The latest lockdown regulations for England

Please see recent comunacation from the RYA Cruising Manager  regarding acceses to our craft during lockdown.
The latest lockdown regulations for England ( the law) do not permit people to leave or be outside of the place where they live unless they have a reasonable excuse. The regulation provides a number of examples of what may be considered to be a reasonable excuse but the list is not intended to be definitive and unless something is expressly prohibited in law then the presumption is that it may continue. Government guidance is meant to steer us into doing the right thing and what government guidance says might provide a steer to a court on what is considered to be reasonable excuse if it ever came to that.
On the point you make, Government guidance on boat maintenance during lockdown states that maintaining second homes, caravans, boats and other assets is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home. However, people may leave home to secure their second home, caravan or boat in order to avoid it posing a risk of harm/injury to themselves or others. This guidance is taken directly from the site and you may therefore conclude that if what you want to do is to secure the safety of you boat, it complies with Government guidance on this issue  and is therefore a reasonable excuse.
The law is silent on how far you can travel provided its purpose is for a reasonable excuse. Provided you observe the gathering rules i.e. you can leave home alone, or with members of their household/support bubble or with one other person who is not a member of your household/support bubble in a public outdoor place (a place to which the public have, or are permitted, access whether on payment or otherwise such as a mooring of marina). However you should be aware that this does not compel Marinas to stay open although many have.


Rye Harbour Update


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

In 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ClEU) 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. HM Revenue and Customs eight-week consultation sets out the changes the Government intends to make to bring the UK's practice in line with the Directive and seeks evidence about the impact of the changes on users of diesel-powered craft and their fuel suppliers. The consultation doses at 11:45pm on 9 September 2019. 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.

Users will be allowed to continue to burn red diesel for onboard 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 judgement 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 he used to help determine whether a period will he required, for suppliers and users of diesel fuel to adapt and, if needed, the length of any such period.

RYA Action

The RYA will respond to the consultation in line with 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. bobby for any new legislation to include a transition period of sufficient length to recognise 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.

Please Respond

The RYA encourages 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. More detailed guidance on how to respond will be made available in due course.
Email: gary.satchell@ Write to: Gary Satchell, Excise & Environmental Taxes Policy Design Team, HM Revenue and Customs, Room 3/36, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ Telephone (Mondays to Thursdays only): 03000 585802
A summary of responses will be published after the consultation concludes. It will provide details of when the changes will be brought into effect and whether any adjustment period is needed.

Sad end to an old friend (from 30 May 2019)

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Mariners are advised that piling work will begin in the mid river section of the Harbour on 20th March 2019 The river will remain navigable and mariners are advised to keep well clear of the works and to pass at slow speed. The works are expected to take 5 days to complete.
Further information and progress reports can be obtained from the Harbour Master.
Tel:  01797 225225   VHF: Ch. 14 Email:
James Bateman  Harbour Master March 2019


Wreck in Strand Quay

All mariners are advised that the vessel RML 526 has sunk on its moorings at Strand Quay, Rye. The vessel is currently secure but there is a chance it may block the navigable channel over the next set of tides. Mariners are advised to navigate with extreme caution around the Strand Quay until measures have been taken to refloat the vessel or the obstruction is removed.
For further information contact the Harbour Masters office Harbour Master
Tel: 01797 225225