Respect on the River

During our many years getting to know boat dwellers from all over the country (and the world) when they tie up in our Marina at Saltford one thing that stands out is what a great bunch of people they are!

Those who live or holiday on the water and ply through our rivers and canals generally enjoy sharing their experience with others and have a healthy respect for the waterways, those who use them in various capacities, and the environment.

While most residential boat owners are responsible folk, there are occasions when one comes across those who, to put it plainly, think they know it all, and that rules, regulations and common courtesy don’t apply to them.

There is also often friction between boaters and other users of the waterways, including those like walkers and cyclists on the tow paths, that spoil the enjoyment for all.

This is an issue that is of great concern to the Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA) which has responded by drawing up a voluntary Code of Good Practice for all interested waterway users to adhere to – and they’re asking everyone to spread the word and take it to heart.

The Code has the backing of the Avon Navigation Trust, Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, Association of Lea Cruising Clubs, Inland Waterways Association, Waterways Chaplaincy and Waterways World. This just goes to show that this is a serious issue. As the RBOA says, we should consider others and take responsibility for our actions, both on the water and the land.

Common Sense & Consideration

With this big build-up you may think the RBOA Code of Good Practice is a harsh and unforgiving set of dictates that you flout at your peril! Not at all – this list of 10 points is just putting into writing some common sense and consideration for others.

The Code asks all boaters who live afloat to follow these guidelines:

  • Respect the rules of the relevant navigation authority.
  • Keep boats in a condition which complements the local environment.
  • Moor considerately and in line with any local signage.
  • Respect land-based users by not causing an obstruction or detracting from their enjoyment of the waterways.
  • Keep boats in a safe condition so they do not present a hazard to users of our waterways.
  • Respect neighbours, whether on land or water.
  • While boating, be considerate to other boats, whether on the move or moored.
  • Respect the built and natural environments and the heritage of the waterways.
  • Be willing to share knowledge/skills with others.
  • Work with the RBOA to support responsible use of the waterways.


We at Saltford Marina here on the beautiful Bristol Avon believe this code is a great initiative, and we support it fully.

If you’d like to register your support for the RBOA Code of Practice you can do so online here.

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