Practical Boat Owner December 2020

Published by TI Media Limited Practical Boat Owner is Britain's biggest-selling boating magazine, trusted and respected by all its readers. A source of useful and helpful information for both power and sail boat owners, PBO helps you get the most from your boat acting as a forum for interacting with like-minded individuals.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
waiting for the tide

with the editor To receive the editor’s monthly email newsletter, go to our website: Right and wrong As we arrive at the end of my third year as editor I give thanks for the bounteous inboxes, the PBO addresses (electronic or otherwise) that continue to receive readers’ advice, experience, thoughts and feelings. It is a privilege to curate and publish so much of it. And it’s no accident that when readers write about their lived experiences, the sentences flow, the humour bubbles and sometimes the wisdom is profound. The following line from ‘I restored the wrong boat’ on page 68 will stay with me: ‘Buy the right boat to meet your needs, not a boat that has met and exceeded the needs of others.’ It sounds biblical, almost, perhaps because it’s so easy to…

3 min
long term uk cruisers in europe face paying vat twice on boats

SEND US YOUR STORIES Email news editor Katy Stickland at, tel: 0330 390 6738 UK sailors who have cruised continually in Europe for over three years without returning to the UK have until the end of 2021 to bring their vessels home or face paying VAT and import duty on their boat. This will apply even if owners have already paid UK VAT. Originally, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) had suggested that boaters would have to return to the UK before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 to qualify for Returned Goods Relief (RGR). This decision was met with anger from many long term UK cruisers whose boats are based in Europe. Lu Heikell, who keeps her 46ft Warwick Cardinal sloop Skylax in Greece said it showed “a wholesale…

1 min
‘living’ antifoul research underway

Marine biologists at the University of Essex are leading new research to produce a so-called ‘living coating’ as a replacement for traditional antifouling on boats. The bespoke engineered biofilm would be made from ‘a community of microbes’ which would produce a protective layer to prevent barnacle and other marine plant growth. Project leader Dr Nick Aldred, from Essex’s School of Life Sciences, said traditional antifoul had many drawbacks such as toxicity, fragility, cost and disposal, and often failed to offer complete protection. “A living coating could heal itself after damage, act as a sensor and could be automatically released from the surface naturally when necessary,” he explained. “We aim to create an engineered bacterial community that can be controlled to produce a bespoke, protective, multifunctional film for vessel hulls.” The initial focus of the lab-based…

2 min
autonomous mayflower’s plymouth launch

A 15m (49.2ft) trimaran, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and solar, has been launched in Plymouth. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is undergoing sea trials ahead of a transatlantic crossing next spring. It will follow a similar route as the 1620 Mayflower, which made the same crossing 400 years ago with the Pilgrim Fathers. MAS is controlled by an AI Captain, built by the nonprofit research firm ProMare and IBM developers. It has the ability to sense, think and make decisions at sea with no human captain or onboard crew. MAS has over 30 sensors and six AI cameras on board, and a solar-driven hybrid electric engine delivers a maximum speed of 10 knots. It has taken two years to design, build and train the AI models used on board MAS,…

2 min
15 year old is youngest to sail solo around britain

Timothy Long, 15, has become the youngest sailor to sail solo around Britain, beating the record held by 17-year-old Tom Webb. The teenager from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire completed the circumnavigation in 11 weeks aboard his Hunter Impala 28 Alchemy, raising over £10,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust “Ellen MacArthur is my idol and has always been my inspiration,” explained Timothy. “The work the charity does is really magical. My original aim was to raise £2,500 and it has been amazing how much support we’ve had.” Timothy met Dame Ellen after his circumnavigation and the pair shared their experiences of sailing solo around Britain; in 1995 Dame Ellen, then aged 18, sailed her 21ft Corribee Iduna around the UK via the Caledonian Canal, the same route taken by Timothy. Originally he’d planned to…

1 min
consecutive wins for royal quays and poole quay

For the second year running, Royal Quays Marina on the River Tyne and Poole Quay Boat Haven have been named Marina of the Year. Royal Quays won in the over 250 berths UK Coastal category, while Poole Quay took the prize for a coastal marina under 250 berths. Organised by The Yacht Harbour Association, the marinas are voted for by their berth holders. The award ceremony was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. White Mills Marina on the River Nene at Earls Barton in Northamptonshire took the Inland Marina of the Year title. The boatyard manager at Emsworth Yacht Harbour, James Stenning was named Marina Employee of the Year due to his efforts to reassure berth holders about the safety of their vessels during the height of lockdown. The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) Towergate Marina…