Navigation, including anchoring, in coastal waters is a public right, but the laying of a permanent mooring requires consent from the landowner - usually the Crown Estate.
The Crown Estate is a self-supporting company which maintains and protects the seabed and issues licences for its use around the British Isles from the low water mark to 12 miles offshore.
What is a Mooring?
There are 2 elements relating to what is usually referred to as a 'mooring'.
The mooring position is an allocated area of seabed made available by lease from the CE upon which ground tackle may be laid and includes the water of the safe swinging area for a vessel in that location.
The lease allows the position holder to lay mooring tackle or equipment within the allocated area; this equipment must be marked with a valid Crown Estate mooring tag.
Moorings must not be a danger to navigation - all tackle must be well maintained. A buoy marked with the boat’s name and maximum weight the mooring is designed for must be attached to each mooring; and each buoy must have the Crown Estate mooring tag attached.
Buying and selling a 'mooring'
Mooring positions are registered to the licence holder.
When a mooring holder decides to sell a mooring position - or decides not to renew their mooring licence
- until a new lease is agreed with a new mooring holder / or the Crown Estate mooring tag is returned to the Association or club for return to the Crown Estate, all mooring fees remain chargeable to the mooring’s registered owner.
- the registered owner continues to be responsible for all mooring tackle laid in the registered position, which must be removed from the seabed by 31st March
- if a mooring is no longer required, and the holder wishes to relinquish the mooring position and not offer it for sale or transfer, all mooring tackle or equipment laid in his allocated position must be removed at the holders expense by 31st March
While the Crown Estate is not interested in whether a mooring’s owner has insurance, moorings owners should be aware of the consequences of not maintaining mooring tackle or equipment properly and thus not having insurance cover.
Any mooring without a valid Crown Estate mooring tag is deemed to be an illegal mooring. The Marine Officer of the Crown Estate visits our area regularly to check; and all moorings are being logged with a GPS position for the Crown Estate’s computer records.
In future, moorings without a valid tag will have a red notice attached to the mooring buoy giving the owner 28 days to comply with the notice. 28 days later another notice can be issued with notice to remove the mooring within a further 28 days. Thereafter a Sheriff’s Writ will be issued if the mooring is not removed within 14 days.
It is a criminal offence to have an illegal mooring which carries a £1,000 fine, plus any Crown Estate outstanding rent for up to 10 years in arrears; plus the considerable expenses of mooring tackle removal and seabed inspection, and any court proceedings costs. The Crown Estate will take such action to maintain and protect the seabed and it is the duty of the licensee to uphold these aims too, by maintaining their mooring equipment correctly and safely.
The Crown Estate operates a Marine Stewardship Fund for local marine projects - piers, slipways, sailing clubs’ projects etc.
The former Cardingmill Bay Mooring Owners Association were delighted to receive an award towards the re-instatement of the landing stage at the north of Dungallan Park. This landing is stage is now administered by OBCB.