Practical Boat Owner March 2021

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
reaching out in lockdown

with the editor To receive the editor’s monthly email newsletter, go to our website: As I write this, the headlines in UK national newspapers are proclaiming ‘Roll out of vaccine has begun’, yet further lockdown measures are possibly on the horizon. Take a look at the diary dates on page 9 – confidence is rising for May onwards. Personally, there have been so many false dawns that I am having trouble looking forward to anything… but the advice when you feel hopeless is to reach out, rather than shutting down. So I tried it, and I was surprised to find that it worked (for me): I chatted on a video call with a sympathetic friend in a far-away warm country, where the only COVID restriction is to wear a mask in the…

3 min
keep your vat details on board

SEND US YOUR STORIES Email news editor Katy Stickland at, tel: 0330 390 6738 Boat owners are being advised by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to carry evidence of VAT status on board their vessels “at all times” in case of checks by customs officials. The details have been published in HMRC Notice 8: sailing your pleasure craft to and from the UK, following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. HMRC has already announced that owners of boats which have been in the UK under present ownership and were in the EU at the end of the transition period, can avoid paying a second VAT payment if the vessel returns to the UK before 31 December 2021. This applies regardless of when the boat left the UK. Owners…

1 min
biggest names unlikely to be at düsseldorf

Groupe Beneteau has said its Beneteau and Jeanneau brands are unlikely to feature at this year’s boot Düsseldorf after organisers postponed Europe’s biggest boat show from January to April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mirna Cieniewicz from Groupe Beneteau told PBO that both Beneteau and Jeanneau would “most probably not” be at the show, which is scheduled for 17-25 April. She said both brands were lacking new models to be presented at the show in April, with boats heading to dealers for regional and local events or delivered to their new owners. ”We don’t have that many unsold and new models that can be used for exhibition,” she explained. Groupe Beneteau’s multihull brands, including Lagoon, have already committed to the International Multihull Boat Show, which is being held in La Grande-Motte in France…

1 min
green light for world’s largest offshore wind farm

Funding is now in place for the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which will be built 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea. Developers SSE and Equinor have secured £5.5bn of financing for Dogger Bank A and B, which will generate enough electricity to power four million UK homes when fully operational. The RYA has said it will have a ‘minimum impact’ on sailors. “These are the type of wind farm developments we like to see. They have less impact on recreational sailors as they are built in areas of low recreational boating volumes. Providing the navigational risk assessment is done properly we will not have a problem with it,” commented the RYA’s cruising manager, Stuart Carruthers. He said the RYA would be paying particular attention to the export cables, used…

1 min
atlantic success for natasha lambert

Natasha Lambert has crossed the Atlantic to become the first and youngest quadriplegic sailor to sail the ocean using sip and puff technology. The 23-year-old made the passage from Gran Canaria to St Lucia in 18 days 21 hours and 39 minutes aboard her Nautitech 46 Open, Blown Away. Natasha was accompanied by crew and was taking part in the 2020 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC). Blown Away was converted to use sip and puff technology by Natasha’s father, Gary, who designed the specially adapted system, which allows Natasha to control the boat using a single straw. The Cowes sailor has also raised over £9,500 during the challenge for three charities: the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Natasha’s own charity, the MissIsle School of Sip-Puff Sailing, which offers sip and puff…

2 min
warning to secure retractable keels

An investigation into the death of a disabled sailor on Lake Windermere has led to a warning to secure retractable keels and centreboards. Stephen Hague, 57, was sailing with a Blackwell Sailing instructor on 12 June 2019 when their RS Venture Connect (VC) capsized after being knocked down in gusty winds. The boat’s liftable keel retracted back into the hull, causing the boat to invert completely, trapping Hague. The instructor swam clear but was unable to right the boat without the help of the safety boat crew. A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report has revealed that the boat’s weighted keel had not been secured with the Velcro keel restraining strap, and that Blackwell Sailing instructors involved in the rigging or use of the boat weren’t aware of the strap’s function or…