RYA Clubs Conference, Guildford, 26 Nov

If your club is RYA-affiliated you should make sure at least one relevant person attends this year’s FREE “Connected” event. There’s bound to be lots of useful things to learn. Previous regional conferences were in Maidstone, but this year it’s in Guildford which is more central for the London & South East region of the RYA.

For more information and to book…

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before BREXIT, that grandfather rights allowing people to return their boats without being charged VAT again, were withdrawn.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  


RYE Race Officer Course, 8+9 Oct

The Regional Race Officer course, to help clubs with the delivery of the Race management for their special events and open meetings, is being held at Downs SC near Deal in Kent on 8/9 October. Full details for the course are on the RYA Race Management website or contact Martin Styles on 07515 164874

Bart’s Bash, 11+12 Sept 2022

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASF) was established in 2013 after the tragic death of Andrew “Bart” Simpson. Andrew was a talented sailor who firmly believed in the benefits that participation in sport can bring to young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  ASF now exists to continue Andrew’s vision and to bring change for thousands of young people. ASF’s core purpose is to transform lives through sailing.  

Would your club/friends/family like to take part in Bart’s Bash 2022, ASF’s annual flagship fundraising race? 

Bart’s Bash is a global sailing race taking place at 100’s of venues, with 1000’s of sailors in 100’s of different classes of boat around the world. Founded in 2014, the event was verified by Guinness World Records as ‘The Largest Sailing Race in the World’. 

This year Bart’s Bash takes place on 10-11 September 2022 and is open to all venues globally. Each individual event is organised by a venue and organising authority for all activities at the site. Each of the Andrew Simpson Centres will be hosting events too, so if you would prefer to come take part at your closest centre, here are the locations:  Birmingham, Reading, Portland, Portsmouth

To find out more see the attached event guide and register yourself, your group or your club here

Learn to sail at Medway YC

Have fun this half term and learn a new skill. This 3-day course uses the club’s brand-new fleet of RS Zest dinghies. Royal Yachting Association Stage 1 is an introduction to the parts of the boat and the basic principles of how to get a boat sailing. If you are aged 8-16 years old and interested in learning to sail this course is for you.

MYC members can book and find more information here 

Non-members can book and find more information here £195 per child for a 3 day course.

RYA Club Development Workshops, Jan 2022

Following the recent regional Affiliated Club Conferences, in January the RYA will be running a series of online club development workshops to cover the topics that conference delegates said are most important.  These free workshops are a repeat of the workshops presented at the conferences so are ideal if you were a delegate and now want to revisit the content, as well as for those who were unable to make their live regional event.  Each workshop will leave you with the latest information and ideas to create or update your plans and find out what support is available from the RYA.

  • 10th January – 8-9 pm – How can you plan to retain more members?
  • 17th January – 8-9 pm – How can you plan to recruit and retain more volunteers?
  • 24th January – 8-9 pm – How can you plan to develop or replace your facility?
  • 31st January – 8-9 pm – What are the governance and legal challenges that your club is facing?

If you register for the workshop you will be able to view a recording if you cannot make the live session.  These are open to representatives from RYA Affiliated Clubs so do share the details with others involved with running your club. 

Register here for the workshops…

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference, 21 Nov, Maidstone (also online from 8 Nov)

This year’s RYA Affiliated Clubs Conferences will be exploring the theme of ‘planning for a successful future’. Whether your club has been able to capitalise on the staycation trend or is struggling to resume activities, this is the event to help you move forward. These conferences are ideal for anyone involved in managing your club or its activities: flag officers, committee members, staff and volunteers. 

These events also include a programme of club development sessions led by experts that will explore the following areas:

  • How can we recruit and retain more volunteers?
  • How can we develop or replace our facility?
  • How can we recruit and retain more members and participants?
  • What advice is there for the governance and legal challenges our club is facing?

All the events will be free to delegates from RYA Affiliated Clubs.

London & South East: 21 November 2021 – New Line Learning Academy, Boughton Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 9QL

There will also be an Online Conference on Monday 8 November, 7.30 – 9.30pm. However, the content will be available for a month after the event, so you can catch up at a time to suit you to watch a recording.

For more information and to register click here…