Why the dif­fer­ence in diesel prices?

Yachting Monthly - - ANY QUESTIONS - Land Rover BAR spokes­woman Sarah Alexan­der replies:

QMy wife and I were re­cently sailing from Portsmouth to Cowes when we no­ticed a fast yacht that looked like Land Rover BAR, the Amer­ica’s Cup cata­ma­ran. Whilst we were man­ag­ing 4 knots in 10 knots of wind, she was fly­ing on her foils. I then re­alised she was head­ing straight for us, along with two big RIBs as chase boats. It was ter­ri­fy­ing.

Al­though the fixed wing sails are al­most trans­par­ent, I de­cided I was the stand on ves­sel as we were both on star­board tack and she was to wind­ward. I had very lit­tle time to take any ac­tion, ex­cept to hold my nerve. Mer­ci­fully she passed within a few me­tres of my stern and dis­ap­peared. My heart took longer to re­cover.

I am keen to know: Is a boat like this even ca­pa­ble of obey­ing the rules of the road, and what safety mea­sures do the crew have to avoid dan­ger­ous col­li­sions? Tre­for Jones

ASorry that we gave you a bit of a fright; that’s cer­tainly not our in­ten­tion. Given the na­ture of the boats we race and the speeds in­volved, safety is a very high pri­or­ity for the team. We want to let ev­ery­one know that we will al­ways abide by the col­li­sion reg­u­la­tions in

QI am cruis­ing in north­ern France and at my cur­rent ma­rina white diesel is €1.15 per litre – at today’s ex­change rate that’s about £1 per litre. At an equiv­a­lent ma­rina on the UK’s South coast, red diesel (60:40) is cur­rently £1.05 per litre.

Con­ti­nen­tal gov­ern­ments chose to tax white diesel at a lower rate than the UK gov­ern­ment. Why can’t the UK gov­ern­ment match this rate for marine leisure users? David Lewis

AGus Lewis, RYA di­rec­tor of ex­ter­nal af­fairs, replies: The EU En­ergy Prod­ucts Di­rec­tive re­quires Mem­ber States to levy min­i­mum lev­els of duty on any sit­u­a­tion and you did ab­so­lutely the right thing in stand­ing on and let­ting us go by. We are keep­ing a very good look­out, not just on the sailing boat, but also on the at­tend­ing chase boats and are able to ma­noeu­vre and re­act very quickly.

We don’t want other craft to re­act un­pre­dictably, so it re­ally helps when ev­ery­one abides by the col­li­sion reg­u­la­tions. If you are not sure which tack we are on be­cause of the trans­parency of the wing, stand on and we will go around you. hy­dro­car­bon fu­els. For diesel the min­i­mum is €0.33 per litre (roughly 28p). Like most Mem­ber States, the UK chooses to levy a higher level of duty than that: 57.95p per litre (roughly €0.68) on diesel fuel as com­pared with €0.50 in France, for ex­am­ple.

The EU En­ergy Prod­ucts Di­rec­tive also re­quires Mem­ber States to levy the same level of duty on the same type of fuel, sub­ject to spe­cific ex­cep­tions, which means that (while the UK re­mains a mem­ber of the EU, at least) the UK can­not ap­ply dif­fer­ent rates of duty to diesel used in road ve­hi­cles and diesel used for propul­sion in pri­vate plea­sure craft. Pri­vate plea­sure craft in the UK pre­vi­ously ben­e­fit­ted from a spe­cific ex­cep­tion in the Di­rec­tive but this came to an end on 31 De­cem­ber 2006.

It re­mains to be seen what the im­pact of Brexit will be on the level of duty levied on hy­dro­car­bon fu­els in the UK.

It can be ter­ri­fy­ing see­ing one of these ma­chines fly­ing to­wards you, but obey the Col­Regs and you’ll be fine!

White diesel abroad costs less than red here

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