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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    13,610

    Default Red Diesel - Response from Minister

    I Faxed my MP abt Red Diesel and he fwd this to the appropriate Minister (David Jamieson (david.jamieson@dft.gsi.gov.uk)) The following is his response:

    "A comparison between petrol and diesel in marine use inevitably revolves around power/weight ratios of engines, and the safety issues of fuel stored onboard and unintentional ignition. Petrol is used most commonly for high speed applications. The use of petrol outboards for high speed boating and the associated sports of water skiing, paragliding, and petrol inboard motors for jet ski are particularly well known. Where lower power/weight ratios are acceptable and where greater reliability is necessary, diesel engines are preferred, and indeed are the only practical option.
    Particular requirements in the EU Directive on Recreational Craft acknowledge difficulties in the stowage of fuels having a flash point below 55 deg C, requiring that tanks are not part of the hull, are insulated from the engine compartment, and are protected from all other sources of ignition. As you will appreciate, this places petrol at a disadvantage, limiting its use significantly. <font color=blue>Petrol engines are also inherently ill-equipped for anything more than use in relatively calm conditions due to the limitation of the ignition system.</font color=blue>

    Despite the removal of the "Red" status of diesel, the relative benefits of diesel as a marine fuel are considered to outweigh the increase in basic cost. Diesel remains cheaper than petrol; is less volatile; can be stored in integral hull tanks; and the vapour, although pungent, is much less dangerous than that of petrol. Diesel is also relatively more environmentally friendly than petrol."

    <font color=red>Hands up all those like me who consider that this response is:

    a. Fundamentally flawed as far as leisure craft are concerned.
    b. Ignoring the real issues. </font color=red>




    <hr width=100% size=1>
    "Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
    Robert A Heinlein

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Brecon, Wales
    Posts
    7,165

    Default Re: Red Diesel - Response from Minister

    ""A comparison between petrol and diesel in marine use inevitably revolves around power/weight ratios of engines, and the safety issues of fuel stored onboard and unintentional ignition."

    The abandonment of red diesel for leisure boats and the implications of the 300% to 300% rise in fuel price is the issue. The issue does not revolve around power/weight ratios of engines. Hence the response from the Minister does not deal in any manner with the points made to him.

    "Despite the removal of the "Red" status of diesel, the relative benefits of diesel as a marine fuel are considered to outweigh the increase in basic cost."

    It is incorrect to state that the 'Red' Status of diesel has been removed - it has not. This is the very point at issue which the Minister seems to have pre-judged.

    The removal of Red status would mean that petrol and diesel costs are about the same costs - so it is nonsense to claim that the RELATIVE benefits of diesel outweigh the increase in basic cost - there is no alternative cheaper fuel to compare it to.

    "Diesel remains cheaper than petrol; is less volatile; can be stored in integral hull tanks; and the vapour, although pungent, is much less dangerous than that of petrol. Diesel is also relatively more environmentally friendly than petrol."

    Fully taxed diesel is not cheaper than petrol - that is just factually incorrect.

    At no point does the Minister's response deal with the effect of the 300% to 400% price rise in diesel costs. Nor the practical difficulties involved in removing red diesel. Instead the response is a factually incorrect , illogical discussion about the relative merits of petrol V diesel for marine use.

    It would be nice to see the Minister's response published in MBY or MBM and the Minister asked to withdraw the unintelligent letter and answer specific questions. Its an election time coming up. I have now written to my MP and asked where he stands on the issue - we should all do the same.




    <hr width=100% size=1>Paul
    Paul
    St Francis 50 Cat
    My Multihull Forum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    French Canals 2007 on, Hull most of winter. previously the Humber , western Greece, western Italy and the south of France.
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Red Diesel - Response from Minister

    The response seems irrelevent to the question we are asking.

    Please post your origonal fax to the minister so that we may understand the mystery better.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    13,610

    Default Re: Red Diesel - Response from Minister

    Unfortunately the original fax was lost in a major crumble on my computer. Hard disc, motherboard, power supply all died and although I was able to get some of my data back, I did not get that one. However, this response has very little to do with what I actually sent to my MP.

    <hr width=100% size=1>
    "Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
    Robert A Heinlein

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Red Diesel - Response from Minister

    Thats a typical ministerial response written by some anonymous civil servant for the minister!
    The one thing that would draw some attention to this is publicity via the media, perhaps by coverage of some harbour blockades aka French fisherman style!
    Even the UK lorry driver protests drew a lot of publicity and slowed the price increases.
    Unfortunately "doing the right thing" such as writing to ministers is our traditional way of resisting these kind of changes and the government produces its standard meaningless statement and then does what the hell it wants!!!
    And before you ask I do not have any political aspirations and I am not a left wing millitant, just a very frustrated boatowner who is a realist!

    <hr width=100% size=1>

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