January Heads Up

A Happy New Year to all our readers. Most of us were pleased to see the end of 2020
and looked forward to the New Year. By the time you have read what follows, most
of you will be reminded of the old axiom “Be careful what you wish for”!

The turn of the year 2020/21 is a momentous time for the boating community. We
have new Covid regulations which effectively close the Norfolk Broads and the
Eastern Region Harbours to pleasure boating.
And we have Brexit!


The easy bit is Covid, the present position is neatly paraphrased by the following
from the Broads Authority.
Activity Guidance

Overnight stays on boats
Tier 4
Essential travel only - travel on waterways and overnight
stays are only permitted where the boat is your permanent
residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar
reasons. You should stay local where possible and not
travel outside of a tier 4 area.

Boat maintenance

Tier 4
Travel to maintain your boat is not permitted in tier 4.

Overnight stays in
holiday lets

Tier 4
No overnight stays outside of local area, unless necessary
for work, education or similar reasons.

Canoeing, kayaking,
paddle boarding, sailing,

Permitted in tier 4 subject to social contact rules. Outdoor
recreation or exercise should be done locally wherever

Activity Guidance
angling and other

possible, but you can travel a short distance within your
Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an
open space).

The above guidance has been collated from official Government sources.
In short, therefore, the overall message is stay-at-home and stay away from your


It’s all about Europe and it is, therefore, exceedingly bureaucratic. Europe is now,
once again, an overseas or "foreign" country so far as boating is concerned. This
means a return of the old rules of returning from Europe, flying a yellow flag and
clearing customs outbound and inbound.
If you keep your boat in Europe or in the Mediterranean then the change in status of
Europe will affect the VAT position of your boat. Brexit will also mean that you can
only spend 90 days in any 180 day period in the EU. Note that the 90 day period is a
rolling period, which means that it's any 90 days in the preceding 180 days. This
effectively stops you having a back-to-back 90 days. The rules are complex and we
attach below a number of links for you to browse.
For all boat owners, however, the location of your boat at 23:00 hours UTC on the 31
December 2020 is absolutely critical. You need to know and be able to show where
your boat was at this time and you should be careful to preserve evidence to that
effect. If you are thinking of purchasing a boat then you will need to enquire very
carefully as the VAT status of the craft and knowledge its location at Brexit hour will
be essential.

The following links may be useful: –
www.rya.org.uk › sitecollectiondocuments › legal › VA...
www.rya.org.uk › current-affairs › Pages › brexit-what...
This is probably just the start – Brexit is going to affect all of us in the boating world
so it's time to start doing the homework now.

Coffee Morning 30 January 2021 at 1030.
We will hold our usual virtual coffee morning as above. Please contact Robert
Middleton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an invitation. Suggested subjects for
discussion are, the situation with regard to the broad bridges (believed to be
improving), the effect of Brexit on foreign travel, and events for the summer.

Future Events.

Our proposed programme for 2021 was set out in detail in Heads Up for November
and December 2020. At the moment, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding
Covid-19 and it is difficult to make any firm plans. The hope and expectation is that
things will have eased by the time we get to late spring and that we will be free to
move about again and go boating.
We are continuing planning for Whitby – at least we won’t have European
complications – we hope! It is all a little uncertain because we do not know what is
likely to be available to us when we get there. If you are interested in this event, then
please let Robert Middleton know (email address as above).
We are also planning to run the Beccles weekend at the end of August. WE NEED
VOLUNTEERS TO HELP. Assuming the BUNDALL BOAT SHOW takes place, we
shall also require volunteers to attend to man our stall and assist with committee
In the meantime, please follow the official Covid advice and stay safe. It has been
suggested that we have a post-Covid party or get-together to celebrate the
resumption of boating activities. This could be a discussion subject for the
forthcoming coffee morning.
January 2021

Article archive

From cruising the Rhine, to replacing teak decks, you'll find it all in our magazine article archive

Join the Club

Join the owners club for just £25/year. Open to owners worldwide. Find out more...

BOC shop

Get your burgees, badges and BOC clothing in our club shop.


Follow us