RYA says Defra could place restrictions on boats moving to different waters

The RYA have warned boaters that widespread hosepipe bans could restrict cruising plans this summer.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recommends hosing down boats before transporting them to a new area to stop the spread of environmentally harmful non-native species of flora and fauna.

But hosepipe bans due to be enforced in South and South East of Britain next month could mean you won’t be able to wash your boat whilst the ban is in place.

Caroline Price, RYA Planning & Environmental Advisor, said that they are concerned that the hosepipe ban will impact upon dinghy sailors and powerboaters who regularly move their boats to different waters by trailer.
“Hosing down boats before they are moved to another location in order to remove any non-natives that may have ‘climbed aboard’ has been fundamental in minimising their spread across the country,” said Price.
“If the hosepipe ban prevents the thorough hosing down of such boats and no alternative management is recommended there is a danger that Defra could look to place restrictions on the movement of boats to different waters in the UK in order to prevent the spread of these non-natives.”

If you break any of the restrictions, including ‘drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic or recreational use’ you could a £1,000 fine.

For larger boats that remain in the water and are not moved from location to location the impact of the hosepipe ban will be less significant.  

Filling up tanks for drinking water and washing the boat for health and safety reasons should be deemed acceptable. However, cleaning your boat for purely aesthetic reasons will not.
Visit the hosepipe ban website for more information on the restrictions in place.
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