British Marine Inland Boating – work that out!

After a ‘lively’ recent AGM, much talk and several votes, APCO has decided to rebrand itself as BMIB – British Marine Inland Boating.

Members of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO) agreed to change its name to British Marine Inland Boating (BMIB) at their recent Annual General Meeting, held in York beside the River Ouse on 27 November 2015. As part of the name change the members also agreed to adopt their own version of the new BM branding, ‘reflecting Britain’s flagship reputation for quality and innovation.’BMIB logo

APCO was started over 60 years ago as a trade body for Inland Waterway Businesses, currently it represents over 100 independent companies offering River and Canal Holidays on Hire Boats, Day Boats, Hotelboats, Passenger Trip Boats and Business Services on navigable canals and rivers in the UK. The trade organisation remains independently governed but for a few years has also been one of about 16 Group Associations within the British Marine Federation (BMF). BMF has recently rebranded itself as British Marine (BM).

BMIB Chair Ann Davies said:  “Our association has represented and served its member companies in the inland waterway marine and tourism industries – and their customers – under the name of APCO for 62 years. The change of name not only means that we will continue to do this but is a major step forward in promoting our work and members on a wider basis, to the benefit of all inland waterway users. We will continue to set professional standards, enable passenger navigation and safeguard the waterways, whilst working closely with other organisations within the British Marine family to take advantage of its services and the influence that an international organisation can bring to bear.”

The AGM also heard presentations from the Canal & River Trust Boating team on the reorganisation of trade licences and other matters. It was stressed CRT would work more closely with the requirements of the industry and feedback on boating priorities was invited from all BMIB members. There were briefings and discussion on navigation and technical matters affecting members, including the Hire Boat Code, transit of the Tidal Thames and the latest updates and future developments in the Boat Safety Scheme as these will affect commercial pleasure craft. At a meeting of the association’s Hotel Boat Section members were briefed about new European legislation and shared industry best practice, discussing items common to their boat operations.

The annual members’ dinner was held in the spectacular surroundings of the main locomotive hall of York’s National Railway Museum, where guests included CRT CEO Richard Parry and other officers of the Canal & River Trust.

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterways Images for most of this information. The confusion about the new name is entirely Canal Junction’s, but surely ‘boating’ can’t be ‘marine’ if it is ‘inland’!

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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