Yachting & Boating world: The French government announced last week that they would find an alternative solution to protecting Bonifacio’s sea bed.
Controversial plans to introduce an anchoring tax to much of the French coastline have been scrapped by the government. The Notre bill would have seen a daily anchoring levy applied to more than 300 managed marine areas around the country in a bid to prevent damage to sea beds.
Initially only set to be introduced off Corsica, the plans were then extended throughout France. Last May the French Senate voted to abandon the tax, with the Assembly also supporting that decision last week on 2 July.
Minister Matylise Lebranchu has now committed to finding another solution to preventing Bonifacio’s sea bed from being damaged by boats, while also protecting the economy.
Following the announcement, the European Committee for Professional Yachting said: “It is good news, especially as at this day, the yachting industry represents 1.5 billion Euros in France, including €720m in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.”
Motorboat & Yachting: Scottish yacht haven Campbeltown Marina has announced that it has complete a major upgrade of its facilities.
Boaters visiting Scotland this summer will be able to take advantage of the upgraded facilities at Campbeltown Marina (pictured above), which has recently completed an improvement project.
The Argyll and Bute marina now offers 54 berths from a new U-shaped pontoon configuration that allows room for boats measuring up to 33-metres.
Extensive dredging has also extended the basin area, which is fully accessible even at low tide. Situated on the sheltered east coast of the Kintyre peninsula, Campebeltown Marina also boasts a brand new shower and toilet block, as well as free Wi-Fi.
Speaking in advance of the grand opening on June 27, marina manager Calum Lawson said: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming visitors to this fantastic new facility.
“Campbeltown is a perfect destination in a prime location for a quick stopover or longer stay and can provide everything a visitor could require,” he added.
Local attractions include six golf courses, the 100-mile Kintyre Way walking route and the Mull of Kintyre itself, as well as horse riding, fishing and diving.
Rates at Campbeltown marina start from £15 per night for boats under 7m, while annual berths cost from £130 per metre.
Motorboat & Yachting: The three-year redevelopment of St Helier Harbour is now complete, after Marina Projects carried out £3m worth of upgrades.
Boatowners visiting Jersey will find upgraded facilities at St Helier Harbour, following the completion of a £3m upgrade programme. Marina Projects has announced that the three-year upgrade was recently completed, including extensive dredging, which has increased the minimum depth to 9.6 metres at low tide and 12 metres at high tide.
What’s more, the old span-link bridge within St Helier Marina has been replaced with a new 52 metre long pedestrian bridge. Additional 24 metre long steel piles have been installed by sub-contractor Fugro Seacore, with rock-socketing to hold them in place. And further improvements have been made to both the visitor berths and the holding pontoons.
Feasibility studies on St Helier Marina were carried out in 2012, but the work only began in September 2014 after planning permission was granted. The completion of the project also frees up space in the South West corner of St Helier Harbour for future construction works.
St Helier is one of the busiest ports in the UK with more than 20,000 visitors per year, including extensive use by the RNLI. It also hosts the annual Jersey Boat Show, which takes place over the first weekend in May.
Motorboat & Yachting: Gibraltar’s Ocean Village marina will be adding ten new superyacht berths as part of a major expansion project.
The owners of Ocean Village marina are hoping to attract superyacht owners to Gibraltar for more than just cheap fuel, after a major expansion project was approved.
The marina will be adding ten new stern-to superyacht berths, 102 waterside apartments, a new Pier Office, and a landscaped promenade area.
Plans were submitted to Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission back in December 2015, but were only approved earlier this month.
Developers will now carry out further research and provide traffic and environmental reports before the development can move into the design and construction phases. No timeframe or budget has yet been agreed for the overall project.
Neil Crawford, director of Ocean Village, said: “Our marina sees superyachts on a regular basis, but usually just for short periods of time or for fuel stops.
“Of course we’re delighted at the news,” he continued. “This is a vote of confidence in the future of Gibraltar’s economy and complements the Government of Gibraltar’s measures to attract superyachts to the Rock.”
Ocean Village and Marina Bay are the two main marinas in Gibraltar and between them they include 300 berths measuring up to 80 metres.
Pratical Boat Owner: Planning permission has been granted for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant.
Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc, said: ‘Wales led the way providing the fuel for the industrial revolution. We are now entering the era of the climate change revolution – de-carbonising our world in time to avoid two degrees of global warming – Wales can now lead this next revolution.
‘In the run up to the Paris talks on a global climate change deal, a deal to steer global emissions from 50bn tonnes CO2e down to 40bn tonnes CO2e by 2030 and 20bn tonnes by 2050, the UK and especially Wales has opened a new door to help answer the greatest challenge of our age.
‘With the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon becoming a reality, locking in 120 year life, zero carbon energy infrastructure, we have the potential to help transform our industrial economy and the UK’s energy mix.’
Mr Shorrock added: ‘We see it as a game-changer, a scalable blueprint, paving the way for a fleet of lagoons that can work in harmony with nature to help secure the nation’s electricity for generations to come.
‘The tidal lagoons that follow – at Cardiff, at Newport, elsewhere in the UK and overseas – must each make their own compelling social, environmental and economic case to proceed. But they have a pilot project to guide them and a blossoming technical and industrial network to support them.
‘We’ll create an opportunity for the local community and ordinary people across the country to part-own the lagoon, should they wish to do so, later in the year.
‘It seems a very long time ago that we first set out our vision to the people of Swansea Bay: the international class sporting facilities and events; the opportunities for employment and leisure; the visitor facilities and tourism potential; the incubation of new ventures in mariculture and conservation; the blank canvass for art and learning, for culture and interaction; the Sunday stroll along the lagoon wall.
‘We now have some further permissions to secure and must successfully conclude CFD negotiations on our way to financial close, but the vision is now closer to reality than ever before and our delivery team is readying itself to start on site and start delivering for Swansea Bay next spring.’
Yachting & Boating World: The Royal Southern Yacht Club was honoured on Thursday by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble was honoured on Thursday by the presence of its patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, for the commissioning ceremony of the newly completed Prince Philip Yacht Haven.
Three years ago, His Royal Highness graciously lent his name to the project that transformed the club’s waterfront and returned yesterday to view the completed development for the first time.
Accompanied by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mrs. Lindsay Fox, Prince Philip was welcomed to the Royal Southern Yacht Club by its commodore, Mr. Christopher Mansfield, before meeting flag officers and members of both the Royal Southern and its neighbour, the Royal Air Force Yacht Club, a partner in the waterfront project.
Later, His Royal Highness met the chairman of the group responsible for the Haven development, past commodore Mr. Mark Inkster, and its members, together with representatives of the Hampshire-based contractors who had worked on the project, before unveiling a commemorative plaque and taking lunch with members.
The 8-month building project has included the construction of a new quay wall, a capital dredge to give full tidal access, a new slipway and re-positioning pontoons to create enhanced berthing facilities for members and visitors.
The Haven includes a much needed disabled persons access, an ecologically sound ‘living wall’ for invertebrates and, overall, the development will provide added flood protection to the village of Hamble.
Commodore Mansfield commented: “The Prince Philip Yacht Haven would never have been completed without the unstinting generosity and tolerance of Members, who deserve our unreserved thanks.
“Nor would it have been delivered without the foresight and impetus of members from both clubs who made up the Haven Group, or the contractors selected to bring it to fruition. It is truly a world class facility which will transform the sailing opportunities for both clubs.”
The Royal Southern Yacht Club has enjoyed Royal patronage since its formation in 1837. A Member for 67 years, H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh was gracious enough to accept an invitation to become admiral of the club in 1952 and became its patron in 2002.
Motorboat & Yachting: Isle of Wight marina Cowes Yacht Haven has been added to the TransEurope network, following the completion of a major dredging project.
Cowes Yacht Haven has been named as the latest member of the TransEurope Marinas network, the first Isle of Wight marina to join this group.
The TransEurope association means that bertholders at Cowes Yacht Haven can get half-price moorings at 29 other UK marinas and 40 overseas marinas across seven European countries.
In return, bertholders at all other TransEurope marinas are now entitled to a half-price mooring at Cowes.
Jon Pridham, managing director of Cowes Yacht Haven, said: “We are very positive that this will benefit the Island and its tourism greatly and offers a great opportunity for our berth-holders to explore other marinas around the continent.”
The news comes shortly after Cowes Yacht Haven completed a major dredging project, ensuring a minimum water depth of 3.5 metres, even during low spring tides.
The 260-berth marina has also recently spent £300,000 on a new mobile crane, which can lift vessels weighing up to 15 tonnes.
Pratical Boat Owner: Update on the use of “marked” red diesel in private pleasure craft. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has written to Belgian marinas and clubs with visitor moorings to encourage them to lobby for the current Belgian Minister for Finance to reinstate permission for visiting British yachts to use red diesel.
In Belgium the use of marked “red” diesel in a private pleasure craft is unlawful regardless of the country in which the diesel was purchased and an infringement of Belgian law carries the risk of a fine.
In January 2014, in response to falling numbers of visiting British yachts, the then Belgian Minister for Finance Koen Geens acknowledged that the Belgian Government “must adopt a pragmatic approach” to the issue of “red” diesel.
Permission for British leisure craft to have red diesel in their fuel tanks when visiting Belgian waters was therefore granted up until 31st October 2014, subject to the proviso that the skipper can “present documents to demonstrate that excise duties have already been paid in the United Kingdom.”
This permission was subsequently extended until 31st December 2014, but was not renewed thereafter.
Risk of fines
The Belgian Government’s decision not to extend this permission into 2015 has caused renewed consternation amongst British skippers. The RYA says although we understand that the risk of being fined by Belgian Customs may remain low, the uncertainty caused by the Belgian Government’s decision not to extend this permission into 2015 is likely to prompt many of those British skippers who had intended to visit Belgium this summer to go elsewhere.
The RYA understands from the Maritieme Brigade Douane that part of the reason why the Belgian Government decided not to extend this permission into 2015 was because local interest groups (including local boating organisations and marina/mooring operators) did not ask the Belgian Government to extend it.
The RYA has therefore written to Belgian marinas and clubs with visitor moorings to point out that a reduction in the number of visiting British yachts will inevitably result in a loss of income and to encourage them to lobby for the current Minister for Finance to reinstate the express permission for visiting UK yachts to have marked “red” diesel in their main fuel tanks.
Elsewhere in Europe
The UK Government has so far taken the view that, under EU legislation, the use of marked “red” diesel for the propulsion of private pleasure craft is legal provided it is duty-paid.
Given that marked “red” diesel is usually the only diesel that is available to private pleasure craft at the waterside in the UK, the vast majority of UK-based yachts have marked “red” diesel in their main fuel tanks.
The presence of marked “red” diesel in a yacht’s main fuel tank does not cause any difficulty for British skippers visiting any country in Europe apart from Belgium, although it is recommended that you carry evidence that your diesel was purchased duty paid in the UK when visiting France and the Netherlands.
Why should UK boaters benefit from low rates of duty?
They don’t. Recreational boaters in the UK have been required to pay the full rate of duty on fuel used for propelling private pleasure craft since November 2008.
Under EU law, boaters are entitled to benefit from a rebated rate of duty on diesel used for heating and electricity generation, as is the case for fuel oil used for heating a private home. Even if only 60% of marked “red” diesel purchased is declared as being used for propulsion (the 60:40 split), UK boaters still pay roughly 10% more duty than their counterparts in France and Belgium.
Why should private pleasure craft use marked “red” diesel in the UK?
In short, to secure the continued availability of diesel fuel at the waterside for all UK boaters. Many waterside suppliers of diesel fuel only have a single tank and pump which in the vast majority of cases means marked “red” diesel is the only available fuel.
Should those suppliers be obliged to supply unmarked “white” diesel to private pleasure craft they will be faced with the cost of either installing a second fuel tank and pumping equipment or choosing which fuel to supply – marked “red” or unmarked “white” diesel.
RYA research indicates that roughly one third of them would limit their operation to supplying marked “red” diesel to commercial vessels and they would simply stop supplying private pleasure craft altogether.
This would have a significant impact on the availability of diesel for private pleasure craft along the coast, particularly in more remote parts of the country where harbours cater predominantly for commercial (fishing) craft.
Such areas include Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the north of England and the West Country.
What about inland?
Many inland waterways vessels are people’s homes and the owners rely on diesel fuel for heating and electricity generation, which under EU law can legally be purchased at the rebated rate of duty. However, under EU law, unmarked diesel cannot be supplied at a rebated rate of duty.
RYA research suggests that, should they be obliged to supply unmarked “white” diesel for propulsion, nearly half of those supplying diesel to private pleasure craft would stop supplying “red” diesel.
The owners of inland waterways vessels would therefore be denied access to diesel at the rebated rate of duty diesel for domestic use.
What’s in a colour?
The EU Marking Directive prescribes the chemical marker that must be applied to diesel to be supplied at the rebated rate of duty but member states are allowed to add their own national marker or colour.
The Directive would therefore permit the UK to change the colour dye it uses in order to distinguish marked diesel supplied in the UK from, say, marked diesel supplied in Belgium.
This might address some of the practical issues surrounding the continued use of marked “red” diesel in UK private pleasure craft voyaging elsewhere in Europe although, whatever the colour, the fuel would still need to be marked with the prescribed EU fiscal marker so it would still be detectable as marked diesel, if tested.
In addition, marked “red” diesel is supplied for use in the UK in a wide range of applications other than maritime, such as agriculture and forestry, so the implications of changing the colour dye would need to be considered in this wider context.
Motorboat & Yachting: Leslie Jones has been named as the lead architect for a £120m project to redevelop the Port of Dover by 2017.
The ongoing project to redevelop the Port of Dover took a huge step forward this week, when Leslie Jones Architecture was named as the lead design firm.
The £120m project with Bride Hall Real Estate Partners could include a new marina, as well as shopping and leisure facilities and retirement housing.
Leslie Jones has previously worked on the Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth, Sheffield’s Moor Market and the London Designer Outlet in Wembley.
James Cons, managing director at Leslie Jones Architecture, said: “We understand how to capture successful elements of mixed-use schemes across the UK, and adapt, then transfer them to the benefit of other developments.
“We are excited that this waterfront location will be brought back to life and become a destination that local people and visitors call home.”
Dover Harbour Board was given Government permission to redevelop the Kentish port in 2012 and secured £120m of funding in September 2014.
At the time George Jenkins, chairman of Dover Harbour Board, said the investment would “create long-term prosperity for Dover and for the nation”.
It is hoped that the new development will create more than 600 jobs in the area by 2017. Each year the Port of Dover handles an estimated £100billion worth of goods.
Motorboat & Yachting: This weekend will see cyclists and MDL Marinas staff ride from Penton Hook Marina to Ocean Village Marina to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Ocean Village Marina is the finish line for the MDL Marinas charity bike ride challenge.
MDL Marinas staff will be swapping boats for bikes this weekend to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. The marina chain is hosting a 68-mile cycle ride from its Penton Hook facility in Chertsey to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton (pictured above).
Organised by MDL bertholder Gary Pearson, the bike ride challenge will see 25 riders compete to reach the South Coast fastest. Starting at 0900 on Saturday (June 6), the first riders hope to reach Ocean Village by 1600, where a celebratory barbecue will be laid on.
Adrien Burnand, head of marketing at MDL Marinas, said: “When Gary approached us about hosting the ride, we were keen to get involved and help raise funds for this worthy cause, which we know is very close to Gary’s heart.
“It looks to be a fun, social occasion, as well as a great challenge. Lots of our berth holders will be getting involved too, so it should be a fantastic day. We’re really looking forward to it.”
The MDL Marinas team consists of employees Dean Smith, Mike Glanville, Shaw Smith, Jonathan Walcroft, Clive Marriott and Ben Boardman, who have so far raised £880 for the British Heart Foundation via their JustGiving page.