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SCRUBBING OFF LAWS

Thursday March 17th, 2011
SCRUBBING OFF UNDER LEGAL THREAT
It looks like it may soon be illegal for British Yachtsmen to scrub weed and barnacles off their boat undersides at traditional scrubbing posts. Harbourmasters up and down the country are expecting to have to rip up the posts and impose fines on sailors who scrub off along-side quays.
Holland and Germany have already enforced strict bans, sighting the environmental damage from antifoul run-off as the reason. France followed suit last November and it is now expected that Britain will follow suit in order to comply with directives from the European Union.

Spokeswoman for Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners, Caroline Shotton, told the sailing press, ‘I suspect it is only a question of time before we have to fit a collection and dispersal facility.'
Hamble River harbourmaster said that there were two sets of public scrubbing posts and one private on the Hamble but they were now referred to as ‘maintenance piles’ and supposed to be used for changing anodes or removing ropes in a bid to discourage scrubbing off.
Mr Evans said, ‘In parts of Europe you can end up in jail for scrubbing off in places without the proper facilities.'
A plan to issue licences for hull cleaning and making yachtsmen pay to scrub off was rejected when the RYA explained the difficulties involved in enforcing controlled scrubbing.
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