Frequently Asked Questions

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Boat Maintenance
Boat Ownership
Purchasing / Selling a Boat
River Navigation
Boat Registration
Moorings for your Boat
  • What is the typical cost of owning a boat?
    Listed below is a rough guide to the cost of boat ownership, for various sizes and engines, for a year. Please appreciate this is a very difficult question to answer and the figures given provide a rough guide taking...
  • What is a survey and how much do they cost?
    Inspections on craft are undertaken by independent surveyors who are usually members of professional bodies such as the International Institute of Marine Surveyors (IIMS) or of the Yacht Brokers Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA). They carry a professional indemnity...
  • What are typical transport costs?
    Moving boats between different waterways is entirely possible. Craft up to approximately 27ft (max total weight including trailer 3½ tons) can generally be moved by vehicle, trailer and slipping. As a rough guide the cost of moving a 25ft...
  • Do you part exchange?
    Unfortunately not, all our craft are being sold on behalf of owners and we do not buy in craft. Please always ask us and we will do our best to work out the best way to help you. Quite...
  • Do boats hold their value?
    River cruisers are seen as a long term commodity; many craft built 40 years ago are still going strong and offering good service. For this reason they do tend to hold their value well. Clearly if a new boat...
  • How can I finance buying a boat?
    There are many high street finance providers in addition to the major banks. For purchases of crafts up to £20,000 unsecured personal loans are possible. On higher value loans specialist marine companies such as Lombard Marine, http://www.lombard.co.uk/asset-finance/marine/, are worth...
  • How do I reserve a boat?
    We can only reserve a craft once a deposit is paid. The deposit is usually subject to both a satisfactory river trial and any inspection such as a survey or personal inspection. Once a price is agreed and a...
  • Do I get my deposit back?
    The sale of any boat is subject to trials and inspection. The deposit you pay will sit in a client’s account until final payment is made. If the purchase is rejected because of trials or inspection your deposit will...
  • Is there a warranty on the boats you sell?
    Unfortunately not, all the craft we sell are on a brokerage basis, i.e. on behalf of private owners and sold as seen. We strongly suggest that you have a demonstration and, where applicable, a survey on a boat before...
  • Is there proof that VAT has been paid?
    HMRC have declared that craft built before 1st January 1985 and in E.U. waters on 31st December 1992 are treated as VAT exempt. For boats built since 1985 the customs authorities may require proof that VAT has been paid...
  • What is a C.E. mark / HIN number?
    All craft built after 16th June 1998 or those imported from outside the EEC after that date have to carry a C.E. mark. This is usually presented on the boat in the form of a small plate which will...
  • What is a Bill of Sale?
    A Bill of Sale is a legal document signed by the lawful owner to transfer the title of their craft to a new owner. The document also confirms that the vendor declares there is no outstanding debt on the...
  • Do I need a licence for my boat?
    The control of the River Great Ouse and Nene is under the Environment Agency and they have a tariff of charges for using a boat on the river, see their website for a list of these tariffs https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency. The...
  • Do I need a licence to drive a boat?
    No, as long as the boat is registered, insured and has a Boat Safety Certificate it can be used on the river. The boat’s insurance cover insurance cover usually allows for third parties to use the boat as long...
  • What is a Boat Safety Certificate (BSC)?
    The Boat Safety Certificate scheme began in 1998 and was devised as a minimum safety standard to which inland craft should adhere to. The directive mainly covers the integrity of fuel and gas systems, electrics, ventilation and fire fighting...
  • How does boat insurance work?
    The Environment Agency require a minimum third party insurance cover to register craft for inland use. The best way to insure your craft is with a marine specialist company. It is usual that craft above around 20 years old...
  • Is my boat sea going?
    The best answer to this question is to ask how capable the skipper is. Some people cross the Atlantic in a bath tub whilst others struggle in a cross channel ferry! Up until 1998 there was no prescribed definition...
  • What is a small ships register?
    This service is available for owners of craft under 24 meters who intend to cruise in European waters. It’s essentially a document to prove nationality of the vessel, like a passport, nut not ownership. This service is not available...
  • What is a British Registered Vessel?
    We rarely see Part 1 registered craft, these are controlled by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/maritime-and-coastguard-agency. Here are some guidelines as to whether it is worth registering. If the vessel is over 24 meters in length, it is...
  • What is your mooring availability?
    We can generally offer moorings for boats that we sell. The only difficulty we sometimes have is for craft in excess of 40ft in length in our current marina, we are currently excavating an extra pit which will extend...
  • Do you provide residential moorings?
    Many marinas, ourselves included, do not offer residential moorings. This is often due to the planning restrictions of the site rather than the marina operator. If you take out a residential mooring it is usual that you will be...
  • Can I bring my dog into the marina?
    Yes, we welcome well behaved dogs which are kept under control and as long as all mess is cleared up without fail. It is very common for dog owners to go boating as the open, spacious environment is ideal...
  • What size boat fits on the river?
    The easiest way to answer this question is to provide the maximum dimensions for boats on the local river systems;   The River Great Ouse Length: 23m (70ft) Beam: 3.15m (10ft 4ins) (Special technique required to go upstream of locks) Airdraught: 2.4m ( 8ft)...
  • Bow, stern, port and starboard?
    Imagine you are driving your boat and looking forward, the bow is the front of the boat, the stern is the back of the boat behind you, the port deck is on your left and starboard to your right.
  • How available is petrol/diesel on the river?
    On the River Great Ouse petrol is available at Offord, Hartford, St Ives (at our marina), and Ely. Diesel is widely available. The Norfolk Broads only has two or three riverside petrol points.
  • Is there a boating organisation on the River Great Ouse?
    Yes, there is an active organisation that represents navigation issues, organises social meetings and publishes a journal. You can join the Great Ouse Boating Association at http://www.goba.org.uk/.
  • What is strong stream advice?
    The Environment Agency regulate the Great Ouse network and will issue a strong stream advice warning when the river starts to flow at an excessive level. This is because of the risks posed to navigation such as reduced bridge...
  • Are there any flood warnings on the Great Ouse?
    The River Great Ouse is an essential part of the flood relief schemes for this region; the locks and sluices are all used to drain waters to Kings Lynn. The Environment Agency have issued a series of early warnings...
  • What happens if my boat breaks down?
    The River Great Ouse system is a slow moving and relatively easy to navigate. The Environment Agency have fixed booms on all sluices so when a craft breaks down it is unlikely to drift into peril but will gently...
  • Can you use sea toilets on the River Great Ouse?
    There are essentially three types of toilets that can be used on boats; sea toilets which discharge waste directly into the water, toilets incorporating a holding tank for waste and portable chemical toilets. The Great Ouse and its tributaries,...
  • How far can you go on the river?
    The River Great Ouse is navigable from Bedford to Denver Sluice in Norfolk. If the boat is of a suitable size (see our size restriction section) it can then be used across the Middle Level to the Nene and...
  • Are Locks difficult to use?
    The Fenland waterways usually have a relatively low flow and the height difference of locks is not drastic. The locks on the Great Ouse from Bedford to Earith are unmanned and require an electric lock key (to gain access...
  • What are the rules of the river?
    Basically navigation on the river comes down to common sense and consideration for other river users. Steer on the right hand side, avoid turning near bridges, bends and locks, and do not cross the bow of oncoming boats. Near...
  • Can I stop anywhere on the river?
    The river banks are privately owned in most rural locations, therefore mooring without permission is likely to lead to upsets. Most villages and settlements have public quays on which the local authorities allow a 48 hour stop over period....
  • How available are moorings on the river?
    From Earith upstream to Bedford the River Great Ouse is well served with many small villages offering 48 hour stop over on public moorings. If you join the Great Ouse Boating Association they have negotiated strategic moorings along the...
  • How do I paint GRP hulls?
    Painting GRP is very much an acceptable practice today. In fact, if you order a new boat from a major manufacturer such as Sunseeker or Oyster, the only natural gel finish will be white; all other colours are a...
  • What is electrolysis?
    If two metals of differing electromechanical potential (i.e. alloy and steel) come into contact with each other galvanic cells are formed. The metal with the lower potential on the galvanic scale will corrode (alloy in this example). Sacrificial anodes...
  • What is osmosis?
    The word osmosis used to strike sheer dread amongst boat owners, particularly when lengthy articles were published in the yachting press. There was a period in the late 70’s when simply the word ‘osmosis’ would send prospective purchasers into...
  • Should osmosis be treated?
    The majority of GRP hulls are over engineered and therefore a surface blister which has not penetrated the hull too far is unlikely to cause a problem, particularly inland. If you are unsure about whether your craft requires attention...
  • What is the typical fuel consumption of a boat?
    This is a very difficult question to answer as a great variety of engines are used and average consumption therefore varies, especially at river cruising speed. A small outboard, particularly modern 4 strokes, at a river speed of around...
  • How do I heat my boat?
    There are several retrofit heating systems available today. The cheaper units are gas powered hot air units. These are cost effective for casual use but more costly to run than diesel units. If you are intending to use the...
  • How do I winterise my boat?
    Most craft will have fresh water on board either in water tanks, engines or toilets. To prevent frost damage all water systems need to be drained off or inhibited. Outboard motors self drain so are safe, inboard engines whether...
  • What are the advantages of dry storing my boat over winter?
    All GRP hulls will absorb moisture during prolonged emersion (see our section on osmosis). We have found lifting craft out of the water on a bi-annual basis beneficial as it gives the hull a chance to dry out. Doing...