Friday, 1 October 2010

EU to bugger Britain's boaters

Of the half a million or so engined small boats around Britain's coasts and on our inland waters, the vast majority are fitted with marine or marinised diesels, either as main engines or auxilliary propulsion. These engines - Volvo,  Yanmar, Bukh, Vetus, Beta, Lister-Petter and the others - are designed and built to run on normally sulphurated diesel, currently red diesel. The EU grievously damaged boating only recently by insisting the UK government added road duty to the marine fuel, in an act of spite of utter surrealism. A sort of quiet accommodation was reached termed '60:40' under which boaters, when buying red diesel, could claim 40% road-duty free as being used for cooking and heating. 

Now, as YBW reports, the Department of Transport have locked horns with the Europrats over further EU proposals to require all 'inland' boaters to use low-sulphur diesel. This fuel is completely unsuitable for many marine engines, and can lead to seized engines and blocked fuel lines and filters. Stalled engines can lead to accidents and fatalities, and at the very least to cost and inconvenience. The Europrats, in an ecstasy of pious environmentalism, are deaf to the human consequences.

Our only hope is that the DoT will tweak the definition of 'inland' to exclude anything connected to the sea, certainly anything tidal. But don't hold your breath.

God, I loathe those bastards. 


Anonymous said...

Bet you that I despise them more, apparatchiks but particularly the arrogant Nomenklatura in Brussels and a final point, why do the British so punctiliously implement these petty officious impositions with such tenacious zeal?

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

it's what our councils, civil servants and many politicians do - they pounce on anything that's a "rule" even if it isn't and busy themselves with the details of implementation - fining greengrocers, straightening cucumbers, over egging anything that they can....

It's all part of the suffocating national obsession with process over actual delivery of services to the folk who employ them.

There are way too many public employees who conflate being "in government employ" with "governing" as in having "the power".

It is very tiresome.

Delphius1 said...

It wasn't so long ago that boaters didn't have to pay any duty on red deisel at all. Now in the space of a couple of years the EU has "required" us to pay duty on fuel and now to only supply unusable fuel.

Its crackers. We all know it crackers, so why don't we do like the rest of the EU do with a policy they don't like: implement it, but either refuse to enforce it, or underfund its enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gordon, yes it is so sad and extremely tiresome.
I purposefully, will not think in metric, imperial units were far more advanced and articulate.
How sad is their (imperial units) demise? But, to brutally enforce their introduction was an appalling misjudgement and unfortunately, it will not be the last gross miscarriage.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Interesting. The directive applies to "recreational craft when not at sea,".

No doubt there is some Eurocrat somewhere who expects me to drain and refill my fuel system when I enter and leave the Crinan canal.

Also we note that many marinas will simply supply "road fuel dyed red" which means we won't even know whether we're expecting engine seizures at unexpected moments.

Bastards; pointless, expensive, no-value-added, interfering time-wasting, inept, stupid bastards. Why can't they just F off and leave us in peace?

Can we leave yet?