Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Common sense or blind obedience

I'm not sure what the scale of overstaying by constant cruisers on a visitor mooring is. I suspect that it depends on age, employment, time of year, the location and the weather. I'm also not sure what the scale of overstaying on a visitor mooring by those with a home mooring is either. But once again I suspect that it depends on age, employment, the time of year, the location and the weather. I also suspect that nobody, not even CaRT has any verifiable and reliable figures to base a judgement call upon. Living aboard and owning a boat, is a lifestyle that should be free and open to everyone. Because if its not open to everyone we can't expect the excluded part of the population to contribute charitable donations to what is a closed club available only to a minority.

Why do I suspect age, employment, time of year, location and the weather as being the primary drivers. Take age, there is I'm sure no single age grouping that covers the whole demographic for boat owners. Though I do suspect that there is a majority amongst the over sixty something's. I also think that employment, is a minority driver. There are people living out on the cut who are also in employment. Some will also have children and will be wanting them to attend a local school. It is a lifestyle call that should be free and open to everyone. The "rules" should not be allowed to discriminate against people on their age, their employment or their lifestyle choice. I also think that the time of year, the location and the weather are also a driver. During the winter months many popular destinations will be almost deserted. Whilst in the school holidays, the honey trap moorings will be in great demand. 

So if we are out cruising and we come to a good spot to moor (for whatever reason) for a few days. Then quite often we do. If our boat is on a 48 hour mooring and soon our time will be up. I make a decision, if it is bouncing down with rain and there are empty berths. We stay put, if by the middle of the afternoon things have not improved, we stay put until tomorrow. One of the joys of boating is that you can do your own thing. There are people out on the cut who have a cavalier attitude to overstaying. You can see for yourself, I have to count myself amongst their number. The fact that I have a mooring somewhere else on the system has no bearing whatsoever, I don't feel that I have any more of a right to a visitor mooring than anyone else. I just apply common sense and not blind obedience to a rule that is ignored by the majority and their cat.

There is the old adage that any rule that can't be enforced is a poor rule in the first place. Why make a set of rules that you can't enforce, monitor or demonstrate to be working. Making a rule that is universally ignored is made from a myopic understanding of what people want and expect. If you then go on to make even more rules in an attempt to enforce the rules that don't work. Such actions just demonstrates your lack of awareness of the scale of issue and that you are out of touch. 

So is there an answer, yes its quite simple get rid of rules that are not working. Keep the ones that are and work with people to encourage a caring and sharing attitude. The best rules are the ones that people want. But remember rules can never be a one size fits all scenario.


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