'Stoppress' pages for 2021

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These pages will be updated on an almost daily, certainly on a weekly basis, from all the mail and information coming in to us.

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Sunday 28th February 2021.

After a few sunny days today we are enveloped in fog and the temperature struggling  to get above 6 C.  However tomorrow is the first official day of Spring and the cold wet weather seems to be behind us for at least a week, and every few days into 2021 gives the prospect of better weather for fitting out, when we are allowed to move about, at the end of March.  That's when the 'stay at home' rule ends.  Can't come quick enough, so long as the WhuFlu is on the retreat....

Nick Lonton  has agreed for me to put some details of his fathers funeral on these pages.

Alan Lonton's funeral will be held at Forest Park Crematorium, Hainault.   Tuesday 9th March  at 13.30hrs. Alan survived WhuFlu but succumbed to cancer.

There will be a webcam broadcast as is usual in these times.

Go to www.obitus.com

Username:- Bozu4435

Password:- 307071

Many will Remember Alan from his beautifully turned out Waterwitch 'Bonita'.  He and his chum Doug Hoadley, built their boats side by side in the old school, Collier Row, Romford.  I remember visiting them there under construction.  They built both together and tossed a coin to see who had which one when they got to the stage where they  wanted different  internal layouts.

Margaret, Alan their brother and Nick on board 'Bonita'

'Bonita' being followed by 'Dougaljo', motoring out of the top end of the Pyefleet, where we had all spent a quiet night back in 2010.

Alan tucking in to his lunch with Doug behind with his birthday cakes, at an EOG Meeting..

We will miss Alan's dry wit and his expertise, a real craftsman.  Fortunately his son Nick has the same skills and is our Waterwitch Rep. answering the queries.

Alan's friend Doug, who has been in hospital for 5 weeks with the WhuFlu has at last been allowed home and is slowly recovering.  We wish him well.

Sunday 21st February 2021.
At last the ice and snow have melted and we have temperatures into double figures.  We need a bit of warmth and a drying wind as the ditches are full still!  with the National Lockdown still in force none of us can (legally) get to our boats for the time being, so when we are able to resume fitting out,  there is going to be a flurry of activity!

Send 4 DVD's to Richard in Wales, he is contemplating having a steel boat built!  Looking at Eventide 26 in Steel, WW in Steel, Riptide as Noontide in Steel with the GH 31 drawings as a guide maybe!  Thanks for the donation Richard and good luck with the choice of design.

Nathan in the Azores is also contemplating building in Steel, he is still deciding but is leaning towards the Steel Eventide 26.

Sail numbers....   The Steering Group are looking at restarting the sail number books for the most popular designs. The idea is that we have had quite a few boats built to our drawings in the last 18 years all without a sail number being issued.

Years ago Yachting Monthly would only issue a sail number when they had seen a copy of the keel casting, weight certificate.  this ensured  the sail numbers did not get out of hand and give a false idea of the number built.  However after a while, maybe 10 years, they began issuing numbers with drawings and of course there are many who start off with good intentions, but for one reason or another never build.  There are also some I have known who collected one of every design??  Maybe they wallpapered the den with them, who knows, but we do know many sail numbers that were issued will never actually be marked on sets of sails.

So when asked by one of our Senior builders about a sail number it set the cogs in motion.  Incidentally we had previously been promised the old sail numbers books by the last member of the old defunct eoa, but sadly as I suspected at the time, nothing ever came of it and all those records are apparently destroyed, shame on them.

So the Steering Group are debating the issue at the moment and with the assistance of the Database Manager, John Stevens we are coming to a consensus re the Senior numbers.

The idea will be to make sail numbers available to members, free of charge., on receipt of proof that the vessel exists!  John Stevens will then start new sail number books for every YM design, based on the sail numbers of the latest known existing craft.

More on this soon.

Just added a few pics of the Barbican drawings to the Gallery page.  whilst no one is ever going to build another it will help owners restoring or repairing their boats I suspect.  Thank you Paul.

I have a fun task ahead of me this afternoon, I intend to finish off my new mooring buoy and the spliced rope riser...  pull the finished re-spliced rope through the centre of the buoy..... 

This multi-plait nylon rope has a safe working load of 19 tons, more than enough for my boat!  The rope will not rot like the galvanised chain, so looks as though it will be a job I should not have to repeat for years, if ever.  Slight snag was learning how to splice 32mm  8 plait rope!  Bit of a steep learning curve!  I will publish more about this when all done!

All for now, off to wrestle with a mooring buoy!


Sunday 14th February 2021.
St. Valentines Day.

Hello All and Happy Valentines Day!

Hope you got or gave flowers!    This is traditionally the day the birds start making nests, but the ones here just busy eating to survive, been very cold till late today, now the temperature risen above freezing and the thaw started. A heady 4 degrees C at the moment!

We have had a new enrolment, from Nathan in Portugal, we have tried to contact him to find out why he has joined as he has put scant information on the form, so far he has not responded.  Wait to see if we hear from him, hope he comes back so we can enroll him.

Paul Harrison has sent in a load of pics of the Barbican drawings. We will put some of these on the gallery section.  Will be of interest to other Barbican owners.  Paul has asked if anyone knows how the rigging eyes on deck are fastened, as he cannot see how they are.  Anyone know?

John Hopthrow, a friend, has sent a snippet from the Walton and Frinton Y.C. newsletter.  'Twizzle Tattle'  A bit about MG and his first sail, in winter!  If you know the 'Magic' you will know the story..

A chilly introduction…


We’d been beaten up by the Beast from the Baltic. Walking home from the Frinton clifftop, where I’d squinted through the blizzard thinking: “What a great day for a sail,” I was reminded of Maurice Griffiths’ maiden voyage aboard his first boat – a  converted 17ft ship’s lifeboat – as described in his Magic of the Swatchways.
For a chap who was to become editor of Yachting Monthly, designer of 140 different yachts, author and war hero, he chose a rum time for the trip from Woodbridge to Ipswich…a January snow storm. Let’s join him off Felixstowe. He’s already run aground on the Deben bar, escaping by the skin of his teeth thanks to his crew getting out and pushing…
“…That was the coldest and most miserable passage I have ever made. We were able to stand only short spells at the helm, and I well remember the agony of aching hands as one sat in the bucking cabin, trying to get back one’s circulation in the brief spell below, while increasing bilge water surged up on the lee berth.
By the time we had brought Landguard Point at the entrance of Harwich Harbour in sight through a break in a sleet squall, the ebb tide had eased, and another board allowed us to fetch  through the shallow swatchway  that used to lie in those days between the end of the jetty and the deadly Platter Sands.
Here an unexpected cross sea suddenly rose above us to windward, tumbled over and fell with a thunderous crash on our deck, seething over the cabin-top and surging into the well. For one sickening moment, as the water boiled around our feet and burst open the cabin doors, it seemed that the little boat had filled and was going down under us;  but she slowly shook herself free of the water, lurched on and rounded the point into the harbour, very much down by the head with the weight of water inside her.
While we raced up the smooth water of the harbour I bailed with a bucket until the bilge water was below the floorboards once more; then I lit the Primus and handed out a mug of steaming Bovril to the mate, who had so unselfishly risked his life for the sake of my boat.
An hour later, when we lay snugly on my moorings at Ipswich, with the gear stowed and a hot meal under way, we sat in the cramped little cabin, drying ourselves, and declared that, now it was over, it had been a great passage and the boat herself a ‘wonderful sea boat’ to have stood it. And the joy of ownership that I felt then, the mounting enthusiasm that swept over me like a flood, glossed over all its trials and hardships, its dangers and miseries, and wanted to do it all again, to go and explore other rivers and estuaries in her – for she was mine. My boat!
The joy of that moment lingers still…”
A heart warming end to a numbing tale.


In later, and warmer, times. The Eventide, one of Maurice Griffiths' classic designs

Must say I would not have fancied being out sailing for the last week or so!  Roll on Summer.

He also sent a few nostalgic pics of craft on the Norfolk Broads in the 1950's, seems an age ago, innocent times.  (I was not even a schoolboy then!)

I do maintain our 'generation' have had the golden years.  For the most part from the 1960's we have had jobs, and with Maurice's assistance were able to build our 'Dream Ships' and sail them.  We developed skills that today no one seems to want to have,  from carpentry to engineering, to navigation and seamanship..

From the 1960's, till about 20 years ago,  these were magic times.  Sadly it has seemingly gone downhill since then, with fewer able to have the time, inclination, expertise or finances to follow us.  Thus recently so many are finding it difficult to pass on or sell their boats and resorting to even giving them away.    As  a result they do not seem to be as cherished and are not going to get the TLC we have endowed on them, and many of our wooden creations will not survive.

(Loads in boatyards, not our boat designs necessarily, mostly  more modern GRP creations,  but many abandoned, as the owners could no longer afford the storage....)
So enjoy them whilst we still can!  Hope to have a few years sailing, gentle local sailing, before I pass my boat on!  

Roll on summer

Wednesday 11th February 2021.
The threatened 8 to 12 inches of snow never materialised here, we did get 5 inches or so and plenty of drifts in the strong wind, but is was the wrong sort of snow for snowballs and Snowmen, fine and so cold it was dry, so just went to snow dust!  Snag is that its the worst for getting into places you might not welcome it.... hope your covers....

Had a  donation in from Matt in the States.  Sent drawings...  He is interested in maybe trying to emulate what the Dutch designer and yard did to the WildDuck when they converted her for steel construction, stretching it successfully to 23ft.  He promises to keep us informed of progress.

Had Lucy identify  the Gulfstream 45  already on our Gallery.  She had spotted on line for sale in Kent, the pics of her on the Gallery taken some time back in Conyer.  She looked to be ready to go to sea then, now she is more of a houseboat...

The UK had its lowest temperature for over 20 years last night, very cold in Aberdeenshire!  At minus 2, it was 20 degrees warmer here!

Got a few more days of slush to endure yet,  it is still not that cold here, our pond has not even half frozen over, and it is due to thaw today...  It has not  frozen now for the last five years.

Just heard from Bradwell they have let my berth of 25 years to someone else, and re located me   a few berths away.. Humph!   So got to make up new fixed mooring lines I suppose!  Have got the promise of being able to return to the berth if the other people don't like it.... without even paying a promised retainer I feel slightly cheated..     Apparently now let to  a couple of really old gents, who cannot walk far....  So fair dos.   I am promised it back if they give it up, but I have had promises before....  I have a sneaky feeling I am now to get charged for the 3ft 6 inch bowsprit!  Because I had the most difficult berth to get in and out of in the marina, with a large post in it, that they could never rent to anyone over 20ft, they 'forgot' the sprit!

Heard on the news yesterday that it was far too early to consider booking holidays here in the UK and overseas is likely to be out of the question for a long time, so like many, looking forward to days afloat this season instead.  Just hope we get some good days for gentle sailing...


Saturday February 6th 2021.

It has been a rather sad week, as we have lost Captain Sir Tom Moore.  An inspiration to many and responsible for a record breaking near 33million pound collection to support our NHS staff.  He will hopefully be remembered for a long time.

We also have had two friends and members in hospital, one just transferred to a nursing home now...  the other may be well enough to go home shortly.  Sure many have similar tales.  My Darian lost a dear friend and work colleague suddenly today.  This one not WhuFlu related though...

With the number of  vaccine sites being progressively  increased, and more staff being recruited, my step daughter Carol has volunteered and  is now trained to give these shots, so we hope all the targets will be met and we can begin to get back to some form of normality, what ever that might be.  Certainly not as it was a year or so back.

I have plans afoot to get back afloat in about May. Mooring confirmed in Bradwell....

In the meantime, here on the east coast of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, we are bracing ourselves for storm 'Darcy'. 

Now normally we escape the worst of the cold due to our proximity to the sea, it's about a mile away, eastwards...   But this time a narrow coastal strip, barely 20 miles wide, has been warned to expect up to a foot of snow, on Sunday and Monday.   Hope those covers are tight, with NE F7's and snow, it can get in everywhere.  Sadly, but rightly,  with the national lockdown, travelling to our boats on the coast, to secure covers, is not classed as essential travel.... 

Bit of good news, a welcome to new member Andrew in south London. He is actively looking at a rather nice WildDuck.  He contacted us to enquire about their sailing abilities.  We were able to assure him they were excellent.   He also wanted to know if the design would be happy in a soft mud berth on the Medway!  Affirmative to that one too.  More information on the boat when he has acquired it!  It looks to be one of the best we have seen!!

Another new member, Attini in the Netherlands, has send more information about his 40ft steel, round bilged boat.  We have managed to establish it is indeed one of the 'Bay Class' of vessels built in Conyer in Kent and designed by the design team of Spears, Hundy and Griffiths!  He has sent  a few photos we will add them to the Gallery. 

Sadly we can find little on the 'Bay of Islands' class vessels on line.  I thought I had a handout here from Conyer Marine, with them all listed, but cannot find it.  Anyone got any info? Designed by Spears and Hundy with assistance from Maurice. 

As far as we can tell the 40ft and 45ft  Bay of Islands Class were round bilge, (but there was also the 'Gulfstream' vessels in steel, solely designed by Maurice, also from the same yard,  and these were double chine).  I listed a 45ft Gulfstream , spotted for sale in Kent by Lucy, in the last page of the Stoppress.....  Others on the Gallery.  The same yard produced the only Noontide to ever be built commercially, that boat I inspected at the East coast boat show decades ago and wrote a report on .  That report resulted in Maurice donating the pencil drawings of the  steel Noontide and the wooden Riptide to me!  Had a friend redraw them in ink...many built!

So time to batten the hatches, especially if you are on the east coast.  We have the generator ready and the logs are in!


Monday 1st February 2021.

Ridiculously wet still, incessant rain has turned most people's gardens into mud baths.  Hope the covers OK on your boat, if in the open!

Sadly not heard any more from South Africa about that Eventide 26 aground on the sand bar.  Not sure if we can figure out which one it is from our membership list....

Member Lucy has sent in details of a 45ft MG designed 'Gulfstream'.  Was bought and sold a couple of times and had reappeared for twice the last  selling price at a marina in Kent.  Leave it to you to figure out if this is a 'bargain' or not...  

We do have a nice boat for sale on our pages, see the
'Morag Morgan' advert..    The price has just dropped drastically....

Keith building the Senior mailed us this week with an interesting enquiry.  Could we give him a sail number?  Seems he fancies his chances racing her!  (I think our boats were more designed for safety and comfort than speed !)

We were promised the old sail numbers books by Rodney, the last president of the defunct assoc.,  but of course they never materialised.  To be honest I never expected them too!

So having got most of the records from earlier days, we think we should be able to work out where we are up to and than start a new sail register.  That will keep our Database manager busy for a while!

On a positive note, good to see the evenings staying lighter and the dawns getting earlier..  Snowdrops, crocus and Narcissi out in the garden.  Roll on spring.


Tuesday 26th January 2021.
I am pleased to say one of the two members in hospital is responding to treatment and may be allowed out at the end of the week! So very pleased to hear this today.  Sadly the other member is not doing as well and at the moment he is still in the best place.

Welcome to yet another new member, Jonathon in Derbyshire.  He joins as a 'friend' or associate member.  He is looking to acquire a Senior.  Because of the WhuFlu and lockdowns not been able to do much more than look on line, or read magazines.  He saw the article in Watercraft and looked our site up.  He found us and we were able to put him in touch with Mat the Senior rep.  In the meantime bet Jon is reading every page of the site.

Had a mail yesterday from Joey in South Africa, he sent in several photos of a sad looking scene.  a fin Keeled Eventide 26 hard aground on a notorious sand bar.  Hoping for more news later.  We do know the young man onboard managed to get ashore safely...

Thought it will be of interest to you. I sail a small Flamenca 25 on the South African west coast.

A young man, 20 years old, left Cape Town bound for Port Elizabeth.  Last week during the night he ran aground some distance past the Cape Agulhas bank . Very sad to see the boat stranded like this. Young man is safely on land.


Think you will agree this is a sad picture, do hope they can get her off.
I have spent most of this afternoon editing the links page.  I added a link to the rope seller the other day, with a discount code...  and whilst doing so noticed a number of links did not work!  That is not on!   So I have found new links for some, others sadly have been deleted, as the companies have ceased trading etc.  I hope now all the links work again.

At the moment the rain has restarted, our little spinney behind the cottage was so wet recently we have started to call it the 'swamp'!  It was just beginning to dry out a little  but seems more rain on the way.     (I am often likened to Shrek!).

One last comment, neither Darian nor I have had any adverse effects from the vaccination thus far, it was the Pfizer one.  Hope you get yours soon.

Sunday 24th January 2021.
Pleased to be able to tell you that one of our senior founding members, who has been very poorly in hospital with WhuFlu, is on the road to recovery, he is a fighter!  Sadly another founding member is still in intensive care.  Our thoughts are with all who are suffering or have family suffering from this damned WhuFlu.

See the chinese are now blaming the rest of the world for giving them it!  Could not make it up could you.

One really good bit of news last week from the other side of the pond, was the new president, Joe.  Hopefully America can get back to some normality now, see  one of the first moves was to rejoin the climate conference, good move.

We had a phone call out of the blue Friday, 'could we be ready at a moments notice to travel to have the vaccine'!   To save vaccine going to waste because of cancellations...   Yesterday at 1303 precisely I had mine, the first one anyway.  Makes the future look so much brighter, hope it is not long till all are in the program...

We have had another new enrolment, Annie and Will in Derbyshire, with the M.G. Bawley 'Pearl'.  She sails from the Essex side of the Stour.

Hope to cross wakes with them next summer, reminder to all to keep your luff's taught, the roving camera may spot you!

We have had an article about shoe horning a cabin table into one of our designs, clever.  We will be publishing the pics etc. on the Owners Tips Pages.

Also had a rope manufacturer asking to put a link on our pages.  I will be doing that in a little while. their website can be seen here:-  https://www.buyrope.co.uk

The Steering Group authorised repayment to me for the hosting of the website for another year and despite the  WhuFlu lock down I am pleased to say the cheque has got back to me, posted during a period of exercise by John the counter signatory.  Amazing how the simplest of things get so difficult it we are applying the rules correctly!

As I was passing my boat on the way back from being vaccinated,  (Well almost passing), I was able to visit the barn, briefly, (whilst doing my press ups!)  and pat the boats transom again...  Not too long now.  Had you noticed how the evenings are getting so much lighter, longer!  1700 last night and still just light.

However expecting snow this evening, already had a few flurries and heard from others west of here that they have had a few inches already.  That will make it darker earlier..

 All for now, stay safe out there.

Saturday 16th January 2021.
Had  nice mail from Terry who used to sail out of Tollesbury many moons ago.  He had some old drawings and other correspondence he wanted to give to a safe place, gratefully received Terry.  He also sent a couple of photos that I am able to reproduce, after a little editing.

To my surprise one of the photos shows him on board 'Gil Gilad' motoring past  my mooring buoy in Woodrolfe Creek. Trying to ascertain when the photo was taken as I am not on the buoy....  Sadly the boat was vandalised some years back and eventually broken up, sad...
'Gil Gilad'

Looking hard at the photo on the right you can just make out a yellow blob by Terry's elbow, that's my mooring. Bradwell power station in the distance!

At the moment I am gathering kit to re-lay that mooring.  I have a 'new' large mooring buoy and to go on top a very strong s/s swivel.  It will stay out of the water....  To secure the buoy to the mooring ground chain, I am going to use a 7m or 22ft length of very heavy duty nylon, 40mm  with a 12 ton safe load!

Up till now I have always used a 22ft length of 3/8 inch galvanised chain.  Strong  but corrodes gently, so needs replacing every 5 or 6 years.  Mine is overdue! Got this idea from a friend, Dave the rigger!  He has been splicing up mooring risers in nylon for over a decade now for use on the Crouch and all have survived OK. 

Once the rope is beneath the surface it attracts weed and of course mud, if like mine it dries,  this also protects the rope from UV.  So long as you take care with thimbles etc. to protect it from chafe it will out live chain!  I had noted years ago, that Tollesbury Marina have been using heavy rope for risers on the marina 'waiting' buoys just off my creek mooring.  Made a mental note for the future!

Will report back on the effectiveness of the new set up..

By the way, talking of promises of paperwork,  never did hear back from the ex president of the eoa with all the drawings and logs he promised us, somehow I never expected him to keep his word.....

Had a couple of people concerned about the new rules for boat in the EU, after our exit.  Good thing for one person is that they are never planning to return the boat to the UK, so they are safe, till someone moves the goal posts again!  Two others at least must now be wondering, what to do...  If I hear any more from the Cruising Association I will let you all know.

Had Michael mail  us from the other side of the pond, in Texas.  Sent him a DVD of the Junior drawings by air mail, as well as sending them by e-mail, the DVD took over 2 months to get there!  Not really surprised, what with staff shortages and planes grounded due to the WhuFlu, it is amazing any post gets through!

Had a prospective Senior owner read the write up  in 'Water Craft', about 'Bethem' Mat's Senior. He contacted us to ask Mat's advice, pleased to be able to pass his mail on and await Jon's enrolment.

Had Nick in La Rochelle contact us regarding the Golden Hind 'Right-Eh-Oh'.  He is berthed near her and has not seen anyone near or by her so is tending the lines for the owners.  We do hope they step forward and enroll as we have someone who has the original ship's bell for her.  would be great to reunite the boat and bell!

So if you know who owns 'Right-Eh-Oh' now, get them to get in touch!  If you do not want to speak to us, we don't bite, honest, Get in touch with Nick direct:-
 msvp74 at hotmail.com  

Heard back from Raf, in Belgium, who was deciding which of several of our designs he was going to have built in steel.  Says the choices are difficult!  Go for the biggest one you can afford, will be a more comfortable ride if you are off ocean voyaging!

After adding some pictures of 'Running Wild' a 3 tonner based in Suffolk, we have sadly still not had the enrolment.  Are people shy?  Cannot think they are if they own designs from our stable as we do tend to stand out in the crowd of white GRP!

We had snow here this morning, just a half inch, and as it turned to rain after a few hours it was all gone soon enough, but a timely reminder if you can legally get to your boat, check the covers.

Hopefully the vaccine roll out will get to our senior members soon!


Saturday 9th January 2021.
After a week the news just gets scarier.  So many in our little backwater were ignoring the rules all last year and now the country is paying.  Having spoken to many here refusing to wear masks, and getting verbal abuse for my concern, I wonder if any of them have any regrets.

We can only hope they may have learnt.  Heard just yesterday that  a friend and EOG member and owner was in hospital for another reason and has now contracted the virus, at the moment he is OK but  as he is in the very high risk age group, there is great concern.

Trying to think positively, I was taken aback by a bit of news about the EU. and the Tax man in the UK.   Seems as we left they have now decided in Brussels to punish us.  So many silly regulations coming out of there to upset out trade, but yesterday they hit below the belt.  Seems those who want to sail to the EU for extended periods are to be taxed! Only allowed to be in the EU for so many days or have to pay VAT again!  If your boat is already in the EU it has to get back,  (in a pandemic???), or lose it's VAT paid status!   I gave up going to the EU to spend my holidays supporting their tourism when they got silly over red diesel, so I am not that surprised at more digs at Britain.   I am grateful to a member for sending in this précis promulgated by our friends in the Cruising Association.



I am writing to you about an issue that will affect most CA members. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has decided that UK-owned boats returning to the UK post-Brexit, i.e. after the transition period ends on 31st December 2020, will be deemed to be imported and VAT will be payable unless a relief from VAT payment is available. The main relief available is the Returned Goods Exemption. This requires that goods (including yachts) are re-imported within three years of export.

To make matters worse, HMRC decided in September that the rule would be applied rigidly from the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. This would mean that yachts that have been out of the UK for more than 3 years on 31 December 2020 and yachts bought in the EU which have never been in the UK would lose UK VAT paid status. Given that it was announced in September this year, this was farcical. HMRC has now relented to a small extent and a period of one year’s grace has now been granted for yachts that have been located in the UK at some point but yachts which have never been located in the UK will still lose UK VAT-paid status on 31 December 2020 which is ridiculous. We think there are up to 30,000 UK boats scattered throughout the EU at the moment, many in Greece and Croatia.

The least we are asking of HMRC is that the three year period should start from 31st December 2020 and that the Relief should be available for yachts which have never been located in the UK, but even that is unsatisfactory. Hitherto, in practice boats could leave the UK and sail for as long as they wished, for example round the world, to the Caribbean or just in Europe. HMRC were not interested when they returned and in the vast majority of cases there was no suggestion of additional VAT being payable as long as it was the same person returning the yacht and the yacht had not been significantly improved. We would like to maintain the status quo.

The change in attitude by HMRC is unacceptable. The CA is fighting it but I would like you all to write to your MP expressing your extreme disapproval of HMRC’s new policy.


Julian Dussek
CA President




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Seems an age ago I was on the RYA Cruising Committee and fought off the EU regulators re the Recreational Craft Directive, to get a clause inserted, exempting our home built boats from having to have the full £5000, certification. eventually they agreed it was OK, provided we kept them for 5 years after their launch date.  Worked for most, but in a couple of sad cases where owners, or their families, were forced to sell before that 5 year date and they had to obtain certification at huge cost, before they could legally sell!

When the RYA abolished the Cruising committee  I realised they were not as interested in us the common cruising owners, more the Olympic racers and the sponsorship deals...

Hope this will not apply to many of our members, but I know it will apply to those with boats abroad now, and there are a few of them...

Our member wrote:-  In a nutshell, apart from being extremely unjust, for the purposes of you excellent web-site, it means that boats remaining in the EU will have a limited marketability. But, to those who would like to cruise in the EU27 for an indefinite time, such boats will be of particular interest. So, some boats already in the EU, should appeal to anyone wishing to cruise in mainland Europe indefinitely. The EU accepts that VAT has been paid.

Cruising will also be harmed by non-EU visitor status that means no one can be in the EU27 for more than 90 days out of any 180 days.

Also contemptible is HMRC's 'generous' grace to exempt us from double VAT payment, so long as we make it back to the UK by the end of this year. Given that we can only be away for 90 days - and then there's pressure/problem of Covid - folk as far a field as Greece and Turkey don't have cat in hell's chance.

Lets hear from any members who may also be effected by this and maybe we can lobby the CA to speak on your behalf...

Lastly before I sign off, Go to the For Sale page if you are hankering for a nice Golden Hind.  Price drop!

Pleased to say the snow did not settle and it was warm enough today to plant 10 new hedging bushes on our little spinney boundary hedge. Supposed to warm up shortly, just so long as it is dry, had enough rain!  Check those covers..



Tuesday January 5th 2021.

Yes we are back in Lockdown!
Some  would say, and I am one of them, not before time!  The Pseudo Lockdown we had before Christmas was a farce and of course with so many ignoring the most obvious dangers, cases have rocketed.

Good news is the new lockdown appears to be being obeyed, at least round here.  Less traffic and schools closed.  During the phony Lockdown I spoke to a local marine engineer working out of Bradwell who told me loads of people ignoring the rules and mixing with others, doing 'important safety maintenance ' on their boats.  Apart from an occasional pat on the transom, my boat has been in her own isolation!

Hoping with the vaccination being rolled out maybe it will not be too many months till the antifouling brush can come out! If we are careful!

Using the EBay page shortly to buy a new water filter cartridge for the water system in my galley,  to fit when  I can get back to her, that is about all she needs apart from a wash down and polish, did it all last year. 

Hope your boats are safe and secure and almost ready to launch.

The Steering Group have just authorised renewal of the web hosting for the year, so all paid up.  also the domain name renewed, for two years.

Welcomed 'Orinoco' to the Forum, pleased to see more owners taking advantage of it.  You registered on there yet?  You will need the password you were sent when you enrolled, lost it?  Just mail us and we will check your membership and send the password!


Friday 1st January 2021!!!

Welcome to a wholly different New Year!!

The photo I took in Dover during my round UK trip in 2018.
We welcome in 2021 with a couple of great reasons for real enthusiasm. 

As of 2300 last night we officially are an 'independent sovereign nation' again and a British made vaccine is being rolled out, not only to protect us, but available to the whole world, for a fraction of the cost of other vaccines!  Britain can really lead in so many fields...

Really hoping 2021 will be a different  year to the last one, which we would like to forget asap! 

I have the forms on my office desk to fill in,  to be able to return to my berth in Bradwell marina!   

I also have the half tide mooring at Tollesbury to pay for and one of the first jobs I will have to do next season will be to change the riser chain on that mooring and fit a new mooring buoy!  It is a strong enough mooring to take a 30ft boat, so long as you are OK drying out at half tide, available to friends and members, if you are visiting this beautiful part of the Essex coast and need a temporary mooring.!

I was in some doubt I would be able to get back to my berth at Bradwell this year... As a berth holder at Bradwell for 25 years, I was fortunate to be allowed to 'have a year off' with the promise that I could return to my berth, when it was safe to do so. Pleased to say the grandson of the owner, Arthur, was good to his word!

Last year it was impossible to get my boat out of the barn, transport her back to the marina, step the mast and rig her etc., without breaching all the rules in 'Lockdown 1'.  I always rely on my two good friends and regular crew, Keith and Phil to be able to do all this, as well as the local farmer for the tow from his barn back to Bradwell. 

Looking forward to Darian and myself and all of my crew getting the new vaccine, so we will be able to launch late spring.... 

As  'Fiddler's Green' was nigh on ready to launch back in  April last year, all jobs sorted, all she needed was the antifouling, so  it will be an easy job to finish the fitting out.  (Unless of course I find a few more 'little jobs' to do!)

Hoping all can have the same positive outlook for sailing this year...   For some it has been very difficult. 

Finally a welcome to Raf in Belgium who joined us a couple of days back, as a 'Friend'.  He is deciding which of our designs he is going to have built in steel for a rather long voyage he is planning to undertake.  He is hankering after the steel Eventide 26, but is also considering building a steel Riptide!

So a toast to '21 and we look forward to crossing wakes with many friends.

John and Darian


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