CA talk – the last master of the QE2

On Thursday 9 March at 19.45 (note earlier time) at the Dog and Bear Hotel, Lenham, ME17 2PG

The Last Master of the QE2 by Captain Ian McNaught.

As the final Master of the QE2, Ian will tell the story of this last British built Transatlantic liner, a true ocean greyhound, a ship loved by her crew and cherished by her passengers.

Advance booking required as numbers are limited. To register and pay the £3 per person entry fee click the link below: [link removed]

Those wishing to eat beforehand are asked to phone the hotel on the day to reserve a table (01622 858219). Please state that you are attending the Cruising Association talk.

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

CA talk, Living River Foundation, Thu 8 Dec

Thursday 8th December 2022 at 20.00 –  Engaging with the wild world of the tidal Medway – the work of the Living River Foundation by Tanya Ferry

The foundation is working to reconnect communities with estuaries. The estuaries are improving despite their characteristic brown colour in the South East of England, but the colour makes it difficult to perceive the important animals that live in it. The foundation runs programmes to allow people to explore different aspects of the estuary, tackling litter, eliminating single use items, sampling microplastics, and giving talks.

Venue: The Dog and Bear Hotel Lenham ME17 2PG

To book and pay the £3.00 per person fee please click on the link here:   [BOOK VENUE]

All enquiries to

CA Talk: Defending the Swale, 8pm, Thurs 10 November

The Kent section of the Cruising Association still has some places available for Adam Taylor’s talk on Defending the Swale, 8pm, Thursday 10th November at the Dog and Bear, Lenham (near Maidstone). Many regular attendees come to dine at 7pm before the talk – best to phone and book your meal.

Adam Taylor will take us on a journey through time as we discover the known and lesser known defences of the Swale channel from the 1500s to the 1950s. Some of us may remember Adam’s interesting talk on the Islands of the Medway via Zoom during lockdown. As the venue has imposed a limit on attendees, you need to book early to avoid disappointment. To register for this event please click the link here:

Book here for Adam’s talk

CA talk on Navy Board Ship Models, 10 March

The Cruising Association Kent Section hosts a popular series of monthly talks each winter. The meetings are currently held on Zoom. Non-members are welcome to attend. On Thursday 10 March at 19.00 Nick Ball from Chatham Historic Dockyard will give a talk on Navy Board Ship Models.

Nick is the recently appointed Collections, Galleries and Interpretations Manager at the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. He had previously been a curator at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Together with Simon Stephens, he co-authored the book ‘Navy Board Ship Models,’ published by Seaforth Publishing in 2018. Nick will give a talk outlining his research into the construction and function of the models together with the identities of those who built and owned many of the finest ship models ever made. From about the middle of the seventeenth century exquisitely crafted ship models with distinctive unplanked lower hulls began to be made. Regarded as the pinnacle of the ship modeller’s art, they are valued both as art objects and as potential historical evidence on matters of ship design.

CA talk on HMS Bellerophon, now 31 March

This Cruising Association Winter Warmer talk has been rescheduled Thursday for 31 March at 19.00, with Kent Section member Des Crampton to talk about the history of HMS Bellerophon.

Model of HMS Bellerophon made by Martin Male of Upnor Sailing Club

HMS Bellerophon, nicknamed ‘Billy Ruffian’ by her crew, was a 74-gun ship of the line launched at Frindsbury on the River Medway in October 1786, just three years before the start of the French revolution. She fought in all the major naval battles of the Napoleonic wars and crowned her well-deserved reputation when she prevented Napoleon’s escape to the United States after the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was detained on board for twenty-four days until his transfer in Torbay to HMS Northumberland for the voyage to St Helena.

The talk will review Bellerophon’s construction, long naval service, and eventual retirement to become a prison hulk in Plymouth. Her hull design and sea-keeping characteristics will be briefly analysed using the original 1:48 scale drawing of her lines. There will be a review of her armaments followed by descriptions of her participation in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar. The talk will conclude with some detail of Napoleon’s surrender to Bellerophon’s Captain Maitland at Ile-d’Aix off Rochefort.

CA Brexit webinar now available to non-members

The Cruising Association hosted a Brexit Webinar for members on 22 January 2022, which is now published for public viewing by the wider cruising community. The CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) continues to be at the forefront of lobbying on behalf of the cruising community to mitigate the impact of the UK leaving the EU, and there have been some significant changes in the past year which are presented in the webinar.

The webinar covers in detail the latest updates on:

  • People issues – including Schengen immigration and the 90/180 day visa rules
  • VAT issues – the latest on EU and UK VAT and the changes to Returned Goods Relief
  • Recreational Craft Directive/Recreational Craft Rules – compliance and how it will affect you

Here’s the link to the webinar…