Regulations and Technical Services Group

AIS checks

Following our piece last month on VHF radio checks, RATS has come across the use of National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) stations to check AIS transmissions. This seems to us to be good practice, certainly at the beginning of the season. A vessel’s AIS transceiver may use the same antenna as the VHF set or a separate one. As with VHF radios the most likely cause of any fault is the antenna or cable or the splitter (if the antenna is shared with VHF).

VHF Radio Checks – who should you call?

As the 2019 UK sailing season approaches, members are reminded that the MCA have confirmed that radio checks with HMCG should not be a first resort as it ties up the air and increases operator workload.

How could a no-deal Brexit affect cruising yachtsmen?

A list of actions for immediate consideration has been compiled by the Cruising Association's Regulatory & Technical Services (RATS) Committee

The European Commission has made it clear that, in the event of a 'no deal' scenario, it will impose full third country controls on people and goods entering the EU from the UK. (UK Government Impact Statement, 8 December).

What does this mean to cruising yachtsmen?

EU Tariffs on the import of US Yachts

Buying a boat from the United States?

Watch out for extra duty, say RATS

Did you know that for the last few months, many US-made items – including boats – brought into the EU have been subject to an extra 25% import tariff?

Red Diesel Use in the EU

UPDATE: 22/11/2018 - Update on Government response to EU ruling: Boating sector meets with HMRC to discuss Red Diesel

The press release agreed by all of the representatives at the HMRC meeting is printed below.

RATS is now working with the HMRC Tax team and the other members to promote practical and operable solutions to the problems boat owners will now face as the UK potentially changes from our the long-standing, convenient and efficient fuel supply system.

After Brexit: Effects on healthcare and EHIC

CA’s RATS (Regulations and Technical Services Group) is actively examining the myriad of issues that may affect CA members post-Brexit, one of which is healthcare and the EHIC. The article below, by RATS Ted Osborn, is an example of the regular articles by RATS in the CA’s Cruising magazine, and the valuable information it provides to CA members.

VHF Radio Checks - who should you call

The Cruising Association’s RATS (Regulations and Technical Services) Committee has been in discussion with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) about the use of calls to HMCG on Channel 16 requesting radio checks. RATS have anecdotal evidence of a proliferation of such requests and that these seemed to have spread from the Solent to other areas and Falmouth in particular.

News alert from Trinity House: Differential GPS user survey

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland are conducting a survey to gauge current and future user requirements for their Differential GPS service.

Differential GPS user survey

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland—Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights—operate 14 Differential GPS reference stations which provide corrections to GPS, thereby enabling greater positional accuracy and integrity in the user’s position.

Failure of throw bag rescue line

RATS draws the attention of Members to this important MAIB report, attached below. and for them to consider the points in it if they have these or other throw bags.

RATS adds the concern of two of its Members about the need to check the integrity of ropes and halyards on craft and their degradation caused by exposure to the UV content of sunlight.


Red Diesel Use in the EU

UPDATE: 26/04/2018 - Development of the use of red diesel with Belgian authorities

RATS has received this notice from the Belgian Finance Office that there will now be no fining or penalties for UK vessels visiting Belgium which have our marine red diesel in their tanks: