Now, where have we heard that before?

June 2017 - C&RT's press release about its 2017 Boat Owners Survey places positive spin on the results but admits there is room for improvement. Instead of publishing the report on which the article is based, it says it will be published at a later date, Allan Richards reports.

This not only prevents boaters from checking the claims made against the report immediately but potentially prevents the report being obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. Section 22 of the Act allows information to be withheld if there is an intention to publish at a future date.

As far as 'room for improvement', this is what the press release titled 'Boat owners' survey shows increase in satisfaction' has to say - "We'll be taking an in-depth look at the results to see what needs to be improved upon ..."

That rings a bell. Where have we heard this before?

The answer is the 2016 Boat Owners Survey. A C&RT release headed 'Boat owners' survey shows increase in satisfaction' (now there's a coincidence) had, now departed, Mike Grimes, head of boating, saying this: 'The Boat Owners' Views survey is really important to help understand what's working well and areas where we can improve things for boaters'.

Indeed, the 2016 press release went further. Under a sub heading 'A new working group' it stated: “A working group is now taking an in-depth look at the results to see what needs to be improved upon and what is working well. We will provide updates on any actions that will be taken as a result of the research.”

However, these updates, if they exist, have never been published and a request for information about the Boat Owners Survey Working Group has been met with silence.

To find out what boaters really think of C&RT one has to go back to when Dean Davies was interim head of boating. ​

A report he produced for the board in late 2014 on the new Boat Owner Attitude Tracker (B.O.A.T.) Survey stated: “This new regular tracker survey is to monitor attitudes and 'advocacy' amongst boaters and identify the key drivers affecting it. The key results from wave one are:

“Familiarity - two thirds (65%) of boaters say they know very little about what we do; this indicates we need to promote a better understanding of the varied work of the Trust.

“Respect - one in four (24%) boaters say they feel respected by the Trust; this will help drive the changes to our engagement, tone and 'culture'.”

Rather than face up to the reality, B.O.A.T surveys were scrapped with C&RT reneging on the promise 'We'll be publishing the full results shortly'.

With less than one in four boaters saying they feel respected by the Trust in 2014 and the Trust subsequently failing to produce any evidence that they have improved upon this figure, it is little wonder that boaters treat boat owner surveys with suspicion?

Photos: (1st) Dean Davies 2014 interim head of boating, (2nd) Mike Grimes 2016 Head of Boating.

User login