Thursday, December 11, 2008

British Waterway mooring tenders

I placed a bid on a BW mooring this afternoon to see if I could get myself a mooring. I am in two minds about having a mooring at all, because I just feel if you pay a fortune for a mooring, you should use it.. but then that means your not cruising around the network visiting all those nice little village pubs and meeting lots of fellow boaters :)

So, my plan was to try and get a cheap mooring that I can use for the winter and for the odd month here and there where I want to keep Sirius local to my bricks and mortar home.. (yes, sorry boating friends.. I still live in solid ground most of the time)

There are moorings in Reading near the IDR (ring road bridge) which to be honest, are not the best moorings, obviously noisey from the bridge and also the area is not the best, I've often wondered if the boats there get any trouble... I guess I should really pop along and ask them.

270 people had apparently viewed the tender (probably 10 of those viewings was myself and my friends) and there was apparently no-one on the waiting list for the mooring, and, I was the only one to put in a tender.

BW say that the reserve price is set to ensure they cover their costs for the mooring, now what could those ongoing costs be at this mooring? There are no services provided, it's next to a public footpath which is presumably tender by the local council... so.. we're talking about looking after the rings that Sirius would be tide onto?! Surely these don't need a lot of ongoing maintainence?

So.. I put a bid in for £300 / PA yes, I know, it's about 20% of their asking price of £1500... but come on.. that mooring does not cost £1500 to maintain PA! And another mooring on the same site went for £752 and that was above the reserve price, so, any guesses what I should have bid?

If it was a popular mooring I could understand the price, but, it's really not...

Come on BW.. cut me some slack and let me have a cheap mooring so I can use it for a few months here and there... the rest of the time.. you already have my £1052 / PA license fee!


Anonymous said...

Why bother bidding now when you have hogged the 24 hour Forbury moorings in Reading for the last two years? Nice free ride so far :-)

Unknown said...

Hello Anonymous reader, I have certainly stayed there far to long at various times over the last couple of years. (along with quite a few other regulars)

I have previously bid for other moorings but I have not been the highest bidder yet. (maybe because I'm not prepared to pay what some others are!)

I have also travelled a fair amount over the last couple of years, I've been up the Thames, down the grand union, along the Regents Canal, back up through the centre of London on the tidal Thames to Weybridge, then down the river wey ( lovely navigation )

And finally back up the K&A to Theale and Reading.

I had hoped to go up to Lower Heyford for my Christmas mooring but as I am sure you are aware the Thames is flowing far to fast to navigate at the moment.

Are you a boater.. or a local with a good memory for boats?

. said...

So Chris,
How did you get on? Did the BW bite the £300 bait?
Great blog by the way. I'm currently doing research on narrowboating as I'm considering moving aboard one here in Ireland.
Anyway, keep it up.

eeyore said...

Being stuck because of flow conditions is a far cry form overstaying for which there is never really an excuse. BW are sympathetic to crisers for continuous cruisers such as illness, bereavement etc. But you are not a continuous cruiser are you?

Pay the market value like everyone else. If this is assessed by the auction process, fair enough. BW do have costs attributed to moorings even if you only have rings to tie to like we do on ours. Admin staff, patrolling officers, towpath and verge maintenance all cost MONEY!

Unknown said...

Hi Eeyore,

If you read through my blog going back to 2004 you will see I have cruised Sirius most of the time. ( although I must admit I have not kept the blog up to date all the time! )

I always try and find somewhere relatively safe to moor her over the winter months as I am sure you know yourself it's often quite difficult to cruise anywhere either due to lock closures or high rivers.

I am intending to come up your way in a few weeks time (I am currently waiting for a lock to open on the 14th Feb) River levels permitting I will be on my way up the Thames towards Oxford.

The anonmymous comment above was not accurate as I posted in my reply. I have been at Forbury a few times for longer than officially allowed, but what people don't know are the reasons why. I have had engine problems, vandalism and a few personal issues which I will not publish on my blog.

I have currently got every right to be there as the river has been on Red boards for quite some time and the lock onto the Thames is closed for maintainence.

As soon as it's clear to go, I will be on my way as mentioned above, I will be aiming for Lower Heyford as I am hoping the boatyard there will do some work on Sirius for me, before I cruise further :)

Unknown said...

P.s. I agree about paying the market rate, and my point is that I was willing to pay £300 or potentially more, but I was the only bidder and yet because of the hidden reserve you do not get to increase your bid.

I did ask BW if I could increase my bid to the reserve amount but apparently this is not possible. As far as I am aware the mooring is still vacant, or, being used by someone not paying for it, it has not been re-submitted to the auction process.

eeyore said...

Sorry, I commented without all the facts. I have read a lot of your blog.

I have been lobbying BW for a fairer auction system, such as eBay, where they give a starting bid (their costs?) and then all bidders know what they are up against. I believe that they have agreed this in their review documents but haven't implemented it yet.

I would encourage you to write to the Moorings Officer and copy in Sally Ash who is the director in charge of boating affairs. You might get a reasonable response to your request to pay at 'the reserve price' as you were the only bidder.

Good luck.

Looking forward to seeing you on the Oxford.