Builder announces partnership with college
British boat builder, Princess Yachts, has announced that it has more than doubled its apprentice intake and has confirmed its partnership with the South Devon College. The company will move its training facility to the college’s Marine Academy on the banks of the River Dart. Princess state that the rise of 20 to 42 trainees reflects a strong 24 months and an expansion of the business, which is considered to be Britain’s biggest and best builder of luxury yachts.
Crack down on trailer maintenance
In October the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) issued a reminder to boaters to check their trailers are safe and legal before each journey, as the agency is increasing the number of inspections it carries out. In a recent Department for Transport report, 50% of trailers were found to be unsafe. The DVSA will be enforcing safe trailer use with a year-long operation which will check thousands of extra light trailers (under 3.5 tonnes) and caravans. DVSA can issue fines and immobilise dangerous vehicles at roadside inspections. Guidance includes ensuring you are carrying the correct driving licence to tow, encouraging regular maintenance of both trailers and towbars and awareness of the maximum towing weight of your vehicle and the maximum authorised mass of your combined vehicle and trailer. It said if drivers are unsure of how to tow or use a trailer, they should contact the National Trailer and Towing Association (NTTA) for a free trailer check. A DVSA video and full guidance on towing can be found here.
NEW BOAT: French builder announces new 36ft Antares flagship
The French boat builder, Beneteau has announced a new flagship for its Antares range. The new Antares 11 is being introduced as a safe, seaworthy, and spacious family boat, and its features include an innovative starboard swim platform, extending the cockpit space. Modular seating in the wheelhouse converts seamlessly for comfort while underway or at rest, with convertible L-shaped bench seating, a four-pane sunroof overhead providing plenty of light and a wheelhouse side door allowing easy access to the wide offset starboard side deck. Its interior can accommodate up to 7 people, with a double berth and a single in its full-beam mid cabin, a forward master with double island berth and a dinette converting into an occasional double in the wheelhouse. Its toilet compartment also features a separate shower stall. The 36ft, 11-metre model can be powered by twin outboards up to 300hp each. The new model will premiere at the Paris Nautic boat show in December next year.
Get ready for the 51st Southampton Boat Show
As we write, Mayflower Park in Southampton has been transformed into Britain’s biggest boating extravaganza. Back for its 51st year and backed by new title sponsor Borrow a Boat, this year’s Southampton Boat Show is expected to see 10,000 visitors ‘take to the water’ and explore the shows huge, purpose-built marina and sprawling shoreside spaces. The 10-day show, held Friday 13th to Sunday 22nd September, will see over 500 marine brands exhibiting with a huge array of new boats and equipment. New boats making their worldwide debuts include the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 1095 Flybridge, Rodman 1090 Evolution and the Princess V55. British rowing champion, double Olympic gold medallist and new star of Strictly Come Dancing, James Cracknell OBE, and TV personality and fitness entrepreneur, Lucy Mecklenburgh, will be officially opening the show.
New features this year include a Rum and Gin Bar and a Seaside Storytime Ship feature for families. Visitors will also be able to climb aboard the tall ship, Shtandart, which is a replica of the 1703 frigate built by Peter the Great. Other activities include Try-a-Dive in a purpose built tank, a remote-controlled sailing pool and stand up paddleboarding taster sessions through Rockley Watersports. The popular recurrent Try-a-Boat feature will be offering visitors free rides aboard various boats, including RIBS and motorboats, which are bookable at the show entrance arena. Departing from the show marina, the passenger boat, Ocean Scene, will once again be offering free mini cruise tours of Southampton Water. There is also a schedule of live music, talks and a silent boat auction planned. Finally at midday on opening day, Sunseeker will be hosting a special public tribute in memory of its company founder, Robert Braithwaite, who passed away this year.
Boat show organiser, British Marine, has once again pledged to make the show as eco friendly as possible and, with various refill points located throughout the show, is encouraging visitors and exhibitors to use re-usable bottles, and urging the removal of all plastic bottles from catering outlets. British Marine also organised a beach clean in Southampton in August to reduce and offset the environmental impact of this show.
The show will open daily from 9:30am-6:30pm and 9:30am-6pm on the last Sunday. Adult standard day tickets are £21 Fri-Sun and £16.50 Mon-Thurs. Children aged 15 years or younger enter for free. For more visitor information visit www.southamptonboatshow.com
Future is becoming bleak for red diesel with implementation of the CJEU judgment on diesel fuel used in private pleasure craft
The government has launched a consultation about the removal of red diesel for leisure boats. HM Revenue and Customs is inviting views on, and seeking information about, proposed changes to the rules for red diesel used in private pleasure craft as a result of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
HM Revenue and Customs’ 8-week consultation sets out the changes the government intends to make to bring the UK’s practice into line with the Directive and seeks evidence about the impact of the changes on users of diesel powered craft and their fuel suppliers.
The government intends to abolish the scheme introduced in 2008 that allowed users of diesel powered private pleasure craft (e.g. yachts, canal boats and motorboats) to purchase red diesel and pay the duty differential between red and white diesel on the fuel used for propulsion.
It intends to remove the right of operators of such craft to use red diesel for propulsion and mandate the use of white diesel. Users will be allowed to continue to use red diesel for on-board non-propulsion use where they have a separate fuel tank for this purpose. This means that craft with only one tank will pay more tax than they currently do as they will have to purchase fuel taxed at the higher white diesel duty rate for both propulsion and non-propulsion uses, and pay the standard rate of VAT as white diesel is not eligible for the reduced rate of VAT.
The consultation outlines how the government intends to implement the judgment by requiring private pleasure craft to use white diesel for propulsion, and seeks evidence regarding the impact this will have on users of diesel propelled craft.
The responses will be used to help determine whether a period will be required for suppliers, known as Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils (RDCOs), and users of diesel fuel to adapt to using only white diesel for propulsion of private pleasure craft and, if needed, the length of any such period.
The Royal Yachting Assocation (RYA) was the first to release news of the consultation and is encouraging users of diesel propelled craft, particularly private pleasure craft, and those involved in the supply of fuel to UK craft to respond to the consultation, and will be releasing detailed guidance on how to respond in its in due course. There is also an contact name detailed in the latest news story.
In its press release the RYA said ‘In 2018, the CJEU ruled that the UK’s taxation rules for diesel used in private pleasure craft contravened the Fuel Marker Directive. The Directive is designed to ensure that any misuse of diesel crossing European Union internal borders can be detected given the variation in duty treatment in member states.’
The RYA ‘will respond to the consultation in line with the policy on this issue agreed by its Cruising and Government Affairs Committee, setting out the many practical issues that implementation will bring and seeking a long transition period if the UK remains compelled to implement the judgement. This policy also urges Government not to implement the CJEU judgement in the event of a no deal Brexit. The RYA has been part of a group of key stakeholders that HMRC has engaged with pre-consultation and a further meeting will be held shortly, which will provide the opportunity to reiterate our policy.’
It added that ‘Boaters should experience no change in respect of their use of red diesel both in the UK and overseas until the UK Government makes changes to existing legislation. The RYA will be lobbying for any new legislation to include a transition period of sufficient length to recognise that changes will need to be made to the supply system and that the marker dye in red diesel will be detectable in boat fuel systems for a considerable period of time after the commencement date of any change to the use of white diesel.’
The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 9 September 2019.
Click here to view the consultation.
Riva to be displayed at Masterpiece art and design fair 27th June
Surrounded by beautiful and valuable works of art and design, this beautiful 1958 Riva Tritone will be displayed at this year's London Masterpiece fair held in a few days time. Riva dealer Ventura said, of all the classic Rivas, the Tritone is perhaps the one most associated with the glamour of La Dolce Vita on the Riviera in the 1950s and ’60s. A Royal favourite, Tritone #62 was owned by Prince Rainer and Princess Grace of Monaco. The Tritone marked the birth of the golden age of the twin-engined wooden Rivas. This particular example, on show and for sale at Masterpiece, is hull #86 which is powered by two 225hp Chrysler V8 engines, giving it a top speed of 40mph. Both boat and engines were restored over a period of 4 years from 2012-2016.
The Masterpiece art and design fair takes place from 27 June to 3 July in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea beside Chelsea Bridge. The Riva Tritone will be exhibited by Ventura on Stand A42, with an asking price of £325,000.
Friday 17th, Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th May
Two 3-day boat shows start on the south coast this Friday. The South Coast Boat Show is being held at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton and will have on display new boats from the likes of Sargo, Bavaria and Greenline. For more details visit www.southcoastboatshow.com
The British Motor Yacht Show starts this Friday and is being held at Premier's Swanwick Marina. Now in its 7th year, the event will have the latest models from British brands, Princess Yachts, Sunseeker International and Fairline Yachts, plus a selection of new motor yachts from other well known, worldwide brands too. You can find more information at www.britishmotoryachtshow.com
In the Lake District the Windermere Boat & Adventure Show is being held at Ferry Marina and across various sites around the lake. The show will have display of marine and leisure equipment, new boats, including the Banks Martin Beaulieu 30 and new boats from the Cranchi range. There will also be food and entertainment, and free activities to try, such as stand up paddleboarding and kayaking. More information at www.windermereboatshow.com
The 3rd Brundall Boat Show is being held this Saturday. The free-entry event will showcase new and used boats for sale, with an estimated 50 exhibitors, live music, food, drinks, bumper boats, craft stalls, bouncy castles. River taxis between sites and a park and ride from the field next to McDonalds to Brundall Station will be available.
Finally on the River Thames, on Saturday, there is the annual boat jumble being held at Shepperton Marina and at Harleyford Estate's Espar Chandlery is closing down and is hosting a 50% off sale opening at 10am.
11th & 12th May
The Gosport Marine Festival is taking place this weekend. The family event, with its various activities and exhibition areas, is being held across three locations along Gosport's waterfront, at Millennium Timespace Sundial, Trinity Green, and Dean and Reddyhoff’s Haslar Marina. Exhibitors include Hampshire Isle Of Wight Wildlife Trust, HM Coastguard, Riverford Organic, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, 5th Gosport Sea Scouts, Andark Diving Tank, Royal Navy and Royal Marine Recruiting, Lee on Solent Sailing Club, T Jays Inflatables, GAFIRS, RNLI, Tourist Office, Angel Sailing, Port and Lemon, Fresh Air Learning, Bacchus Yachting and Utility Warehouse. Over the weekend visitors can get out on the water on rowing boats, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. There will also be live entertainment and music at the Millennium Timespace Sundial. An interactive map with events, including timings is available via the event website.
This Sunday the Solent Boat Jumble is being held The Royal Victoria Country Park, at Netley, Southampton. The event opens at 10am and admission is £5 (free for accompanied children) and there will be free car parking available.
Bank Holiday weekend 4th-6th May
The Barclays Jersey Boat Show is being held at St Helier Marina and Weighbridge Place over this Spring Bank Holiday Weekend. Claimed to be ‘the largest free-entry event in the Channel Islands’ and sponsored for the 10th year by Barclays, the show is set to showcase ‘all things nautical’ and visitors can discover maritime activities, services and leisure facilities available in Jersey and further afield. On display on the water will be a selection of new boats and there will be a full programme of live entertainment on two show stages on the quayside, as well as the popular Barclay’s Hook-a-Duck feature raising money for local charities. There will be a Royal Navy presence at the show with three vessels, HMS Tyne, an 80-metre River-Class offshore patrol vessel used by the Royal Navy for fisheries protection and security and two P2000 Archer Class Patrol Vessels, HMS Smiter and HMS Ranger. To find out more details visit the show website, jerseyboatshow.com
Tingdene appoints two new south coast Cranchi dealers
Tingdene Boat Sales has announced the appointment of two new south coast Cranchi dealers, covering Cornwall to East Sussex and the Channel Islands.
Adding to its line-up of 10 sales offices, Cranchi UK distributor Tingdene Boat Sales has appointed Southampton Waters Yacht Sales to cover the south coast from Weymouth to Eastbourne and South West UK Marine (SWUK) to manage Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.
Founded at Shamrock Quay in 2009, Southampton Waters Yacht Sales boat broker, Richard Stead, whose previous experience includes several years with Sealine and Princess Motor Yachts, said "I am absolutely over the moon to be able to be a part of the Cranchi brand – it’s the only make of boat I have owned for myself. We cannot wait to get started, having sold many Cranchi models. I have always supported the build quality and design of this manufacturer, so we really could not be more happy to be a part of growing Cranchi’s presence along the South Coast.”
Based in Brixham in Devon, South West UK Marine's Owner, Stuart White, said “We are very pleased to be joining the team of dealers in the UK to sell Cranchi Motor Yachts. It’s a well-established company, based in Italy with an excellent pedigree of building skills. They create a style to catch your eye, having been producing these beautifully-styled vessels for nearly 150 years.”
Neil Mallandain, Sales Director for Tingdene Boat Sales, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Richard and Stuart, with their respective teams, into our Cranchi network in the UK. The appointment of Southampton Waters Yacht Sales and South West UK Marine was carefully considered and we know they will do an excellent job of representing the comprehensive line-up of Cranchi models right the way along the English Channel coast, from Lands End all the way to Eastbourne. Working in conjunction with our connected group of 10 offices, customers will never be far away from an opportunity to pop in and discuss the wide range of boats available from one of the world’s leading manufacturers.”
15th, 16th & 17th March
Premier Marinas is hosting two open days at its Chichester and Eastbourne Marinas this weekend. Billed as a great opportunity to meet the friendly staff and get a real feel for life at a Premier marina, the open day on Saturday at Chichester Marina will comprise of two tours, at 10am and 1.30pm, where attendees will be shown the berthing, toilet and shower facilities, fuel berth, berth holder parking and boatyard, as well as a brief overview of the lock. The open day on Sunday at Eastbourne Marina will commence at 11am and includes an introduction to the Sovereign Harbour Berth Holders’ Association and its activities, a visit to the Yacht Club, a tour of the marina and an introduction to how to transit the locks. Attendees can also sit in on a RYA powerboat training and family watersports presentation. In addition a light buffet lunch will be served at the Marina Reception at 12.45pm. To find out more and sign up to either, call Premier Chichester on: 01489 884060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Premier Eastbourne on 01323 470099 or email email@example.com. To find out more about what’s on at each Premier marina during the Open Days, visit www.premiermarinas.com/Marina-News-Events/Marina-Events.
The boat jumble season is finally upon us. It is the Suffolk Boat Jumble on Sunday, which is an indoor and outdoor event to be held at Trinity Park Events Centre in Ipswich (IP3 8UH). Again opening at 10am, admission is £5 (free for accompanied children), and there is free car parking on site.
For details of forthcoming boat jumbles visit www.boatjumbleassociation.co.uk
PHOTO: Premier Chichester Marina
Sunseeker founder, Robert Braithwaite CBE, DL has passed away
In the early hours of this morning, Sunseeker’s Robert Braithwaite CBE, DL passed away (7 March 2019) at the age of 75. Born in 1943, Robert Braithwaite was the founder and figurehead of what has become one of the largest boat builders in the UK, transforming from a small boat dealer establishing in Poole in 1969, into a globally-recognised boat brand, with a range today from 50-161 feet.
After leaving school at 14, Robert dreamt of building a new kind of boat. He set up a boat dealership selling a American brand of cruisers in the 60s, eventually he bought the moulds for these and began building his own range, renamed Sunseeker in the years that followed. Models such as the Hostess 17, Sports 23 and Daycab 23 were the first of many products by entrepreneurial Robert. He also went on to form close ties with racing pedigree boat designer, Don Shead, with the development of early models such as the Offshore 28 cruiser.
Christian Marti, CEO of Sunseeker International, said ‘Robert was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever. Robert was not only the company’s founder, but the father of the ‘Sunseeker family’ here in Dorset, and worldwide through our dealers and clients. He will always live on as the driving force behind our success. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his immediate family.’
The marine association, British Marine also paid tribute to the ‘man behind one of the industry’s most iconic brands and great personal friend to many’. ‘He was a boat show champion’ British Marine said, ‘one of the longest serving Chairman of National Boat Shows (now dissolved within British Marine), he spearheaded the Association’s two leading boat shows, London Boat Show and Southampton Boat Show’. Robert served as Chairman of National Boat Shows in 1991-92, 1997-98 and 2003-04.
Robert was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2007, and amongst his list of recent accolades Robert received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Boat Builder Awards and an Outstanding Achievement award at the 2018 Luxury Briefing Awards. Away from his work in the boating industry, ‘generous’ Robert also gifted a surgical robot to the Dorset Cancer Centre, who had treated him for bowel cancer in early 2015. With Sunseekers appearing in several James Bond films, Robert appeared in a cameo role in ‘Quantum of Solace’ driving lead actor, Daniel Craig, aboard a restored classic Sunseeker Sovereign 17 on location in Italy. Accepting his lifetime achievement award in 2016, Robert said “I have dedicated much of my life to this industry and have strived to make Sunseeker the world-renowned luxury brand that it is today. I am very proud of what Sunseeker International has become over the last 47 years, it is quite an achievement. We are continuing to grow worldwide thanks to our investment in new products, shipyard facilities and our people, it is exciting to see what the future will hold.” Today Sunseeker is considered to be ‘Britain’s biggest boat builder’.
Central Solent navigation landmark set to vanish in creation of new marina and village
The 198-metre chimney close to the entrance of Southampton Water in the Solent is to be demolished to make way for a £800m residential development. Fawley Power Station began operation in 1971 as a 2000-megawatt oil-fired power station, but closed in March 2013, and is now decommissioned. At the peak of its operation it employed in excess of 700 people, making it a major employer within the New Forest. Developer, Fawley Waterside, now owns the 3000-acre site and is initiating plans to demolish the station to make way for a proposed, traditional-Southampton-style harbour development with a canal and dock at its heart, featuring 1500 homes, an all-tides marina, a hotel, yacht club, shops, restaurants and marine industries, and a ferry service to Southampton. According to the Solent Protection Organisation, the same developer is proposing another 30 new homes at Calshot, as part of a Calshot Village development. The chimney tower at Fawley, near Calshot, on the west bank of Southampton Water was built in 1964 and has been an important navigation mark for Solent boaters ever since. Fawley Waterside state ‘We do recognise that the chimney is an important and popular landmark used by sailors, and those walking the New Forest to orientate themselves. For this reason it will be replaced by a building of sufficient scale and height that can be seen from the Solent’s eastern and western approaches. This proposed building will be 100m high and combine a mixture of residential and commercial use.'
British boat builder looks to relaunch through crowd funding
Birchwood Marine Ltd has announced that it is ‘relaunching’ the Birchwood brand via crowd funding investment and what is being described as a ‘joint venture manufacturing association’. Birchwood’s Chairman and Managing Director for the past 16 years, Ernie Vick, explained ‘Due to the recession we stopped manufacturing in the UK and decided to look further afield, subsequently we had boats built at a shipyard in South East China, but due to their economic downturn the yard decided to close. We have since acquired a (MOU) /Joint Manufacturing Agreement with an established yard in Argentina with a range of models from 34ft-74ft with both sport and flybridge models. These will be ‘Birchwood branded’ for the UK, EU, US, with potentially the UAE and China markets.” The Birchwood brand dates back to the 1950s, but closed its doors in 2002. The investment is being raised through Crowdcube.com and Ernie also told Motorboat Owner that this “will be used initially to fund two boats or more, depending on the level of funding raised and displayed at the forthcoming Southampton Boat Show 2019 and then to the Boot Düsseldorf boat show in 2020 with representation from dealers in our various countries.” Initial launch models from the 34ft-74ft range are to be the 640 and 430, both flybridges, and the company is also looking to use technological advances in hybrid power in its models. You can see a video presentation on the proposed relaunch, which includes interviews with MD Ernie Vick, Owner and CFO, Paul Wagstaff and John Pridmore of the Birchwood Classics website, here.
Mariner 2.5hp prize is handed over at Plymouth
Derek Robinson from Plymouth is the winner of the Motorboat Owner Reader Survey prize, a Mariner 2.5hp outboard, supplied by Barrus. The outboard was presented to Derek over today (29th January) by Dave Mallett at Plymouth Marine and Barrus Area Sales Manager, Mick Matthews. The Motorboat Owner reader survey was launched at the Southampton Boat Show and ran across the September and October issues. MBO Editor, Neale said “I would like to thank all the readers that took part in the survey, it is wonderful to hear that you are enjoying the magazine. I would also like to thank Barrus for providing the incredible prize.” Winner, Derek said “I’m lost for words winning such a tremendous prize and I have to thank MBO and Barrus for this.”
Swedish motorboat builder acquires Finnish boat ranges
The Swedish motorboat manufacturer, Nimbus, has acquired Finnish builder, Bella Boats. Known as Bella-Veneet Oy, it was established in 1970 and was owned by founder, Raimo Sonninen and Brunswick Marine. Bella, as a group, manufactures four different motorboat brands, Bella, Flipper, Aquador and, the most recent addition, the aluminium boat series, Falcon.
Pictured, built by Bella Boats, the new Aquador 35 AQ
CO alarms to be included in BSS examinations from April 2019
From April onwards it will be a compulsory requirement of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) to have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm onboard a cabin boat. The decision, made by the BSS Management Committee, comes as a result of a public consultation, which saw an 84% vote in favour. All boats with accommodation spaces needing a BSS for 2019, which is a requirement for inland waterways licences, will now be checked for suitable CO alarms. The condition and location of the device will also be assessed. The BSS will be publishing the new checks in detail in January/February 2019 on its website and will also be launching a spring/ summer 2019 carbon monoxide campaign. In 2018, three inland boaters lost their lives due to fire on boats and several more boaters had to go to hospital due to explosions, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Called the silent killer, CO is a highly toxic poison that cannot be heard, seen, felt, tasted or smelt, and is the result of an incomplete or inefficient burn of any carbon-based fuel including wood, charcoal, coal, petrol, diesel, propane and butane. Those with an existing BSS certificate without an alarm are being urged to look at a list of recommended CO alarms and install one for their own safety. The BSS is a public safety initiative owned by the inland authorities, Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency, and its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution from boats harming visitors to the inland waterways, the waterways’ workforce and any other people on or near the waterway. More information about staying safe from CO on boats and the BSS is available at www.boatsafetyscheme.org/co
Winners of the five categories to be announced at this week's Berlin Boat and Fun boat show
The winners of the Best of Boats Awards will be announced this week at the Berlin Boat and Fun and the finalists include the likes of the Parker Monaco 110, Jeanneau NC33 and Beneteau Swift Trawler 35.
Known in the industry as the BOB awards, this year 21 finalists were whittled down from hundreds of boats tested by the 18 jury members over the last 12 months. With Motorboat Owner’s Neale Byart representing the UK, the jury is made up of boating journalists from Austria, USA, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Croatia and the Ukraine. The shortlisted finalist boats are divided into five categories ‘Best for’ fun, beginners, fishing, family and travel. The winners of each category will be announced at an awards ceremony at Berlin Boat and Fun on the 29th of November.
Best for Beginners
Best for Fishing
Best for Family
Best for Fun
Best for Travel
For more information visit www.bestofboats.com
Photo: Best For Family finalist, the Parker Monaco 110
Spanish boat builder announces new open fisher range and revitalises popular fisher cruiser
The Spanish commercial, military and leisure boat builder, Rodman will be launching two new models in 2019. Designed for leisure boating or fishing and the launch model of a new range, the 33 Offshore is a central console, open boat that is based on the hull of Rodman’s popular 33ft patrol boat. This outboard powered, T-topped fast fisher will be capable of 45 knots. The second new model will be the renewed 1040 ‘Evolution’, which will be available in two versions, Hard Top or Flybridge. The 6-berth 1040 has two separate cabins and will have an updated light and bright interior with hull windows for the cabin areas. Other features of its wheelhouse include stylish wraparound windows and a helmsman side door. Rodman has also announced that it will be making superstructure changes and interior design changes to its Fisher and Cruiser ranges. These include adding two stylish hull windows, with integrated circular portholes, to the Spirit models, and offering new choices of wood finishes and interior décor across all ranges.
HMRC loses battle for red diesel in a ruling that could end the use of red diesel for private pleasure craft in the UK
On the 17th of October, the HMRC lost its defence against use of marked fuel (red diesel) for the purposes of propelling private pleasure craft in the UK and Northern Ireland. The court ruled that the UK had failed to fulfil its obligations under Council Directive 95/60/ EC of 27 November 1995 on fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene (OJ 1995 L 291, p. 46). The ruling could end the use of red diesel for private pleasure craft in the UK, until such time Brexit transpires, and the impact of both of these on recreational boating is yet unknown. The majority of diesel sold at British marinas is red diesel, which is taxed at 100% when used only for propulsion, with a lower rate of tax when it is used for boat heating. A directive states that EU members must add a ‘fiscal marker’ (a red dye in the UK) to diesel which is not taxed at the full rate. Desputing the UKs practices, the European Commission indicated its intention to commence infraction proceedings against the UK in July 2011. In May 2013 the European Commission formally requested that the UK amend its legislation “to ensure that private pleasure boats such as luxury yachts can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats” and issued a reasoned opinion to the UK Government, which HMRC indicated its intention to challenge in July 2013. As a result, in July 2014, the European Commission indicated that it had decided to refer the UK to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The October 2018 judgment ruling means that, while the UK remains subject to the fuel marker directive, the UK must bring its practices into line with this ruling. HMRC is now examining the judgment and will announce how and when the UK will adjust its practices in due course. The two marine bodies, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and British Marine are concerned and will be examining the impact on the leisure marine industry, and seeking urgent meetings with HMRC to discuss the next steps. The RYA said “The crux of the matter is ensuring the continued availability of diesel for the leisure boating community.”