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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Home mid Kent - Boat @ Poole

    Default Re: Boat builder wants to end red diesel!

    that's pretty quick...........but not enough!

    however with a government that can't make it's mind up as to whether the hydrocarbon consumption efficientcy of the diesel is better or worse (for them!) than the emission specific products - and therefore simply tax the more efficient diesel vehicles will thinking about it; anything could happen.

    personally the ideal should surely revolve around
    (1) cleaner diesel (why not simply insist on lower sulpher diesel for all applications)
    (2) more efficient marine diesle engines (already done via the appropriate EU regs coming into force)

    market forces will then deal with the rest.........these will drive up the cat market for many of the reasons quoted but as many here have said running a smallish cat with a really efficient DIESEL engine is certainly a good bang for bucks solution in many many instances (as Victor has been outlining for a long time).

    finally I am somewhat surprised that this firm hasn't applied for low tax petrol to be available to those purchasing their ecoboats!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Brecon, Wales

    Default Email exchange with the MD

    From me:-
    "Paul Burgess" <> wrote:

    This is a follow up to the email I sent to you yesterday.

    As you may be aware every response you make is being reported on the most
    popular boating forum in Europe.

    I see that you now concede that you have your facts wrong about tax payer
    subsidy but you still deny selling out your industry in your own self
    interest. A pointless denial in view of the facts.

    The effect of doing away with red in the UK would mean that many large boats
    head off to the Med, thereby furthe increasing air traffic to the Med and
    many ordinary boaters who struggle to keep their boats will leave boating.
    Less tax would be raised by the chancellor - it takes less than a 2% drop in
    marine business to wipe out any possible tax gain.

    What you have done is call for a tax increase in your own self interest
    whilst hiding behind environmental issues that you also seem to only have a
    loose grasp of. You cannot expect that to go down well with the boating
    public. You have shot yourself in the foot.

    I would like to invite you to join the forum (its free) and we will open up
    a question and answer thread with the members so that you can firstly
    apologies for getting your facts wrong and then be given a full chance to
    state your case on why you are calling for a tax hike on the boating public.

    Seeing that you are so concerned with the environment might I point out that
    air traffic currently accounts for over 50% of atmospheric pollution,
    whereas the use of diesel by UK boaters effects are so low they can hardly
    be measured. It would therefore seem logical that your campaign might switch
    over to stopping UK residents flying off for their holidays so much. Of
    course, given the way you only operate in your own self interest, this may
    have to wait until you are in the passenger kite business.
    His response:-

    From: Henry Mayhew []
    Sent: 23 January 2006 11:30
    To: Paul Burgess
    Subject: Re: Follow up email

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your email. All debate is good. I am just working my way through
    emails now so sorry that I have not seen your other one yet.

    I am happy to apologise for a poor choice of words in the use of the phrase
    "tax payer subsidised".

    I don't particularly like the phrase "selling my industry out", so I hope I
    can be allowed to plead not guilty to that. I am looking for improvement not
    destruction, and time is short as the EU may very well end the derogation.

    On the air travel issue I am under the impression that aircraft designers work
    hard to reduce fuel consumption. That is all I am asking for.

    You haven't mentioned the forum you are on but I will have a look at ybw
    shortly. Let me know what you want me to do.


    My response:-

    First of all thank you for your email.

    I really do think that you using phrases like 'taxpayer subsidised' does indicate a person who really has not given the subject much thought at all. Its not so much a poor choice of words as a lack of thought and knowledge of the subject.

    "I don't particularly like the phrase "selling my industry out", so I hope I
    can be allowed to plead not guilty to that. I am looking for improvement not
    destruction, and time is short as the EU may very well end the derogation."

    You of course may plead not guilty but that in only your plea - the facts speak for themselves. The effect of no red would be very destructive to the UK boating industry and that is something that you are campaigning for.

    You say you are looking for improvement not destruction but doing away with red has effect that are not improvement. If that was the case why not double the price of road fuel overnight? That would cause a dramatic drop in pollution - that is not done because of the other damage it would cause.
    Why not place a tax on aviation fuel - an industry that accounts for over 50% of the atmospheric pollution? Your policies would encourage more air travel not less.

    "On the air travel issue I am under the impression that aircraft designers work
    hard to reduce fuel consumption. That is all I am asking for."

    No you are not - you are asking for a tax to be levied on a fuel that would more than double its price - the facts are that diesel engine makers also strive to reduce fuel consumption. If you were really wanted to campaign on environmental issues instead of your own self interest why not campaign for a tax to be levied on air fuel??? Do not claim that you are simply wanting more engine efficiency - you are not doing anything to seek that.

    You are campaigning on your boating industry web site and calling for a tax that would greatly hurt boaters - it would even double the cost of fuel to cat owners hence help make the possibility of owning a cat for many just out of reach. By all means point out the cat are fuel efficient - they are but why campaign to double the fuel costs to your customers? Please answer that one.

    The forum is at

    You will see a thread there all about you and your views.

    It actually looks like the derogation may well not end and other countries have been successful in keeping it for another 6 years.

    I can promise you that you have managed to really damage your company with your views. You are accused of using your position as a boat manufacturer to campaign for a tax rise that would damage the industry you belong to and done so in your own self interest - even though in practice it is not but you have not even thought that one through!

    I am posting this email on the public forum.

    I look forward to you defending yourself on that forum.

    St Francis 50 Cat
    My Multihull Forum

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Brecon, Wales

    Default Re: Email exchange with the MD

    I am struggling with the logic of this company.

    I reckon I could prepare a great advertisement for them along the lines of:-

    Advert Theme
    Buy a Cat from us - its so fuel efficient that we promise to campaign tirelessly to ensure that your fuel costs increase so that you end up losing all the efficiency gain and end up paying the same as mono-hull boats do now!!!!!!
    St Francis 50 Cat
    My Multihull Forum

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2005
    k up your daughters

    Default Re: Email exchange with the MD

    Well I didn't really know about these CATS so this thread has certainly brought them to my attention, is this the right way to deal with the frustration, bringing so much 'publicity' to this company? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

    You seem to be doing the advertising for them now! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

  5. Default Re: Email exchange with the MD

    Hello One and All,

    Thanks for debating this issue.

    First, I meant by the phrase "taxpayer-subsidised" that the taxpayer would have the burden of paying for public services shared more equitably by motorboaters if tax on leisure diesel was more sensible than it is today. I can see that I set myself up for a slagging by using this short-hand, but that is not a problem.

    Secondly, I have already made my points in the letter that has been posted on the forum, but I wanted to post a message to show that I have checked your messages and am delighted to participate. I particularly liked the barsteward tag - a possible future career if my comments have done Ecocats some damage as one (or all) of the posters said.

    Let's carry on the debate. I would like to know what the problem is with using a displacement catamaran that does 25kts on a third of the fuel of an equivalent monohull?



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Caribbean at the moment

    Default Re: 25 knots at a third the fuel

    You are overlooking the fact that nobody needs to do 25knots, or even have a boat. We just do it for fun, to make ourselves feel good.

    So, issues such as the looks are important, and catamarans in genral are not winners in this department.

    Separately, the attitude of the compnay rubs off in an important way. There was a Honda sportscar which went as fast as ferraris for half the money but nobody bought em much, because Honda had a feel-bad factor through making cheap eco vehicles whereas Ferrari has glitzy connotations.

    Your correction of the text is but a start, and a weak one. Buyers of mobos won't want to buy from people who really seem to indicate that all money belongs to the State, and that a lower level of tax is only achieved by others funding it.

    Separate from the diesel tax but still on tax - instead of paying yourself salary as the shareholder of your company, you could pay a dividend from the company profits, and neither you nor your company pays National Insurance Contributions. Is this ripping off the taxpayer? Or sensible thinking?

    The current governments real need for tax is revvealed gby the mendacious promise not to increase income tax and to then increase all taxes except that one. Whereas if they really needed more money for govt spending ( like a big expensive war, not little ones here and there) they'd say so, and we'd pay no problem. Not doing this shows that really, morally, the taxes are uop as high as they dare, which makes managing state spending (by not managing it) very easy.

    Wow, not discussed the boat at all. Not a good sign eh?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: Email exchange with the MD

    Thanks for your reply. Are you a member of the British Marine Federation, and are you aware of their views on the diesel tax issue? I think you may find yourself significantly at odds with the rest of your industry and your potential customers.

    Perhaps you could add to the debate by expanding on your last point, and publishing some data for us to debate. When you use the term equivalent monohull, do you mean equivalent in length, beam, displacement, deck area, capacity or speed, or another variable? Don't get me wrong - I'm for multihulls and enjoy monos too, but if we want a proper fair debate, lets start with some facts to discuss!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Brecon, Wales

    Default Re: Email exchange with the MD

    I am sorry but I do not swallow your stance on this.

    I have asked questions please answer them.

    As regards your question -

    "I would like to know what the problem is with using a displacement catamaran that does 25kts on a third of the fuel of an equivalent monohull?"

    There has been much discussion on the forum of that very issue and there is no doubt that cats are more efficient - so lets say I am a boater that values that efficiency and decide to go for a cat because I now can afford to boat with that efficiency hence I come along a buy one from you ........ my problem is that you are trying to push the fuel costs of the boat you sell me up past double the price so that they are almost the same cost if not the same cost as a mono-hull ..... that sir is a problem for me.

    So please explain to me why I should even consider a company that is doing all it can to do away with the advantage that it is trying to sell me? I have already asked this question now please answer it.

    I also wish to ask why you are campaigning to do away with red and hence deal a real body blow to the industry and its customers to which you belong?
    St Francis 50 Cat
    My Multihull Forum

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2003
    River Medway, Kent

    Default Re: Email exchange with the MD

    Well wouldnt you like to use a third of the fuel of the monohull AND use the cheaper red diesel? Me thinks this would appeal greatly to tight a**e boaters that are common in my neck of the woods.

    As others have said though, i fail to see the environmental benefits of losing red. Most boats on the river where i am go nowhere all year anyway.
    One day, i'll have a boat that works! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

  10. Default Re: 25 knots at a third the fuel

    Great note TCM. You raise some extremely interesting issues that make being involved in a boat company very rewarding. I am involved in service industries when not working on Ecocats business and don't have the exposure to subjective judgements of form and aesthetics that you get in the boat game. There are so many factors to consider. "The feel bad factor" - I like it! Thanks for the thoughts.

    Building catamarans may sound sanctimonious and they don't lean in cornering like a monohull, but riding over bad weather in one at speed and having all that space are amazing experiences. It is like being on a flying carpet. Also, good fuel efficiency gives range. You can go three times further in a cat for the same money, and get there having been bashed around a lot less.

    The question is, how do we justify the higher initial cost to someone who hasn't tried cat boating? I think video of a cat in bad weather may be the way forward. We have one at the top of the Runabout page on, but it takes a few seconds to load. We should do more on this.

    Finally, I took our 28ft demo boat from Plymouth to Fowey to Mevagissy and back to Plymouth on Saturday and Sunday for 48 litres of unleaded. Speed from 12-20 kts. Quite a strong chop coming out of Mevagissy and half the way back. Would not have liked it in a monohull.

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