Moorings and marinas

We have over 17,000 licensed moorings around the UK. In general, these are leased to relevant local bodies, who in turn license them to boat owners.

The UK’s seabed, as well as half of its foreshore, is owned by The Crown Estate who operate under UK statute (the Crown Estate Act 1961), and our consent is required for placing a mooring on the seabed.

In most cases we grant a block lease or licence to an appropriate body, such as a harbour authority, boat club or fairways committee and in parts of Scotland, a moorings association (a mooring operator). These operators provide local administration and sometimes the mooring tackle as well as other facilities and then charge boat owners to moor there.

As manager of the seabed, across the UK the mooring operator is required to pay a rent to us for the right to lay the moorings. The ground rent we charge mooring operators is set at a market rate and considering the local context. 

Equally, boat owners too pay the local market rate for a mooring, which depends on a number of factors such as the type of mooring, the length of boat and location. This fee is paid to the mooring operator. We do not set charges for boat owners as this is a matter for the moorings operator. 

Our responsibility for managing the seabed also affords a role for The Crown Estate as facilitator of marinas across the country. As with moorings, we do not manage marinas directly but instead lease land for their development and management. Our approach is to assess the rent on the basis of a percentage of the turnover of a marina. The marina operator sets its own charges based on the location, facilities provided and prevailing market rates.