like "used bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid and also without remaining continuously in any one place for more than 14 days". As things stand, though - arguably - what we have is one requirement: a requirement for boaters to use their boats bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid, by ensuring that they use it to move to a new place at least once every 14 days.

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A boat could be used on a daily basis to travel to a shop ( for instance ) and return to the same place and be within the word of Law. It won't have been ''continuously'' in one place at all and it's daily journey would have purpose.

 

Keith.

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A boat could be used on a daily basis to travel to a shop ( for instance ) and return to the same place and be within the word of Law. It won't have been ''continuously'' in one place at all and it's daily journey would have purpose.

 

Keith.

 

 

Indeed. The chap who lives in Somerton Deep Lock cottage uses a little Springer to regularly nip up and down the half mile stretch of cut between his cottage and the road where he parks his car.

 

To me as a casual observer, this looks like using his boat bona fide for navigation too. But not necessarily "bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid". There are gaps when he isn't engaged in a navigation. I.e. he has gone to work, or into his cottage to eat, sleep or otherwise get on with life.

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14 days (or longer) in a 'place' is just the test for 'bona fide navigation' according to what a House of Commons select committee were told in 1993.

 

 

Thanks for that, and for supplying the relevant transcript. I do wonder whether that's decisive, though, given that Dodd says he's talking about defining what it means for a boat to be "on the move" - which does suggest a context of an ongoing or progressive journey in the course of which a boat temporarily moors in a particular place. (On the other hand, I think it's now been established that the old CRT "requirement" for boats to be on "progressive journeys" was without a legal basis, which is why the phrase has disappeared from their most recent guidance.)

 

 

How about the definition of navigation?

 

"the process or activity of accurately ascertaining one's position and planning and following a route" is one I found

 

So if someone honestly (bona fide) plans to visit a water point and follows that route they are complient?

 

OK, I'll bite. If you planned and followed (you missed that bit!) a route to a water point in a different "place" from your starting point, that looks like a genuine use of your boat for navigation to me. So do similar trips to the Elsan point, a picnic spot, a boatyard, a nearby town, etc. OK, they're not long trips, but they're just as "genuine" as a trip to the supermarket in your car. So in one intuitive sense, someone making regular trips of that sort all year round would indeed be using his boat bona fide for navigation throughout the period of his licence. However, the law spells out that boaters must not stay (presumably meaning "moor overnight") in the same place for more than 14 consecutive days; so no, someone making only trips of that sort (and returning to the same place) would not be "compliant".

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Thanks for that, and for supplying the relevant transcript. I do wonder whether that's decisive, though, given that Dodd says he's talking about defining what it means for a boat to be "on the move" - which does suggest a context of an ongoing or progressive journey in the course of which a boat temporarily moors in a particular place. (On the other hand, I think it's now been established that the old CRT "requirement" for boats to be on "progressive journeys" was without a legal basis, which is why the phrase has disappeared from their most recent guidance.)

 

It was the judges findings in the Davis case that caused BW to change its guidance.

 

In a more recent case a judge has suggested that he would consider a 'place' to be a parish and was happy that a boat could move between two adjacent parishes for the duration of its licence.

 

I was told that CaRT saw nothing in that judgement that would cause it to change its guidance.

 

*** Edited for spelling

Edited by Allan(nb Albert)
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Not much stress appears to have been put on the word throughout. Perhaps it is important.

 

The first definition I found was:

 

from beginning to end of (an event or period of time).

 

Surely if a person is keeping their boat moored for longer than they use it for moving they can hardly be navigating throughout the period of the license.

 

Just another thought/interpretation.

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I suppose this is why the original reasons for the law change in 1995 are important in the moral argument.

 

If I'm not mistaken didn't a load of boaters get together and argue that if they are travelling around the country they would have no need of a home mooring. Or were there other reasons for the change? Anyone know?

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Indeed. The chap who lives in Somerton Deep Lock cottage uses a little Springer to regularly nip up and down the half mile stretch of cut between his cottage and the road where he parks his car.

 

To me as a casual observer, this looks like using his boat bona fide for navigation too. But not necessarily "bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid". There are gaps when he isn't engaged in a navigation. I.e. he has gone to work, or into his cottage to eat, sleep or otherwise get on with life.

Not much stress appears to have been put on the word throughout. Perhaps it is important.

 

The first definition I found was:

 

from beginning to end of (an event or period of time).

 

Surely if a person is keeping their boat moored for longer than they use it for moving they can hardly be navigating throughout the period of the license.

 

Just another thought/interpretation.

 

Suppose someone tells you he uses his barbecue for cooking throughout the year, or uses his tent for camping throughout the year. Does it follow that he's got some sausages on the go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or sleeps in his tent more often than he sleeps in his house? No - all he means is that there are no significant periods of the year during which he doesn't use his barbecue for cooking or his tent for camping at all. If, for some unfathomable reason, you had to come up with a legal definition of what it means to use your barbecue for cooking "throughout the year", or to use your tent for camping "throughout they year", you'd probably do so by coming up with some sort of minimum frequency for doing those things - at least twice in any three-month period, say, or (to pluck an example from the air) at least once every 14 days.

It was the judges findings in the Davis case that caused BW to change its guidance.

 

In a more recent case a judge has suggested that he would consider a 'place' to be a parish and was happy that a boat could move between two adjacent parishes for the duration of its licence.

 

I was told that CaRT saw nothing in that judgement that would cause it to change its guaidance.

 

Thanks again. What was the more recent case, out of interest?

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Thanks for that, and for supplying the relevant transcript. I do wonder whether that's decisive, though, given that Dodd says he's talking about defining what it means for a boat to be "on the move" - which does suggest a context of an ongoing or progressive journey in the course of which a boat temporarily moors in a particular place. (On the other hand, I think it's now been established that the old CRT "requirement" for boats to be on "progressive journeys" was without a legal basis, which is why the phrase has disappeared from their most recent guidance.)

 

 

 

OK, I'll bite. If you planned and followed (you missed that bit!) a route to a water point in a different "place" from your starting point, that looks like a genuine use of your boat for navigation to me. So do similar trips to the Elsan point, a picnic spot, a boatyard, a nearby town, etc. OK, they're not long trips, but they're just as "genuine" as a trip to the supermarket in your car. So in one intuitive sense, someone making regular trips of that sort all year round would indeed be using his boat bona fide for navigation throughout the period of his licence. However, the law spells out that boaters must not stay (presumably meaning "moor overnight") in the same place for more than 14 consecutive days; so no, someone making only trips of that sort (and returning to the same place) would not be "compliant".

There you go, making presumptions.

Nights aren't mentioned, so as long as the boat isn't there during the day it would be OK.

 

Keith

Edited by Steilsteven
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Suppose someone tells you he uses his barbecue for cooking throughout the year, or uses his tent for camping throughout the year.

 

Neither of those activities is quite in the same time scale as navigating. Navigating in the mind of everyone I have discussed this with (disregarding the definition which applies to planning the route) sees it as a journey.

 

I would suggest a journey which takes less than half the time of the license isn't throughout the period of the licence. At least that is how I see it. You obviously don't see the journey part as the main part of navigation.

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A I understand it, BWA 1995 states: "the applicant for the relevant consent satisfies the Board that the vessel to which the application relates will be used bona fide for navigation". Which seems to more than just suggest a requirement to navigate.

 

Indeed but you said "Navigate the system" which is not implied or hinted at.

 

When I was a ccer I used to bimble about the midlands in no particular direction with no particular destination in mind.

 

This, in my opinion, does not bear comparison with my boating habits as a yachty when I used to plot a course, check tides and weather forcasts, have a definite destination in mind and pass on these plans to the harbour master's office,

 

Then again when I had my lifeboat I would plot a course to my favourite fishing mark a couple of miles off shore and back or nip off to a boatyard for fuel or water.

 

I imagine Ellen MacArthur has a different opinion about "Bona fide for navigation" to a cross channel ferry captain.

 

Having a coastal skipper's certificate means that my views about "navigation" will differ somewhat to the narrow boater who has never been to sea or the CRT official who has never even been on a boat.

 

I used to have a permanent mooring that was about a mile from a perennial "bridgehopper's" stopover one way and one of the system's best known marinas about a mile the other.

 

If there was ever a boating problem where I needed enthusiasts to come and get wet and dirty to help out a fellow boat lover then there was only one direction I'd walk.

 

I don't know the K&A or the Thames but, in 35 years of boating I have yet to meet a liveaboard who is perceived by some to be a piss taker who didn't love their lifestyle, boat and boating, however little boating they were able to do.

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There you go, making presumptions.

Nights aren't mentioned, so as long as the boat isn't there during the day it would be OK.

 

Keith

 

To be fair, I did flag up the fact that I was making a presumption "(must not stay (presumably meaning "moor overnight")"!

 

Of course there's a good sense in which your boat has not "stayed" at a particular mooring spot for 28 days (say) if it has done at least one short out-and-back journey during that time (so point taken), but I think there's another good (and arguably more natural) sense in which it might be said to have "stayed" at that mooring for 28 days if it's simply used that mooring as a "home base" throughout that time (by returning to it every night).

 

If I say "I had a week off work, but I just stayed at home that whole time", I might mean that I literally never left the house, but more likely I would mean I'd done the odd trip to the shops etc. but not "gone away" anywhere overnight (on holiday, to stay with relatives, etc.).

 

To put it another way: you might truthfully say of a boat that it's "staying on the mooring rings opposite the church", meaning it's using that spot as a "home base", even if right at that moment it's on his way to the water point.

 

 

Neither of those activities is quite in the same time scale as navigating. Navigating in the mind of everyone I have discussed this with (disregarding the definition which applies to planning the route) sees it as a journey.

 

I would suggest a journey which takes less than half the time of the license isn't throughout the period of the licence. At least that is how I see it. You obviously don't see the journey part as the main part of navigation.

 

No, I agree that navigating is all about making journeys, just like driving or cycling. I just don't see that there's something special about navigating that means it's all about long, progressive journeys.

 

Sticking to an activity that's closer to navigating, then: suppose someone tells you he uses his car to get around throughout the year. What he means is not that he spends all or most of his time, 365 days a year, driving around, but just that no significant part of the year goes by without him using his car to make at least one short trip.

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Indeed but you said "Navigate the system" which is not implied or hinted at.

 

When I was a ccer I used to bimble about the midlands in no particular direction with no particular destination in mind.

 

This, in my opinion, does not bear comparison with my boating habits as a yachty when I used to plot a course, check tides and weather forcasts, have a definite destination in mind and pass on these plans to the harbour master's office,

 

Then again when I had my lifeboat I would plot a course to my favourite fishing mark a couple of miles off shore and back or nip off to a boatyard for fuel or water.

 

I imagine Ellen MacArthur has a different opinion about "Bona fide for navigation" to a cross channel ferry captain.

 

Having a coastal skipper's certificate means that my views about "navigation" will differ somewhat to the narrow boater who has never been to sea or the CRT official who has never even been on a boat.

 

I used to have a permanent mooring that was about a mile from a perennial "bridgehopper's" stopover one way and one of the system's best known marinas about a mile the other.

 

If there was ever a boating problem where I needed enthusiasts to come and get wet and dirty to help out a fellow boat lover then there was only one direction I'd walk.

 

I don't know the K&A or the Thames but, in 35 years of boating I have yet to meet a liveaboard who is perceived by some to be a piss taker who didn't love their lifestyle, boat and boating, however little boating they were able to do.

Good post, every boater has a different way of using the waterways or navigating as it where.

It seem CRT are trying to micro manage the system from an office, often with very little knowledge of real world situations.

Regards kris

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No, I agree that navigating is all about making journeys, just like driving or cycling. I just don't see that there's something special about navigating that means it's all about long, progressive journeys.

I haven't mentioned long or progressive but if to give an exaggerated example a boat spends 339 days moored in 26 different spots over 20 miles of canal I (note just my personal view but it happens to agree with those I have discussed it with other than forum) would not describe this as being used for navigation throughout the period of the license.

 

I would take that opinion because to me the primary use throughout the period was as somewhere to live within striking distance of some land bound destination e.g. work, school etc. I suppose to add some detail to my thoughts about throughout "bona fide" has been lurking at the back of my mind colouring things. I don't see being static in a limited number of places for the majority of the time as being bona fide (True,legitimate, genuine, without intention to deceive) navigation.

 

Thinking more about it surely the primary use coupled with the bona fide intention governs things. If you intend to use the boat to live on keeping within a limited range can you bona fide be using it for navigation throughout the period of the license?

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I can see pro's and con's for gps trackers (I'm not going to go into the rights or wrongs)

 

but on a technical side there would be a few unanswered questions.

how would a rarely used boat keep one powered?

since they would have to be reporting in via mobile networks how would they handle areas with no coverage

where would you install one on a boat? (outside could be tampered with / inside would struggle for signals)

how would you handle the tin foil hat brigade?

 

if some sort of electronic tracking becomes necessary I would suggest using and RFID based system using long range tags (can be read from around 6-8 feet away)

these could be read by a CRT employee (while taking part in the tour de towpath if needed) or by automatic readers placed at strategic bridges / locks etc.

 

obviously any system would be open to abuse since gps sensors or rfid tags could be removed and moved elsewhere on the network leaving the boat behind

1. Solar panel on the roof - it would only have to be small, A smartphone runs on milliamps and would be overpowered for this application.

2. They log the location on a periodic basis and upload the file at the next opportunity. If you go off-air for 3 weeks your file could be forwarded for review and the last know location taken into account. If you go off air in Central London for 3 weeks, you're probably stuck in a tunnel :) If it's the rural reaches of the South Oxford - well, who really cares? But you might get a visit....

3. A combined solar panel/antenna (something the size of an open paperback) on the roof, near a mushroom vent. Even smaller box (smartphone sized) on the end of a cable which would join the two. In the absence of a mushroom vent, a 4mm drill bit and cable glands may be required. In time, boatbuilders will come up with a more elegant solution.

4. Beat them with lengths of rubber hose, of course!

5. Not really - it would be easy to interrogate the data for any tags moving in close proximity, exceeding 4mph, or leaving the canal network. This would make it quite hard to move a tag around the system unless you're prepared to carry it while walking or cycling slowly. If two boats are moving breasted up, they'll be flagged but at least CART will have a location to program into their Predator drones for the pre-strike recce ;)

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I can see pro's and con's for gps trackers (I'm not going to go into the rights or wrongs)

 

but on a technical side there would be a few unanswered questions.

how would a rarely used boat keep one powered?

since they would have to be reporting in via mobile networks how would they handle areas with no coverage

where would you install one on a boat? (outside could be tampered with / inside would struggle for signals)

how would you handle the tin foil hat brigade?

If they can make solar powered GPS trackers small enough to fit to migrating small birds surely it is possible to make one which could be sealed on to the roof and not getting in the way.

 

It could report back say every two days no data means follow up to see if it has failed.

 

Again no comment on the morality/desirability just suggesting it is technically possible.

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