Based on feedback from customers we will regularly update our FAQ’s.

Why did Scottish Canals carry out this review?

In 2015, Scottish Canals hired Gerald Eve and GVA, two independent specialist consultants, to conduct a pricing consultation along Scotland’s canal network in order to develop a process for determining and evaluating the rates of residential and recreational moorings, transit, and navigation licences.

The fees for residential and recreational moorings, transit, and navigation licences were changed for the first time in 2017. During the consultation, it was decided that a pricing review would take place every five years, with the first one taking place in 2021/2022.


How was the pricing review carried out?

Scottish Canals hired two independent specialised consultants: The Tourism Resource Company for the leisure industry and Gerald Eve for the residential market. The two specialised consultants proposed changes based on the methodology agreed in the 2016/2017 consultation.


How did the consultants create the new prices?

The Tourism Resource Company and Gerald Eve will carry out the pricing review based on the methodology agreed in the 2016/2017 pricing consultation.

The methodology for the pricing review is based on various factors split in two sections one reviewing our residential moorings and the other our leisure moorings.

A residential mooring cost is based on 40% of a two-bedroom flats rent near the mooring location, with reductions taken into account for a range of factors like local amenities (proximity to town and city), boating (cruising distance), and services/facilities (pump out, utilities).

A leisure mooring is calculated using a matrix based on the available facilities and the location of the mooring. For example, if you are in an attractive town centre with a marina and berthing facility you would score higher than someone in a rural bankside area with no services.


Why are you comparing prices with a two-bedroom flat?

The cost of renting two-bedroom flats was used as a benchmarking method in each region since it demonstrates what people are willing to pay to live in a certain place for a specific type of property.

Gerald Eve/Tourism Resource COmpany were able to estimate a ratio by comparing rental costs south of the border to mooring rates nearby, and then applying discounts or enhancements for a variety of criteria such as amenities, proximity to the sea, and so on.

Because information regarding rental properties is available everywhere and the approach can be used consistently, this methodology is an excellent tool for assessing mooring prices at any Scottish Canals’ mooring location.


What type of two-bedroom flats will be considered?

The methodology takes into account the average price of a selection of privately leased flats located as near as possible to each Scottish Canals mooring location. This was not to create a direct comparison between a two-bedroom flat and a houseboat; rather, it was to discover a method of benchmarking existing mooring fees so that the same formula might be used to determine the price in Scotland.


Where can I find out the new cost of residential moorings?

The new prices for residential moorings can be found on page 10 of the report, the column headed ‘Opinion of fair and reasonable rate for berth’.

Access the report here.


When will the changes be implemented?

Any changes will be made throughout the 2022/2023 financial year. To ensure the process is as simple as possible for boaters, changes will be implemented when a boater’s licence is renewed. Advanced notice will be sent to each boater advising of any pricing change in advance of their renewal.


What is a baseline percentage and what does this mean?

This in relation to the methodology used to carry out the review. The methodology was set in the original consultation in 2016/17 and aligns the base price for a residential mooring in a marina with the cost of a 2 bed flat in the area. The original methodology used 50% of the residential cost and this has been reduced in relation to marinas for this review to 48.5%. This percentage is then further adjusted to reflect the services available at the site and demand for the moorings.


How will you communicate with boaters?

Scottish Canals will update boaters through our regular boaters’ newsletter and our user group meetings. In addition, updates will be provided with Scottish Waterways for All, canal societies and boating organisations such as British Marine and RYA Scotland.


What is an offline marina?

An offline marina is the phrase used to describe a marina setting. Other moorings are described as either linear or online.


How many customers will see an increase and how many will see a decrease?

Of the 504 moorings on Scotland’s canals, 28 customers will see their rates actually decrease from June 2022.


What if I can’t afford my new rate?

If you have any concerns around the new pricing rates please contact in the first instance.


Can I read the full report from 2017?

Yes the full report can be found here.