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

New Medway hydrographic surveys published by Peel Ports

Hydrographic survey of Cockham Reach.

Peel Ports have published highly detailed charts of the River Medway from the Approach Channel to Rochester Bridge, plus the turning circle in Faversham Creek. The surveys date from 2018 to April 2020 and are mostly limited to the shipping channel.

The charts are now on the Peel Ports website (London Medway – Marine Information – Hydrographic Information) using the link below and will be updated with the latest edition once new surveys are completed.
www.peelports.com/marine-information?port=london-medway

Danger of getting close to ships

Ships in the Medway and Swale can’t slow down as they need a certain speed to steer. Also they have to stay in the dredged channel to stay afloat, so they can’t swerve to avoid small craft. The video shows what can happen when a jet ski crossed the bow wave of a ship, behaviour often seen in our home waters. Video from Hampshire Police Marine Support Unit.

Allegretto now salvaged

This rare lifting-keel Sadler 32 was seen on Greenborough Marsh, near Stangate Creek. Thanks to helpful members of the boating community, the owner was traced and informed. It appears that Allegretto became detached from her mooring in Gillingham Reach during a storm and drifted 4.5 miles eastwards. After heroic attempts by members of Segas Sailing Club the salvage operation was eventually left to the professionals and the boat is now ashore awaiting a survey.

Allegretto – photo Denis Johnson

New boat for Kent Police

Photo James Bell.

Dave Metcalfe of Lower Halstow YC informs us that Kent Police now have a new RIB called “Invicta”, based at Sheerness. It’s a 10 metre Parker Baltic Cruiser with twin 350hp outboards, which should enable them to catch some nuisance jet skiers. It even has a cabin. Here’s a video of one they prepared earlier…

History being made at Milton Creek

Gallant leaves London for Sittingbourne. Photo James Hamilton.

If you are in Sittingbourne on Wednesday evening 15 July, Raybel Charters invite you to witness history being made. Back in January, sailing ship Gallant left Trinidad on a voyage to collect sail cargo goods from Colombia and Portugal. Last Saturday she docked into St Katharine Dock in London and on Wednesday she will transfer goods onto the sailing barge Dawn at Queenborough. Dawn will be delivering to several Kent ports and on Wednesday night at about 8.45pm will be sending her barge boat (the big rowing boat that barges use) with a delivery to Lloyd Wharf at the head of Milton Creek. This will be the first cargo delivered by sail to Sittingbourne in perhaps 80 years.

Please join Raybel Charters on the wharf to welcome the first of what we hope will be regular event in Sittingbourne. Please note, we will be maintaining social distancing on the wharf and would ask you to do the same. The new Dolphin Sailing Barge Museum will be open in case of inclement weather.

Jet ski crashes into Sheppey beach

Following the recent spate of incidents of irresponsible and illegal behaviour by users of PWCs, Tim Bell has sent us this video of two lads crashing onto a beach at Minster after losing control of their jet ski. The Medway Ports by-laws have strict limits on speed and where personal watercraft can be used on the Medway and Swale. Video by Denis Gordo.