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Laying a private mooring

Most of the seabed surrounding Britain is the property of the Crown and it is administered by the Crown Estate in Scotland. Anyone wishing to attach anything to the seabed is required to apply to Crown Estate Scotland Coastal for a lease and to pay an annual rental. Such a lease will only be valid if navigational consent in accordance with the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 has been granted. The Acts are administered by Marine Scotland Licensing to whom application for a licence must be made.

Remember that, having gained permission to lay a mooring, you will also require access from the shore which could be over private land. You will also need somewhere to store a tender and a vehicle.

If the location of the proposed mooring is in the vicinity of a designated anchorage, i.e. it is identified by an anchor symbol on an Admiralty chart or it is listed in the Clyde Cruising Club’s Sailing Directions, it would be wise to check with WHAM that the mooring is not likely to be regarded by the Scottish Government as an obstruction to navigation. Many moorings are in or near anchorages and, where appropriate, the Crown Estate Community Marine Officer for the area is likely to require that provision is made to preserve reasonable anchorage space.

The WHAM Secretary will be very happy to offer advice based on WHAM’s over thirty years of experience.

There can be a significant benefit from joining an existing Moorings Association if there is one in the area, or from forming one if there is demand for several moorings in the area. Moorings Associations generally pay a reduced annual rent per mooring to the Crown Estate, as well as benefitting from sharing facilities.