Why the difference in diesel prices?
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