If you want to bring your boat on to any of Scottish Canals’ waterways for more than 30 days, you will need to make sure that we have a mooring for you, that your vessel is in good shape (both mechanically and aesthetically) and that you have all relevant insurances and certificates. 

The following section provides and overview of the documents / information we will ask to see.  


It is a requirement of our terms and conditions that you must have current insurance cover prior entering the canal. 

We require a copy of your Policy Schedule that shows the expiry date. This is normally an annual policy and has to cover public liability for at least £2 Million and must include recovery / salvage in the case of sinking. Our moorings team will require a copy of the certificate to sent into the for verification and validation. 

Recent photographs of boat

To ensure that all moorings remain a pleasure to visit Scottish Canals require that all boats compliment the local environment, are safe and of good quality and kept in excellent order. This includes the overall aesthetics of any varnish and outside paintwork and external fittings and fixtures. Recent photographs will have to be submitted with your application form, which will be vetted to ensure that the Boat Standards are met before the offer of the mooring is confirmed. 

Invasive species Declaration

In order for us to preserve this natural environment we require all of vessels to be hot pressure washed to ensure that the hull of their vessels are suitably clear of all species, mussels etc. This needs to be carried out in line with our Interim Guidance for Biosecurity for Submerged Structures. We will require confirmation from the contractor or boat yard that this has been carried out in line with this guidance before entry to the canal and we will require you to provide a signed declaration to be returned with your application.

Please also make sure that your vessel adheres to the wider UK requirements of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. 

The MCA website details the requirements for anyone wanting to use a boat on UK rivers, canals, or at sea - from boat safety certificates to safety regulations and equipment.

Boat Safety Certificate

We have an obligation to ensure that all boats are safe to travel on the canals. The Boat Safety Scheme, or BSS, is a public safety initiative owned by Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency. Its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions or pollution harming visitors, staff or any user of the inland waterways.

It is mandatory that all appropriate craft on the Scottish Canals have either a current BSS Certificate, an MCA certificate or a signed declaration whilst on the network. We are also able to accept a Declaration of Conformity for craft that are less than 4 years old. 

In order to ensure that your boat is safe we ask that a BSS Certificate is carried out and the paperwork is sent to us prior to your entry to the canal. Details of the BSS Certificate and examiners can be found on the Boat Safety Scheme Website  (BSS | Boat Safety Scheme | Go Boating - Stay Safe). Unless you make any changes to your boat that would affect the certification it is only required every 4 years. 

Please note that your insurance can be null and void if your BSS Certificate has expired. 

Please refer to the diagram below to see if your boat requires a BSS Certificate. 

Map of how to find out if your boat is exempt or not

Mooring allocation

Moorings are allocated via our waiting lists and if no moorings are available, you can join our waiting lists. When a suitable mooring becomes available, we will contact you. You then have 14 days to accept or refuse the offer. 

Mooring fees

Fees differ from location to location, the type of berth you are considering, whether it be residential, leisure or commercial and the type of boat you are buying. The moorings team will be able to give you an accurate breakdown of the fees for your berth and location. Navigation Licence fees

Your Navigation Licence is charged as an annual fee. This allows you to navigate any of the Scottish Canals network for the term of your mooring. This will be sent to you in the form of a paper disc that you need to display on both sides of your boat. This will stipulate the name of your boat, size of your boat, your mooring location and expiry date of the licence.

When your licence is renewed, a new disc will be automatically sent to you. 

Regular boat checks will be undertaken throughout the year so please ensure your licence is prominently displayed on both sides of your boat so that it can be easily seen. 

If you do not receive your discs within 6 weeks of arriving on to the canal, please get in touch.