This is a news item

Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia

Yachts to be included in Piracy Deterrence Operations in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia


Appointment of General Secretary

Wendy Hodkinson

Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Wendy Hodkinson as the Association's General Secretary. Wendy has already taken up her post and you may contact her here.

Square pans for square meals

RATS receives all kinds of queries (some I am sure maliciously thought up to catch us out!) though not in this case. The question was how does a singlehander cope with his youngsters and their friends descending on him ravenously hungry when he is weatherbound in harbour?With six mouths to feed he had to look to his reserve stock and decided baked beans, corned beef and tinned tomatoes, but the problem was how to prepare the meal with his limited cooking utensils. Being an experienced CA member he was resourceful and coped.

Don’t take foot and mouth abroad

The recent outbreak of foot and mouth in deepest Surrey might seem a long way from the sea and nothing much to concern us, but this is wrong. We hear about the restrictions on the movement of livestock, but restrictions extend much wider, and they do apply to us. We are not personally prevented from travelling overseas, but during an outbreak and for three months afterwards it is illegal to take abroad certain meat and dairy products and in addition some countries apply further restrictions in addition to the UK ones.

A new cruising ground?

Apparently in 2007 the Arctic icecap has melted back further than ever before. On September 9th it was reported that it covered an area of just 4.24msq.kms. The previous minimum record was 5.32 msq kms in September 2005.During this year the North West Passage was open from August 22nd.

SOLAS vessels to report

In a further announcement MCA has stated that as from 1st January 2008 all SOLAS vessels on long range voyages (defined as in non A1 areas, ie outside VHF range from shore) are required to transmit details of their identity and position at least every six hours. The system is known as LRIT (Long Range Identification & Tracking). The onboard device used must be able to transmit the information automatically, and at intervals able to be reset remotely, ie by shore stations, to other periods down to fifteen minutes. The ship’s identity must be able to be polled at will by any other station.

Radar reflectors should be permanently mounted

In a recent MGN (Marine Guidance Notice) MCA state that:

1. ‘It is strongly recommended that yachtsmen permanently install, not just carry a radar reflector or RTE, that offers the largest Radar Cross Section practicable for their vessel.

The Queen and RATS inspect Galatea

Representatives from RATS were invited to visit the new Trinity House tender, GALATEA, when she was in London alongside HMS BELFAST, to be named by Her Majesty the Queen, prior to entering service. Described as a multi-functional vessel, GALATEA has been designed for buoy handling, wreck marking, towing, and has multi beam and side scan hydrographic surveying capabilities. At 84m long with a service sped of 13 knots, she is very much state of the art, and was built in Gdansk. In an excellent guided tour, her officers gave a most interesting description of her capabilities.

Coastal marina sector worth over £500 million to UK economy

A new comprehensive study of coastal marinas in the UK and Channel Islands has revealed the vital role played by marinas in economic development. The report, entitled Economic Benefits of Coastal Marinas of the UK and Channel Islands, shows that the sector directly employs over 1,700 people, supports the employment of 22,000more people and has a value added of over £500million a year to the British economy. There are significant benefits to local economies in terms of supply chain businesses and tourist jobs.

The end of TBT

The use of TBT (tributyltin) antifouling banned for use on leisure craft, but not commercially since the eighties, because of its harmful affects on marine life, finally looks like coming to the end of its days. Panama has at last signed the international treaty banning TBT on all its vessels worldwide,and as this brings the total merchant shipping tonnage having ratified the treaty to more than 50% of the world tonnage, it becomes automatic and enforceable by all states from July 2008.