Archive for ‘Latest News’

July 30, 2020

News Release

29 July 2020 


RYA issues COVID-19 Guidance on sailing and racing with different households 

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is delighted to publish its guidance for a return to boating for crew from different households. This guidance has been reviewed by Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) after the RYA submitted its action plan two weeks ago as part of the Return to Recreational Team Sport Framework.

Whilst many single-handed or single household participants have enjoyed being back afloat since mid-May, this new guidance now gives clear direction to those who enjoy sailing or racing as part of a team.

As part of this process the RYA team reviewed the potential risks of COVID-19 in different types of boats at different times. As a sport that naturally benefits from being outdoors in the elements, the RYA has successfully demonstrated that boating is appropriate for teams of sailors made up of different households to be permitted to sail and race together – providing the appropriate mitigation is in place.

Ian Walker, RYA Director of Racing, explains: “This has been a real team effort within the RYA and we are delighted that DCMS has taken time to understand our sport and that they trust our stakeholders to act responsibly.

“Boating has many natural advantages that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, but we are acutely aware that there will always be an element of risk. As this pandemic continues to unfold, it will remain vitally important that we all take personal responsibility for assessing the risks and take the appropriate mitigating actions.  It remains crucial that we all respect any rules and safety measures that our clubs deem necessary to put in place.”

The RYA Guidance on Restarting Boating and Managing Covid 19 and Guidance on Major Events and Covid 19 have been central to the return to recreational boating activity and they remain critical documents for any venue planning to host sailing activity, along with all applicable Government regulations.

The RYA strongly believes that the highest risk will often be before and after going afloat, which is why the security of our venues remains a priority. The new RYA Guidance on sailing & racing with participants from different households during COVID-19 in England that has been published today outlines the ways in which skippers and participants should review risk and how they might mitigate against that risk in a team environment.

The guidance highlights the increased risk of certain on-board activities such as rigging, hiking out or two person winch operation. It also recognises that while social distancing of 1m+ may not always be possible on-board, it should always be possible to maintain a minimum separation of 0.5m. Mitigation of the risk of being separated by less than 1m can be provided by reducing the time spent in close proximity, avoiding face to face contact and not shouting.

The role of face coverings is also considered. In the context of COVID-19, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

Pete Allam, CEO of Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, comments: “This is really good news that has come just in time to get some organised training and racing activity going again for double-handed boats this summer. At WPNSA we have put in place all the necessary measures to provide a COVID-19 secure venue and I am sure the participants will heed all the relevant RYA guidance in order to get out and enjoy sailing safely as part of a team again.”

One activity highlighted by the review that remains high risk and for which there does not currently appear to be suitable mitigation is that of crews sleeping in communal areas down below on race yachts and the practice of ‘hot bunking’. Clearly it is not currently advisable for people from different households to share confined spaces for long periods of time.

The RYA will continue to support the national effort to control the spread of COVID-19 and assist members of the RYA family with any variations that might develop at a local level. Whilst the regulations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may be different, they are all aimed at controlling the virus. Clubs should be aware that the pace at which the regulations are being eased varies considerably between the four nations and they should heed country specific guidance available on the RYA website. For more information, visit the ‘Return to Boating Hub’ or contact the RYA for further support.

For more information contact

Loretta Spridgeon

RYA Press Office

Tel: 023 8060 4209


July 22, 2020



Oulton Broad – Mutford Lock

Notice is hereby given that the Broads Authority will be carrying out essential maintenance works on the lock system between 09:00hrs 11 August to 17:00hrs 13 August 2020.  During this period, the lock will remain closed.  

For more information visit

or call 01603 610734.

Rivers Engineer

21 July 2020

May 18, 2020

Return to Sailing

There is much talked about return to sailing with much uncertainty.

In outline presently, all watersports are sanctioned, however do take care and as always do conduct your own pre-assessment:-

• Control-the-Controllable (the person; the equipment).

• Have regard to other issues (the wind; the weather; the environment).

•• However do consider the present need for Social-Distancing.

So for example, … don’t go out if there is absolutely no-one to call for help, but do adhere to distancing advice.


Presently and following RYA advice and from a Special-Interest-Group (SIG, hyper-link for much further useful information), we are Not advocating Organised sailing and Club-Houses should remain closed (c.f. pubs & clubs” where it is difficult to conduct distancing); even club toilets could be contentious! Travel to your club in kit, or be prepared to change in-the-car. Casual sailing is encouraged, as are say, simple one-on-one racing challenges, but of course this applies to single-handed sailing and Not for social gatherings in the same vessel (e.g. helm-&-crew) unless from the same household.

Amongst inland waterways in England, The Broads are in an advantageous position with DEFRA formally recognising that the Broads Authority is able and indeed needs to open The Broads in a way which is not necessarily reflected on canals or privately owned reservoirs.

Below is a Very, very approximate ‘Road-Map’ to guide thinking:–

Clubs might start to consider their very gradual step out of restrictions starting perhaps for next month or later, depending on Government advice at that time. As one looks further into the future any now-advice has to be treated with greater uncertainty and circumspection.

Stay Safe, Follow Government Advice, and enjoy a return to sailing

April 6, 2020

NSBA seeks a “Communicator” (Honorarium) ?

Literate in various forms of Social Media, our new “Communicator” should be capable of working to own initiative and presenting NSBA in the best possible ‘modern‘ way !

April 6, 2020

Spring Newsletter 2020

April 4, 2020

Covid-19 Issues, Advice … … and general NSBA-updates

This is not the year we all planned into our boating diaries.
Both this last weekend 4/5-April, and this week following look particularly inviting to get out onto the water, but please follow Central Government advice and,

                      “Stay-at-Home” !

Very recently there has been some churning of issues as regards fallout from coronavirus advice; both Broads-Beat (Police) and Broads-Control (Broads Authority) have been inundated with public calls about hire craft being out and about;  actually these referred to multiple sightings of the same single person hiring a fortnight out of Wroxham before lock-down, who traversed to the southern Broads, kept himself-to-himself,  but who was expected home this coming weekend.

Presently NSBA does not encourage travelling to and from marinas or moorings, and taking to the water should not happen until such time as Central Government has reassessed the Covid situation.

Where craft are in a marina or lie close together at recognised moorings and where a mutually supportive rota has been established for checking on craft, the rota should now include locals who can walk to the site,  but probably not to include travellers from perhaps as far afield as Norwich !
While it might appear to some that getting out onto the water is potentially a very social-distancing activity, it is potential fallout which could become an issue; emergency support if called upon, may itself be put in health-jeopardy and travel to/from the boat is potentially at variance with advice;  it sends the ‘wrong’ message of irresponsibility to onlookers.
During recent Government briefing it was explicitly stated that, “… travel to second homes [ as boats might be described ] is not sanctioned …”.

Yacht Station at Norwich is closed, and those at Reedham and at Gt.Yarmouth have been opened, this being,  “… for safety purposes of liveaboarders who need to access shoreside for vital services …”;   if traffic is perceived as minimal (being reviewed weekly), then both of these will close again shortly.

Tolls is another major current issue being the source of much rumour:
It is quite untrue that Hire Craft are not being asked to pay;  the situation being that hire boats that are not being used and are effectively in storage in their own yards, do not incur a toll and if craft remain ashore then tolls are not payable, but as soon as they go afloat for hire the toll once again becomes due (and indeed at potentially a higher short-term rate).
Broads Authority has published its information [hyper-linked] and while there may very well be frustrations that private owners have in not being able to use their vessels, the Broads Authority is prepared to give careful consideration to exceptional circumstances of financial concerns for boaters unable to meet their commitments.

Having been in discussion with Broads Authority it is quite clear that BA is keenly aware of critical impact on its Tolls income due both to reduced tourism and hirings and to private owners potentially not launching for the whole season. With this in mind BA has already made application to DEFRA for special consideration for critical minimum additional funding;  NSBA has been asked by boaters whether to expect Tolls support and in this respect it is felt that NSBA should primarily support BA’s case rather than drive a separate distraction which might be seen as trying, “to burn the candle at both ends”. It would best benefit boaters if most can be made of one principal line of bidding to ensure that the Navigation Budget remains viable beyond July.

NSBA General Purposes Committee took a tough decision at short notice in cancelling the recently scheduled Flag Officers’ Event,  but that does not mean that we’ve stopped doing other ‘stuff’.

NSBA is actively in direct contact with Network Rail regarding their proposed programmes of renovation work on the Swing-Bridges, this being scheduled between Oct-2021 and Mar-2024 through those three successive winters.
NSBA is now also a front-line consultee regarding potential mitigation during any proposed closure by Network Rail as unfortunately happened during the last Christmas holiday period.
  Haven Bridge at Gt.Yarmouth has its problems and NSBA forwarded complaints through RYA (East Region) to the RYA(HQ) legal support desk to apply pressure on ‘Highways’.
NSBA was particularly active with RYA through the last 6-months of Inspection of the Gt.Yarmouth Third River Crossing project. We were able to make representations and were involved in a hazard identification workshop. We have gained some potential benefits for boaters and feel that our involvement has been valuable.

NSBA understands the significant impact that the coronavirus is having on many people both in terms of their own and their family’s health and livelihoods, as well as with disrupted leisure plans in general.
As much as we love boating on The Broads, we need to be sensible and pragmatic about what is possible. The Committee will be reviewing the season and revising its plans and responses in the context of the potentially devastating effect this disease may have on activities and our communities.

NSBA also recognise that once this crisis is over, organising future events will not be a top priority for everyone, or easy, and that there will be long term economic and travel difficulties for everyone.
However NSBA is standing by to swiftly adjust schedules and reorganise its events in a responsible way, with a considered approach to take into account everyone’s safety and well-being.

Finally, and above all,  please recognise the three words of,  “Stay at Home”.
If you are eventually able to go boating, please remember that initially it may be not yet be classed as a social event, but simply a time for personal exercise only, like going for a run or a cycle-ride (this is not yet the case, but looking into possibilities for the future while we await further instructions or advice).

For the short-term do,    Stay at Home !

Stay safe and wash your hands … and we’ll meet again once it is all over.

Chair, NSBA

April 4, 2020

Suspension of Haven Bridge openings – Covid-19

MARINERS ARE HEREBY ADVISED that we have suspended Haven Bridge openings to non- essential passage, with immediate effect. This decision has been taken in the interest of safeguarding our employees, by limiting their exposure to others and maintaining social distancing, where practically possible.

Access to commercial vessel traffic for “key worker” status businesses and pilot boats, life boats and similar will be permitted, where possible. Leisure crafts will unfortunately be denied passage as they are considered non-essential. It is our plan to resume normal service when Government advice suggests it is safe to do so.

On behalf of Harbour Master 02/04/2020

November 4, 2019

Autumn 2019 Newsletter

The autumn 2019 newsletter is available to download here.

September 4, 2019

NSBA Broadland Youth Regatta 2019 Results

Congratulations to all who took part in the event at Hickling Broad Sailing Club on 31 August, whether as sailor, organiser or supporter.

A full report sits in the Spring-2020 Newsletter,  and  the results can be downloaded here..

August 5, 2019

HMRC consultation on diesel fuel used in pleasure craft – [Closed 09-Sep-2019]

HMRC launched consultation on Implementation of the CJEU judgment on diesel fuel used in private pleasure craft

HM Revenue and Customs was inviting views on, and seeking information about, proposed changes to the rules for red diesel used in private pleasure craft as a result of the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). This judgement ruled that the UK’s  taxation rules for diesel used in private pleasure craft contravened the Fuel Marker Directive and thus  private diesel powered pleasure craft will in future be required to use white diesel for propulsion.

HM Revenue and Customs’ 8-week consultation set out the changes the government intends to make to bring the UK’s practice into line with the Directive and seeks evidence about the impact of the changes on users of diesel powered craft and their fuel suppliers.

The responses will have been used to help determine whether a period will be required for suppliers and users of diesel fuel to adapt to using only white diesel for propulsion of private pleasure craft and, if needed, the length of any such period. Affected members were therefore encouraged to respond to the consultation which seemed to be aimed more at individual owners than organisations representing them.

The consultation closed at 11:45pm on 9 September 2019.

Boaters should experience no change in respect of their use of red diesel both in the UK and overseas until the UK Government makes changes to existing legislation.

The consultation is available at: