Off she goes, Iain Oughtred's slightly foreshortened Penny Fee, at 15ft. Sails by Jeckells, spars by the wonderful Jeremy Freeland at Collars. The rest by Messrs Burke and Morgan (that's Jonny by the way...)

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Mooring Fees and Flying Fifteens

Just been advised that the Royal Wedding is to be funded by the Crown Estate, the same bunch that charge us £40 to rent a bit of the seabed every year. They denied it, of course, which is a pity because it would have been a great stick with which to beat them: "Exclusive: Boat Owners Pay for Royal Wedding".

In fact, as a tax gathering body, the Crown Estate revenue from poor boat owners goes straight to the Exchequer (it does not go to pay for Camilla's hats, as rumoured), so we are, in fact, paying for the wedding one way or another.

My main objection to paying a mooring fee at all is:  How can anyone own the seabed anyway? What do we get out of it? They do not lay or maintain the mooring, let alone maintain the seabed; they cannot prevent other boats laying moorings nearby and appear to have no powers to get moorings moved if they are too close. No, they just collect tax from us, and get volunteers to collect it for them, in the form of local moorings association secretaries. Cunning, eh?

And they also, I believe, issue licences to fish farms to use sites, then, having approved the sites, charge the farms rent. Even more cunning, no?

On a lighter note, the new (or rather old) Flying Fifteen of past posts arrived last week, after a 1200-miles trip down south and back, where she was christened by my mum Ffelicity in a little ceremony outside the family home in Dorset. My mum, with Fablon fascinator (that's the thing women wear on their heads at royal weddings) did the honours, as the dishcloth (seen here on the seat of my father's scooter) slid from the bow to reveal the name. Gor' Bless 'er (my mum that is...)

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