The Eventider's News


Issue 16 Late summer  2011.




Page 6

Scran bag!!!





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Fuel storage

RYA Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers provides advice on storing fuel containing biodiesel.


Since the Fuel Quality Directive was implemented into UK law on 14 January 2011 there has been considerable confusion as to whether this means that recreational boat users will now be using biodiesel.

I must be absolutely clear that the only requirement placed on the recreational boating community on 14 January was that they must use sulphur free fuel if their craft do not normally operate at sea.

Read more information on fuel supplies.

The confusion arose because the fuel supply industry indicated that it would meet its legal requirements by supplying sulphur free road transport diesel (EN590) which by law can contain anything up to 7% biodiesel by volume.

What impact does biodiesel have?

It is difficult to know just how much of a problem biodiesel is in these small volumes; we have it on good authority that road diesel is the only fuel available in most European marinas and this does not appear to have caused the problems that some here have anticipated. Anecdotally I am aware that there are a number of boaters who actually prefer to run their boat engines on road transport diesel as they feel that it is cleaner and burns better.

Increased care over storage

If you suspect that your fuel contains biodiesel or indeed you have chosen to use EN590, increased care is needed in its storage. Due to their hygroscopic nature, biodiesel blends can contain more water than ‘normal’ diesel which can result in accelerated corrosion, sediment formation, and filter blocking. All of this can be controlled by good housekeeping and fuel management.

Biodiesel blends more susceptible to biological attack

All diesel is contaminated with water to some extent, either because it is suspended in the fuel itself or it gets into fuel tanks through faulty seals and vent pipes and from condensation caused by changes in ambient temperature.The latter is a particular problem in common rail diesel injector systems. Because biodiesel is hygroscopic, it exacerbates the problem and biodiesel blends are more susceptible to biological attack by micro-organisms.

Aerobic micro-organisms that consume hydrocarbons, such as fungi, bacteria and yeast, usually grow at the interface between fuel and water in fuel tanks. Anaerobic species can actively grow on tank sides.

Bacterial growth

Bacterial growth can result in the blockage of fuel pipes and filters and increase the problems of corrosion. Prolonged use of contaminated fuel may result in damage to engines.

Bacterial growth can be prevented by eliminating water from fuel tanks and conducting regular checks to ensure that tanks remain free of water.

Where a bacterial growth outbreak has occurred, this can be addressed either by emptying and cleaning the tanks, or by tackling the outbreak with biocide additives and filtering.


Biodiesel is a better solvent than ‘normal’ diesel. As a result it may pick up deposits already in fuel systems and in fuel tanks.

To prevent those deposits from blocking filters, a one-time replacement of storage tank and off-road equipment fuel filters, outside the regular service interval, after 2 to 3 tank throughputs of biodiesel is recommended.

In addition, fuel seals in sight gauges on older fuel storage tanks may be incompatible with sulphur free diesel, irrespective of whether it contains biodiesel, and may require replacing. Users should examine seals and if there are signs of leakage, they will need a one-off replacement of these seals.


The oxidation stability of biodiesel is poorer than that of ‘normal’ diesel. Over time oxidation can precipitate solids with the potential to block filters in fuel distribution systems. To minimise the likelihood of this occurring, it is recommended that users take particular care to ensure a fuel turnover period of once every 6 months and, in any event, no longer than once every 12 months.

Biodiesel blends have a higher Cold Filter Plug Point (CFPP) than ‘normal’ diesel which means it may not flow as well (a phenomenon known as ‘waxing’) in cold weather or stop altogether. However, the fuels made available to the latest standards (BS EN 2869:2010) include additives to prevent waxing and maintain oxidisation stability.

Current advice based on good practice recommends that:

  • Fuel in any tank is turned over regularly, at least every 6 months and certainly no more than 12 months.
  • When in use, tanks are kept as full as possible, to reduce condensation, however this must be balance against the amount you use and how long a tankful is likely to last you.
  • Water must be drained off regularly (although it is rarely possible to remove it all) in order to discourage MBC. Consideration should be given to modifying the drain facilities to make them more effective.
  • Seals and components in the fuel system are inspected and, where necessary, replaced.
  • Strainers and filters are checked and cleaned more regularly.

It is understood that this is easier said than done. Smaller marinas and boatyards may only have one supply tank and may not sell enough fuel to turn it over regularly particularly in the winter months.

Many recreational craft are laid up over the winter with full tanks for 6 months or more in some cases. A balance must therefore be struck between the amount of fuel bought and the amount of fuel you use.

Where possible you should try to buy diesel that does not have biodiesel in it – see fuel supplies for more information. But remember that the problems described here also affect ‘normal’ diesel as well, albeit to a lesser extent.

If you are concerned about biodiesel and whether there is something nasty in your tank, test kits are now available, which can identify whether contamination is present and its severity. These have been demonstrated to give quick and accurate results on-site.

RYA Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers.



I think basically what this reminds us is to buy fuel from a reliable source, I often buy white diesel at the garage these days as it is just as easy as carrying the cans round the marina and only a few pence more expensive.  also likely to be better quality!  I refuse to tell the marina I use some of mine for heating to get it a few pence cheaper as I am sure one day HM Customs and Excise are going to ask someone to prove it, you would look a bit daft if you have not got a huge diesel heating system!

I also always keep my tank topped up, especially in winter and also use a decent additive to prevent the dreaded bug.

Having seen how diesel bug can ground a fleet of police boats and the lengths you have to go to remove it, very expensive lengths, I would never risk it.  Never had any contamination in any filters nor water in the separator.  (It does not drip in it condenses from the warm air drawn in through the breather and when the tank walls get cold, dribbles down the sides of part empty tanks to accumulate in the bottom of the tank. (oil floats on water!)

Hope your tanks are topped up.





The following in from John Stevens could help you!


Ahoy JW,

This test was in 2007. I have a link to it from one of the forums.


The winners were Marine 16 and GrotaMar 71. Both are based on the same treatment.

Marine 16 is used by the RNLI. GrotaMar 71 by Mercedes. Ya takes yer money...

£6.95 ain’t bad to be free off all those nasty situations and failures.

I’ll be ordering mine ready for the new tank to be fitted.

I don’t want to provide a perfectly new bug kindergarten for those little blighters.





Extract form article sent in by Brian, from the HM sustoms via the RYA


Impact of HMRC announcement on red diesel

Gus Lewis provides further clarification on what the impact of the proposed legislation would actually be and sets out our concerns over HMRC’s proposal.


The Minister’s announcement on 20 February 2012 regarding the use of marked red diesel, directly contradicted the proposed legislation it was supposed to herald. As indeed does the consultation page on the proposed legislation on the HMRC website.

This has caused a great deal of concern and some confusion over boaters’ ability to use red diesel. I hope that the following will help to clarify the situation further.

We have already objected to the proposed legislation and you can respond directly to the HMRC consultation with your comments via the HMRC website The consultation closes on 11 March 2012.

Will UK boaters’ ability to go abroad change if the proposed legislation went through?

No. UK boaters’ current ability to cruise or race to Europe with duty paid marked red diesel in their tank would be unchanged. UK boaters would still need to comply with any applicable regulations of a coastal state, as they do currently.

The crux of the matter lies with the proposed change to the legislation and not with the Ministerial statement, which is wholly misleading and inaccurate and has caused a vast amount of confusion.

The current legislation (the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979) only applies within UK territorial waters. The 1979 Act does not have any impact on the use of marked red diesel for propelling private pleasure craft outside UK territorial waters.

It neither permits nor prohibits UK boaters from using duty paid marked red diesel outside UK waters and the proposed amendment would not change this.

Proposed revised declaration

The problem for UK boaters lies with the proposed revised wording for the declaration, which does not accurately reflect the position under either UK or international law. It would require signatories falsely to acknowledge that they are aware of restrictions on fuel usage that do not exist. This is unacceptable and we have objected to it.

The declaration does not, however, affect UK boater’s ability to use duty paid marked red diesel abroad.

If the amended declaration were drafted such that it simply reminded recreational boaters that other coastal states may apply their own legislation to vessels navigating in their territorial waters then it would be consistent with the UK and international legal position.

Will UK boaters ability to go abroad change if HMRC changed the declaration to that suggested by the RYA?

No. UK boaters’ current ability to cruise or race to Europe with duty paid marked red diesel in their tank would be unchanged. UK boaters would still need to comply with any applicable regulations of a coastal state, as they do currently.

RYA action

The RYA has challenged the proposed revised content of the declaration in the strongest terms and has made it quite clear to HMRC that we are outraged at the inaccurate suggestion by the Minister that our members might not be permitted to use red diesel in international waters.

We have said to HMRC that it must amend or withdraw its proposal for a revised declaration and are currently in discussion with them. HMRC is fully aware that the RYA speaks for the recreational boating community and we are fully engaged with them in the interests of recreational boating. HMRC have informed us that they are consulting with their lawyers in the light of the RYA’s objection.

On the wider issue of whether the continued use of duty paid marked red diesel by the UK constitutes “improper use” the RYA gained specialist taxation advice to support recreational boating’s case. It has made that case to HMRC, (the relevant government department) the EC and the Belgian authorities directly and through a number of different channels, and continues to do so. Read more about marked diesel and EU law.

The RYA has worked with Government in order to ensure that they frame a robust defence for its citizens to the EU proceedings. However, the infringement proceedings are confidential and neither the RYA, nor any other organisation, is privy to the detail of the negotiations that are currently taking place.

It is worth bearing in mind, in the midst of the noise that currently is surrounding this issue, that over the past three years HMRC officials have worked to support UK boaters. Certainly when the infringement proceedings were opened last year officials were seeking to challenge the proceedings and were supported by the then Minister Justine Greening MP. Read more on the EU infringement proceedings.

It is vital that the UK Government gets this right for all UK boaters, wherever they are located in the UK and wherever they are either cruising or racing.

Representing all members interests

The RYA works for, and represents a wide range of leisure boating activity in different parts of the country. The fight to retain the lawful use of red diesel by UK boaters, either here in the UK or in Europe, is the fight to:

  • ensure continuity of supply for UK boaters in the more remote parts of the UK
  • ensure continuity of supply for UK boaters on the inland waterways
  • ensure lawful use of duty paid marked diesel for UK boaters in Europe

Leisure boating to Europe

For those cruising to Europe at present the only country in which you risk being fined for the presence of duty paid marked ‘red’ diesel in your tanks is Belgium. This an on-going issue which the RYA is working to resolve. Just prior to the HMRC announcement the RYA met with the senior officials at the Belgian Embassy as part of our on-going lobbying. Advice on using red diesel abroad.

Leisure boating in UK waters

Research conducted by the RYA and the BMF in 2005 indicated that, had suppliers been obliged to supply only unmarked diesel to private pleasure craft, approximately one third of the suppliers then supplying diesel to leisure boaters would have ceased to do so and would have limited their supplies to marked diesel for commercial operators. As far as we are aware this is still the case.

Although this would not affect a significant number of boaters on the East Coast, or the South Coast it would have a significant impact on the availability of diesel for leisure boaters in more remote parts of the country, especially where coastal harbours cater predominantly for commercial (fishing) craft. Such areas include Scotland, Northern Ireland and the West Country.

At a conference held in Scotland last weekend (25/26 February) Scottish boaters were unequivocal in their support to retain red diesel. Without its continued supply their cruising and racing in Scottish waters would be threatened.

Leisure boating on UK inland waterways

The converse is the case for the inland waterways. Nearly half of the suppliers supplying diesel to leisure boaters in 2005 indicated that they would have ceased supplying marked diesel. Again, we understand this still to be the case today.

This would have a significant impact on the availability of marked diesel for those narrowboats and barges (many of which are people’s homes) that rely on the ability to obtain a rebate for heating and lighting. Fuel used for heating and lighting attracts a lower rate of duty. If there is only a supply of white diesel then the costs of heating their home will increase dramatically.


At the end of the day what does this mean to us?  Well I for one will not go foreign again unless I have drained my tanks and flushed them and refilled with white diesel!   Would not take many minutes to pump out my 8 gallon tank and refill.  The silly idea that was mooted by one, was for a separate tank for red!?  These people only sail on friends 30 metre power boats of course!

Having just white aboard  is not so much of a problem as I often buy it by the 10 litre can at the garage, as it is fresher and has the right additives etc.   Helps if you run a diesel car I suppose!  I have not really noticed, but quite a few say the white makes their  boat motors run so much better! 

I also believe it is a mistake to buy red at the marina and claim a percentage is for heating, to reduce the VAT and the price, especially as so many claiming have not got diesel heaters!  With HMRC that is asking for trouble!  Am I alone in paying full price at the marina pump?












Work to remove the Baffle Wall near to the entrance of Bradwell Creek is to

commence on Thursday 6th October 2011. Completion for the proposed

works is Friday 3rd February 2012.

An exclusion zone within the following co-ordinates will be in existence

during this time.

51°44’64.34N, 000°53’26.49E

51°44’75.04N, 000°53’28.55E

51°44’83.03N, 000°53’45.29E

51°44’81.43N, 000°53’63.05E

51°44’70.57N, 000°53’61.25E

51°44’62.74N, 000°53’44.00E

Existing navigation lights exhibiting the same characteristics will be in

evidence throughout the period of these works during the hours of


All vessels engaged in the removal of the Baffle Wall will be lit during


For further information contact:

Maldon District Council River Bailiff on 01621 875837 or

Costain Works Manager on 07799 435972

DATE: 26/09/2011 (REVISED)


Speedseal life

New friction free cover for water pumps that allow pumps to run dry for 10 minutes without destroying the impellors!  I have it on my Christmas list!





Yachtsman navigates around the world with an atlas

  • Fri, 13 May 2011

Cornish sailor completes traditional circumnavigation

A Cornish sailor has returned to the UK after a 17-month circumnavigation in which he used only an atlas for navigation.

Paddy Macklin, 52, arrived back in Falmouth after a 'traditional' circumnavigation via the three capes on his 27ft wooden Buchanan sloop with no EPIRB or proper charts.

His friend, Steve Ransley, said: 'He didn't want anybody to call help for him, he wanted to do it in the true tradition of going to sea and being prepared to drown like a a gentleman.'

He was feared lost in the Bay of Biscay just weeks into his voyage, when his family could not contact him via his satellite phone in poor weather.

But Mr Macklin had wrapped the phone up to protect it and only became aware of the major search operation that had been launched when he heard his name on the radio.

Then the former painter and decorator was forced to stop in Timaru, New Zealand when a knockdown damaged his boat off the Tasmanian coast and contaminated his food supplies.

The unscheduled stop scuppered his hopes of beating Sir Robin Knox Johnston's around-the-world time of 312 days.

Mr Macklin now plans to sail the North West Passage.



Fire proof qualities of ply proven...

This November the 5th just gone, 2011 The centrepiece of our family fireworks display was the rotten hull of the Eventide 26 'Folly'.

We had salvaged her from Tollesbury just to get the mast and rigging for another Eventide.

 I had stripped anything of any value off and most went with the mast.  We then filled the cockpit with burnable rubbish and decided to set fire to her there to see how she would burn. Thought if anyone got a fire on board it would be under the bridgedeck in the engine compartment...

So we fired her.  To set her off I used 2 time expired hand held red flares tossed into the cockpit. They caught right away of course!


After 30 minutes the cabin bulkhead has not burnt through, and despite the fact that the washboards were not in nor the hatch, the flames were reluctant to spread forward.


Only after anther 10 minutes or so did flames really get going inside the main cabin, and there was a heap of burnable rubbish in there to burn.  However the flames and smoke just licked the inside of the cabin top and the rubbish did not catch....  Till eventually the cabin top fell in. The melting plastic windows was horrible to watch....   The fore cabin was still only a little smoky but until we heaved the fore hatch off the  air looked as if it could have been breathable!  Would not have like to have tried it though.

It was a full 45 minutes before the whole boat was alight.  As the hull had almost disintegrated before it was set ablaze, there were a good many holes in her to assist the fire, but she was still slow to burn. 

We finally left her after about an hour and a half, but by then there was not much left.

The iron keel and rusted skeg and rudder, plus bilge plates, will go for scrap, but the chain plates and stern gear will be salvaged.. there was nothing else.

This is the second Eventide we have had to burn and yet another locally was broken up with a JCB.  Sad end, but game to the last after 40 years plus of sailing fun, 'folly ' made a good last hurrah for Guy Fawkes!!



Now I hate to have to say this, but in my view it is a 'no brainer'

If you have a radio, even a handheld VHF, you need a ship license.

It is FREE!!!!!!

If you do not have one the fine is £5,000.

Please contact the Radio licensing  boys to get a legal. 


The following extract is taken from the Excellent site East Coast Sailing, see the links page!


Responsibility for removal of the wreck of the Grebe, lying close to the Nass Beacon at West Mersea, is still in dispute.


West Mersea Town Council is reported in local paper the Courier as requesting that Trinity House removes the wreck, either by forcing the owner to do so or by taking on the task themselves “according to their stated protocol and statutory responsibilities”.


At present, the owner, whose vessel sank while on passage from Heybridge Basin to Kent after grounding on the Stumble behind Osea Island, is refusing to take calls from Trinity House and appears to have washed his hands of his £1 investment.


The area in which Grebe is lying does not come under any authority’s clear jurisdiction, which is why the Town Council is hoping that Trinity House, having buoyed the wreck as a hazard to navigation, will accept responsibility for it and decide to go ahead and commission a salvage company to remove it. This would cost a few thousand pounds, but is becoming a more difficult job as time goes by and the wreck fills with silt.


It is still hoped that the problem will be resolved before the season gets underway.



The news that the Government would look at a new London Airport in the Thames Estuary as part of its overall review of airport needs in the South East was met with groans of dismay from East Coast yachtsmen, a number of whom contacted RYA East to know what the RYA was doing to squash the idea.


The RYA’s legal manager, Gus Lewis, said: “The Government has confirmed that it will be including proposals for an airport in the Thames Estuary in its broader public consultation on the future of UK aviation. This consultation is due to be published in March and we are not expecting to be able to get hold of any more specific information until that consultation is launched. We will, of course, be considering that consultation in detail in due course and we will keep you posted!”


RYA East’s Environmental and Planning co-ordinator, Chris Edwards, added: “There’s not a lot we can do at this moment, but as soon as we have the details we’ll do our utmost to ensure the minimum effect on recreational boating.”


Garth Cooper, co-author of East Coast Pilot commented: “It’s bad enough having all these wind farms in the Estuary, but to plonk a massive development like an international airport in the mouth of the Thames, one of our busiest and most crowded waterways, is plain daft. The cost alone will be prohibitive and what such a structure would do to the passage of shipping, tidal flows, accretion and scouring doesn’t bare thinking about. It is a great pity that MPs generally see the sea as a dumping ground for all the projects they daren’t mount on land. Enough is enough!”



The RYA is “disappointed” to learn that the Government still intends to progress with its original plans to introduce the proposed e-Borders programme into the recreational boating sector in 2014.


Gus Lewis, Head of Government Affairs at the RYA, commented: “It’s disappointing that despite the inherent flaws in the proposed programme, which we have been pointing out to Government regularly over the last three years, it apparently still intends to implement the proposed programme without any attempt to address these flaws.


“The Government has yet to publish a comprehensive explanation of how the e-Borders scheme will in practice be rolled out in the recreational boating sector, but we understand that it will be based on a system of self-reporting of voyages to and from the UK, via a dedicated website, up to 24 hours prior to departure.”


The RYA continues its argument that implementing the e-Borders programme in the recreational boating sector would be an inappropriate, disproportionate, ineffective and inefficient mechanism for securing the sea border. It also has serious concerns that the e-Borders reporting methodology is simply not designed to accommodate the unscheduled activities of the recreational boating sector. In the absence of a carrier ticketing system, a passport ‘control line’ and attendant law enforcement assets, a system that relies on self-reporting by the law abiding majority is unlikely to present any meaningful challenge to those intent on avoiding detection at the border and the rationale for applying e-Borders controls across the geographic sea border is thus flawed.


As such, the extension of the programme, as we understand it, to the recreational boating sector would, at significant cost to the taxpayer, fail to enhance detection at the border as intended and would not deliver value for money. In 2009 the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on its investigation into the e-Borders programme concluded that: “The e-Borders programme is therefore, as far as we can ascertain, likely to be illegal under the EU Treaty.”


The UK Government subsequently assured the EU Commission that it will not be made compulsory for travellers to provide their personal information and that travellers who have not provided the UK authorities with relevant personal information will not be denied the right to travel, thereby ensuring that the whole scheme does not fall foul of EU rules on the free movement of people within the EU. It remains unclear how the Government’s proposals to implement the e-Borders programme comply with these assurances.


“If the e-Borders programme is to be implemented in the recreational boating sector then in our view the most appropriate, proportionate and cost-effective solution would be for only those persons who are not UK or EU citizens and who are on voyages outside the common travel area to be subject to a requirement to provide their details to the UKBA,” concludes Gus Lewis.



The wreck of the 55ft ex-Navy pinnace Crebe, which lies close to the Nass Beacon outside West Mersea has now been marked with a blue and yellow buoy labelled ‘Wreck’.


Crebe is lying in position 51°45’.876N 000°54’.855E and the wreck marking buoy bears 015° from her, distant 30m. The mark is a pillar buoy with blue and yellow vertical stripes and a yellow upright cross topmark. It shows an alternating blue and yellow flashing light at half second intervals. ‘Wreck’ is written in black on yellow.

Trinity House advises all mariners to give both the buoy and the wreck a wide berth.



A 55ft ex-Navy pinnace has sunk close to the Nass Beacon at West Mersea, according to a notice issued by Thames Coastguard.


The notice said that the vessel was reported to have been moored to one of the yellow marks north of the Nass Beacon, in approximate position 51°45’.9N 000°54’.8E and continued: “We believe this vessel poses a possible hazard to navigation for any vessels entering or leaving West Mersea or Tollesbury.”


Apparently attempts are being made to salvage the vessel.



The on-going work to remove the baffle wall at Bradwell power station is now expected to be completed by 1st April 2012 rather than the previously announced date of 3rd February.






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