Have your say on the future of red diesel

HMRC is seeking information about the proposed changes to the rules surrounding the uses of red diesel. During the Budget the Chancellor shared plans for the intended removal of entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except for the agriculture sector (including forestry, horticulture and fish farming), railways, and where red diesel is used to power non-commercial heating systems, such as in homes, narrowboats and places of worship.   

The consultation has now been launched by Government and seeks to gather evidence as to whether other sectors, including recreational boating, should be allowed to maintain use of the fuel beyond April 2022.  The RYA’s case for retaining red diesel is about existing supply needs, not colour, tax status or price. Recreational boaters already pay the full rate of duty and VAT when purchasing fuel for the purposes of propulsion.

The RYA will therefore be looking at the proposals to reform the tax treatment of red diesel closely to see how this might affect the supply of fuel for recreational use for both propulsion and how it will impact supply for domestic usage such as heating. The further west and north you travel in the UK the more likely it is that you will have to rely on waterside outlets that only supply red diesel for commercial purposes, such as to fishing fleets. In many places, some remote, the limited quantities of fuel used by recreational craft do not warrant the cost of installing additional equipment to supply white diesel for the recreational boating sector.

If the Government removes the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022 and white diesel is consequently made as widely available as red diesel is now, then supply of fuel will not be affected. The RYA will be responding to this call for evidence and urges users of diesel propelled craft, particularly private pleasure craft, and those involved in the supply of fuel to UK craft to participate in the consultation.

To have your say on the future of red diesel please click here. 

The consultation closes at 11.45pm on 1 October 2020. 

To read more about the RYA’s lobbying developments with red diesel please click here. If you have any questions regarding red diesel or any other current affair issues please visit the Current Affairs page on the RYA website or email cruising@rya.org.uk

It’s Official: Return to boating from today!

The UK government now allows unlimited outdoor activities, including all watersports, in England from 13 May. Also there is no limit on car travel to enjoy these activities.

However only members of one household can be together. Also we must continue to observe hygiene and social distancing rules and be very careful to mitigate any risk to the emergency services. Boating is the safest outdoor activity (or “sport” if you prefer) for social distancing and many of us rely on it for our mental and physical well-being. However incidents of irresponsible boating behaviour risk jeopardising our new found freedom, so let’s take care!

Unlike other harbour authorities, Peel Ports have resisted the temptation to add to the confusion by imposing restrictions on recreational boating on the Medway and Swale. However clubs and marinas have been advised to carry out risk assessments and document procedures, so we should not rush back to our boats until these measures are in place.

RYA updated Covid-19 guidance for affiliated clubs.

British Marine Coronavirus Hub

RYA lobbies government on Coronavirus measures

The RYA has written to members after approaching the government on behalf of boaters who need to access their boats whilst respecting Covid-19 guidelines: “We believe there are measures that could be permitted within the existing Government guidance to allow access for essential maintenance – and this applies not just to marinas, but also to club dinghy parks and boats on moorings. … With all sports now beginning to consider recovery, our plans are now well advanced on our ‘return to boating strategy’ in collaboration with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and their representations to Cabinet Office, as well as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. We are looking forward to supporting a safe and appropriate return to the water and we will be getting the message over that there is a very strong case for boating to be one of the first activities that could be resumed safely within any necessary parameters for social distancing, once we start to see a relaxation of the current restrictions.”

Keep updated on the Coronavirus section of the RYA website…

Access to boats in marinas

The Coronavirus advice section of the RYA’s website mentions the following regarding access to boats in marinas, and presumably clubs with moorings:

The RYA is making representations to Government and the marinas sector trade body, The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) regarding the issues for boat owners arising out of the closure of marinas. This reflects the concerns of members who have contacted us about their inability to access their boats and protect their assets. We are acutely aware that worries about boat security, maintenance and the impact on insurance cover are all are creating anxiety and stress for boat owners at this time.

We are also making the case that there are many people who could visit their boat while adhering strictly to Government guidelines on hygiene and social distancing. For many, the opportunity to spend time on their boat and possibly do some simple maintenance or cleaning would greatly enhance their well-being and provide peace of mind in respect of the issues of concern. 

Apprentice wanted at Queenborough Harbour

Queenborough Harbour Trust has a vacancy for a Level 2 Marina & Boat Operative Apprenticeship. Applicants need to be 18-21 years old, courteous with good Maths and English GCSEs.

Queenborough Harbour Trust

This is an exciting opportunity to acquire the necessary experience and recognised qualifications for a career afloat with an emphasis upon the maritime leisure industry. The job entails water services for harbour operations, on the job learning and off site training courses, variable shift to cover harbour operations from 0900 to 2200 hrs during peak season and 0900 to 1800 hrs out of season, 9 hours per day. At peak times there may be additional periods to cover for leave and sickness as required. For more information download the job description below or email manager@queenborough-harbour.co.uk

Obstruction outside Chatham Marina (GONE)

Peel Ports have advised that a craft work cradle/tray has sunk at the downstream end of Chatham Maritime Marina holding pontoon. The object is approximately 22m in length and is not visible at any state of the tide. The wreck has been marked with an orange pellet buoy, the owner is aware and will be dealing with the situation. Mariners should navigate with caution due to this submerged danger to navigation until further notice.

Note that the Chatham Marina lock is closed for annual maintenance until 26 January.

UPDATE 22.1.2010 The submerged obstruction has now been raised and is secured alongside at the Chatham Maritime Marina waiting pontoon. The owner will be moving it back to his yard over the next few days.

Queenborough Harbour Open Day, Wed 9 Oct

Queenborough Harbour Trust

Open Invitation to the Queenborough Harbour Trust CIC Open Day Wednesday 9 October 2019 from 1500hrs – 1900hrs, The Guildhall, High Street, Queenborough.

Queenborough Harbour Trust CIC took over the running of the harbour services in Queenborough from Swale Borough Council in 2012. We would like to invite you to an exhibition of the changes that have been made in the harbour during that time. Displays and presentations will include the renovation of the All Tide Landing, the piling of the walkway and the installation of sixty additional moorings including the finger pontoons made possible by the Coastal Community Fund as well as footage of the most recent Classic Boat Festival.  

The Open Day will be on a drop-in basis so please come along at your convenience between 1500hrs and 1900hrs. QHT Directors and members of staff will be on hand to answer any queries you may have and will be actively seeking suggestions as to how the harbour might be further developed.  Teas and coffee will be available.