Yacht spectacularly aground in Stangate Creek

Photo Wil Pretty

This yacht was seen hard aground in the entrance of Stangate Creek on Sunday. The inshore lifeboat attended: “a call came through for the crew to assist a yacht with two people and a dog onboard that was hard aground with its bow actually up on the saltings in Stangate Creek and reported to be taking on water at the stern. Making best speed the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene and immediately took the two people and the dog off the yacht, from where they were taken and transferred to the all-weather lifeboat. The two people plus their little dog were taken back to the boathouse and made comfortable.

Swale Regatta, 8+9 July

This friendly racing regatta is a great opportunity for sailors to experience racing without the stress of a highly competitive environment. The regatta is completely free and takes place over two days along the Swale and Medway Rivers. The event starts in the Swale near Harty Ferry and finishes on the Medway River.

For full details go to www.swaleregatta.co.uk/

MSBA talk: Dick Holness, East Coast Pilot, Fri 10 March (Updated)

Rochester Cruising Club will be hosting the last of our winter series of evening talks. Dick Holness, co-author of the popular East Coast Pilot, will be intriguing us with the wrinkles of exploring and navigating the East Coast. We hope he will also be giving tips for anyone venturing up the Thames to London.

The club will be open at 7pm for those who want to eat. A special MSBA menu starting at £6.50 (sausage egg and chips or ham egg and chips) will be available plus other options (eg curry £8.50 or fish and chips £9.50). Please let us know (email info@msba.org.uk) if you want to pre-order a meal.

The talk will start at 8pm and there will be a charge of £3 for non RCC members.

Rochester Cruising Club is easy to find on the Esplanade at the foot of Rochester Castle, postcode ME1 1QN. There is ample parking at the club and on the road outside.

CA Talk: Sail repair and maintenance by Cindy Parker from Wilkinsons Sails, Thu 9 Feb

A must for all sailors.  Experienced yachtswoman, sailmaker and CA member Cindy will guide us through sail care and valeting and emergency get you home repairs.

This meeting is open to all and there is a fee of £3 per person for this talk and pre-registration is required, please click the link here to register 


Our meetings are held at the Dog and Bear Hotel in Lenham, the talk starts at 20.00, if you wish to eat before please phone the Hotel on 01622 858219 to reserve a table and mention you are attending the Cruising Association meeting.

CA Winter Warmer Talk: Roger Clark, 12 Jan 2023

The CA Kent Section’s next talk is on Thursday 12 January 2023 at The Dog and Bear Hotel, Lenham, commencing at 20.00 when CA member Roger Clark will be giving us a behind the scenes look at the Southampton Boat Show. Roger has exhibited his Westerly Fulmar Concerto at the Boat Show in 2021, hopefully the weather will have improved by then. To register for the talk (cost £3) click the link here:   [BOOK VENUE]

If you have any difficulty with booking through Eventbrite please contact us and we will do our best to help. The hotel has requested that those wishing to eat before the meeting should telephone in advance and book a table. This meeting is open to members and non members.

The Cruising Association Kent Section Winter Warmers are held at 8pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month at The Dog & Bear Hotel, The Square, Lenham, ME17 2PG, which is 8 miles east of Maidstone, just off the A20 in the village square. All are welcome. There is a small charge of £3. Many eat beforehand and it helps speed up service if you telephone the pub on 01622 858219 and order your meal before 5pm.

Bad news for EU VAT paid vessels

UK residents and the UK Marine Industry have been delivered devastating news by HMRC at a meeting recently held on 14 December 2022.  The industry bodies that participated in this discussion included: the Association of Yacht Brokers and Agents (ABYA), Royal Yachting Association, British Marine, the Cruising Association, as well as other key VAT marine industry specialists.

During the meeting, HMRC Representatives confirmed that the Financial Secretary to Treasury, Victoria Atkins MP, has refused to make changes to the current HMRC policy which would allow UK residents who purchased VAT paid vessels in the EU prior to the end of the BREXIT Transitional Period, i.e. 31 December 2020, to bring those vessels back to the UK, without being charged VAT again.

ABYA, along with other industry bodies, have been lobbying HMRC for the past three years for important and fair changes.  This plight became more rigorous over the past two years since it was announced, just two weeks before BREXIT, that grandfather rights allowing people to return their boats without being charged VAT again, were withdrawn. All despite promises made by HMRC previously, that they would be in place.

ABYA Chairman, Peter Norris said “The announcement today will have a significant financial impact on UK boat owning residents, as well as the UK marine industry, which is already suffering from increased costs and a shortage of product within the UK market place.  The decision by the Minister seems not to be aligned with Government policy as stated by the Prime Minster and his Chancellor, to try and grow the economy. Had these vessels been allowed to return, they would have invested money in the UK marine industry on services and berthing, which ultimately would have generated additional VAT income as well as additional corporation tax.”

When challenged at the meeting, HMRC refused to provide any information on how this impactful decision was reached, as well as what the Ministers reasons for refusing to implement the requested changes to the HMRC policy were.

ABYA, through its contacts at HMRC, have been calling for an urgent meeting with the Minster since her appointment in October 2022.  To-date, all have been blocked. All of the industry bodies present at the meeting, called for an urgent face-to-face meeting with the Minister, to discuss her decision and to seek an amicable way forward. 

ABYA Chairman, Peter Norris said “We need to explain to our Yacht Brokering members, both in the UK and Europe, what the justification behind the Minsters decision is, because they will need to articulately explain her reasons to our UK customers.  If the Minster refuses to discuss the rationale for her decision in a face-to-face meeting, then we, along with all the other industry bodies, will have no choice but to appeal through a freedom of information request, that we be given access to all of the documentation submitted to the Minster, as well as the minutes of the meetings held.  This will be followed by us then petitioning industry Ministers to seek the rational for her decision at the next available Treasury question time.”

HMRC Representatives at the meeting have agreed to provide feedback to the Minister that outlines the level of betrayal and frustration felt by all of the marine industry bodies in attendance.

Peter Norris Fellow ABYA,

ABYA Chairman  


Delay in VAT changes on yachts returning from Europe

The Association of Yacht Brokers and Agents (ABYA) has been lobbying HMRC for the past eighteen months to make changes to the existing Return Goods Relief (RGR) scheme. The new changes would enable anyone who purchased a vessel, pre 31st December 2020 based in Europe, on which they have evidence that UK/EU VAT has been paid, to return the vessel to the UK under the Return Goods Relief scheme without having to pay VAT again.


Better news from Dover Marina


We recently advised that some important works had to be undertaken during the 2022 summer season in order to enable the new marina and boatyard to fully open in 2023, and that this regrettably meant the temporary closure of Dover Marina to new customers and visitors during a three-month period from mid-May. Following better than anticipated progress and excellent cooperation from our existing berth holders, we have been able to review our temporary closure decision and Dover Marina is very pleased to report that we will now be able to offer limited availability of berths for visitors throughout the summer, commencing 4th July.

In order to effectively manage our limited capacity, anyone considering a visit to Dover Marina must email or telephone the Marina Office to secure an available berth before sailing to Dover.

Contact details for the Marina Office are as follows:
Email: marina@doverport.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1304 241 663

We now very much look forward to seeing some visitors to Dover over the next few months ahead of many more arriving in 2023 when we will be fully open and operational