Whenever I hear complaint about people afloat who aren't 'proper boaters', I get mad! Canal boaters come in all forms, have all kinds of craft, have all different reasons for being there, moor up along towpaths or in marinas and have different ways of moving about or staying put. Get over it! We all shuffle along a man-made ditch - we are none of us 'proper boaters', if that phrase means anything at all.
It's just a way of excluding people, making yourself seem more important than them, pulling some weird sort of rank, or belittling the efforts of those new to the waterways.
One of the most interesting boaters I've met has been afloat for nearly forty years (a fact you only learn after a few days acquaintance) and is quiet, gentle, tolerant and helpful. To my mind, he puts those boastful self-publicists to shame.