Continuous Cruiser (CCer) is a term used to describe a lifestyle, boats used in the lifestyle, as well as a class of license fees and rules which regulate the use of the inland waterways of the United Kingdom as part of this lifestyle. It specifically denotes the use of a narrowboat without a home mooring.
Prior to 1995 all narrowboats on the canal system were required to have a permanent base for their boat, known as a home mooring. Some boaters used the system 'continuously', living on their boat as they travel around the country, without visiting their home mooring for long periods of time. In 1995 a change in the rules allowed these boaters to cruise the canal system without meeting the home mooring requirement.
At present (2006) a Continuous Cruiser pays the same license fee to use the waterway as a boater with a home mooring, but it appears this may change soon. British Waterways (BW) has proposed an increase in the cost of the CCer's license to 2.47 times the cost of a normal leisure boater's license. For example, the license fee for a 57 ft narrowboat would increase from £608 to £1501 ($1064 to $2625 at an exchange rate of approx £1 = $1.75). Naturally CCer's are concerned by this proposal.
Leisure boaters currently paying for a home mooring may think this change is only fair. The license fees paid by both CCer's and home moored boaters to British Waterways provides both types of licensees equal access to the canal system, but payment for a home mooring is a separate charge, and can cost many additional thousands of pounds.
Cynics point out that it is common for part of the home mooring fee (which is paid to a mooring provider) to be passed on to British Waterways, so by taking action to either require a home mooring or a higher priced CCer license, BW gives the appearance that it is simply trying to insure that it receives either direct or indirect revenue for mooring related activities, regardless of any other justifications given.
Some people register as Continuous Cruisers as a way to avoid paying for a home mooring. There are rules for CCer's that include requirements that they must be on a progressive journey around the system (or at least a large part of it), never staying in one place more than 14 days. Those who register as a CCer simply to avoid mooring fees will commonly not meet these requirements, but instead spend many weeks, months or even years in the same general area.
"Genuine" CCer's are those who follow these rules, and they can be very vocal in their claims that the "bridge hoppers" (as those that abuse the system are commonly called) do not accurately represent the community as a whole, and are unfairly giving CCer's a bad name.
This issue may reveal a more general social-economic and cultural clash between these three types of boaters. The so called "bridge hoppers" are more commonly younger, lower middle-class (or even poor) individuals and families, who most likely have work or school commitments that do not allow for frequent long-distance travel. The "genuine" CCers are commonly aging upper middle-class retirees, who may have few permanent land based responsibilities, allowing for a more disconnected and carefree lifestyle. Leisure boaters with home moorings are often members of a more wealthy class than either of the types of CCer's mentioned here, and may not fully appreciate the positions of either of the other two groups.