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Monday, September 15, 2008


Haven`t been doing much lately at least not in the way of cruising. In fact we have only ventured up to Rugby to see friends dodging the rain some which has been quite heavy. Most of the dry periods have been spent getting another coat of paint on the roof and rubbing down the gunnels (just above the blacking) as these are the places that tend to get scraped and if left un-treated soon rust and look a mess. Also i have been treating rust spots that have appeared in other places, mainly in the front around the doors and within the open semi trad rear.
Quite obviously the paint job on the boat was not 1st class but then you only get what you pay for and as long as NB Valerie stays afloat i can keep her neat and tidy.
Other little jobs include re varnishing the floor below the dinette table, re routing the cable from the tv to the sattalite dish and fitting a plank & boat pole rack on the roof to name a few.
Also i managed after a lot of phone calls to get the cylinder head tightness checked along with the engine tappets a job that needed doing after the engine repairs some weeks ago, at least the bill was only £20 this time.
The long going debate on the fuel duty that followed an EU directive that fuel duty on pleasure craft must be raised--why must we be in the EU, once we were a small island that ruled so many other lands-- anyway the present duty is 9.69p per litre +5% vat and the full duty will be 50.35 + 17.5% vat. HMRC have decided that boaters will be able to buy diesel at a 60/40 ratio that is 60% at full rate of duty for propulsion and 40% at the reduced present rate for heating and electricity. Now just to clarify to those non boaters out there my present set up is i have a solid fuel stove i use in winter but also i have a diesel fired central heating system (heating) that i use in the not so cold periods, also if not cruising in the boat (propulsion) i need to run the engine each day to charge the batteries (electricity) So the rate for heat and light will be 5% vat as for householders.
All a bit confusing but the bottom line is it`s going up a bit like when the bank sends a letter saying we have reduced X and enclose their new list of charges and you find something else has crept up so again the bottom line is it`s going up.
British Waterways have got on the going up bandwagon and now charge a fee if you do not re-new your boat licence within a month of expiry. BW have also announced they are planning to charging £150 extra on the licence for continuous cruisers like myself. Plus wide beam boats over the narrowboat 6`10" will pay an extra £50 all this on top of the 6.6% 2009 licence increase. All these proposals? are open for consultation?, yes and i just won the Euro lottery, untill the 7th Nov. We will have to wait and see.

Now when this boat came by recently my first thought were the rough band of pirates on the
front were made up of HMRC, BW and the EU but no it was just some guys having a holiday.

Beat the diesel increase and convert to steam, Adamant steams by.......beautiful.


Andy said...

They may increase the duty Dad, but they cant take away your FREEDOM

btg said...

Excellent comments about future imposed fuel costs for boaters.
This is the BMF, RYA and IWA update on how the end of the derogation will be implemented as of 1 November 2008.

les said...

Hi Andy
Nope they can`t do that.

les said...

Thanks for the link btg

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs